Authorities in Kayunga District have decried the rampant theft of materials meant for the construction of Kayunga-Nakasongola bridge across River Ssezibwa, saying it is affecting the progress of the work.
The 3.4 kilometre road with a bridge was in 2019 contracted and awarded to Omega Construction Company Ltd at Shs15b.
The works are expected to be completed later this year, according to the contractor.
Mr Francis Kiwanuka, the site engineer, on Sunday said thieves first stole iron bars and later gabion bags worth Shs100m, which they loaded on a lorry.
However, Mr Kiwanuka said the lorry was intercepted by police at Bbaale Trading Centre and three suspects were arrested, while others fled.
The district police commander, Mr Denis Odoki, said the exhibits and the trio are being held at Kayunga Police Station as investigations continue.
“We condemn the act of stealing building materials for the project that is going to benefit all people and I assure you that we are going to make sure whoever has a hand in these acts is brought to book,” Mr Odoki said.
“The total cost of all construction materials stolen is more than Shs400m. This has affected the progress of the project. We appeal to local leaders and the police to help us to safeguard the materials,” Mr Kiwanuka said.
The acting district chairman, Mr Joel Kayiira, blamed the theft on youth who want to get rich fast.
He said they would work with police to ensure such acts don’t reoccur.
Mr Fred Mpanga, the Bbaale Sub-county chairman, urged the contractor to tighten security at the construction site, saying in some cases, workers connive with others to steal the materials.