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General Odongo Blames Delayed Payment of Ex-servicemen to Administrative Challenges

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Uganda People's Defenses Forces has attributed the delay to clear pension and gratuity arrears of ex- servicemen because of administrative problems. General Jeje Odongo the state minister for Defense says that, they received shillings 34 billion to clear the pension arrears of Ex-servicemen.





He says that only shillings 13 out of the 34 billion has been disbursed because of administrative weakness.



In March 2004, 45,000 ex soldiers grouped who served under the Uganda Army Servicemen Development Association sued government demanding for about 470 million US dollars salary arrears, allowances, gratuity, pensions and damages for a period of over 23 years.





The ex-servicemen won the suite in high court but it was overturned by the court of appeal. Despite this, President Yoweri Museveni agreed to pay the ex-servicemen in appreciation for their works.

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Gen. Odongo says that the process to pay off the combatants has dragged on because of the change of officers in the pension and gratuity office. He believes that the new officers lead by Colonel Diba Ssentongo, and Charles Bakahumura will speed the process.



//Cue in... the veterans of



Cue out...a routine matter."//



According to Odongo most of the combatants who were registered last year have already received their gratuity. He says that only surviving members of the families of combatants who didn't present letters of administration have not yet received payment.



//Cue in...Out of the."

Cue out...of administration."//



Currently a team from the ministry of justice and ministry of defense are in the countryside issuing letters of administration to the surviving families who are also required to pay 12,000 court fees before they acquire their money.



In June 2010, Ministry of Defense spearheaded an inter-ministerial meeting and launched a national wide registration of ex- servicemen.



The exercise found that there were 9900 former members of Uganda Army with 11,000 surviving family members, 1600 ex National Resistance Army with 4800 survivors, 11000 Local Defence Unit members who fought against the Allied Democratic Forces, 250 members of the Uganda National Rescue Front 2 and 2700 members of the Kings African Rifle.



According to the payment procedure a private officer will be paid 1.5 million shillings each and the money will increase by 100,000 shillings per rank.

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