Muloni trashes Kadaga’s Shs24 bn Isimba Dam corruption claims

Tuesday November 19 2019

Energy and Mineral Develop

Energy and Mineral Development Minister, Eng Irene Muloni addresses journalists at the Uganda Media Centre  

By Benjamin Jumbe

Energy and Mineral Development Minister, Ms Irene Muloni has dismissed claims that some officials in her ministry embezzled Shs24 billion that was meant for the construction of a public bridge over River Nile connecting Kayunga and Kamuli districts.

This comes days after Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga told parliament that she had a list of senior government officials who pocketed the public money.

Addressing journalists at Uganda Media Centre in Kampala on Tuesday, Ms Muloni said no money has been lost since construction work is going on smoothly.

“We are not aware of the Shs24 billion meant for the Isimba Bridge that was allegedly eaten,” Ms Muloni said.

Ms Kadaga last week told Parliament that she had forwarded to President Yoweri Museveni, a list of people who swindled the cash.

Ms Kadaga expressed disappointment that despite forwarding the names of the suspects to  Mr Museveni, in March, no response or action has been taken by the head of State.

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“I informed the President. I even gave him the names. I gave him the names of the eaters. I was waiting for action. I have not seen it,” Ms Kadaga said on Wednesday last week.

Several Members of Parliament including Bugiri Municipality MP, Mr Asuman Basalirwa made several recommendations including setting up a select committee to investigate the matter.

 However, Ms Muloni said there are proper government institutions in place to handle such issues.

 “If you have a case or any issue, the government has all institutions that can actually check out all those issues. Once you have information about something, you know where to report,” she said.

Ms Muloni said that under the 183 MW Isimba Hydropower Project, the contract provided for the construction of a public access bridge or a public road on top of the dam to connect Kayunga and Kamuli districts.

The Ministry of energy and Minerals Development contracted China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE) through an Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contract that was signed on 6 September 2013, to undertake project development.

She said that the contractor is also expected to construct a 3.5 km road that leads to the power plant as well as a  1.5 km road within the project site.

The minister, however, said the road designed by the contractor on top of the dam was not fit for public use because it had only one lane yet the contract specified two lanes which prompted government to direct the contractor to construct a separate two-lane public bridge.

Ms Muloni said the Isimba Hydropower Plant and Transmission Line were commissioned in March  but the completion of the Isimba Public Bridge and Access Roads is scheduled for  December 31, 2020.

She said that as at 31 October 2019, the overall progress of works was approximately 20 percent with the remaining 80 percent to be completed by December 2020.

bjumbe@ug.nationmedia.com

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