Kagina suspends Unra officials over bribery

Unra executive director Allen Kagina (centre) talks to officials from Unra and China State Construction Engneering  Company on Kapchorwa-Saum Road in Kapchorwa on Friday. PHOTO | FILE

What you need to know:

  • Kapchorwa-Suam Road. The Shs268b road, which stretches to Bukwo District, is being constructed by China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC), with funding from the African Development Bank (ADB). 
  •  The works on the road started on November 1, 2018 and are expected to be completed by September 30.

The executive director of Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra), Ms Allen Kagina, has suspended officials in–charge of land acquisition on the Kapchorwa-Suam Road over allegations of bribery. 

This comes a few days after Daily Monitor published a story where residents alleged that the Unra officials asked for kickbacks during the valuation of their property. 

Leaders and locals claimed that some of them, who could not afford to pay the bribes, had their property undervalued by the Unra officials.  

In a meeting with the affected residents at Bukwo Town Council hall on Friday, Ms Kagina said: “When I read news in the Daily Monitor, I said let us go to Bukwo and hear the people and open a police general inquiry file on this matter and they begin the investigations.” 

She added: “In the meantime, we are replacing our team. The land acquisition team will be investigated,” she said.

Ms Kagina said she also received complaints from project affected persons on poor compensation, something, she said will be addressed. 

“I want to apologise on behalf of Unra to all of you who have been mistreated and I hope you accept my apology on behalf of my staff,” she said.

Ms Kagina said a new team will carry out reassessment in two weeks and compensation will be disbursed to the affected persons. 

“The team is going to come back and see if adequate compensation was assessed and if it was inadequate, amends will be made,” she said. 

Ms Everlyne Chemutai,the Bukwo Woman MP, said the reassessment exercise should be expedited. 

“Police should take up this issue and apprehend all those involved,” she said. 

Mr Nelson Soyekwo, the chairperson of Bukwo grievances committee, said they were happy that Unra officials would be held accountable.

“There was fraud. The people’s property was undervalued because they could not afford to bribe the Unra officials,” he said. 

Ms Esther Cherop, the Resident District Commissioner, appealed to the residents not to block the ongoing works over compensation delays.