Babiiha Family Struggling to Survive, Await Benefits

10960 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
According to the Emoluments and Benefits of the President, Vice President and Prime Minister act 2010, specified benefits shall be enjoyed by the surviving spouse or spouses and dependent children of a Vice President who dies in retirement until the death of the spouse or spouses or in the case of the dependent children until they attain the age of eighteen years.

Thirty two years after the demise of John Babiiha, the former Vice President of Uganda, his family is struggling to get out a desperate lifestyle it’s accustomed to and awaiting benefits from Government.

Babiiha was Vice President and Minister of Animal Resources from 1967-1971 under the Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) government led by Apollo Milton Obote. He however died in March 1982 and was buried at his home in Kibimba village, Fort Portal municipality.

Today, his family has come out to demand for benefits in line with the provisions of the Emoluments and Benefits of the President, Vice President and Prime Minister Act 2010.
 
According to the act, specified benefits shall be enjoyed by the surviving spouse or spouses and dependent children of a Vice President who dies in retirement until the death of the spouse or spouses or in the case of the dependent children until they attain the age of eighteen years.
 
It stipulates that a monthly survivors’ pension equivalent to the deceased Vice President’s monthly pension would be extended to his spouse or spouses until their death. They would also be entitled to a chauffeur- driven car, two government paid security guards, two domestic servants and a health insurance policy for the spouse equivalent to Ugx 300,000 per month.
 
However, Franklin Kunihira Babiiha, the eldest son of Babiiha says that for the past three years, they have been seeking for the benefits from the government in vain. Kunihira says that the family was only awarded a medal during 50 years of Uganda's independence.

//Cue in: “we haven’t received anything…
Cue out: “…the medal.”//

The house where Babiiha was living remains in a poor state since his death. The paint has peeled off, the roof leaks; overgrown grass fills the compound and his grave. Kunihira says that the family members had no option, but abandon the house two years ago because electricity and water were disconnected due to outstanding bills.
 
Kunihira adds that the family has since become a laughing stock in the neighborhood where residents expect them to live in a dignified life holding onto their father’s legacy.
 
//Cue in: “the house…
Cue out: “…they looted everything.”//

Joseph Ruhweza, brother to Babiiha says that once the family receives the benefits, it will enable them educate some of the children in the family who have dropped out of school due to lack of school fees and renovate the family house.

In a telephone interview, the Government Spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo said that the government is still processing the documents and the relatives will receive the benefits as soon as its available.

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.