Because he used to earn little money as a primary school teacher, Elinadab Kihumuro Kajura, 72, chose to educate his children as a way of preparing for his retirement.
Kihumuro, as he is commonly known, retired as a head teacher in Kabale District in 2008. Since then, his children started paying him a salary of Shs300,000 per month besides a monthly pension of about Shs500,000.
He says failure to invest in the education of their children, several retirees end up spending their pension on the upkeep of their grandchildren instead of enjoying the fruits of their sweat.
In May 1973, Kihumuro got a Grade Three certificate in primary school teaching at Bishop Willis Teacher Training College in Iganga District.
“I was posted to Kihorezo Primary School where I earned Shs503 per month and I taught for two years. I saved money and bought two cows and used the balance of Shs2,000 as bride price before organising a wedding, ” Kihumuro says.
He adds that in 1976, he was approached by the administration of Kihanga Secondary School, a private school and they requested him to become its head teacher because he was popular.
“I dropped the government job and served in my new role until 1980 when the government took over. I later got a job opportunity to be an assistant education officer in Mbarara District for two years before a transfer came calling to take me to Kasese District for the same job but I turned it down due to fear of the National Resistance Army rebels in that area,” Kihumuro says.
He recalls that in 1983 he sat the interviews to be a Grade One head teacher which he passed well and the government posted him to Kabale Demonstration School in Kabale District, that was later renamed Kabale Primary School. He served at the school from 1983 to 2004 before being transferred to Kikungiri Primary School. He retired in 2008.
“To prepare for my retirement, I spent my monthly salary on paying school fees for my eight children in the best secondary schools in western Uganda which included Bweranyangi and Ntare before sending them to university,” he says with a big smile.
“I am enjoying my retirement because the children I toiled to educate, now pay me about Shs300,000 per month for my upkeep.”
He adds that besides paying school fees for his children, he managed to save extra money which he used to buy several pieces of land where he practices Irish potato seed production and harvests about 20 bags of 80kg each which go for Shs180,000 each.
He also reveals that he was able to save some money which he used to buy a plot of land in Kabale Town and developed it by constructing rental houses from which he earns.
Kihumuro says hundreds of children that went through the schools he headed have been a blessing because everywhere they meet him, they give him some monetary token of appreciation.
His two cents
Kihumuro advises the newly appointed civil servants to investing their monthly salaries in income generating projects so that by the time they retire, they can survive without waiting for retirement packages.
“You need to invest part of your monthly salary in income generating projects that do not require much supervision so that in case salary delays, you have a fallback position. Such projects also help you to support your families when the retirement benefits delay,” Kihumuro says.
He also advises those in public service to invest in the education of their children so that they can support them during their retirement.
“Civil servants must love their jobs, avoid alcohol abuse and luxurious lifestyles, be faithful and give proper accountability. Avoid corruption tendencies even if you earn meagre salary,” Kihumuro says.
He also advises the retired civil servants to always hire services of consultants in business management before they invest all their pension money in risky ventures which could end up hitting a dead end. He adds that some of his colleagues lost all their pension because they invested it in risky businesses.
His leisure time
Kihumuro says he walks four kilometres every day for physical fitness and relaxes by reading newspapers every day.
“During my leisure time, I join voluntary Christian activities at All Saints’ Church, Kabale twice a week. I also attend weekly meetings for elderly where we share peer challenges and opportunities for the betterment of our lives,” Kihumuro explains.
Elinadab Kihumuro Kajura was born in Maheru Village Nyarurambi Parish Rwamucucu Sub-county Rukiga District. He later completed Primary Six at Kihanga Boys. He then joined Kihanga Junior School for Junior One and Junior Two before doing his O-Level at Kihanga Secondary School in 1970.