Top officers of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), the country’s national army, might soon pocket huge salaries every month starting at the end of July 2022 if the recent reports of pay enhancement are anything to go by.
The High Command and Army Council, the top decision-making organs of the UPDF, are said to have resolved to raise salaries of officers in at least seven ranks of the UPDF: General (Gen) Lieutenant General (Lt Gen), Maj General (Maj Gen), Brigadier (Brig), Colonel (Col), Lieutenant Colonel (Lt Col) and Major (Maj).
Under the new salary structure that the Army Council and High Command recently sitting at State House Entebbe reportedly approved, soldiers at the top ranks of the military will have their salaries enhanced by huge margins.
The salary of a general will grow a little over nine times what he or she earns every month from the current Shs 1.6m to Shs15m.
If all goes according to plan, the following is how much each top ranking UPDF officer will be earning every month:
- General: Shs 15m
- Lt Gen: Shs 13m
- Maj Gen: Shs 12m
- Brig: Shs 10m
- Col: Shs 8m
- Lt Col: Shs 5m
- Major: Shs 2.5m
Given the fact that the number of officers at these ranks is less than the soldiers at junior ranks, government is expected to spend less even when these top guns are getting very juicy salaries.
It is said the money for this salary enhancement vote was included in the budget for the 2022-2023 Financial Year, but reports indicate that those expected to speak for the UPDF remain tightlipped on the matter and that the High Command had planned to keep the move a top-guarded secret.
The huge task will be on the raising the salaries of the low-rank officers, who form the bulk of the national army and continue to earn peanuts. These are expected to have their salaries enhanced in the next financial year (2023-2024).
The increment of generals’ salaries is in contrast with President Museveni’s gospel that only scientists should be prioritized so as to promote a science-led economy. Despite his preference for sciences, security and defence remain key priorities for the Museveni administration.
It remains to be seen how low ranking UPDF officers will greet the news of the discriminatory enhancement of salaries in the national army once the new salary structure is officially published.
The government position has always been that that there is a limited resource envelope with which salaries of all government employees can be increased. But such discriminatory increment of salaries has sparked off strikes among public servants, the most prominent being secondary school arts teachers who for weeks protested the decision by government to increase salaries of science teachers to Shs4m for each graduate teacher of science and Shs3m for a diploma holder.
Although it is not clear what the final salary structure for teachers will look like, but Parliament has directed government to either divide the available Shs95bn among both arts and science teachers or process a supplementary budget to raise arts teachers’ salaries. (Read Story Here).
This publication has also reported how science teachers are complaining about an alleged plot by government officials to divert the money meant to increase their salaries. (Read Story Here).
MORE ON SALARY INCREMENT CIRCUS
In order to improve service delivery and end the challenge of strikes over low pay, President Museveni’s government has proposed huge salary increments for teachers, doctors and other employees starting July 2022. (Read Story Here)
The proposed increments have left many people wondering if government will really fulfill this pledge and increase salaries by very high amounts.
For example, opposition leader Dr Kizza Besigye has argued that the promise of salary increment is just ‘another lie.’ (Read Story Here).
Finance Minister Matia Kasaija recently said the money for increasing teachers’, doctors’ and other civil servants’ salaries was available. (Read Story Here).
In August 2021, cabinet approved salary increment for teachers, doctors and other health workers. (Read Story Here).
See the salary structure that had been proposed for the current financial year here.
Meanwhile, an NRM MP has angered teachers after telling them they are too poor to go on strike. (Read Story Here).