UPDF to replace unipots with 35,000 housing units

Plans are underway to construct 35,000 units for Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), the Chief of Defence Forces (CDF), Gen. David Muhoozi has revealed.

The units will phase out mama ingia pole traditional ‘unipot’ that is synonymous with the UPDF and other security personnel.

“We want to embark on the construction of these housing units following an assessment study which established a shortfall of 35,000 housing units in various categories mainly officers of the lower ranks,” Muhoozi said.

Muhoozi said the mainly two-bedroomed houses will be constructed at various UPDF barracks countrywide to address the housing deficit.

“Once the evaluation plan is complete, we shall attach figures to it. We want our troops to live in decent houses. Decent healthcare facilities and accommodation are at the core of our welfare,” he said.

Muhoozi was yesterday presiding over the commissioning of a UPDF Senior Officers’ Diagnostic Centre at Mbuya Barracks in Kampala.

The CDF also inspected construction works of the UPDF National Referral Hospital at the same location.

Col Besigye Bekunda, the acting commander of the Engineering Brigade (second-right), showing Gen. David Muhoozi (left) and other officers the ongoing construction of the UPDF main referral hospital at lower Mbuya in Kampala yesterday. Photo by Shamim Saad

AMISOM proceeds Muhoozi said the $12m (sh45b) hospital whose works is about 50% to the competition is funded by proceeds from African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) deployment.

The facilities would reduce costs incurred in treating soldiers in private hospitals. He said the soldiers’ welfare and health have always been key, but could not be handled at the time because of other pressing needs that also required funds.

“I do not want to say that the Government did not care, but there were other national pressing needs to attend to which have now created this atmosphere enabling us to attain these accomplishments,” Muhoozi said.

Muhoozi, who hailed the UPDF Engineering Brigade, headed by Col. Bekunda Besigye, for the construction works of the diagnostic centre, emphasized the need to use of direct labour for such projects.

“As we celebrate 39 years of UPDF, I am happy to commission this centre. We can all attest to the fact that direct labour is cost-effective and delivers. I am happy seeing my name being etched on those buildings. I have survived passing like a shadow,” he said.