Government to give Shs.500M ‘Service Award’ to Outgoing Auditor General

During Tuesday's parliamentary session, a resolution was reached to define the retirement benefits for the Auditor General (AG), incorporating a one-time 'service award' of Shs500 million for the outgoing senior officer, John Muwanga.

As outlined in the motion presented by finance state minister Henry Musasizi, the adopted amendment includes several provisions for retired AGs. In addition to the lump sum of Shs500 million, a retired AG will receive a lifetime monthly salary equivalent to that of the incumbent AG, along with a fully furnished house.

Furthermore, upon retirement, the AG will be granted a chauffeur-driven car or a one-time payment of 20,000 currency points (Shs400 million) in lieu of the car, as well as security provided by the state. Additional benefits consist of fuel and vehicle repair allowances of 100 currency points (Shs2 million) per month, and an official burial provided by the state upon death.

It's important to note that all retirement benefits, except for the Shs500 million 'service award,' will apply to subsequent retired Auditor Generals.

Initially, the retirement benefits did not include the service award, but an amendment proposed by Budadiri West legislator Nathan Nandala Mafabi introduced the reward of Shs1 billion. Mafabi justified the proposal by citing Muwanga's diligent service during his 20-year tenure.

While Musasizi agreed with the idea of a 'handshake' suggested by Mafabi, he proposed Shs500 million as a reward instead. This proposal received support from other legislators, including Jonathan Odur, Betty Ethel Nayima, Wilson Kajwengye, and Anthony Akol.

However, there were calls for the establishment of a standardized formula to determine service awards for retired AGs and other civil servants. Kampala Central Member of Parliament Muhammed Nsereko suggested that a formula adaptable to the office be developed, rather than treating it as a personal matter.

Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition in Parliament Joel Ssenyonyi contested the allocation of the service award to the retiring AG, arguing against negotiating individual service awards without a clear formula in place.

John Muwanga is expected to retire from his position in 2024, in accordance with Uganda's retirement age cap.

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