Laborers working under REA petitions Pader mayor over late pay, violation of rights


REA has reached villages in Uganda amidts public outcry. Courtesy/File photo.

Pader Town Council mayor and district internal security officer (DISO) have been working closely and engaging the contractor, Cylex, to meet payment of the affected laborers.

By Mildred Auma

Pader – 29, September 2020: Laborers installing electric poles along Pader—Lukole road in Pader town council under the Rural Electrification Agency (project) have petitioned Pader town council mayor, Fearless Kilama Wod Acholi over late pay and violation of workers’ rights by their employers, Taffa Engineering Company.

Taffa has been sub-contracted by REA to install electric poles and other technical tasks.

The 14 laborers, who were also sub-contracted by Taffa Engineering Company, started work two months ago, but have not been paid their dues to date.

The site assistant foreman, Musa Mawejje, told our reporter in an interview on Tuesday afternoon that they started work in August with 14 members, from the districts of Pader, Kitgum Kaliro and Mpigi and that they have worked for a month without pay.

He added that after the first phase of work, many workers decided to lay down their tools in protest of late payment, while he and four others continued through to the second month of September.

Mawejje says that now, that they have finished the second phase of their work, but their bosses have escaped and left them with no pay, no food to eat, adding that the landlord is chasing them out of his house, for failure to meet rent expenses for this month.

He suspects that their supervisors have shared the money among themselves, leaving them not only penniless but also with no transport to return home.

Another laborer, identified as Johnson Nyero, also told TND News that he and his colleague, Geoffrey Rubangakene were electrocuted while at work on 17, August 2020, but have not received any compensation for their injury, as promised.

Uganda Workers Compensation Act 2000 provides for compensation to workers for injuries suffered in the course of work.

Pader district mayor, Fearless Kilama Wod Acholi in response to the petition, said he tried to get in touch with the contractors in vain.

He is worried that if these laborers are left without pay or shelter, they will become a menace in town, as they may be tempted to engage in vices like theft to meet their needs.

When contacted, one of the managers of Taffa Engineering Company, Engineer Derrick Twebaze said: “We are processing money from the company that sub contracted them, Cylex Limited.”

He adds that by the end of this week, the payment will have been made, and asked them for patience.

Pader Town Council mayor and district internal security officer (DISO) have been working closely and engaging the contractor, Cylex, to meet payment of the affected laborers.

Cylex Limited was contracted by Rural Electrification Agency, and they (Cylex Limited) sub contracted Taffa Engineering Company that hired the now 14 vulnerable laborers.

REA is a government institution formed in 2001 to facilitate the provision of electricity to rural areas, but their activities in most parts of the country have in recent years been criticised.


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