Local Gov’ts returning Billions despite poor roads, Parliament summons Lands Minister

Lands Minister Betty Kamya summoned over delayed infrastructural projects; Courtesy Photo

By Mary Asujo

The Minister for Lands, Housing and Urban Development Hon Betty Namisango Kamya has been summoned to appear before parliament on Tuesday next week to explain delays in several infrastructural projects and causing unnecessary loss of public funds.

This followed a concern raised by Kasese Municipality MP Robert Centenary over a non-utilized World Bank loan government procured in 2018 to finance several infrastructural projects in selected local governments but the projects have not taken off yet the loan continues to attract interest.

During a plenary sitting on Wednesday, Robert Centenary told parliament that 13 billion shillings which was given to Kasese District for the same project was returned to the Ministry of Wealth in the last financial year and that at the end of this year, another 27 billion is likely to be returned yet the roads in Kasese municipality are in a very sorry state.

In 2018, Government of Uganda received additional financing to the tune of US$ 360 million from the World Bank/IDA to implement the second phase of a 5 year program (USMID) with projects expected to start in fiscal year 2018/19. Eight additional municipal local governments of Kitgum, Kamuli, Mubende, Kasese, Busia, Ntungamo, Apac and Lugazi and 8 districts of Adjumani, Moyo, Yumbe, Arua, Isingiro, Kiryandongo, Kamwenge and Lamwo, were to benefit from he project and to deliver critical infrastructure to communities.

“We returned money to the treasury last year but this year we are not ready to return more money this financial year until that procurement is investigated why it has not taken place because it is the one hindering the whole process”

He says the Municipality is stuck with the money on the accounts because the Ministry did not provide a contractor to implement the infrastructural projects in the area.

Mukono south MP Johnson Muyanjja Ssenyonga told parliament that the Local Governments’ Accounts Committee was supposed to visit different municipalities to specifically conduct oversight on infrastructural development which has not been done.

Hon Ssenyonga asked the Speaker to expeditiously constitute a committee to handle the matter saying final decision from the minister may also delay leading to more losses.

The speaker of parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga informed parliament that she is aware the matter concerning the project is being handled but the minister should on Tuesday present a comprehensive explanation to parliament on progress of implementation of that project.

The fund to the 8 districts which targeted communities hosting large numbers of refugees was aimed at improving planning, land tenure security, and small infrastructure investments in refugees host communities. The projects under the program include district and community Access Roads to make them motorable throughout the year, infrastructure like small bridges and box culverts on impassable sections and filling material to address bottlenecks in swampy areas.



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