President Museveni has set aside funds to boost women groups for wives of Uganda People’s Defence forces (UPDF) officers involved in income-generating activities in a bid improve on their livelihood.
This was on Friday disclosed by the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen David Muhoozi while presiding over an end of year children's party at Jinja UPDF cantonment.
Gen Muhoozi said President Museveni mid this year came up with the funds after his interaction with the officers over their welfare issues including housing, education for their children, health facilities at stations and income-generating activities of their wives.
According to Gen Muhoozi, the money is at the UPDF headquarters and is ready to be disbursed to the women.
"UPDF is now drafting policies on how to release the funds to the rightful beneficiaries who will invest in profit-making projects with an aim of improving on their livelihoods.
“We are looking at formulating the best way to disburse the funds so that they do what they are meant for; all this is aimed at improving on the welfare of the women,’’ he said.
Gen Muhoozi added that each UPDF Division will be allocated Shs100m to boost the incomes of the spouses of the officers.
He explained that the fund is also an appreciation to spouses because they support families in the absence of army officers who are always serving their country in different capacities.
“Our spouses have played a big role in stabilizing our families especially when we are on duty; they keep our families moving, so these funds will improve on their livelihood especially in our absence," Gen Muhoozi said.
The Ministry of Defence Principal Social Development Officer in-charge of soldiers' families, Ms Rebecca Mugume, said soldiers' wives have been engaging in income-generating activities but have been lacking funds to boost their enterprises.
"As a ministry, our budget has been insufficient to fund the enterprises of soldiers' wives, but with this funding, their lives will improve because they will have an income set aside to support their families,’’ she said.
Ms Justine Okoth, a soldier’s wife, said their women group deals in crafts, but they have been having insufficient capital to boost it.
Other women programmes
In 2015/2016 financial year, Government introduced Uganda Women Entrepreneurship Programme (UWEP) with an aim of improving women’s access to financial services, equip them with skills for enterprise growth, value addition and marketing of their products and services.