But in Soroti district and City, billions of cash are sitting as the accounting officers wait for guidance on how to involve the army in engineering works. Luke Lokuda, the Soroti Chief Administrative Officer says they are stuck with the money because there is no clarification on the scope of work to be undertaken by the army.
District Local Governments are stuck with construction funds
as they wait for more instructions from the line ministries on how to procede with Uganda People’s Defense Force- UPDF Engineering Brigade.
Early this year, President Yoweri Museveni directed that all
new government school and hospital projects be handled by the UPDF Engineering
Brigade starting the 2021/ 2022 financial year.
In September, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of
Health, Dr. Diana Atwiine wrote to the accounting officers in local governments
telling them to implement the UPDF Engineering Brigade directive. The UPDF Engineering
Brigade was directed to take over construction works for all health facilities and
schools in the country.
But in Soroti district and City, billions of money is on the
line as the accounting officers wait for guidance on how to involve the army in
engineering works. Luke Lokuda, the Soroti Chief Administrative Officer says
they are stuck with the money because there is no clarification on the scope of
work to be undertaken by the army.
Lokuda says that the situation has been made more
complicated with donor funded projects as donors have expressed reservation over the UPDF works.
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Paul Omer, the Soroti City East Division Mayor says that
some government pronouncements are affecting service delivery in Local
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Denis Ocung, the Soroti District Engineer wondered whether
the UPDF has the capacity to beat deadlines in Local Government projects and
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Dr. Julius Okello, the team leader and head of
infrastructure development at OPM delivery unit said that the UPDF directive
will not affect ongoing projects but asked the accounting officers in Soroti to
wait for directives from PPDA.
While giving directives on the UPDF involvement in
construction works, the president said that over time, the UPDF Engineering
Brigade has been able to build capacity to handle several projects ranging from
simple, high level, and then to advanced construction projects.
He noted the move would help avoid the delays that have
several times been occasioned to government projects by the contractors.