M7 Shouldn't 'cry' About His Salary Anymore!

By Abbey Semuwemba
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I don't know about the rest of you, but I could care less about Museveni's presidential salary of Ug shs. 3.9 m a month. I'm more worrried about the Uganda teachers who are among the worst paid public workers in East Africa. Primary school teachers earn an average 250,000 shillings ($97.16) a month and their secondary school counterparts take home sh472,079 (Grade V) and sh601,341 per month (graduate) respectively. However, come July or so Grade V and graduate science teachers will get sh1,728,007 and sh2,000,000 per month respectively , if we go by government promises.Teaching isn't easy to do, especially with the amount of preparation work that goes into each class every day and proven by its high burn-out rate.

Teachers are Uganda's hope, and we're failing them.Teachers are serving as bodyguards, therapists, soup kitchens and parents especially in boading schools.They are responsible for producing quality citizens as they spend more time with our kids than the parents themselves.I know a teacher here in the UK that counts the number of successfully saved kids by her to be counted on her fingers.On the other hand she can tell you about a lot of kids that will most likely be incarcerated for one crime or another.She couldn't change them given the few hours a day she had with them.Then there is my former headmaster of Kibuli S.S i know who went out of his way to secure scholarships for underpriviledged students in the school. Even now as a retired man, he tries hard to get funding to help orphans in our family and those he isn't related to.

And now, we have a crying-baby-president who is tearing his little remaining hair out complaining about his little salary, yet we all know its not technically true, considering that he spends tax payers' money in any way he wants. At one point while speaking in Mbale, Museveni bragged that he is a rich man and that he left his wife to collect his salary. He gives out money in sacks to groups and calls the money his. He also said around 2006, while meeting Ugandans at Mayflower Hotel in Washington, that he doesn't need the MO Ibrahim prize because he is a dam rich man, " if you are used to poor leaders, i am not one of them. You better come and visit me. I do not need money to leave power".

I would assume that the person who doesn't need money to leave power, shouldn't be complaining about the little salary he is getting. He should also be donating the money to the poor like Kabaka Mutesa 11 did for Karamoja while he was president in early 1960s, or be like President Donald J. Trump who isn't taking any salary at all as US president . And there is also the question of how Museveni got so rich on a little salary.

There are certain people in government that are unfairly earning mega salaries, and are mainly from western Uganda, at the expense of the rest of Ugandans.Let me then introduce "Generalized Pork Barrel" politics, which I define to be government expenditures designed to benefit a well-defined (if not geographically circumscribed) minority for no good reason.An expenditure is referred to as a "pork barrel" when the minority of citizens that it directly benefits happen to be the constituents of a particular politician, particularly when there is a sense that these consituents are getting more than their share of the bread. For instance, Museveni has created unnecessary offices, such as presidential advisors, RDCs,e.t.c and all these people are costing the tax payers an arm and a leg in terms of salaries.

Let me repeat that if the general public is informed of such funding activities and see nothing wrong with it,neither do I.I do not stand for the notion that there are superior reasons for giving higher salaries, however, which would require such funding in spite of the general public's disinclination. Consider this: the Governor Bank of Uganda earns 5 million Uganda shillings a month.Does that seem fair to you? I see govt spending on the governor, Commissioner General, URA, Executive Director NSSF, and others in that category, as unjustified on grounds of inefficiency, or on specific grounds of unfairness. All that money could be channeled elsewhere and benefit more Ugandans than just a few people.


*Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba*

Stalk my blog at: http://semuwemba.wordpress.com

"Men in authority will always think that criticism of their policies is dangerous. They will always equate their policies with patriotism, and find criticism subversive." - Henry Steele Commager 1902-98