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Ex-NRA Fighters Cry Foul Over Pension

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pharmacy geneva;”>Ex NRA fighter Kabondo Ahamada, a resident of Busembatia, Iganga district, complains of how government has deliberately neglected fighters who sacrificed their lives during the NRA struggle that ushered NRM into power in 1986.

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In March 2010, the government of Uganda ran adverts in newspapers, radios and television stations where it called upon all former service men and the families of the fallen soldiers since independence to register for a reward for the great service that they had provided to the nation.

“On getting information on radio that all former army servants since independence should register for their pension, I sold the only two goats that I had for fare and accommodation in Kampala,” recounts Ahamada.

He says government had promised to deposit the funds on his bank accounts in June 2010. Up to now, the bank account is still empty.

“I was patient until late October 2011. Each time I check my bank account, the story is not any different. I now think this was a campaign trick that President Yoweri Museveni used to canvass for votes from army veterans and their families,” says Ahamada.

“If I had remained with my goats, by now they would be six or even more but now here I am with only this hut that I stay in yet I have a family of seven including two sets of twins to take care of. I have no job,” weeps Ahamada.

The aggrieved man served in the 1985 military Junta before switching to NRA.

He left the army at the rank of Private before taking over an ‘Askari’ job at a primary school in Iganga.

A few weeks ago, he was replaced with a more energetic security guard, leaving Ahamada jobless.

Similar to Ahamada’s plight is the family of the late Lt Edward Kalinaki.

Mwandah Kalinaki, the eldest son to the fallen NRA combatant Kalinaki, also participated in the registration exercise with hopes his family would receive their dad’s pension.

“I got all the necessary signatures for registration. Up to now I am yet to receive a penny. It’s very frustrating,” says Kalinaki.

Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Felix Kulayigye was not readily available for comment.

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