By John Ogulei
At least a total of 1.5 billion shillings is needed to kick start the construction of the proposed new Soroti Catholic Diocese Cathedral Regina Ceali.
In 2019, the Bishop of Soroti Catholic Diocese His Lordship Rt. Rev. Dr. Joseph Eciru Oliach launched the construction of the new cathedral and the construction was expected to last two years but to date the construction of the new cathedral hasn’t started due to financial constraints.
Soroti Catholic Diocese needs eight billion shillings to have a multibillion cathedral complete.
Speaking to this website on Thursday Afternoon, the Vicar General of Soroti Catholic Diocese Rev. Fr. Robert Ecogu said, the diocese has been hit financially and the construction of the cathedral that was expected to have started by 2020 has been heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fr. Ecogu acknowledges that whereas the Christian faithful’s of Soroti Catholic Diocese are committed in supporting the construction the COVID-19 pandemic has affected their daily earnings that has resulted in poor resource mobilization.
Currently the diocese has only 554 million Uganda shillings out of the expected 1.5 billion in order to enable the contractor to start its work.
“COVID-19 pandemic is partly to blame over the delay in starting the construction. We need 1.5 billion to help start with putting a sub structure. But what we have in the account can’t enable us,” Said Fr. Ecogu.
He has however revealed to this website that, whereas COVID-19 pandemic is still existing, they expect the resource mobilization to resume in May 2021.
“We can’t keep on waiting for COVID-19 to go away in order to start mobilizing resources. So I want to call upon all Christians to start preparing.
Contract award for the construction.
On the other hand Fr. Ecogu has noted that the diocese has failed to get capable local contractors to construct the cathedral, estimated to house 4000 Christians and last for 300 years.
“All the five contractors who applied didn’t meet the required standards and has forced us to ask other thirteen to apply before we select the best bidder,” He noted.