Thursday, 9 November 2017

When health is not a human right in Neo-liberal Uganda : Uganda Doctors go on strike leaving patients stranded : When a senior Ugandan consultant doctor earns about Shs 3.4 million, consultant Shs 2.6 million, and a medical officer Shs 1.1 million as a Member of Parliament earns over 24 million


Greed in American Neo-liberal Banditry Slave states : President Museveni’s Oil Hand sake as evidence of the transition of Museveni’s NRM-O from corruption to Robbery(banditry )

Some of the officials that shared Shs 6billion after winning the Oil tax Case 

The Cries of Uganda’s Starving Poor amidst the Smiles and extravagancy of Uganda’s Kleptocrats(thieves): Parliament asks for State of Emergency as famine disaster hits 5.5 million record: Museveni accepts that the presidential oil handsake bonanza was a terrible mistake: How Museveni spent Shs 21.7bn on vehicles in 5 years

It is important also to remember that even if the president has gone through several elections during which he asked the citizen to trust him with the votes in order to serve them better, he declared early this year in Masindi that he is not anyone’s servant.
“…I hear some people saying that I am their servant; I am not a servant of anybody. I am a freedom fighter; that is why I do what I do. I don’t do it because I am your servant; I am not your servant. I am just a freedom fighter; I am fighting for myself, for my beliefs; that’s how I come in. If anybody thinks you gave me a job, he is deceiving himself…”
Pius Muteekani Katunzi , Doctors can’t be sucked like nut fixers, The Observer, 20th November, 2017, see,

For God and my country or For my stomach, my family, relatives and friends: The paradox of Museveni’s 2 billion Car amidst a dead health sector, increasing poverty , youth unemployment and struggling economy 

America’s peace Icon and slave state exposed : Museveni’s two new Benzes cost Shs6b


Workers’ strikes: govt under siege

When President Museveni met representatives of medical workers at State House last week, he reportedly sounded a clear warning: he would declare a state of emergency and arrest them if they went on strike.
On Tuesday, the doctors defied him – taking industrial action under their umbrella body, Uganda Medical Association (UMA).
A siege mentality is creeping around the government since medical workers are not the only civil servants currently protesting against poor pay. Public prosecutors under their umbrella Uganda Association of Prosecutors (UAP) have, for the second time this year, laid down their tools.
Patients stranded at Mulago hospital yesterday
Don Wanyama, the senior presidential press secretary, told The Observer yesterday that the bottom line was the resource envelope.
“We need to look at the bigger picture. What impact, for instance the demand for salary increment, will have on the economy,” Wanyama said.
He said government was aware that traditional civil servants – doctors, teachers, etcetera – earn much less than those working in commissions and newer state agencies.
These are issues that the long-awaited salary review commission is expected to point out. In 2015, a report written by parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises revealed glaring salary and remuneration disparities in and across entities.
“It is not clear whether salaries are determined by the level of academic qualification, size of the budget or contribution to the treasury,” the report said.
Wanyama said the salary review commission is expected to produce its report this month which will help government have a clear sense of how much it needs to enhance civil service pay.
“And government has already demonstrated that it can do it with the teachers. Government has gradually increased their salaries to the level it had promised,” Wanyama said, adding that government is already paying Shs 4 trillion annually in salaries.
Yet to some workers, government promises sound like a broken record. Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda was booed when he went to try to convince health workers not to go on strike.
One government employee told The Observer “It [government] has money. Every day they tell us they are broke but within a second they can find funds to facilitate parliamentarians to go for the so-called [presidential age limit] consultations.”
Government last month secured Shs 13 billion,which was handed out to members of parliament to consult voters on the proposal to amend Article 102(b), which caps the age for one to stand for president at 35 and 75 years.
If the status quo stays, President Museveni will not be eligible to stand again in 2021. The amendment has been seen mainly as intended to benefit him.
Government has been accused of spending too much on bloated public administration and partisan politics. For example, residential district commissioners and their many deputies are said to be an unnecessary burden on the treasury since they essentially duplicate the official functions of the local government structures.
New districts, usually announced by Museveni during campaigns, are seen as another waste of resources which could go towards enhancing remuneration of civil servants.
Last October when the health workers issued their warning of a looming strike, their leader Dr Ekwaro Obuku said they had waited since 1996 to have their working conditions improved [as promised by the government] but all in vain.
Next month, the Uganda Judicial Officers Association is expected to resume a sit-down strike after government failed to meet its promise for cars and salary restructuring.
Godfrey Kaweesa, the president of UJOA, told The Observer yesterday: “We have not been told exactly about what’s contained in the so-called harmonised pay structure.”
Solomon Muyita, the judiciary’s senior communications officer, said nothing much has been achieved since the strike was suspended in August.
“Ever since they issued that letter, nothing has been done,” Muyita said, referring to Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Kahinda Otafiire’s letter in which he was committing government to improve the welfare of judicial officers.

