Cabinet has approved that pension for hundreds of former employees of the now defunct Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (UPTC) estimated in billions to be paid. The Money will be processed by the Ministry of ICT and National Guidance and close the matter which has dragged on for close to 20 years.
Announcing the cabinet decision in Kampala , Minister of ICT and NG, Ms. Judith Nabakooba said it was good news for hundreds of Ugandans now in old age who shall get their pension money and continue to live a dignified life even in retirement.
Nabakooba explained that 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 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, “ she said.
The successor companies so formed were; Uganda Post Limited (UPL, also called Posta Uganda),Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL),Uganda Post Bank Limited andUganda Communications Commission (UCC).
The cabinet move comes after a suit which was filed in court in 2003 by employees who were dissatisfied with the process of paying their pensioners in 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.
Nabakooba clarified that that the UPTC employees who transferred services to UCC and Post Bank were paid their pensions after the first judgement in the High Court in 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,” the Minister said.
She added. “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.”
The Auditor General has now issued notices inviting all former employees of UPTC to go to the nearest Post Office for verification and Nabakooba urged all pensioners to respond to the invitation and bring documentation proving their former employment with UPTC.