Leaders decry slow pace of USMID project

A boda boda cyclist rides on Mcallister road in Mbarara City. The road was constructed under Phase One of the USMID project. PHOTO/FELIX AINEBYOONA

What you need to know:

  • The leaders accuse the contractor of lacking adequate manpower to implement the project although the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development says the  works shall be completed in the stipulated time.

Kabale Municipality authorities have expressed disappointed in the slow implementation of the Uganda Support to Municipal Infrastructure Development (USMID) road construction programme.

The leaders accuse the contractor of lacking adequate manpower to implement the project although the Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development says the  works shall be completed in the stipulated time.

 In May last year, the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, through its World Bank funded programme of USMID, handed over a Shs21b contract to  Multiplex,  to  construct  three roads in the municipality.

The roads include Rushoroza (2.049kms), Bwankosya (0.76km) and Bushekwire (0.34km).

However, on Thursday during a tour of the project, Kabale municipal council leaders led by the mayor, Mr Byamugisha Sentaro,  expressed their dissatisfaction to the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development  officials, led by the director of physical planning and urban development,  Mr Vincent Byendaimira.

“We are not happy with the slow pace observed in the implementation of the USMID roads project in Kabale Town. It seems that the contractor has limited manpower and equipment to complete this project in the stipulated time of 12-months,” Mr Sentaro said.

But Mr Byendaimira said: “Works are going well despite the slow pace and I am optimistic that the project will be completed in the stipulated time. In case the contractor fails to complete the works, the ministry will consider giving the contractor more time. So far there is no shoddy work.”

Contractor speaks out

The Multiplex Contractors project manager, Mr Giorgio Zenegaglia, said the slow work pace is as a result of delayed final designs by the consultant.

He dismissed as false  allegations that his company lacks staff and equipment.

“We have enough skilled manpower and equipment necessary for the implementation of this project but our challenge has been the delayed designs by the project consultant.  While the contract was signed in May last year, we received the project designs in December. The problem of delayed designs is not only in Kabale but Ntungamo Municipality too where a similar project is being implemented,” Mr Zenegaglia said.

The municipal team tasked the Kabale Town Clerk, Mr Deo Ndimo, to give a bi-weekly  progress report to the ministry besides enhanced supervision of the project.

“The office of the town clerk must ensure that this road construction project is supervised every day to ensure value for money. Without supervision, the contractor may opt to relax thus delaying the project,” Kabale Resident District Commissioner Godfrey Nyakahuma said.

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