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CDF Assures Parliament on LDU Pay

Gen. Muhoozi told the MPs that it is not the first time LDUs are being recruited, saying it is unfair to compare LDUs to Crime Preventers.
The Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen. David Muhoozi appearing before the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee.

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The newly recruited Local Defense Unit-LDU personnel will receive the same pay as members of other auxiliary forces, legislators heard on Wednesday.

The Chief of Defense Forces-CDF, Gen. David Muhoozi disclosed this while appearing before the Defense and Internal Affairs Committee of parliament.

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He was responding to queries by the Butambala County MP, Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi and Nakaseke Woman MP, Sarah Najjuma how the LDUs will be remunerated, saying some of them may degenerate into criminals.

"We are going back to the same age of crime preventers who have descended into criminality because at the end of the day, you have trained these personnel on how to handle a gun, shoot and now you are demobilizing," said Muwanga Kivumbi.

He asked what measures the army has put in place to guarantee security and wondered whether the LDU recruitment is to ensure security over a long time or just for a short period of time.

Gen. Muhoozi told the MPs that it is not the first time LDUs are being recruited, saying it is unfair to compare LDUs to Crime Preventers.

"This is not the first time we are training LDUs and I want to make a distinction of Crime Preventers, they weren't paid, they weren't armed and the basis of their enlistment was totally different from LDUs. I want to assure the MP that they can't degenerate into insecurity," said Muhoozi.

The CDF also noted that the LDUs will not be entitled to pension and gratuity but will instead walk away with a six month's package upon demobilization.

Last week, UPDF started a recruitment drive targeting 24,000 Local Defense Unit (LDU) personnel. The move is in response to a number of high profile assassinations in the country.

In his statement on the exercise, Brig. Richard Karemiire, the UPDF Spokesperson, said the recruitment was in fulfillment of the president's directives to enroll LDUs to supplement Police and UPDF.

Museveni issued the directive a few hours after the assassination of the former Buyende DPC, Mohammed Kirumira who was gunned down alongside his friend, Resty Mbabazi Nalinya on their way home in Bulenga in Wakiso district last month.