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Museveni directs ministries to contract army for construction projects

President Museveni has directed all construction projects lined up in the financial year 2021/2022 in the Ministries of Education and Health be undertaken by the army as a pilot project.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed the health and education ministries to use the Army Construction Brigade to undertake government construction projects. In his July 1st, 2021 letter addressed to the Minister of Education and Sports, and Minister of Health, Museveni notes with concern that many government projects are taking too long to be completed due to the lengthy procurement process and other challenges like corruption by some unscrupulous government workers.

“I am very certain we can avoid all these delays in implementing government construction projects by utilizing the army construction brigade to undertake the works,” the president stressed. The directive comes at a time when many government construction projects in different sectors have stalled causing losses and also affecting service delivery in one way or another.

For instance, in the financial year 2019/2020, the Ministry of Education was expected to construct secondary schools under a World Bank loan project -Inter-Government Fiscal Transfer Program in over 387 sub-counties. However to date, the contractors are yet to handover several schools to the government.

In January 2020, Alex Kakooza, the Education Ministry Permanent Secretary while appearing before the Education Committee of Parliament blamed the delay on contractors, saying that at times they fail to mobilise resources. Now, according to the presidential directive, all construction projects lined up in the financial year 2021/2022 in the Ministries of Education and Health will be undertaken by the army as a pilot project.

The two ministries are already lined up to receive up to Shillings 1.4 trillion in loans from the World Bank under two separate projects. This will see the construction of a public secondary school and health center IIIs in each sub-county countrywide. If the pilot is successful, Museveni notes that his directive will at a later stage be expanded to cover other sectors in government.

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