UPDF in massive debts, Amisom troops not paid since August

Smart guard of honor presented by UPDF serving under AMISOM

State Minister Hon Bright Rwamirama has denied reports of an impasse between the UPDF and other security agencies calling it a concoction of some elements in the media.

The minister was Wednesday briefing plenary chaired by deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah.

He said the national army [UPDF] deployed in Somalia in March 2007. Since then, 22 battle groups have served in the mission area.

He said government of Uganda has a memorandum of understanding with African Union that clearly spells out the troop allowance rates for soldiers deployed under AMISOM.

Of the net pay to a soldier, $100 is paid cash to the soldier in Somalia to enable them cater for their basic needs in the mission area while the balance is paid into their individual accounts in banks of their preference back in Uganda.

Victoria University

Troop allowances have been paid to August 2017, allowances for the rest of the months have not been released.

During the FY 2016/7, the ministry was allowed Shs 1.564 trillion against a requirement of Shs2.45 trillion.

The approved budget for FY3017/18 is Shs 1.398 trillion against a requirement of Shs 1.843 trillion hence a shortfall of Shs 445 Billion.

“The ministry continues to face budgetary challenges such as; under funding of key spending items like food, fuel, clothing and medical which are a pre-requisite since these requirements correspond with the number of troops,” Rwamirama said.

The minister confessed UPDF is indebted to the tune of Shs214bn.

MPs react

Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikubo asked: ”Where did the UPDF get the authority to arrest the alleged civilians in Uganda?”

Minister Rwamirama briefing parliament

Rwamirama said each agency has a clear mandate stipulated by the constitution. “In this regard, therefore, the UPDF executes its functions as provided for under article 209 of the constitution.”

Rwamirama said the UPDF coordinates well with sister agencies including police, prison services, ISO and ESO. Through established structures like the NSC and JIC.

Hon Gilbert Olanya said on the 27th UPDF soldiers come into parliament and arrested MPs, wondering if that is among the constitutional duties of the UPDF.

Ruhinda county MP Donozio Kahonda said they went to see UPDF soldiers in Somalia and they have a serious issue of water.

“They share water with the civilians, how is the security of our soldiers in Somalia?  Our female soldiers in Somalia have a challenge of body armours that affect their breasts. How can the government of Uganda help these female soldiers?” he wondered.