M7: Teachers’ Pay Rise Suicidal


viagra buy geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 115%;”>While President Yoweri Museveni insisted that government was focusing on industrialization and improving the quality of transport infrastructure to boost foreign direct investments and tourism thus creating jobs, teachers said they had information of the theft of Shs40bn meant to cater for their salaries.

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The President’s Special Communication Assistant, Sarah Kagingo confirmed the development, saying “this information was provided to the President by the teachers.”

Museveni, according to Kagingo, subsequently ordered an investigation into the matter.

“The President said ‘ok, if you have the information, let’s find out’ and see the way forward.”

Uganda Media Centre boss Ofwono Opondo said he was not informed about the lost funds.

The suggestion to set up the committee was brought up by UNATU Secretary General, James Tweheyo, who insisted that there were sufficient funds to pay teachers which had been diverted and wasted.

Tweheyo asked the President to form up the committee to press for that money.

The UNATU top shot was not readily available for comment.

A committee headed by the Minister of Education and Sports, Major. Jessica Alupo, and includes technical officers from the Ministry of Finance and that of Public Service was set up to trace stolen and wasted money in Government that was meant to pay good salaries to teachers.

Kagingo said the committee will report back to the President in two weeks to forge a way forward.

She described yesterday’s meeting as “cordial.”

UNATU on Wednesday said they will lay down their tools next month if government does not raise their salaries by 20 percent, setting the stage for a showdown with the President who has stuck to his guns that transport infrastructural development comes before increasing recurrent expenditure.

“It would be populist to increase teachers’ salaries if government cannot afford it,” said Kagingo.

Museveni speaks out

President Museveni explained that for teachers to improve, they must also bear in mind the development of other crucial sectors.

He also explained that while demanding for money, teachers should understand that other civil servants like health workers and security personnel, are also important.

“It is not that we don’t have money but we decided to deal with infrastructure development such as roads and power in order to lower operation costs to attract industries,” he said.

The President added “you teach students who are roaming streets with no jobs. How will they get jobs if we do not attract investors?” he asked.

The President pointed out that the current problem between the teachers and government was the introduction of the Universal Primary Education (UPE) in 1997 and Universal Secondary Education (USE) that led to the increase in teachers.

Museveni told teachers that before UPE, there were 80,000 teachers including ghost teachers but with the introduction of UPE the number increased from 80,000 to 158,000 teachers to-date.

This also led to an increase in more salaries and the capitalization grant to the schools.

President Museveni explained that government had to undertake the funding of infrastructure using internally generated resources because of the foreigners who were unreliable in funding.

President Museveni praised the idea saying that if the there are thieves who are stealing the money, they should be exposed.

“I started fighting battles when I was 26 years old. It is up to you the youth to fight the thieves,” the President said.

Mr. Museveni explained that the country cannot abandon UPE and USE programmes in spite of the huge cost. This, he said, would be a big mistake for the future of the country.

“You should thank one for increasing your numbers”, he said.


The President gave an illustration of a number of roads and other projects that had been undertaken and funded by the Government of Uganda and explained that salaries are recurrent expenditure that can’t be stopped.

“If you put salaries ahead of infrastructure, this would be suicide. You only pick what is available”, he said.

He urged Ugandans, including teachers, to persevere and build infrastructure first and deal with surplus salary when the revenue goes.

“You are demanding for the increase of salaries at the expense of infrastructure which cannot be done. You want to kill your country”, he noted.

According to Public Service officials, teachers need Shs.142bn while other civil servants require Shs.312bn as salary if the increase was to be made by 20 percent.

The teachers, in their memo, said enhancement of 15 percent for 2011/2012 and 20 percent for 2012/13 was adjusted to start in the 2012/2013 financial year at 15 percent.

The teachers’ delegation was led by the Chairperson of the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (UNATU), Ms. Margaret Rwabushaija.


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