The EAC collapsed in 1977. At the time, all the former employees were on a contributory pension scheme under Crown Agents in London. But after the collapse of the Community, Crown Agents filed for bankruptcy and indicated their inability to meet the obligation of compensating the former employees.
The government continues to face
an uphill task in the compensation of former employees of the defunct East African
Community – EAC due to poor records.
EAC collapsed in 1977. At the time, all the former employees were on a
contributory pension scheme under Crown Agents in London. But after the
collapse of the Community, Crown Agents filed for bankruptcy and indicated their
inability to meet the obligation of compensating the former employees.
consequently left them at the mercy of their respective governments.
As a result, the respective EAC partner states that included Uganda, Kenya and
Tanzania individually decided to inherit the liability of
compensating the affected employees. Uganda, amended the Pensions Act to accommodate the services of
the former employees of the defunct EAC to be considered as being pensionable
without causing loopholes in the law.
But recently, Kole North MP Dr Samuel Opio Acuti raised concerns about the former
EAC employees who have not been paid their benefits since 1977. Dr Acuti has pointed out
that the ex-employees who received some compensation do not understand
what the government exactly paid for, and that the criteria used to compute their
benefits remain unexplained.
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The matter which was presented
to Parliament in July was since
referred to the Committee of the EAC Affairs for further investigation.
However, commitee chairperson Noeline Kisembo Basemera says they have
interacted with the officials from the
Ministry of Public Service and their counterparts from the Ministry of
African Community Affairs to understand the status of the compensations
all lacked documentary evidence.
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James Magode Ikuya, the State Minister of the East African
Community Affairs explained that
his Ministry which was established in 2007 inherited issues of the claimants that
had already dragged on for a very long time. He added that the Ministry continues
to receive numerous claims from people who were already paid but have denied
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Records show that during the financial Year 2020/2021, a total of 83 claimants from other departments and 460 ex-employees
of East Africa Airways were paid a joint sum of 8.071 billion Shillings, while, 183
others have been verified for payments
amounting to 2.748 billion Shillingsin financial year 2022/2023.
Another list of 166 former employees of East Africa
Airways has been verified and is due for payment amounting to 8.033 billion Shillings this financial year.
Minister Magode said that Ssekabanja and Company Advocates, the law firm
that is representing the ex-employees initially submitted to the Ministry a
total of 720 claimants worth USD 65,044,939 (about 250 billion Shillings). But on
August 24, 2021, the law firm submitted another claim worth USD 132,923,862 (about
506 billion Shillings), as outstanding arrears for the claimants. The claims have been
forwarded to the Ministries of Finance, and Public Service awaiting guidance
In 2000 President Yoweri Museveni directed the
establishment of an Inter-Ministerial Committee comprising representatives from
the Ministry of Public Service, Ministry of Finance, Attorney General and Office
of the Auditor General to determine the actual liabilities that had accrued.
the same year, June 2000, the task force undertook an investigation and produced
a report that revealed a total of 1,465 ex-employees had already been fully paid
including their gratuity and interest. The
Taskforce revealed that 3,705 had received partial payment for Commuted Pension and Gratuity, Interest, and/or Provident Fund.
the time, the Taskforce established an outstanding amount totalling
15.829 billion shillings. There was a total of 4,113 ex-employees who
had never received any
payment when compiling the report, implying that the total number of
former employees was 5,170.
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and latr Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.