Uganda: Gen Katumba Asked to Fast-Track Kampala-Jinja Expressway

21 February 2024

The Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, has renewed a call to the Minister of Works and Transport, Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, to fast-track the commencement of works on the 77 km Kampala-Jinja Expressway.

Speaker Among made the call while chairing Tuesday's plenary sitting.

"The loan was approved, and since 2020 nothing has taken place," she said. "We were told that the issue is with project affected persons."

Gen Katumba explained that works on the expressway have stalled due to the lengthy process of acquiring land and compensation of the project affected persons.

"We are now at the stage of contracting," Katumba said.

"There are a number of steps which we have to undertake, this is not a simple project, it is a Public Private Partnership and there are so many stages that we have to qualify before it comes to maturity.

"We have to pay more than 90 percent of the project affected persons, we have to resettle people who even by law are not allowed to be resettled. The elderly who are not allowed to take the money we have to prepare for them to have a better life, that takes time."

Katumba noted that the Attorney General has acquired the partial risk agreement, which is the last stage of procuring a contractor.

"That means that now we can put out the project for contracting because most of the hurdles have been overcome. We are now in the process of advertising; we could not advertise without clearing the hurdles. You must advertise when you have enough land to give to the contractor," he said.

He also informed the lawmakers that government has secured all the equipment required for maintenance of roads across the country.

The minister, however, said that the supplier is still waiting for the balance of Shs6 billion required for full procurement of the equipment.

"Ninety percent of equipment is in the country. The supplier cannot release equipment before all the money is paid," he said.

This was after Dan Atwijukire, Kazo County MP, raised concern over failure by government to fulfil commitments of providing districts with road maintenance equipment.

"The last commitment was that Shs6 billion was released for contractors to buy road maintenance equipment but no money. If the ministry has failed to get money, let them go on local radios and explain to Ugandans otherwise if we continue to appropriate and no releases are made, we are injecting air to the economy," he said.

Speaker Among gave the minister two weeks to present a comprehensive statement on the status on road works across the country.

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