Monday April 21 2014

Kotido chairman protests salary reduction


The Kotido District chairperson, Mr Kalisto Adome, has protested the revision of his salary from Shs2 million to Shs300, 000.
“I have made several attempts to contact the Ministry of Public Service and the chief administrative officer of Kotido to find out who got authority to tamper with my salary, but I have not received any promising response,” Mr Adome said.

The complaints by the district head comes in the wake of related concerns by civil servants across the country, many of whom have been scrapped off the payroll in what ministry of Finance and Public Service planned as a payroll cleaning exercise.

Some public officials have been paid in bits, while others do not receive any money even when their names are on the payroll.
The Kotido deputy Chief Administrative Officer, Mr Mark Locheng, confirmed the irregularity in the chairman’s emolument but blamed it on general payroll clean-up gone-bad.

The deputy CAO’s pay was also cut after his post was for yet unexplained reason, changed from a principal assistant secretary, to examiner of accounts.

Mr Adome should be a lot patient since the ministry of Public Service promised to rectify the problem soon, the deputy CAO said, explaining that he too was a victim of the pay disparity.

“Even me I am under-paid; I get Shs390, 000 instead of my actual salary of Shs1.2 million,” he said of the problem that has persisted since September last year.

“But we have filled forms, including him (Adome) and I am sure the team from the Ministry of Public Service is not sleeping. They are working hard to reinstate our salary scales.”

Our telephone calls to the Ministry of Public Service spokesperson, Mr Jonas Tumwine, to ascertain how widespread the pay problem is, went unanswered.

In Kotido alone, deputy CAO Locheng said in a follow up interview yesterday that up to 100 other district employees are affected.
Earlier, chairman Adome said he has been frustrated by the inordinate delay to reinstate his proper salary.

He added: “I think the best solution is I am going to resign from my position as LC5 chairman this month if my salary scale is not rectified this month.”

No district chairman has since the introduction of decentralisation in 1992 thrown in the towel over low pay, and Adome would make history if he made good on his promise.

“I am wondering how a chairman like me who passed Shs11 billion to be spent in Kotido this financial year can earn salary [at the rate] paid to a nursing assistant or LC3 chairperson. This is an insult to me,” he said.
In July 2012, the Public Service and Finance ministries embarked on cleaning the payroll after a government audit found people not in service or on payroll were being paid through fictitious accounts.

Another clean up exercise was done after Shs165 billion in pension funds was paid to more than 3,000 people who were not pensioners.