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FINALLY: Museveni Opens Up on Calls for Salary Increment for UPDF Officers after ‘Poorly Paid’ Bodyguard Shot Minister Dead

President Museveni in army uniform

Ugandan President Gen Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni has finally broached the issue of salary enhancement for national army UPDF officers after a bodyguard shot dead Col (Rtd) Charles Engola, the Minister of Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, in Kyanja, Kampala.

While some had blamed the shooting on mental health occasioned by financial struggles Pte Wilson Sabiiti was reportedly going through, Gen Museveni told mourners gathered at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds for the former minister’s official funeral that Engoala “had nothing to do with the cause of his death,” adding that there was “no way you can say the soldier did what he did because of the actions of Minister Engola.”

He went on to note that from 1987 to 1996, at the time of the Tumukunde Report, he was getting Shs 150,000 as his salary per month as President, becoming the highest paid civil servant at the time in a country he said was focused on rebuilding.

“I appeal to Ugandans and especially the political class to come back to the National Resistance Army (NRA) doctrine. Our doctrine was, to work for patriotism, not for pay. The mentality of allowances is wrong,” he continued.

“If you are talking about bodyguards having allowances, what about those in Congo? Are you trying to mean that every time a soldier goes on patrol, he should get an allowance? How shall we sustain this? What sort of army are we building?”

He made it clear that he will not increase salaries of army officers and his anytime soon since this would be unsustainable.

“When the soldiers come from the army and mix with the civilian sector, they get involved in mercenarism of the parasites who don’t think about their country just money. When people came to me to increase the salary of the President, I refused. I know the state our country is in.  I have refused the salary rights of the President. The salary is Shs3.6 million, of which 20 per cent goes to the NRM. The National Resistance Army doctrine enabled us to fight with nothing until we got the victory. It’s not correct for people to distort our doctrine with the money and allowance talks,” he noted.

“The fighters of Uganda should not fight for high salaries. Uganda cannot afford high salaries for every individual. We cannot pay high salaries to our soldiers. If we pay high salaries to our soldiers, we shall not be able to buy equipment for them or get enough manpower when we need money.”

He also emphasized that bodyguards should not be the responsibility of the one guarded to feed them or even to deal with their accommodation but rather of the unit that has deployed them.

It should be remembered that the bodyguard who shot Minister Engola dead was barely a month on his job as some of the minister’s bodyguards had been sent abroad. (See Details Here and There).

Regarding salary increment, the Museveni government increased salaries of top UPDF generals in the current financial year, leaving their juniors to live on low pay. (See Details Here).

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