By Najib Mulema
Striking Prosecutors under their umbrella association, the Uganda Association of Prosecutors (UAP) have responded to Public Service Minister Wilson Muruli Mukasa who recently told them to return to work or resign.
Addressing journalists at the Uganda Media Centre in Kampala, Mukasa said any civil servant who refuses to work over poor pay or absconds from duty would invoke the wrath of the government.
Prosecutors resumed the strike on Monday after the lapse of the 90-day ultimatum given to government to address their grievances.
They are demanding that the minimum salary of the lower ranking officials in the judiciary be raised to at least Shs9 million. Currently, the lowest ranking State Prosecutor earns a gross salary of Shs645,000.
Responding to the minister’s statement, prosecutors said according to public standing orders 2010 (A-n) industrial action is not envisaged as one of the grounds for resignation thus no member will resign from his or work.
They further said industrial action is a constitutional right that is protected under article 40 of the 1995 constitution of Uganda and other labour laws in the country including the public service standing order.
On the issue of absconding from work, prosecutors said, “An employee while undertaking industrial action cannot be deemed to be absent from work without lawful excuse. In our case Government was variously notified hence they are aware that we are not absent but on strike,”
Meanwhile, prosecutors have vowed to continue with their industrial action until further notice.
“We call upon members of UAP to remain calm as we are fully fortified in the knowledge that our industrial action is lawful and our cause is justified as already conceded by the government. Our Industrial action is still on until further notice,” statement dated 16 October,2017 partly read.
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