Fred Saka was arrested yesterday on orders of the state minister for transport Fred Byamukama after failing to explain several aspects regarding several roads in the district.
Saka is accused of conniving with a contractor to undertake shoddy work on the renovation of several feeder roads and bridges in the Mbale.
According to Byamukama, a lot of funds are sent to the district to maintain the feeder roads but information reaching his desk through the whistleblowers accuse district engineer, procurement, and contractors of conniving to misuse the funds hence shoddy works.
Byamukama by members of parliament from Mbale district and engineers inspected several roads and bridges.
Others included the Mbale Residents district commissioner Asumini Nasike and other district officials.
The team inspected roads and bridges in both Bungokho North, south and central. They were shocked to discover that some of the bridges that had been constructed, in less than one year, had developed cracks, while others caved in.
The team found out that some of the roads had been listed among those that had been rehabilitated but the Minister insisted to be taken there so that he could prove with his eyes. To his shock, the roads were in a sorry state.
This did not go well with Byamukama who ordered for the arrest of the engineer and be detained for interrogation.
” We have files and others documents pinning the district engineer department officers, procurement and contractors of conniving to embezzle government funds hence making our people suffer due to bad roads,” Byamukama said.
“The district engineer is the supervisor of these works but it seems he does not know his duty and if not, he is part of the racket that is misusing the government funds” he added.
The minister also accused the district of using the community members to rehabilitate roads and fail to pay them despite the fact that the money is sent.
The road that caused the engineer trouble is that one that connects from Nabumali to Tororo highway in Bungokho south. The team found that the engineer had lied to the minister that it had been rehabilitated. It was not true.
Despite the deficiencies, the District Engineer endorsed the contractor’s payment on some of these shoddy works on the Roads and bridges.
Mbale Residents district commissioner Asumini Nasike said that locals had earlier contested the quality of work upon which he advised that the payment be halted. However, his advice was not heeded.
The engineer is currently detained at Mbale Central Police Station.
Nasike called for stringent action against the Engineer and other district officials that are abusing their offices and getting involved in corruption.
She said that the shoddy work at these facilities is a sign of corruption and misuse of government resources.
In his defense, the engineer said that continuous heavy rain is to blame for the destruction of the raids snd bridges, adding that Earth movement had caused more harm than good to the facilities.
Solomon Nabende a resident of Busoba resident Nabumali said that they have on several occasions tried to inform the office of the RDC to intervene but all in vain.
He also commended the minister for the action taken against the engineer saying that it’s going to be a lesson to others that are involved in corruption tendencies.
According to records indicate that Mbale district receives about four hundred and fifty shillings for road rehabilitation each financial Year.
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