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Hundreds turn up for UPDF veterans verification in Wakiso

Veterans and relatives of deceased soldiers lining up for verification at Wakiso district headquarters. URN photo

Wakiso, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Hundreds of people comprising of retired soldiers and relatives of deceased soldiers have turned up at Wakiso district headquarters for the verification of the authenticity of the documents to ease the payment of pension and gratuity for ex-servicemen.

The UPDF First Division Spokesperson, Maj Charles Kabona explained that the exercise seeks to verify the veterans and their survivors. Upon completion of the exercise, a file will be opened for each of the persons to ensure that they or their children or relatives can receive their payments.

“We are here to document those who are already on the payroll and those who have never been there and also see those who were documented sometime back but never got the money to see if there was a gap like missing documents,” he said.

Last year, the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs launched a verification exercise of the UPDF veterans, their survivors and widows, a drive aimed at ensuring payroll integrity for smooth payment of pensions and gratuity. The drive is targeting at least 68,000 veterans, among those who retired from active service and went back home with a discharge certificate, and family members who have been receiving money on behalf of fallen officers.

“We shall see them physically, verify them and go back home. In case we do not see you, it means the veteran is not alive and the widow is not alive. Therefore, there is another likelihood of taking another decision that this person went to Wakiso but he is not there,” Maj Kabona said.

Maj Kabona explained that in case a veteran is dead, family members, survivors, or the widow, can claim for the benefits of the fallen ex-soldier, and those who haven’t received payments yet will be assisted to create accounts so that they start accessing their benefits. However, all of the categories must present proper documents like letters of administration, discharge books, National Identity cards, Local council letters, family minutes and court documents.

“For those who died as pensioners, the army shall calculate to ensure that some money can continue helping their children and family after death. Some of those who came sometime back are getting the money but if the soldier died while in active service and you do not get any benefit, that is why we are here,” he added.

According to Maj Kabona, another group being verified are the ex-servicemen who served in World War II, those who served in Uganda Army under the Iddi Amin regime, those who served under the Uganda National Liberation Army between 1981-1985. These however will only receive a one-off package.

The verification exercise for East Buganda region started from Nakasongola, Luwero, Nakaseke, Mityana and will end in Wakiso district later today.



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