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.
Samuel Mbangire, the Nakasongola District Inspector of Schools, says that the findings by the RDC are true, adding that they have since operationalized the Sanctions and Rewards Committee to handle among others the disciplinary cases such as the absenteeism of school heads.
A senior officer who preferred anonymity said that the new directives are unfair to the sector because they will affect many teachers who are struggling to return to work following prolonged COVID-19 lockdown. So far 25 teachers in the Nakaseke district have not returned to work following the lifting of the COVID 19 lockdown.
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.
In his notice dated 23rd August this year, Emmy Kizito Nsubuga the Secretary for Luwero District Service Commission directed the staff to appear in person and file written submission before Commission for hearing in their disciplinary cases.
Sam Serunjogi the Director of Serunjogi Investments Limited in Wobulenzi town council says most works at the zonal offices have been taken over by security guards who don’t allow the people to seek answers from land registrars or surveyors concerning their complaints.
Bosco Ocira, the LC I Chairperson Otici Village who also doubles as the Health Center Management Committee Chairperson, says the facility is currently operating partially due to the absence of many health workers.
Benjamin Makanga the District Councillor for Nakaseke sub county says that he supports the move saying there is public outcry that government buys medicine and inject a lot of money in infrastructure development but access to health services remain a challenge.
The Buvuma District LC V Chairperson, Alex Mabirizi, acknowledged the problem of absenteeism. He explained that the workers are expected to work full time but most of them report for work on Tuesday and leave by Thursday, which is affecting service delivery.
Dr. Vicent Oketcho, the Chief of Party of IntraHealth International - Uganda, discloses that in some districts such as Iganga, local leaders went further to use the attendance records to make administrative decisions including payment of salaries based on the number of days worked.
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.