Friday January 17 2014

BoU warned on Jinja land deal


Jinja- Jinja District councillors have warned Bank of Uganda against concluding the purchase of land housing the district headquarters at the Busoga Square in Jinja, saying the move has never been ratified by the council.

The councillors also argue that the proposed giveaway of the land to Bank of Uganda, which intends to expand the currency centre and also construct a training centre adjacent to its current premises flaunted Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets regulations as it was not subject to a competitive bidding process.

The councillors’ warning comes in the wake of an announcement in December by Jinja District chairman, Fred Ngobi Gume that plans to give the land to Bank of Uganda had been concluded at a cost of Shs2.5 billion.

At an end of year council meeting, Mr Gume told councillors that the council had passed a resolution to that effect and that he had instructed the Chief Administrative Officer, Ms Olivia Hope Nakyanzi, to write to the bank and ask it to pay for the land.

Mr Gume claimed the transaction would enable the district get descent office space elsewhere and also lead to the creation of employment opportunities through the expanded currency centre. However, the youth and opposition councillors do not buy his arguments.

Both the leader of opposition in the council, Ms Christine Abuze, and the district youth chairman, Mr James Mukembo, insist that the resolution that Mr Gume is fronting is a sham and a fabrication of his and the CAO, Ms Nakyanzi.

“Bank of Uganda is best advised not to release any money for this land because the council has never come up with a resolution for the CAO to implement. Whatever is being done is a personal deal between the two, which is illegal,” Ms Abuze warned.

Ms Abuze said she intends to petition Parliament over the matter.