Land Minister Judith Nabakooba has inspected USMID-AF road works in Mbarara and Ntungamo to track the progress as the projects’ timelines near completion.
The minister who was in the two districts on September 24 met with City Mayors of the two areas and cautioned them on following up the contractor to finish the work in the stipulated time frame.
In Mbarara, the Minister together with the City Mayor Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi toured roads such as Major Victor Bwana, Stanley and Galt roads under Bosa, Mosque circular and Ruhaara which are under CICO under USMID construction.
He explained to the Minister how the contractor has failed to deliver the project in the set timelines even when given additional time to do so.
Kakyebezi expressed his dissatisfaction with the Contractor who he said is on 40 per cent completion rate yet most of the roads are in the city Centre with busy business areas.
“They are at 40 per cent completion yet they have two months remaining. Even another contractor that has just started works in the city is way higher than them in completion rates. I think they should negotiate with him to do part of the work since they are getting somethings from him,” he said.
The Mayor said that even when they sit with officials from Multiplex Construction Company, the official contractors of the project in meetings and agree on milestones, nothing is done to that effect, something that has put the project behind schedule.
Simon Odoch from Hersun Consult, the consultants of the project who was on ground told the Minister that the project manager was doing exams, which made the work stall.
“We are at the formation level and doing drainage, the remaining bit is easy, by next week, we shall have Whitestone on ground. The remaining work is just one month if Multiplex can get serious,” he said.
The minister expressed her dissatisfaction in the sloppiness of how the work has been done and asked the contractors to respect the people operating in the areas where these roads are.
She was disappointed by how local contractor keeps lobbying for work yet it is always hard for them to deliver and meet deadlines.
“People have been patient enough, they would even riot, this is a busy road. I am coming back next week to see the white stone in place. We are talking about local contractors but their delivery is too bad, this has to change.”
Nabakooba who was speaking on phone with the contractor that was not around at the time of her impromptu visit shared her disappointment with him since there was nothing much on ground.
“I am truly disappointed by what is on ground, the other roads you have not even started on them and the place is just dormant. You asked for additional months and we gave you, this is a disaster and something has to be done,” she said before hanging up on the phone.
In Ntungamo, while touring the roads with Ntungamo Mayor Jacob Kafureka, Nabakooba noticed the same mess as is in Mbarara.
She discovered that the contractor keeps switching equipment from Ntungamo and Mbarara to Kabaale which makes the progress dormant.
Leaders here told the minister how it is hard to supervise the contractor since each time they ask him for progress of the work he openly tells them how they are not the ones that warded him the contractor.
Multiplex Construction Company was given a multimillion contract called USMID-AF cluster 6 Batch 1 which is meant to construct roads totaling 7.42km. This cluster takes Mbarara City, Ntungamo Municipality and Kabale Municipality.
Multiplex has however delayed to handover the project in the stipulated timelines which the contract was expected to be finished. They have been given grace periods and extensions to finish up the project but up to now, there is a very big work load remaining.