By Spy Uganda
Officials from Kisoro Municipal Council have been put on the spot over the manner in which salaries, pensions and gratuity were paid out.
The officials appeared before the Public Accounts Committee (Local Government) on Tuesday, 21 March 2023 to respond to issues raised in the Auditor General’s report for Financial Year 2021/2022.
The Auditor General noted an over payment of salary and gratuity of shs9.2 million, which was attributed to erroneous payments.
The Auditor General said that the accounting officer committed to recover the funds from the respective employees and pensioner.
While appearing before the committee, Zerida Bankundiye, the Human Resource Officer at Kisoro Municipal Council said they wrote to the over-paid pensioner who agreed refund the money.
She also attributed the over payment in salaries to the fact that affected officials had been promoted in their roles by the end of June 2021.
Rubabo County Member of Parliament, Hon. Naboth Namanya observed inconsistencies with the letter presented before the committee, as evidence of the communication between the council and the pensioner.
“She only acknowledges receipt. Where is the undertaking that she agreed that you will deduct some money from her?” Namanya asked.
He also expressed concern over the long period of time it would take to pay back the over-paid gratuity noting that monthly payment of shs50,000 had been agreed upon.
“The total amount to recover is shs8 million and it would take 150 months equivalent to 13 years. We need to know if this is enforceable because this person who retired at 60 years will pay back till she is 90 years. It is not realistic,” Namanya added.
The Kisoro Municipal Council Town Clerk, Kharuna Kamba said efforts to concur with the said pensioner on the payment schedule stalled which prompted him to engage the Police.
“When I discussed with her, I asked her to pay the money back in three months but she said she did not have the money. When we failed to agree, I took her to Police and opened a case with CID,” Kamba said.
Hon. Patrick Insigoma (Indep., Hoima East Division) tasked the Town Clerk to expedite the payment process.
The committee members also queried how 362 staff at the municipal council were paid using wrong salary scales.
The accounting officer attributed payments on wrong salary scales to non-automation of the incremental dates in the Integrated Personnel and Payroll System (IPPS) by the Ministry of Public Service, which he said he has no control over.