UGANDA, Mbarara | Real Muloodi News | The Minister of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, Ms Judith Nabakooba, has instructed town clerks involved in the Mbarara Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development Programme (USMID) cluster project to cease the termination of the construction works.
Instead, she called for a meeting to be held with all stakeholders to discuss the way forward.
The USMID project, which is being implemented by Multiplex Ltd, involves construction works on Major Victor Bwana Road (0.95km), Galt Road (0.63km), and Stanley Road (0.78km) in Mbarara City at a cost of USh22b.
Additionally, Kajinya-Tindibakira Road (2.07km) in Ntungamo Municipality is being constructed at a cost of USh11.39b, while Rushoroza (2.49km), Bwankosya (0.76km), and Bushekwire (0.34Km) roads in Kabale Municipality have a budget of USh21.7b.
Ms Nabakooba’s directive was issued in a letter dated May 8 addressed to the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Local Government.
The letter, which was copied to town clerks, mayors, and engineers in the municipalities of Kabale, Ntungamo, and Mbarara City, called for a halt to the termination process until a meeting involving all concerned stakeholders could be convened to assess and determine the way forward.
The letter states, “I have been informed that town clerks under the Mbarara USMID cluster are in the process of terminating the program. This communication serves to halt the termination process until a meeting with all the concerned stakeholders is convened to analyze and decide on the way forward. I understand the cluster has its own shortcomings from both the technical and contractors’ side. This meeting will save the government from future damage and possible legal challenges that may arise. On this note, the side meeting has been scheduled for May 16 [tomorrow] at 10 am in the Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development boardroom.”
During a meeting with State Minister for Economic Monitoring, Ms Beatrice Akello Akori, officials from Kabale municipal council, led by Mayor Sentaro Byamugisha and Town Clerk Justine Barekye, expressed their confusion as to why Minister Nabakooba was showing sympathy toward the contractors who have failed to complete the works even after their contract was extended three times.
Mayor Byamugisha explained, “On May 27, 2021, Kabale Municipal Council contracted M/s Multiplex/Ditaco International Trade to construct and pave Rushoroza, Bwankosya, and Bushekwire roads and complete the works by May 26, 2022. The contract was extended for three months due to delays in the designs. The contract was further extended until January 31, but the contractor did not complete the works.”
He further stated that the council had resolved to terminate the contract effective August 3 2023.
“We are not happy with the minister’s letter asking us to halt the termination of the contract because it implies that the minister is sympathising with the contractor at the expense of the local people who are being inconvenienced by such delays. He [the contractor] is not serious at all since he has only completed about 50 percent of the expected work in two years,” Mayor Byamugisha expressed his dissatisfaction.
Ms Akello added, “I will make arrangements to attend the planned harmonisation meeting organised by my colleague minister so that I can present my findings on the delayed completion of USMID projectroadworks in Kabale Municipality. The State House Anti-Corruption Unit should also investigate this matter since it has become a liability to the people, causing access problems to their businesses and posing security risks.”
The Managing Director of Multiplex Ltd, Mr Moses Ndege Bbosa, declined to comment on the allegations of delays but confirmed his attendance at the harmonisation meeting.
READ MORE LIKE THIS: