KAMPALA – Deputy Attorney General, Mwesigwa Rukutana has on August 22, asked the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga to block Parliament’s Committee from hearing a petition by former workers of defunct Uganda Post and Telecommunications Corporation (UPTC) who are seeking for payment of their pension, court awards among other arrears from Government.
“That issue is being investigated by court there is no dispute on the entitlement of the employees but what is in court is who should bear the responsibility and court is soon coming up with the verdict,” said Hon Rukutana.
Hon Rukutana’s request was in response to a petition that was tabled by the Mukono Municipality MP, Betty Nambooze who petitioned on behalf of over 800 former employees of UPTC, demanding Parliament to scrutinise the matter after pleas to have the money paid were ignored by Government despite court ruling in the employees’ favour.
In her petition, Hon Nambooze asked Parliament to institute a select committee of parliament to investigate the conduct of Government and find out why the former workers were left languishing in poverty with their pension not paid to date.
“The petitioners pray that Parliament investigates the conduct of Uganda Telecommunication Limited, Uganda Posta Limited and Uganda Communications Commission to establish why the petitioners totaling to 823 haven’t been paid to date,” said Hon Nambooze.
However, Hon Rukutana moved swiftly to have the probe blocked; informing the Speaker that the matter is still in courts of Law but his argument was quashed by Budadiri West MP, Nandala Mafabi who reminded the Deputy Attorney General that the pension the workers are demanding for was as a result of the savings they remitted to NSSF terminal benefits and internal scheme hence they deserve to paid by government.
“It was one of the companies that was privatised, it means that the privatisation unit was the one responsible to pay for the costs related to the cost of privatisation which involves terminal benefits. At the same time, UPTC had NSSF contributions and they also had their internal pension scheme. The first person to pay the money is NSSF, the money they contributed and the second one is the scheme they contributed to,” said Hon Mafabi.
Speaker Kadaga who had earlier on referred the petition to Parliaments’ committee on ICT for scrutiny, to report to Parliament asked for more time to scrutinise the information about the ongoing court case before she rules on the matter.