RDC Impounds Road Construction Equipment over Shoddy Work

2866 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
This followed the failure by Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town Clerk and Augustus Turibarungi, the Municipality Engineer to appear before the security committee to defend themselves on allegations of abuse of office, corruption and shoddy work.

Masaka Resident District Commissioner Linos Ngompek has confiscated road construction equipment, stalling ongoing maintenance of roads in Masaka municipality.

This followed the failure by Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town Clerk and Augustus Turibarungi, the Municipality Engineer to appear before the security committee to defend themselves on allegations of abuse of office, corruption and shoddy work.

The two were summoned two weeks ago by the district security committee, chaired by the RDC, to explain why the municipality failed to utilize over 1.1 billion Shillings allocated to them under the road fund.  The committee is also concerned that the leadership is using street children to patch potholes around the municipality without any supervision.

However, the two officials defied the summons. Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town Clerk says he couldn't appear before a committee that has no mandate to supervise his work.

"Who is the RDC to summon me on matters of service delivery, under what law? Is he my supervisor, did he appoint me …? Does he know how and when road fund is disbursed to start questioning me? "Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka town clerk questioned in an interview with URN.

Augustus Turibarungi, the Municipality Engineer declined to speak on this matter saying the mandate to respond to such matters is held by the Town Clerk.

As a result, Ngompek confiscated road construction equipment include a grader, bitumen pipers, road surface treatment substance, wheelbarrows, hoes and pangas. He said the Municipality failed to present contractual agreements with the people undertaking the road maintenance.

Ngompek said that although the municipality is supposed to tarmac Hobert Street and Speke Road, the ongoing maintenance is focusing on patching potholes.
 
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Muhammad Yiga, a resident of Masaka municipality has supported the RDC for blocking the road works.

Yiga said that there is no value for money in the rehabilitation of Grant Street, Hobert Street and Speke road, for which millions have already been spent. He added that the same roads that have been rehabilitated over the last three years are impassable.

Early this year, Ngompek blocked the construction of drainage system in Masaka municipality over alleged shoddy work.  He found workers building the drainage system using small ordinary bricks yet the bills of quantities indicate that Longjian Road and Bridge Company limited, a Chinese firm undertaking the construction was supposed to use concrete bricks.

In 2009, Nick Byegira, the former Masaka town clerk was arrested and later interdicted for corruption. His trouble stemmed from alleged embezzlement of 900 million Shillings under road fund given to the municipality.

Byegira claimed that the municipality had spent the money on tarmacking Nyendo-Kitovu Cathedral road yet Uganda National Road Authority - UNRA carried out the construction of this road. Police probe found out that Byegira had diverted the said money.
 

 

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.