James Okwera, a resident of Labworomor in Palaro Sub-County says the absence of technical staff who should closely supervise their subordinates in the district has left civil servants to abscond from work, report late with impunity.
The District Council passed a resolution in 2001 for the termination of contracts of Parish Chiefs who were working in the various Sub Counties across the district. The resolution led to the termination of contracts for 89 Parish Chiefs who later dragged the district to court and sought compensation for unlawful termination.
Robert Olanya, a resident of Amuru Town Council disclosed to Uganda Radio Network - URN that offices at the district headquarters always open beyond the official time of 8:00am as stipulated in the Ministry of Public Service standing order.
Information obtained by our reporter shows that there are more than 60 volunteers attached to various offices. The volunteers execute simple tasks like preparing documents, welcoming and guiding clients, keeping the offices when the officers are away and at times perform duties entrusted to the office bearers.
Mityana Chief Administrative Officer James Nkata told Uganda Radio Network that the salaries were withheld as an internal tool to check on persons who wanted to be paid for no work done. Nkata says that he invoked powers vested in his office by the Public Service Standing Orders, permitting him to withhold salaries of staff that abscond from duty.
The outcry comes days after a report by the District Public Accounts Committee which indicated that some civil servants have absconded from duty for more than two months yet they are still receiving salaries.
Early this year, the Ministry of Public Service issued guidelines banning sleeveless, transparent and tight clothing for non-uniformed officers in Public Service. Public Service Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire said that the guidelines were in line with the Public Service Standing Orders.
Paul Mukungu, the Luweero Town Council LC 3 Chairperson, says government has been allocating funds for capacity building and it will be unfortunate for a serving officer to lose job over lack of academic qualifications.
Anthony Musasizi, the Chairperson for Uganda National Teacher Union UNATU Rubanda branch says that the problem of unpaid salaries has affected over 300 teachers. Musasizi questions why some teachers names were omitted from the payroll after the creation of the new district.
Residents in Luweero are calling for stringent action and reforms in salaries given to civil servants to control increased cases of absenteeism in the district. Residents want the government to pay civil servants according to working days and hours due to increased absenteeism in the district.