It doesn’t matter if people cannot afford basic commodities, if people are starving or eating insects up-country. No, for the National Resistance Movement (NRM). A government shows their priorities by where they are spending. The vast spending is either on cronies, political representatives, the State House, Office of the President or the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF). The ones mentioned always has funds or possibilities for supplementary budgets.
That’s why the recent salary enhancement of armed personnel and high ranking officials in the army. Is a sign that this matter to the throne and the ones in-charge. Because, the “high above” himself ordered striking or industrial action of unified teachers to go back to work without anything. They we’re not getting anything and they struggle as is… but soldiers, colonels, majors and generals are all getting a huge pay-off.
The army and armed personnel is a priority. That’s why it’s getting a huge percentage of the yearly budgets. They are already one of the big “ministries” and is one key component of the government at large. That’s why the President and the NRM party calls the UPDF to solve crisis or be a tool to fix utilities. This is why the army isn’t only coming to defend the border from invaders. No, it is building roads and constructions. It is a part of Operation Wealth Creation and going after illegal fishing in Lake Victoria. There is so many parts of government, which involves the UPDF.
The UPDF is also used for oppression. The Court Martial is used as a means to end of silencing critics, activists and even political opponents of the state. Even when the ones charged and taken to court isn’t serving members of the army. Neither do they have any connection with the army. So, they are suddenly just including civilians in military affairs. That’s just what the state does.
Just like the UPDF and their divisions can suddenly interfere in elections and with security around polls. In a by-election or a General Election doesn’t happen without soldiers on the streets. Neither are they far from the tally centres or places of vital importance of the proceedings. That’s just what they do and it’s common practice by now.
We know that the state cannot do with Crime Preventers, Local Defence Units (LDU) or any other sort of trained military personnel for basis of oppression and intimidation. The state needs a vast amount of soldiers and armed personnel at the beacon-call. Because, it isn’t like the NRM is popular or have the people behind it. No, they state needs the guns and the trained soldiers to fight for their causes.
The moment the army is under mutiny and turning on the regime. That’s when you know it’s near it’s end. The moment the generals and the divisions turns on the State House and the ones who is living large there. That moment will strike fear and worse cause a friction, which haven’t been seen in decades. Because, the centre most hold and the commander-in-chief cannot miss the loyalty of his soldiers. They are his base and reason for existing in office. Not the polls or the elections. No, at this point… they are just a vital piece, which makes the NRM alive.
So, no matter if there are inflations, people are struggling and things are getting out of control. As long as the army is supplied, paid and following orders. The President and his men will not fear anything. They are sure they will stay in office for another day and can easily silence anyone who opposes it. That’s why the state is doing this and giving the UPDF a huge pay-off.
We all know the centre most hold and if that falls… the President would worry and wouldn’t be as arrogant, as his known to be. He wouldn’t speak of crushing and the NRA-Way. Since, if the army backs away and stops being a loyal subject to him. The downfall will be eminent and the years of reign would end.
That’s why as the people are feeling the pinch of inflation and lacking funds for basics. The generals and their staff can buy luxurious items. The army can live without any concern and feel secure. The prices can go up, but they have a money-pit of funds to cover that. Which the ordinary citizen, any random civil servant or anyone in the public service can only dream off. That’s because they are not important. They don’t matter in the same regard.
The President needs the army more than he needs the rest of the Republic. As long as he has the army. He knows he can force himself upon anyone and nobody would dare to say otherwise. That’s why the UPDF is getting cash, while the citizens is getting cassava. Peace.