Muhakanizi Fails To Convince MUK Staff Over NIC Money

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In short
The deputy secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi has promised to pay Makerere University staff 16 billion shillings, which they say National Insurance Corporation owes them.

The deputy secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi has promised to pay Makerere University staff 16 billion shillings, which they say National Insurance Corporation owes them.
 
However, Muhakanizi while addressing an animated gathering at the University Main hall on Thursday morning, failed to fix the exact date the money would be paid.

Makerere academic staff went on strike a month ago demanding for a pay rise and clearance of their savings worth 16 billion shillings from NIC. The strike resulted into the closure of the university two weeks ago after lecturers refused to call off their strike before government met their demands.
 
Muhakanizi revealed that he is under orders from President Yoweri Museveni to pay the money as negotiations continue with NIC. Disappointingly, he told the packed hall that he can only pay if the President accents to the supplementary budget which is still being discussed by Parliament.
 
In a letter dated 14th September 2011, President Museveni directed the ministry of finance to pay the 16 billion shillings owed to Makerere by NIC, provided the University institutes court proceedings against the insurer. The proceedings are aimed at recovering the money.
 
When pressed to mention the date, he insisted the money shall be paid in this financial year since is going to be paid by supplementary expenditure due to the fact that it was not on the budget.
 
He pleaded with Makerere staff to trust him that the money will be paid since negotiations are going on in good faith and they are working under a Presidential directive.
 
Prof. John Jean Barya, while providing legal counsel to the university staff noted that the University council has an obligation to ensure that when one retires, they get their money from NIC. He urged council not to consider staff as enemies but supporters.
 
He also revealed that the suit that was supposed to be filed against NIC on Monday this week shall be filed either Friday or on Monday.
 
Five meetings have so far been held with Muhakanizi, MUK Council and the Auditor general, and a draft agreement is expected to be signed on Thursday afternoon. Muhakanizi argued that the meeting held in the morning was immature since they were still working on orders from the President.
 
Amidst applause, Barya said since they have already missed a few weeks, they should wait for another 2 to 3 weeks until when NIC is sued and the money is put on their accounts before they resume. Thereafter, they can look at other demands.
 
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Dr. Josephine Nabukenya, the principal College of Computing and information technology insisted that Muhakanizi should not ask them to trust him if they have not seen the money, but give them a timeline within which it shall be paid.
 
In the end, Muhakanizi pointed out that no matter how much the Makerere staff squeezed him, his say was final. He added that the university staff will have to wait for Thursday afternoon’s meeting on the findings of the Auditor General about their pension.
 
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He reiterated the President’s note that even though their demand for a better living wage is legitmate, so are other workers’ like medical staff and teachers who are also demanding for an increment.

 

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