On Monday 13th March 2017, the Ministry of Public Service launched the Pension Census in Kampala after it had been rolled out in many parts of the country. By the time of the launch in Kampala, over 21,000 pensioners out of over 73,000 had been validated in an exercise that is meant to eliminate nonexistent pensioners.
A big number of pensioners turned up for the exercise and 514 pensioners were validated on day one. At the end of the week, 2,769 pensioners had been validated at the Kampala Centre. In totality for all the validation centres, 32,401 pensioners have been validated so far. The exercise is meant to run until the 5th April 2017 at the Kampala Centre and all pensioners resident in Kampala as well as those that were not able to turn up at the other centres are encouraged to report for validation at the National archives and records Centre in Kampala.
Members of the public whose relatives are pensioners but are either unwell due to sickness, old age or in prison, should contact the Ministry to ensure that they get verified. Pensioners can be verified from anywhere as the only requirement is the national Identity card and one’s finger prints.
At the end of the exercise, it is hoped that ghost pensioners will be no more. Foreigners Pensioners from the United Kingdom, Kenya and India will also be verified, while Ugandans abroad who are pensioners are requested to visit the embassies and present copies of their National Identity cards and passports. They are encouraged to present themselves to the Ministry authorities for the capturing of their biometrics at the earliest opportune time upon return home.
We continue to reiterate that Pensioners can be verified at the nearest District Headquarters were the exercise is being carried out rather than having to travel to Kampala. The major challenge being experienced currently is Pensioners without National Identity Cards who need to register for one before they can be verified. After the exercise, those that will not have been validated will be struck off the pension payroll on the assumption that they are non-existent. The collected data will be interfaced and linked to the National Identification and Registration Authority database for further analysis.
During the exercise, complaints such as non-payment of gratuity, under payments and intermittent payments of pension are being taken note of for purposes of following up with the respective votes. The Ministry of Public Service is committed to work with the various votes to offer any technical support to ensure that pension and gratuity is paid accurately and timely. This exercise is still ongoing even upcountry as per the planned schedule.