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Contractors Face Shs40bn Penalty For Shoddy Works

Contractors who commit shoddy works face a Shs40bn penalty in the new Road Bill 2018 that is awaiting scrutiny by the Parliamentary Physical Infrastructure Committee.

Section 76 of the bill spells out offences by contractors highlighting that a contractor who constructs a road which does not meet the requirements of standards prescribed by the Minister of Works and Transport under this Act commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two million currency points.

In addition to the penalty, the contractor will be required to remedy the defects in the road, road construction or road furniture.

While tabling the bill last year, Minister of Works Monicah Azuba argued that the objective of this Bill is to reform and amend the law relating to the development, management and maintenance of public roads and access to roads in order to conform with current Government policies, plans and Programmes.

She argued that the Bill seeks to repeal and replace the Roads Act, Cap 358 and the Access to Roads act cap. 350 saying the current legislations are over fifty years and yet the management and administration of public roads has advanced considerably.

The Minister said that the two Acts only cover a limited range of the management of roads and are not sufficient to address current issues concerning management, administration and access to public roads and therefore there was a requirement to reform the two outdated laws to meet the current needs and long-term goals of Government’

The Bill in section 53(3) states that a person who damages, removes or obscures road furniture commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding ten thousand currency points or imprisonment not exceeding four years, or both.

The legislation also brings on board payment of road toll with vehicles exempted from paying road tolls include; emergency vehicles of the fire brigade and ambulances; the Presidential convoy; and vehicles belonging to the military, police and other security forces, only on emergency duty.

Provide for this after the last paragraph.

Further, section 73 of the bill spells offences relating to road tolls; (l) A person who- (a) drives a vehicle through a toll station, except by a route designated for the passage of the vehicle; (b) refuses to stop a vehicle at a toll station to pay a toll; or (c) fraudulently or forcibly drives a vehicle through a toll station without paying a toll, commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding one thousand culrency points or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

 (2) A person who levies or collects illegal tolls commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding one thousand currency points or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both. (3) Where for any reason, a vehicle is parked on a toll road for more than one hour, the road authority or toll operator shall remove the vehicle, and the driver or the owner of the vehicle, shall pay the cost of removing, parking and where applicable, the cost of maintaining the road.

(4) A pedestrian who enters the boundary of or crosses a toll road commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding one thousand culrency points or imprisonment not exceeding six months, or both.

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