Contractor Abandons Classroom Block Project

3391 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town Clerk says they have launched investigations into the matter but didn't divulge details.

St. Joseph Kiyimbwe primary school in Masaka is still struggling with a challenge of learning space because of the stalling of two new classroom blocks.

In 2013, Masaka Municipality contracted M/S Kaleeta construction limited to undertake the construction of two classroom blocks at Kiyimbwe primary school at the cost of Shillings 51 Million.
The classroom blocks were meant to address the problem of classroom shortage at the school as majority of pupils were learning under trees. However, it is now emerging that the project was never completed. 

In his audit report for the 2013/2014 financial year, the auditor general notes that the project was abandoned before completion. The auditor general notes that 28 corrugated iron sheets were not fixed; the roof has openings, which is a sign of poor workmanship. 

The auditor general asks Masaka Town clerk to ensure the building is complete or recover the money given to the contractor. Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town Clerk says they have launched investigations into the matter but didn't divulge details. 

Godfrey Kayemba, the Mayor Masaka Municipality says they ordered the contractor to redo the work in vain. He says the money that was meant to complete the classroom block was returned to the treasury at the close of the financial year. 

Kayemba says the contractor dragged the municipality to court for refusing to pay him his balance of 23million Shillings. 

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Charles Matovu, the Managing Director M/S Kaleeta Construction Limited says he dragged the municipality to court for wasting his time and refusing to pay him. He however declined to comment on the quality of his work, when URN asked him about the alleged shoddy work.

The failure to complete the classroom blocks has worsened classroom crisis at the school. Mathias Mukasa, the Head teacher Kiyimbwe primary school says the school management committee petitioned Masaka Municipality and Ministry of Local Government to fix the shoddy work but the contractors refused. 
He says currently over 200 pupils in primary six and seven don't have learning space.
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Judith Nambejja and John Baptist Nsubuga are pupils ate St. Joseph Kiyimbwe primary school. They say the learning conditions at the school are deplorable given the current rainy season.

They say they are confined in one crowded classroom whenever there is rain.

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Frank Ddungu, a mathematics teacher at the school says they are forced to conduct lessons under the tree because of limited classrooms.

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About the author

Edward Bindhe
Bindhe prides himself on being a part of the society he writes about. He believes there is no way a journalist can understand his society unless it considers him a part of it. This is why he is dedicated to investigating the challenges of the "little person."

Bindhe says, "My work reflects the Uganda Radio Network unique approach to news." Not many Ugandan journalists would consider or even notice the re-emergence of Water Hyacinth on a lake. Bindhe does.

Truant children will attract Bindhe's attention until he gets to the bottom of their truancy: poverty and the need to work to earn bread for their families. These are the kinds of stories Bindhe is often after.

Edward Bindhe is the Masaka URN bureau chief. Rakai, Lwengo, Lyantonde, Kalangala, Mpigi, Kalungu, Bukomansimbi and Sembabule districts fall under his docket. He has been a URN staff member since 2009.

A Mass Communication graduate from Uganda Christian University, Bindhe started practising journalism in 2008 as a reporter for Radio Buddu in Masaka district.