By Our Reporter in Mubende

Angered by the slow implementation of USMID projects in some cities and municipalities plus refugee hosting districts -a tough talking Lands  Minister Hon. Judith Nabakooba  has warned the  Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) program contractors in Mubende Municipality that they will face tough sanctions from government if they fail  to deliver the roads project in the stipulated timelines within their contracts .

The multi-billion USMID  program funded by the World Bank through the ministry of Lands – set to end late next year, is undertaking various infrastructure development projects in more than 30 cities, municipalities and refugee hosting districts across the country but some of the projects are terribly behind schedule -a scenario that saw Minister Nabakooba fuming while on her routine inspection of on -going works in Mubende district .

Nabakooba who was presiding over the  ground-breaking ceremony for the second batch of USMID-AF projects in Mubende Municipality expressed her disappointment with the contractors’ sloppiness in implementing the project works.

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 process and were deemed fit to take on the projects- 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 wait for ministers to come and inspect works and then they run to set up machinery- pretending to be working. Let me hope the new contractors will up their game in this regard,” Nakabooka stated as the worried contractors looked on .

Project works are supposed to be undertaken on  Kyaterekera – Katwe road (0.99kms), Church Road (0.482kms), Rwabushagara Road (0.518kms), Daudi Chawa Road (0.482kms) (including 3 Links of Mutagwanya (0.116kms), Bwiire Road (0.132kms), Habiib Road (0.151kms and Ndahura Road (0.4kms) .   The contractor  is expected to construct  roads, clear drainages and provide street lighting among many other road furniture as contracted.

Other project works include  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); Mubende Taxi Park, and Beautification of Mayor’s Gardens.

Nabakooba cautions contractors

Nabakooba specifically cautioned the three contractors (M/s Armpass Technical Services, M/s China Railway No.3 Engineering Group and M/s Scaffold Engineering & Construction Limited) that they must deliver  quality work  and on the agreed  timelines  as stipulated in their contracts .

“I am personally watching. We are all aware that in 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,”  the minister emphasized .

“This USMID 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,”  Nabakooba told the residents together with their leaders.

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.”

Mr Ssemwogerere also highlighted the tendency of contractors subcontracting to other companies with limited capacity which has partly caused the  a slow pace at project implementation .

According to Sheila 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.

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