President Museveni has said his government has now started implementing its own programs contrary to what has been going on in the past since he captured power in 1986.
Speaking in Bweyogerere during the commissioning of road construction and maintenance equipment meant for districts around the country, no rx Museveni said in the past he has been riding on ideas of earlier governments because of lack of enough money to implement his own ideas .
“You have never seen much of the NRM programs because when he came to power, the country had broken down so much,” Museveni said on Friday morning.
“Much of the time we have been following other people’s ideas since we had no strength (money) to implement ours.”
According to the president, government will now start implementing new ideas like construction of roads and provision of other infrastructure because of availability of fund for those projects.
He also noted that it is high time Uganda started procuring good quality and uniform equipment for use citing road equipment which in the past government has been purchasing from various countries.
“In the past we have been procuring equipment from various countries but now we need to identify reliable partners and deal with them to provide and maintain equipment for government.”
He said that because government in the past procured from many countries equipment especially vehicles, this led to collapse of government garages and workshops as vehicles were taken to private companies for servicing.
On the new road construction and maintenance equipment, Museveni noted that local governments can now end the policy of tenders for construction of roads.
“You should not misuse the equipment .The roads in towns should no longer have dust because you can now work on your own roads. Let the dust remain in the villages,” he warned.
A total of 1151 equipment including graders, wheel loaders, water bowsers, dump trucks and compacters were procured at a Shs 151 billion, partly funded by the Japanese bank of International Cooperation(85%) and the Ugandan government (15%).
Speaking at the function, the Japanese ambassador to Uganda, Kazuaki Kameda warned beneficiary districts against poor handling of the equipment which he said would lead to their break down and costing money to tax payers.
“People pay less attention to things given out free of charge but just know that you will have to pay loans of huge amounts in some years to come. So don’t take them for granted,” Kazuaki warned.
The State Minister for Works, Gen. Katumba Wamala warned that local governments will no longer have scapegoats for bad roads in their respective areas after acquiring the equipment.
“I don’t want to hear that roads are impassable anymore,” Gen.Katumba warned.
He added that the Works ministry will train operators of the equipment on top of their maintenance.
The 1151 road construction and maintenance equipment will be distributed to all the 117 districts in the country plus the 6 new ones that starting in July.
Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) will also acquire a set on these new equipment from Japan.
The budgetary allocation for the Works and Transport ministry was in the upcoming financial year increased from Shs3.8 trillion to Shs4.5 trillion according to the budget read by the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija on Thursday.
The increment will cater for completion of ongoing roads and also start new road projects especially in the oil-rich Albertine region as the country warms up to attain the middle income status by 2021.