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UNRA: Politicians’ Interference Failing Us On Road Works

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) says politicians’ interference in road works across the country is increasingly becoming unbearable.

This was revealed by Eng. Joseph Otim, the Director in charge of Road Maintenance at UNRA on Wednesday during a stakeholder’s engagement meeting held at Silver Spring Hotel-Kampala.

The meeting was aimed at updating the stakeholders on the progress of road projects across the Central region.

“For contracts we sign with any provider, there are terms and conditions and you can’t bring anything external to that contract otherwise it becomes a variation which has cost and contractual implications,” Otim said.

He added: “So our guidance here is that whatever the politicians or other stakeholders need, can still be done, but let us follow the right channel.”

He added that there have been several complaints from contractors that politicians have been attempting to dictate where roads pass, with some demanding contractors to carry out works contrary to design specifics.

“UNRA has procedures of implementing any additional works in any contract or procedure to vary certain works within that contract which may not bring any adverse effects on the contract. It has been a very big problem to the extent that some contracts have become twice costly,” he said, calling on politicians and other stakeholders to pass on complaints straight to UNRA instead of attacking contractors.

Stakeholders revealed that UNRA is stuck with over 400Km of roads that are as a result of pledges President Yoweri Museveni made to various groups of people across the country. UNRA is now set to phase out the pledges by incorporating them in designs of the road works that are underway so that they can be worked out as single project.

UNRA Road Unit will use their internal team so as to fulfill the presidential pledges.

Responding to queries of UNRA incorporating Presidential pledges in their works,   Otim said: “Most of these pledges that the President gives are vital and they are important for the country. What we can do is ask that let us be added more resources so that we finish these pledges.”

 

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