The Government is in the final stages of increasing remunerations for Uganda Peoples Defense Forces-UPDF soldiers, the Minister of Defense and Veteran Affairs Vincent Ssempijja has revealed.
According to Ssempijja, the salary enhancement is part of the government’s broader plan of improving the general welfare and social status of the soldiers.
Ssempijja who presided over as a Chief Guest at the end-of-year party by UPDF at the Armored Brigade Barracks-Kasijjagirwa in Masaka city revealed that the government has developed a proper plan which will enable a systematic increment in soldier salaries.
For instance, according to him, the new army salary structure whose implementation begins shortly will see a first-line soldier at the rank of private earning a monthly salary of one million shillings up from a payment of 485,279 shillings.
Besides those still in active service, Ssempijja adds that the government has considered revising the pension benefits of soldiers who are already in retirement. He however urged the soldiers to also consider making investments in the different sectors of the economy, such that they can also have sustainable incomes to support their families.
Juliet Kabashekye, Chairperson of the association of spouses of soldiers asked the Minister to implore the government to support more income-generating projects for their survival rather than relying on salaries.
She indicates that some of them are already engaged in making different pieces of arts and crafts, but they are being challenged by inadequate capital, equipment, and skills required to improve the quality of their products.
Brigadier General Deus Ssande, the Commandant of the UPDF Armoured Brigade called upon the leaders in the greater Masaka sub-region to mobilize youth to engage in self-development programs and avoid being lured into criminal activities.
He appreciates the government for its commitment to improving the welfare and capacity of the soldiers, saying this reignites the passion of the forces to survive more diligently.