Works minister Gen Katumba Wamala has hosted a group of residents who have been up in arms over a road project in Buyende Town Council which they say, was poor quality. However, the project manager in the Works ministry denied knowledge of the shoddy work on the road, insisting the report he has is full of praises for the road.
A group of people led by Sharif Mangaraine from Buyende district told the minister that the 2.8km road constructed in their town, was shoddy and demanded a road with the quality promised at the initiation of the project.
Gen Katumba assured the residents that investigations were underway to ascertain who was in wrong. The works minister tasked the road project manager who kept contradicting himself, as he offered a number of excuses for the shoddy work, to write for him a report on the status of the road, what was expected to be done and what was done.
In the one and half hours meeting, Ministry of works projects manager Eng. Osama told the minister that he was received no complaints about the shoddy work on the Buyende road, yet, he also went ahead to allege that the contractor stopped working due to continued threats from the members of the public.
Mr Mangaraine said they were surprised to learn that the project manager was satisfied with the works being done, on top of receiving no formal complaint on the quality work being done.
A source privy to the meeting who preferred anonymity to speak freely about the matter said, The minister tasked Mr Osama to make an “individual report depending on the physical work done on the ground”.
Meanwhile, Mr Osama had told the meeting that there is no single official report complaining about the quality of work and went ahead to add, the contractor was forced to vacate the site because of “continued threats from members of the public”.
Gen Katumba said, a team of private investigators has also already been sent on the ground to make a report, and that this report would be compared to the one by general duties minister Peter Ogwang once his report is ready.
Gen Katumba however, wondered why people doing oversight roles such as Buyende District Council and District Executive as well as members of parliament were silent about the matter – and instead, it is being led by private residents!
He promised to bring MPs on board. The minister didn’t stop at that, he also promised to visit the road that is under contestation to make his own assessment of the situation
He also questioned why there is no leadership concerned about this project (district council, DEC,Mps) as they are supposed to do an oversight role.
Last month, Watchdog Uganda website reported that residents had petitioned Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to reign in her officials who “ate” their road. They said works are far below road construction standards in Uganda, on top of the fact the contractor was awarded the deal without going through proper procurement procedures.
The contract, according to a residents’ petition, was awarded to Ms. Rukonge Enterprises Limited, at a tune of more than ugx2.8 billion. However, the road that has been handed over is below what was expected.
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