NEW SCANDAL HITS ISAAC MUTENYO’S USMID AS BUSOGA POLITICIANS FRONT RIVAL ROAD CONSTRUCTION FIRMS
By Mulengera Reporters
A whistle blower has written to the Lands Minister Betty Amongin accusing at least four Busoga politicians of using their respective offices to influence the awarding of road works on 1.9km Eng Zikusooka Way and 0.33km Jinja Main Street that are supposed to be replenished under the USMID program coordinated by Isaac Mutenyo himself a child of Busoga.
In full USMID is Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development and its aimed at supporting 14 Municipalities across the country to grow their road infrastructure and generally improve service delivery in upcoming urban centers outside the capital Kampala. The funding is a multi-billion loan from World Bank.
It’s part of the broader GoU strategy to achieve Uganda Vision 2040 long term development objectives relating to infrastructure as one of the complimentary growth sectors. The broader thinking is that there is no way the economic recovery and progress resulting from the political miracle President Museveni ushered in 1986 without the upcountry townships having motorable and presentable road infrastructure.
Besides the WB and IDA, some of the USMID funding comes from the Cities Alliance whose grants have resulted into work being done in Municipalities like Arua, Mbale, Jinja, Mbarara and Kabale. The other Municipality LGs partaking of the USMID billions include Lira, Gulu, Soroti, Entebbe, Tororo, Masaka, Hoima, Fort Portal and Moroto.
THE JINJA SCANDAL
In his widely copied petition, the whistle blower discloses to Amongin names of companies and bidders that are being favored by the different political giants in Busoga sub region. He doesn’t disclose if any of them (companies) has actively solicited for this political patronage but names them to include IBB Construction Company Ltd, Starz Construction Ltd, Sterling Engineering Co Ltd, Excel Construction Ltd and Xxing Jing Engineering Company Ltd from China. That the last two are being backed by one influential politician.
He names politicians fronting each of these. “In line with the aforementioned, we observe that our leaders are supporting non Jinja based companies, a situation we find to be absolutely unfortunate. It’s certainly very obvious that they are doing this in order to gain a financial reward which is corruption at its very best,” the whistle blower cries out in the Tuesday 19th November petition copied to IGG, ED PPDA, State House Anti-Corruption head Edith Nakalema, USMID Project Coordinator, RDC Jinja Eric Sakwa and Jinja Municipality Town Clerk.
The whistle blower claims that the USMID project coordinator Isaac Mutenyo needs shielding because the pressure mounted by the four impugned politicians is increasingly becoming too much to bear. Mulengera News has separately established that the much-bothered Mutenyo has confided in some well-placed people urging him to plead his case to the President who has the levers to call any of the said politicians to order so that he is left to properly do his work as USMID coordinator without giving undue favors to any of the contractors seeking to be hired.
“This is therefore to request you to intervene in this matter to most especially ensure that this contract is awarded to a local company that will definitely employ the youth of Jinja Municipal Council, purchase materials from the local population and above all retain profit in Jinja, ” the whistle blower makes his final plea to Amongin who we established is yet to take any steps because some of the people complained against aren’t the type anyone can step on and just get away with it.
All this comes at a time when Sydney Asubo’s FIA was recently prompted to inquire into the conduct of a female first term MP from Busoga Sub Region who has made it a habit to extort money from investors in the sub region claiming to be doing this on behalf of some big name political actors who have since vowed to denounce and report her to the President and lobby him to endorse the controversial MP’s criminal prosecution. (For comments on this story, call/text us on 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).