Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on Wednesday banned giving allowances and renting for soldiers on guard duties following the killing of a government minister by his bodyguard.
The State Minister of Labour Col. Charles Okello Engola was fatally shot many times by his personal protection officer Wilson Sabiiti at his home in a Kampala suburb on May 2.
President Musveni, who is also the Commander-in-Chief, ordered the allowances frozen and directed that military guards should only be supplied with food and tents from the guard battalion.
“If you make the cost of each soldier so high, how will you get manpower to defend the country? We said get a small pay in the barracks which we share with our families. When you get out, you get food not money,” Gen Museveni said while eulogising Col Engola at Kololo Independence Grounds, according to Daily Monitor.
President Museveni said the country hasn’t gained the financial muscle to handle such benefits and that giving allowances to military guards is turning them into mercenaries.
He said country’s army doctrine was to work as volunteers and patriots, adding that both the political class and the Uganda People’s Defence Forces should return to the NRA/M doctrine.
“That mentality of allowances and what have you is a wrong mentality. It isn’t right for people to distort our doctrine with things of money,” Museveni added.
The victim, Minister Charles Engola, was a retired army colonel who served as cabinet minister in the government of President Yoweri Museveni.
His killer bodyguard Sabiiti, after murdering him, also shot and injured another officer and then turned the gun on himself.
He made a dying declaration that he hadn’t been paid by his employers yet he had a pregnant wife and children of schoolgoing age, who were seated at home due to lack of fees, Monitor reports.
But the army denied the claims that he has not been paid.
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