Tuesday 21 January 2019 “The Government of Uganda is ready to allocate resources to clear off the pension case backlog over the next two years, once the requisite records are availed”. This was said by the Chief Guest during the half day strategic conference to support the clearance of the military Pension and Gratuity case backlog at Hotel Africana in Kampala.
The State Minister for Defence and Veteran Affairs in charge of Veteran Affairs Hon Bright Rwamirama, who was also the Chief Guest, while opening a half day conference said that the conference is being held to find solutions to the problem at hand of unpaid pensions and gratuities for the military veterans and their survivors for the past several decades.
Hon Bright Rwamirama added that the Ministry has commissioned a task force to conduct a country wide completion of documentation of all un paid military veterans and their survivors with a view to reconstruct or update their records.
The Minister noted that some progress has so far been made in payment as of end of year 2018, which previously stood at 83,153, currently stands at 79,084 unpaid claimants.
This conference has collectively brought together all stakeholders to work together, move faster and ensure that the backlog gets to zero by the end of 2020, as well as providing context under which this program is being implemented.
It is also to facilitate building of consensus for collective collaboration action going forward.
Hon Rwamirama emphasized that the conference is intended to mobilize support of the various stakeholders to facilitate the speedy acquisition of lacking documents required for complete processing and payment of all pending military pensions and gratuity.
He added that there is need to work together to provide for the military veterans in honour of their sacrifices on behalf of our country.
“All stakeholders need to get on board to holistically and strategically think through what we need in order to achieve our goal which will result in a better quality of life of all military veterans and their families and create ripple effects to our economy and country” he said.
He urged stakeholders to embrace an innovative approach to service delivery to counter the challenges likely to arise in dealing with large number of beneficiaries in a very short time. He went ahead to remind stakeholder that this strategic conference presents an opportunity to develop a framework for success to achieve for the good of our country.
The Under Secretary, Mrs. Edith Buturo who represented the Permanent Secretary noted that the current backlog constitutes the biggest arrear for the Ministry ever.
Ms Buturo said that in the next two years, payments of entitlements to all military veterans and their survivors will be made.
Mrs.Buturo, added that this conference has been organized to orient participants on the key issues that require to be resolved to bring about the expeditious processing of the terminal benefits backlog and the responsibility of all of us in this regard.
Mrs.Buturo commended all stakeholders for accepting to join the ministry to deliberate on how best to collectively discharge this important responsibility. “we all need to be mindful of the responsibility of our responsibilities of our respective agencies and this workshop aims at acquiring all of us on this” she said.
She urged members to bear in mind that its their obligation to work towards improving the livehoods of those who served this country.
Others present included the Joint Chief of Staff Maj Gen Joseph Musanyufu, the Chairman Pension Task Force Brig Emmanuel Musinguzi and Chief of Personel and Administration Brig George Igumba among others.