RDC Seeks to Block UGX6B USMID Project Over Corruption

3474 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Ngompek says he has notified Uganda National Road Authority and the works and transport Ministry to suspend ground breaking ceremony until Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town Clerk is investigated for alleged corruption.

The launch of the Uganda Support to Municipality Infrastructure Development - USMID project in Masaka is likely to delay over allegations of corruption. Abraham Byandala, the Transport and Works minister is expected to launch the World Bank funded project on November 20th to kick start the construction of major roads in Masaka Municipality.

The road works are expected to cost UGX 6billion. Mid this year, Masaka Municipality contracted Longjian Road and Bridge Company limited, a Chinese firm to undertake the road works. But Linos Ngompek, the Masaka RDC claims that at least UGX 1billion has been misappropriated before the project kicks off.

Ngompek says he has notified Uganda National Road Authority and the works and transport Ministry to suspend the ground breaking ceremony until Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town Clerk is investigated for alleged corruption. Ngompek claims that, Kimbowa falsified documents and created ghost stakeholders to benefit from capacity building.
 
He notes that as result, Kimbowa spent UGX 1billion to facilitate the capacity building training workshops in Rwanda, Kalangala, Jinja, Entebbe and other places. He says that while UGX 200Million was spent, the accountability has been falsified to reflect UGX 1billion. Mariam Tusiime, a councilor at Masaka Municipality has backed plans to suspend the project. She says despite the fact that, they are stakeholders in all municipal council projects; they were sidelined by the town clerk.

Tusiime says since they were not involved in the capacity building trainings and wonders, who the money was spent on. Joseph Kimbowa, the Masaka Town Clerk has denied pocketing any money. He has admitted spending one billion shillings on capacity building saying it was budgeted for.

Kimbowa explains that World Bank provided the money under USMID project and he gave it to the contractors and World Bank technical team. He explains that in reality Masaka Municipality spent only 400million shillings to hire consultants to study the project area and compensate those affected. Kimbowa has warned Masaka RDC against tampering with this project saying he will face repercussions.


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Mathias Mpuuga, the Masaka Municipality MP says he is concerned about the delayed implementation of the project.

 

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.