Local Government minister Adolf Mwesige has directed for the resumption of the construction work at Gulu modern market that had stalled following discovery that the plan was illegally altered and reduced.
The minister of Local government has directed for the resumption of the construction work at Gulu modern market that had stalled following discovery that the plan was illegally altered and reduced.
Adolf Mwesigye, in a letter written on January 12th 2011 to Gulu LC5 chairperson Martin Ojara Mapinduzi, said the ministry was concerned about the alteration of the original design that is supposed to accommodate 4,400 vendors but which had been altered to accommodate only 1,800 vendors.
The minister also asked Dott Services, the contractors building the market, to proceed with the original plan adding that government would fund the project to a tune of US$11.7m.
Mapinduzi says he is happy with the response from the ministry. He observed that the change in the plan for the market would have made up to US$5.7 million unaccounted for.
He says they got concerned after the district engineers tipped him that the plan displayed by the contractors was not matching with the design reflected in the foundation at the construction site.
Mapinduzi says the plan to build a market that can accommodate over 4,000 vendors matches with the dream to turn the town into a city and transform it into a powerful business hub that can match the need of the growing population and business demands.
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George Labeja, the municipality mayor has faulted the Town Clerk, Augustine Bujara, for allegedly conniving with some ministry of local government officials to secretly change the plan of the market to enable them divert part of the money for selfish gains.
Labeja claims that Bujara changed the approved plan without the knowledge of both the municipal council and the minister of local government. He says they later discovered a document containing the signature of the Town Clerk authorizing the change in the plan of the market from one that would accommodate 4,400 vendors to one with a capacity of only 1,800 vendors.
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The adjustments have since strained the relationship between the Town Clerk and both the local authority and residents of the town, a situation that has led to his eviction from office.
The project to redevelop markets is funded by African Development Bank with similar construction work taking place in seven other municipalities and urban centers including Lira, Wandegeya, Mbale, Fort Portal and Hoima among others. Meanwhile, 19 other municipalities are to benefit under the same program once the first phase ends.
Upon completion, the market is designed to have banking halls, daycare centre, pharmacy, clinics, Close Circuit Television, modern fire-fighting system, lock-ups and stalls.
Already, traders in Gulu town displayed a lot of excitement saying it would earn them increased sales and space on completion.
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