The Kabarole district local government has resolved to rent out the district Youth Centre building to a prominent businessman Hassan Basajabalaba.
The Centre which was constructed as a presidential pledge at a tune of sh300m under the Ministry of Luwero-Rwenzori was in January this year officially commissioned by the President during his campaign trail in the Rwenzori region.
However since its commissioning, the building which was meant to house Regional youth offices, a recreation Centre, conference hall among others has since remained vacant and closed.
Gilbert Kayondo, the chairperson for the National Resistance Movement (NRM) youth league, told the New Vision that they made business proposals to government that have since not been funded.
Richard Rwabuhinga, the district chairperson Kabarole, says that the Centre is to accommodate medical students from the Kampala International University (KIU).
He explains that according to a draft of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the district and KIU, the Centre is to be rented out for a period of two years at a tune of sh 1.5M per month.
While moving a motion to rent the district youth Centre today during a council session at district headquarters at Kitumba the rent for all the two years is to be paid at once.
"Renting out the youth Centre building is one of the ways of securing it. For the time is has been unoccupied, a number of things including the lightening arrester that we had fixed have since been vandalized by the community around" Rwabuhinga said as he defended his motion.
Rwabuhinga also said that the district budget does not have plans of furnishing or equipping the youth Centre.
Whereas Rwabuhinga says that he consulted the district youth leadership upon receiving a concept from KIU expressing interest to rent their premises, a section of them claim to have been sidelined.
"I invited the district youth chairperson Chris Aliganyira together with other few members and handed to them a concept from KIU. I asked them to organize a youth council so that they can pronounce themselves in their resolution to also be brought to the district council" Rwabuhinga said.
To the contrary however, Aliganyira did not hold the youth council but instead met with members of the district youth executive who made a minute extract which was carried a move that angered the rest of the youth leaders.
Stella Kemigabo, the district youth Councilor, accused the district chairperson of not following procedure.
"As youth the district did not seek out opinion on renting our premises. The minute carried from the youth council was forged because as youth we have never held any council since this year began" Kemigabo said.
Solicitor General's office not involved
Whereas the law requires local governments to involve the office of the Solicitor General in negotiating such contracts under the public Procurement and Disposal Act, the district in this case did not.
Isaac Singura who represented the office of the Solicitor General during the district council said that is was unlawful for the district to determine how much to be paid per month without involving his office.
Singura pointed out that the district also did not involve the district surveyor and the government valuer while negotiating the deal.
"Before thinking of disposing off we must call for surveyor's and the government valuer's reports to ascertain the true location and the value of the property in question respectively" Singura said.
Singura advised the district not to rush saying that his office together with procurement and the lands office will have to harmonize before the agreement is signed.
He also advised that youths be fully consulted since they are key players.
"Youths need to own the idea, if they don't chances are that they may not cooperate" he said.
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