UGANDA: Gen.Muhoozi says UPDF is now focusing on improving soldiers’ welfare.

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In the past, soldiers have had poor living conditions in the barracks where they stay.

However, speaking during the function to commission of newly completed blocks for senior non-commissioned officers’ houses, Gen.Muhoozi said the army is gradually shifting from the makeshift structures for soldiers to modern houses.

“As UPDF we have priorities, now we are directing all the efforts to the welfare of our soldiers,” Gen.Muhoozi said on Friday at the Peace Support Operations Centre, Ssingo in Nakaseke district.

“To me, it’s a double joy that this has come at the time we are celebrating 39 years as the army, this shows we are growing militarily.”

The CDF noted that the construction had failed until he resorted to direct labor policy in 2015 which has seen the project partially concluded as the army now uses its Engineering Brigade which has more than 2500 personnel.

He mentioned other projects in the second Division and Nakasongola under the same policy which he said make the UPDF leadership happy.

Last year, Maj Gen Timothy Sabiiti Mutebile, the in-charge of the UPDF Engineering Brigade said the army is set to construct 30,000 housing units for soldiers in a shs1.1 trillion project that would help deal with the problem of accommodation in various barracks around the country.

Speaking during a function where President Museveni toured the army’s 2nd Division headquarters at Makenke, in Mbarara, Mutebile said the UPDF has only 7000 housing units out of the 60,000 that are needed.

Speaking during the Friday function in Ssingo, Gen Muhoozi asked the users of the new houses to maintain them well so that they stay for a long time.

The Joint Chief of Staff, Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu said the new block is one of the steps achieved in development as UPDF.

“This direct labor policy was passed in the 2014/15 financial year, it’s direct labor by our engineers without using constructors. This has shown that it is possible,” Musanyufu said.

The Commandant’s Peace Support Operations Training Centre Col Walimbwa pledged to ensure the new structures are well maintained for future generations and applauded the army leadership for the wise decision to construct the units.

The function was attended by the Chief Medical Services Maj Gen Ambrose Musinguzi, Chief of Education Brig Muhanguzi, Chief Political commissar Brig Henry Masiko and the Chief Pensions and Gratuity Col Kefa Nyangweso among others.

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