The army leadership wants parliament to review the Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces Act, 2005 to include clauses that it says will cater for the current situations and demands.
Deputy chief of defence forces, Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbadi disclosed this while addressing 575 officers and combatants of retirement batch 8A in Jinja district on Wednesday. Mbadi noted that some of the soldiers are forced to retire to fulfil the provisions of the Act yet they are still capable of serving their country.
According to the UPDF Act, warrant officers under class 1 retire at 50 years; class II at 48 years while staff sergeants and others leave at 46. However, Mbadi says they have proposed to parliament to review the entire Act.
"Review of all the UPDF Act on certain areas that we think have been overtaken by events. So, we want to bring them update to the current situation such that they are applicable to the current situation. It is not just about one officer, it includes age brackets where we think, probably certain ranks should be extended upwards such that those people serving in those brackets are given more time to serve because they give a lot to foundation ethics in the military." Mbadi said.
According to Mbadi, they also want parliament to review the compensation for disability attained in service and the time they retire after sustaining injuries and pension given to low ranking officers. He cautioned the retiring soldiers to explore other career opportunities so as to continue living a profitable life outside forces.
Quoting Harry Emerson Fosdick, a famous American Pastor, Mbadi said "don't just retire from something, have something to retire to."
He told the officers to invest their pension in small businesses to support them to fend for their families. The army is slated to retire 1,297 officers and soldiers in 2018/2019 financial year comprising of 1,159 militants, 127 senior officers and 11 generals.