Kyadondo East Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu has said his fight is for poor soldiers who suffer but those highranking, well paid officers.
On Wednesday, Kyagulanyi commonly known as Bobi Wine tabled a submission before the House, asking for an improvement of the welfare and general remuneration of the army and police officers.
Then, he said the little or no payment has left many soldiers disgruntled and in turn end up brutalizing citizens.
“Having interacted with many of our security officers, I have come to realize that many of them work under unfavourable conditions. They are underpaid, poorly accommodated and experience so many injustices and unfair treatment including in promotion. For that matter I intend to move a substantive motion to improve the welfare of our people in uniform,” Kyagulanyi said on Wednesday.
Kyagulanyi also argued that if security officers are treated right, Ugandans will have the moral authority to demand that they are treated well.
However, his views were never welcomed by some Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force (UPDF) officers such as spokesman Brig. Richard Karemire, who advised him to focus on matters concerning his constituency and stay from the army.
“The Hon. Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs with his colleagues supported by the 10 UPDF Members of Parliament are handling our interests in the House to our maximum satisfaction. Hon Kyagulanyi should, therefore, be advised to concentrate on the well -being of wanainchi (civilians) in Kyadondo East Constituency,” said Brig. Karemire.
But Kyagulanyi took to facebook to say Parliament is not going to fight for well-paid soldiers like him, but those who are least paid and underprivileged.
“We are not fighting for those who are well off- NO. We are fighting for the common soldier- the common police officer who comes from a poor family and has to struggle like the majority of the citizens of Uganda to feed, to take children to school- to live. Those are the people we are fighting for. The common person!,” said Kyagulanyi in his Facebook post.
Here is his post
This was my submission before Parliament yesterday about the continuing violation of human rights by the security forces working on ‘orders from above’, and the conspicuous silence of our Parliament on the same.
Importantly, I raised the question of the welfare of our men and women in uniform who continue to suffer and live under very difficult conditions. I informed Parliament that I will soon move a substantive motion before Parliament for the improvement of the welfare of our soldiers and police officers.
I am persuaded beyond doubt that if we treat them well, that is when we shall have the moral right to demand that they treat the citizens well. I have interacted with most of them, and it is always painful to see how stressed and disgruntled majority of them are.
One cannot be poorly paid, have any proper rest, be subjected to all manner of humiliations in promotions, live in the kind of containers majority of them sleep in, and be expected to behave humanely towards citizens.
Some of their bosses have come out to state that they don’t need us to fight for them. My response to them is that yes, they don’t need our help because they are already well off!
They are completely out of touch with the reality of that police officer living in Nsambya barracks under an asbestos roof which the World Health Organization banned for causing cancer. They do not understand the pain of a soldier who is deployed to beat up citizens but in the evening returns to a hungry wife and children.
We are not fighting for those who are well off- NO. We are fighting for the common soldier- the common police officer who comes from a poor family and has to struggle like the majority of the citizens of Uganda to feed, to take children to school- to live. Those are the people we are fighting for. The common person!