NTUNGAMO- Village chairpersons in Ruhaama Sub-county, Ntungamo District last week refused to take money paid to them for the national ID project work, saying they would abandon the work unless government addresses the issue of remuneration.
The chairpersons said the payment was too little for the time spent at stations.
They argued the Shs23,700 being offered per person for a month is too low considering that circulars that they had received from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Electoral Commission had indicated otherwise.
Mr Ernest Saturday the chairperson for Nyakagando cell in Ruhaama Parish, said the payment was unacceptable and demeaning “since they had promised to pay us Shs300,000 per month”.
“They are telling us we were meant to work for a few days in a month. Even if one worked for three days in a month this payment is unacceptable. We eat, travel and we have families. Do they expect us to love Uganda more than we can love ourselves?” he wondered.
The Sofia village chairperson, Mr Rajab Muhiire, said: “This is irresponsible. How can you tell your family that you worked for a whole month and got paid Shs20,000?”
“We have refused to take [this] money and many of us have vowed not to return to registration centres until government gives us a proper explanation,” Mr Muhiire said.
When contacted, Ms Pamela Ankunda, the Internal Affairs spokesperson, said the money was the correct amount.
“We [Internal Affairs] said we shall pay Shs10,000 per day, when the registration kit is in a particular village. But some chairpersons move with the kit to other village, which makes them work for a full month. We cannot pay for working in other villages where there are people doing the same work. Apparently we are sensitising them to understand this,” she explained yesterday.
The district returning officer, Mr Robert Beine told the Daily Monitor some chairpersons needed more sensitisation so as to understand the working process and payment system. “We have explained and some are taking their money. The directives from the ministry [Internal Affairs] demands that we pay them Shs10,000 for each day. And as per our calculations a kit spends three or four weeks in a particular village. This is what we are paying those who worked,” he said.
Mr Nathan Rwengabo, the chairperson Nyamabaare cell, said some of them would not work for such little pay, adding: “We cannot be hostages of an activity that does not pay us. This is shameful.”