I have address yet again inadequate salaries for civil servants in Uganda. This is become a norm and fashion. Once in a while I address this and use different sources to validate the madness of little pay that this loyal subjects and workers in getting measly pay, and sometimes waiting for months on end. So today after seeing yet another NTV Uganda clip. I had to research a bit and here is how the situation looks like. Beginning with the teacher Norbert Agola Opira and his story!
Norbert Agola Opira is a teacher and also a representative at the Uganda National Teachers Union or UNATU. He was credited for his work as a teacher in Uganda with the amount of 10.000 UGX (NTV Footage). His colleges wondered if he had answers since he was their representative. Here is what Norbert Agola Opira says: “They ask me, what are you doing?” (…)”For you are not doing anything, your cutting our money and you’re not helping us” (…)”How can somebody get 15.000? How can we survive? We would never and should never get that money” (NTV Footage). He continues: “This school we’re about 10 teachers close to 15 and another two goats 20/20” (NTV Footage).
Dorothy Baluka who is the Co-Ordinator in Uganda Natonal Teacher Union says: “We have Kabale District, We have Kasese District, we have Serere District, all this districts are being affected with underpayment of salary, no payment of salaries” (…)”We are going to follow up with accounting officers of KCCA to find out what could have been the route cause” (NTV Footage).
This footage came on the 7. July, but the Samuel Eitu the Head of Human Resource in the Ministry of Civil Service on an meeting in Gulu on 30. June 2014 offered this:
“ I though the system had a little problem at the beginning, it should not be an excuse for the teachers and health workers’ salary to be delaying. He says that the accounting officers will have to play their role well to ensure every single individual is paid.” (…) “that with the decentralized payroll system, the chief administrative officers and town clerks will have to ensure that they correct all irregularities that come in regards to payment” (…) ” that even though one person is not paid, the accounting officers should not rest but seek to clarify the matter” (Ugandaradionetwork.com, 2014).
Isaac Newton Ojok the Vice Chairperson of Gulu District: “hat he hopes the ministry keeps to their work of paying the teachers and other civil servants. He noted that it is very unfair for someone who stays in a hard-to-reach area and is teaching genuinely to miss salary for over 5 months”(Ugandaradionetwork, 2014).
Patrick Ojok a tutor at Christ the King Teachers College in Gulu: “he has never got his salary since he was transferred early this year from Lira” (…)”he has been suffering with loans and has failed to meet his bills even though he has been working”(Ugandaradionetwork, 2014).
This report from the meeting found out that in Gulu 146 teachers was not getting their salarys and in Arua there were 350 teachers who we’re yet to get their salary in from different months since January (Ugandaradionetwork, 2014).
While this is happening the Finance Ministry spokesman Jim Mugunga that civil servants would now have to use public institutions to loan money. He is also quoting a letter from the ministry: “The Government has stopped making monthly loan deductions on salaries of public servants, effective July 1. It has withdrawn loan codes from its payroll”. Also saying: “ some financial institutions even made deductions on accounts of public officers who did not have loan obligations,” the document read, without naming the institutions involved” (…)”The ministry does not want to be associated with this fraud.” (Masaba, 2014).
James Tweheyo the spokesman of UNATU saying “their members would have to rely on the mercy of chief administrative officers (CAOs) to recommend them for salary loans” (…)”noted that the assistance of the CAOs would not be effective for teachers because they often get transferred from one district to another, without consultation“ (Masaba, 2014).
Joseph Sewungu the Kalungu West MP says of the matter: “A teacher’s salary is the only security he has to secure a loan. But if they are denied this security, it will be bad for them” (Masaba, 2014).
Daniel Nsibambi the former Stanbic bank spokesperson says: “If the rate of getting loans reduces, economic activities slow down and the economy suffers. The Government is the leading employer. I hope bankers find a way to continue giving out salary loans” (…)” They will find it hard to secure loans since they have to produce evidence and assurance that they will be able to pay back the money” (Masaba, 2014).
I wonder how the tale continues, but for sure, the civil servants and their salaries are sure a hot topic and also something that has to be addressed. Since it’s the livelihood of so many people and I have already had some post in this year. This doesn’t look like its stopping. Time will tell.
Semakula, Joan and Masaba, John – ‘The finance ministry has stopped undertaking salary loan guarantees for public servants’ (05.07.2014), New Vision Uganda – Link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/657223-gov-t-stops-guaranteeing-bank-loans.html
UgandaRadioNetwork.com: Govt To Pay Teachers Salary Arrears On June 30th Link: http://ugandaradionetwork.com/a/story.php?s=64626