LWENGO DISTRICT: Over 300 civil servants in Lwengo District are protesting over unexplained monthly salary deductions in what has been termed as fraudulent insurance scheme, the DailyExpress has understood.
The salary deductions reportedly go on a medical insurance scheme to help staff, which the affected civil servants say was introduced without their consent.
“Some of us have already instructed our lawyers to study this matter and sue our employer (Lwengo District) over these irregular suspicious salary deductions,” a teacher speaking on condition of anonymity said.
Notably, the most affected workers are teachers and health practitioners.
“I don’t have a loan with any bank, but for the last three months, I have not been finding this money [Shs350, 000] on the account,” another teacher said in a weekend interview.
The civil servants claim that even after complaining, money has persistently been deducted from their salaries by district authorities minus giving any logical explanations.
“Some of us don’t know where to take our complaint because even the head teachers are victims, we are wondering whether our money will be refunded,” he remarked.
A primary school teacher who identified himself as Kenneth- said some top district officials could have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with an insurance company on their behalf with a view of getting commission from the insurance company.
Lwengo District Education officer Ms Doreen Akunda said she has received numerous complaints from public servants about the issue.
“I have been in Kampala at Public Service to make sure they make a follow up on this issue and I am also engaging other stakeholders at the district to suspend the deductions,” she said.
Mr Allan Musasire, a lawyer for the affected civil servants said they are engaging the district leadership to rectify the anomaly before legal action is sought.
“It is illegal for anyone to deduct and or withhold any remuneration of a civil servant without their consent. The only exceptions are for the statutory deductions where this doesn’t fall. It is therefore an illegality, an infringement on the rights of the affected workers and should stop henceforth,” he warned.
Lwengo District Human Resource officer Ms Florence Namaganda declined to reveal who sanctioned the suspicious salary deductions.
“Affected civil servants have a reason to complain but we have already suspended the salary deductions for medical insurance cover and the process is underway to recover the money. You can get details from the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO),” she said.
Asked to comment on the matter, Lwengo district CAO Mr Aggrey Mulamira’s told this reporter that he ‘‘was busy’’ and that ‘‘those are official matters’’ urging the reporter to go to his office.
Lwengo District, which was carved out of the traditional Masaka District in 2010, has an estimated 1,000 teachers while health workers are about 400, according to Mr. Vincent Birimuye, the district vice-chairperson.