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Minister Refuses to Commission School Building Over Shoddy Work

Esther Mbayo was on Wednesday invited by Oyam district authorities to commission the building that houses a multi-purpose hall, offices and school library which was constructed through a pledge by President Yoweri Museveni.
Monument built at Achaba Technical School in memory of students who died in LRA rebel captivity.

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The Minister for Presidency Esther Mbayo has refused to commission a school building that was constructed at Achaba Technical School in Oyam district over shoddy work.

Mbayo was on Wednesday invited by Oyam district authorities to commission the building that houses a multi-purpose hall, offices and school library which was constructed through a pledge by President Yoweri Museveni.

However, on inspecting the building, the Minister found that the work was incomplete and poorly done.

The floor of the building and some walls had cracks,the ceiling had not been fixed and all the six toilets are incomplete.

The minister was disappointed to learn that Multi-line Construction Uganda Limited, a Kampala-based construction firm that was sourced by the Ministry of Education and Sports had received all the money despite the poor work.

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She wondered how and why the engineer who monitored and supervised the work would give the contractor the certificate for completion of the work. She blamed the district engineer and the school management Board for failing to supervise the work.

However, Julius Olupot, the Oyam District Engineer explained that the work was directly supervised by the engineers from the Ministry of Education and Sports who he identified as Emmanuel Okello and Milly Okot.

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Mbayo promised to appoint a committee of inquiry to investigate the manner in which the contractor was sourced and promised not to exonerate those implicated.

She suspects connivance by the members of the Board, the District Engineers, the school head teacher, engineers from the ministry of education and the contractor to swindle the money and that they must answer

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The minister was on Wednesday in a fact finding visit of government initiated programs in Oyam district.

On May 5th 1999, President Museveni visited the school and found the community who had just returned from the Internally Displaced People's camp struggling to put up the building when he pledged to support them with the completion of the building.

A budget was submitted to him and in the financial year 2011/2012 he gave 213 million shillings to complete the work. To date the work has not yet been completed.

Museveni's support was part of his efforts to revamp the school that was vandalised by the rebels of the Lord Resistance Army in 1996. More than 20 students were abducted in the raid.

Five of them died in captivity including James Oming, Stella Aceng, Harriet Akuti, Christine Aou and one identified only as Okiye. Meanwhile, seven of the abductees returned home.

They include Okwir HP, Ketty Ayer, Betty Ejang, Martin Obel, Patrick Atim, James Adoko and Abong.

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