The welfare of police and army officers dominated the debate of the Defence and Internal Affairs sector as Members of Parliament called for improved working conditions.
The debate followed the presentation of the sector report by the Chairperson of the Defence and Internal Affairs Committee, Hon. Rosemary Nyakikongoro during the sitting of the House chaired by Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa on Wednesday, 19 April 2023.
Nyakikongoro said there are funding gaps for decent housing, education and insurance among others for the security officers
According to the report, the construction of new staff housing requires an additional Shs65.4 billion, with the construction of the uniport requiring Shs 49 billion. Renovation of existing barracks has a funding gap of Shs20 billion.
Buwheju County Member of Parliament, Hon. Francis Mwijukye called upon the House to not only consider security officer’s sacrifices but also their children.
“I have ever been at the hands of security and I have seen first-hand the suffering of these people. Let us look deeply into their issues and make their lives better. I have seen the uniport being constructed, they are not any better,” he said
Kumi District Woman Representative, Hon. Christine Apolot said the provision of emoluments alone is not enough to improve the life of the officers but the construction of better premises and other quality services is important.
The House resolved that the salaries should be enhanced for police and prisons and not consider the army only.
The Minister of State for Internal Affairs, Hon. David Muhoozi informed the House that the children of the UPDF officers are already getting a free education at the primary level and said that there are plans to extend the programme to cover secondary and university levels.
He pledged to continue advocating for better welfare for the officers through proper planning and budgeting.