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Citizen Weekly

Sunday, 24 August 2014

HOW BUDALNG'I CDF MILLIONS ENDED IN CROOK'S POCKETS



Budalang’i community in Busia county might as well be the first ever community to initiate an investigation into poor usage of consituency development fund though there are many other constituencies who could be undergoing the same predicaments as those faced by the Budalang’i people.

After a long journey for justice which was started somewhere in 2012 when the community made their first attempt to have the authorities intervene in the way the CDF funds were being used due to rampant misappropriation by their now helicopter-flying MP, that later became the norm since 2007 all the way to 2014.


Hundreds of millions from the fund meant for the community have allegedly been diverted to pockets of a few individuals connected to the area MP and his closest allies and relatives as the rest of the community which expected development as promised during election campaigns and various rallies thereafter was not be.

With the MP being the chairman of the Public Accounts Committee in parliament, the people of Budalang’i expected a much better disbursement of the development funds to benefit all, but it turns out that the same person charged with auditing others is far much corrupt at his constituency, leaving many to ask the question of how he will audit others correctly while he is not clean at home.

In the  Budalang’i CDF fiasco, we bring you the list of beneficiaries of the fund who pocketed millions each year without even having to deliver any services in the constituency, or if any at all, very little compared to amount of cash paid to these service providers was carried out.

Documents from the CDF office indicate companies who provided much less than they were paid to deliver or never delivered at all and includes firms owned by the area MP himself.
The firms include Oradeba Contractors, Jariagak Construction and Nakhwanga Construction all of which allegedly belong to Namwamba amongst others registered in the names of close relatives and friends, but managed by his former personal assistant now CDF chairman one Eric Obayi, David Segwe and one Osimbo.

These three firms alone are alleged to have pocketed up to 70pc of CDF in the constituency but have delivered far less than 15pc  of all they were paid to deliver either in equipment or construction on sites the funds were meant for, under the watch of the CDF committee all consisting of handpicked members either close relatives, friends or even girlfriends who have been putting up houses in their homes and rental buildings in various parts of the county.

The same committee oversaw that payment to a number of non-existing projects in the constituency which includes the following:
Bunyala Jua Kali Sheds in Bunyala West which was funded with Sh2.5 million to a non-existent contractor yet the same project had been funded by the central government.

Quintuple Jua kali Sheds and Trade Centres at Mundika, Budiera, Bukoma, Buyuku and Makunda funded with Sh950,000 in 2008-09, received more funding 2009-10 Sh850,000, in 2010-11 the project got Sh100,000 later in 2011-12 received Sh650,000. This  project does not exist in Budalang’i.

The Port Victoria street lighting which was started in 2009-10 financial year, funded at  Sh1,050,000 in 2010-11 got an additional Sh1millon for installation of the lights, before being given an extra Sh50,000 for completion of the project then later in 2012 the project was awarded additional Sh200,000 to extend the street lighting from Port Victoria town to the Port Victoria Police Station and Mulukoba Resort Hotel. The Street lights do not exist anywhere in the mentioned locations to date.

In financial years 2009-13, sports facilities namely Lunyofu, Makunda, Sisenye and Lugare were allocated a total of Sh3,138,780 for refurbishing and rehabilitation. None of the mentioned sports facilities were rehabilitated or refurbished. Each committee member was paid Sh150,000 as a bribe to sign documents that the said projects were actually carried out.

Magombe Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society is said to have been given Sh2 million in 2007-08 financial year for renovations, yet there is no record of any purchases made with the said amount of cash.

In financial year 2012-13, Budala-Kholohongo bridge is said to have been allocated Sh2.5millions for improvement and rehabilitation of the bridge, but no work has been carried out on the said bridge since it was built by the late Councillor John Roha in 1998.

In the financial 2008-14, Mukhobola Hospital morgue is said to have been allocated a total of Sh2 million for installation of second cooling system, painting, installation of electricity and installation of mortuary chamber coolers. The only existing morgue at the hospital to date is an empty building which was erected a year ago with no coolers.

Bunyala Rice Mills is said to have received Sh4 millions in financial years 2011-13 for construction of rice milling house. The project happens to have actually been funded by the World Bank and not the CDF as claimed.

In 2007-08 financial year, Rwambwa-Mudembi Secondary School project is said to have been given a total of Sh1.5million to purchase land for the school. Nothing of the school exists anywhere in the constituency.
Victoria/Bunyala Institute from 2007-14 has received a total of Sh60 millions for various construction projects at the institute which stands on only eight and half acres instead of the intended 20 acres, while the college bus said to have been bought years ago is nowhere to be seen. The construction job done so far, does not match the said amount of money that has already been paid to the company that was awarded the tender without competitive tendering process.
The above mentioned are just but a few of the many other projects that have been passed and paid out by Budalang’i CDF committee after being awarded to a few loyalists who just the other day were just like anybody but are currently traversing the county in sleek limos from the shared CDF funds.
There are ghost projects that have received funding in the constituency for many financial years now, but which only exist on paper for example, Bunyala Community Breweries project, Busagwa dispensary.
Project, Hexagon Agricultural Support project, Bulwani wetlands and streams improvement project and Rwambwa Mudembi Rice Scheme projects are all alleged to have been funded to the tune of up to hundreds of millions for years now.
There are also highly inflated projects but when given a close look, there are no improvements on the said projects or little has been carried out to match what was allocated to the projects in funds, while at the same time many of the contracts have been undertaken by the projects management committee members who in real sense are supposed to be the supervisors.
It is alleged that the CDF chairman and former PA Eric Obayi who is alleged to be the mastermind behind all the ghost projects is collecting money in preparation of the 2017 general election in which he intends to succeed Namwamba who will be either vying for the Busia county governorship, senator or even the presidency.