Medical workers want an intern doctor to earn a gross monthly salary of Shs 8.5 million from the current Shs 960,000.
A medical officer or teaching assistant to be paid Shs 15 million and be given a two-bedroom house and a 2.5cc vehicle.
A senior consultant doctor or professor must be the highest-paid health worker with a gross salary of Shs 48 million plus allowances.
He/she should also be given a five-bedroom house, 4.0cc vehicle, and three domestic workers. Currently, a senior consultant doctor earns about Shs 3.4 million, a consultant Shs 2.6 million, and a medical officer Shs1.1 million. Government has said it can’t afford to meet their demands for now.

Prosecutors say they handle complicated cases like terrorism, corruption and murder yet their salary package is less than what a tea girl at Kampala Capital City Authority earns.
Prosecutors under DPP presently earn a minimum  gross salary of Shs 644, 963 with the highest ranking officer, the Senior Principal State Attorney, grossing a monthly pay of Shs 2.1 million.
They want the lowest-ranking officer to earn Shs 3.5 million and the highest to earn Shs 6.2 million.They also want tax exemption on their salaries, professional allowances and allowances for serving in hard-to-reach areas, among others.

When UJOA postponed their strike in August, they warned of another stay-away in December if the government does meet its side of the bargain.
Two weeks to December, government has not come through.Judicial officers want an increase to Shs 95 billion per year on salaries of judicial officials alone, up from the current Shs 14 billion.     
An empty court room
Currently, the chief justice earns Shs 20 million; deputy chief justice Shs 18 million and the principal judge Shs 10 million. Supreme court judges earn Shs 9.6 million.
A judge of the Court of Appeal/Constitutional court gets Shs 9.3 million. A High court judge earns Shs 9 million. Grade II magistrates earn Shs 737, 837; senior grade II magistrates Shs 860, 810; principal magistrate grade II Shs 1.2 million; magistrate grade I Shs 1.5 million; and principal magistrate grade I Shs 2.1 million.
A senior principal magistrate grade I gets Shs 2.2m, chief magistrate Shs 2.4m, assistant registrar Shs 3.1m and chief registrar Shs 4.8m.
UJOA proposes that a chief justice earns Shs 55 million, his deputy Shs 53 million, principal judge Shs 50 million, justices of the Supreme court (who are seven) Shs 34 million, justices of the Court of Appeal (who are 13) Shs 33 million, High court judges (who are 47) Shs 31 million.
The lowest officer, the senior principal magistrate grade II, should earn Shs 12.6 million. Other demands include housing, transport and security allowance.

Doctors strike: no salary increment, unshakeable gov’t insists

Written by URN
The minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, says government will maintain the current salaries of all medical workers in the country until a comprehensive salary structure review of all public servants.
Aceng disclosed this on Wednesday at press conference held at the government owned Media Center on the ongoing strike by medical doctors across the country.
The medical doctors laid down their tools at midnight on Monday to compel government to give them a pay rise and improve their welfare. They vowed not to resume work until government addresses their concerns.

The health workers want government to increase the salary of medical interns from Shs 960,000 to Shs 8.5 million. They also want medical and teaching assistants to earn Shs 15 million, get a two-bedroom house and a 2.5cc vehicle.

They also want government to pay a senior consultant doctor or professor Shs 48 million including allowances; provide them a five-bedroom house, 4.0cc vehicle and three domestic workers. Currently, a senior consultant doctor earns about Shs 3.4 million, consultant Shs 2.6 million, and a medical officer Shs 1.1 million.

The doctors also want salaries for nurses and midwives enhanced to about Shs 6.5 million besides providing them a three-bedroomed house, 2.0cc vehicle and one domestic worker. However, Aceng says government will only act once the salary harmonization process is completed.

David Karubanga, Public Service state minister, says they will engage Uganda Medical Workers' Union and Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union on the doctor's strike.

