Two security guards deployed at Rupa Seed secondary school in Moroto district have gone eleven months without pay. African Construction Technical Uganda Limited hired guards to watch over the school while it was being built from 2020 to 2022.
The school was commissioned on October 28th, 2202. The two grumbling guards told URN that they last received payment in December 2021. They say that their bosses are no longer responding to their demands for payment. John Logith, one of the guards, told URN that they are demanding salaries amounting to 3.3 million Shillings.
Logith says that he has been struggling to feed his family over the past months and the children are becoming malnourished due to the lack of food. Logith says that their contract with the construction company ended in October, but the district told them to keep working even though they still owed money.
“The DEO told us to continue guarding the school, but they are not talking about clearing our outstanding dues. The contractor is not there, and now that the school has been handed over to the district, I don’t know who is responsible for paying us, “he wondered.
Logith says they have lost interest in work and sometimes they are forced to abandon work to get casual labor in order to get support for their families.
Moroto’s Chief Administrative Officer, Charles Kumakech Oluba, confirmed that the guards’ back pay had built up, but the company that was supposed to pay them has gone silent.
Oluba said the guards should not lose hope because the district is still holding eight million shillings meant for the constructor after the retention period of six months. He told the angry guards to be patient and told them that they would get their back pay soon after the retention period was over.
George William Wopuwa, the Moroto Resident District Commissioner, said the guards are going through hardships, saying there is no need to wait for the retention period when their families are starving. Wopuwa says the situation is unacceptable and the concerned authorities should consider clearing the arrears of the guards as soon as possible. He also said that it was too late for the district education officer to have cleared the guards before they opened the school.