Senior officers of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) have a reason to smile after their salary enhancement was approved by the High Command.
After days of coyness on the matter, the UPDF has finally spoken out on the enhancement of salaries of general officers and senior officers of the national army, giving details on the process through which the enhancement was arrived.
According to UPDF spokesperson Brig Gen Felix Kulayigye, the issue of salary enhancement for UPDF personnel has been discussed in recent months.
Brig Gen Kulaigye noted that pursuant to a resolution from the High Command meeting of May 25, 2022, that had received a proposal for salary enhancement, a technical team led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs (PS-MODVA), comprising personnel from Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs (MODVA) and the Ministry of Public Service (MoPS) was formed to study the proposed salary enhancement for UPDF personnel and discuss the same with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MOFPED) on its implementation since the last enhancement was in 2018/19.
Kulayigye went on to reveal that during the High Command meeting of July 06, 2022, the team presented a number of salary enhancement options that had been proposed to MoFPED.
“The meeting was informed that eventually a hybrid option of enhancing General Officers salaries by 100 per cent, Senior Officers by 50 per cent and Captain-Private by 33 per cent had been agreed upon with MOFPED.
“This would require an additional annual amount of Ushs 517,907,737,434 for wages, Ushs 116,847,632,570 for terminal benefits, ultimately translating into a total additional annual requirement of Ushs 634,755,370,004. The enhancement according to PSST-MOFPED would be effected starting FY 2023/24 because the budget for FY 2022/23 had already been passed and the item had not been catered for,” added Kulayigye.
“The meeting agreed with the Team recommendation of 100% enhancement for Gen Officers because they are few, they have served for long and many of them are set to retire this FY 2022/23. He also agreed to the enhancement of Senior Officers (Colonel-Major) by 50 per cent because they are also not very many and most of them are about to progress to the Gen Offr ranks.”
In the end, it was agreed that the salaries for senior officers and general officers be increased this financial year as low ranking officers (lower cadres) await their turn in the next financial year.
“However, the meeting expressed concern on the enhancement of lower cadres (Capt-Pte) because they are the majority and besides, their salaries had been enhanced in FY 2018/19 when some categories of civil servants’ salaries were enhanced. That time, the General Officers and Senior Officers salaries were not enhanced. Enhancing the salaries of the lower cadres again therefore, without considering other civil servants in their category, like the arts teachers, would be unfair and would attract unnecessary complaints,” the army spokesperson added.
“The meeting guided that the team computes the enhancement for Gen Officers at 100%, Senior Officers at 50%, to be effected in FY 2022/23 in order to allow the planned retirement for that category to proceed as planned. Members would explain to the lower cadres (Capt-Pte) that their salaries would be enhanced next FY 2023/24, alongside other civil servants as it was the case in FY 2018/19. That is why the retirement of Capt-Pte will be rescheduled to next FY (2023/24), after their enhancement has been achieved. If on the other hand funds to retire the selected category is not available this FY, the whole retirement exercise will be rescheduled to next FY.”
Meanwhile, it remains how much other government employees, particularly science teachers and arts teachers will get as salary increment. Science teachers have complained of a plan to have the Shs95bn meant for their salary increment diverted to enhance arts teachers’ salaries. The arts teachers are hoping that government will listen to Parliament’s directive to either process a supplementary budget to increase their salaries or to equally divide the available Shs95bn among both arts and science teachers. (Read Stories Here and There).
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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).