Parliament. A leaked report of a watchdog committee of Parliament ranks monthly salaries of top government officials —the highest-paid chief executives — and highlights what the lawmakers have called “glaring huge salary disparities” existing across all government parastatals, authorities and commissions.
The May 2015 report by House Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) reveals “massive disparities” in the public sector pay and calls for concerted government efforts to address the “distortions” and restore equity in the pay structures.
“[The committee] is concerned with the glaring huge salary disparities existing across all parastatals, authorities and commissions in the country salaries and remuneration is not guided by any policy,” the 253-page report reads, adding; “as such officers in some entities are paid half or a quarter of the salary of their colleagues elsewhere to perform similar or same functions.”
“The committee doesn’t understand whether remuneration is determined by the size of the budget, negotiating skills of the staff, benevolence of board/minister [responsible] or industry practice,” the report adds.
Bank of Uganda governor Emmanuel Tumusiime - Mutebile tops the list of top earners with over Shs53.3 million per month and the Commissioner General of Uganda Revenue Authority, Ms Doris Akol, earns Shs40 million per month followed by Mr Richard Byarugaba, the Executive Director National Social Security fund with Shs39 million and Mr Robert Kabushenga of New Vision with more than Shs37.3 million.
While MPs have put URA boss in the second position, Kampala City Capital Authority’s top technocrat Jennifer Musisi in June 2011 proposed for herself a monthly salary in excess of Shs43.7 million, which made her the second highest-paid civil servant in the country. Ms Musisi’s salary was not included because her docket falls outside the ambit of COSASE.
At the time of her proposal to Public Service, Ms Musisi’s gross pay displaced at the top of the scale the Auditor General, Mr John Muwanga’s (Shs36 million), former National Water & Sewerage Corporation managing director Dr William Muhairwe (Shs30 million) and former URA boss Allen Kagina (Shs28 million) and the then, Acting IGG, Mr Raphael Baku (Shs18 million).
Some of the least earners include Mr Angello Nkeeza, the Acting managing director Uganda Broadcasting Corporation with Shs4.1 million followed by Mr Emmanuel Mutahunga, the acting MD Uganda Export Promotion Board (UEPB) with Shs7.4 million and Prof Opuda Asibo of National Council for Higher Education, earning Shs9.8 million per month.
While calls to Ministry of Public Service went unanswered, Ministry of Finance spokesperson Jim Mugunga on Thursday explained that State enterprises are unique in nature and that the exclusivity of these agencies demand that their boards determine the staffing, operations and remunerations.
“Their salaries are determined by the board of directors where Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Public Service have no say because they are self-sustaining,” Mr Mugunga said. He said some of the chief executives deemed to be among the highest-paid are on contract and have incentives for performance.
However, in trying to get to the root of the problem, the committee members noted that the salary disparities are due to the legal frameworks that set up these entities (Acts) that either give ministers or boards the power to determine emoluments.
The MPs who talked to Daily Monitor on Thursday said the lack of an independent body to set public pay contributes to inequalities in salaries. Others say inequality has demotivated government employees and hindered service delivery.
Chairman of National Organisation of Trade Unions Wilson Usher Owere told Daily Monitor on Thursday “the government is the doctor in charge of the patient called Uganda”. “Let government diagnose the disease called minimum wage and put in a place a Salaries Commission to help Ugandans who are being exploited,” he said.
“Because we don’t have a minimum wage, the government is now behaving like an engineer building a house without a foundation. It is wrong for government to increase salaries selectively. Some people are earing peanuts and others enjoying obscene pay yet they are doing the same job. This is not right.”
When contacted, the committee chairperson, Mr Ibrahim Ssemuju Nganda (Kyadondo East), confirmed the new report but declined to comment on the findings because the rules of procedure do not allow members to discuss a report that has not been officially tabled in Parliament.
“I cannot discuss the findings in the press because we have not yet reported to Parliament,” he said.
The committee recommends that remuneration should be determined in a way such that all officers appointed to Authorities should have uniform pay while manner while those appointed to Institutes, Centres, Commissions and Corporations should ordinarily attract the same pay. In the new Constitutional Amendments to Parliament, government is proposing to introduce a Salaries and Remuneration Board to rationalise pay in the public sector.
Name & office Salary
BoU’s E. Tumusiime Mutebile Shs53.3m
URA’s CG Doris Akol Shs40m
NSSF’s MD Richard Byarugaba Shs39m
New Vision’s Robert Kabushenga Shs37.3m
UCC’s ED Godfrey Mutabaazi Shs36.9m
NMS’s GM Moses Kamabare Shs35.2m
NITA-U’s ED James Saaka Shs34.3m
UETCL’s MD Erias Kiyemba Shs32.5m
NWSC’s MD Dr Silver Mugisha Shs30m
CAA’s MD Rama Makuza Shs30m
UEGCL’s MD Harrison Mutikanga Shs26m
UEDCL’s MD Joseph Katera Shs25m
REA’s ED GodfreyTuryahikayo Shs24.7m
UDB’s CEO Patricia Ojangole Shs24m
NHCCL’s CEO Parity Twonomujuni Shs20m
UNBS’ ED Ben Manyindo Shs20m
UCDA’s ED Henry Ngabirano Shs20m
UWA’s ED Dr Andrew Sseguya Shs19m
CDO’s MD Jolly K Sabune Shs18.6m
PU’s Director Moses Mwase Shs18.2m
NFA’s ED Micheal Mugisa Shs18m
UIA’s ED Eng Frank Sebbowa Shs16m
PPDA’s ED Cornelia K Sabiiti Shs15m
Posta Uganda’s James Arinaitwe Shs13.7m
NDA’s ES Kate Nalukenge Shs13.3m
NPA’s ED Dr Joseph Muwawala Shs12.5m
NEMA’s ED Tom Okia Okurut Shs12.4m
DDA’s ED Jolly K Zaribwende Shs11m
Air Cargo’s GM Fred Guyina Shs10.2m
UNCC’s ED Fransis Peter Ojede Shs10m
NCHE’s ED Prof Opuda Asibo Shs9.8m
UPHL’s CEO Martin Kihembo Shs8.7m
URC’s Ag. MD Charles Kateeba Shs8.7m
Namboole’s MD J Ssewanyana Shs8.5m
UEPD’s Ag. MD E Mutahunga Shs7.4m
UBC’s Ag. MD Angelo Nkeeza Shs4.1m
KCCA’s ED Jennifer Musisi’s Shs43.7m
OAG’s boss John Muwanga (AG) Shs36m
IGG Irene Mulyagonja Shs18m
Clerk to Parliament Jane Kibirige (proposed Shs10million).