UPDF soldiers conducting the registration of ex-servicemen in Masindi district are overwhelmed by the large number of people who have turned up to demand compensation.
Recently President Yoweri Museveni ordered the Ministry of Defense to register and pay the pension of ex-servicemen dating back to 1962.
In Masindi the registration began on Monday and was expected to take just two days. However by this morning more than 2,000 people from Masindi, Hoima, Kibaale and Buliisa were still queued up, waiting for their chance to receive the long-awaited pension from government.
Among the crowds are old men who served under the colonial administration during the transition to independence. There are also numerous breastfeeding mothers, lining up on behalf of their husbands, hoping to register by the end of the day.
Colonel Mark Kodili, the officer leading the midwestern region documentation group, says the exercise might spill over into a fourth day. He says if that happens, he will split up his team to set up a second registration center in Buliisa.
In the meantime, people with no money for accommodation or food are hoping for a chance to complete the process as soon as possible. There is only a single dilapidated pit latrine at the district grounds where the registration is taking place and there is no shelter for those who are forced to stay overnight.
Masindi Bureau Chief