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Govt releases salary enhancement arrears to Uganda’s public universities

Lecturers at Kyambogo University had joined strike.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The finance ministry has released Sh 33.8 billion as payment of arrears arising from the enhancement of salaries to staffs at public universities.

The payment covers Sh 29.5 billion =for enhancement of salaries and the Sh4.3 billion =as arrears to non-teaching staff in the M10-M22 salary scale across public universities.

The allocation, released as part of the financial year 2018/2019 Quarter three disbursements, follows pressure from public universities staff who had laid down their tools, in protest of the delayed payments. The strike had already started in Kyambogo, Busitema and Makerere University Business School.

The Deputy Secretary to Treasury Patrick Ochailap confirmed the payments in a letter dated January 7, 2019, addressed to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Sports.

Sharifah Buzeki, the Commissioner in charge of Human Resource Management in the Ministry of Public Service says the ministry has already revised the allocations to ach of the universities.

According to the revised allocations, Makerere University takes a lion share of 13 billion Shillings off the disbursement, 3.87 billion Shillings will go to Kyambogo University, Gulu University takes 2.59 billion Shillings and Makerere University Business School takes 2.47 billion Shillings.

Another Sh 2.19 billion will be clear payments to staffs at Mbarara University of Science and Technology – MUST, Sh 1.4 billion will go to Busitema, Sh 1.39 billion  is for Kabale University, while staff at Muni University will share Sh 627 million . Others are Soroti University with a share of Sh 393 million , Uganda Management Institute – UMI with Sh 752 million , and Lira University with a share of Sh 708 million.

The Ministry of Public Service and the Ministry of Finance say they are waiting for confirmation of the allocations by the Ministry of Education and Sports in order to issue a salary structure to that effect.

Meanwhile, Rev. Dr Grace Lubaale, the Chairperson of the Kyambogo University Academic Staff Association, says that they are likely to suspend their earlier resolution declaring nationwide industrial action as soon as the disbursements are confirmed by the Ministry of Education and Sports.

“The pressure is too much on them. We are impressed by the developments. Actually, we are following up with the Ministry of Education to confirm the allocations by tomorrow (Wednesday). Once things go as we see, we shall close that chapter and open a new one,” Dr Lubaale told URN in a phone interview.

Jackson Betihamah, the head of the Public Universities Non-Teaching Staff Executive Forum (PUNTSEF) said that they can only count the money once it lands on their accounts.

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