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MPs question Museveni on contractors for dams

FILE PHOTO: Isimba dam

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of Parliament have questioned President Museveni’s decision of directly sourcing contractors for the Karuma, Isimba and Ayago Hydro power dams.

MPs on the Physical infrastructure committee on Wednesday met the Minister of State for Energy Simon D’Ujanga over the Isimba dam bridge saga.

About 24 Billion shillings meant for the construction of Isimba dam bridge, was allegedly mismanaged, according to the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga.

Although it was commissioned on March 21st, 2019, the bridge that was meant to run from Kayunga to Kuvu island and another from Kuvu to Kamuli side has not been built.

In a letter dated July 2013, President Museveni wrote to the then Minister of Energy, Minister of Finance and the Attorney General over construction of three dams Isimba, Karuma and Ayago saying that he has noticed major delays in the procurement of the contractors which is not acceptable.

Museveni notes in the letter that “our friends from China are ready to help us build these hydro power plants”. He says in a meeting they held at State House with the Chinese Ambassador, it was agreed that Karuma dam be constructed by Sinohydro Corporation limited, Isimba by China International Water and Electric cooperation, while Ayago would be constructed by China Gezhouba Group Company. He directed the Ministers to conclude the negotiations and documentation with the Chinese Government so as to finance the project.

Pentagon Kamusiime, the MP Butemba County says the President’s action is a deliberate disrespect for public institutions.

James Waluswaka the Bunyole West MP says the President made the decisions because of the delay in the procurement process. He says that they want to meet the President over the matter.

Elijah Okupa the Kasilo County MP says even when a President gives the directive you have to follow the law and therefore the PPDA team should come and answer to the committee what went wrong.

Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko, the committee chairperson ruled to send away the delegation for appearing without the New Minister of Energy, Mary Kitutu and the former Minister Irene Muloni to answer the questions.

He also said the teams led by the Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) and Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited (UETCL) were not fully constituted.

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