Minister of state for Defence and Veterans Affairs, Bright Rwamirama. Photo/File
All outstanding cases of unpaid benefits to military veterans will be cleared in less than three financial years, effective this year, according to Bright Rwamirama, the Minister of state for Defence and Veterans Affairs.
While addressing parliament this week, Rwamirama said that the outstanding claims of unpaid benefits to military veterans and/or their eligible beneficiaries currently stand at a total of 83,183 cases, which requires a budget of sh536,461,633,580.
He further noted that the ministry of defence has come up with a work plan to clear the backlog and will initially focus on clearing cases of UNLA and Uganda Army totaling 24, 469 and residual cases of the second world war.
“These cases will be paid in March 2017,” he confirmed.
The rest of the veterans will be paid as well, following a plan and budget for the clearance of the backlog in three financial years which has been developed, starting from financial year 2016/17 to 2018/19.
“The ministry is preparing a project proposal to have the money sourced outside our current budget and have all veterans paid once and for all,” he said.
He also told parliament that Uganda’s turbulent history is to blame for the ministry’s build up in the backlog of non-payment to veterans.
Rwamirama explained that as a result of the turbulence between 1962 and 1985, many combatants left the military service without formal discharge and hence could not be paid their retirement benefits.
Currently, all soldiers who are released from military service receive their terminal benefits on principle of ‘pay as you go.’