UGANDA, Kabale | Real Muloodi News | In a bid to address the issue of contractors abandoning government construction projects in the Kigezi Sub-region amid allegations of substandard work, the State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Ms Beatrice Akello Akori, has called for an investigation.
She has directed the State House Anti-Corruption unit to investigate the matter thoroughly.
During her visit to Kigezi on Tuesday 9th May 2023 to monitor various government projects, Ms Akori discovered instances of shoddy work.
Notable cases include the construction of Buramba Health Centre III, staff quarters at Ryakarimira Town Council, the one-stop border post at Katuna, and staff quarters at Butanda Secondary School, all located in the Kabale District.
In addition, she identified stalled projects in Rubanda District, including the construction of the Kerere-Rwabumbe-Rugyendabari Road (7.2kms) in Hamurwa Sub-County, Murutenga-Nyamasizi-Kerere Road (14.4kms), and Bugarama-Ntungamo-Kitojo Road (6.6kms).
These roads are part of the Agriculture Cluster Development Project (ACDP) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, funded by the World Bank.
Expressing her concern over corruption tendencies, Ms Akori emphasised the need to investigate these cases thoroughly.
She stated, “We cannot tolerate these tendencies because there is no value for the government money released to complete projects that benefit Ugandans.”
As part of the investigation, the Anti-Corruption unit officials have been instructed to focus on Mr David Otika, the Rubanda District water officer, and Mr Denis Twesigomwe, the district engineer.
These officials are being scrutinised for their alleged failure to supervise civil works at the Bushura gravity flow scheme in Hmauhambo Town Council and Mpungu Health Centre III in Mpungu Sub-County, respectively. Their actions have allegedly caused financial losses to the government.
Upon being contacted, Mr Otika refuted the accusations, claiming that he was implementing the lawful district council resolution regarding the construction of the Bushura gravity flow scheme.
Similarly, Mr Twesigomwe denied causing any financial loss, asserting that the contracts were procured by the central government, and the contractors are yet to commence civil works as their contract prices are being harmonised.
The chairperson of Rubanda District, Mr Stephen Ampeire Kasyaba, highlighted the significant cost of the abandoned road projects, amounting to USh1.36 billion.
He attributed the project delays in Rubanda to the central government’s method of awarding contracts to selected companies, which hindered local government leaders from effectively monitoring the projects.
Mr Kasyaba expressed frustration, stating, “We are not even given bills of quantities to know what should be done.”
Adding to the financial losses, Mr Godfrey Nyakahuma, the Kabale Resident District Commissioner, reported that the government has lost approximately USh430 million due to the stalled projects in Ryakarimira Town Council.
He urged the minister to collaborate with the internal police to apprehend and prosecute Mr Alex Ampeire, the former town clerk for Ryakarimira, for his alleged role in causing financial loss to the government.
Mr Nyakahuma revealed that Mr Ampeire had signed a document acknowledging his mistakes and committing to repaying the funds.
However, it was later discovered that he had left the country and is currently residing in China.
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