(L-R) Deputy CDF, Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbadi, PS Ministry of Defence,Rosette Byengoma, Minister of state for Veterans, Lt.Col. Bright Rwamirama and Minister for Defence,Adolf Mwesige appearing before the Committee
The Deputy Chief of Defence Forces, Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi says that
the army requires 130.5 billion shillings additional funding for Local Defence
Unit (LDUs) personnel.
According to Mbadi, the money is for wages, clothing, food, fuel and training
of over 23,000 personnel.
Mbadi made the statement on Tuesday while appearing before Members
of Parliament on the committee on Defence and Internal Affairs.
Mbadi explained that LDUs component has since the 2018/2019 financial year
piled pressure on the ministry’s budget of shillings 3.1 trillion which
resulted in a wage shortfall of shillings 14.9 billion.
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In the 2019/2020 budget, there is a wage shortfall of shillings 26
billion for the 13,000 LDUs personnel recruited as well as clothing at
shillings 45.3 billion, food (shillings 39.7 billion) and fuel for operations
(shillings 4.6 billion).
Mbadi explained further that the army had to recruit the LDUs as a directive
from President Yoweri Museveni following the spate of violent crimes in the
Kampala Metropolitan Area last year.
He says that in the 2018/2019 financial year, the army recruited, trained 10,919
LDUs, of which 6,500 were earmarked for Kampala.
In the 2019/2020 financial year, 13,000 LDUs have so far been
recruited and are undergoing training.
The Committee chairperson, also Amolatar Woman MP, Doreen Amulle
asked why the army did not recruit 24,000 LDUs in the 2018/2019 financial year
However, Mbadi said that the army decided to phase out the
recruitment due to capacity challenges.
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The Permanent Secretary for Defence ministry, Rosette
Byengoma told the committee that the ministry paid the recruited LDU personnel 14.9
billion shillings using money from the UPDF SACCO.
The Minister of State for Defence and Veterans, Lt. Col. Bright
Rwamirama says that the ministry of finance is aware of the budget deficit.
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Amulle asked whether the army plans to recruit more LDUs
personnel, considering that the target of 24,000 has not been filled
However, Rwamirama told the committee that the army will not recruit more LDU
officers until the ministry is assured of funding.
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Kitgum Woman MP, Margaret Lamakwa asked the officials to comment
on allegations of brutality by the LDUs.
But Lt. Gen. Mbadi, however, downplayed the claims arguing that
those are isolated cases.
He assured the committee that the UPDF internal disciplinary
mechanisms have the capacity to resolve cases of indiscipline and