The Kanungu District council has passed a resolution to mobilise residents to contribute towards the construction of a temporary bridge on River Mitaano, a key access route to the district.
Mitaano Bridge, on the Kanungu-Rukungiri road, collapsed in April 2012. The road, which is most convenient for travellers going and coming from Kanungu, has since remained closed to motorists.
Although the Kanungu Resident District Commissioner (RDC), Mr Martin Mugabi, and chief administrative officer (CAO) Christome Kayise warned that the move would be illegal, the councillors said the government has not delivered on its endless promises.
The RDC and CAO pointed out that the construction needed to be planned with the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), but the councillors said they will build the bridge under burungi bwansi (community self-help) in the next two months.
“It is now time that we the district leadership invested our own time and resources together with other well-wishers and begin burungi bwansi to put back our infrastructure since central government ignored our pleas,” said Mr Frank Byaruhanga, the chairperson social services, while tabling the motion on Wednesday.
Mr Mugabi said the bridge reconstruction was delayed by legal battles between UNRA and bidders for the contract. He said they should not give government an ultimatum.
“Government does not work on ultimatums, but [on] negotiation and planning. Therefore, don’t give government ultimatums. In case we detect that there are ill intentions (in the burungi bwansi), and I will not hide this, police will be used to perform its duty,” Mr Mugabi said.
UNRA communications officer Dan Alinange yesterday said: “Unfortunately we delayed. There was fighting for the contract, but now we are ready to go.”
“We are pushing the contractor to start in May.”
Dr Chris Baryomunsi, the Kinkiizi East MP, during the Kanungu District Development Forum meeting in Kanungu Town on April 22, said he will raise the matter of poor infrastructure on the floor of Parliament for all to know that the people of Kanungu are not happy.
“We are part of that anger because we have lagged behind in terms of development,” Dr Baryomunsi said.