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Minister admits irregularities in Public Service payroll

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By Sheila Nduhukire & Marvin Kirunda

Posted  Wednesday, March 12   2014 at  02:00
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PARLIAMENT.

Some women were scrapped off the government payroll by officials in the Ministry of Public Service for denying officers sexual favours, Parliament heard yesterday.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Local Government and Public Service, Ms Sezi Mbaguta, the State minister for Public Service, acknowledged knowledge of the alleged incidents.

“We are aware of some female civil servants who are on the payroll during the day, but are scrapped off overnight by those that demand favours from them,” she said.
She was responding claims to that some civil servants have not received their salaries since January, with some as far back as September last year.
However, members of the committee expressed disappointment as to how a minister meant to curb such acts would be lamenting instead of taking action.
The legislators further questioned “why Public Service officials toss people around and ask for money to put them on the payroll”, a thing that is not alien to the ministry.

The minister, in her defence, cited cases of backlog accumulated from past months as a hindrance to operations within the ministry.
An assurance to have all the backlog cleared was given for end of this month which will see close to 4,000 civil servants, a figure that dropped from 23,000 in December, receive all outstanding salaries.

However, the minister fell short of answering allegations of disparities in the military pension scheme where it is alleged that widows of deceased army officers have sold off their land in pursuit of their names on the payrolls.
In contention too are allegations raised by committee members in which names of civil servants appear on the payroll with account numbers belonging to different people in other districts. A trick members claim is a trap to “confuse and eat” within the ministry.

In 2012, Shs169 billion meant to clear outstanding pension claims of 1,018 former East African Community workers went missing between February and October.
The money is alleged to have been siphoned through Cairo International Bank, with connivance from top employees of the ministries of Public Service and Finance.
MPs urged district service commissions to employ the right people to manage the new Integrated Personnel and Payroll system.

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