Zeep Construction Uganda Ltd was awarded contract for the 2.55 billion Shillings school construction project sitting on a 21 hectares piece of land offered by community members in May this year.
Kitgum District leaders on Wednesday made an impromptu visit at the site but were shocked only find the contractor had done bush clearing with no visible work ongoing.
Construction of a multi-billion seed secondary school in Manwoko
South Village in Labongo Amida Sub-county in Kitgum District has failed to
Zeep Construction Uganda Ltd was awarded a contract for the 2.55 billion
Shillings school construction project on a 21 hectares piece of land offered by
community members in May.
Kitgum District leaders on Wednesday made an impromptu visit at the site but
were shocked to find the contractor had done bush clearing with no visible work
Fred Owot, the District Education Officer says the project is lagging behind by
one financial year since funds sent in the last financial year amounting to 589
million shillings were never utilized.
He says the money was later sent back to the consolidated fund along with other
funds that the district failed to utilize.
Owot says government this year has sent 900 million shillings for the school
construction but notes that with the slow paces by the contractor, the money is
likely to be sent back to the consolidated fund.
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But, the Managing Director Zeep Construction [U] Ltd Andrew Cohen Olal in a
July 28th letter addressed to the Chief Administrative office says they
couldn’t proceed with work because of lack of access road to the site.
Olal noted that they also needed to understand the actual size of the land and
have access to master plan to establish appropriate layout of building
materials if they are to proceed with work.
However, Owot says the district fulfilled all the request made by the
contractor and wondered why he wasn’t at the site to begin construction.
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Martin Jacan Gwokto, the Kitgum District Chief Administrative Officer says the
contractor had been giving them an impression that he was already on the ground
working yet in actual sense he did nothing.
He says the delays are a direct punishment on children in the Sub-county
who are supposed to benefit from timely delivery of the project to avoid them
from trekking long distances in search of education.
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Gwokto warned that they will not hesitate to make reversals on the agreements
made should the contractor not comply with their calls for speedy execution of
Wilson Nyeko, the Labongo Amida Sub-county LC3 Chairperson says that
construction of the school has been long overdue.
The Kitgum Resident District Commissioner William Komakech has since summoned
the contractor for an emergency meeting with the Kitgum District leaders today
[Thursday] to answer on the delays.
He says the project if not timely executed will affect the opportunities for
two other sub-counties of Labongo Layamo and Labongo Akwang that are in the
pipeline to benefit from the World Bank-funded project.
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The Education Ministry early this 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.