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UGANDA: Report unearths over 100 ghost workers in Manafwa

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Unethical. Patients await to receive treatment at Bushika III in Manafwa District last year. An investigation indicates that the district has been paying salaries to ghost workers for some time now. FILE PHOTO 

By LEONARD MUKOOLI & YAHUDU KITUNZI, DAILY MONITOR

MANAFWA. An investigation into Manafwa District has unearthed 104 ghost civil servants on the payroll.  The Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Ssenyonjo Kyeyune, commissioned the probe in April following reports of ghost civil servants in the district pay system.

Mr Ssenyonjo confirmed the findings to Daily Monitor in an interview yesterday. He said the district has been paying salaries to ghost workers for an unspecified period of time.
“The CAO must explain why the district has been paying ghost workers,” Mr Kyeyune, said.
He said the payroll system must be cleaned for effective service delivery.

According to the report, 13 workers had retired, two were dead, 71 had been transferred and 18 were unknown yet they continue receiving monthly salaries.
“It means there are people benefiting from this scheme. This is unacceptable and it defeats the spirit of patriotism and nationalism, which are the foundation of the NRM government,” he said.
Mr Richard Odia, the district secretary for education, said the District Education Office had notified the CAO’s office about the presence of ghost workers on the pay roll but they never acted.

“The DEO wrote to the CAO in February informing him of the need to validate the payroll and ascertain the genuine people but the response has been slow and we are still waiting,” he said.
The Bubulo West MP, Ms Rose Mutonyi, said the district has been facing a challenge of ghost workers for a long time.
“Leaving ghost workers on the payroll is an obstruction to recruitment because there are many teachers who are teaching and are not on the payroll,” she said, adding such teachers cannot access the payroll because there are people who have been irregularly put on it.

The district speaker, Ms Harriet Nandutu, said employees fear to report such cases to the responsible office because if they do it, they are deliberately deleted from the payroll for months.
“Some of these teachers receive payslips indicating that they have been paid yet when you check with their accounts, there is no money available and its being eaten by someone else,” Ms Nandutu.
Mr John Musira, the district chairperson, condemned the act.
“We strongly condemn those people, who have engaged in the act of paying ghost workers,” he said.

The CAO, Mr Charles Otai, however defended that the problem arose as a result of the creation of Namisindwa District, which was carved out of Manafwa that “messed up the payroll”.
“This brought a lot of mess in payroll system but we are handling to ensure that it’s cleaned of all irregularities,” he said.
Namisindwa District was carved out of Manafwa District and became operational last year.
He said this was worsened by a delay by the Ministry of Public Service to separate payroll accounts for both districts. —— AUTO – GENERATED; Published (Halifax Canada Time AST) on: July 02, 2018 at 07:09PM

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