Bundibugyo Energy Cooperative Society-BECS, the largest
power distribution company in Bundibugyo district is in trouble for alleged gross
mismanagement and incompetence.
Electricity Regulatory authority (ERA) has
suspended its operations and authorized Uganda Energy Distribution Company
limited–UEDCL to take over power distribution in Bundibugyo and Ntoroko
ERA licensed the cooperative in 2011 to managed and distribute
electricity in Bundibugyo and Ntoroko districts. The company also extends power distribution to some parts of
However, the company has been experiencing
financial challenges of late. In 2019, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) closed
the company offices for alleged failure to remit an unspecified amount of money
Willison Nyabutundu, an Official from the Rural
Electrification Agency-REA reveals that between 2007 and 2008, the government
came up with an idea of involving local communities in managing their own
energy needs to build local technical skills and creating employment.
He, however, says that they have jointly agreed
with ERA not to renew the company's license that expires in March over
maladministration leading to accumulated debts.
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Edward Irura, an official from ERA says that BECS’s 10 year
license expired in December last year
but they could not renew it because of the exhibited mismanagement.
Irura says a forensic audit conducted last year indicated that the cooperative
has an outstanding debt of Shillings 4.5billion, which compromises their
capacity to continue supplying power.
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Paul Mwesigwa, the Managing Director UEDCL, says they
will overhaul the working structures to ensure effective service delivery.
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Ronald Mutegeki, the Bundibugyo LC V Chairperson has called
on the new distribution company to be consistent in its operations.
BECs had made over 1500 connections comprising domestic consumers, businesses
Our reporter was unable to get a comment from the
cooperative by the time of filing this story.