Lira- The construction of Lango palace hangs in the balance, a year after the government and other stakeholders raised money towards the project.
Last year, the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM)unveiled a plan to have the Shs10 billion palace constructed, promising to contribute Shs6b.
The President reportedly donated Shs4 billion to kick-start the construction and an architectural plan was drawn.
“We thought that with the presidential donation, there would be some commendable progress on the structure, but it is taking forever,” Mr Richard Nam, the chiefdom’s premier, told Daily Monitor yesterday.
Mr Nam said when he inquired with the OPM’s office, their response was that the ministry was waiting for the funds to be released.
Although there is suspicion that the funds donated by President Museveni may have been diverted, Dr Nam said they were assured that the money was safe.
Mr Mark Tivu, the chief administrative officer of Lira District, said there were delays due to several reviews of the architectural plan but it has since been approved by the district’s physical planning committee.
“The project’s construction is only pending advertising for bids from contractors by the OPM and we are good to go because we approved the final plan that has been returned to the ministry,” Mr Tivu said.
He, however, warned politicians and warring parties under Lango Cultural Foundation against interfering with the project.
“We must build the palace, whoever comes to occupy it later as a leader of Lango will be decided by the people, but their wrangles must not interfere with our efforts to get the multi-billion project done,” Mr Tivu said.
Ms Ketty Lamaro, one of the OPM officials, who were present during the unveiling of the plan to Lango chiefs, said they delayed to advertise for bids because the architectural engineer did not present a soil analysis report to them.
Ms Lamaro said when the architect submitted the final plan last month, it had a disclaimer that the cost reached excluded the cost of bed preparations and earth movements during the construction.
“Understanding the soil type of the project area helps to rate how much to be sunk into the project, this was missing. We need it first to help us cost properly the project before we can invite bids,” Ms Lamaro said.
She said authorities in the Ministry of Works have been contacted to conduct testing and analysis of the soils which results should be ready in the next three weeks.