Probe into Isimba dam construction starts

By Edwin Muhumuza

The Physical Infrastructure Committee of Parliament is probing the construction a bridge at the 183 MW Isimba Dam following reports that 24 billion Shillings for the bridge was swindled.

This after the Speaker of parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, in 2019 alleged that over Shs 24 billion meant for the construction of Isimba dam bridge had been mismanaged.

According to the Project Manager of China Water and Electrical Company Ltd working on the Isimba Dam ,Xia Nenghai ,they do not know anything about the 24 billion Shillings.

The speaker Rebecca Kadaga said she had provided evidence to the president of ‘those who swindled the money but he was yet to act.

Issues raised by the committee include, the need to confirm whether the Exim Bank of China indeed received Uganda’s contribution to the dam, whether the ministry of Energy paid 95% of the funds as it claims and whether people in the ministry are asking for kick-backs.

Also legislators want the contractor to allow for a valuation of all equipment at the sight and why the contractor is opting to borrow from the Spanish bank.

In his response the contractor said that he is entitled to $28m dollars upon completion of the project which encompasses the 3.5 and 1.5km access road adding that indeed Uganda paid its share of the 13% of total funds for the dam.

The contractor however revealed that the reason they are resorting to borrow funds from the Spanish bank is so they do not enter loss making as a result of the rise in interest rates.

The committee has resolved to analyse all the documents presented before it privately and is expected to meet again on the same matter in a few weeks time.

The 183MW Isimba dam was commissioned on March 21, 2019, by Museveni but the dam had no bridge that was meant to run from Kayunga to Kuvu island and another from Kuvu to Kamuli side.