By Raymond Baguma
THE army has launched the Defence Forces Shop Limited, an incorporated company which will sell duty-free items to soldiers as a way of addressing their welfare.
The shop is a successor of the Army Shop Limited, which closed in the 1990s due to mismanagement. The shop will sell items on a quota basis to officers and men of the UPDF, deducting Excise and Value Added Tax (VAT).
The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, yesterday launched the shopâ€™s operations during a function at Bombo, the headquarters of the land forces. He said the facility was a key element in the UPDF and would assist in enhancing soldiersâ€™ welfare. Nyakairima said the shop is part of the Governmentâ€™s effort to improve the welfare of soldiers.
Other elements include the salary earners scheme for senior officers to access credit in banks, and the Wazzalendo Savings and Credit Cooperative.
Nyakairima said there was need to put to use all the land belonging to the army for agricultural production as another way of enhancing soldiersâ€™ welfare.
Initially, the shop will sell construction materials, such as cement and corrugated iron sheets. But a list of other items is awaiting approval, said Brig. John Mugume, the shopâ€™s general manager.
Nyakairima asked the new management of the shop to learn from the companyâ€™s past failures and promote discipline, teamwork, sacrifice, perseverance and commitment. His deputy Lt. Gen. Ivan Koreta, who chairs the board of the new company, said the army was longing for the re-opening of the facility.
Mugume said funds were needed to widen the coverage of the shop by opening outlets in all army divisions across the country.