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DEMAND FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AND APPROPRIATE PLANNING IN KISORO

MUNICIPALITY
A PETITION OF: BAFUMBIRA UNIVERSITY STUDENTS DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION
(BAUSDA)
ADDRESSED TO:

THE RESIDENT DISTRICT COMMISSIONER


KISORO DISTRICT

DATE:

29TH DECEMBER, 2015

I: BACKGROUND
1. Kisoro Municipality acquired its municipal status in August, 2015. We believe that the
overarching objective of giving Kisoro a municipality is to facilitate planning for expansion,
harmonizing development, and providing effective administration and service delivery. Indeed,
in the last 10 years or so, progress has been made, but a lot is still desired. For example, there
are allegations of illegal and fraudulent sale of

municipality land, mismanagement of

municipality property and funds, and approval of buildings that are in total violation of physical
planning laws. We are aware that under the current constitutional dispensation and legal
regime, the Kisoro Municipal Council holds land and all assets on trust of her people/municipal
residents. And it is our constitutional obligation as students, youths and citizens of this country
to demand for accountability and appropriate planning in our Municipality.
2. In the last 5 years, the Municipal Council has lost billions of shillings in illegal and
fraudulent sale of its property and in-house award of contracts, needless to mention, the
mismanagement of its local revenue and central government grants. This mismanagement,
coupled with ineffective leadership has led to poor service delivery. We are worried that these
acts, if not accounted for, will continue to hinder future development, and planning in the
Municipality. We would like to bring to your attention the following;

a) Illegal sale of Municipal council Land and other Assets


3. The municipal council had 7 plots in Bikoro B Village and other 4 Plots in Kisoro main
Village; all of them have been illegally sold in the last six months and even the accruing revenue
misappropriated.
4. It is public Knowledge that part of the Municipal green belt was leased to Crane Bank
Ltd. It should be noted, however, that public land is held on people's trust and it is an ideal
policy to sell such land in leasehold so as to allow the government (municipality in the instant
case) to continue to generate more revenue in future. Unfortunately, contrary to public policy, a
deal was hastily reached with Crane Bank Ltd to convert the same land into freehold. This,
therefore, means Crane Bank Ltd owns the same land perpetually and the future generation of
municipal residents have lost the opportunity to get revenue from the same land. We are also
aware that Centenary Bank applied for land adjacent to Crane Bank but application was turned
down for known interests in Crane Bank and the Municipality.
5. During the upgrading of the New Tax Park, the Municipal council acquired about 3
lock-up shops by compensating the original owners 9 million shillings. However, immediately
after compensation, these lockups were transferred under different names and resold. More
disturbingly, the contractor has never completed the external works as set out in the contract
and the building plan and the municipal council is mute on the same.
6. It is also known that the Municipality owned a plot of land at the Tank Hill bordering
council offices and Tourist hotel. This, too, was illegally and fraudulently sold and revenues
were never declared to Council.
b) Markets
7. The old Market located along Kabale-Kisoro road is being re-constructed without
conformity to its original building plan and National physical planning laws. It is also alleged that
many original Lockup owners were denied ownership of the space facing the roads. This space
was, instead, sold to wealthy business men. It is also on record that municipal Council owned 4

lockups but have since been transferred into different names. What is more frustrating is that
the list of the lock-up owners has not been released yet many vulnerable suspecting members
of public paid up to 5 million shillings, each, to acquire the same lock-ups.
9. All the markets in the municipal council have no proper sanitation and hygiene
facilities, notwithstanding the revenue generated from the same on quarterly basis. The markets
are muddy and with stinking smell. Human waste and garbage is littered everywhere. This is
especially so for Rusiza market.
c)Tenders
10. Most of the tenders in Municipal council are in-house and illegally awarded. Behind
the pseudo contractors are names of members in the municipal council and the technical team.
Municipality residents have, for instance, cited the contractor in charge of garbage collection. It
goes without saying that this arrangement has, in effect, led to loss of revenue, poor service
delivery and denied the youths the opportunity to work with the municipal council amidst
massive youth unemployment. It is therefore not surprising that private contractors use
Municipality facilities such as; vehicles and water without any commensurate payment
11. A case in point is the award of tender to tarmac the road between Nyamagana Petrol
Station and Kindly Services Petrol station. On this particular tender, 45 million shillings was
advanced to the contractor to do the work without guarantee, and immediately the same tender
was cancelled for unknown reasons. However, this money has never been refunded to the
municipality.
d) Physical Planning
12. It would appear that the Municipality Physical master plan has never been
implemented. For example, there is supposed to be free space behind Patel Premises and
access road stretching from Virunga Hotel via Golden Monkey Guest House down to Kings pub.
Unfortunately, this space has been illegally and fraudulently sold and now its a hub of illegal

