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Police arrest judiciary driver after complaining over meagre pay

The threat comes hardly a month after a bodyguard shot dead Labour Minister Rtd. Col. Charles Engola in Kampala accusing his principal of neglecting his welfare entitlements.

Kampala Metropolitan Deputy Spokesperson ASP Luke Owoyesigyire (Photo/Courtesy)

KAMPALA, UGANDA: Police in Kampala is holding Stanley Kisambira, the driver attached to the Judiciary to aid an investigation into an audio clip in which he threatened to cause death of his boss over low pay.

The Kampala Metropolitan, Luke Owoyesigyire Monday confirmed the arrest of Mr Kisambira and said he is currently detained at the Central Police Station in Kampala as further investigations into the viral audio clip where he claimed he could cause an accident with his boss continues.

Owoyesigyire states that Kisambira is a driver for a judge attached to Mbale High Court, but does not mention his/her name.

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In an audio clip that went viral over the weekend, the driver is heard complaining about salary disparities in the judiciary for drivers and expressing his dissatisfaction with earning Shs200,000, yet he has been working with the country’s third arm of governance for the last 15 years.

“Sincerely speaking, I am very annoyed,” said Kisambira, adding, “What exactly do you want me to do? I am a driver. I can ram into a stationary trailer, killing all the occupants, including the judge and bodyguard,” Kisambira, who hails from Bugiri in eastern Uganda said in one of the recordings.

“People make declarations before their deaths,” he further cautioned.

However, responding to the clip and its contents shared, Judiciary in a statement on Monday acknowledged Kisambira being their employee, although refuted reports that he has ever been attached to the Chambers of The Hon. The Chief Justice, as alleged in the clips.

“This is to clarify as follows; That it is true that Kisambira Stanley is a driver who has been working in the Judiciary since 2008. Whereas the approved salary for drivers may be inadequate, the Judiciary leadership resolved that the allowances for all non-judicial staff (drivers inclusive) in the institution be enhanced in line with CSI No.6 of 2018 on duty facilitation allowance. This was an intervention to facilitate the lower cadre of staff specifically non-judicial staff whose salaries have not been enhanced,” reads in part a statement by the Judiciary’s spokesperson, Jamson Karemani.

The Judiciary added that each driver is paid a reasonable consolidated monthly allowance paid out on a quarterly basis, of which if added together with the salary, the total monthly payment for a driver is over one million shillings.

“These payments exclude duty facilitating allowances and operational funds which Mr. Kisambira refers to as OP in one of his audio recordings. In addition to all this, every Staff of the Judiciary benefits from health insurance services,” explained the Judiciary.

While it is true that salaries of non-judicial staff in the Judiciary Service are low like for workers in other institutions, the Judiciary Management said it has made interventions as stated above to bridge that gap.

In the meantime, the Management of the Judiciary said it had reached out to Mr Kisambira in an effort to guide him on how best his concerns ought to have been addressed.

“This is to reassure all Staff of the Judiciary that everything is being done within the laid down legal precincts to further address their welfare concerns.”

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It remains to be seen what charges will be preferred against the disgruntled driver, turned whistleblower, whose threats come at the backheels of a recent murder incident in which the late Minister Charles Okello Engola was gunned down by his personal bodyguard killed over what was alleged to be poor welfare and undeserving allowances.

Pte Wilson Sabiiti shot and killed the minister on May 2nd at Kyanja, a Kampala suburb before he later turned the gun on himself in a double murder incident.

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