Parliament has questioned the selective enhancement of salaries for officers and men serving in the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).
The query is based on reports that salaries for UPDF top officers were to be doubled effective this financial year 2022/2023. The new salary structure puts the salary of a General at 15 million Shillings, a Lieutenant General at 13 million Shillings, Major General at 12 million Shillings, a Brigadier at 10 million Shillings, a Colonel at eight million, Lieutenant Colonel at five million and Major at 2.5 million.
Army spokesperson Brig. Gen Felix Kulayigye acknowledged that the salary enhancement options were proposed to the Ministry of Finance during a High Command meeting held on July 6, 2022. The meeting agreed on a hybrid option of enhancing General Officers’ salaries by 100 per cent, Senior officers by 50 per cent and Captain to Private by 33 per cent.
Kassanda North MP Patrick Nsamba Oshabe expressed concern that the low-ranked officers and men of the army have not been considered for the enhancement, adding that the selective increment puts the country in a very difficult situation.
Busia Municipality MP Geoffrey Macho wondered why other security forces like the Uganda Police Force and the Uganda Prisons Services were not also considered for the salary raise. In view of the questions, the Speaker of Parliament Anita Among observed a need for a salary review commission to look at the salaries of all public servants and ensure that all Ugandans are treated equally.
In response, State Minister for Defence Jacob Oboth said that the junior officers from the rank of Captain and below got a pay rise in 2018, and at the time, the upper ranks were not considered for the same. He added that the intention of his Ministry would be to make the pay increase available for everyone.