NUP LEADERS SALUTE M7 GOV’T AND UNRA FOR JOB WELL DONE ON MASAKA ROADS
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By Isaac Wandubile
Leaders in Masaka, including those that belong to Robert Kyagulanyi’s main opposition National Unity Platform (NUP), have praised President Museveni’s NRM Government and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) team led by Executive Director Allen Kagina and for doing a great job regarding the construction and rehabilitation of roads in the city.
On Friday, Minister of Works and Transport Gen Edward Katumba Wamala and Eng Samuel Muhoozi, the UNRA Director of Bridges and Roads (who represented ED Kagina) were joined by local leaders in the inspection of road works in Masaka City.
Last year, the Roads Authority signed a contract with M/s Chongqing International Construction Corporation to undertake civil works for Rehabilitation of Masaka Town roads project (7.3km) at a cost of about Shs36bn.
With the contract inked on September 18, 2020, the works on Masaka Town roads began at the start of November 2020. Although the contract duration was eight months and M/s Chongqing International Construction Corporation was expected to have completed the works by the end of June 2021, the contractor was granted an extension of 110 days after the Chinese firm complained that heavy rainfall had disrupted works and there had been slight variations in quantities. UNRA hopes to commission the road in mid-October 2021.
During implementation of the Masaka Town Roads Project, Minister Katumba Wamala wrote to ED Kagina requesting for inclusion of additional roads on the scope of works. This prompted UNRA to design and start on the procurement process for a number of roads in the area. These include: Villa Road, Kako Diocese Link, Nyendo-Kitovu-Nakayiba Road, Muteesa 1 Royal University Road and Old Kumbu Road, which was specifically requested by the Mayor of Masaka City. These additional roads are 9.3km long in total.
Gen Katumba Wamala and NUP leaders were impressed by ongoing works for Nyendo-Masaka-Kijjabwemi Town Road, which Minister Katumba said had been a thorn in the shoe of the people of Masaka and government for a long time. About 82 per cent of the road works have been completed. “It’s a good road. The construction has been done very well so far,” said the general.
When it came to the Masaka-Bukakata Road, MPs and other Masaka leaders showered the UNRA team and Museveni government with even more praises. Eng Muhoozi explained that although the road was completed and handed over recently, the works had hit a snag towards Lambu Landing Site. Eng Muhoozi explained that there was a purported ferry that was bought as scrap by someone who refused to remove it and now wants government to compensate him. This person has stopped the road works for a space of about 120 meters.
“The Minister, together with the leaders [from the area] have partially resolved that we should carry on with the works and complete, then the aggrieved person should go to court and sort out his issues there instead of denying Ugandans the services,” said Eng Muhoozi.
Minister Katumba Wamala confirmed this directive, and praised UNRA as well as the contractor for the quality of works on Masaka-Bukakata Road. “The Arab Contractors have done a good job. I also want to thank the UNRA team which is supervising these projects very well. So, we have value for money in these projects.”
Masaka leaders, most of whom belong to Bobi Wine’s NUP, were so satisfied with the works that they made it clear there was no need to conduct any further investigations and that Arab Contractors should get more road projects from UNRA.
Masaka LCV Chairperson Andrew Batemyeto Lukyamuzi said: “For the first time, we want to thank Government and UNRA for doing a good job. We salute Arab Contractors and Government. We have looked forward to such good things for years. We are interested in more and better cooperation with the government. Even if some of us are from NUP, it doesn’t mean we can’t work with NRM on issues of development.”
“We have seen quality and timely work even when there is a challenge of rain disruptions. We thank Arab Contractors for putting our money to good use. We are seeing quality and accountability and I don’t think anyone is going to come and probe this project because whatever we are seeing is proper,” added City Mayor Florence Namayanja.
Kimaanya-Kabonera MP Abed Bwanika said: “We want to thank government for constructing roads in Masaka. I don’t fear to thank government whenever it does a good job.” Bwanika was optimistic the road would boost economic development since people will be able to transport their goods to markets, among other things. He promised to rally the people of Masaka to put the roads to better use and maintain them in good condition. The ‘Mugalatia’ also asked Minister Katumba to work on Kyabakuza-Kiwangala Road, and the general assured him the Museveni Government would work on the road in the near future. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).