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UNRA, Works Ministry On The Spot Over Poor State Of Mbale-Tirinyi Road

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and Ministry of Works and Transport have come under fire over the poor state of the Mbale-Tirinyi road.

MPs from the Eastern Region have threatened to demonstrate on Monday September4 if no efforts are taken to put the road in order.

In a joint press conference held on Wednesday, the MPs said UNRA has abandoned the road for four years so much that it has become a death trap. They were headed by their vice chairperson John Baptist Nambeshe, MP Manjiya County.

Other MPs that attended the press conference included Silas Aogon of  Kumi Municipality, David Abala of  Ngola County, Pamela Kamugu- Woman MP Budaka, Mariam Naigaga- Woman MP Namutumba District and  Paul Akamba of Busiki County.

Gaffa Mbwatekamwa of Kasambya County in Mubende district and Frederick Baseke of Ntenjeru South also attended the conference though from Eastern region. They noted that the issue of safe roads is a national concern.

The MPs revealed that their efforts to approach concerned authorities have yielded nothing. They particularly attacked UNRA Executive Director, Allen Kagina, who they say behaves as if she is indispensable.

“There are false hopes that the contract is on course as we talk [yet] it isn’t. This road isn’t motorable. So we are coming out, it is a universal outcry. We are making a call to those who are responsible to expeditiously fix that road because we are about to demonstrate even in a worse manner than the one of Amuru,” Nambeshe said angrily.

He added: “The state of this road from Tirinyi to Mbale isn’t acceptable, at least from where we are as a country. If we are talking about attaining middle income status as an economy and somebody is taking three months without being on site, how is it going to be achieved? Do we always have to come to the press for somebody to do something for us?”

Kamugu shed tears, revealing that voters have lost lives on the road, blaming the poor state of the road on UNRA boss Kagina.

“Why is Kagina still in office? If she can’t do the work, I am here; I can as well do the work. Our voters have turned against us; they imagine we aren’t representing them,” Kagina Kamugu.

MP Akamba wondered if Government’s decision to abandon the road is one way of trying to reduce on the population.

“Everybody knows the record of Dott Services but up to now, Dott Services is being given contracts. They terminated the contract and they later reinstated,” Akamba said, noting that UNRA is failing to carry out its mandate diligently.


UNRA Speaks Out

In an interview, Mark Ssali, Director Communications at UNRA denied the allegations that UNRA has abandoned the road, revealing that the procurement process for a new contractor is in its final stages. He said UNRA embarked on new procurement process after cancelling the contract of Dott Services.

“I think the MPs haven’t been getting information and that’s understandable because we don’t discuss issues of procurement in public.  UNRA hasn’t abandoned Mbale–Tirinyi road because what I can say is that the procurement process is going on. We will have a new contractor at the road by the end of next month. This isn’t a very long time to wait,” Ssali said.









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