Kampala — Cabinet has approved increment of salaries for selected civil servants in the coming financial year.
Sources say the decision was reached on Thursday last week following three days of meetings chaired by President Museveni where salary enhancement was high on the agenda.
The Minister of State for Housing, Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the acting government spokesperson, confirmed on Friday that the increment will benefit selected categories of civil servants at the start.
"I can confirm that salaries of some civil servants have been raised but I cannot avail the details now since we have a press conference early next week to announce all the cabinet resolutions to the nation," Dr Baryomunsi said.
Asked about the categories of civil servants who will benefit from the first batch of salary increment, the minister named doctors and judicial officials among others.
Sources privy to the Cabinet meetings said other civil servants to receive a salary increment are scientists, including those in teaching profession, lecturers and non-teaching staff in public universities, low ranking police and prisons officers.
Others include head teachers and their deputies, soldiers of low ranks, judicial officials and local government political leaders.
According to our sources, the Minister of Finance, Mr Matia Kasaija, presented a guideline on which Cabinet should base to increase salaries of civil servants.
In the first scenario, Mr Kasaija told Cabinet that his ministry would be able to pay Shs1.75m for a medical doctor and Shs1.25m for other scientists.
After consideration of other categories, the total salary increment would hit Shs256 billion a year.
It is at this point on Wednesday that President Museveni reportedly insisted that medical workers and scientists should be paid Shs3m and Shs2.5m for a start.
Finance in the second scenario adopted the President's directive and included Shs3m for a medical worker and Shs2.5m for other scientists.
When contacted, Mr Kasaija declined to confirm which of the two proposals was adopted by Cabinet in consideration of the comprehensive salary enhancements.
"We took a decision after discussing salaries yesterday and my work is to look for the money but not giving details. For the details, please look for the Minister of Public Service because they are the ones that brought these salaries to us," Mr Kasaija said on Friday.
Dr Byaryomunsi declined to reveal which salary increment proposal was adopted.
Daily Monitor has seen a copy of a document titled; "Addendum 2 to the Cabinet Memorandum CT (2018) 42 on the Budget for Financial Year 2018/2019".
According to the document, Mr Kasaija said increments in scenario one would see the wage bill for the listed categories of civil servants stand at Shs256b in the new financial year whereas scenario two (President's proposal), the bill for the same categories would be Shs487.2b.
Our efforts to get a comment from the Minister for Public Service, Mr Wilson Muruli Mukasa, or his Permanent Secretary, Ms Catherine Bitarakwate, were futile. Their known telephone lines were switched off.
Union to meet Public Service
The Secretary General of National Organisation of Trade Unions (Notu), Mr Peter Werike, said they had heard of the increments but were waiting for details from the Ministry of Public Service.
"We have already asked them (Public Service) to give details because no one knows what the enhancements being talked about mean. Notu is supposed to meet Public Service officials so that we get a clear message how the civil servants are affected by the said increments," Mr Werike said.
Civil servants, especially medical workers, university lecturers, teachers, and judicial officers, among others have been demanding salary increment.
"This is so irresponsible and criminal on the side of the uncle of the boy to give him a vehicle knowing he is a minor who has no driving permit," Mr Mufundo said.