KAMPALA – The Opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) party has blamed the weekend road carnage on shoddy work by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).
Over 20 people perished in two separate incidents on Sunday. One was in Busembatya, eastern region, where a bus belonging to YY Coaches Ltd ran over a taxi, killing 10 people. The other was in Rubirizi District, western Uganda, where a fuel tanker exploded, burning 10 people.
But according to the FDC, the carnage was caused by UNRA which they said have become specialists in shoddy work, saying that they build narrow and slippery roads.
“Much as there are human errors, most of these accidents are coming as a result of the lackadaisical nature of government in line with the transport systems. UNRA has now become an expert in shoddy work. Most of the roads are bleeding and this is what causes most of them to be shinny and slippery. 90% of Ugandan tarmac roads are badly done and it is the reason for skidding of vehicles,” said FDC deputy spokesman John Kikonyogo during the party’s press conference at their headquarters in Najjanankumbi, Kampala, on Monday.
“As a result of overloading, most of the roads are now rutting, i.e. Seeta – Bweyogerere. Even when UNRA claims to have established Weighbridges along most of the high ways, the corruption that is grappling all government institutions has made them to allow excess weight pass the said roads,” he added.
As a result, FDC proposed measures to reduce accidents, some of which include dual carriage roads, enforcing the Planning Act and removing cargo vehicles from roads to railway lines.
“We have in all ways been proposing that all major high ways should be upgraded to the dual carriage as it is on the Southern by Pass. The Planning Act should be enforced. This will enable the country to upgrade from the current linear model where towns are built along major highways and roads to the establishment of substantive towns outside major roads. All major highways should be curved outside towns,” Mr Kikonyogo said.
“All cargo should be removed from roads to railway lines. We are aware government is already sunk in major corruption scandals that have failed the establishment of the standard gauge railway even when sister states like Kenya have already handled Phase one i.e Mombasa-Nairobi and now into phase two that will enable Nairobi-Busia completed,” he added.
The party also proposed a tentative re-enforcement of the current Railway line (1meters) gauge to enable all cargo to go through rail system as a measure of reducing on heavy loads on roads.
“We shall then, later on, shift to the standard gauge (1.4 meters) probably after the change of government,” he said.