Luweero — The State Minister for Local Government, Ms Jenipher Namuyangu, has advised leaders in Luweero District against politicising issues at a time when government is evaluating its programmes to strengthen service delivery.
Her comments came after Mr Abraham Byandala, the MP for Katikamu North, was forced to apologise for statements made regarding to government projects.
During a community meeting in Luweero at the weekend, Mr Byandala alleged that district officials had failed to account for money meant for the construction of the headquarters and a hospital.
“The district officials are constructing an office block without approved plans and have failed to give accountability for the money government released for the construction of the same buildings. The officials cannot tell the public where the 6,000 bags of cement donated by one of the commercial banks were used. We have a lot of mess at the district regarding many of these projects,” he said.
However, several officials, including Mr Ronald Ndawula, the district chairperson, accused the MP of trying to divert the agenda of the meeting.
“Mr Byandala must apologise to this meeting because all the statements he has made are false. We have the accounting officer of the district to help shed light on these allegations,” Mr Ndawula said.
Ms Namuyangu allowed Mr Godfrey Kunihira, the chief administrative officer, to clarify the matter.
When Mr Byandala was invited again, he said his earlier statements were a slip of the tongue.
“I possibly meant 600 bags of cement. I apologise for the statements, but call upon the district officials to be transparent,” he said.
Ms Namuyangu advised the leaders to ensure service delivery improves instead of politicking.
“I have also received a briefing on some of the projects, including the district headquarter block and the hospital block under construction. I believe government will fulfil its mandate. I also advise different stakeholders to own up the district projects,” she said.
Earlier, the Resident District Commissioner, Ms Phoebe Namulindwa, briefed the meeting about the expectations at the community forums including some government projects where both residents and technical staff have the obligation of ensuring that there is value for money.
In March, President Museveni directed the Minister for Local Government to bring the matter regarding the Luweero administration block to Cabinet for further management. Recently, the Permanent Secretary in the Health ministry, Dr Diana Atwine, told district officials that Luweero Health Centre IV was lined up for upgrade to hospital status with some funds already allocated in the Financial Year 2019/2020. A section of NRM party members from Luweero claim that stalled government projects in the area give opportunity to Opposition politicians who claim the district has been neglected.
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