July 4, 2013

Wait for Civil Servants salary continues

Civil servants demanding for salary arrears will have to wait longer before they get their money.

The Attorney General report ending June 2012 reveals more ghost workers on the public service payroll thus halting the process of paying civil servants salary arrears for the last months.

The report noted that 7,588 cases of employees who had died, absconded or left service but were on the payroll. This number also includes 6,554 employees who could not be traced physically or using their details under which they are recorded on the government payroll.

John Muwanga’s report notes that the exceptions were mainly found on the teachers’ payroll and that government could have improperly paid these individuals by as much as 33 billion shillings.

There were also duplicate names on both the teachers and traditional payroll. Duplicates were identified as employees with the same names and same date of birth. Employees in this category were paid twice a month for extended periods during their year of service and this could have caused over payment of 753 million shillings.

Last week Parliament failed to pass a supplementary budget worth 46.9 billion shillings that was meant to pay salary arrears for over three months.

Matia Kasaijja, the state Minister for Finance and Planning, says they must sort out the question of whether the list is genuine or ghost employees and the ball now lies in the Ministry of Public Service court. However, the money is available and the treasury is ready to pay.

The Auditor General’s report also noted that out of a total of 2, 879 records on the traditional payroll, 1746 records of teachers with dates of birth indicating that they were recruited at an age of below 18 years.

Date of birth is used as a reference point when determining retirement benefits for employees. An inaccurate date of birth will therefore result into incorrect retirement dates.

It was also noted that a total of 486 records of teachers on the payroll, where a bank account number was used by more than one computer number in a the year and other specific different key unique identifications like names, date of birth and employment.

1271 records of teachers on the payroll had exceptions on the date of current appointment. These exceptions include date of present appointment being earlier than the date of the first appointment.

Important to note is that there were instances of significant delays in enrolling employees onto the payroll resulting in large amounts of arrears paid to employees.

Minister Kasaija however, says they now have to move cautiously but the 46.9 billion supplementary budget has been over taken by events and rendered redundant unless the Finance ministry frontloads it on a vote of account.

Margaret Rwabashaija the chairperson of the Uganda National Teachers Union, who is still waiting for their salary, says it would have been sceptical if the supplementary was to be passed considering it came just a few days before the ending of the financial year 2012/2013.

Baker Kasadha Kawoo the district education officer Iganga district whose teachers’ salary budget was cut by 1.5 billion shs says they have no choice but wait.

Dr Mubangizi Omulondo, an Optician at Kabale referral hospital, says 10 out of 95 health workers are yet to be paid. Meanwhile the UNATU chairperson Kabale district Zadoki Tumuhimbise says only 111 out of 500 teachers have been considered for payment leaving the bulk of 389 teachers empty handed.

Parliament has so far passed two supplementary budgets to cater for departments such as State House, Defence, Internal Affairs and Uganda police money for training.

Dr Mubangizi Omulondo an Optician at Kabale referral hospital says 10 out of 95 health workers are yet to be paid. Meanwhile the UNATU chairperson Kabale district Zadoki Tumuhimbise says only 111 out of 500 teachers have been considered for payment leaving the bulk of 389 teachers empty handed.

Parliament has so far passed two supplementary budgets to cater for departments such as State House, Defence, Internal Affairs and Uganda police money for training

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