Gen Katumba Warns Soldiers Against Extravagance


ambulance geneva; font-size: small;”>“The Army is currently haunted by a poor saving culture and a lazy background, more about both of which have ensured a slow enhancement of the welfare of soldiers and their families, pill ” said Gen Katumba.

He made the remarks on Monday while opening a four day Wazalendo SACCO retreat in Kampala.

The army commander urged more efforts from the Forces to turn this around by making the organisation sturdier and straightforward.

He noted that in terms of saving, Uganda ranks the lowest in the whole of East Africa in that a job done by one Kenyan is done by three Tanzanians and the same job is done by six Ugandans.

“It’s no wonder when you talk to a UPDF Soldier about saving, they will tell you straight up: ‘mimi nyama ya risasi’ meaning I am a bullet’s meat after all,” added the army boss.

The SACCO is a saving scheme in which UPDF soldiers are encouraged to put aside a small amount of money from their incomes to lay a foundation for their brighter future after retirement and that of their families.

Since its establishment in 2005, Wazalendo has grown from Ush230 million savings to Ush42 billion while is membership currently accounts for over half of the National Army population.

The Monday event brought together to UPDF leadership, financial advisors from Kenya, as well as Micro Finance Association of Uganda with the aim of laying strategies for growth in terms membership, capacity and utility of the SACCO.

Gen Katumba called upon stakeholders at the retreat to aggressively sensitize the UPDF on the benefits of savings and productive investment of their earnings.

He complained of the soldiers who come from Somalia Mission with lots of money and in a couple of weeks all the money is wasted on alcohol and women.

“This country and region is relatively peaceful – a good opportunity for rapid investment grow and development of everybody. We the Forces have sacrificed our lives to bring fort this peace and so we ought to enjoy and make good use of it,” he said.

Katumba emphasized that much as saving is a national problem, it is the leaders responsibility to help people plan properly for their future and make good decisions today, rather than wait for regrets in the future.

The SACCO’s General Manager, Pius Turigye said that it is the past’s problems of mismanagement of funds and lack of trust that have been dealt with.

“Soldiers have now gained more confidence in the SACCO,” he said, adding that there are now over 72,000 of them enjoying friendly loans for agriculture and development purposes, training and other financial services.


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