Over 400 pensioners go months without pay

Some of the pensioners at Apac Mayor’s Gardens after visiting the district offices on June 19, 2024. PHOTO | SANTO OJOK

What you need to know:

  • Many pensioners say they have missed payment from February to May this year while others claim that they have not been paid for more than 10 months.

More than 400 retired civil servants in Apac District are struggling to put food on the table after several months without pay.

Of the total 940 pensioners in the district, 433 have for the last four or five months been moving from office to office seeking explanation about the delayed payment.

Many pensioners say they have missed payment from February to May this year while others claim that they have not been paid for more than 10 months.

Mr Boniface Alele, a retired primary school teacher who served for 35 years as a Grade Five teacher, said he has not accessed his payment for the last four months.

“I retired in June 2020 and I started receiving my pension in April 2021 and the payment was consistent. From February 2024 up to date, I have not been given any money,” he said in an interview at the weekend.

Mr Peter Pons Tile, another pensioner, said he has not been paid for the last six months.

“I am now demanding the payment for September and November 2023, and payment for March, April, May, and June this year,” he said.

Mr Tile said life has become very hard for them since they are unable to provide for their families.

“I just go borrowing yet I have dependents that I am supposed to feed and send to school,” he added.

Mr Quinto Ongu, a retired law enforcement officer, said he has missed payment for the last 18 months and that he has tried several times to follow up on his money in vain.

“My name disappeared from the pension payroll and it has never been reinstated up to date. I don’t know if they want me to die and they pay for my burial,” he said.

Vulnerable

Mr Mike Gulu, a retired teacher, appealed to the district leaders to give special attention to pensioners since the majority of them are vulnerable.

“If there is anybody who should not suffer any problem, they are the pensioners because they served for so long before they retired,” he said.

When contacted, the Apac District Secretary for Finance, Mr Andrew Awany, attributed the issue to migration to the new payment system.

“Government has introduced another system of payment called the Human Capital Management System where payroll is being managed from the centre. This has affected our payroll, including our staff, politicians, and those pensioners,” he said.

“Our staff are working hard to ensure that everybody is migrated to this new system,” he added.