The Monitor (Kampala)

21 February 2008

Uganda: 'Increase Civil Servants Salary'

Kampala — PARLIAMENT has demanded that the government reviews salaries of public servants to check what has been described as 'rampant' corruption in the country.

Debating the new Public Service Commission Bill, 2007 that seeks to replace the Public Service Act of 1969, MPs on Tuesday insisted that Public Servants should be paid a living wage for them to be contented with their work.

"There is a lot of corruption with civil servants stealing public funds because the government pays them 'peanuts' ". We cannot fight corruption unless they are well remunerated. " MP for Chwa Sub- county, Mr Livingstone Okello-Okello said.

Although some MPs demanded a minimum wage sealing, State Minister for Labour, Mwesigwa Rukutana rejected the proposal insisting that a minimum wage would worsen unemployment.

Prime Minister, Apolo Nsibambi told MPs that poor remuneration of Pubic Servants in the country was a result of low bargaining power by civil servants to demand for better pay.

However, the MPs addressed issues that they described as the unprofessional conduct of the government workforce.

They mentioned public servants late and irregular turn up at work and enrolling for further studies without the knowledge of their supervisors.

Meanwhile, Bugweri South MP, Abdul Katuntu demanded that the government drafts new guidelines for the districts public service commission stops them from recruiting civil servants from within their localities.

The Second Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Public Service, Mr Henry Kajura told Parliament the government is constrained to increase salaries for Public servants so it depends on the budget.

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