Teacher living with HIV/Aids sues district official over sack
Posted Wednesday, February 13 2013 at 02:00
HIV/Aids may have been in Uganda for three decades now, but that has not stopped the stigma that has for a long time been associated with it.
Ms Florence Najjumba, a primary school teacher in Masaka, is testimony to the fact that stigma still remains deeply entrenched in society. Her woes started in 2011 when she was scrapped off the payroll after she became ill and could not turn up for duty.
Ms Najjumba, who has publicly admitted that she is living with HIV/Aids, says she has been out of work for the last two years and that she now lacks money to cater for her medical bills. The Uganda National Teacher’s Union (Unatu), Southern Branch, has taken over the case and sued the Masaka Municipality Principal Education officer, Mr Moses Ochong, for allegedly scrapping a teacher living with HIV/Aids off the payroll.
Mr Ochong distances himself from the matter, saying all that happened before he became the municipal education officer.
Unatu chairman Moses Nsereko says the case has been filed in the registrar’s chambers at Masaka High Court. Ms Najjumba, who is now visually impaired, says she was teaching at St. Joseph’s Primary School, Kiyimbwe in Masaka in 2010. She spent three months at Masaka Regional Referral Hospital.
In 2011, she was transferred to Blessed Sacrament Primary School. But because she was irregular at school due to illness, she was never paid. She used to earn Shs310,000 per month and now wants court to pay her Shs7.4m and also pay her gratuity and a monthly pension.
She says she is living with her relatives near Masaka Town and that she needs the money to stop being a burden to people who are supporting her. “Unatu wants court to order for the recovery of her salary and granting her early retirement privileges as by law established,” Mr Nsereko says.