Department of National Registration, Passports and Citizenship Registrar-General Matthews Nyirongo says the unpaid officers who took part in the 2015-2016 mobile registration exercise will only get their dues when funds are available because the Treasury is currently stressed.

About 700 officers who took part in phase three of the exercise have still not been paid their balance of K15,000 each, despite Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo promising in Parliament last year that they would be paid at the end of 2018.

One of the affected officers seeking anonymity lamented that the officers expected to be paid their monies immediately after the exercise in 2016.

“I’m one of the government officers who took part in the 2015-2016 national mobile registration exercise, phase three. This exercise was for three months. Before getting in to this exercise, we were told it was funded and officers expected to be paid immediately after the exercise. But up to now, government is owing us K15,000 each and we were about 700 officers in phase three. Minister of Home Affairs, Honourable Steven Kampyongo, is on record to have mentioned in Parliament some months ago that we will be paid our monies before 2018 ends, but we are now in 2019! And in 2020, there will be another mobile exercise, which government is expected to use the poor officers again,” the source said.

“And you should know that the officers worked under difficult conditions as they used to spend nights in school classrooms on the floor for three months! Some officers died on duty and some have died before getting their final allowances. The Ministry should also make sure that the deceased families get the departed family members’ allowances.”

But in an interview with News Diggers! Nyirongo explained that the money was budgeted for in the 2018 budget, but was not released because the Treasury was stressed.

He said he couldn’t give out the exact date when the officers were likely to receive their pay, but added that government would announce when the funds were available.

“That money was budgeted for in the 2018 budget except that the Treasury was stressed so it was not released. For me, I push everyday except that the Treasury is stressed. We can’t [tell the date when the funds will be released] because the problem is, I can tell the date, but the date I will give you, the Treasury will not be ready to give me the money. So, I will cause a lot of confusion and you see it’s not good for us to lie. We can only comment on it when we have the monies, then we can announce that ‘the money has been found now, so all those that were not paid should go to point A to get their money.’ When the funds are available, yes, [we will announce] because that’s the only way we will inform those that participated,” Nyirongo said.

Asked why the officers were not paid from 2016 till now, Nyirongo said: “Those things, you should ask the Treasury.”