Lawmakers urge World Bank to extend Usmid programme

Members of the parliamentary Committee on Physical Infrastructure led by the Kazo County MP Dan Kimosho (in pink short and jeans) inspect the Usmid road works in Kabale Town last Friday.  PHOTO/ ROBERT MUHEREZA

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The MPs argue that contractors need more time to complete Usmid road projects, particularly in Kabale Municipality.

The Members of the parliamentary Committee on Physical Infrastructure have asked the World Bank to extend the duration of the Uganda Support for Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) programme in Kabale Town to allow the completion of road projects.

The Committee members led by Mr Dan Kimosho made statement after inspecting the USMID road projects in Kabale Town last Friday.

During the inspection, Kabale Municipal Mayor Sentaro Byamugisha said the contractor has only achieved 51 percent of the total works expected yet the World Bank funding for the same project is ending on December 31.

 “We appeal to the World Bank to consider extending this programme because the remaining road works cannot be completed in the remaining one and a half months. We have observed the slow implementation of the Usmid road projects in Kabale, and I have asked the contractor, the project consultant, and the municipal council authorities to appear before this Committee in Kampala to explain this slow implementation of this programme and why the contractor was paid extra money yet his contract ended in March this year,” Mr Kimosho, who is also the Kazo County MP, said.

Kabale Municipal Council on May 27, 2021 contracted Multiplex/ Ditaco International Trade to construct and tarmac Rushoroza Road (2.49Km), Bwankosya Road (0.76Km) and Bushekwire Road (0.34Km) at a cost of Shs21.7 billion and the project was expected to be complete by May 26, 2022, but to  date it has not been completed despite several contract extensions.

In March this year, Kabale Municipal Council started charging the liquidated damages of 100 days as per the contract guidelines but the Deputy Inspector General of Government, Dr Patricia Achan, in August issued a directive halting the charging of liquidated damages and termination of the contract. She also extended the contract for an extra two months which ended in October. In October, the road works were, however, at less than 50 percent of the total expected works.


 On October 13, the World Bank officials led by Mr Stephen Ajalu insisted on the project deadline of December 31 and asked the contractor to use the remaining period to have the road works completed.

Mr Byamugisha, and Kabale Municipality MP, Dr Nicholas Kamara, said they have exhausted almost all the possible avenues to have the roads completed.

“I raised the issue of the delayed completion of Usmid roads in Kabale Town on the floor of Parliament but some officials supporting the contractor failed us. The visit of members of the parliamentary Committee of Physical Infrastructure is the last chance we have to salvage this project,” Dr Kamara said last Friday.

Mayor Byamugisha said the contractor was paid about Shs900 million after his contract expired in March this year and asked Parliament to probe the unlawful payment. He added that the delayed completion of the Usmid roads in his area has affected the business community who find it difficult to access their business premises because of open trenches.

Last month, Mr Moses Ndege Bbosa, the managing director for Multiplex Ltd, said he was committed to having the roadworks in Kabale Municipality completed by December 31 before the Usmid project closes down.

“We were delayed for almost one year because the project consultants had not given us actual designs. If the authorities in Kabale Municipality can give us a conducive working environment, I am sure and convinced that by December 31, the roadworks in Kabale Municipality will be complete,” Mr Bbosa said.