Parliament Questions Finance Minister on Delayed Salaries

Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija has committed to ensuring that all civil servants access their December salaries today. He made the commitment while responding to a query by Hoima City East Division MP, Patrick Mwesigwa Isingoma regarding reports from different Local Governments that civil servants will not receive their December salaries until mid-January 2023. 

He cited a story quoting the Nakaseke Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) regarding a delay in the payment of salaries.

Different Chief Administrative Officers have in the past weeks written informing government employees about the insufficient funds to pay salaries for December.

“This serves to inform you that most of the employees in the health department, secondary schools, and tertiary institutions will not receive salary for the month of December 2022 within the dates stipulated in the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders due to insufficient funds. The affected employees are therefore advised to sparingly use the resources they have as we wait for more funds from the Ministry of Finance,” reads an internal memo from Alfred Malinga, the Wakiso Chief Administrative Officer.

Nakaseke district Chief Administrative Officer also wrote to staff on November 28th communicating the anticipated delay in the payment of December salaries. The letter was copied to all public health, agricultural extension, tertiary and secondary, banking and lending institutions in Nakaseke district Local Government.

“Nakaseke district received wage funds for Quarter 2 of the financial year 2022/2023 from the Ministry of Finance with a shortfall of 1,327,963,663 billion in relation to salaries of staff. The district is not in a position to pay salaries and deductions for the above-mentioned staff for December until the shortfall is offset,” reads part of the letter signed by Martin Osembo the Chief Administrative Officer for Nakaseke.

While responding to the concerns raised in parliament, Kasaija argued that salaries and wages have got the first call on the budget and promised to check why people have not received their salaries. “If there is any institution or sector that draws salaries from the treasury and that money has not yet been given or even sent, then there must be a procedural problem. I want to promise this House that as soon as I leave here, I will go and check,” said Kasaija.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa gave the minister an hour to provide feedback to the House. Later, the Minister of State for Public Service, Mary Mugasa reported that the Ministry of finance was frontloading so that all public servants are paid for December.  She also reported that they will meet in January to review all payrolls of Local Governments.

Matia Kasaija then committed to ensuring that money for the public servants who have not been paid would be worked on today.

Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of the Opposition questioned the manner in, which the government is being run. He wondered why it should take parliament to remind the Ministry of Finance that salaries of civil servants have to be paid.

In his response, Kasaija noted that to error is human and that he was to make sure that the issue is resolved immediately.

Tayebwa tasked the Minister to ensure that all public servants receive their December salaries immediately.

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