Corruption Plagues Road Contracts, UNRA Admits

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Allen Kagina, Executive Director of UNRA appearing before the Physical Infrastructure committee. Looking is Charles Naita, the acting Director, Projects. Olive Eyotaru

Allen Kagina, Executive Director of UNRA appearing before the Physical Infrastructure committee. Looking is Charles Naita, the acting Director, Projects. Login to license this image from 1$.

In short
Ephraim Biraro, the committee chairman also cited that some government officials are carrying out insider trading, where they form companies to tap into the roads contracts.

The Executive Director of Uganda National Roads Authority, Allen Kagina has admitted that corruption and inside dealings have plagued the implementation of some road projects in the country.

Kagina made the admission during a closed meeting with Members of Parliament on the Physical Infrastructure committee, where she had appeared today to give a status report on ongoing road works under the authority.

Kagina was responding to concerns by the legislators, including Stephen Mukitale, Buliisa County MP, on the delays in construction of some road projects. Mukitale revealed that several roads in the oil rich Bunyoro region have been delayed due to financial constraints  regarding the contracts.

He questioned why UNRA handpicked a Turkish company to construct the 111 kilometer Hoima-Butiaba-Wanseko road, instead of competitive bidding.

In the same vein, Kibaale Woman MP, Robinah Nabbanja cited the 107 km Mubende-Kakumiro-Kagadi and 134 km Kigumba-Masindi-Kabwoya road contracts which, she claims "have become a money making project" for some government officials.

"For over four years, these roads have not been worked on. All we hear is that the contract is being evaluated and more administrative reviews. Government officials are siphoning a lot of money from these contracts, whose costs are hiked," Nabbanjaclaimed.

Ephraim Biraro, the committee chairman also cited that some government officials are carrying out insider trading, where they form companies to tap into the roads contracts.

Kagina, who asked the committee to kick out journalists before she could respond, is said to have admitted in the meeting that some officials connive with contractors to rip off government.

A source says though she declined to mention any names, Kagina promised to expose them.

Speaking to journalists shortly after the meeting, Kagina explained that UNRA handpicked a contractor for the Hoima-Wanseko road due to the urgency in fast tracking construction of the road.

//Cue In: That particular road…
Cue Out:…slow procurement//

She further revealed plans to overhaul the management and review the designs of all weighbridges in the country, following complaints that the officials manning them are corrupt.

//Cue In: We are going…
Cue Out:…system//

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.

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