Wednesday March 26 2014

Ministry on the spot over Unatu funds

By Isaac Imaka

Uganda National Teachers Union (Unatu) has accused the Public Service ministry of a number of wrongs, among which is the failure to remit subscription monies deducted from its members.

While appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Public Service and Local government, Mr James Tweheyo, the Unatu general secretary, presented a list of more than 4,000 members whose membership-of eight months- has never been remitted.
The money, he said, totalled to Shs144m.

Unatu is a teacher’s trade union that fights for the rights and welfare of its members. Membership is left at the teachers’ discretion.

“We use membership money to be able to run the union’s work across the country, including paying rent,” he said. “The union’s work is affected if we don’t get the money remitted.”

Ghost teachers
Mr Tweheyo also pushed the blame for the continued existence of ghost teachers on the government pay roll to the ministry.
Although he expressed ignorance on the number of ghost teachers, Mr Tweheyo said the ministry’s refusal to avail the payroll to the different schools for scrutiny, is the main cause of the problem.
Efforts to get an explanation from Public Service ministry were futile as the ministry’s spokesperson’s number was off and the junior minister, Ms Ssezi Mbaguta, hadn’t respondent to text messages by press time.