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Lira CAO, Engineer Shock the Nation: Started Building a Kraal-Like Stadium Before Processing a Construction Plan

The Lira Chief Administration Officer (CAO) and Chief Engineer Mark Tivu and Hudson Omoko respectively were yesterday handed over to the Criminal Investigation Department for further questioning on additional funds spent on works on the proposed Akii-Bua Olympic stadium in Lira district.

The two were handed over to the police by the Committee on Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) chaired by the Deputy Chairperson, Hon. Anita Among.

Among said that the witnesses had presented inconsistent evidence in comparison to the information which the committee had at hand.

The decision to detain the two officials followed a meeting where the State Minister for Sports Hon. Charles Bakkabulindi led the officials from National Council of Sports and Lira District to meet the Committee to explain the source of funds allegedly paid for land compensation.

“Did the users of the government land then have a memorandum of understanding  with Lira district  to use the land and if they did, how do you compensate them?” asked Hon. Peter Ogwang (NRM, Usuk County).

According to information received by the committee, the Ministry of Education, and Sports paid a sum of shs276 million to individuals in a bid to compensate them for their crops that would be destroyed to pave way for construction of the stadium.

“If the ministry sent shs665 million to Lira for works on the stadium, where did you get the additional money to pay for compensation,” Among asked.

The Commissioner for Physical Education and Sports Lamex Omara Opita said that the money for compensation was not part of the shs665 million disbursed for the project works adding that “… this money came along the same budget line of the Akii-Bua stadium project”.

Omara, however, failed to account for the source of funding when asked whether the money for compensation had initially been accounted for. MPs noted that there was no need to pay any compensation since the land for the project belongs to Government.

On presentation of the Memorandum of Understanding the committee asked the Lira District officials why they spent more than the shs400 million that had been agreed upon in the memorandum and approved by the Ministry Permanent Secretary.

“The fact that you entered into an MoU at the beginning is a fact that you needed to have an addendum on any additional funds that were spent,” said Among.

MPs also expressed concern that there were no architectural plans available for the project, which Lira District Chief Engineer Hudson Omoko said had not been availed to them by the Education Ministry.

“The committee wants to understand the plan you are using to implement this project on which you have already spent over shs600 million. What is the basis of having the preliminary designs,” queried Hon. Moses Kasibante (IND, Rubaga North Division).

The MPs attributed what they called a financial mess to the bypassing of the National Council of Sports by the Education Ministry.

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