BUDAKA: President Museveni has directed the Uganda National Roads Authority [UNRA] Executive Director, Ms Allen Kagina to allow Dott Services Ltd to continue with of the construction of Mbale-Tirinyi-Nakalama road.
In May last year, UNRA terminated the contract awarded to Dott Services to rehabilitate the road because the contractor had failed to comply with the contractual obligations and was not willing to be supervised by UNRA team.
By the time the contract was terminated, the physical progress on the road was 19.09% against the planned 94.46%.
Following the termination, the road was left in a sorry state with open potholes and water channels. This as result, has caused accidents and worst of it, made the road impassable and also resulted into endless protests from angry residents and road users.
But in the President’s letter dated October 26, 2017, addressed to UNRA’s Ms Kagina, the President said he had reached an agreement with Dott Services and lifted his executive order barring the company from continuing with road works in the country.
“I recently wrote to you, lifting my executive order on this company to allow it continue with works in Uganda. This was after they agreed to stop delaying government works with court injunction when they fail to win contracts through procurement processes,” the President’s letter reads in part.
The letter further reads, “This was my quarrel with them together with blocking investigations. I am however, still reading in the media and being called by leaders from Bukedi region about the terminated contract of Mbale-Tirinyi-Nakalama road, was this contract terminated because of my executive order?”
The president also advised the UNRA follow his method in the fight against corruption when handling such issues.
“This is why I have at least once, pardoned Ugandan companies when they make mistakes. This is my strategy to create jobs and wealth by supporting local companies in whichever way possible,” Mr Museveni said in letter.
The response comes at a time when UNRA and Dott services are locked into court battle. The Dott Services run to Court contesting the manner in which the contract was terminated by UNRA.
Earlier, the UNRA spokesperson, Mr Mark Ssali, said they had procured a new contractor, -China Civil Engineering and construction Corporation [CCECC] to resume work, but they held back after Dott Services ran to court.
During the council meeting at Budaka LC5 chairperson, Mr Sam Mulomi, told council that a joint memorandum of the five districts have agreed to notify the agency about the pending protest if the construction of the does not resume.
“We are totally angered and we have been left with no option but to mobilize citizens to join us and show our dissatisfaction with the state of the Mbale-Tirinyi road. This road has remained a death trap,” Mr Mulomi said.
However, according to the letter dated January 5, 2018 signed by Tumusiime Kabega of Kabega & Co. Advocates on behalf of Dott Services LTD, it indicated that their client is ready to embark on the construction of the said road.