Mbale officials accused of inflating costs of gov’t projects

Minister Peter Ogwang on a field visit. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The State Minister for Economic Monitoring in the President’s office Peter Ogwang has raised concern over the high costs involved in the implementation of government projects in Mbale district.

Ogwang who was in Mbale district monitoring and inspecting government projects observes that while the costs of government works are high, their quality is not up to the standards.

He cited the construction of Bukingala Primary School in Budwale sub-county where the district constructed a four-class block at 152 Million Shillings. Each classroom was constructed at shillings 38 million.

Another project was the renovation of a three classroom block at Burukuru Primary School in Bukiende sub-county at 34 Million shillings. The renovation included re-roofing the block after strong winds blew it off.

At Bunabulo Primary School in Wanale sub county, the district constructed a three classroom block at 123 Million Shillings and a community milling machine and store at 138 million. The prices for these projects, Ogwang says are much higher than those in other districts.

Ogwang was also surprised that the Chief Administrative Officer’s house was renovated at 38 Million despite the substandard work.

The Mbale District Engineer, Robert Nashimolo insisted that the prices were not inflated but the cost of transporting the building materials to hard-to-reach areas was high due to the bad terrain.

On the renovation of a three classroom block at Burukuru Primary, the engineer said that the sub-county chief of Wanale sub county was interdicted for doing shoddy work and the police are investigating the case.

Muhammad Mafabi, the Mbale LCV chairperson said that although there are some irregularities, the district is doing fairly well in the implementation of government projects unlike other districts in the region. He said that the minister’s visit was an eye-opener to the leaders.

The Mbale District Chief Administrative Officer Lucy Francis Amulen said that the contractors procured by the Central Government have done substandard works because they are not easily supervised by the district.

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