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Moroto residents call for probe into delayed construction of UGX5bn remand in Karamoja

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A child in a detention centre. Residents of Moroto have petitioned the authorities over the stalled construction of the remand home. (PHOTO/File)

MOROTO – Concerned residents of Moroto District are demanding for investigations to be carried out on a delayed construction of a multi-billion remand home for the Karamoja sub-region.

Ministry of Gender, in January this year, released UGX5billion for the construction of a remand home for juveniles in Karamoja, however, eight months down the road, the project which is being done by Gal technical service has stalled even after the contractor receiving shs 1billion advance payment to start work.

The aim of constructing the remand home was to reduce the burden of transporting juveniles convicted with various offences from Karamoja to Mbale remand home.

Mr. Mathew Lote, a concerned resident of Moroto, fears that the money meant for the construction of the children remand home could have been eaten.

“Government should get serious with his people that they send to implement development projects in Karamoja because am surprised that the money allocated for the construction of the children remand home in Moroto could have been eaten already,” he said.

Mrs Joyce Meri another concerned resident said investigations should be done as to why a three-year construction project has not started after a groundbreaking ceremony was done in January this year.

“I am concerned because this is not the first time government officials perform groundbreaking ceremonies for many projects in Moroto but at the end of the day, there is barely anything the ground and money is gone until when shall we also develop like other areas,” She said.

The project delay has not disappointed the local community only but also the police department in the region are frustrated.

Mr.Thomas Opiga, the police officer in charge of Karamoja regional legal department, explains that most juveniles are released in court due to lack of the remand home.

According to Mr. Opiga, they expected the remand home to help police reduce crime committed by juveniles but now they are not seeing any progress in the project.

“Nowadays, criminals are using juveniles to steal because they know that juveniles when taken to court, will be released,” he said.

Mr.Situma Aron, the deputy chief administrative officer, also expressed concerns over the delayed work, adding the district had no powers over the project.

“Our work as a district was only to secure the land but all the works, including supervision, are done at the centre; not us in the district,” he said.

Mr.John Kaweesa the project Engineer Gal technical services the company contracted to work admitted the delay in work saying they are waiting for the soil results.

“We can’t start work without getting the soil results from the laboratory,” he said.

Mr Frank Mugabi the public relations officer in the ministry of Gender when contacted asked for more time to answer promising to get back which he could not even pick up our several calls to follow up.

Mr.Albert Lokoru the member of parliament for Tepeth County in Moroto where the remand home is supposed to be constructed also castigated the delayed construction of the project promising to meet the minister for Gender.End

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