As Uganda marked the International Labor Day on Wednesday, a primary school teacher in Hoima was crying foul over her unpaid salary arrears. Margaret Asiimwe a teacher in Buhimba Sub County says she went without salary for six months from May to November 2012.
Margaret Asiimwe a resident of Buhimba Sub County is among thousands of teachers in Uganda whose names disappeared from the government payroll.
In an interview with Uganda Radio Network at her home in Kyabatalya village, Asiimwe explained that from May-November 2012 she did not earn any salary.
The 36 year old mother of three says she was only reinstated on the payroll in December but with less pay up to now.
Asiimwe says one of her children joined secondary school this year and she has to take care of three other children.
She explains that for the six months that she wasn’t earning, she had to struggle to raise children’s school fees, fend for her family and look for money for transport to her work station, which is several kilometers away.
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At work in her beans garden, the teacher explains that she has for months been in and out of the district education office seeking redress in vain.
She demands that government pays teachers’ salary arrears and streamline the payroll to avoid such anomalies in future.
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According to the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (Unatu), up to 30,000 teachers have been affected by irregularities on the government payroll since 2011.
In Hoima district alone, Francis Kemara, the Unatu Chairperson says his office has received more than 100 complaints from teachers with salary problems. He says majority of them have issues of under payment.
Kemara says although his office is trying to follow up, there seems to be miscommunication between the district and the Ministry of Public Service. He says the district claims to have sent all the required data to the ministry, but the ministry denies ever receiving anything.
Hoima District Education Officer, Godfrey Sserwanja, maintains that the required data on affected teachers has been submitted to Ministry of Public Service. Sserwanja feels that the district has done its part.