KAMPALA. As the strike by state prosecutors under the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) enters day three, Justice minister Kahinda Otafiire on Wednesday said he would meet their leaders today to offer them new proposals to stop the ongoing strike over poor remuneration.
But his plan was flatly slammed by the president of the Uganda Association of Prosecutors, Mr David Baxter Bakibinga, who described Otafiire’s new proposal as “nonsense.”
In an interview with NTV Uganda, a sister station to Daily Monitor, minister Otafiire said he would meet the prosecutors association and officials from ministries of Finance and Public Service. He said government has no money for the salary enhancement for prosecutors at the moment and added that as the Executive, they will not promise what they cannot deliver.
“We are meeting the executive together with the Finance ministry and Public Service and we shall pass on our recommendations to them. I think they will listen,” Minister Otafiire told NTV Uganda on Wednesday.
“I was talking to the minister of public service yesterday and he said he was on course. So that is why I am appealing to the prosecutors to be patient, to wait like everybody else in government. I also want a pay raise but government has decided that we look at salaries across the board, remove the disparities, pay rational skills of remuneration. I am appealing to them to come back; I know they are reasonable,” Otafiire told the prosecutors.
However his remarks were met with stark indignation from the prosecutors.
“Personally I am not aware of this meeting. We don’t want the new recommendations but money. If that is what the meeting is all about, he rather not summon some of us. He rather summons the entire annual general meeting to tell them that nonsense,” Mr Bakibinga, president of the Uganda Association of Prosecutors, slammed Otafiire’s plan by telephone last evening.
On Tuesday this week, the prosecutors decided to resume their strike after government failed to fulfill its promises to raise their pay as agreed three months ago.
According to the current salary structure of prosecutors under DPP, the lowest ranking prosecutor (state prosecutor) earns a monthly gross pay of Shs644,963 with the highest ranking prosecutor at the rank of Senior Principal State Attorney, pocketing a gross monthly pay of Shs2.1m.
The striking prosecutors want the lowest ranking officer to earn a monthly pay of Shs3.5m and the highest to earn Shs6.2m.
They also want tax exemption on their salaries, want professional allowances and allowances for serving in hard-to-reach and promotions.