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Lira Municipality given two weeks to resolve coronation park dispute

FILE PHOTO: Lira Municipality

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | The World Bank has threatened to withdraw funding for the infrastructural upgrade at Coronation Park, a public space in Lira town, as a result of an unresolved dispute on its management.

The facility, located opposite the main Market along Obote Avenue, is currently managed by a private company, Saving Grace Limited. The company was awarded a one-year contract to manage the public space, at a cost of five million Shillings per month.

The park was due for an upgrade and beautification under the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructural Development- USMID, a World Bank-funded programme designed to expand infrastructure and improve service delivery in selected municipalities across the country.

However, Lira Municipal Council failed to eject Saving Grace Limited from the space. Martin Onyach Oola, the World Bank Urban Development Specialist says the current dispute could jeopardize the entire USMID project implementation in Lira municipality, if not resolved.

Onyach issued a two-week ultimatum to Lira Municipal council to show cause why they should not withdraw funding for the infrastructural upgrade at Coronation Park.

He was speaking during an inspection of projects selected and approved to benefit from the 12 billion Shillings of additional funding to Lira Municipality under USMID. The inspection was conducted by the USMID Secretariat under the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development jointly with the World Bank officials, on Wednesday.

But Samuel Ahabwe, the Lira Municipal Town Clerk said there has been ongoing negotiation with the management of Saving Grace Limited, to resolve the impasse. He is optimistic that the dispute will be resolved before the ultimatum to pave the way for the work.

The other projects selected to benefit from the programme include tarmacking Obangakene, Olwol, Boundary and Noteber roads.

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