Monday January 1 2018

Travellers stranded as protesters block Tirinyi road

Protesters block Mbale-Tirinyi hi

Protesters block Mbale-Tirinyi highway at the weekend over the poor state of the road. PHOTO BY YAHUDu KITUNZI 

By YAHUDU KITUNZI

MBALE- Transport on the Mbale-Tirinyi-Kampala highway was paralysed at the weekend as residents demonstrated over the poor state of the road.

Protesters erected barricades and burnt tyres in the road to block traffic for several hours, a few metres away from Doko Trading Centre, citing government failure to finish rehabilitation of the road.

“We are getting accidents on a daily basis and many people have died while others injured. Other people have opted to use Tororo- Mbale road which is far,” Mr Fred Maskoyi, a taxi driver, said.

“We are disappointed by the NRM government that we can pay taxes only to get nothing back. If government cannot work on this road, then what is their work?” Mr Issac Nagwere, a boda boda rider, asked.

When contacted, the Mbale Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) station engineer, Mr George Ssonko, said the authority was pouring water on the road to contain the dust in the meantime.
The UNRA spokesperson, Mr Mark Ssali, told Daily Monitor that they had procured a new contractor, China Civil Engineering and Construction corporation (CCECC), to resume work, but they were held back after Dott Services went to court over what it termed as unlawful termination of their contract.

“It is not true that UNRA is not doing anything, but we understand the concerns of the citizens about the state of the road and we are working hard behind the scenes to ensure this does not go on for much longer,” Mr Ssali said.

The construction on the road was halted in May after UNRA terminated its contract with Dott Services, accusing the contractor of failure to comply with the contractual obligations and was not willing to be supervised by UNRA officials.

ykitunzi@ug.nationmedia.com

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