Public accountability gaps and corruption continue to hinder smooth service delivery in different parts of Uganda.
In Mbarara city, concerned stakeholders want the Inspectorate of Government-IG, State House Anti-Corruption Unit and other authorities to investigate the corruption and shoddy work red flags in the Rwebikoona open yard beautification project. Following these growing public concerns, Rise News Uganda in-depth team investigated and unearthed the following;
The contractor, Kwed Construction Limited wanted to complete the work in less than 6 months (effective November 2022) but the city council authorities gave him 1 year, yet the site is a very busy place where traders might not tolerate disruptions for a full year.
On November 16, 2022, the business community in Rwebikoona threatened to demonstrate because the contractor had abandoned the site. Days later, some leveling was done and nothing has been done since then – as of January 2, 2023.
On Tuesday, January 3, 2023, Kwarikunda Edson who is the Managing Director of Kwed construction limited told Rise News Uganda that they were disrupted by rain which caused losses, hence halting the works in November 2022– but added that they had resumed on the same date (January 3,20230. Rise News Uganda visited the site, but no work was being done as of January 5, 2023.
Mbarara City mayor Robert Kakyebezi recently refuted claims by several activists and leaders who claim that there is too much corruption at the city council and this has led to contractors doing shoddy work since they bribe the local authorities supposed to supervise them.
The Resident City Commissioner-RCC Lt. Col. James Mwesigye also urged locals and other people to report every suspicious case in their areas as the best way to fight corruption and promote public accountability.
ABOUT THE PROJECT: The Ugx1.8 billion Rwebikoona open yard beautification project is under Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development-USMID funded by International Development Association (IDA) & World Bank through Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
The contractor Kwed Construction Limited is supervised by UB Consulting Engineers Limited and Professional Engineering Consultants.