By Our Reporter
Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) officials, have shifted blame of the poor roads network to the ministry of finance, planning and economic development. This follows numerous accusations on UNRA by local leaders from mostly the affected districts for failing to manage good roads under the Central Government. Eng. Patrick Agona, the Lira UNRA Station engineer incharge force accounts says most of their programs to work and improve the roads in the region are frustrated by the ministry of finance due to late releases of funds.
While inspecting Lira-Apac-Masindi Port highway which was cut off on Tuesday, Eng. Agona said people operating in a modern economy are now behaving like they are in the traditional African economy.
“Why is it that every July the government has no money to provide services to the people yet they are collecting taxes from them? The issues of finance tying up the treasury every July should stop. Don’t think this happens in other countries. Why should there be no money while government is collecting taxes all the time from tax payers,” Agona said . He also blamed the problem of bad roads in the region on the slow procurement process by the ministry of works saying Lira-Apac-Masindi port highway which is the busiest road in Lango sub region has not been worked on because the government failed to get a contractor to manage it on contract basis since last year.
“This contract was scheduled for July last year due to finance shortages. The issue has to be dealt with right from the top and parliament is the right institution to deal with the problem. As UNRA we have no power over it,” he lamented. Last week Apac district leaders under the command of Kwania County MP Tonny Ayoo threatened a boycott on the Golden Jubilee Independence celebrations if the government does not consider working on the bad roads in the district. The leaders comprising the Resident District Commissioner (RDC) Dauda Yasin Kasibante, Ayoo, among others are set to go and meet the minister of works Eng. John Byabagambi over the poor roads status in the district.