The permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwiine has written to Chief Administrative Officers (CAOs) and town clerks for all Local Governments, informing them of a recent Presidential directive where the construction of all new health facilities should be handled by the Uganda Peoples Defense Force (UPDF) Engineering Brigade.
In a July,1,2021 statement, president Kaguta Museveni directed that all new government school and hospital projects should be handled by the UPDF Engineering Brigade starting the 2021/ 2022 financial year.
Dr Atwiine in a September, 29, 2021 letter asked the CAOs and town clerks to organize for the handover of all sites for construction works to the UPDF Engineering Brigade represented by the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) in order to prepare for commencement of construction work.
“The purpose of this communication is to present to you the UPDF Engineering Brigade represented by the National Enterprise Corporation that will be constructing all health facilities effective financial year 2021/22. I ask you to organize for the handover of all sites for construction works to the UPDF Engineering Brigade represented by NEC to prepare for commencement of construction works,” Dr Atwiine said.
She told the town clerks and CAOs that they will still be responsible for the direct works supervision and contract management.
While giving his directive, Museveni argued that the move would help avoid the delays caused by lengthy procurement processes, corruption perpetrated by some officials among others.
“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 UPDF Engineering Brigade has in the past undertaken the construction of some projects like the Namugongo martyrs shrine, Mbuya military referral hospital, Kololo independence grounds, the UPDF Mubende hospital, the new state of the art facilities at the National Institute of Leadership (NALI) at Kyankwanzi in Kyankwanzi district, among others.
The NEC is an independent self accounting arm of the ministry of Defence and veteran Affairs that handles engineering works in Unison with the UPDF.