Nakapiripirit Contractors Form Pressure Group To Fight Corrupt Officials

3497 Views Nakapiripirit, Uganda

In short
More than 100 local contractors in Nakapiripirit district have formed a pressure group to get rid of three district officials accused of encouraging corruption in the district.

More than 100 local contractors in Nakapiripirit district have formed a pressure group to get rid of three district officials accused of encouraging corruption in the district.

The contractors most of who are from Namalu, Nabilatuk and Nacat sub counties, want the ministry of local government to interdict and accordingly expel the three district officials.

Godfrey Onekalit, the district engineer, Mark Kocho, the Chief Finance Officer and Joseph Ngiro Kelia, the Procurement officer are the officials mentioned.

The pressure group headed by Joseph Aleper and deputized by Daniel Matovu wants the three officials out of the district on grounds that they have monopolized the contract works in the districts and that they are allegedly misusing public funds sent from the central government to develop the district.

They claim the three have connived and established several of their construction and supply firms which they use for fleecing the district of billions of shillings.

They are angry that the officials have been denying them opportunity of local contract works in the district. They claim that in some few instances that local contractors are given work, the three ask from them more than 20 percent of the total sum for the work as kick-back.

Aleper cites among some of the contract works the three have awarded to themselves as the rehabilitation of Namalu-Kokwaum road which was given to a firm called Devine Construction Company Limited at a tune of 200 million shillings. He claims the firm belongs to the chief finance officer, Mark Kocho.

He also said the Namalu-Kaiku road rehabilitation was awarded to Moroto Enterprise Construction Company Limited at a tune of 120 million shillings. He claims the company belongs to Joseph Ngiro Kelia, the procurement officer.

Another one is the 11Km stretch of Namalu- Nabulengel road rehabilitation which he claims was awarded to the company belonging to Patrick Oketayot, the district engineer at a tune of 360 million shillings.
 
The three officials have not yet commented on the allegations.

The contractors say despite the millions of shillings they pay to Uganda Revenue Authority as monthly remittances for the returns, the three have continued to deny them contract works.

They are now planning a peaceful demonstration in which they will go and camp at the District Headquarters demanding for the expulsion of the three.

Their earlier attempts in December last year to demonstrate was thwarted by a heavy police deployment around the district headquarters after they had moved about 5Kms to the headquarters from Tokora trading center. Police also dispersed the demonstrators.

But Moses Kisembo Bahemuka, the Nakapiripirit Chief Administrative Officer says he had earlier asked the aggrieved to apply for an administrative review of the biddings but none of them has since applied. He said district has been awarding contracts according to the public procurement law—PPDA and that those not satisfied should appeal.
 
Cox Apamaku, the district Police commander warned the group against illegal demonstration. He said they have a right to demonstrate as long as they get a clearance from the office of the Inspector General of Police.

 

About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.