13 September 2018

Uganda: KCCA Accounting Body Members Threaten to Resign Over Unpaid Salaries

The battle for salaries at Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has gone a notch higher, with some members of the Authority's Public Accounts Committee (Pac) threatening to resign.

The three members who declined to be named, told Daily Monitor in an interview on Monday that they have not received any salary since they were appointed in February last year.

They also noted that to date, they have never been told how much salary they are supposed to earn.

"I am a professional doing the work for a reputable agency [KCCA] but I haven't been paid for the last 18 months yet I have a family to look after. The work am doing is very demanding but it hurts to see that my effort isn't being valued. The only option I now have is to resign," said one of the members.

Another member said: "We are at times demoralized to concentrate and read the reports because you can't work on a hungry stomach. We have addressed the same issue to our bosses at City Hall but their promise isn't forthcoming."

Section 58 (9) of the KCCA Act mandates Pac to examine the reports of the Auditor General, Chief Internal Auditor and any reports of commissions of inquiry and may, in relation to the reports, require the attendance of any councillor or officer to explain to them matters arising from the reports.

The five-member committee is appointed by the Lord Mayor to serve for five years but are eligible for reappointment for only one more term. The current committee is headed by Bob Kabaziguruka.

The other members are; Pontian Kaweesa, Ms Maria Nabbanja Ssentamu, Ms Betty Bainomugisha Ntuhe and Mr Michael Tugyetwena.

Mr Kabaziguruka acknowledged the frustration of Pac members in a telephone interview yesterday but he declined to offer more details. He referred us to the technical team for details.

"At times it's hard to convince members to come for the meeting because they now feel frustrated. We can't convene if there is no quorum which must comprise of three members," he said.

According to Section 58(13) sates that the expenses of the city's Pac are charged on the consolidated fund. But it doesn't stipulate how much members should earn.

Peter Kaujju, KCCA's director of Public and corporate affairs told Daily Monitor in a text message that the salaries of Pac members are yet to be determined by the Ministry of Public service.

"KCCA wrote to Ministry of Public Service asking for their rates. As soon as we get that instrument from public service, they will be paid for all the work they have done," he said.

The state minister for Kampala Affairs, Benny Namugwanya re-echoed Mr Kaujju' s revelation, saying that the salary structure will be out by close of business next week.

"By the time we presented the same matter to Public Service ministry, they were still reviewing the salary structure as directed by the President and that's why the process delayed. But let the Pac members be patient because the salary review exercise has been completed," she said on phone.

But the Principal Communications officer at the ministry of Public Service, Joseph Ngobi denied receiving any communication from KCCA as regards the salary of Pac committee members.

"I have consulted with the responsible officers in the ministry but they say that there is no communication to that effect," he said.

From the year 2011- 2016, KCCA did not have Pac since Mr Lukwago was controversially impeached before appointing the members.

Pac's first report was released last year and it exposed the improper giveaway of public land to private investors in the city.

But members say that there is still a very big backlog of reports which are supposed to be analysed hence delayed payments would make it hard for them to proceed with work.

Mr Lukwago said that he was in a meeting when we sought for his comment on the matter, but promised to call us back.

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