West Buganda Diocese Resorts to Loan to Finance Construction of Church Plaza

4102 Views Masaka, Uganda

In short
Following unsuccessful attempts to raise money from alternative sources, the diocese sold off Ntusi Diocesan Ranch at about 2.5 billion shillings to generate the required funds.

West Buganda Diocese is hunting for a loan to finance the construction of the proposed Masaka church plaza. The diocese has already given Symbion Uganda Limited, a private construction firm a go ahead to secure a loan from  PTA bank for the construction. In 2011, West Buganda Diocese unveiled a master plan to construct a modern Church Plaza next to Hot Ram Hotel along Edward Avenue in Masaka town. However, the project stalled after West Buganda diocese failed to raise the 2.5 billion shillings needed to finance the initial construction work.
Following unsuccessful attempts to raise money from alternative sources, West Buganda Diocese sold off Ntusi Diocesan Ranch at about 2.5 billion shillings to generate the required funds. Early this year, West Buganda Diocese contracted Symbion Uganda Limited and Proman Consult Limited to kick start construction but to date to date work has not started. Rt. Rev. Godfrey Makumbi, the Bishop of West Buganda Diocese says the construction work was delayed by the rising cost of construction material.

He says the costs of the project has more than tripled adding that, they now need 13 billion shillings for the project, which they don’t have. He says although the ranch was sold off, the money it generated is not even quarter of what is required. Worse still, Bishop Makumbi says the Diocese doesn't not have any other sources of income apart from offertories and tithing. He says they expect 13 billion shillings from the PTA Bank to finance the construction work.

// Cue in: “Money really comes…
Cue out: …Christians will come in.”//
Bishop Makumbi has also defended the disposal of Sembabule ranch together with all the livestock saying it was not viable. He says they had counted on it to generate income and finance church projects but it was very costly to maintain.
// Cue in: “ It doesn’t generate…
Cue out: …building without documentation.”//
Documents from West Buganda Diocese headquarters Kako seen by our reporter indicate that PTA Bank is expected to release the funds before the end of this year. The money will be channeled to the beneficiaries through is Stanbic Bank.

Canon Enoch Muwanguzi, the Diocesan Spokesperson says although the construction has not yet started, they are in high gear. He says as soon as all the contractual agreements are done, construction will commence using the available resources until the loan is secured.


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.