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Masaka Engineer, UNRA Official Boycott Roads Meeting

A Uganda National Roads Authority UNRA official and the Masaka Municipal engineer have boycotted a committee investigating alleged fraud and poor state of roads in Masaka district. On Friday Members of Parliament from Masaka district who sit on the district road Committee started investigating how monies under the Uganda Road Fund were utilised. Last financial year, Masaka district got at least 1.1 billion shillings from Uganda Road Fund of which 950 million shillings went to Masaka Municipality.
Masaka district Roads committee members inspecting road works.

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A Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) official and the Masaka Municipal engineer have boycotted a committee investigating alleged fraud and poor state of roads in Masaka district.

 

On Friday Members of Parliament from Masaka district who sit on the district road Committee started investigating how monies under the Uganda Road Fund were utilised.

 

Last financial year, Masaka district got at least 1.1 billion shillings from Uganda Road Fund of which 950 million shillings went to Masaka Municipality. But there is a public outcry over the poor state of roads in Masaka Municipality and those under the care of UNRA around the district.

 

The District Road committee chaired by Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga summoned Alfred Menya, the UNRA regional manager for Masaka and Augustine Turibarungi, the Principal Municipal engineer. The two officials were expected to brief the committee on the state of roads in the district as well as how funds received last year were utilised.

 

The two officials were however a no-show despite their invitation.

 

MP Mpuuga says the committee invited them but they never showed up yet the committee wanted to hear from them. The officials never notified the committee about their absence.

 

Mpuuga says nevertheless, they went ahead to inspect the roads funded by the Uganda Road Fund but found them constructed in what he called a shoddy manner.

 

According to these MPs, works on roads like Kabula Street and Kooki road are below standard.

 

MP Mpuuga notes that the municipality contractors never worked on the drainage system and the tarmac used has started peeling off hardly three months after.

 

// Cue in: …The quality of work…

Cue out: …addressing these challenges."//

 

Masaka Woman MP Mary Babirye Kabanda wondered why the officials boycotted the meeting yet they have a lot of issues to explain. Kabanda says the manner in which roads in Masaka Municipality are constructed is embarrassing. She says they will compile a report and submit it to the relevant authorities.

 

Kabanda also said they are going to meet with UNRA officials, Ministry of Finance as well as Ministry of Works and Transport to explain why they have neglected roads around Masaka.

 

Last year, Turibarungi was briefly detained by police for alleged failure to account for 540 million shillings. The case, however, never took off.

 

Masaka RDC Joe Walusimbi, who had ordered for his arrest, says he did his work of exposing him but the matter has since stalled.

 

He says he will resurrect the case. He also says he is not happy with the way public funds are misused yet there is not work done on the roads.

 

//Cue in: "Omanyi Okuwereza…

Cue out: …Tulabe ekyokola."//

 

Menya could not be reached for a comment. But Turibarungi said in a phone interview that he was away. He could not however, say where he went and why he did not attend the committee meeting.

 

Two weeks ago, Local Government Accounts Committee chaired by Aswa County MP Reagan Okumu grilled Turibarungi over failure to account for millions of shillings under Uganda Road Fund.

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