Bundibugyo Power Distribution Company Loses Contract Over Mismanagement, Debts

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Paul Mwesigwa, the Managing Director UEDCL, says they will overhaul the working structures to ensure effective service delivery.
UMEME Services have not yet extended to Bundibugyo District

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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 districts.  

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 Fort Portal.   

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 in taxes.   

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 and industrialists. 

Our reporter was unable to get a comment from the cooperative by the time of filing this story.

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