The parliamentary committee on local government has directed Serere district to pay 256 teachers on the government payroll, whose salaries have not been paid for the last 38 months (three years).

In a meeting, yesterday with the administration of the district, led by the chief administrative officer, Issa Mbooge, Franca Akello (Agago Woman MP), the committee chairperson, said a whistle-blower had petitioned Parliament accusing the district of failing to pay teachers.

“There is a matter of over 256 teachers on the government payroll who have not received salaries for a long time. Why are you not paying them?” Akello asked.

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 In response, the district acknowledged the outstanding salary arrears attributing the delay to paying off what he described as residual arrears, to failure by the finance ministry to release over sh400m needed to pay the teachers.

“This is an issue of residual arrears, which we submitted to the finance ministry for appropriation and provision of funds. We did not pay because the money has not been allocated,” Peter Ofamba, the district human resource manager, said.

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He said the district has since paid arrears for at least over 80 teachers during the last financial year, adding that they are ready to clear the rest as and when money is availed. The committee, however, blamed the district for what Akello described as laxity on the side of the leadership in following up on the matter.

Mbooge, however, assured the MPs that the district was committed to paying the money.