Opinion: 10,833 LDUs without pay!
“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 already knew in January 2019 that there was no money for the Local Defence Units (LDUs) in the budget year of 2018/19 and certainly not there in the 2019/20. Since today’s news proves this again. This is a re-issue of Crime Preventers Programme and a way to hire idle youth, but not do the due diligence of the actual needs to do it. That’s why the results is armed people with lack of pay, they will do anything to eat.
The Ministry of Defence has incurred a budgetary shortfall of 130.5 billion shillings as a result of the recruitment of LDU’s. This includes a wage shortfall of 40.9 billion for the 23000 LDU’s incurred in 2018/2019 and 2019/2020 financial years(Herbert Zziwa, 12.11.2019).
What does it mean:
This means, when they have an annual wage of Shs.2.4mn. Their wage shortfall, which was 14.9bn in 2018/19 means that 6,208 LDUs out of 10,919 are owed wages. Again, in 2019/20, 10,833 LDUs out of 13,000 recruited in 2019/20 don’t have their wages either. Meaning many armed and well-trained personnel from the UPDF is out awaiting their salaries (Mary Serumaga, 12.11.2019).
We can see by these calculations how it really is. The realities on the ground and the issues at hand. This is a launch to have back-up personnel for an up-coming election. To ensure the public, that they cannot have a popular uprising nor a revolution. Because, the state has enough armed forces to crush it. If it isn’t soldiers, ISO, CMI, Flying Squad, Special Forces Command or the UPDF. They will have something to target you with.
But, they are leaving them high and dry. The State is not properly approaching this. They are not spending the dimes on this as people would see deemed fit. Because, this is trained armed personnel, which can cause havoc, if they decided to do so. Why shouldn’t they? They got guns and knows how to aim!
This was a bad Ad-Hoc decision made in the wake of the violence: But he also did it to ensure up-coming elections, because that is what the President does. President Museveni doesn’t toy around with this. This is carefully estimated to secure his next term and the times ahead. Because, with these gentlemen with arms, he will have another group of armed personnel at his disposal, that can skirmish and get deployed in haste. There is nothing else too it.
His just misusing funds and the trust of people, in manners, which is extraordinary. However, very common here. As this isn’t the first nor the last time, the government lack funds for new projects, new ad-hoc decisions. As it is struggling to pay of gardening hoes from pledges made in 2015. Therefore, don’t expect magic, just more of the same. Peace.