The Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs requires about Ugx 535 billion shillings to clear arrears of 83, 183 retired military veterans.
According to State Minister for Veteran Affairs, Bright Rwamirama, the funds are needed to clear outstanding claims of unpaid benefits to military veterans or their beneficiaries.
While giving a statement on the status of the payment of gratuity during plenary sitting on February 22, 2017, Rwamirama noted that out of the 83, 183 veterans, ex gratia cases of Uganda National Liberation Army (UNLA) totaling 24, 469 are part of the backlog of terminal benefits that will be paid.
The minister stated that for these cases, they will be paid in March 2017.
Rwamirama said the total number of veterans and eligible beneficiaries so far documented since a countrywide documentation exercise was undertaken in May 2010 is 168,645, with at least 57,026 so far paid. He said the arrears will be cleared in three years.
The minister was responding to queries raised by MPs recently, on the delay of payment of gratuity to ex-soldiers.
However, Kalungu West MP, Joseph Ssewungu wondered why government continually delays to clear the gratuity arrears.
He noted that during elections, different aspirants for political positions use the veterans’ woes by making empty promises.
“This has been used as a campaign tool by leaders and after they have won, they forget about the payments,” Ssewungu stated.
Apac Woman MP, Santa Alum asked the minister to provide a list of claimants, years of service and names in order to inform their constituents on when they will be paid.
Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah directed the minister to sit down and discuss the modalities of payment with the Defence and Internal Affairs committee.