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Kitgum Municipal Council Stuck with UGX 6 Billion USMID Cash

Emmanuel Banya, the Kitgum Municipal Council Town Clerk told URN in an interview on Tuesday that ever since the money was released, it has been idle in the Municipal Council bank account pending procurement of a consultant by Lands Ministry.
29 Oct 2019 19:21
One of the streets in Kitgum Municipality. Photo By Julius Ocungi

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6.2 billion shillings meant for infrastructural development under Uganda Support for Municipal Infrastructure Development [USMID] for Kitgum Municipality islying idle on the council accounts.

According to municipal officials, the funds were released in June for undertaking the first phase of the three years World Bank-funded Infrastructural development projects in Kitgum Municipality.

Emmanuel Banya, the Kitgum Municipal Council Town Clerk says that ever since the money was released, it has been idle in the Municipal Council bank account pending procurement of a consultant by the Ministry of Lands.

He notes that whereas the money has been idle for a long time, it is safe since it’s in a separate account adding that all interests accruing from it will remain as part of the project money.  

// Cue in; “at the moment …

  Cue out…and it’s kept” //

According to Banya, the Municipal council cannot in any way utilize the money currently in their possession unless a consultant is procured by the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development.

// Cue in; “For now what…

Cue out…get a consultant”//  

Denis Obbo, the Lands Ministry Spokesperson, says that they are following the set guidelines and process aimed at ensuring the designs for the roads are approved. 

He says it’s not automatic that once World Bank releases the funds, it should be put to use adding that the set processes have to be met first.

“The delays should not be a concern for the officials in Kitgum municipal council, once all the process is finished, real work should start,” Obbo said.

The money released in the first phase of the project will majorly concentrate on tarmacking of road within the central business district while second year will focus on beautification of areas such as Pager River.

Kitgum Municipality is expected to receive approximately 19 billion shillings to undertake the three years USMID project that will see completion of three kilometers selected road, solar street light installation, construction of modern abattoir and Kitgum main bus park.  

The Municipality is among eight other new municipalities that have started benefiting from USD350 Million World Bank Funded Project this financial year.  

They include Lugazi, Kasese, Kamuli, Mubende, Apac, Ntungamo and Busia bringing to 22, the number of Municipalities that are now benefiting from the USMID Project across the country.