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Moroto Councilors Demand Audit over Suspected Financial Mismanagement

John Gaston Napokol, chairperson works and social services committee of the municipal council says the work done is not worth the money spent and therefore they demand an audit to establish how the funds were utilized.
Moroto municipal officials inspecting works at Mayor's garden

Audio 4



Moroto Municipal Councilors are demanding for accountability the 48 million shillings spent for fencing the land secured for the establishment of the mayor’s garden.

The 48 million shillings from the USMID support was awarded to municipal engineers for the grading, leveling and fencing of the piece of land measuring 250 metres long and width 75  metres wide.

URN learnt that the works which include Fencing, Grading, Leveling and tree planting commenced in June this year and was 'completed' early this month, but the councilors are dissatisfied with the work.

John Gaston Napokol, chairperson works and social services committee of the municipal council says the work done is not worth the money spent and therefore they demand an audit to establish how the funds were utilized.

Napokol observed that there was grading and leveling of the land as agreed on the paper, and the contractor decided to use the barbed wires for fencing instead of chain link. He added that all the materials used in the site cannot exceed the amount quoted to have been spent.

According to him, the municipal auditor should thoroughly audit and give them a report on how the money was used and whether it is worth the project.

He said if it all fails, they shall be forced to use other external auditors because the council cannot just sit watching government resources being wasted for no value.

//cue in ‘’out of the budget of 48 million...//

//cue out ‘’from external auditors,"//

Justin Tuko, the Deputy Resident District Commissioner says that the money was poorly spent because the project should not have exceeded 20 million shillings.

Tuko says before the project commenced, he wrote a letter to the municipal authorities requesting the council to allow him to inspect the works but unfortunately, no one responded to his plea.

He said there is a common practice of shoddy work in many of the projects implemented in Moroto district and the leaders are not bothered to monitor.

Tuko, urged the leaders and the district technical team to own government projects and ensure that they monitor the works so as to eliminate cases of mismanagement.

//cue in ‘’I have been calculating this things...//

//cue out ‘’ 20 million everything here would be enough,’’//

Meanwhile Ismail Mohammed, the mayor of Moroto municipality said that the council thought it wise to fence this piece of land because people had started encroaching on it and claiming ownership.

Mohammed observed that the project might have cost highly because of the suppliers who were involved in the project.

He argued that it’s too early to question the project costs until the comprehensive report is released to determine the next course of action.

Mohammed said since the auditor has taken over, they shall wait for the report to guide them as far as the project is concerned.

//cue in ‘’so I think there was some involvement...//

//cue out ‘’we are involving now the auditors.’’//

However, Emmanuel Odongo, the Assistant Municipal Engineer noted that the estimated cost of fencing using chain link was 85 million shillings but the council had only 48 million.

Odongo said the council resolved that the land be fenced using barbed wire basing on what was available in the accounts.

‘’ We decided to use barbed wires attached to angle bars cast into the ground using concrete just because we did not have enough money for chain link’’ Odongo reiterated.

He told URN that three companies were contacted to supply the materials and they ended up spending all the money that was released.

//cue in ‘’we took an initiative of fencing...//

//cue out ‘’that’s why the project costs that amount.’’//

The piece of land is located along Independence Avenue next to JLOS offices and opposite Moroto Boma grounds.