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UNRA Drowning In Shs140B Debts, COSASE Squeezes Allen Kagina To Explain

UNRA Drowning In Shs140B Debts, COSASE Squeezes Allen Kagina To Explain

Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) ED, Ms Allen Kagina, has told lawmakers that her entity is struggling to clear a debt of more than Shs140b.

She appeared before COSASE which is investigating the findings of the 2020/2021 Auditor General’s report. Ms Kagina said the Authority is yet to pay several project-affected persons.

She added that they mostly use the huge chunk of the money they give them to clear debts. “But we are constantly getting cuts,” she said.

She added: “… in the first quarter, we didn’t get a shilling on development and yet we are continuing to go to people and saying we want land to construct roads. If we get adequate funding, we can acquire land quickly and move faster.”

This came after the committee chaired by Hon. Joel Ssenyonyi (Nakawa West) tasked UNRA to explain the delays in various road projects in the country including the Kampala-Jinja Express Highway.

On Tuesday, the committee instructed police to investigate claims that officials from UNRA at various weighbridges in the country were asking for bribes. As he made the directive, Mr. Ssenyonyi revealed that he had a list of suspects, conduits such as phone numbers where the alleged bribe money was sent and the stations most affected by the vice.

The information was, however, not made public but was submitted to the police to help with the investigations.

It is not clear when the findings of the probe will be presented in Parliament. However, UNRA pledged to deliver a report. This will detail the actions taken against its errant officials who were caught engaging in the vice.

The director of road infrastructure, Mr John Bosco Ssejjemba, said they fired at least five officials engaging in the vice.

“The authority runs a zero tolerance to corruption, but there will always be those bad apples. But when this information comes to us, we have taken a tough stand against it,” Mr Ssejjemba said.

Ms Kagina said: “Allow us do a comprehensive review of the management of axle load restrictions on our network and we can prepare proposals. But in essence, I want to say that this area is an area that needs to be reviewed.”

In response, Mr Ssenyonyi said: “It is important that you people at the top understand what is happening down there. You need to be sure of that entire structure and how it operates…”

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