Former employees of the defunct Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (UPTC) will receive their pension following approval by cabinet.
The development was Wednesday revealed by the Minister of ICT and National Guidance, Judith Nabakooba.
Prior to its divestiture in 1997, UPTC employees served under permanent and pensionable terms of employment and were entitled to pension.
However, during its divestiture in 1997/98 the employees who transferred services to the successor companies which include
Uganda Post Limited (UPL, also called Posta Uganda), Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), Uganda Post Bank Limited, Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), were given Pension Certificates to claim their pensions from the staff Pension Scheme, called Uganda Communications Employees Contributory Pension Scheme (UCECPS).
Unfortunately, due to cash flow constraints, the money to pay such pensions was not available, according to minister Nabakooba.
In 2003, the employees were dissatisfied with the process of paying their pensioners and sued the successor companies in the High Court (Civil Suit No. 135 of 2003), seeking various remedies. The matter went on from High Court to the Court of Appeal, until final judgement was made in June 2018, instructing the successor companies to pay the staff pensions, costs and interest.
It is important to state it here that the UPTC employees who transferred services to UCC and Post Bank were paid their pensions after the first judgement in the High Court, sometime around 2013.
The amounts payable to the pensioners were in billions of shillings. The majority of UPTC employees had joined Posta and UTL, and the pensions payable were not affordable. For example, 337 employees were in Posta Uganda, and the amount payable is around Ugx77 billion.
“It is for the above reasons, that Posta Uganda brought this matter to the attention of my Ministry, seeking a solution to the problem. The Ministry presented the matter to Cabinet, and this morning I am glad to inform Ugandans that this has been approved for payment,” revealed Nabakooba.
“This is good news because hundreds of Ugandans now in old age shall get their pension money and continue to live a dignified life even in retirement,” she added.
The Minister says that the Auditor General has already issued notices inviting all former employees of UPTC to come to the nearest Post Office for verification.
“I urge all pensioners to respond to this invitation, and to bring along all documentation to prove their former employment with UPTC. Some of the pensioners are deceased, while others may be incapacitated and can’t travel. I urge the next of kin or other surviving (but eligible) members of the family to help get the verification done,” she explained.
She also asked members of the public to inform any known former employees of UPTC about the verification exercise noting that once the verification exercise is completed, she will inform the country on the next course of action.