12 September 2018

Uganda: Mbale Gets Shs10b to Rehabilitate Roads

Mbale — Mbale Municipal Council is set to receive Shs10 billion under World Bank-funded Uganda Support to Municipality Infrastructure Development (USMID) programme to rehabilitate roads in the town.

The roads that will be worked on include Naboa and Cathedral Avenue following the completion of Republic Street, Nabuyoga Rise, Pallisa Road and Mugisu hill under the same programme in the first phase.

The rehabilitation works were done by Zong Mei, a Chinese company.

Awaiting approval

Ms Rhoda Nyaribi, the USMID programme coordinator, said they are only waiting for Parliament's approval to receive the funds and start procurement process.

"We are waiting for Parliament approval but what I know is that by October, we will have the money and the procurement process will kick off immediately so that by January next year, the project will have started," she said in an interview with Daily Monitor on Monday.

The Mbale assistant town clerk, Mr Kenneth Khatuli, said they are going to be vigilant with the kind of contractor they will hire to avoid past mistakes.

"We have learnt from our past weaknesses and mistakes. We are going to be strict in the procurement process so that we do not hire incompetent contractors," he said.

The first phase of USMID programme started in 2014 when Mbale municipal council awarded a contract to Plinth Technical Services Company Ltd to tarmac town roads.

The company was expected to complete the work in 2015 but it failed on several occasions until early this year when their contract was finally terminated and awarded to Zong Mei, a Chinese company to finalise the works at cost of Shs7 billion.

The Chinese company has so far installed functioning street lights, worked on the drainage system, and is now adding finishing touches to the roads. According to the company officials, the works completion rate is at 90 per cent.

The Mbale Municipal Council spokesperson, Mr James Kutosi, however, warned residents against politicking and sabotaging government programmes.

Mr Kutosi said with construction of roads and installation of security lights, the town is on the right path to become a city.

Mr Kassim Madagi, a councillor, said the leaders should ensure transparency in executing the project.

"They should be accountable and desist from making reckless decisions for personal benefit," he said.

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