Government will give all local construction projects to the engineering brigade of Ugandan People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), the state minister for investment and privatisation, Ms Evelyn Anite, has revealed.
Ms Anite cited competence, timeliness, patriotism, cost-cutting and discipline of the men in uniform as some of the reasons that have prompted the government to give the army a seal of approval.
“We have tested these guys and they have delivered what we want. In the past, we have given projects to foreign firms and they have done a shoddy job,” Ms Anite said after inspecting selected factories in Bweyogere and Luzira industrial parks yesterday.
She added: “We have seen the kind of work they did in the National Leaders’ Institute (NALI) in Kyankwanzi. They are now building a beautiful Uganda Free Zone in Entebbe and they are also constructing the Jinja industrial park.”
Lt Gen James Mugira, the managing director of the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), the business arm of the UPDF, urged countrymen to rally behind the army.
“When the UPDF undertakes government projects, they are executed at lower costs, on time and there is no bureaucracy, kickbacks or whistleblowers to raise investigations that will stall the process. You therefore need to vouch for us in as many government projects as possible,” Lt Gen Mugira said.
Last week, the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) revealed that it will partner with the UPDF Engineering Brigade in the construction of 25 industrial parks across Uganda.
The parks will be in the districts of Arua, Gulu, Lira, Buliisa, Hoima, Nakasongola, Luwero-Nakaseke, Kabarole, Mubende, Mityana, Masaka, Kabale, Bushenyi, Tororo, Rakai, and Iganga.
On June 28, during the inaugural Cabinet meeting, President Museveni, instructed government to construct five industrial parks per year as part of the strategic plan of Vision 2040.
The President also directed that the UPDF be the infrastructure development partner.
UIA has set itself a target of creating 400,000 jobs a year through industrial parks development. This is in line with Vision 2040 and the Third National Development Plan, which hinges on industrialisation.
Mr Robert Mukiza, the UIA director general, told Daily Monitor yesterday that the process of identifying land for the new project is underway.
“We are starting with this project but we shall eventually make sure that we partner with the UPDF in many other projects that are yet to come,” Mr Mukiza said in an interview yesterday.