Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has stated that his government is too poor to increase salaries for teachers and other public servants in the country.
Museveni made the remarks on Sunday February 4, 2024 during the pass out ceremony of 413 secondary school teachers at the National Leadership Institute (Nali) in Kyankwanzi.
“How will the State pay good salaries, if there is no socio-economic transformation? Where does it get the money from? When we took over government, we were earning very small salaries for a very long time, even now I earn a small salary,” said Museveni.
According to Museveni, the government can only increase salaries for public servants after the country attains socio-economic transformation.
“If families undergo socio-economic transformation in societies, they create jobs, people get income and they will be able to pay taxes,” he said.
“When they pay taxes, the government gets more money, then it will be able to pay good salaries to public servants,” he added.
The president made the remarks in response to arts teachers who were demanding a salary increase.
For instance in 2022, the government increased salaries for science teachers, while salaries for arts teachers remained the same.
“We need these scientists more because we need engineers and medical doctors, among others. I studied arts but i cannot come with my Shakespere to put up a bridge.
“Recently I was in a small war with you, the teachers. When we got a little bit of money, we decided to enhance the salaries of scientists. That is where the war started,” he said.
For the past few years, public servants in Uganda were pushing for better salaries, although the government was reluctant in addressing their demands.
For instance in September 2023, local government workers demanded an explanation from the Finance Minister on why their salary increment was not factored in the budget for the financial year 2024/25.