Nakasongola Returned Unspent 286M to Treasury over Disagreements, Incomplete Works

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The front view of Nakasongola district council hall which also hosts offices of RDC and Chairperson

Authorities in Nakasongola District are on the spot for failure to utilize 286 million shillings in 2019/20 financial year over disagreements among district councilors and contractors’ delay to complete works.

The unspent funds came to limelight after the release of Auditor General report for the financial year 2019/20 which revealed that Nakasongola district sent back to treasury 286 million shillings.

Alex Felix Majeme, the Nakasongola District Chief Administrative officer told URN Reporter that 53 million shillings were meant for upgrade of Kiralamba health center II to health center III status but the contractor on the site failed to complete the works in the agreed time and they had to return the money to the treasury as the guidelines stipulate.

Majeme says that the same contractor had failed to complete the works in 2018/19 financial year and money was returned but they have no power to take action against him since procurement were done by Ministry of Health.

Majeme adds that other 63 million shillings was meant for district staff arrears and this was returned after the intended beneficiaries failed to provide adequate additional information as requested by Ministry of Finance.

Other unspent balances were intended for construction of district headquarters but Majeme said that district councillors refused to pass a resolution backing the relocation from land owned by Buganda Kingdom to another site.

Majeme defended himself saying the reasons for returning the money to treasury were above him and he was happy that at least the money for construction of Kiralamba health center III has been returned to complete the works.

Majeme said the money for construction of district headquarters has not yet been returned till councilors pass resolution backing the relocation to another site where the district will have permanent ownership on the land.

Sam Kigula the LC 5 Chairman of Nakasongola district said he had identified about 100 acres of land and asked the district councillors to pass resolution to relocate the district headquarters to the site but they deliberately refused.

Kigula says that government can’t allow them to construct a district headquarters on land which they don’t have land title for and all the councilors are aware the land occupied by district headquarters now still belongs to Buganda kingdom which is wrangling with Buruuli chiefdom.

This was the second time for the funds to be returned. In the 2018/2019 financial year councilors backed by Buruuli chiefdom loyalists also rejected a proposal to relocate the district headquarters and about 200 million shillings was returned to treasury.

Samuel MG Kasirye the Prime Minister of Buruuli chiefdom insists that relocation of the district headquarters may affect the history of the chiefdom and give way to Mengo to grab the land.

He added that the administrative unit is no longer contestable because in a Memorandum of Understanding signed between Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi and President Yoweri Museveni it was agreed that it is returned to Buruuli chiefdom which is ready to host the district headquarters.

Charles Bogere the district councilor for Nakasongola town council alleges that guidelines of local government ministry directs that district headquarters are set up in towns but the proposed site is a village and far away.

Bogere also accused the LC 5 Chairman of harboring personal interests in the relocation because the proposed land donors are allegedly his relatives.

Fredrick Lwanga Balaam, the district speaker for Nakasongola admits there are disagreement but said it is unfortunate and the councilors need sensitization on the significance of relocating the headquarters.

Lwanga says that the argument that the headquarters should be in the town council is weak and it doesn’t give room for expansion in the future.

Lwanga says that he has nothing to do since him and other councilors were voted out but he is hopeful the next council will consider the move to relocate the headquarters to benefit from the grant.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning pledged 1.2 billion shillings in next three years for construction. The money was to be released in phases to construct but with failure to agree on the site, the district may lose the grant.

The current district headquarters was constructed in 1930’s and is operating in dilapidated structures owned (but not controlled) by Buganda Kingdom.

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