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Masaka Education Chief Sued for Deleting HIV + Teacher's Name from Payroll

Moses Ochong, the Masaka Municipality Principal Education officer, is in trouble for allegedly removing from the payroll an HIV/AIDS positive teacher.
Moses Ochong, the Masaka Municipality Principal Education officer, is in trouble for allegedly removing from the payroll an HIV/AIDS positive teacher.

 

Uganda National Teacher’s Union (UNATU) has dragged Ochong to court, seeking compensation for denying the teacher her salary for the last 24 months.

 

The legal suit stems from complaints made by Florence Najjumba, who broke her silence of being HIV positive.

 

In 2011, Najjumba declared herself HIV Positive, and she started getting ARV’s.

 

She explains that while at St. Josephs Primary School in Kiyimbwe in 2010, she started feeling weak and later admitted at Masaka Region Referral Hospital for three months.

 

It was during that time that got a transfer to Blessed Sacrament Kimaanya Primary School, and from then she stopped getting her salary.

 

Najjumba, who is stranded at her home in Bisanje village in Masaka, says since her removal for the payroll, she is unable to get medical care, food and she has gone blind.

 

The victim was getting a monthly salary of 310,000 shillings, and she now demands over 7.4 million Uganda Shillings.

 

Responding to Najjumba's complaint, Moses Nsereko, the Southern Region Chairperson for UNATU has sued the Masaka Municipality Education officer for illegal deletion of the victim.

 

Nsereko explains that they want Ochong to compensate the victim all the money. He adds that the act of deleting Najjumba is a sign of discrimination and stigmatization against her.

 

Nsereko says that according to the Education sector HIV/AIDS workplace policy no one is supposed to be subjected to any form of unfairness and termination because of his or her status.

 

Nsereko alleges that the officer could have taken advantage of Najjumba’s sickness to withdraw the money for his personal use

 

UNATU therefore want court to order for the recovery of her salary and granting her an early retirement privileges as the law established.

 

However, Moses Ochong, the Masaka Municipality Education Officer, has denied participation in the scrapping the teacher’s name from the payroll, saying that he is new in the office.

 

He has blamed David Kawoya, his predecessor who is now the Kyegegwa District Education Officer, whom he says was in office by the time the Najjumba was removed from the payroll.

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