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Kasese Municipality Returns UGX 60Bn USMID Funds to Treasury

The funds were to be used to develop infrastructure especially roads and streets within the central business area of the town including Rwenzori Road, Margherita, Stanley, Alexander and Mukirania streets.
Former Kasese municpality mayor G. Kabwanga says USMID challenges begun with legal clashes between among contractors

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Kasese Municipal Council lost more than 60 Billion Shillings under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development- USMID program.

This money was returned to the treasury as unspent balances from the last two financial years due to the long procurement process. 

The funds were to be used to develop infrastructure especially roads and streets within the central business area of the town including Rwenzori Road, Margherita, Stanley, Alexander and Mukirania streets.

The Kasese Municipality MP Ferigo Kambale says the issue stems from the procurement process of the contractors which the benefiting municipalities have no control on. 

He says that the municipalities have been clustered and under the agreement, they are supposed to use a single contractor for Kasese, Hoima and Fort portal. Kambale says the government hired contractor is unable to implement projects in the different municipalities within a space of a year.

//Cue in: “The procurement has… 

Cue out: …can’t implement anything.”// 

Ferigo appeals to the government to decentralize the process of procuring contractors so that the local administrative units can have timely benefits from the fund. 

//Cue in: “It very painful… 

Cue out: …resolved by the centre.”//

Geoffrey Kabyanga the former Kasese municipality mayor who was in office when the USMID program commenced says that from the beginning there were also legal issues between the competing contractors which affected the progress of the program.

//Cue in: “When those … 

Cue out: …we are tired.”//

Kabyanga who is now the minister for ICT and National Guidance says the alternative is now for the government to intervene in the matter.  He also wants the government to decentralize the procurement process so that local governments can award their competent contractors.

//Cue in: “Through their embassy… 

Cue out: …of Kasese municipality.”//

The Mayor Chance Kahindo says the municipality has this quarter alone received a tune of 5.6Bn under the same program meant for the physical and drainage master plan. He however says that they are still waiting for the government to send a contractor to start the work.

In an earlier interview Kasese Municipal Deputy Town Clerk, Zedekia Kambasu Kayiri said their hopes of transforming the town into a clean, green, and poverty-free and well-planned town in Western Uganda remain frustrated.

Regan Muhindo who operates a garage at Kilembe road said they heard about the program on the radio early in 2019 and have since been waiting for its fruits in vain.

 

USMID is a World Bank-funded project aimed at enhancing institutional performance and improving urban service delivery. It is being implemented by the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development. It commenced in 2013/2014 in different municipalities.

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