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Over 80 New Staff Go Without Salaries in Serere District

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Serere district was given 20 slots for recruitment of teachers but the District Service Commission recruited 55, in addition to staff in other departments. This left the district with a wage shortfall of more than 664 million Shillings.
CAO Serere, Gabriel Richard Atama.

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Eighty six newly recruited staff of Serere District are still struggling to execute their duties without pay. The officers recruited last financial year have gone for eight months without salary.

The 86 officers are among the 120 staff whose recruitment was marred by irregularities in Serere district. They include 55 Teachers, 22 Parish chiefs and nine Community Development Officers. 

Serere district was given 20 slots for recruitment of teachers but the District Service Commission recruited 55, in addition to staff in other departments. This left the district with a wage shortfall of more than 664 million Shillings.

Gabriel Otiira, the Assistant Serere Chief Administrative Officer, says there was poor wage analysis, a situation they are handling with the line ministries. He said that the district has so far secured payment with arrears of seven months for 44 staff who were affected by the same recruitment irregularities. 

These include 27 secondary teachers, six drivers, four secretaries, three records officers, two human resources officers and personal secretary to the CAO. 

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Serere district is struggling with staff shortage of over 40 per cent. The most affected is the Education department that requires more than 300 teachers.  The education department has only 1,215 teachers against an enrollment of 85, 590 pupils as per 2019 records.

Serere has had challenges of paying staff especially teachers. It took the intervention of area MPs in 2018 to save more than 200 teachers from starvation after going eight months without salary.

Joseph Okojo Opit, the Serere LC V Chairperson told members of the anti-corruption coalition that some of the anomalies in staff payment arise from errant accounting officers. 

Opit indicated that more than 300 million Shillings had remained after payment of salaries in October 2019.

But Gabriel Richard Atama, the Serere Chief Administrative Officer told our reporter that he didn’t have the powers to pay staff outside the budgetary provisions.