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Veterans in Kigezi Protest Non Payment of Gratuity

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Tebarura, the chairperson for Kabale District Guarantee Veterans Association says that out of over 200 members under the association, about 140 have not received their pension and gratuity.
Some of the concerned veterans

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A section of veterans in Kabale Rubanda and Kisoro districts are protesting the failure by the government to pay their pension and gratuity.

The veterans say that they served under National Resistance Army (NRA) and participated in the 1981-1986 bush war, but many of them have never received their pension and gratuity since 1992. They argue that despite meeting the criteria for the verification exercise that was held two years ago, they are yet to receive any money.  

Lieutenant Colonel Charles Tebarura, the chairperson for Kabale District Guarantee Veterans Association says that out of over 200 members under the association, about 140 have not received their pension and gratuity. Tebarura says that some of their members have died before receiving their gratuity.

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Sergeant Wilberforce Tumwebaze, Chairperson for Southern Division Veterans Association in Kabale Municipality says that since he retired from the army in 1992, he has neither received any gratuity nor pension. Tumwebaze says that they are tired of travelling to Bombo barracks to fill forms.

Tumwebaze wonders why the government is failing to walk the talk of catering for the welfare of veterans yet it is aware of the role they played during liberation. 

 

Captain Arseten Wenyi, the Kisoro District Veterans Association Chairperson and Private Enoss Turyehangana another concerned veteran from Rubanda district say that they started filling forms in 2005 until to date, he has never received any money.

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Amos Stephen Kabarane, another veteran from Kabale district says that he also retired in 1992 while attached to the Marine unit. Kabarane, however, says that despite suffering from an ailment, he is yet to receive his money.

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James Mugisha, the Kabale District Principal Assistant Secretary who also doubles as the District Veterans Affairs Officer says that the names of all the veterans in Kabale and Rubanda districts were verified with the army two years ago with hopes that their money is to be paid in vain.

Mugisha says that as the veterans wait for their payment, the government should establish a special income-generating program for the veterans, widows and children.

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Huda Abson Oleru, the State Minister for Defense in charge of Veteran Affairs attributes the delay to errors by veterans during the verification exercise. He says that some veterans' names did not match with the names on the National Identity Cards.

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Oleru also advises the veterans to use the skills they attained from the army and start income-generating projects.

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In March 2019, the army started a nationwide verification exercise of all unpaid ex-servicemen after the government released pension and gratuity arrears worth 500 Billion Shillings.

According to the Defense Ministry, there were at least 79,084 army veterans who had not received their pension and gratuity arrears across the country. They included veterans of World War II, the Uganda Army and the Uganda National Liberation Army.

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