MV Kalangala Operator Refuses to Pay Staff Salaries Despite Government Fund Release

The operator of Kalangala’s major marine vessel MV Kalangala, Nation Oil Distributor’s Limited has for the last five months refused to pay staff salaries of up to Ugx 50 million despite government release of funds for such expenditures.

Workers on the Marine Vessel, have since January this year not received payment except the arrears for previous months before the lockdown.

Now, many of them are uncertain if they will be paid salaries of the previous months while many are uncertain if they will be given another opportunity to work on the vessel.

Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of works and Transport remitted up to Ugx 1.35 billion to MV Kalangala operators, Nation Oil Distributors Limited, to among others cater for salaries of the workers on the vessel.

The money meant for the third quarter was also meant operationalize MV Kalangala, a vessel government had on February 9th grounded for major servicing.

Sources on the vessel indicate that the Managing Director of the Nation Oil Distributors Limited changes contractual terms and conditions of the different staff that man the vessel.

“This is meant to curtail us from demanding for salaries. It also deprives all of us from understanding whether we can diligently work since the Managing Director is always running away from saying the truth. We cannot work without being paid,” says a staffer who deserves the vial of anonymity.

Well as several leaders within Kalangala District have pleaded with the Managing Director of the company, Mr Sadala Musoke to pay for the workers especially during this period, he has not listened to such calls despite being paid by government even when the vessel isn’t operating.

Now, up to 23 workers and casual remain unable to meet their utility bills due to lack of payment. “Some of them are willing to even offer the correct number of people who use the vessel daily away from the forged passenger manifest the operator gives to the ministry of works and transport for accountability,” said Richard Ssekasi, an advocate of worker’s rights in Kalangala.

MV Kalangala is mandated to carry 100 passenger, 54 of which are supposed to sit in the second class while 46 sit in the first class. However, the vessel often carries an average of 280 passengers according to manifests seen by Entebbe Post from a Police Marine Unit.

“Actually he reports less and makes a daily Ugx 2 million. We wonder why he doesn’t want to pay staff even in a time when government has offered him money without paying,” says a Police officer who doesn’t want to be named.

The Ministry of works department of Maritime when contacted in a telephone conversation indicated that the Ministry will follow up the matter to ensure that all those supposed to be paid are offered the required resources.

Currently, MV Kalangala is not operating as government repairs all its docking piers in Lutoboka and Nakiwogo in Entebbe Municipality.

When Contacted about the matter, Sadala Musoke, the Managing Director, Nation Oil Distributors told Entebbe Post that he is not interested in any negative publicity as he moves towards achieving his set goals.

“I cannot be scared by the news, write what you want,” he said.

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