 MPs during a plenary session recently. PHOTO BY

MPs to get Shs29 million for age limit consultation
Monday October 23 2017

By Ibrahim Manzil
About Shs13 billion has been released to members of Parliaments to facilitate their consultation with constituents on Constitution Amendment Bill 2017, which seeks to scrap the lower and upper age limit for presidential candidates.
Every MP has been given Shs29 million, according to latest information from the government.
Director Communication and Public Affairs Chris Obore confirmed the development to Daily Monitor.
Following the first reading of the Bill moved by MP Raphael Magyezi (Igara West, NRM) and its subsequent referral to the Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs for scrutiny, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga asked the MPs to consult with the electorate.
Coming hot on the heels of these developments, Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa said the Parliamentary Commission was considering a budget to facilitate the MPs.
“The Parliamentary Commission is working out a budget because it is Parliament which is going to facilitate all of us…We shall be informed on how much each MP will get to go and consult because we need logistics,” Ms Nankabirwa told the media, also addressed by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, on October 4, 2014.
But Ms Nankabirwa did not disclose details of the budget, saying the Parliamentary Commission will determine the amount required.
Daily Monitor understands that each of the 449 MPs, irrespective of their party was to get Shs29 million.
However, early this month, Opposition Chief Whip Ibrahim Ssemujju dismissed the facilitation, describing it as attempts to “sanitise bribery of Members of Parliament”.

Opposition MPs reject, return Shs 29m age limit 'bribe' 


At least six opposition Members of Parliament have each returned Shs 29 million paid to them by Parliament to facilitate consultative meetings on the age limit bill.
The Constitution Amendment (No 2) Bill, 2017, seeks to remove presidential age limit currently capped between 35 and 75 years.
On Monday, Chris Obore, Parliament’s director of Communications and Public Affairs confirmed that Shs 13 billion had been diverted from the MPs’ emoluments to facilitate the age limit consultations.
However, the opposition has rejected the monies and kick-started the process to return the funds, which they termed as “dirty money”, to Parliament.
Opposition MPs addressing the MPs on the age limit 'bribe'
Led by Opposition chief whip, Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda (Kira Municipality), the legislators explained that they will not be part of attempts by President Yoweri Museveni to bribe legislators to pass the controversial bill that has stoked debate across the country.
Ssemujju, Moses Kasibante (Rubaga North), Angellina Osegge (Soroti Woman), Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala), Medard Ssegona (Busiro East), William Nzoghu (Busongora North) later carried and deposited Shs 174 million in cash wads of Shs 10,000, Shs 20,000 and Shs 50,000 to Parliament’s Finance office in charge of refunds.
Anna Adeke (National Female Youth) and Anna Adeke (National Female Youth) did not bring the money, stating that they had not received the money yet.
Addressing the media at Parliament today, Ssemujju said that the move is a collective position from the opposition in Parliament, agreeing to return the funds which they say was not budgeted for by Parliament during the 2017/2018 budget process.
“All these actions by the state are illegal. We intend to write to the Inspector General of Government (IGG) and Auditor General (AG) to investigate the source of this amount of money…the budget of Parliament did not include money for this kind of consultation,” Ssemujju said.
Ssemujju added, “People are trying to be smart but this is a bribe; the same like what President Museveni gave them in 2005 to remove presidential age limit. We all like money but we must take legitimate money”.
Nzoghu accused the president of taking leaders for granted through using money to front his selfish interests.
“This is a litmus test for us leaders and touches our integrity…I have started on the consultations and don’t need money. What the country should know is that in our monthly facilitation, money for consulting with our voters is incorporated so no one should say that they need this Shs 29 million,” Nzoghu said.
Kivumbi, on the other hand, asked the public to reject the money from legislators.
“The public thinks leaders must obtain money whether crudely or badly to bring it to them to do some work. We appeal to the public that a good leader must donate hard, earned and clean money. This age limit money is dirty money,” he said.
Betty Aol Ochan (Gulu Woman) however seemed undecided on whether to keep or return the money. Explaining that she has previously returned money given to her by Parliament to hold consultations on the National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) and Marriage and Divorce bill, Aol said she will consult them first.
“I am receiving some contrary views from my constituents on this money. Other people are telling me that I bring the money. Now I am divided because my bosses are those people. But they must know that this is bad money,” Aol said.
Some of the money returned by the MPs
Medard Ssegona (Busiro East) however urged the opposition MPs to reject the money and return in to Parliament.
“Ugandans may not have allowances to pay their MPs allowances for December because the money has been re-channeled to facilitate this Museveni project. We need money but I can only use my money. I don’t know where this money is coming from. It must be rejected,” Ssegona added.
But some NRM MPs have blamed their colleagues for playing to the gallery saying the money is not a bribe but facilitation to enable MPs do 'extra' work given to them by Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.
Kabula MP James Kakooza says the bill demands extra work on part of the MPs hence the need for facilitation.