Dozens of civil servants from the central districts of Masaka, Rakai, Sembabule, Lwengo, Kalungu and Bukomansimbi were on Monday left fuming after attending a validation exercise that didn't come with a pay rise as they had expected.
The mostly secondary school teachers had been invited to Masaka SS to verify their particulars relating to their remuneration. Some teachers thought the exercise, where they were asked to present their academic qualifications and current pay slips, would be a precursor to the promised salary rise.
However, the Education Service Commission's Hajji Abdalattif Wangubo told the disappointed teachers that their duty was "to establish who is supposed to be on the payroll and who is not supposed to be there. Anything beyond that is not our responsibility."
This enraged the teachers, who asked why they are regularly asked to attend such sessions with no benefits.
"The last salary increment I found on my account was only Shs 5,000. Currently, they are summoning me for validation every now and again. They are subjecting me to dangers because moving with my original academic transcripts all the time is not good for me," said Joe Kisubi, a tutor, who says he has appeared before the commission seven times.
Others expressed concern that the exercise was called at short notice, leaving them little time to get the required materials.
"How do they expect us to get those certificates that we did not get before?" asked Joel Mukasa, another teacher.
But Wangubo insisted that the teachers had to present the required certificates. Another teacher, Badru Sempereza, said he couldn't trace any of his pay slips.
"I have looked for those pay slips from the district education department but I failed to get one. I don't know what the motive of demanding for them is, especially for some of us who have just accessed the payroll," he said.
Wangubo later assured some of the teachers, who had got on to the government payroll with diplomas but had upgraded thereafter, that they would get a salary review.
The head teacher of Masaka SS, Hajji Musa Mpungu, commended the commission for endeavouring to get to the teachers in rural areas instead of asking them to go to Kampala. He made light of the other teachers' complaints.
"Maybe some of them are making such accusations before critically analysing its importance but the exercise has helped," Mpungu told The Observer.