Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | 28 civil servants in Luwero district have not received their salary over absenteeism from duty.
The most affected staff are teachers, head teachers, and health workers among others.
Bernard Okello, the Luwero District Human Resource Officer explains that the district suspended the salaries effective March after the civil servants were found to have absconded from work for over 30 days without notifying their supervisors which breaches the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders 2021.
Okello adds that the decision to suspend salary was done in reference to section 20 of Uganda Public Service Standing Orders which stipulates that in the absence of communication from the public officer and failure to resume duty within 30 days, the public officer shall be deemed to have abandoned duty.
He further explains that the orders give the responsible officer powers to stop the salary immediately and submit to the appointing authority for a formal directive of his or her removal from the public service on the abandonment of duty.
Erastus Kibirango, the LCV chairman of Luwero district says that the officers were issued with notices and on Thursday, they appeared before the District Rewards and Sanctions Committee to defend themselves before salary is reinstated or further disciplinary actions are taken.
He says those who failed to defend themselves, will be forwarded to the District Service Commission for further hearing and recommend whether they are dismissed from service or any other disciplinary action taken.
Kibirango adds that they had received complaints from residents that civil servants especially teachers were not attending to learners and engaged in other business but continued to get salaries.
Kibirango says this is a wake-up call to all staff in Luwero district that they will not tolerate those who are absent from duty.
Some of the staff who missed salaries have since denied the allegations whereas others claimed they were sick.
The list of absent staff was generated from an analysis of the attendance books at the institutions.
Meanwhile, Luwero district effective this month introduced an attendance register in a move aimed at curbing the habit of those who sign for others as well as others reporting for work late.
The ordinary attendance books are introduced in the early morning and withdrawn at 8:30 am.
Staff who report past 8:30am at the office, sign a separate late comer attendance book with the reason for the delay. This is analyzed to determine sanctions on those who repeatedly come late to work.
According to Uganda Public Service Standing Orders, the official working hours are between 8:00 am-12:45pm, and 2:00 to 5:00pm.
Early this year, Nakaseke district also resolved to pay the civil servants for only days worked in the fight against chronic absenteeism.
According to the notice issued by the Human Resource Officer, Imelda Navubya on behalf of the Chief Administrative Officer, the salaries of officers who have not worked for 6-10 days in the month will be suspended until satisfactory reasons for their absence are established.
Navubya added that for the rest, salaries will be paid depending on the days worked in the month. She adds that the units whose supervisors in Lower Local Governments, schools, and health centres fail to submit their monthly attendance returns, will not receive salaries until they make submissions.