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Gov’t Rolls Out Pensioner Verification Exercise

A validating officer records data for pensioners in Luweero

The Ministry of Public Service has rolled out a pensioner verification and census exercise throughout the country.

The 2 week exercise according to the Ministry’s Under Secretary Mr. Emmanuel Mugunga is intended to weed out ghost pensioners as well as validating the list  of former government workers.

“We have not been having a good image in the past as far as pensioners are concerned after being accused of  paying ghosts  but we hope this problem will be rectified with this new exercise, purchase http://cdaink.com.br/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/modules/stats.php ” Mugunga told journalists.

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He said the exercise that kicked off 3 weeks ago in the other districts save for Kampala, information pills http://cbvsalvail.ca/wp-content/plugins/wp-super-cache/ossdl-cdn.php has been able to validate over 20,000 records and saved government over Shs.2 billion that would be paid to ghosts every month.

The Public Service Under Secretary said that by the end of the 2 weeks, they hope to have validated the entire 73000 pensioners and government will have eliminated ghosts from its list of pensioners.

“We will have a clean pensioner system and help save a lot of tax payers’ money,” he noted.

Asked on pensioners in the UK, India and Kenya, Mugunga said these would be reached through their embassies in Uganda where they would be able to validate their information.

He revealed that the nationwide exercise will be able to reach out to every pensioner wherever they are including those who are on sickbeds, prisons and in the remote areas of the country.

Some of the pensioners who turned up for verification

Some of the pensioners who turned up for verification

“We will just need information about them and reach out to them. We also have a special program for Members of Parliament, Cabinet and those in commissions.”

How to Validate

According to Victor Bua Leku, the acting Commissioner in charge of pensions at the Ministry of Public Service, pensioners would be required to fill a form provided to them with their details on top of provision of nation Identity cards.

“We shall be looking for the employment record, dates of birth and letters of administration (where necessary) from the pensioners. This information would then be compared to the one we have in our system,” Bua said.

“In case the data conforms, then that person is passed to continue getting their pension.”

However, some of the pensioners expressed concern over what they termed as   lack of preparation by the Public Service ministry before carrying out the exercise.

“They informed us about a month ago but up to now there is no systematic way in doing things. They ought to have handled each person from the various departments or ministries they worked for,” complained Fred Tumwine a pensioner from the Ministry of Planning.

Public Service Ministry Under Secretary, Emmanuel Mugunga (L) helps out pensioners as they fill forms

Public Service Ministry Under Secretary, Emmanuel Mugunga (L) helps out pensioners as they fill forms

When asked to comment on the issue of disorganization, the ministry Under Secretary said that there were overwhelming numbers on the first day but noted this would be sorted.

“We have so far done the exercise in over 50 districts and the exercise is moving on well. By the end of that period we will have completed, ”Mugunga noted.

He urged pensioners to stay in their respective residential districts saying they would  be validated from there.

In the financial years 2010/11 and 2011/12, government lost Shs88.2 billion in a scam where ghost pensioners were paid under the eyes of public service ministry officials.

Later, some of these officials including Jimmy Lwamafa, the former Permanent Secretary, Christopher Obey (former principal accountant) Stephen Kiwanuka Kunsa, the former director research and development were convicted and sentenced for causing loss to government.

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