Fort Portal Municipality Under Fire Over Bridge

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In short
According to Byagagaire, they followed up the matter and were told that the materials on site had already cost Shillings 40 million, an amount he disputes. Byagagaire says their calculation shows that the material cost not more than Shillings 10 million.

Fort portal municipal council authorities have come under fire from leaders and residents of Bulyanyenje village in West Division for allegedly embezzling Shillings 64 million meant for the construction of a bridge across River Nyabukara. 
 

The Village Vice Chairperson, James Byagagaire, says the council allocated Shillings 64 million in the 2017/2018 financial year to construct the bridge, which is along Bulyanyenje road. He says to his shock, only a few culverts and stones were dumped on the construction site but no one followed up to ensure work begins.
 
 
According to Byagagaire, they followed up the matter and were told that the materials on site had already cost Shillings 40 million, an amount he disputes. Byagagaire says their calculation shows that the material cost not more than Shillings 10 million.


 
He wants the Fort portal town clerk, Deo Ndimo to explain how the money allocated for the bridge works was used and why the cost has been inflated. Ronald Asingura, a resident in the area, says they live in fear whenever it rains because floods cut off the road. He says they have already registered two nasty accidents around the spot where the bridge is expected to be built.


 
"When it rains, you can't cross this river. Last time, a boda boda rider fell in the river because he tried to cross when the road was flooded. He survived but with serious injuries," Asingura said.

 
On Friday, a Toyota Harrier Registration number UAZ 014M swerved off the road at the same spot and fell into the river. Its driver Ivan Lubowa sustained serious injuries and was rushed to Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital where he is still fighting for his life.
 
 
Ndimo denies claims of embezzling the money for the bridge and attributes delays to construct it on changes in their financial management system. He explains that whereas money was budgeted for the construction works, they couldn't withdraw it from the municipal council account.  
 
 
He however, unable to answer how Shillings 40 million was withdrawn to buy the material dumped on the site. He explained that the issue is being handled and work should start soon.
 

 

About the author

Christopher Tusiime
Christopher Tusiime is the URN Bureau Chief in Tooro. Districts of Kyenjojo, Kamwenge, Kabarole, Ntoroko, Bunyangabu and Kyegegwa, Kitagwenda and Fort Portal Tourism City fall under his docket.

Before joining URN, Tusiime first worked at The Observer newspaper for close to four years as an education reporter.