structures, some built on top of the sewage system. We are worried that if deliberate actions not
taken, our municipality will turn into a slum, sooner than later.
13. The Municipal council is reluctant to extend the boundaries of the municipality yet
discussions on building divisional offices and other public service centers are in their advanced
stages. We believe that building such offices and service points before extending boundaries is
a disoriented move, and is likely to negatively affect the accessibility of services by municipal
residents who will be residing along municipal boundaries, once extended
f) Ineffective leadership and Mismanagement
14. Incompetence looms large in the leadership of our Municipality. This has affected
service delivery to the poor urban dwellers. For example, there is no single street light in the
municipality; there is no electricity greed that would allow even domestic users in Municipal
villages like Nyagashinge and Gishegera to access electricity. Equally these villages have no
access to clean and portable water. Public schools in the Municipality are in poor state. The
condition of Kisoro Hospital, the only Hospital in the Municipality is appalling. Our poor,
pregnant mothers and sisters are being asked to pay for delivery kits, or else they risk being un
attended to. It would appear that the council, has failed to assert its authority and no longer
represents the interests of municipal residents. For example, no action has been taken over a
petition by residents along Mutanda road over garbage disposed on their residence. While there
are reports about 95% HIV prevalence among the commercial sex workers in the Municipality,
the municipal council has not sat to deliberate on the same. In essence, the Council has
abdicated its duties, and is only preoccupied with cutting illegal deals.
II: PETITION
We the Undersigned, therefore, petition your office recommending the following;
15. An independent commission of inquiry be put in place to investigate the following; (i)
the illegal and fraudulent sale of municipal council land; (ii) the mismanagement of revenue from
the sale of same. The commission should also investigate the ownership of the companies that

receive tenders from the Municipal council. The same commission should also investigate the
circumstances under which the 45 million shillings tender for rehabilitation of the road stretching
from Nyamagana Petrol services to Kindly services was cancelled. Any individuals who are
found liable should be prosecuted in the courts of law
16. All information on municipality land, assets and other properties be published and
availed to the public for proper accountability. In the alternative, the Municipality technical and
executive council teams should take stock of its assets and the same information availed to
public for proper scrutiny.
17. All municipal revenue and expenditure data for the last 5 years should be released to
the public. Going forward, the same data should be published and made known to municipal
residents on annual basis, as required law
18. An budget committee comprised of delegate residents from all the municipal
divisions be put in place to work with the municipality technical team throughout the budgeting
cycle. This will create room for proper budgeting, public accountability and effective service
delivery.

Equally, the residents should be allowed to choose an oversight (monitoring and

evaluation committee) that will oversee the implementation of all municipal works as per
municipal annual plans and budgets. Both the Budget and oversight committees should be
institutionalized in the municipal administrative structures for sustainability purposes. It is to be
seen that the same arrangement is being implemented in small towns in Rwanda and big cities
in Brazil
19. The construction of the old market be halted until structural plan is revised to include
the sanitation facilities that meet required standards. The same structural plan should be
complied with by the contractor
20. That the contractor of New Tax Park should, with immediate effect, undertake the
finishing of external works as set out in the contract and the building plan

21. That the current Municipality Physical Plan revised to accommodate the current
circumstances and conform to the requirements befitting a municipality. Also revision of
municipal boundaries should be done soon, before construction of divisional offices and other
public service points is done.

CC:
The chief Administrative Officer, Kisoro District Local Government
The LC V chairperson, Kisoro District
Hon. Bucanayandi Tress, Minister for Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries
Hon. Dr. Philemon Mateke, State Minister for regional Affairs
Canon Bitunguramye George, Senior Presidential Advisor, Kigezi region
The Town Clerk, Kisoro Municipality
The Mayor, Kisoro Municipality
Hon. Ndyana Richard
Hon. Paul Bucana
All Kisoro Municipality Residents