President Yoweri Museveni has hailed the Special Forces Commander construction regiment for being efficient and using their direct labor to construct several military installations all over the country.Museveni made the remarks on Friday during a function to open the new SFC headquarters in Entebbe, Wakiso district named after him.The President said that such ventures help omit the exorbitant fees and time wastage from contractors.“Since manpower is available from soldiers, you only remain with the cost of buying materials to come up with such big structures. The army should continue this way, building its facilities and saving money. You should do this especially for lodgings for soldiers. It is not right for soldiers to sleep outside the barracks. What if war broke out in the night, where would we find you,” Museveni said.Museveni said that besides saving money, that goes into construction using contractors who borrow from banks at high-interest rates, it gives a certain degree of privacy and confidentiality to the military.He however warned against encroachers on army land, noting that these should either compensate the army or vacate the land and ownership returns to UPDF.The Minister of Defence and Veteran Affairs Adolf Mwesige commended the strategic guidance from President Museveni on the issue of building UPDF’s capacity to handle its own challenges.He said such achievements like the SFC headquarters inspire soldiers and other government ministries, departments and agencies to construct infrastructure using the available resources.Speaking at the same function, the UPDF Deputy Chief of Defence Forces Lt Gen Wilson Mbadi, on behalf of the Chief of Defence Forces Gen David Muhoozi, noted that translating direct labor and decentralization can deliver huge projects with abundant benefits, in terms of; building capacity, enhancing transparency, ensuring confidentiality and reducing costs.Maj Gen James Birungi, the SFC commander lauded the support from the UPDF leadership and visionary guidance from the Commander-in-Chief that culminated into the timely completion of the task.He said that teamwork and transparency within the SFC has increased their level of combat training, ideological orientation and infrastructural development.“Infrastructural development is a sign of development and good leadership which leads to socio-economic transformation,” he explained.The administrative three-levelled SFC headquarter, that occupies 1800 square metre floor area, accommodates 54 fully equipped offices, a cafeteria section and a board room, among others.The facility was solely constructed by the UPDF Engineers Brigade to build capacity of the military and save costs that would accrue from private constructors.Built by SFC’s construction unit, the complex cost Shs3.48bn, as opposed to the Shs9bn quoted by a contractor.Also commissioned were newly-built dormitories for soldiers, renovated houses for non-commissioned officers, gun shades and a 30,000-litre fuel pump. These cost Shs1.1bn and all the work executed in 23 months.The commissioning ceremony was also attended by the UPDF Joint Chief of Staff Lt Gen Joseph Musanyufu, Commander UPDAF Lt Gen James Lutaya, the Special Presidential Advisor on Defence Lt Gen Proscovia Nalweyiso, Chief of Personnel and Administration Maj Gen George Igumba, Chief of Staff Land Forces Maj Gen Leopold Kyanda, Under Secretary in charge of logistics in the Defence Ministry Mr. Francis Kahirita representing the Permanent Secretary, Entebbe area local leaders and other UPDF service chiefs and commanders, among others.
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