Minister arrests Busoga officials over fraud, shoddy work

Minister of State for Economic Monitoring, Peter Ogwang (centre) grills Kasolwe Stock farm manager, David Epinyu over the shoddy learning Centre building by NIPE. PHOTO/SAM OPIO CALEB

What you need to know:

  • In Kamuli, Mr Ogwang ordered the arrest of the municipal engineer, Mr Moses Kadhuba and the town clerk, Ms Monica Nairuba 

The State Minister for Economic Monitoring in the Office of the President, Mr Peter Ogwang, said corruption has eroded most government projects in Busoga Sub-region.
Mr Ogwang was on a two week-long inspection of government projects in Busoga Sub-region which started last Monday.
 He said government is disappointed that most of the projects it has injected billions have been abused by leaders.

“The most abused projects are Covid funds, Emyooga, Youth Livelihood Programme, Uganda Women Empowerment Programme, which were all meant to alleviate poverty, but ended up in non-existing groups and in the hands of civil and political leaders,” Mr Ogwang said.
At Ngandho Health Centre in Buyende District, Mr Ogwang ordered that the patients to be relocated from a newly-constructed building as it was at risk of collapsing. He also ordered the arrest of the district engineer, who supervised and allegedly issued a certificate of completion for the building.

In Kamuli, Mr Ogwang ordered the arrest of the municipal engineer, Mr Moses Kadhuba and the town clerk, Ms Monica Nairuba after discovering that the construction of municipal administration office block, where Shs400m has already been spent, is still on the foundation level, while the works on the division offices was deemed “substandard”. 
However, Ms Nairuba said: “I was arrested for making advance payments on the Northern Division building in June, but at the time I was not the Town Clerk. I became Town Clerk in September and much as I tried to explain they did not listen to me.”

 She was released on police bond last Friday while Mr Kadhuba said he was not the main supervisor.
Mr Fred Wamuzigo, who was in-charge of the Kasolwe Centre of Excellence and Kiroba-Kitayunjwa road construction, was also arrested over the alleged shoddy works done on the projects while NIPE Constructors, who are constructing the multi-billion learning centre was put on notice.
Mr Wamuzigo, however, said he was held accountable for the loss of Shs19m for Kitayunjwa Sub-county building and that he had the Bill of Quantities (BoQs) form filled in pen.

 “But the advert read: ‘download the form and fill’, but in Kamuli, most people can’t access soft copies, so they just download and fill-in figures in ink and that is the normal practice. We only type for things that are in billions,” Mr Wamuzigo said.
He added: “I was also accused of shoddy work that saw window glasses broken immediately but the glasses were pecked by birds.”

However, the Buyende District chairperson, Mr Michael Kanaku, described as a “mockery of service delivery” to expect 100 percent performance and supervision against low and incommensurate funding.
“The Local Government structure we have in place right now is a displacement of district authority and all powers recalled to the centre where they continue derailing systems,” he said. 
Mr Sharif Mungaraine, a former youth chairperson, delivered a petition, questioning the low-cost sealing of a 2.8 kilometre road in Buyende Town Council.
In Jinja, Mr Ogwang was not happy with the ongoing works at Buwenge General Hospital. 

“There is a project here which is to renovate a project worth Shs480m. The work which is going on vis-à-vis the money is not commensurate because the Shs480m can build you a full out-patient hospital (OPD),” he said.
At the ongoing construction works of the new district administration block, Mr Ogwang told officials and the contractor that the works that have so far been completed, currently at 67 percent, is not worth the Shs3.5b spent.

Mr Ogwang’s tour culminated with the arrest and detention of the assistant district forestry officer, Mr Anthony Ntuyo, for allegedly “causing government a financial loss”. 
This was after learning that land where more than 4,000 trees had been planted under  a government project, is now a sugarcane plantation.
In Mayuge, Mr Ogwang ordered the arrest of district engineers over alleged abuse of public funds.  
Yesterday, the minister was in Bugiri District and today he  will be in Namutumba.



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