Arua Leaders Bash Kagina over Unfulfilled Ferry Promise
By Andrew Cohen Amvesi
Local leaders in Arua have bitterly attacked Allan Kagina, the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Executive Director over what they termed as ‘unfulfilled Ferry pledge.’
The leaders claim that during her visit early last year, Kagina promised to assemble a ferry at Ukuliku landing side in Rhino Camp Sub County in Arua district.
The Ferry, according to Kagina, would connect the people of Arua to their Amuru counterparts across river with the hope of boosting business and minimizing cases of drowning on R. Nile.
Kagina promised the locals that the Ferry would be operational by May 1, 2016 but to date, her words haven’t turned into action, a reason leaders have openly come out to question her promise.
“Early last year, Kagina led a very big UNRA delegation here. They went down to Rhino Camp at the Ferry site. She promised that the Ferry will be there by May but up to now, the Ferry is not there,” Peter Debele, the Arua RDC said.
Debele raised the concern during a meeting with UNRA officials at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) – Arua boardroom in Arua town on Wednesday.
The UNRA officials led by Jacqueline Lamunu, the UNRA Land Acquisition Officer were in Arua district to give hope to the people affected by the construction of Vurra-Arua-Koboko-Oraba road.
Out of 3, 935 affected people, at least 785 are yet to be compensated for their properties destroyed in the course of constructing the road.
According to Lamunu, they have come on ground to find out the challenges regarding the compensation process as UNRA liaises with the Ministry of Finance to have all the affected people compensated.
However, Sabo Kamilo, the Arua district Secretary for Finance, who represented Sam Wadri Nyakua, the district Chairperson also used the same opportunity to join Debele in attacking Kagina over the contested Ferry.
“Locals have now become impatient over this Rhino Camp – Amuru Ferry. The promise was that the Ferry was to be functional in May but now we are coming to another May without the Ferry,” Sabo retaliated.
“You need to follow up the matter and see that the Ferry is operational because people want to do business across the River,” Sabo asked the UNRA officials to remind their Boss.
The pressure forced Eng. Tonny Ocet, the UNRA Arua area Manager to apologize on behalf of Kagina for the delayed Ferry.
“We really apologize for the delays but UNRA is not just sitting back,” Ocet said.
Ocet attributed the delay to the bad terrain on Amuru side which he said UNRA Design Engineers are now working on.
He asked the local leaders to give UNRA more time to fix all the challenges for the ferry to start sailing without any problem in the near future.