What you need to know:
- 70, 085 – Total number of pensioners on the payroll as of December 2016.
- Shs249, 196, 491, 172 – Amount the government spends on them annually.
- Shs236, 638, 355, 759 – Gratuity and pension arrears for the fiscal year 2014/15.
Government says it does not have records of pensioners due to “lack of data and personal files.”
According to the ministry of Public Service, many pensioners do not show up for verification thus leading to delays in payment of their monthly dues and the once off gratuity.
The State minister for Public Service, Mr David Karubanga told MPs during plenary that the ministry will, carry out a census and biometric validation of pensioners starting February 20.
“The ministry of Public Service does not have a national register of pensioners,” Mr Karubanga said yesterday.
“Despite the decentralisation of pension management, a number of votes [ministries] have not verified the records on the payroll.”
A day earlier, Aruu Member of Parliament, Odonga Otto had told the August House that many pensioners have not been paid for several months.
Many were, therefore, depending on their relatives – who already have other financial responsibilities – to pay their bills or to buy basics.
Those without relatives are borrowing items from shopkeepers.
Shopkeepers though can only lend them for a few months expecting to be paid once they get their gratuity.
Following Mr Odonga’s remarks, the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said the government was treating the senior citizens disrespectfully.
On Wednesday, Mr Karubanga also said the Public Service ministry had for the last four years not carried out verification of pensioners “due to funding shortage and lack of clear addresses" [of the pensioners].
The verification of the pensioners will be done between February 20 and March 24 at the district headquarters by Face Technologies.
According to Mr Karubanga, Face Technologies will do the work, which the ministry failed.
However, it is still not clear how much the ministry will pay the company.
Face Technologies is the company that processes driving permits for motorists.
Workers Members of Parliament Margaret Rwabushaija and the Erute Member of Parliament Jonathan Odur said the government should tell Ugandans when it would pay the pensioners all their arrears.
Mr Karubanga said payments are the responsibility of the Finance ministry.
All that Public Service does is to furnish the Finance ministry with the particulars of the claimants.