URN.The procurement was halted following allegations of corruption by some government officials who misappropriated up to 4.6 billion Shillings from the money allocated for the project.
A total of 400 bicycles have been delivered to aid the transportation of Local Council chairpersons in Kyotera district in fulfilment of a presidential pledge made to LC1 and LC2 chairpersons ten years ago.
The government allocated 11 billion Shillings in 2011 for the procurement of bicycles to 70,000 LCI and LCII chairpersons to facilitate them to monitor government programmes countrywide. The procurement was, however, halted following allegations of corruption by some government officials who misappropriated up to 4.6 billion Shillings from the money allocated for the project.
However, last year, the Finance Ministry announced that it had made arrangements to ensure that former and current LC chairpersons get bicycles in the financial year 2020/2021. Under the arrangement, at least 334 bicycles have been distributed to the LC1 chairpersons and another 66 to LCII chairpersons in Kyotera District.
Matia Walusimbi, the Kasaali LCI chairperson, one of the beneficiaries, says that the project is long overdue since several beneficiaries passed on while others were voted out of office.
Celestine Mundu Lubega, the chairperson for Njala Parish in Kabira sub-county says that many of them had lost hope and trust in the government after waiting for the fulfilment of the pledge in vain. He adds that the bicycles will ease their movement around their communities. Similarly, Beteremu LCII Chairperson Achilles Musiitwa is optimistic that the bicycles will at least improve their transportation since the allowance of 10,000 Shillings given to them cannot help sort certain matters at hand.
Hajji Moses Ddumba, the Kyotera Resident District Commissioner, says the delayed distribution of the bicycles was inevitable but appealed to the Local leaders to use the bicycles for their intended objectives.
Benjamin Kumumanya, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government says that while the bicycles were meant for the LCI and LCII chairpersons, arrangements are being made to ensure that other members of the local council commitee are equally facilitated under the Parish Model program.
But David Njawuzi, the Matale-Kiwenda village chairperson says that while they got the bicycles, many of them have gone past the level of riding because of advanced age. He says that instead, the government should be considering motorcycles and vehicles.