Ministry of Finance bosses have been summoned for a grilling session over missing gratuity funds of former employees of the defunct East African Airways Corporation.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga today revealed that she will on Thursday meet minister of Finance Matia Kasaija, Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi and Attorney General William Byaruhanga to answer why these elder former employees have not been paid 40years after the corporation was dissolved.
This was after taskforce coordination committee of East African Airlines ex-employees this morning presented a petition to the Speaker demanding for their gratuity that has accumulated to about Shs39bn since 1977.
“In or about 2006, government paid to us 60% of our entitlements and then refused to pay the balance, which we successfully challenged in the courts of law and Orders were made to pay to us all our money,” the petition reads in part.
“We subsequently followed up the same with an Order of Mandamus and in August last year, a small tranche was released by the Ministry of Finance, through the Ministry of East African Community Affairs, to about 15% of our total number. 85% of our members totaling to about 530 people have not been paid at all.”
The petition adds,” Even worse, madam speaker, the ministry of Finance in a most ridiculous and insensitive manner has insisted that before any other former employee of the East African Airways can be paid, those who have already received their payments should return in person to the Ministry of EAC Affairs with their bank statements to confirm that they were paid.”
East African Airways was an airline jointly run by Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda which started operations in 1946, but was dissolved in 1977 after relations among the three countries deteriorated. The corporation employed about 620 people according to Sozi.