President Museveni has directed that all new government school and hospital projects should be handled by the UPDF Engineering Brigade starting the 2021/ 2022 financial year.
In a July,1,2021 directive to the Vice President, Prime Minister, Minister for Defence, Permanent Secretary and the Chief of Defence Forces, Museveni said the move will help avoid the delays that have several times been occasioned to government projects by the contractors.
“I have noted with concern that many of the government projects in other sectors are often delayed due to lengthy procurement processes and in other cases, corruption perpetrated by some unscrupulous government Workers. I am very certain that we can avoid all these delays in implementing government construction projects by utilising the army construction brigade to undertake these works,” Museveni said.
The president explained that over time, the UPDF Engineering Brigade has been able to build capacity to handle several projects ranging from simple, high level, and then to advanced construction projects.
According to Museveni, wherever the army has worked, a lot of money has been saved, unlike the case with private contractors and says it is high time government thought of using their own.
“This is therefore to direct that with effect from financial year 2021/2022, all new construction projects for health facilities and schools must be undertaken by the army construction brigade as a pilot. This directive will be gradually extended to cover other sectors of the government,” Museveni said in the letter.
Speaking at the commissioning of the new facilities at Kyankwanzi in March President Museveni said the practice of using private contractors is a great wastage of government resources.
“We must fight this parasitism because this parasitism is by people in charge who just squander resources of the people with private companies which they are linked to instead of providing solutions to people’s problems. When you use the Engineering brigade they just spend money on the materials,” Museveni said.
He suggested that the army should be used for all government construction projects.
UPDF Engineering Brigade
The UPDF Engineering Brigade has in the past been involved in the construction of several facilities in the country including the Namugongo martyrs shrine, Mbuya military referral hospital, Kololo independence grounds and housing units in various army barracks throughout the country.
The brigade also constructed the UPDF Mubende hospital that provides artificial limbs to soldiers who lose limbs during war as well as the new shs7.9 billion state of the art facilities at the National Institute of Leadership (NALI) at Kyankwanzi in Kyankwanzi district.
The same UPDF Engineering Brigade was involved in the clearing of the floating island that had antagonized the generation of power at the Nalubaale dam in Jinja last year.