Express implementation of donor funded projects breeds corruption, EU

By Stephen Wandera

The European Union has cautioned President Yoweri Museveni’s on his plans to have express implementation of donor funded projects as a risk for shoddy work and escalating corruption.

The World Bank and European Union are some of the major funders of agriculture and infrastructure projects like roads, electricity dams and distribution lines among others.

The president told the World Economic Forum on Africa in Durban, South Africa that international financial agencies are unserious and one of their biggest problems is “triviality.”

He particularly made stinging remarks over criticism over flowed procurement procedures like tendering.

They take small things, say tendering; when you go for tendering they bring all sorts of jokers, and then at same want a same ground field for tenderers; then when the small ones don’t win, then they appeal….then you find a project taking like five years to start,” said.

Adding, “Why can’t you (financial lending institutions) look for serious groups and are the ones which tender for business instead of wasting time with these jokers. We shall be democratic (in terms of business) later after we have had some of the infrastructures.”

However, the European Union ambassador to Uganda Kristian Schmidt says single hand sourcing is a risk for shoddy work and breeds corruption.

“I read the story, the President was not referring to EU projects, we strictly follow and monitor our projects. But what I can say is that if you do not want to flow procurement procedures like tendering, you can sign a contract with one company but you may end up paying four times the market value.”

This is when you find minister single handily signing deals, Mr Schmidt.

Several huge infrastructure projects have been rocked with corruption scandals with the Katosi road resulting into prosecution former Minister for Works Eng. Ibrahim Byandala among others.

He was speaking at a conference to mark 30 years of EU Erasmus+ Program at the Uganda Manufactures Association in Kampala on Friday.