Unra speaks as MPs plan strike over Mbale-Tirinyi road

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Mbale-Tirinyi road

Uganda National Roads Authority [UNRA] has spoken out on the status on procurement of a civil works contractor for rehabilitation of Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale road (102km) in eastern Uganda just after legislators threatened to strike.

Members of Parliament from the eastern region [areas of Bugisu, Sebei, Karamoja, Busoga and Teso] issued an ultimatum to UNRA to kick-start works on the road or else they demonstrate.

Accoridng to the MPs, the impassable road has claimed lives of several people who have been involved in accidents.

MP Manjiya County, John Baptist Nambetsye, told press at Parliament that no work was done on the road since the termination of the contract in May.

The strike will commence on Monday next week if nothing is done to address the situation.

UNRA speaks

In May 2017, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) terminated the services of Dott Services, the then civil works contractor for the rehabilitation of Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale road (102Km) prompted by the extremely delayed progress of works on the project.

The rehabilitation of Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale was behind schedule by over 60% of the time despite several warnings to the contractor.

In a bid to save public funds, and in the interest of the Road Users, UNRA repossessed site and the Road Maintenance unit camped on site to ensure the road is sustained in a motorable and passable state until a competent contractor is sourced.

At the same time, the process to acquire a new contractor commenced taking a restricted tendering procedure, a faster and shorter process given the need to expedite and have a new contractor on site.

The entire exercise is expected to be finalized before end of September to enable the new contractor commence works on site.

“In the interim, we appeal for calm and patience as we conclude the procurement process,” Mark Ssali, the UNRA Head of Public and Corporate Affairs, said in a statement Thursday.

“UNRA wishes to assure all Ugandans and particularly the road users of Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale road that the ongoing process is transparent and will ensure a new contractor is chosen on merit,” he added.

Ssali requested all parties to desist from any undermining actions such as lobbying, blackmail and any form of interference in the afore-mentioned exercise to ensure a smooth and transparent process.

“Our Goal is to provide a Great User Experience and to this we remain utterly committed.”

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