UGANDA, Busia | Real Muloodi News | The State House Anti-corruption Unit (SHACU), while working with the Uganda Police Force, arrested twelve government officials in Busia District for allegedly mismanaging USh26 billion donated by President Museveni to facilitate the Busia main market project.
President Museveni had commissioned the USh25.4 billion Busia market in December 2020, which was funded by the African Development Bank as part of the Markets and Agricultural Trade Improvement Program Phase II (MATIP – 2).
The project was supposed to benefit at least 2,400 vendors who were supposed to get stalls in the market.
However, according to the State House Anti-Corruption Unit investigations, the municipal officials gave themselves most of the stalls, among other illegal acts.
They then failed to utilise the stalls, yet denied the legitimate owners of the stalls an opportunity to use them.
The mismanagement is estimated to have caused the government a financial loss of USh850 million.
On June 24, 2022, the SHACU team arrested the town clerk, Ronald Baganzi, his deputy Johnson Wafula, the Municipal Production Officer Dr Joakim Serunkuma, the Chief Finance Officer, Wycliffe Chimulwa, the Commercial Officer, John Ekwaru, the Engineering Officer, Fred Wafula, the Western Division Town Clerk Pascal Moya, the Division Treasurer, Alfred Oluku, the Procurement Officer Nabwiire Maliza, the Acting Municipal Engineer Wabwiire Paul, and the Principal Health Supervisor, Moses Okurut.
However, one James Mulimba, the assistant to the Principal Health Supervisor, is still at large.
The State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Peter Ogwang, and the Head of SHACU, Brigadier General Henry Isoke, were shocked by the state in which they found the market structures during their visit to the area.
Not only were the majority of the stalls empty for over one and a half years from the time the President commissioned the project, the market had no power and it also flooded when it rained.
After their arrest, the officials were interrogated. They wrote their statements at Busia Police station, after which they were released on police bond.
According to the design of the market, it was supposed to have 1,261 facilities inclusive of stalls, lockups, pitches, cooking lockups, restaurants, a fish marketing zone, fresh fish stalls with ice boxes, a bulk of fresh fishing auctioneer centre, banking facilities, daycare centre, butchery, clinic, chicken cages and the main hall.
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