UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | The acquisition of 10 acres of property in Kisenyi by the government for more than $100 million (USh373 billion) to relocate street vendors has angered Kampala City Lord Mayor Mr Erias Lukwago.
On January 4, 2023, Mr Lukwago claimed division leaders oppose the deal, which he called a “cash bonanza for state corrupt officials” when speaking to the press in Kampala.
“It is dubious that the central government has earmarked $100 million to purchase 10 acres of land from a one Bosco Muwonge, ostensibly to resettle street vendors. How can an acre of land in the shoddy Kisenyi be purchased at $10 million (USh37b)? This is obscene,” Mr Lukwago said.
He said Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) had passed an earlier resolution to construct at least two markets in each of the five divisions. However, the resolution was shunned due to an apparent lack of funds.
“This is another cash bonanza for the cartel and mafia, we passed a resolution that instead of buying Mr Muwonge’s land, let the exorbitant amount to be channelled to KCCA for constructing markets in the five divisions, this was blackmailed because it irked the cartel,” he added.
The Lord Mayor also criticised the inflated cost of civil works in Kampala, referencing the African Development Bank (ADB) road construction project, which is slated to reconstruct 69km of roads to the tune of USh1 trillion.
“The state of the entire road network in Kampala is in a deplorable state, this is attributed to inadequate funding and abuse of the little funds available. For instance, the 31 ADB roads lined up for construction. This constitutes 69km at a cost of USh 1 trillion,” Mr Lukwago said.
He added: “This translates to each kilometre being constructed at a whopping USh 14.4b. This matter was raised with the ADB and IGG [Inspector General of Government], but the IGG has never given any feedback on the matter. Now we have written to the Leader of Opposition [in Parliament] to raise the matter on the floor of Parliament for investigation.”
When contacted, Ms Munira Ali, an IGG spokesman, stated that she was unable to determine if the Lord Mayor’s petition had been received by press time.
“I know about the KCCA road construction project, but I cannot ascertain whether the Lord Mayor’s petition was received by the IGG’s office,” Ms Munira said.
Mr Simon Kasyate, a KCCA spokesperson, demanded the Lord Mayor to show proof to support the escalation in road construction costs, claiming that the city authority followed all processes in cooperation with the ADB and other stakeholders.
“The tenders for the construction of these roads were advertised internationally, and the lowest bidder for each road was picked following the finance agreement procedures of the bank (ADB). Again, what authority is the Lord Mayor using to calculate what road constructions cost?” Mr Kasyate wondered.
“Let the mayor come out empirically to show us how he arrived at the value he claims to be the actual one for the roads,” he added.
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