MINISTER BEATRICE AKELLO SHOCKED BY CORRUPTION & ACCOUNTABILITY GAPS IN WESTERN UGANDA

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The State Minister for Economic Monitoring in the office of the President, Beatrice Akello Akori (2ND LEFT), the State House Anti-corruption unit and other officials supervising Rwebikona beautification project.

BY AARON AINOMUGISHA. The State Minister for Economic Monitoring in the office of the President, Beatrice Akello Akori and the State House Anti-corruption unit are expected to make another monitoring and evaluation visit to western Uganda after one month, after being shocked by the corruption and accountability gaps in Mbarara and other hotspots.

On May 25, 2023, Minister Akello and her team held an entry meeting with Mbarara city authorities before visiting different government projects under different sectors, where she appreciated the ongoing but also expressed dissatisfaction over some gaps hindering better service delivery.

The fishy issues continue to arise from contracts especially roads being constructed by multiplex ltd under Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program/project in Mbarara city, Ntungamo, Kabale municipalities and other parts of Uganda – where the said company continues to secure contracts despite being blacklisted.
The Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development is implementing the USMID program funded by the World Bank.

In Mbarara city, the 2.5 km roads in question (Major Victor Bwana, Galt & Stanley-Bishop Stretcher) were in May 2021 awarded to Multiplex construction ltd to be tarmacked at a tune of Ugx23 billion shillings, but the contract has been extended twice under unclear circumstances.

Galt road, Mbarara city.

Liquidation period expires in August 2023 but the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development Judith Nabakooba and Inspector General of Government (IGG) have already directed Mbarara city council, Kabale and Ntungamo municipalities not to cancel Multiplex contracts.

The contract was initially supposed to last for 1 year, but the works are now at 76% in Mbarara city, 24% in Kabale and 19% in Ntungamo municipalities. The minister has now directed Multiplex to complete all the works by December 2023 or else it will face it rough.

In the meeting attended by the Mbarara city clerk Assy Abireebe Tumwesigire, the mayor Robert Kakyebezi shocked the investigating officers when he disclosed that they had rejected Multiplex as the contractor, but they (with the then town clerk Tibihika Theophilus) were called in big offices in Kampala where they were forced to sign the contract because all municipalities had signed. A month later, Tibihika was transferred and replaced by John Behangana who was also transferred when he attempted to investigate some irregularities.

“We had rejected Multiplex ltd as the contractor but we were called to big offices where we were forced to sign the contract. I saw ministers 1, 2, I won’t mention them,” Kakyebezi explained.

The minister and team also visited Rwebikona beautification project worth UGX 1 billion where they established that like Multiplex, the contractor KWED construction ltd only brings machines when he is to be supervised. The minister vowed to arrest the contractor after 1 month if he continues working at that pace.

In Mbarara district, the minister directed State House Anti-Corruption Unit to investigate drug-stock outcry at Bwizibwera Health Centre IV and Mabira Health Centre II – and other parts of the country. Mbarara district is also not free from corruption scandals, with several complaints being raised against Chairman L C V Didas Tabaro.

ALSO READ – MBARARA CITY: THE SHODDY WORK & CORRUPTION RED FLAGS IN UGX1.8 BILLION BEAUTIFICATION PROJECThttps://risenewsug.com/2023/01/06/mbarara-city-shoddy-work-corruption-red-flags-in-the-ugx1-8-billion-beautification-project/ 

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