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Senior Army Veterans Rally Serving Comrades to Invest Before Retirement

Lt. Col (Rtd) Cyrus Kigongo, who served the army for 33-years since 1986 before retiring in 2019 observed the veterans who turned up for the exercise were visibly worn-out depicting misery in their lives after retirement.
20 Jan 2022 15:37
Army veterans queue for physical verification at Kololo Airstrip in Kampala. Photo by Dominic Ochola
Senior army veterans have rallied their comrades who are still in active military service to invest for the future and ease their lives during retirement.

The observation was made by some retired senior officers who had turned up for the physical verification of the veterans, their relatives, the estate of the deceased comrades, widows and widowers. The three weeks’ nationwide exercise that was rolled out on Monday, January 17 is being conducted by the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs together with the Uganda People’s Defense Forces.

Lt. Col (Rtd) Cyrus Kigongo, who served the army for 33-years since 1986 before retiring in 2019 observed the veterans who turned up for the exercise were visibly worn-out depicting misery in their lives after retirement. He implored the government to consider enhancing the remuneration of the men in uniform to enable them to venture into personal enterprises and have alternative income sources. 

He observed that several veterans are also battling old-age and terminal illnesses, and without the sustainable flow of income, they bank their hopes on gratuity and pension payments that sometimes heighten their level of vulnerability.

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Another retiree, Captain Phineas Kiwanuka who retired in 2007 after 15 years of service pointed out that all government workers on payroll must begin thinking of retirement early enough to achieve a desirable future.

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Both Kigongo and Kiwanuka attest that the overnment remunerations are not enough to meet the overwhelming demands of the workers, and called on Government to devise better ways of honourably rewarding former employees.

Speaking to URN during an interview from Kololo Airstrip, Captain Amos Nsamba, the Military Police Spokesperson who is in charge of the exercise for Kampala Metropolitan, Buganda and Busoga regions said that over 1,200 veterans have so far been verified.

Captain Nsamba observed several retirees struggled to participate in the physical verification due to advanced age and other health complications.  He criticized close and abled family members of such elderly persons for not accompanying them for the exercise.

Captain Nsamba explained they were validating documents such death certificates for the deceased officers, active bank accounts, letters of administration, National IDs and other relevant documents to enable the Ministry to set an up-to-date database for the pensioners.

The Ministry has not verified army veterans since 2016, and they anticipate validating over 68,000 retirees across the country.