KAMPALA —Lands, Housing and Urban Development minister, Judith Nabakooba has come tough on the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program contractors in Mubende Municipality about their failure to deliver the project in stipulated deadlines.
Nabakooba who was in Mubende on August 16 at the ground-breaking ceremony for the second batch of USMID-AF projects in Mubende Municipality expressed her disappointment with the sloppiness at which the contractors were doing the work.
The minister said the slow pace at which the work is being done should not happen since the people doing the work went through a bidding and were deemed fit to take on the project, something they have to live up to.
“You cannot do 2.8km in two years. I expected the first project to be completed by this week. Contractors should be on ground, they do not have to see someone coming to inspect and then turn up with the machinery to pretend to be working. Let me hope the new contractors will up their game in this regard,” she said.
At Mubende, Nabakooba made a ground breaking of three lots. The first lot being works on Kyaterekera – Katwe road (0.99kms), Church Road (0.482kms), Rwabushagara Road (0.518kms), Daudi Chwa Road (0.482kms) (including 3 Links of Mutagwanya (0.116kms), Bwiire Road (0.132kms), Habiib Road (0.151kms and Ndahura Road (0.4kms) by one contractor who shall construct the roads, clear drainages and provide street lighting among many other road furniture as contracted.
The second Lot is civil works on; Police Link Road (0.44km), Tennis Court Road (1.007km), Kibaati Road 0.225km, New Bus Park Loop (0.23km), and Nelson Mandela Road (0.528), also another contractor, entailing road construction, drainage works and street lighting. The third Lot is Construction of Mubende Taxi Park, and Beautification of Mayor’s Gardens, by another contractor.
Here, she cautioned the three contractors (M/s Armpass Technical Services, M/s China Railway No.3 Engineering Group and M/s Scaffold Engineering & Construction Limited) about ensuring quality and timelines.
“I am personally watching. We are all aware that December 2023 the program shall be closing, and there shall be no extension whatsoever. This means we have to ensure we work within the remaining period, finish in time and also have the defects liability period within the same period,” she said.
The minister also cautioned the new contractors on quality and timely delivery of the project, telling them of how USMID is a program of results. She asked the local leaders to monitor the contractors closely to ensure value for money is realised to foster development.
“The project is not for the president or government but for the people. Roads do not serve any political or religious affiliations. Own these projects instead of leaving them to the funders and the central Government. Let us be keepers of our good roads. The successful outcome of the USMID Programme in your Municipality is dependent on concerted efforts by all the relevant stakeholders.”
Charles Ssemwogerere, the mayor Mubende West Division thanked USMID for the funding that has since developed the municipality. He said they are grateful for the first phase ending in August where a lot has been achieved.
“Income generation is going to be enhanced with development. The municipality’s face has not been the same ever since we got this funding. We appeal to be considered for another phase so that we can also do more in the development of our municipality.”
He shared that they are however challenged by the rainy season which is hampering road construction. Mr Ssemwogerere also highlighted the tendency of contractors subcontracting other people which brings about a slow pace at which work is done.
According to Sheilah Naturinda, the communications specialist at USMID, Mubende which is the newest entrant into the program will benefit from the funding through roads, taxi park construction and beautification of the mayor’s gardens.
Ms Naturinda attributed the delays to utility relocation and negotiation, where in some areas, people even don’t know the right location of these utilities.
She however said they are documenting this as a challenge so that in future, it can be addressed.