By Aggrey Twesigye
The state minister for local government Victoria Rusoke Businge has threatened to blacklist all companies that have delayed the construction of government projects.
The furious minister gave the remarks yesterday as she monitored the construction of Mbarara central market that has delayed for now two years from the due period of two years.
The minister questioned why the works on the market have taken a long period of time compared to what was in the contract they penned down with ROKO Construction company Limited.
Ms. Businge noted that as the ministry they have given what it takes for the market to be complete in time but surprisingly the contractor has failed to deliver the original work in time.
She warned that as government they won’t tolerate unserious contractors who can’t complete their tasks in stipulated time frame.
However ,in his defense ,the project Manager ROKO Construction company Limited Stuart Kasibante blamed the delay to COVID 19 which has affected the cash flow.
The 21 billion government project which started Feb. 2018 and was expected to be complete in Jan.2020 so far slapped a loss of over 600 million shillings to Mbarara city council according to Mbarara city Deputy Town Clerk Richard Migisha.
Mugisha says the city has lost a lot of money from taxes and rent which would have helped to develop the city.
He says that because of the unfriendly conditions at the Independence park where vendors currently operate from , council had suspended the daily taxing of vendors.
“You know the market was owned by the city council and we would get a lot of money from vendors for example we used to collect more than 500 million from rent every year in addition to daily dues that would bring 100M annually ,” Mugisha noted.
Mugisha says the city local revenue has decreased from 8 billion shillings to around 6.9 billion since all sources of money around the central market such as Taxi /Bus park used to feed to and from the market.
Apart from the rent and taxes , Mugisha says that the delayed completion of the market has failed another projects under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) projects menu to design and beautify the Independence park
He says that there is no way the Independence park can be worked on since it is still occupied by vendors.
Nyombi Muhammad ,the chairperson of Mbarara central market vendors Association says that they have also lost a lot in their business since customers have dwindled with time.
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