UPDF Decentralises Pensions Processing

Forum for Democratic Change have penned a petition to the DRC embassy in Kampala seeking the release of information about their detained Member Sam Mugumya.

They party youth wing had planned a march from their headquarters in Najjanankumbi to the embassy, nurse which was resisted by police.

Several armed policemen camped outside the party offices and vowed to foil the demo since it was not planned in consideration of the rightful procedures.

“We are here to keep law and order. We have intelligence that these people are planning to cause chaos on Entebbe road, which we cannot permit,” Kampala South RPC James Ruhweza told Chimpreports.

FDC spokesperson John Kikonyogo described this as “bogus intelligence” by police, noting that there were no planned riots by the youths.

Addressing a press conference ahead of the march, FDC president Gen Mugisha Muntu said they were seeking consulate services from the Congolese officials.

Police surrounding FDC headquarters in Kampala

Police surrounding FDC headquarters in Kampala

“We have written a letter which is being forwarded by the Secretary General to the Embassy, and copied to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and our Embassy in Kishansa,” he noted.

“We want to know the whereabouts of Sam Mugumya. We need first of all to have him accessible, by lawyers, the Red Cross, and ourselves. At this point we can’t tell whether he is in Beni, or Kinshasa or Kampala.”

According to UPDF officials, Mugumya is being held in Congo, for reportedly participating in rebel mobilization activities.

Army spokesperson Col Paddy Ankunda was quoted in the media as assuring that Mugumya would be extradited in the course of last week.

The FDC youths also expressed concern that their colleague could be undergoing inhumane treatment flowing pictures of him held half naked, which were released last week by government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo.

We are peacefully taking this document to the Congo embassy. All we want is information about Mugumya,” stressed FDC mobiliser Francis Mwijukye.

The youths are also planning a prayer meeting to be held at St Luke’s Church in Ntinda tomorrow Tuesday, “to pray for God’s protection of Sam Mugumya.”
The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Defence has decentralized the processing of military pensions, side effects gratuity and survivors’ benefits to the district local Governments.

Army spokesperson, and Lt Col Paddy Ankunda said the overall objective of decentralization is to ease “coordination and access, and streamline processing of Military pensions and gratuities by providing a mechanism within the existing District Local Government structures.”

He said this will also help in “clearing the outstanding backlog which, among other factors, has been attributed to the centralized system.”

Decentralization of Military pension processes follows the current Local Government system in Uganda coordinated at the district level.

Ankunda said the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is the principal Focal Point officer for processing of military pensions at the District Local Government level and that there are UPDF zonal pension officers who act as liaison persons between District authorities, claimants and Ministry of Defence/UPDF Headquarter.

The move follows complaints by army veterans that they were incurring huge costs in chasing their gratuity payments.

Ankunda pointed out that UPDF has already opened 22 Zonal offices countrywide to work with the District Local Governments to expedite the pension process.

“The Local Governments, in liaison with the UPDF Zonal Pensions Officers, will play a pivotal role in receiving the requisite information from claimants; process and forward it to the Ministry of Defence/UPDF headquarters,” he noted.

With the system working in this manner, said Ankunda, services will be closer to beneficiaries.

He cited other benefits such as minimized fraudulent claims; easier access to Pension information for follow-up of submissions at districts; providing avenue for customized approaches to take into account peculiar conditions that pertain in a given district; easier coordination by the zonal pensions officers; strengthened linkage with other government administrative systems on matters of military pension’s payment and quick processing of clearance and payment of the military pensions

Ankunda said the decentralized pension processing is in line with Article 254 (3) of the Constitution of Uganda (1995) that requires that “payment of pensions shall be prompt and regular and easily accessible to pensioners”.

“Similarly Clause 24 (2) of the UPDF Act requires the Ministry responsible for defence to facilitate the assessment, grant and payment of UPDF pensions and gratuities by the Pensions Authority domiciled in the Ministry of Public service,” he added.

“The Ministry of Defence is committed in ensuring quick processing of pensions, gratuities and survivors benefit as required by the Law. The Ministry however appeals to the claimants to appropriately utilize the new arrangement of decentralized pension management so that they are appropriately served.”


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