Service Delivery Stalls as Fort Portal Municipality loses Millions in Court Fines

2161 Views Fort Portal, Uganda

In short
Some of the activities that have stalled yet they had been budgeted for in the 2014/2015 financial year projects include the installation of street lights and electricity at the waste recycling plant, maintenance of roads and opening of access roads in the three municipal divisions South, East and West, replacing and painting of all pavements along the streets.

Fort portal Municipality has registered a setback in service delivery owing to hefty court fines subjected to it. The fines stem from cases lodged against the municipality for illegal cancellation of contracts.  


The municipality has paid out Ugx 450 million in fines over the last four months. Another 20 cases against are pending hearing at Fort Portal High Court which could increase the financial burden if lost by the municipality.


In one of the cases, the municipal council cancelled contracts initially awarded to four companies to maintain municipal roads on grounds of substandard works. The municipality was dragged to court for illegal termination and lost all the cases. Subsequently, part of the money set aside to implement activities outlined in the FY 2014/2015 budget was withdrawn from the municipal account to clear the fines.


Some of the activities that have stalled yet they had been budgeted for in the 2014/2015 financial year projects include the installation of street lights and electricity at the waste recycling plant, maintenance of roads and opening of access roads in the three municipal divisions South, East and West, replacing and painting of all pavements along the streets.

Gerald Baguma, a resident of Kitumba says that the lack of street lights poses a serious security threat to people working at night along the streets. Baguma adds that installing the street lights will not only reduce crime, but will also help change the face of the town, which is craving for a city status. 


//Cue in; "the streetlights…
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Gilbert Kayondo, the fort portal municipal councilor representing Kasusu ward blames politicians of usurping the mandate of technical staff especially the engineering department. Kayondo says that the Municipal Mayor Asaba Ruyonga has on several occasions taken individual decisions and terminated contracts without informing municipal engineers.

Kayondo says that in a bid to avoid loss of tax payers' money, the municipal council should in future settle some of the cases out of court, or first investigate the allegations against the contractors before their services are terminated.

However Ruyonga says he has no regrets about the large sums of money spent.


Ruyonga says that some of the cases are lost due to failure by the technical staff to cooperate with the council's legal team.  He also claims that some of the technical staff connive with the contractors and do substandard work.
 
 

 

About the author

Emmanuel Kajubu
Emmanuel Kajubu is proud to have been the first Ugandan journalist to write in depth pieces about the Tooro Kingdom institution. His knowledge of the inner workings of the Tooro Kingdom is what made him privy to the splits in the royal family. These splits almost challenged Tooro Omukama Oyo Nyimba Iguru's reign.

Culture, agriculture and the environment are just two areas of many of interest to Kajubu. As long as he has held a pen, Kajubu has also written about public policy, health and crime.

Kajubu is keen on impacting his society not just as a writer but also a trainer and mentor. Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts fall under his docket. Kajubu has been a URN staff member since 2008.