A trusted ally of opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has alleged that President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni hates arts and its teachers, and is not willing to increase their salaries.
On June 14, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija announced that government had set aside billions of money to increase science teachers’ salaries, leaving out arts (humanities) teachers.
Hours after Kasaija made the announcement in his FY2022-23 budget speech, disappointed secondary school arts teachers and their primary counterparts announced their industrial action.
After a weekend meeting with education minister and first lady Janet Museveni, the teachers, under the Uganda National Teachers’ Union (Unatu), refused to call off their strike.
On June 22, Public Ministry Permanent Secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire directed striking arts teachers to return to class and wait for government to increase their salaries in subsequent financial years or resign and be replaced.
Besigye ally Francis Mwijukye, the Buhweju County MP, is one of the MPs who have sworn to support the striking teachers in their push for a fair salary increment.
Mwijukye, a former aide to Dr Besigye, says that Museveni hates arts subjects and may not be willing to increase their salaries.
“But you all know you who have done history, which they want to do away with, that all dictators world over have fought arts. You can go and find out,” Mwijukye said at Parliament.
“Therefore, I want to insist that the move to attack arts is a political move: it is not anything to do with development or economics or whether we have money as a country; it is a political move [because] government is threatened by the arts and they want to do away with those who are doing arts.”
In his budget speech read on Tuesday, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija announced that the salaries of science teachers, scientists and health workers will be increased in a ‘very big’ way starting July 2022. (Read Story Here).
MORE ON TEACHERS’ SALARY INCREMENT
MORE ON SALARY INCREMENT CIRCUS
In order to improve service delivery and end the challenge of strikes over low pay, President Museveni’s government has proposed huge salary increments for teachers, doctors and other employees starting July 2022. (Read Story Here)
The proposed increments have left many people wondering if government will really fulfill this pledge and increase salaries by very high amounts.
For example, opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has argued that the promise of salary increment is just ‘another lie.’ (Read Story Here).
Finance Minister Matia Kasaija recently said the money for increasing teachers’, doctors’ and other civil servants’ salaries was available. (Read Story Here).
In August 2021, cabinet approved salary increment for teachers, doctors and other health workers. (Read Story Here).
See the salary structure that had been proposed for the current financial year here.
Meanwhile, an NRM MP has angered teachers after telling them they are too poor to go on strike. (Read Story Here).