The UPDF yesterday launched an army shopping centre that will sell building materials to soldiers at a 38 per cent subsidy. The Defence Forces Shop Uganda Limited was closed in 1993 due to mismanagement.
During the launch of the scheme and centre in Bombo, the Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, said its restoration would “massively” enhance the welfare of UPDF soldiers.
According to the allocations, officers from the rank of brigadier to the general will annually get 385 bags of cement and 143 iron sheets, while major to colonel, will receive 350 bags and 130 iron sheets.
For junior officers (WO2 to Capt), Brig. Mugume said, they are entitled to 310 bags of cement and 100 iron sheets.
The shop that will serve over 50,000 soldiers will be managed by the former Ugandan Military Attaché in Tanzania, Brig. John Mugume.
Brig. Mugume said: “We shall decentralise these services to the five divisions in the country, so that soldiers don’t have to come here for these items.” But Gen. Nyakairima, who opened the centre, said some officials from the Finance Ministry had resisted the re-opening of the scheme that cost government billions of shillings due to abuse.