In 2016, the ruling Government, through the NRM Manifesto (2016-2021), stated its aspirations in transforming the Ugandan society from a low income society to a competitive middle income country.
Within the NRM manifesto, the Defence Sector identified five (05) key commitments to guide all Policies and Plans for the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs in the 05years (2016-2021).
Thereafter, the President further gave Strategic Directives to the Defence sector clearly spelling out specific interventions in achieving the set out plans.
Key Manifesto achievements within the Five Year term (2016-21).
- Continued Professionalisation and Modernisation of Defence and security forces
- Developing Defence and Security Infrastructure
- Strengthening Research and Development
- Promoting Production for Wealth Creation and Self-sustainability
- Strengthening Internal and External Security
- Relocation of Air Force elements to Nakasongola
- Adequate provision for acquisition of classified stores
- Funding redevelopment Luwero Industries
- Budget provision for adequate feeding for the army
- Purchase uniforms and boots from local manufacturers
- Reduce expenditure on Useage of Air force fuel
- Installation of Solar Power in Barracks to reduce the current electricity bill
- Drilling boreholes in barracks to reduce current water bill
- Development of the National Military Referral Hospital
- Pursue the pre-financing option for construction of the 30,000
houses for UPDF.
- Come up with a proposal on salary enhancement for scientists in the Army.
- Gradually and affordably increase the salaries of soldiers until they come inline with salaries of primary school teachers.
- Organize Veterans to benefit from Operation Wealth creation and to engage in income generating activities as Government considers payment of the shs 536bn pension and gratuity arrears.
- Funding the Uganda Air cargo to enable them repair the grounded aircraft.
- Increase the income generating activities for soldiers’ spouses to include weaving, soap making and making clothes using handlooms.
Acquisition and maintenance of equipment
The Defence sector enhanced UPDF Capability and capacity through acquisition and maintenance of weapon systems and equipment in order to enhance firepower, force protection, mobility and sustainability.
The acquired equipment is in sync with the technological advancements to address the current
and future threats.
Presidential Directive: Classified expenditure should remain a priority because its spent on items that are
crucial for UPDF and national security.
The Classified budget has been enhanced to meet the capability requirements. Capabilities have been generated and consolidated to sustain Uganda’s capacity to address the current and future threats in a bid to sustain the peace and security.
Human Capital development
Human resource is key in building and strengthening an effective Defence and Security Sector. Targeted recruitment was done to enhance requisite skills.
Since 2016, the Ministry has recruited an average of 4,000 troops annually to replenish the UPDF manpower levels affected by retirement and attrition as a result of operations both in and outside Uganda.
In addition to the recruits, the Ministry has recruited over 26,000 LDUs to compliment the regular force in sustaining peace and stability in the country.
This has been geared towards professionalizing and modernizing the Army in addition to making the UPDF thrive at the national, regional and global stage.
Continuous Training of UPDF soldiers for both Combat and Operations Other than War was undertaken to ensure the individual soldier can play his/her part as a professional within a team in a modernised force.
Trainings were undertaken both locally and internationally in order to have an efficient Force that can tackle the threats of the defence of Uganda, and deployments to enhance regional and International Peace,
security and stability.
The Reserve Force as a key component supporting the main UPDF was strengthened through training sessions. The Ministry also embarked on the establishment of the National Defence College-Uganda (NDC) The curriculum was produced; the site in Jinja was identified with the facilities therein.
Salary and wages
Presidential Directive: Pay well scientists like engineers, pilots and doctors in order to retain them in UPDF and other establishments (e.g. LIL).
Gradually and affordably increase the salaries of soldiers until they come in line with salaries of teachers and medical personnel.
The ministry has continued to ensure that general welfare of the UPDF soldiers and their families is sustained and improved.
Salaries for soldiers have been gradually increasing. In FY 2018/19, partial salary enhancement for lower ranks was done where a Private’s salary was enhanced from shs 385,000 to shs 485,000.
However this needs to be enhanced to Shs 537,837 equitable to a grade III primary school teacher. The enhancement will also be required across board from lower rank to general.
In regard to payment of scientists, the Ministry has achieved in paying all medical personnel. However, due to inadequate funding, other category of scientists are yet to be addressed.
Health care services
MoDVA provided preventive, curative and rehabilitative services to Officers, Militants, their immediate families and the surrounding communities in its 139 Health Centres (05 hospitals, 08 HCIVs, 36 HCIIIs and 90 Medical Reception Station (MRS). For complex medical cases, the Ministry partnered with Health Facilities within and outside the country.
The Ministry also supported Ministry of Health (MOH) in containing any form of Epidemic (Ebola and COVID-19) outbreaks within the country and Region. Most recent, UPDF medical personnel offered medical services
during the fight against the spread of COVID.
Other health infrastructure achievements
The Ministry has over the years renovated and constructed a number of Health facilities some of which include construction of HC IIIs in different areas, Constructed x-ray bankers for 02 and 04 Divs, renovated CMRC buildings, constructed the Dental Unit and OPD at Lower Mbuya,Constructed the Intensive Care Unit at Land Forces – Bombo.
Establishment of National Service – The Ministry undertook benchmarking exercises in Kenya and Tanzania to assess the Role of the Military in Managing the National Service Programme.
A report on the same was developed and presented to the Ministry’s strategic leadership. A Cabinet Memo was also developed and submitted specifying different roles of MDAs in the implementation of the Scheme for further guidance.
Establishment of National Service
The Ministry has embarked on developing a strategy to operationalise the National Service Program. Benchmarking was done in Kenya and Tanzania to assess the Role of the military in managing the National Service Programme.
Cabinet will guide on the role of each MDA in implementation of the National Service Programme. Cabinet Memo, specifying different roles of MDAs in the implementation of the Scheme has been forwarded.
Establishment of the National Defence College (NDC)
Establishment of the National Defence College-Uganda (NDC) has commenced. The Curriculum was produced; The site in Jinja was identified with the facilities therein.
However, the ministry was affected by lack of funds to fully implement the NDC. MODVA requires Shs 17.4bn to commence of the project.
As soon as funds are availed, the ministry will commence on the NDC.
Developing Defence and Security Infrastructure
Continuing with Construction and Rehabilitation of the Barracks Infrastructure.
A project for Construction of 30,000 Housing Units was developed and required Shs 3.7trn to be implemented.
All the project stages were submitted qualifying the project as a Bankable Project (IBP). As soon as MoDVA is availed the funds, construction will commence.
Construction and Rehabilitation of Health, Education and Sports Infrastructure
The Ministry commenced on Construction of Military Referral Hospital and is at 54%. However, the ministry is affected by inadequate funds worth shs 72.2 bn for equipment and completion of the Cancer Unit and Heart Institute.
Other projects that lack funds are;
- Equipping and construction of UPDF Health centres across the Country.
- Construction of Schools in Barracks, Laboratories and Libraries.
The Defence Sector has continued to deliver on the NRM Manifesto commitments and Presidential directives as highlighted in the presentation. 90% of the commitments have been achieved over the period of 05years.
The Defence Sector is committed to continue pursuing the unfulfilled Manifesto pledges in the FY 2020/21. The Sector will continue to uphold its Constitutional mandate of defending and protecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda, the People and their Property.