Commenting on the salary increment of UPDF soldiers, RX Radio presenter Olive Najjuma has said much as increasing the salaries of public servants is fair, the government needs to cut its budget allocation to some sectors.
She made the comments following a salary enhancement for all UPDF soldiers who will have smiling pockets after their revised salary structure. The least paid soldier at the rank of private will receive 1.5 million shillings from less than 350,000 shillings previously earned.
The soldiers at Captain including Lance Corporal, Corporal, Sergeant, Staff Sergeant, Warrant Officer, Warrant Officer II, Second Lieutenant, and Lieutenant previously earning less than 700,000 shillings will earn within the same salary docket of 1.5 million shillings.
The report also details that ranks from Major to Brigadier will have salary raises to at least Shs10m for the highest-ranked from about Shs 2 million. Additionally, Generals' salaries will be enhanced from about Shs4m to Shs 15m.
Talking about the development, Olive supported the move, especially for privates given reports that they sometimes rent out their rifles to criminals to get some upkeep.
“We can afford to give soldiers more than 350,000 shillings, but we have to lessen our spending on certain expenditures,” she said referring to the economic crisis that the country is undergoing.
Patrick Kavuma, a participant of the show welcomed the development saying that the soldiers have for long been underpaid yet always sent to the frontlines in service of their country, unlike their higher-ranking counterparts.
Another caller proposed a reduction of government taxes to aid the population as a whole, especially during this harsh economic crisis.
“What the country needs is not increment of public servants' salaries but the minimization of taxes. Because not everyone works in government and if only salaries of public servants are increased, it means the rest of the population is neglected,” he said.
He advised the government to shield Ugandans by reducing the taxes so that everyone gets a steady flow of income instead of having the rest of Ugandans suffer high taxation rates while funding the salaries of public servants.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.