By Simon Turibamwe
When FDC took over the leadership of Kasese district local government in 2016, smooth service delivery and fight against corruption dominated swearing in speeches. However, things did not go the way people expected and instead became the opposite with a hip of debts and crippled service delivery. Much as the district chairperson Sibendiire Bigogo firmly say that the district has no problem and that he is not aware of any cumulative debt as alleged, the district Chief Administrative Officer Mr Harry Turyaheebwa contends that the services in the district are in dire state due to the financial crisis as a result of debts accumulated under unclear circumstances. Turyaheebwa who these days’ look puzzled due to debtors frequenting into his office has since written to Permanent Secretary the Local Government ministry explaining the prevailing financial crisis in the district.
Turyaheebwa in his later stated that his predecessors left the district grumbling with about Shs3.9bn. He indicated that he found contractors demanding 1.1bn, construction on a bridge Shs900m, unlimited staff deductions Shs396.5m, unsettled court fees Shs27m, pay as you earn Shs64m which he said continues to accumulate because debtors continue to go to court. Truryaheebwa in his letter states that: “when you hear of endless court cases just know they emanates from this unpleasant financial management.” The financial crisis has led to the abandonment of work at a Shs900m bridge construction where Shs700m have been spent before. Sibendiire Bigogo the district chairperson says that the situation is being exaggerated and is not aware of any debt. He was however quick to say that he is aware that Shs700m that has been spent for the construction of a bridge at Kyogho in Buisumbu sub county has no value but efforts are being put in place to have the wasted money recovered from those who were responsible. He also revealed that 150 bags of cement were abandoned in the store for a long time and may have gone bad. “The bridge I talk about was supposed to be handed over in May 2017 but not even a quarter of construction has been done,” said Bigogo. The district planer Alex Masereka, said that the crisis was caused by the budget shortfall in local revenue collection. For comments, call or text us on 0752510225.