Army veterans have cried out to the government through the State Minister for Defense in charge of Veteran affairs Bright Rwamirama for help and asked to be redeployed for foreign missions in a bid to improve their standards of living.
The veterans claim that ever since they retired from the force they have never received any benefits in form of military pensions, gratuity or ex-gratia and this has greatly exposed them to serious hardships in adjusting to civilian life.
Mishaki Kanunuura, an army veteran says that money is sent to the districts but some, including him, have never received that money.
“The money is given to the wrong people but some of the people who suffered, who fought, have never received their money,” he said.
However, according to Mr Rwamirama, although all veterans are part of the reserve force, the majority of them cannot easily be recalled for missions.
“When you are discharged from the army, within the first 3 years after you are still considered in active reserve but after that that you are considered reserved but passive reserve. When duty calls, we first go for the first line of active reserve but when the first line is exhausted then we go backwards. It also depends on the ability of the person because you may be in active reserve when you actually do not have the energy and the stamina to manage the services,” he said.
The veterans asked government to expedite the process of paying their pension and gratuity. According to the commissioner for rehabilitation Psycho-social support and resettlement of the army, Mike Wambi, out of the 200,000 army veterans, 7984 have not received their pension since January 2019.