UGX 1.6B Lost in Kanungu Bridge Repairs

1979 Views Kanungu, Uganda

In short
Kanungu district leaders are bitter after learning that over 1.6 billion Uganda shillings was reportedly paid to a contractor to repair a bridge in the district but it was never worked on.

Kanungu district leaders are bitter after learning that over 1.6 billion Uganda shillings was reportedly paid to a contractor to repair a bridge in the district but it was never worked on.
 
 
The revelation follows a visit to the district by the Parliamentary Assurances Committee members who found out that a contract was awarded to fix a bridge on River Birara at the border between Rukungiri and Kanungu districts.
 
The contract is said to have been awarded by the Ministry of Works to B&M Company Limited.
 
 Kanungu District Vice Chairperson John Muhima told a team of visiting legislators that the district officials have been reliably informed that the contractor was paid the money and even given a certificate of completion.
 
 
Muhima says that the works at the bridge are less than 20% saying that the district had no jurisdiction over the contractor after he told them off that they are not the ones who gave him the tender when they started questioning why no work was going on. 

Kanungu resident district Commissioner Jjuuko Kasita says that there is need by the central government to always award tenders in conjunction with local governments to make monitoring of projects easy as the district officials are the ones who are always on the ground.
 
The visiting legislators who were in Kanungu on the last week were led by the committee vice chairperson Naggayi Nabila Ssempala, who is also Kampala Woman MP. The other members were Ayivu County MP Atiku Bernard, Mpigi Woman MP Nakawunde Sarah, Abim Woman MP Juliana Auma, and that for Kanungu Karungi Elizabeth.
 
Ssempala revealed that the Minister of State for Works John Byabagambi had told them in July this year that work on the bridge was nearing Completion.
 
Ssempala and her team also visited the collapsed Mitaano Bridge at the border between Rukungiri and Kanungu which they found in a sorry state with the metals that fell in water yet to be retrieved.
 
Ssempala told the district leaders that her committee will task the works minister to explain why the contractor was paid and yet the bridge was never worked on.
 
Neither Engineer John Byabagambi nor B&M Company Limited could be reached by URN reporter for a comment on the matter.

This comes at a time government is struggling to redeem itself after scandals hit the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and the Ministry of Public Service, in which tax payers lost close to 40 billion and 169 billion shillings respectively.