No Mosques, Churches in UPDF Barracks!

Kampala, Uganda - The army has ordered religious organisations out of the barracks. The Monitor has learnt that the army leadership wants to use the Church and Mosque buildings in the barracks to accommodate soldiers.

"We received a directive last month that buildings we have been using for prayers will serve other purposes and therefore we should use outside churches," soldiers, who declined to be named, told The Monitor.

However, army spokesman, Maj. Shaban Bantariza, said that religious groups "were chased from army barracks in 1986."

"We decided to do away with those people in 1986, it was not necessary since barracks are occupied by people with different beliefs," Bantariza said.

He said what most people have been seeing as places of worship are merely dilapidated buildings that are occupied by rats and other animals.

"The nature of those buildings does not make them habitable by our soldiers," said Bantariza.

Sources said that the buildings would be rehabilitated and partitioned to accommodate officers of the UPDF.

"Sometime back we were approached by some people who wanted to start preaching in the barracks, but we told them an absolute no. We don't want those things again," Bantariza said.

Most division barracks around the country have prayer houses like churches and mosques that were built during President Idi Amin's time. With the new arrangement, the soldiers will be required to ask for permission to attend prayers outside the army barracks.