MAYUGE. More than 25 secondary school science teachers in Mayuge District are yet to receive their July 2017 salaries amounting to Shs17.5 million.
Daily Monitor has learnt that the number was 100, with each earning Shs700,000 per month but of these, 75 were later paid gradually. And now those who have not been paid are demanding answers from the district authorities. Mr Robert Oonyu, a physics teacher at St John Secondary School, Buwaaya, says despite repeated pledges by the district authorities, no payments have been made to-date. “In August last year, only arts teachers received payment on their accounts. Some science teachers later got paid but many others are still waiting almost a year later,” Mr Oonyu says. The Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Ms Joyce Nambozo, says the change from Integrated Payroll Payment System (IPPS) to a new set-up caused the mix-up. “Some of the names were omitted electronically and it was not anybody’s fault. Then the entire process required manual handling afterwards,” Ms Nambozo says. She dismisses allegations that the matter is politically motivated, saying other districts such as Jinja have similar shortcomings. “You saw what happened in March when teachers protested non-payments of salaries. Local politicians mobilised them to demonstrate even when it was clear the mess was nationwide,” Ms Nambozo says. On August 20, computers from the finance department went missing, further complicating plans to pay the teachers. Some teachers, who visited the premises to establish their payroll status, instead found armed policemen. Ms Moses Mugabi, an official at the personnel office, explains that five monitors and three central processing units (CPUs) were taken, which made it impossible to access payroll data. Police officers then recorded statements from one Waiswa, who keeps the office keys. Ms Diana Namutunzi, the district police commander, says they are investigating circumstances surrounding the disappearance of the computers. “Our work is to investigate and bring the culprits to book. Investigations are on and we shall establish what happened,” Ms Namutunzi says. Mr Mark Opolot, a chemistry teacher, says the computers may have been deliberately taken to interfere with the payment system. Before the computers disappeared, the CAO had promised the affected teachers that they would get feedback in a week. Mr Simon Mwalye, a biology teacher from Malongo Secondary School, says he can no longer afford transport to Mayuge Town to check on the progress of the matter. “We have done our work and government should own up. Why must one teach and end up not being paid at the end of the day over flimsy excuses?” Mr Mwalye says. Pensioner affected Ms Susan Naigaga, a pensioner, says she was supposed to start receiving her gratuity of Shs40m in May last year but the money has not yet been remitted to her account “For all this time, I have moved to and from Mayuge for my money to no avail. I appeal to the concerned authorities to come to my rescue,' Ms Naigaga says. Mr Samuel Kigomo, a maths teacher, says the salary payment problem has become permanent in the district. 'There seems to be a problem with this district. Our neighbours seem to be well organised and I wish we could borrow a leaf from them,' Mr Kigomo says. Mr Stephen Balabye, a biology teacher at Bunya Secondary School, says:'I never got salary for two months and up to now I am demanding arrears.' Mr Henry Kirya, a chemistry teacher at Baitambogwe Secondary School, who says he has missed salary for six months after being deleted from the payroll, wonders how the computer only deleted payroll details of science teachers. The RDC, Mr Sulaiman Baraza, says he will follow up the matter.