The funds meant to kick start the construction of Karuma dam are still intact, Simon D’Ujanga, the state minister for Energy has evealed.
The revelation by the minister follows rumours by some people that the Karuma funds were diverted by government officials. Bidding for the 600 MW dam has been rocked by accusations and counter accusations of bribery. The ministry has been accused of favoring a Chinese company -China Water Electric Corporation.
Sources from the office of the IGG which recently ordered for a fresh bidding exercise claim that, the money meant for the commencement of the construction was misused by government officials.
However, D’Ujanga has described the rumours as hogwash. He told the media that the money on the energy fund is still intact and will only be used for the construction of Karuma and nothing else.
He said that there is 1.1 billion shillings on the energy fund, adding it will serve its purpose which is the construction of the dam, whether it starts tomorrow or next year. D’Ujanga said that construction would have started if it wasn’t for the interference of other parties whose intentions he says should be questioned.
He added that the ministry is still studying the IGG’s report and doing consultations with other government bodies to see if construction can begin as soon as possible.
He reiterated that the delay of the dam will have an adverse impact on the economy as demand for electricity will soon be higher than supply. He urged government bodies to think about those effects before they interfere with the activities of other bodies.
The Inspector General of Government quashed a bidding process that qualified CWE to construct the dam saying that the company submitted wrong information about its experience in dam construction. It ordered the ministry to start the process afresh before awarding the contract to construct the dam.
More than two whistle blowers complained that the ministry wrongly locked out other companies from the bidding process and falsely awarded CWE the contract.
High court judge Eldard Mwangushya issued an injunction on the process in November last year with another ongoing case before Justice Faith Mwondha at Nakawa High court