Unfinished Bridge in Bugiri Sparks Corruption Probe

Unfinished Bridge in Bugiri Sparks Corruption Probe
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The Busoga region of Uganda is embroiled in controversy surrounding the construction of a bridge in Bugiri Municipality. The bridge, intended to improve accessibility in remote areas, has become a symbol of alleged mismanagement.

Funds Allocated, Bridge Missing

The project was allocated 50 million shillings, but a recent audit revealed no construction had begun. Furthermore, a crucial planning document, the bill of quantities, was absent. This discrepancy triggered a probe spearheaded by Busoga's Regional Inspectorate Officer, Fred Oketch.

Corruption Allegations and Calls for Action

Oketch emphasized a "thorough investigation" to identify and prosecute those involved in potential embezzlement of public funds. He condemned reports of officials requesting an additional 12 million shillings for a nonexistent project.

Division within the Local Government

The investigation arose from complaints lodged by locals frustrated with the lack of progress. Divisional Mayors point fingers at the town clerk, accusing him of withholding project details and authorizing unauthorized activities.

Town Clerk Blames Incompetence

In his defence, the town clerk, Jamal Kasaija, blames internal issues within the engineering department. He claims some personnel are unqualified for their positions, leading to inefficiencies.

Counter-Accusations and a History of Poor Infrastructure

The situation is further muddled by accusations between engineers and district authorities regarding project quality and potential obstruction of other crucial initiatives.

These investigations are a response to media reports highlighting the poor state of roads in the district despite allocated maintenance funds. The unfinished bridge in Bugiri serves as a stark reminder of the need for transparency and accountability in public works projects.

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