The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) Commander Engineering Brigade Besigye Bekunda has said that they have the capacity to execute Government construction projects in a timely manner because of the experience and the expertise they have in the sector for over the years.
His remarks follow the recent presidential directive that all new government school and hospital projects should be handled by the UPDF Engineering Brigade starting the 2021/ 2022 financial year.
President Yoweri Museveni, in the directive 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.
Bekunda during a televised interview on July 13th 2021 said that using UPDF structures countrywide, they will ensure timely execution of work.
“The engineering brigade has been able to complete most of the works on time and at a cooperative rates. As UPDF, of course we aren’t charged some tax categories; if you also look at the cost, UPDF engineers’ rates are lower than those of engineers in an open market,” he stated.
According to him, the engineering brigade doesn’t charge a profit on the works unlike the private sector players.
“For us, we don’t charge profits and that’s why our rates are low.”
When asked about timely completion, Bekunda said the army command system ensures discipline among the forces making works run smoothly.
“Also, continuous training and re-training of our soldiers boosts their skills. That background training is very crucial.”
UPDF engineering brigade projects
The UPDF Engineering Brigade been involved in a number of construction projects for over the years. Key in these projects are Namugongo martyrs shrine, Mbuya military referral hospital, and Kololo independence grounds as well as various barracks housing units countrywide.
Others include the UPDF Mubende hospital that and state of art facilities at the National Institute of Leadership (NALI) at Kyankwanzi which was constructed at sh7.9b