Rakai Investigates Sale of Community Motor Boat

2238 Views Rakai town, Uganda

In short
Benon Mugabi, Rakai LC5 Chairman has instituted investigation into circumstances under which a community motor boat worth shillings 150 million was sold off at only shillings 15 million.

Benon Mugabi, Rakai LC5 Chairman has instituted investigations into circumstances under which a community motor boat worth shillings 150 million was sold off at only shillings 15 million. The boat in question was donated to residents of Nangoma Island by the Danish Agency for Development Agency –DANIDA to facilitate the HIV/Aids awareness campaign. The boat was also meant to address the transport difficulties faced by people living with HIV/AIDS found on Kasesero and Nangoma landing sites on Lake Victoria.

However, in June 2010, the boat was sold off by Rakai district administration to Mulowooza and Brothers Company limited under unclear circumstances. A copy of a general receipt seen by URN dated June 29, 2010 shows that the boat was sold off to Mulowoza at shillings 15 million. Harriet Namayengo, former Rakai deputy Finance, Administration, and Procurement officer says that the district approved the sale of the boat at shilling 120 million and because of the high fuel consumption.
 
Adding that, the district was expected to buy a low cost boat to replace the high fuel consuming boat. Namayengo however says she was shocked to learn from Vincent Ssemakula, former Rakai district LC5 Chairman that the boat was sold at only 15million shilling far below the approved price. News of the sell of the community motor boat has not gone down with its intended beneficiaries. Over, the weekend residents of Nongoma Island staged a demonstration to protest the sale of the community motor boat.
 
Agnes Namusiitwa, LC V councilor for Kyebe Sub County says that the sale of the community boat has paralyzed transport to Nongoma Island. She claims that over 15 people living with HIV/AIDS are unable to access ARVS from Kakuuto and Kyebe health centers because they are completely cut off. She says residents are demanding to repossess the community motor boat because they were not consulted before the decision to sell it off was taken.
 
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As a result, Benon Mugabi, Rakai LC5 Chairman has instituted a committee to investigate circumstances under which the boat was sold off. Mugabi says although he was not in office then, he is concerned given the paltry price the boat was sold off and the money swindled.
 
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Vincent Ssemakula, former Rakai district Chairman, Kimbugwe Kiwanuka, the Rakai Veterinary officer, and James Nkata, the Rakai Chief Administrative officer are at the center of the controversial sale. Both Ssemakula and Kimbuggwe Kiwanuka could not be reached for comment on the sale of the boat.
 
James Nkata, Rakai Chief Administrative officer defends the sale of the boat but refuses to explain the anomaly in the price it was sold off. Nkata says that the district sold off the boat because it was too costly to maintain. He however refuses to disclose when the new boat will be bought to replace the sold boat. Nangoma Island is one of the areas that were ravaged by HIV/AIDS.
 
 

 

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.