The Local Defence Unit that was proposed last year, are by all definition a sort of Ad-Hoc decision, which is made on the spot without considering the implications it has. To explain Ad-Hoc, let me take a definition from Merriam-Webster: “for the particular end or case at hand without consideration of wider application” (Merriam-Webster – ‘Ad Hoc’).
Why do I say that the LDUs are Ad Hoc, because they came after a series of assassinations of high-ranking officials in both the police, MPs and others. Who has been sought after and taken down during last year.
That is why the President in September 2018 said this:
“The LDU is not a new force; they are the reserve of the army. The security guards of the ministries are guarding ministries against break-ins. Terrorists are targeting soft targets, they are not bank robbers” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 15.09.2018).
We can it is just a quick dip and decision made without any proper due diligence or consideration of why it is needed. More another force to quell the public and have more people with guns in close proximity of power, as the need for sudden reinforcement came during last year.
That is why the news from Daily Monitor is very compelling:
“The Defence ministry does not have the Shs9.25 billion needed to cater for Local Defence Unit (LDUs) salaries, the State Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Mr Bright Rwamirama, has said. “We have a shortfall,” Mr Rwamirama told the House Committee on Defence and Internal Affairs in Kampala yesterday. “An additional wage allocation of Shs9.2 billion is required up to the end of 2018/2019 financial year to cater for this category,” Mr Rwamirama said. Last year, Chief of Defence Forces David Muhoozi told the committee that the monthly stipend for each recruit is Shs200,000. It is not clear if Shs9.25b includes arrears. According to Mr Rwamirama, the recruits are still undergoing training” (Wesonga, 2019).
What is also special in consideration, when coming to the army in the Republic is that it is, usually one of the biggest posts on the budget! The UPDF is that, maybe except for the State House and the Office of the Prime Minister, that get funds upon funds for their activities. When, even much of the supplementary parts also goes to the Uganda People’s Defence Force. That is if you have followed this. Therefore, if there was somewhere that is well funded and should have capacity for a shortfall of cash. It should be one of the places where the most funds are put, right?
With this in mind, the LDUs should have something to eat out of the huge plate of the UPDF. Unless, they are made for ghosts and feed the invisible creatures they are. Because nothing seems right about this. Just another trick to put more weapons on the streets and intimidate even more. Not an AD Hoc decision to secure or salvage anything. Sort of like the promise of sharpshooters on the back of the convoys of MPs and VIPs. Because that would also solve their fear and lessen the violence.
You can really tell by the comments in the Daily Monitor piece, that this is all made because the President ordered so, without any prior suggestions or securing information on how to do it. It is really some hectic and rampage activity, that only shows that the “Only Man With A Vision” is losing his steps. He is going more erratic and less sense. If he had sense, he would have consulted the generals and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) to ensure the funds and possibility of finding funds for this policy. Alas, that was not the case. The state is starting something, without proper plan, execution or even funds. They are walking in blind, hoping to get a vision and find the way in the utter darkness, without a flash-light or anything to enhance the vision. That is what the state is doing, in the matter of the LDUs and it shows. Peace.
Nelson Wesonga – ‘No money for LDUs- minister’ 24.01.2019, link: https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/No-money-LDUs–minister/688334-4949198-e55kwx/index.html