NTUNGAMO – At least 2300 Ntungamo district local government employees have gone without salary since May 2018 an issue that has caused some of them to protest to the district administration seeking immediate action.
The employees missing salaries include teachers, top district civil servants including heads of departments, lower local government employees, health and medical workers, district councillors and sub county chairpersons among others.
At least 200 employees on Tuesday camped at Ntungamo district headquarters seeking audience from the district’s Chief Administrative Officer and the heads of human resource department whom they accuse of mismanaging the payroll thus delaying the salaries.
The chairperson Ntungamo branch of the Uganda National teachers association (UNATU) Mr Gideons Kabangizi said the teachers were most affected.
“We are protesting the gross mismanagement of the payroll and miscommunication. We have not been getting salaries and most of the employees are now desperate, the people in the finance department mistreat us. They ask us for [the] same documents all the time we come and treat us like children. The secretaries ask us for papers to print us the payroll [claiming] that they do not have stationery in office, as if we can fund the district, others demand each Shs10,000 to get people back on the payroll,” Mr Kabangizi said during a meeting between protesting staff, the CAO and the RDC at the district.
The CAO Mr Kweyamba Ruhemba said the mishap in the payroll was a result of the Uganda revenue authority issuing fake tax identification numbers (TINs) that are not recognized in the system. He said some people give phone numbers not registered in their names while the rest have multiple loans that go beyond half of their gross pay, which automatically leads to the payroll system dropping them.
However, the human resources officer Mr David Katusiime Kabaka noted that they have been submitting proper payrolls to the ministry of finance for payment since the payroll was decentralised but the ministry has been irresponsive not returning the money to employees accounts.
The employees said the mismanagement of the payroll is directly associated with the district human resource and the finance department.
The Ntungamo Resident District Commissioner Ms Justine Mbabazi said that the administration especially the CAO’s office, finance department and the human resource must be cleaned to avoid further messes that see employees go without salary for over a month.
“We can’t continue with this trend, every month we have employees missing on the payroll and the story we get is that they are asked for money to get back, Mr CAO you must clean your house, we cannot blame anyone in this it is the finance and human resource offices that are messing up everything. All the time we are in papers on radio and on TV over bad things why don’t we clean up?” Ms Mbabazi wondered.
Mr Ruhemba asked the employees to ensure they know the exact reasons why they have not accessed salaries and ensure they are addressed once and for all without interfering with their work. He said the other reason for delayed salaries may have been change in the payment system from Tier II to Tier I, which could have affected payroll managers speed because of the knowhow.