News Column

Delayed Salaries - Police to Pay Using Own Finance Department

June 10, 2014

Zurah Nakabugo

Corporal Ignatius Nasasira, 51, who is attached to Ishasha Police post in Kanungu district, is among the many police officers who have spent about two years without salary payment.

Nasasira says his troubles began in 2012 when his name was deleted from the payroll under the new Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) after he was suspected to be a "ghost" civil servant.

"I was sick and spent some days without working but I had informed my bosses. During the verification exercise by [the ministry of] Public Service, they deleted my name saying I am a ghost worker yet I was at home sick," says Nasasira.

When he complained in writing, Nasasira was summoned to police headquarters, along with other officers whose names were also deleted from payroll. Nasasira presented his appointment letter, identity cards, and police uniforms, all of which were approved by the police human resource department. He was told to return to work and wait for payment. He is still waiting, but sometimes he feels like throwing in the towel.

"My children have missed school and I have nowhere to borrow money," Nasasira says.

Having joined the police in in 1987 at the rank of constable, Nasasira says he was only promoted in 2004 to the rank of corporal and he only earns Shs360,000 per month. Without that meagre income, Nasasira says he has been surviving at the mercy of his bosses who pay him allowances when they deploy him to guard at the banks, institutions or residents.

There are countless stories like these in the police - such Police Constable Nevile Waliabangi from Mbale (two and a half years without regular pay) and Police constable David Twinomugisha in Jinja (six months)

Police going solo:

Deputy Police Publicist Polly Namaye said some officers missed salaries when their names were not fully captured by the ministry of Public Service under the new system of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Management system (IPPS) from the old Uganda Computer Service System which was being manipulated by criminals to create ghost payments.

Police Spokesperson Fred Enanga said data for only 95 per cent of police personnel had been captured, causing delay in the payment of salaries to people whose details were still under verification by Public Service. However, according to Enanga, the force had already put in place corrective measures to ensure that all personnel whose names were missing would be paid, including in arrears.

Last week, Enanga said the police would resolve the pay problem once salary payment obligations revert from the Public Service ministry to the force's finance department.

"The government decided to decentralise the salary payment process for every institution to pay its staff to guard against persistent problems in management of payroll and salary payments, which include delayed payments, accumulation of arrears and existence of "ghost" staff on the payroll," Enanga said.

Police has sufficient capacity and systems to pay the salaries of officers within a short time once they are released by the ministry of Finance to be paid under Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), according to Enanga. When Police takes over, Public Service, which previously managed the payroll, will only provide policy guidance, administration and monitoring.

In January this year, the government decentralised the payroll, and the under the new payment system, accounting officers are required to verify and approve the payroll and each salary payment on the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS), which means they will be held responsible for the details submitted to the payroll.

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Source: AllAfrica