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Verification of 2000 Veterans in Arua Kicks Off

Some of the Veterans who turned up on day one of the exercise asked the government to expedite the payment process.
Verification Team Officials Addressing the Veterans at Arua District Headquarters in Arua City today.

Audio 5

More than 2,000 veterans on Wednesday turned up at Arua District headquarters in Arua City for the nationwide verification exercise.

The exercise that was launched two weeks ago will help to identify veterans and survivors who have never received their payment from the government since the 1980s.

Major Charles Bwambale, the head of the West Nile Veterans verification team said the exercise is aimed at eliminating ghost pensioners and Exgratia and former army claimants.

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 Some of the Veterans who turned up on day one of the exercise asked the government to expedite the process of paying them since it's long overdue.

Sargent Pastore Odraa who joined the army in 1986 said since he retired after fighting the LRA Insurgency in 1995, he has never received any payment from the government despite several promises.

 “From 1986 until I left in 1995, we walked on foot up to Sudan and removed Landmines with our bare hands What we asking the government to do is to pay our money so that we can help ourselves because it’s us who combed Uganda of all insurgencies.

Corporal John Ikungua who served for 15 years in the army said since he was retired in 2001 up to now he has never received any payment.

“I was retired in 2001 but up to now I have never received any payment, my back broke while serving in the army because of lifting heavy bombs while in Rwanda and now I’m hit by a stroke and weak and I appeal to the government to pay me my money so that I can help myself and also the Orphans left by my Brother”

Norman Yasin next of kin of Rashid Onziga who also served in the Uganda Army said he expects reasonable pay from the Army for the services his late father rendered.

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The Resident City Commissioner Arua Alice Akello said she is happy that the exercise has finally kicked off because her office has been receiving too many complaints from the veterans over non-payment of their benefits.

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There are more than 10,000 veterans in West Nile who served in various armies but most of them have died without receiving their benefits from the government.