By Gladys Nanyombi
Government has approved that pension for former employees of the now defunct Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (UPTC) to be paid their pension earlier.
According to 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.
Former employees of the now-defunct Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (UPTC) are finally set to get their pension following cabinet approval.
However, the minister said, the employees never got their pension “due to cash flow constraints”.
The Corporation was divested in 1997/98 and in the process some employees transferred services to the successor companies.
During the transfer, they were given Pension Certificates to claim their pensions from the staff Pension Scheme, called Uganda Communications Employees Contributory Pension Scheme (UCECPS).
The successor companies that were formed, include Uganda Post Limited (UPL, also called Posta Uganda), Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL), Uganda Post Bank Limited and Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
The minister says those that transferred to UCC and Post Bank received their pension and the rest hadn’t because the funds needed to pay them “were not affordable”.
“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 judgment was made in June 2018, instructing the successor companies to pay the staff pensions, costs, and interest,” Nabakooba said.
“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 Shs77 billion.”
To be able to compensate employees transferred to it, Posta Uganda brought the matter to the attention of the National Guidance 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 minister said.
Nabakooba says the Auditor General has issued notices inviting all former employees of UPTC to come to the nearest Post Office for verification. “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,” reads her Wednesday statement.
“I also urge the public to inform any known former staff of UPTC about the verification exercise. Once the verification exercise is completed, I will be informing the Country on the next course of action.”