MOTOTO: Moroto Municipal Councilors are demanding accountability for the 48 million shillings spent on fencing the land secured for the establishment of the mayor’s garden.
The 48 million shillings from the USMID support were awarded to municipal engineers for the grading, leveling and fencing of the piece of land measuring 250 metres long and 75 metres wide.
URN learnt that the works, which include fencing, grading, leveling and tree planting, commenced in June this year and were “completed” early this month, but the councilors are dissatisfied with the work.
John Gaston Napokol, chairperson of the 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 barbed wire for fencing instead of chain link. He added that all the materials used on the site must not 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 will be forced to use other external auditors because the council cannot just sit by and watch government resources being wasted for no reason.
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 the Moroto district and the leaders are not bothered to monitor them.
Tuko urged the leaders and the district technical team to own government projects and ensure that they monitor the work so as to eliminate cases of mismanagement.
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 a high amount 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 will wait for the report to guide them as far as the project is concerned.
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 based 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.
The piece of land is located along Independence Avenue next to JLOS offices and opposite Moroto Boma grounds.