Speaker Jacob Oulanyah recommended that the committee on Physical Infrastructure has a comprehensive engagement with the Ministry of Works and Transport in relation to the Funds and come up with a report that will shape the debate.
Legislators have today expressed concern in
regard to the poor state of roads across the country despite a huge chunk of
budget allocated to the Works and Transport sector annually.
This was during a debate on the statement by the
Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala regarding the
status of roads in the country.
The statement noted that over the period from financial
year 2014/2015 to 2019/2020 government allocated 16.8 trillion Shillings
to the development and maintenance of the national roads and that a number of the projects are still ongoing.
“During this period, the government prioritized
the upgrading of roads critical to supporting the development of the oil and
gas sector, reads part of the statement.
Government also says that the last five years
have seen increased rainfall and flooding which damages the road infrastructure
in place and that with predictions that the global climate is set to change
further, the roads built today must have to withstand severe weather
Now During the debate on the statement, several
MPs raised concern over government’s delays to work on different roads despite
several pledges by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Goretti Namugga, the Mawogola South MP said
that government should pay more attention to maintenance of road equipment and
buy good quality equipment for the districts.
//Cue in: “so I would…
Cue out:…totally cut off.”//
Curthbert Abigaba Mirembe, the Kibale County MP
also raised concern over the low budget for road equipment maintenance sent to
districts that contributes to the continued poor road network in the country.
//Cue in: “in Kamwenge district…
Cue out:…on the Ministry.”//
James Baba, the Koboko
County MP urged the Ministry of Works and Transport to continuously assess the
Chinese construction companies for their performance to ensure that Ugandans
get value for money.
//Cue in: “the companies
Cue out:…of these
Asuman Basalirwa, the Bugiri
Municipality MP said that it was incorrect to say that the Jinja-Bugiri-Busia
road is completely paved. “Take another tour of
this road and make an assessment. This is a road which carries heavy traffic so
it needs to be worked on better,” he said.
Sarah Opendi, the
Tororo Woman MP also said that maintenance of the roads is key especially with
the maintenance of road equipment.
//Cue in: “the road
Cue out:…her and
Yusuf Nsibambi, the
Shadow Minister of Works and Transport said that the statement on the status of
roads presented by government is not entirely true since the performance rate
of many of them is still really low.
He suggested that the
Minister’s statement on the status of roads in the country is referred to an
Adhoc committee or the Parliament’s Physical Infrastructure committee to assess
the issue of roads that has not been properly managed over the years. He noted
that roads are not gifts to Ugandans but they are entitled to good roads.
//Cue in: “I would
Cue out:…to good
Minister Katumba Wamala
acknowledged that the issues raised by the MPs are genuine and he assured the
House that his Ministry would do everything possible in line with the National
Development Plan- NDP III to implement road works in the country.
He also assured MPs
that a Cabinet Paper on giving more business to local contractors is in the offing,
and that road contracts below 45 billion Shillings are now ring-fenced for
//Cue in: “the road
Cue out:…for the equipment.”//
Speaker Jacob Oulanyah
recommended that the committee on Physical Infrastructure has a comprehensive
engagement with the Ministry of Works and Transport in relation to the Funds
and come up with a report that will shape the debate.
//Cue in: “I would
Cue out:…on this
He also guided MPs
with specific challenges on roads in their constituencies to formally write to
the Minister of Works and Transport so that the issues can be assessed and