The Ugandan Ministry of Public Service has reviewed the payroll and established cases of public officers who are neither health workers nor deployed to health facilities who have been granted and are receiving lunch allowances.
According to the Ministry, this practice is a violation of the objectives for which lunch allowances for health workers are introduced.
It should be noted that other than the lunch allowances for health workers, lunch and dinner allowances provided under Section E-b (20 & 21) is a direct charge from Non wage recurrent and not Wage.
“This is, therefore, to inform you that, lunch allowances for the above categories of employees have been removed from the payroll of August 2021 and should not be re-entered without clearance from this Ministry,”- the Ministry added in a written circular signed by the Permanent secretary Catherine Bitarakwate Musingwiire.
The Ministry further requested for an explanation from the responsible bodies in Written by 15th of August, 2021 the circumstances under which the attached employees were enrolled into the lunch allowances.
“The total amount of lunch allowances earned over the years should also be attached,”- the Ministry added
Each qualified nurse is entitled to Shillings 15,000 each day and their assistants Shillings 10,000. Shillings 70billion has been budgeted for the allowances annually.
In May, the Health Ministry indicated that the money would be availed in July following numerous threats and strikes by nurses over their lunch allowances.
Back then, the MOH Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwiine said the Presidential Directive for the lunch allowance promised in 2018 had remained unfulfilled because of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.