By Beatrice Leni
A group of 600 former employees of the East African Airways Corporation have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, seeking her intervention in pushing for payment of their terminal benefits.
The group totaling 624 petitioned Kadaga today, bringing to her attention of failure by government to clear their benefits, after they lost their jobs with the corporation in 1977, following the collapse of the East African Community (EAC).
“We were all entitled to terminal benefits for loss of office…the sister governments took over the obligation to pay compensation for loss of office. Our government however did not pay,” the petition read out by the group’s lawyer, Roscoe Sozi stated.
Sozi said the group sued government in 1993 over the payments and the High Court gave orders for the payment however this was not made.
He narrated that in 2006, the group returned to court and more orders issued to no avail.
The petitioners said in August 2016, the Ministry of Finance released money to only 90 employees, leaving 534 not paid.
Sozi revealed that the Ministry of Finance issued conditions for the rest of the ex-workers to be paid.
“The ministry insisted that before any former employee can be paid, those who have already received their payments should return in person to the Ministry of East African Community Affairs to confirm that they were paid. This is an injustice yet they verified all of us,” he said.
Kadaga expressed disappointment with the Ministry over the delays, wondering how it could take the government 40 years to clear these arrears.
She promised to summon the Ministry of Finance, Attorney General and Secretary to treasury, Keith Muhakanizi to clear the air on delayed payments.