KAMPALA – Minister for Energy and Mineral Development Irene Muloni has denied reports that money for the construction of a road on top of Isimba Dam project, connecting Kayunga to Kamuli district was swindled.
Muloni made the remarks on Tuesday while addressing journalists at Uganda Media Center where she said that the contract provided for construction of a Public Access Bridge/Public road on top of the dam as part of the hydropower plant to connect Kayunga & Kamuli as well as construction of a 3.5km access road to the site &1.5km roads within the project site.
The Minister said that the initial design where the road was supposed to be on top of the road wasn’t done according to what was designed so the current road that is on top of that road is specifically for operations and maintenance of the power plant.
She explained, “The road designed by the contractor on top of the dam was found unsuitable for Public use because the contractor had provided only one lane instead of two lanes as specified in the Contract. Therefore, Government directed the Contractor to construct a separate Public Bridge with two lanes as specified in the Contract. Government hasn’t lost money because it is part of the project.”
Muloni also said that there are established ways through which reports of corruption are handled in government and anybody with the disappearance of the funds should furnish any of the anti-graft agencies with the information.
“The person who talked about the UGX24B, I really have no idea, we don’t know about it. Government has all institutions that can check all those issues, anyone is free once you have information about something, you know where to report to,” said Minister Muloni.
It should be recalled that last week, Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga revealed that the Shs24Bn meant for the construction the Isimba Dam bridge that would link Kayunga to Kamuli districts was swindled and calls to have those behind the theft prosecuted have been ignored.
Kadaga made the remarks in reaction to a concern raised by James Waluswaka (Bunyole West) who tasked the Ministry of Education to explain the whereabouts of the funds arguing that failure to construct the bridge would cost National Resistance Movement victory in the 2021 general elections.
Kadaga also confirmed having information about the matter and said despite forwarding the names of the culprits to President Yoweri Museveni in March 2019, no action has been taken.
She said, “By the way, at some stage UGX24B for that bridge had been eaten. I have been following that matter for several months, the money was eaten in the Ministry of Energy. I said I have been following this matter and told the President, I gave him the names of the eaters, I have been waiting for action since March.”
The Government Chief Whip Ruth Nankabirwa requested Parliament to first have the matter handled in cabinet, a proposal that was fiercely rejected by MPs, with MPs asking Speaker to set up a select Committee to investigate the matter.
The Isimba hydropower plant and transmission line components of the project were completed and commissioned by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda on 21 March 2019.