By Mike Sebalu
The Minister of State for Economic Monitoring Akello Beatrice Akori has called for immediate investigations into the alleged ghost water project in Nyakyeera sub-county, Ruhaama county, Ntungamo district.
In 2019, government extended the Kiyoora Water project worth Shs100 million with a view of supplying safe water from Kiyoora demonstration.
However, during the Minister’s spot visit with a team from the State House Anti Corruption Unit, it was discovered that the said funds were withdrawn from the sub-county account and the project was never implemented.
It was also established that the sub-county got funds directly from the Ministry of Water without the district leadership’s knowledge. The sub-county further went ahead with the valuation process regardless of having designs and a project manager as stipulated by law.
This prompted the Minister to direct immediate investigation to bring to book whoever is responsible for the causing financial loss to government.
“We got reports from the Auditor General citing how some irregularities in the district are crippling the service delivery because, after the sub-county received money, they went ahead to execute the project which is never into existence, meaning that all the 100m shilling was eaten,” Akello said.
“The whole water project was a scam and the suspects involved including Ntungamo district water officer Dismus Tumusange, the then sub-county chief Frank Muriisa, the procurement officer, the contract committee, and the whole system be investigated by the State House Anti Corruption Unit,” she added.
She further directed the Anti-corruption Unit to investigate the racket tp establish the source of funding and how it was remitted without indicative planning figures.
The Minister contends that there must be some connivance to divert the funding for selfish gains which must be stopped. She also noted that some projects have stalled for some years and shoddy work done due to lack of technical competence for employees with majority district heads of departments in acting capacity for more than three to four years, which she said is inappropriate.
“Please chairman and CAO the acting positions are compromising the service delivery in the district, make sure those missing positions are filled because people are there ready to be employed,” she said.
Meanwhile, the accused Ntungamo district water officer, Dismus Tumusange told the minister that the sub-county authorities neither consulted him to make bills of quantities nor called him for any supervisory work towards the project.
“After the sub-county received funds, they came and told me to make for them BOQs and I told them that I want first inspect the site, which they never adhered to until when procurement officer of the district called me to attend the procurement committee and among the items to be discussed was the Kiyoora water project,” Tumusange confessed.
Ntungamo district local government chairperson, Mr. Samuel Mucunguzi called for serious action to be taken to whoever will be found guilty in this water project. Meanwhile, the district Chief Administrative Officer, Mr. Mathias Ndifuna who has spent a few months in the office could not verify all the claims saying that there was no handover report.
Other projects inspected were Kihanga Seed Secondary School under UGFIT, Kishami HCIII, Kyamwasha HCIII, and Eriaya Kategaya Memorial Institute.