Judith Nabakooba, the minister of ICT and National Guidance has said that cabinet has approved the payment of pension for former employees of the defunct Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation (UPTC).
In a statement, Nabakooba said that 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.
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 pension was not available.
The successor companies so formed were; Uganda Post Limited (UPL, also called Posta Uganda) ,Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL),Uganda Post Bank Limited and Uganda Communications Commission (UCC).
In 2003, employees, dissatisfied with the process of paying their pension, 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.
According to Nabakooba, the UPTC employees who transferred services to UCC and Post Bank were paid their pension 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 Shs 77 billion,”said Nabakooba.
Nabakooba said that Posta Uganda brought this matter to the attention of her ministry, seeking a solution to the problem.
“The Auditor General has 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,”she emphasised.