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MPs rap Local Gov’ts over USMID municipality projects

Members of Parliament of the Public Accounts Committee (Local Governments) were shocked to learn about Tanzanian local government' utilisation of Word Bank funding on the urban infrastructural development, compared to what they described as the Uganda's 'dismal performance'.

Led by the Chairperson Hon. Reagan Okumu, the legislators were in Tanzania on a bench marking visit to the urban local authorities strengthening projects funded by the World Bank. This is the equivalent of the Ugandan Support Municipal Infrastructure Development Project (USMID). The Committee was in Tanzania from 13 to 19 May 2018.

The Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Lands and Urban Development, acquired a loan of US$150 million from the World Bank to support infrastructural development and capacity building in 14 municipalities.

On seeing the Tanzania's progress, Okumu had no kind words for Ugandan Officials. He appealed to them to be nationalist and avoid being corrupt so that they can complete projects with a high level of efficiency and value for money.

We are generally impressed with our Tanzania counterparts; they have gone further and used their money well. They have developed bus terminals connecting to concrete roads, have good asphalt tarmac roads and they have been able to establish laboratories??? and office structures that will be handed over to every municipality after all projects are concluded, Okumu said.

Hon. Godfrey Onzima (Aringa North) attributed the Tanzanian success to the proper planning by project implementers and contractors. He commended them for the early preparations and sticking to their plan, which has registered great success in ther first phase.

Tanzanians know where their country should go and are committed to their work. They stick to and focus on their plans, and that is why their first phase is ending so successfully unlike in Uganda where Soroti, Mbale, Moroto, Tororo and Fort-portal plans were all altered with, he said.

Hon. Rehema Watongola (NRM,Kamuli Municipality) attributed the successful implementation of the projects to the procurement systems which were fully decentralised, enabling entities to procure different services. She called on the Ugandan government to emulate the same practices.

In Uganda, the procurement structure is only at the national level, and this cannot give them the opportunity to monitor properly. We hope that the support team in Uganda will be able to structure themselves from the bottom up she said.

Okumu appealed to the Government and municipalities to adopt the committee recommendations especially as they prepare for the second phase of the World Bank funded projects that will begin in July.

Members of the committee visited Tanzania's Bus Rapid Transport (BRT) in Dar es Salaam, Road works in Morogoro and Revenue enhancement projects in Dodoma, all financed under the arrangement, with the main focus as infrastructure improvement in municipalities, sewerage management, capacity building, availability of tools and equipment in areas of survey and engineering and testing the quality of materials used.

Source: Parliament of Uganda

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