How Uganda’s Defence Will Spend Shs 1.4 Trillion On Soldiers Welfare

The Defence ministry intends to spend more than half of its Shs 1.4 trillion budget for the 2017/18 financial year on the welfare of soldiers belonging to the UPDF land forces and air force.

Estimates contained in the ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs sector ministerial policy statement, show that the two units of the army will consume Shs 758 billion.

Wages and salaries will take up Shs 641 billion, compared to Shs 647 billion in 2016/2017 financial year. Another Shs 454bn will go to the force’s welfare, which includes pension and gratuity, food, allowances, medical care for the troops and their families, education and sports and culture promotion.

The ministry has also allocated Shs 223bn to its classified expenditure account. The funds will be used to strengthen the institution’s capabilities, as well as consolidate information gathering. About half of the funds will go towards procurement of classified equipment.

Under training for combat force readiness, the UPDF land forces will spend Shs 7.4bn on local and international training, whereas the air force personnel will utilize Shs 1.2bn to train its pilots, technicians and staff.

“The acquired capability will cater for changes in the dynamic security environment particularly in the strategic areas of border security, internal security and civil emergency response, in order to respond to emerging threats in all their complexity,” noted Defence minister Adolf Mwesige.

The statement says Shs 52.7bn will be used to procure textiles and clothing items, petroleum, oils and lubricants, utility bills and vehicle maintenance. The air force will spend Shs 15.1bn on refurbishing, overhauling and maintaining aircraft, and purchase of fuel, as well as inland and foreign travels.

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Source: The Observer

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