UHRC Asks MPs For More Money, More Staff

The Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) has asked Parliament to consider its long time request for better remuneration and staffing.

In a meeting with Deputy Speaker Jacob Oulanyah, Chairperson Med Kaggwa said whereas the Ministry of Public Service harmonized Commissioners’ salaries with that of Permanent Secretaries, the same has not applied to UHRC.

“We are here to reemphasize the need for financial support [to the Commission], particularly salary enhancement of the Commissioners,” said Kaggwa.

Kaggwa said whereas a meeting on the same issue was held prior to passing the current budget, not much was materialised.

Kaggwa said the Commission’s Secretary earns better than the Chairperson and all Commissioners, which he said is not hierarchical.

Oulanyah said he will interest all decision makers in considering the request.

“It is true we met in July last year with the key people; the Ministry of Finance [has not placed this request] in the documents we have seen,” he said.

“My undertaking is that I will inform this Parliament so that we do whatever is required…at least we handle the first category of Commissioners first,” said Oulanyah.

A number of agencies are asking for pay raise, with the calls being re-echoed by trade unionist Usher Wilson Owere during the Labour Day celebrations in Ssembabule yesterday.

President Yoweri Museveni, however, scorned at the salary increment calls, saying the resources available should first cater for infrastructure.

Museveni labelled the doctors who recently went on strike as enemies, saying he supported the importation of Cuban doctors because of the arrogance of the striking medics.

With the current consideration of the budget for the Financial Year 2018/2019, agencies are lobbying Parliament to allocate funds to cater for perennial staffing and remuneration constratints.

In the Financial Year 2018/2019, the Commission runs on a wage-only budget of Shs18b, and are due to present their Ministerial Policy Statement for the next Financial Year, which is expected to address their salaries concerns.

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