Kalungu, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The implementation of the Rural Electrification Project has caused uproar among residents and local leaders in Kalungu district.
At least 24 village chairpersons in Lwabenge Sub County have complained to the district leadership about the rampant corruption tendencies that have marred the project implementation in their areas.
They accuse the contractors who were hired to build the power line in the area of manipulating the project through extortion.
Government through the Rural Electrification Agency-REA hired TETRA Engineering Services Limited to construct 167 kilometres electric power line to extend power to Kalungu district.
Moses Ssenkubuge the chairperson of Bugomala A village accuses TETRA Staff of demanding for bribes from the residents to be considered in the project.
He argues that some residents that do not pay the bribes have been left out of the project.
Patrick Ssebunya, the chairperson of Kalumaga parish accuses the contractor of being selective while choosing the beneficiaries. He explains that many intended beneficiaries may be left out due to failure to pay bribes which will eventually limit coverage of power in the area.
John Kalema, one of the affected persons argues that despite complying to the contractors’ demands for a bribe, he has never been connected to the power line. He explains that one of the project site managers identified as Rashid Mayanja, took advantage of the public overzealousness to getting power and went around the community soliciting for bribes from residents but to their dismay, he has since March this year disappeared before connecting them to the line.
David Ssegawa, the Lwabenge Sub County chairpersons has asked the village leaders to compile lists of all the affected residents to help them in pursuing the culprits, who he accuses of sabotaging a government’s well intentioned project.
Engineer Jacob Joshua Ewalu the extension officer at TETRA Engineering Services has blamed the residents for accepting to pay the bribes despite being cautioned.
He says they are going to study the complaints and if possible help the aggrieved communities recover their money.