Contractor Thrown Out as Arua Leaders Close Multi-Billion Plant Amid Allegations of Mismanagement!

Arua, Uganda | The Black Examiner – In Arua City, a significant development has taken place as the leaders, under the guidance of the Arua Central Division Member of Parliament, Atima Lee Jackson, have made a decisive move by shutting down a multi-billion shilling value addition plant located in Chongaloya Cell, Awindiri Ward. This facility, which had been commissioned by the President in October 2020, was intended to empower farmers in the West Nile sub-region to elevate the quality of their cereals and command higher prices in the market.

The closure of the plant came as a result of alleged irregularities in the awarding of the contract to operate the facility. The leaders claim that the due process was not adhered to in the selection of a private operator for the plant, leading to dissatisfaction and suspicion among the local representatives.

Atima Lee Jackson expressed his concerns regarding the matter, stating that there were discrepancies in the information presented to the Committee of National Economy. He asserted, “Misrepresentation of facts in the committee of national economy derailed the due processes. The minister falsely claimed that Arua had failed to secure a contractor, despite the facility never being handed over to the city.”

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Moreover, the Arua Central Division Member of Parliament accused the process of awarding the contract to the private firm of being carried out covertly, without following proper procedures. The recent appointment of seven individuals to manage the facility without an open bidding process has raised further suspicions. Atima revealed, “The letter appointing the contract management team was unsigned by the minister, supposedly signed by the Permanent Secretary, but the signature appears questionable. Additionally, no bidding process occurred, as there were no guidelines in place to facilitate the operationalization of the facility.”

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In response to the situation, the leaders, including the area Member of Parliament, councillors, and local council chairpersons, took matters into their own hands and removed the purported contractor while locking down the facility. The private contractor, Aggrey Mbekiza, has denied the accusations of being handpicked for the role.

As the situation unfolds, the leaders are now urging the Ministry of Local Government to expedite the formulation of clear and transparent guidelines to govern the management of the facility. Their objective is to uplift the local economy from subsistence to a more robust monetary economy, benefiting the community at large.


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