Kitgum District Councillors Bitter Over Slow Construction of Seed School

Construction of the school started in November last year, almost six months after Zeep Construction Uganda Ltd, the company that was awarded a contract to construct the school, failed to start works.
04 Feb 2020 16:52
class room blocks for amida seed seconary school in labongo amida subcounty under construction.

Audio 4

A section of Kitgum district councillors have raised concerns over the slow construction of Amida seed secondary school in Manwoko South Village in Labongo Amida Sub-county.

Construction of the school started in November last year, almost six months after Zeep Construction Uganda Ltd, the company that was awarded a contract to construct the school, failed to start works

Ministry of Education and Sports awarded Zeep Construction Uganda Ltd a contract for the 2.55 billion Shillings school construction project sitting on a 21 acres’ piece of land offered by community members in May last year.

Jennifer Amono Opira, the women representative for pager and central division while presenting matters of urgent importance during a full council meeting last week says about 1.2 billion shillings for the seed school is expected to be returned back to the treasury.

Amono says this is the second time the district is likely to lose money meant for the seed school project after about 589 million shillings was sent back last year to the consolidated fund when the district failed to utilize it.

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She tasked the Chief Administrative Officer Martin Gwokto Jacan to explain why the contractor hasn’t yet been issued money for the school project which is likely to affect the completion of the school by May 15th this year.

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Kenneth Nyero Nyok-Cek, the Namokora sub county LCV Councillor says the district is bound to lose on key infrastructural development in the future in case funds for the school project is returned again to the treasury.

He says the district leaders especially office of the CAO and district chairperson should put more emphasis in ensuring the contractor beats the required dead line before end of the financial year.

The Kitgum District Chief Administrative Officer Martin Gwokto Jacan acknowledges that the construction work has been slow.

He also noted that 589 million shillings meant for the project was indeed returned adding that was has been budgeted for return by the education ministry is only 571 million, a shortfall of 17.3 million shillings.

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Jacan says the contractor has on several occasions been issued with serious warnings by the district engineer through letters copied to the education ministry to expedite the construction work.

He however notes that despite the commitment the contractor has shown to expedite construction, the district hasn’t released any money to him because he didn’t request for money.

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But Andrew Cohen Olal, the Zeep Construction UG Ltd General Manager says they made request for money two weeks ago but they haven’t got any feedback from the district engineer.

He says the site was recently visited by the district engineer who made assessment of the current construction to quantify amount they can release but the assessment reports haven’t been issued.

Olal says they have so far spent more than 300 million shillings on establishing six classroom and administrative blocks to the ring beam, pit latrine slabs and require money to complete the structures.

He cites that they may be unable to deliver timely work if the district holds back their request for funds longer than expected.

The Education Ministry early last year commenced on the procurement process to construct 127 Seed Secondary Schools under the Inter-Government Fiscal Transfer Program in sub-counties across the country.