Bitter Nabakooba sets deadline to contractor over delays on Mbarara USMID road works

Lands Minister Judith Nabakooba has given till end of March to Multiplex Construction Company, the contractor heading the construction of USMID roads in Mbarara City, to complete works.

Nabakooba who was last Friday afternoon inspecting the progress of the project in company of area members of Parliament was dismayed with what she found on ground.

USMID road works in Mbarara City were launched early last year and completion is expected in May 2022 as per the terms of the contract.

Ms Nabakooba told the consulting engineers how she is not pleased with the progress of their work and was not ready to listen to their explanations since they have made enough of these in the various engagements she has had with them at the Ministry headquarters in Kampala.

An upset minister Nabakooba after inspecting the works in Mbarara

“I have given you up to end of March, fix these challenges because we are tired or else we shall get some other means. We cannot keep on getting complaints from one cluster all the time, why did you take on the work if you have no capacity yet there are other people who bid the same work in the area and delivered on time?” the minister questioned.

The minister who could not hide her bitterness about the issue shared that it is a shame for people to be inspected because they cannot supervise themselves yet they bid and were awarded the contract to do the work.

“You asked for the contract showing your ability to execute that is what I want to see. I want everything fixed. It seems you don’t want to spend yet you got the money. Spend it and recruit staff. Make sure that every area where you have presence has staff who are doing work.”

She added: “Business people are looking at you, the government is looking at you, and you should do work because you got money to do so and not to dilly dally around.”

Rita Atukwasa the Woman MP for Mbarara City also shared that everyone is complaining about the delayed work on the USMID project in Mbarara.

She shared that people who do business around the area cannot work since things have now stalled in the middle of the business centre.

“These contractors should be blacklisted because when you do business with government, they trust you to do the work and help the people but it has become a norm that every day we should come and inspect,” she said.

She expressed her dissatisfaction with the fact that people around the city actually think the leaders ate the money and contractors won the contract with no money since they neither have staff nor resident engineer.

“The best thing they do is to hop staff from one place to another between the three municipalities of Mbarara, Kbaale and Ntungamo each time someone is coming to supervise.”

The consulting team leader who was at the site said it is true they have had some delays owing to a number of issues like relocation of utility services and the fact that the consultant came on board much later and they had to first start with the reviews of the designs which took a period of three months.

“It is true that the work has had a slow progress but there were those issues that hindered progress. It is true there are staffing gaps and we have tried to cover them in the last two months. We are going to be more strict on the supervision and ensure that all your concerns are addressed,” he told the minister. 

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