By Kampala Post Reporter
The Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs has designed a policy framework to address veterans’ issues, dating as far back as the 1960s to date.
This was announced on Wednesday during the sensitization exercise at Ntungamo District local Government Headquarters, by the Minister of State for Defence and Veteran Affairs in charge of Veterans Hon Lt Col (rtd) Dr Bright Rwamirama.
Rwamirama further pointed out four main issues for veterans to note which included: The state of veterans in the Ministry of Defence and veteran Affairs, explanation on modalities on conduct of veterans, pension status and memorandums of veterans as well as development projects for the veterans.
The minister noted that the government has included the resettlement to pay veterans in the policy especially those who previously retired without pay, recruitment of the veteran’s children and how to further their education. "The UPDF Act has been revised and irregularities addressed and revised. The Act is currently awaiting approval by the cabinet," Dr Rwamirama announced.
He also highlighted a number of challenges which the ministry has been facing in trying to process payments for the veterans all over the country. He said these include arrangement and transfer of files from public service to Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs, of which some of these files sometimes miss proper documentation like; letters of administration, proper bank accounts among others.
The Ntungamo District Veterans coordinator, Abel Tumwebaze thanked the Minister for the just concluded Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs Task Force exercise for verifying the backlog of pension cases across the country. He pointed out several challenges faced by the veterans such as processing of files, re-verification of letters of administration, continuous verification exercise without yielding much since 2013, 2015, and 2019 and the high levels of unemployment of the children of the veterans.
Mr Tumwebaze further said that operation wealth creation needs to engage veterans from sub-county level in order for them to benefit from the government programs for continuity. The Coordinator suggested to the minister that the district veteran pension officer should be a veteran with an established office at district headquarters to disseminate information to veterans in a timely manner.