Seven secondary teachers in Luwero district are on the run after they were unearthed for forging minutes to access the government payroll.
According to the auditor general's report for FY 2021/22, the teachers pocketed over Shs 348 million in salaries in contravention of section (B - a) (1) & (2) of Uganda public service standing orders, 2021, which require the public officers be appointed appropriately. The secondary teachers have been on the payroll for over two decades - with one approaching retirement after joining the payroll in 1996.
In his report, the auditor general John FS Muwanga, says that he has brought the matter to the attention of the accounting officer to discontinue paying the implicated staff and they pledged to take up the matter with the police for further investigations. Luwero district human resource officer Bernard Okello explains that the teachers were unearthed when the Education Service Commission (ESC) and the district validated all the teachers only to find that the seven possessed forged minutes they purportedly got from the commission.
Okello explains that it’s the forged minutes that the ministry of Education and Sports based on to issue appointment letters to the accused teachers, which they later presented to the Luwero district to include them on the payroll. Okello says that the ministry of Public Service has since deleted the teachers from the payroll and submitted them to the police to face prosecution for forgery.
“We have now resolved that for every secondary teacher appointed in the district, we first seek validation of the minutes from the Education Service Commission to stop forgery,” Okello said
Luwero central police station has issued criminal summons to the teachers to appear before detectives and defend themselves against the allegations. However, only one of the affected teachers turned up while the others went into hiding.
Luwero police has since forwarded their files to the Criminal Investigations Directorate (CID) headquarters in Kampala for further investigations. Nakasongola and Nakasongla districts also paid Shs 183 million and Shs 148 million to seven and fives teachers respectively with forged minutes.
Nakasongola chief administrative officer, Charles Uma, says that the five teachers were deleted from the payroll and their names submitted to the Inspectorate of Government for further investigations. In Nakaseke, Emmanuel Mugeere, the district communication officer, says that the accused teachers were deleted from the payroll, and tasked to file their defense for uttering false documents in the office of the chief administrative officer (CAO).
“Some have already filled their defense and we are waiting for others to do so. Any further action will be done after investigations are completed,’’ Mugeere said.
According to the auditor general's report, the government lost Shs 19 billion in the payment of salaries to ineligible staff in 129 local governments.