Industry Insights

Could the Public Service Salary review process have caused Musisi resignation?

News started trickling in yesterday evening that the first-ever Executive Director of the Kampala Capital City Authority, which was founded in 2011 had resigned from her post effective December 15, 2018.

She cited the challenges of failing to reconcile competing for political interests the KCCA strategic plans and policies.

Musisi also highlighted the inadequate funding by government and as such KCCA was unable to meet the government and public expectations of city development and service delivery.

“KCCA is also inadequately staffed and poorly remunerated,” Musisi cited in a resignation letter to the President.

“KCCA has not received the necessary political support to transform the city through improvement plans,” she added.

Musisi added that the achievements achieved in KCCA’s first five years showed that the country can be transformed by Ugandans challenges withstanding., adding that she has severally highlighted these challenges that have been partly addressed but largely remain unresolved.

Before joining KCCA, Musisi worked as commissioner legal and board affairs at the Uganda Revenue Authority. She has been one of the highest earning civil servants taking home more than Ush 40million per month.

Uganda Government new salary structure

In 2017, a committee was tasked by the government to conduct an across-the-board review of salaries for civil servants and proposed a significant raise and cuts in salaries of different categories of government workers.

This was after there had been a number of strikes from different government employees complaining of poor pay and varying salaries paid to people at similar ranks.

Major complaints were tended on Jennifer Musisi’s monthly pay cheque of Ush40 million, which led grumbling among Permanent Secretaries, fellow Executive Directors and other department heads.

The grumbling led to the closure of public hospitals, courts and public schools under the National Organization of Trade Unions, calling for an immediate review and realignment of salaries paid to public servants.

What the new structure will pay.

In the new structure, the head of public service is designated to earn Shs17 million a month, up from Shs4 million, while his deputy who has been earning Shs4 million, will now take home Shs16 million.

Similarly, Permanent Secretaries are to earn Shs15 million monthly, up from Shs3.7 million.

Interestingly, salaries for Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Accountant General and Auditor General have remained at Shs3 million each per month.

“Due to limited resources, the government has not been able to enhance salaries for public servants for FY 2017/2018 except for teaching and non-teaching staff in the public universities whose wage has been enhanced by a total of Shs19.625 billion,” stated a circular that was released by Ministry of Public Service in 2017.

The other beneficiaries were the Vice Chancellors of the Public Universities and other top dons in institutions of higher learning whose salaries were increased, and in the new structure, a VC will earn Shs10 million up from Shs9 million monthly.

Also, a professor will earn Shs8,487,707 up from Shs8,031,761, while an Associate Professor is going to earn Shs7,965,011 up from Shs7,537,144.

The argument of piecemeal pay increments for selected categories of public servants led to imbalances within the civil service structure, prompting different groups to threaten industrial action or actually carry it out demanding to be treated the same way those doing comparable work for the government are treated.

Who is on which scale?

. U8 – lowest rank civil servants like drivers and messengers. They are O-level certificate holders with requisite qualifications like driving permit, etc.

. U7 – These are certificate holders, like Grade III primary school teachers

. U6 – Diploma holders, like teachers in primary and secondary schools

. U5 – These are headteachers, some diploma holder teachers, etc

. U4 – Entry-level for graduates

. U3 – Senior officers like senior personnel officers at districts

. U2 – principal officers, especially at district level

. U1E – Heads of departments at the district level, like district medical officers, district education officers

What next for her after resignation?

Jennifer Semakula Musisi is a Ugandan lawyer and public administrator. If she wishes, she can go back to practice law full blast or go into private business.

Musisi, a lawyer and an advocate of the High Court of Uganda trained at Makerere University as well as numerous other institutions including the George Washington University, Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School.

She can basically opt to go full blast in legal practice or decide to become a business lady and do private businesses.

Musisi earlier worked for Makerere University as a legal adviser. She was then appointed Commissioner of Legal Services, and subsequently Commissioner of Legal Services and Board Affairs in Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). Musisi was involved in the Institutional Reforms and Restructuring Programme at URA.

She was born in Mukono District in the Central Region of Uganda, during the 1960s. She attended Tororo Girls School in Tororo District for her O Level education (S1 – S4). She then transferred to King’s College Buddo in Wakiso District for the last two years of her high school education (S5 – S6). She graduated from Budo in 1982, at the top of her class.

In 1992, she entered Makerere University, Uganda’s oldest university,  where she studied law. She graduated in 1986 with the degree of Bachelor of Laws (LLB).

The following year, she obtained the Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law Development Centre in Kampala, the capital of Uganda. Later, she obtained the degree of Master of Public Administration ( MPA) from Makerere University.

She also has qualifications in management, taxation, and law from several institutions including Harvard Law School and George Washington University in the United States.