Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Hundreds of pensioners and relatives of deceased ex-servicemen on Tuesday turned up at Kololo Airstrip for the army veteran verification exercise.
The Ministry of Defense last carried out a physical validation of the pensioners in 2016.
The nationwide exercise that commenced on 17 January and ends on 8 February, 2022 is being conducted by the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs.
Captain Amos Nsamba, the Military Police Spokesperson in charge of the exercise says that over 400 army veterans, estate administrators, widows, and widowers were verified at Kololo on Monday.
Nsamba notes that while they are registering an overwhelming turn-up, some of the beneficiaries have been turned away for not possessing requisite documents like national IDs, letters of administration, bank information, and death certificates among others.
Margaret Nakiwala Kwagala, a widow from Kabale village living in Entebbe municipality says she has endeavored to participate in the exercise to ensure her benefits are not affected. Kwagala revealed that she lost her husband in 2005 and his gratuity and pension is helping her to look after their six children.
Samuel Kal says arrears for his late father, a warrant officer in the Uganda Air Force has not been accessed by the family even when they had processed the letter of administration. He hopes that the process validates his documents so that they can access arrears that have accumulated since 2019.
Last week, Huda Abason Oleru, the Minister of State for Veteran Affairs said that the field verification also aims at ensuring payroll integrity for pensions and gratuities to the veterans or survivors who received compensation from the government.
The minister revealed that at least 11,000 out of 68,000 military veterans and beneficiaries have so far received their payment and more are yet to be paid. To make the exercise effective, the ministry has created 10 zones across the country in North, West Nile, East, and Western regions.
Oleru explained that backlog classification involves living veterans, the estate of veterans deceased in retirement category, estates of officers and militants deceased while in active servicemen, ex-gratia living veterans among others.