What you need to know:
Authorities say the design of the demolished structure was not of a storeyed building but was later converted into one after the community mounted pressure
Apac Municipality leaders spent Shs165m of taxpayers’ money on raising the foundation of Apac municipal administration block, which has since been demolished over shoddy work, Daily Monitor has established.
Mr Tom Aguma, the Apac municipal engineer, said the design of the demolished structure was not of a storeyed building but was later converted into one after the community mounted pressure.
“Council hired a consultant to carry out the test on the foundation of that building and based on their findings, we decided to demolish the foundation,” he said in an interwiew at the weekend.
“The foundation was very shallow, materials used were of low quality and we found that it could not carry the weight of a storeyed building.”
When Apac Town Council was granted a municipal status in 2016, the new administrative unit received Shs165 million from the Ministry of Finance under Transitional Development Sanitation Grant.
The then interim council approved the money for raising the foundation of a two-storeyed building, which was to be constructed in phases.
However, the project stalled for three years as leaders cited lack of funds.
But in the 2020/2021 financial year, the council approved Shs400 million under the Development Discretionary Equalisation Grant (DDEG) for the work to resume.
The council also recruited another town engineer to oversee the project after kicking Mr Francis Odongo, the engineer who had supervised the project, out of office.
Daily Monitor established that the contract was awarded to Whimsy Construction Ltd, who is undertaking the second phase of the project. The work commenced last month.
Mr Patrick Ongom Eyul, the area mayor, said there is no record of the previous project and “it is becoming difficult for us to trace how the project was managed”.
“I entered the office as mayor in August 2018, but what I found in office was only the chair and table. We tried to search for the records of the project but we could not find it,” he said.
Mr Stanislaus Mangasa, the town clerk, told this newspaper that he would ensure the previous mistake is not repeated in the current project.
“The issue of the previous project; we are leaving it for the responsible body to follow it up but my office will ensure that this project we have started is well managed and effectively implemented,” he said in an exclusive interview last Friday.
Residents speak out
Mr Franco Okello, a resident of Teibu Ward in Agulu Division, said they are demanding accountability from those who messed up the previous project.
“The engineer, mayor and the town clerk who were the supervisors of the previous project should come out and tell us what happened and how the money was spent,” he said.
Mr Bonny Okello, another resident of Central Ward in Akere Division, said the matter should be investigated so that those involved are held responsible.
“Mismanagement of public funds will continue if those who were responsible for the previous project are left untouched,” he said.