KAMPALA – Kampala High Court has instructed bailiffs to attach vehicles belonging to Masindi district if they fail to pay 200 million shillings as pension for some of its retired workers.
The money in question was remitted to the district account in 2016 to pay off the pension for Mr Blasto Byabakama, the former district production officer, Mr Milton Mugungu, the former District community development officer, and late Irene Tusiime, the former Community development officer in charge of Kimengo Sub County who died in April 2015.
However, the district diverted the money to other activities, forcing the beneficiaries to sue the local government.
And on 23rd October 2018, the High Court directed bailiffs from M/s BICOM Company to attach vehicles belonging to Masindi District Education Officer and the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) if the money is not paid within a week. The deadline has since expired.
When contacted, the Masindi district chairman, Mr Cosmas Byaruhanga, acknowledged the debt and the court order but said whereas the district is in plans to pay the gratuity money, they are currently constrained.
He also blamed the former district leadership for mismanaging the pension arrears of the three retired employees.
“I was not in the council by then and all who messed the money left office that’s why when I came, I reshuffled the Finance department,” Mr Byaruhanga said.
Ms Salama Kugonza, the Masindi Secretary for Finance, said the irregularities were made by the past regime and expressed a fear of their accounts being frozen.
“We fear our accounts may be frozen since the centre does not check for the discipline of the accounting officers,” Ms Kugonza said.
She said that the district is indebted to Baikare Gapco Company in fuel expenses, Shs55.2 million by Sekago construction and Shs 77.8 million by Uganda commercial lenders association
Ms Julian Sarah Ayesiga, the councillor for Miray sub-county, said the pensioners are suffering in villages and have resorted to selling some of their property.