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EXCLUSIVE: UPDF Wants 500 Billion To Acquire New Tanks, Guns

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A brand new Tiger 131 Tank
A brand new Tiger 131 Tank

    By: Dickens H Okello

  • Feb 24,2015
  • 2216 Viewed

The Uganda Peoples` Defense Force [UPDF] wants a special staggering Shs 484,500,000,000 to purchase an assortment of classified military offensive and defensive equipment before this financial year of 2014/2015 ends.

Chimpreports understands that Ministry of Defense entered negotiations with a bank in Russia through a state owned arms exporting company in mid-2014, to get a loan of USD 170m to procure the said classified military equipment.

Rosoboronexport which sources told this reporter is the Russian company, concluded the negotiations with the defense ministry and the bank late last year, and the deal to get the loan was agreed upon by all parties.

The dilemma only remained on convincing the “ever obstinate” Members of Parliament to accept and approve the loan as required by the constitution.

Ministry of Finance was thus immediately brought on board to help speed the process and the eventual delivering of the classified items.

The well-kept information which this reporter has been following finally came out in Parliament on Tuesday in an uncharacteristically closed session where journalists and Parliamentary employees were chased away from covering or attending.

The loan request which was presented to the committee of National Economy by the Finance ministry on Tuesday, was a shock to most members on the committee since the Defense Ministry was already given budget for classified expenditure in this current financial year that is remaining with three months to end.

The loan request according to sources on the committee, did not come with the traditionally required appraisal report by the Ministry of Finance which is always the first required document before any debate on loans begins.

Ministry of Defense generals including state minister, JJ Odongo, Chief of Defense Forces, Katumba Wamala among others and the Permanent Secretary flooded the committee to defend the said money presented by the Finance ministry.

Most members of Parliament however disagreed with the generals due to complexities that arose including the appraisal report, whether or not the request is a supplementary, since the financial year has not yet ended, the absence of last year’s Classified Expenditure report among others.

“We couldn’t agree with them (the ministry of Defense officials) since there was no appraisal report and the report of the last money we gave them for classified expenditure.

You also know UPDF was well covered in this financial year`s budget which all sectors are still surviving on. Let them define what they want first. Is it a supplementary request?” One of the members who spoke to this reporter but asked not to be named said.

When contacted on phone, the Defense ministry and UPDF spokesman, Col. Paddy Ankunda asked to be called later since he was in a meeting.

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  • Latongkeny

    Again UPDF/NRA?NRM want 500 Billion to acquire Tanks and Guns, this is completely insane. Towards last election, UPDF spent billions of shs without any convincing explanation to tax payers and acquired fighter planes from Russia. Thus, NRM used part of the money for election campaign. Since the next election is only months away, UPDF again wants billions to purchase military hard-wares.
    No need to acquire additional military hard-wares at the expense of other services. Our women are dying in government maternity wards because of lack of equipment and services. The 500 billion shs should be channeled to improve services in hospitals. We can’t always keep spending simply to please one man.

    The saddest part of it all is that we (civilians) cannot stop the purchase of tanks and guns.

  • Sempala

    National Security should NOT be in the news. Do we in Uganda know the meaning of classified information?

  • Rwasubutare

    Uganda must of necessity have deterrent strength. Remember there is a failed state to the west and Uganda may at anytime be compelled to preserve national sovereignty by entering therein. Forget the international nonsense of arbitrating long after you are dead.

  • roger hans

    We live in a bad neighbourhood, these are the necessities that are above and beyond our control, a representative of the clear and present danger of our times, Updf capabilities in relationship to what they do and have achieved it’s probable to say they punch hard above and beyond their weight, it’s imperative to continue to replenish their capacity this means money and good for purpose built equipment, however I still don’t know what has happened to replacement of hardware used in theatres that are operational at present, Updf gets reimbursements but where are these monetarily expressed in its expenditures, why or has updf thought about pushing for donations of equipment from the USA and UK, these countries are ending operations in the middle east, meaning there is plenty of equipment from accommodation, field hospitals, Tanks and APC’s et, Egypt gets donations from USA but doesn’t curry out half of the operations updf is engaged in, Mps seem silent on that aspect, am not against equipment, accountability has to be seen to be done

  • Sempala

    NRA / UPDF has brought a good reputation in the region because of their abilities make, enforce and KEEP peace wherever they go. Let them have whatever they need to keep this country safe while also praying to God to grant us mercy.

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