Luwero, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Thirty-six teachers in Luwero district have been dismissed from service for abscondment from duty.
The affected teachers were formerly deployed at Universal Primary schools that include; Mityebiri Roman Catholic, St Theresa Kasaala Girls, Luwero Boys, Nandere , Buyuki , Malungu and Nambi UMEA Primary school.
Others were from Balita Lwogi, Matembe , Kabuye, St Peter’s Semyungu , Lukomera C/U and Anoonya Orthodox P/S among others.
On 23rd February, 2023, the Luwero District Service Commission ordered 41 teachers to appear before it to defend themselves in cases of abandonment from duty. The 41 teachers had been accused of being away from work for over three months without permission from their supervisors which is against Public Standing Orders.
However, only five turned up and 36 didn’t appear to defend themselves which forced the Service Commission to recommend dismissal. Four out of the five teachers that turned up were warned and retained in service whereas the the case of the fifth teacher is still pending a final decision.
The dismissed affected staff were also invited to appear in the District’s Rewards and Sanctions Committee but didn’t appear. Bernard Okello, the Luwero District Human Resource Officer explains that upon receiving a report recommending for dismissal of the teachers from the Service Commission, the Chief Administrative Officer has signed off their letters terminating their services.
Okello adds that the district followed the process of giving them chance to defend themselves and they didn’t appear to do so. “We have deleted them from the payroll and soon we shall advertise their positions seeking interested persons to fill up the vacant positions,” said Okello.
He says that the district has also introduced measures that include registration of daily outputs, installed clock-in equipment at health centers, and smartphones in schools with aim of capturing data on absentee staff.
“We are also using the monitoring tools to analyze individual attendance and performance. The tools cant eliminate absenteeism but they are helping to track performance,’’ added Okello.
Yusuf Kamulegeya, the Luwero District Inspector of Schools says that he was yet to get the report from the Service Commission on the recommendations made but confirmed that the teachers were submitted thereafter they absconded from duty for months.
URN has learnt that some of the dismissed staff left service for other jobs and others went abroad for greener pastures.
Richard Bwabye the Luwero Resident District Commissioner says that some of the affected staff are seen in the communities engaged in other jobs than teaching learners. “It’s good that they have finally been dismissed and the district can now replace them with those that want to work. We should also intensify physical supervision so that we can eliminate all cases of abscondment so that the government funds are paid to those who delivers,” said Bwabye.
According to sections (A-N )19 and 20, the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders the responsible Officer shall stop the salary immediately and submit to the Appointing Authority for a formal directive of his or her removal from public service on abandonment of duty.
The officer who abandons duty shall forfeit all rights and privileges attached to his or her office with effect from the date of abandonment.