The Speaker of Uganda’s Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga given fresh details regarding allegations that Shs24Bn meant for the construction of a road on top of Isimba dam connecting Kayunga to Kamuli district was misappropriated.
Kadaga also lashed out at Eng. Irene Muloni, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development for addressing the matter before media yet it is already before Parliament. Kadaga said it was aimed at silencing Parliament against inquiring about how the Shs24bn was utilized.
During today’s plenary sitting, Kadaga gave Muloni up to Tuesday next week to present an interim report about the matter.
“I have heard what Government has said and I want to give them the following information because I think they don’t have it or they are ignoring it. In February, the Criminal Investigation Department requested the Auditor General to conduct a special audit (about Isimba dam and the road in question). There was an attempt to force the managers of China Water and Engineering Company (contractor of Isimba dam) to leave the country; that is how they came to me. They were being threatened to leave the country. They wanted them to leave before the commissioning. If the Government is interested, this is part of the information,” Kadaga said.
Theodore Ssekikuubo (Lwemiyaga County) described the decision by Minister Muloni to address the issue before media as contempt of Parliament saying, “I noted with deep concern when the Minister of Energy chose to go to the Media Centre and respond to the Chair through the media and yet she is a member of this House. If matters of such grave nature aren’t responded here and people choose to go somewhere and address media as if those who were speaking on the floor are nonsense, didn’t have facts, I find that very contemptuous of Parliament and demand that the Minister clarifies on that position and explain why she chose to go to media center.”
In her response, Muloni denied disrespecting Parliament saying she was prompted to respond to the matter because the issue was in the media and that the public was awash with information that the Shs24bn was eaten and there was no bridge so there was need to clarify the matter.
“I don’t condone corruption. I haven’t held the Parliament of Uganda in contempt. I respect this parliament, its head and colleagues. I asked colleagues who supervised the project and that is the information that was presented at media centre. I don’t hold this parliament in contempt,” Muloni said.
Yesterday Muloni told the media that construction works of the said bridge are at 20% and that the road will be ready by end of next year.
On Wednesday, 13 November 2019, Kadaga told Parliament that she had been following the matter since March 2019 and now feared that the funds had been swindled.
“By the way, at some stage Shs24 billion had been chewed. I have been following up this matter and the money was eaten in the Ministry of Energy,” said Kadaga.
The Speaker said she had even furnished President Yoweri Museveni with names of individuals suspected to have swindled the monies.
“I even gave the President names of the eaters, I have been waiting for action since March but I have not seen it,” said Kadaga.
Ironically, although the completion date for the works on the bridge, a component of the Isimba Hydro Power Dam is for 2020, Kadaga said there were no signs that such works have commenced, a dilemma that has caused wide spread speculation.