UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | The Parliament of Uganda has called for an audit into the cost of road construction projects carried out by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA).
This recommendation follows concerns raised by legislators regarding the possible exaggeration of road construction costs, as Kampala continues to grapple with nearly impassable roads.
The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) processed the findings of the Auditor General on the financial statements of the Authority, which revealed discrepancies in the cost estimates.
The committee chairperson, Mr Joel Ssenyonyi, pointed out that the cost of the Kulambiro-Kyanja Ring Road was stated as USh9 billion per kilometre, significantly higher than estimates provided by the Works and Transport Ministry.
The ministry’s study indicated that as of 2020, road construction costs should be around USh2.4 billion per kilometre for roads under 70 kilometres and USh2.146 billion per kilometre for roads over 70 kilometres.
Since the Kulambiro Ring Road is five kilometres long, the cost appears disproportionately high.
The committee recommended that the Auditor General conduct a special audit into the cost of roads in Kampala to ascertain the reasons for the discrepancies.
MPs emphasised establishing a range for the unit cost per kilometre to prevent potential financial losses.
In response to public uproar and concerns about the state of Kampala’s roads, the government secured an USh2.25 trillion loan in the budget for the Financial Year 2023/2024.
The funds will be used to address flooding, traffic congestion, poor road infrastructure, unsignaled junctions, and unemployment in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA).
The allocation is expected to cover the upgrading of 504 kilometres of roads, including the signalisation of junctions in eight urban authorities.
During parliamentary discussions, questions were raised about the higher costs of road construction in Kampala compared to other cities.
Some MPs suggested that the government should consider contracting foreign engineers to ensure more cost-effective and efficient project implementation.
The COSASE report also highlighted improprieties in land management, outdoor advertising, and non-remittance of statutory deductions.
It revealed that USh4.1 billion was deducted but not remitted, indicating a lack of financial accountability.
Additionally, the absence of an automated system for preparing financial statements was noted, which increases the risk of errors and manipulation.
MPs voiced concerns about corruption within KCCA, specifically in land management, and urged the government to allocate sufficient funding to implement essential projects and manage the city effectively.
They pointed out that the current understaffing of KCCA, which stands at 40 per cent, further hampers the progress and delivery of critical services.
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