Cabinet has defied president Museveni’s directives to cancel new rates for duty facility allowances for civil servants. The ministry of public service confirms that contrary to Museveni directives, the new rates will only apply to ministers and permanents secretaries excluding the ordinary civil servants.
The president in a letter dated September 20, 2018 questioned why cabinet approved a pay rise which is not reflected in this financial year budget and ordered its cancelation. Now workers under their umbrella union want the presidential directives to apply to all civil servants.
“A cabinet that sat under minute 400 CT 2018, resolved that duty facilitation allowances for all civil servants, government workers, agencies and departments which had earlier been communicated to be implemented were halted. I think somehow they have found the funds to cater for that,” Joseph Ngobi, communications officer ministry of public service said.
However, workers in their umbrella union, National Organisation of Trade Unions (NOTU) insist that everyone should be treated equally.
“If they are saying the other party should not get, let every body first wait,” Chairman NOTU Usher Wilson Owere said.
President Museveni last month ordered the Prime Minister, Dr.Ruhakana Rugunda to immediately stop the increment of allowances and emoluments for public servants done by cabinet recently.
Deputy government spokesperson, Col.Shaban Bantariza told journalists that government approved the proposed revised rates of duty facilitation allowances for public officers, which include; night within and outside Uganda, lunch, transport, and sitting allowances among others to allow officers cope with the changing economic situation.
However, in a letter, Museveni wondered how the increments were reached at yet the money had not been included in the current budget.
“The funds required to implement this increase was not included in the approved current budget .Why did cabinet approve the new allowances when the budget was already passed,”Museveni wondered.
In the increased figures, the Prime Minister’s daily inland allowance had been increased from shs200,000 to shs490,000 whereas the vice president’s inland night allowance had shot from shs210,000 to shs500,000.
The increments had also seen allowances for cabinet ministers rise from shs190,000 to shs475000 and those for state ministers from shs185000 to shs470,000.
The night allowance for the Chief Justice had jumped from shs195000 to shs480,000 whereas the one for judges of the high Court had also jumped from shs170,000 to shs300,00.
Col.Bantariza said the huge allowances were meant to cater for cost of goods and services and general cost of living that had gone high since 2008 when the last increment had been made.
“This will support the team of lower cadre staff, including the stenographers, drivers, body guards, office attendants and others with low salaries to perform their duties with morale,” he said.
However according to Museveni, this ‘uncoordinated’ management of government affairs should never happen again.