UPDF wants over UGX16b for election security

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KAMPALA – The Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs, to which the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) falls is seeking Shs16.2b to cater for 2021 general election security activities.

The revelation was made by Undersecretary, Ministry of Defence Edith Buturo while appearing before Parliament’s Defence and Internal Affairs Committee to present the 2020/2021 national budget framework paper.

During the interface, Buturo said that if the current budget allocations are approved by Parliament in the current form, the Ministry of Defence will be left grappling with a budget shortfall of up to Shs1.9T.

Butuuro also revealed that apart from the electoral activities, there are a number of items that are unfunded including salaries of new soldiers and LDUs to a tune of Shs61.5b, clear backlog for pension and gratuity of to a tune of Shs1.884T, salary enhancement for all UPDF officers and militants Shs196b among others.

According to documents presented to Parliament, the Ministry’s budget is worth Shs2.8T of which Shs608.9Bn would go towards payment of wages while the Shs692.6b will cover the non-wage whereas and the Shs1.5T is to cater for development.

Further analysis of the documents also revealed that no single penny has been put aside for the Amisom trouped holed up in Somalia.

Some lawmakers including Muwanga Kivumbi (Butambala County) and Gilbert Oulanya wondered how elections will be conducted if the fundamental issues like security can be under looked.

Kivumbi said, “These are LDUs you don’t pay, they are paid Shs200,000 they are in peril urban Kampala they have families, but to make matters worse, we have recruited them, they don’t have a funding and these are the same people to turn into criminality, to do worse than what we think.”

There were also calls by the Committee for the UPDF to justify the amount quoted with detailed analysis on the breakdown and how the money will be spent, “The other issue is the electricity security, we are going for the next elections and I see you want Shs16Bn, an election next year is a given, unless otherwise so how are you going to do with this money that you don’t have?,” said Kivumbi.

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