The new Works and Transport minister General Katumba Wamala has warned technocrats against trying to take advantage of his lack of technical knowledge in the sector as he takes over from Engineer Monica Azuba.
General Katumba made the remarks as he stepped into his new responsibilities yesterday. Before this, the staff was addressed by the outgoing minister.
The former minister for Works and Transport Eng. Monica Azuba called for mega funding of the inland water transport to further facilitate trade between Uganda and neighboring countries.
Assessing her three and half year tenure in office, Azuba enumerated how under her watch the ministry had overseen the historic restoration of the national airline with four planes now flying through the East African sky and beyond.
“We have tackled the Uganda air transport, the roads are many and they are functioning, the standard gauge railway is coming we are sure the funds will be aside. We need to improve the water transport,” Azuba appealed to the new Works Minister, Gen. Katumba.
Azuba said her submission follows endless calls from other ministers for water and transport in the region who often appealed to Uganda to think of boosting her inland water transport.
“We had a meeting with ministers from countries who border Lake Victoria and they believe we have a great attention that is coming and even some players have come in to put vessels on both L. Victoria and L. Albert . And my request is that please put more money in inland water transport,” Azuba emphasized.
Monica said that inland water transport is the cheapest means of transport and hoped that one day Uganda would emulate other countries who take advantage of this natural resource.
During her tenure, Azuba said she had been able to ensure every district finally had road maintenance equipment.
Receiving the tools of office, the new Works minister General Katumba Wamala assured Azuba that he would pick up where she had left off.
The former Uganda People’s Defense Force commander General Katumba, however warned in advance ministry’s engineers not to take advantage of his little knowledge in the transport sector to do shoddy work.
“I for one I am not an engineer , I am not an expert in these areas , I am a good military guy but I know how to deploy them. But I will provide the leadership,” Katumba added.
Gen. Katumba also quoted a Chinese slogan that if you want to go fast go alone but if you want to go far go with others.
“I am ready to go with everybody as a team so long as we are all ready to deliver. Please don’t take advantage of being a technical person play hankie panky and I know none of you will do that because I have worked with you,” Katumba noted.
Works Ministry was formerly known of a bad name due to enormous scandals especially comprising of doing shoddy works along some roads and embezzlement of road funds as it was surfaced during the Mukono- Katosi road saga.
The new transport minister is faced with the challenge to maintain the ministry’s legacy as left behind by minister Azuba.