The Uganda People’s Defence Forces – UPDF has opened a new barracks in Kabarole district.
Located at Hakibaale Sub County, Kakyomya barracks will be home to the 333 Mountain Brigade under the command of Lt Ben Sserwada. It sits on 1,638 hectares of land that belonged to Erisa Kakyomya, a businessman in Kabarole.
The brigade is one of the three brigades that form the UPDF Mountain Division commanded by Brig Gen Moses Kwikiriza, with its headquarters at Muhooti barracks, Central Division, Fort Portal Tourism City.
The others are the 222 Mountain Brigade located at Hima, Kasese district and the 111 Mountain Brigade at Muhooti.
During the commissioning of the barracks, the Chief of Defence Forces – CDF, Gen David Muhoozi, said the place where the new barracks is located was a hideout for the Allied Democratic Forces – ADF rebels, who terrorized the people around the Rwenzori Mountains for a long time.
Muhoozi was optimistic that with the new barracks, the districts that include Kamwenge, Kitagwenda, Kyenjojo and Kyegegwa will be more secure and the remaining ADF rebels will be easily wiped out.
Brig Gen Kwikiriza said there is an urgent need for UPDF to secure land for the remaining mountain brigade because there is too much congestion at Muhooti.
Kwikiriza suggested to Muhoozi that it would be better they find money and buy the land in Karugutu Sub County, Ntoroko district, where their two mountain battalions are temporarily staying.
He also said to ensure total elimination of the ADF rebels that are known to be around the border of Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC and Uganda, UPDF should consider military action.
The Kakyomya barracks comprises of health centre III, an armoury, offices, and a store.
Kwikiriza, however, said they also need at least a nursery and primary school, a mortuary, a power source preferably solar energy and roads that lead to neighbouring districts of Kyenjojo and Ntoroko.
Muhoozi said the demands will be met on top of ensuring they have machinery like tractors to plough the vast land for agriculture.
According to the head of the UPDF Engineers Brigade, Brig Besigye Bekunda, the constructions of the barracks cost 1.27 billion shillings.
The Commander of Land Forces, Lt Gen Peter Elwelu, challenged Lt Sserwada to maintain the structures at the barracks in a good state.