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June 16, 2024
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Parliament Approves Salary Enhancement For UPDF Officers

 In a significant move aimed at boosting the welfare of Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) officers, Parliament has approved a Shs962.23 billion for the enhancement of their salaries.

This decision was presented by Wilson Kajwengye, the Chairperson of the Defence Committee of Parliament as the House considered the defence ministerial policy statement presented on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

Under the new salary structure, private officers will see their monthly pay rise from the current Shs485,279 to Shs828,426. Similarly, sergeants will receive an increase from Shs514,175 to Shs1,387,992, while warrant officers class 1 will enjoy a rise from Shs591,715 to Shs2,096,800. Captains will see their salaries increased from Shs845,638 to Shs2,736,333.

“The Committee, therefore, recommends that salary enhancement for the lower cadre staff of the UPDF and recruitment be prioritised and that the Ministry of Finance provide an additional allocation to the wage bill of Shs962.23 billion in the financial year 2024/2025,” Kajwengye said.

The proposal garnered widespread support from Members, who hailed it as a long-overdue recognition of the sacrifices and dedication of UPDF officers in safeguarding national security.

However, Hon. Rose Obigah (NRM, Terego District) raised concerns, advocating for similar enhancements for police and prison officers.

She stressed that security personnel across the board should be adequately compensated to effectively carry out their duties.

“The phased salary enhancement, do not forget the police and prisons, if you see what these people are paid you will cry and yet they are to provide for us security. What kind of security is being provided for you by a person earning peanuts?” Obigah asked.

Amidst the discussions, MPs also voiced apprehensions regarding the deployment of policemen and security nationwide.

Eddie Kwizera (NRM, Bukimbiri County) highlighted instances where the lack of sufficient manpower hindered the resolution of criminal issues, emphasising the urgent need for increased personnel in law enforcement agencies.

Presiding over the session, the Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa acknowledged the importance of bolstering Parliament’s manpower, citing examples from other countries where all MPs are provided with government-funded security. He underscored the need for adequate resources to ensure the effective functioning of the legislative body.

“Our MPs are at risk when serving the nation in their official capacity. In other nations every member has security, they have a Parliament Service Police. We have under deployed and we would want to deploy for your own security,” Tayebwa said.

Tayebwa’s comment followed Kwizera’s proposal that some institutions like Parliament were overdeployed.

According to the report, the Ministry of Defence will also continue with the phased implementation of the development of UPDF barracks which will include 1,400 houses at Shs100 billion.

The committee has also recommended Shs27.5 billion for combating insecurity in Karamoja, Shs56 billion towards the recruitment of 9000 personnel and retraining of up to 40,000 personnel, and Shs6.9 billion for the National Enterprise Cooperation (NEC) for research and development for Luwero industries. The committee also recommended Shs190.6 billion for land compensation under the Ministry of Defence among others.

According to budget estimates, the Ministry of Defence has been allocated Shs3.856 trillion, Ministry of Internal Affairs Shs74 Billion, National Citizenship and Immigration control Shs158 billion, Uganda Police Force Shs835 billion, and Uganda Prisons Shs329 billion.

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