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Contractors to pay UGX40b penalty over shoddy road works

Minister of Works Monicah Azuba presents before the House a proposal of Ugx40b penalty to all contractors who commit shoddy works. (FILE PHOTO)

KAMPALA – The Ministry of Works and Transport has proposed to impose a penalty of Ugx40b to all contractors who commit shoddy works in the new Road Bill 2018 that is awaiting scrutiny by the Parliamentary Physical Infrastructure Committee.

Section 76 of the bill spells out offences by contractors highlighting that a contractor who constructs a road which does not meet the requirements of standards prescribed by the Minister under this Act commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding two million currency points.

Yet still, the legislation is also that courts of law upon convicting a person for committing shoddy works may in addition to any penalty issued require the contractor to remedy the defects in the road, road construction or road furniture.

While tabling the bill last year, Minister of Works Monicah Azuba argued that the objective of this Bill is to reform and amend the law relating to the development, management and maintenance of public roads and access to roads in order to conform with current Government policies, plans and Programmes.

She argued that the Bill seeks to repeal and replace the Roads Act, Cap 358 and the Access to Roads act cap. 350 saying the current legislations are over fifty years and yet the management and administration of public roads has advanced considerably.

The Minister said that the two Acts only cover a limited range of the management of roads and are not sufficient to address current issues concerning management, administration and access to public roads and therefore there was a requirement to reform the two outdated laws to meet the current needs and long-term goals of Government’

The Bill in section 53(3) states that a person who damages removes or obscures road furniture commits an offence and is liable, on conviction, to a fine not exceeding ten thousand currency points or imprisonment not exceeding four years, or both.

The legislation also brings on board payment of road toll with vehicles exempted from paying road tolls include; emergency vehicles of the fire brigade and ambulances; the Presidential convoy; and vehicles belonging to the military, police and other security forces, only on emergency duty.

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