By Innocent Atuganyira
Peter Ogwanga, the state minister for economic monitoring has ordered for the arrest of nine officials from Masindi district and Masindi Municipality over shoddy works on nine projects which were done in the last financial year.
Ogwanga is in Bunyoro with the minister of state for Bunyoro affairs Jennifer Namuyango Kacha for economic monitoring.
While inspecting different projects in Masindi, Ogwanga discovered that all the nine projects which were visited had serious defects and there is no value for money.
He instructed ASP Ednah Nyiraneza the acting District Police Commander Masindi to enforce the arrest of seven officials from the district, and two from the Municipality.
The suspects are; Geoffrey Nkurunzinza the former chief administrative officer Masindi, John Muhumuza the engineer in charge of house construction, David Baguma the chief finance officer, Alfred Ocen the water engineer and Patrick Okise the district principal internal auditor.
Others are Godfrey Byarugaba the district procurement officer, Ramek Atugonza the district engineer, John Kasaija the municipality engineer and Deo Kabugo the town clerk.
“All of them should be arrested to help us in investigations. There’s no value for money in all the projects we have gone to. We cannot accept this kind of corruption. I myself I am going to be the complainant,” he instructed the DPC.
The projects Ogwanga visited include a 490 million SHS ward at Katasenywa health centre III, three 5 stance latrines at Miduuma primary school, Bwijanga health centre IV and Bulima town council all valued at shs 22 million each.
Others were four bore holes which were constructed at a tune of close to shs 100 million. All the boreholes were found not functional.
The minister also discovered that there was no water where they were drilled and yet money was paid to the contractor.
He wondered why the implementers drilled the boreholes without doing a geological survey.
After finding all the projects with severe defects, Ogwanga ordered that all the implementing officers be arrested and thoroughly investigated.
“The president gave us strategic areas to focus on and they include service delivery, fighting corruption, and cohesion among others. We want to deliver to the expectation of the people. Whoever deviates will face it rough. I want to pledge on behalf of the president that this Kissanja is a different one, if you want to be safe don’t touch government money,” said Ogwanga.
He also warned Cosmas Byaruhanga the Masindi district LCV chairperson to clean his house by prevailing over his technical people wondering how such a shoddy work could happen on every project worked upon when he is available.
Namuyangu warned civil servants who are ready to continue practicing corruption to relinquish their offices explaining that they are not going to spare any one misappropriating government funds.
“You better resign when it’s still early because we are not going to work with anyone who is incompetent,” said Namuyangu.
Namuyangu asked for transparency amongst the technocrats saying that government is injecting a lot of money in the region.
“I ask you to do good oversight role. We don’t want to see this money being embezzled. This time we want zero tolerance to corruption,” she added.
The ministers also expressed their disappointment over the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Rose Kirabira failing to reside in the district.
“We know your RDC as an absentee RDC and yet she is supposed to reside within the district,” Ogwanga told a brief meeting which was held at the district headquarters before setting off for the field.
Namuyangu also said that they wanted to the RDC to be part of the team but she declined to give them time.
Cosmas Byaruhanga the Masindi LCV chairperson explained that as the district authorities they had monitored the projects and declined to commission them after finding that they were below standard.
“Out of the 10 projects which were inspected, only two were accepted. They were rejected because they were shoddily worked upon. We wouldn’t accept them because there was no value for money,” said Byaruhanga.
He added that this should act as a turning point to fight corruption in Masindi, adding that all the culprits should be held accountable.
“I want to commend you for what you have done. I have been getting frustrations in fighting corruption. I am happy that you have joined me and I pray that you don’t stop at this point,” he said.
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