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Leaders Irked by ‘Extremely’ Slow Engineering Work on Kampala-Mpigi Expressway :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Leaders Irked by ‘Extremely’ Slow Engineering Work on Kampala-Mpigi Expressway

Shocked by their findings of ongoing excavation works, heaping of murram and gravels among others, Tayebwa expressed disappointment at the delay of the project, which was supposed to be completed by 2023 from the date of commencement as indicated in the contract agreement between the Government and the contractor.
Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa (in jacket) expresses frustration at the delay of Kampala-Mpigi Expressway project as UNRA ED Allen Kagina look (R) and other MPs look on. Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 3

The Physical Infrastructure Committee of parliament has expressed disappointment at the ‘extremely’ slow engineering works on the multi-billion Shillings Kampala-Mpigi Expressway project. Also known as the Busega–Mpigi Expressway, the Expressway, is a 35.41km long four-lane, dual carriage highway whose construction commenced in 2016.

The expressway is expected to connect the Capital, Kampala, and Mpigi District, mitigate traffic congestion, and spur economic development along the Kampala-Masaka highway. To expedite the project, Parliament approved a Shillings 600 billion loan request from a co-financer, the African Development Bank – ADF. Subsequently, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation – CCCC, and China Railway 19th Bureau Group (U) Ltd were contracted in June 2019 to build the expressway within 30 months.

A monitoring visit by the Committee and Mpigi District Local Government officials led by the Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa on Tuesday, showed that only 30 percent of the work has been done five years since the project was rolled out. Shocked by their findings of ongoing excavation works, heaping of murram and gravels among others, Tayebwa expressed disappointment at the delay of the project, which was supposed to be completed by 2023 from the date of commencement as indicated in the contract agreement between the Government and the contractor.

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Tasked to explain the cause of the delays, Allen Kagina, the UNRA Executive Director told journalists at a press briefing in Kyengera Town Council in Wakiso District that the swampy topography, readjustment of the project design, the COVID-19 pandemic, and numerous settlements on the expressway have impacted their work pace.

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Martin Ssejjemba, the Mpigi District LC V Chairperson told URN that delays and extensions of the expressway project have stalled the implementation of development plans, stifled economic prospects in the area, and caused runoff water to destroy people’s livelihoods.

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The monitoring team further drove in a convoy from Mpigi-Bikondo-Buloba-Nsangi, a distance of approximately 23 kilometers along the project to ascertain the ongoing work. They were equally shocked to realize a thin workforce on the ground after the Ministry of Works and Transport claimed the contractor was well mobilized with up to 305 different equipment onsite site and about 602 employees.

By the time of filing this story, Tayebwa had convened a closed-door meeting involving UNRA officials and area Members of Parliament including the Mawokota North Member of Parliament, Hillary Kiyaga; Betty Naluyima Ethel, the Wakiso District Woman Representative and Yusuf Nsibambi, the Mawokota South MP to forge a way forward to the dilemma.

URN understands that UNRA has been facing an uphill task of resistance and legal battles involving at least 490 Project Affected Persons – PAPS along the sections handed over to the Contractor due to; disputes over land ownership, and rejection of the approved compensation amounts among others.

According to the project plan, upon completion, the 4-lane dual carriage Expressway is foreseen to enhance the effectiveness of the Kampala—Entebbe Expressway and the Kampala Northern Bypass.  It will also connect areas of Nabbingo, Katende, Bujjuko, and Mityana Highway to 30 bridges and Mpigi Town.