Museveni Launches $67m Northern Bypass Extension

R-L: Museveni, EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt and ContractorGilberto Rodgrigues flag off Northern By-Pass construction on Monday

Prime Minister has come out to clear the air about the strong-worded allegations made this morning by the Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, advice about government’s promised commitment to have him restored back to his office.

Lukwago on Monday held a press conference at his home in Wakaliga, pills where he accused the Prime Minister of “hoodwinking’ the public when he stated recently that he would champion the move to have him reinstituted as Lord Mayor.

Mr Lukwago was thrown out of the City Hall in November 2013, purchase following a council resolution that cited his incompetence, abuse of office and attempting to sabotage KCCA activities.

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The last 15 months had seen the Mayor wade through a cobweb of litigation processes that have not helped him back at the City Hall

At the close of last year, Prime Minister initiated talks that were hoped to iron out the skirmishes at the KCCA and perhaps bring back the Lord Mayor.

But at today’s conference, Mr Lukwago told reporters that the Prime Minister was only deluding the public about his return.

He commented, “The Prime Minister stood at the floor of Parliament and promised dialogue with the Leader of Opposition and I Okayed it, but with my own reservations considering what had happened previously. The Leader of
Opposition got himself ready but nothing up to now has happened,” Lukwago noted.

“We waited for December, then January and now February is soon ending but nothing has come out. I thought the Prime Minister meant what he said on the floor of Parliament but it seems they just hoodwinked the public.”

In a telephone interview with ChimpReports however, the Prime Minister dismissed Lukwago’s claims and reaffirmed his initial commitment.

“I have not hoodwinked the public; that commitment is still there,” said Rugunda.

“We only needed some time to speak to some of the stakeholders, such as the KCCA Councilors, whom you know were at the center of Mr Lukwago’s impeachment; and that we have done.”

The Prime Minster informed us further that he was slated to meet the Leader of Opposition, Hon Wafula Oguttu this week over the same matter.

“I intend to discussion with the LoP, but this discussion will not focus on individuals but broadly about matters of governance at the KCCA.”

“We intend to look specifically at the law [KCCA Act 2010], to see if there are issues that can be improved therein. We think that this might streamline the running of the Authority.

Mr Rugunda further noted that the rest of the issues [concerning Lukwago’s return] were still in courts of law and that he would wish to let the law take its course.

“You know that the NRM restored the rule of law in the country. So we will need to late the law play out freely.”

The Premier didn’t point out the particular sections of the KCCA Act that would be discussed and possibly amended.

The section however, which spells out the roles and powers of Lord Mayor and the Executive Director had for long been a point of contention.

It is also believed that the Prime Minister’s intervention would look to make the Executive Director more answerable to the public than the appointing authority – the President.

President Yoweri Museveni has said infrastructure development is a real need for countries such as Uganda because it will lower the cost of doing business in the economy.

“When the NRM took over government, shop I told you what you are witnessing was a fundamental change and you people thought we were joking. Kampala used to end in Kireka, ambulance this is no longer the northern bypass but the central bypass because Kampala has grown,” said Museveni.

“There is an infrastructure deficit. We need to plan. I like the idea of Sseninde that Wakiso be turned into an urban city and we plan for roads and electricity as well as sewerage projects among other things,” he said.

The President said they have bigger plans of having overflies on all the roundabouts in the city centre.

“Infrastructure is a real need for countries such as Uganda. It means you will lower the cost of doing business in the economy. Once this is lowered, investors will be attracted to invest here. It will be easy for them to make profits and the private sector will boom. The costs of labour are low with the only obstacle being the high costs of transport and electricity,” he said.

The President was Monday commissioning works for the capacity improvement of the Kampala Northern Bypass.

The project forms a 21km arc through the Northern suburbs of Kampala City allowing traffic between the East North and West of the country to bypass Kampala without crossing the centre.

The project that starts at the Namboole Interchange on the existing Kampala-Jinja road and ends at Busega Roundabout will include widening from 2 to 4 lanes and construction of 5 fly-overs bypassing the existing intersections.

Traffic jam 

Kampala Northern bypass will relieve the city of severe traffic congestion as well as to reduce the transportation constraints along the Northern corridor route for both National and Regional road traffic.

The construction that is to be done by a Portuguese company–Mota-Engil Africa is funded by the government of Uganda and development partners that include European Union and European Investment Bank.

The Uganda government is contributing Euro 15.4 million while the European Union is to inject into the project a grant of Euro 37 million and the European Investment Bank will provide a loan of Euro 15 million. The project is to be completed by July 2017.

Museveni inspects the by-bass masterplan

Museveni inspects the by-bass masterplan

“There is nothing as irritating as driving on a bad road. It wastes time. Building and repairing these roads makes a lot of savings in times of time and money,” he said.

The President commended the European Union (EU) and other development partners for their contribution to the development of Uganda’ infrastructure.

“I am very happy with the European Union and other partners like the World Bank and Africa Development Bank. We are very grateful when we get friends like these and they put money on vital sectors like roads here,” he said.

The President also said government is also going to work on the road from Kireka to Namugongo for pilgrims.

“We shall make it with proper walkways so that the pilgrims don’t collide with vehicles,” he said.

The EU ambassador Kristian SCHMIDT described the Northern corridor as the access to regional markets, the spinal cord of a modern Uganda economy and critical part of the nations transport network.

“We are standing here today at many crossroads: At the intersection between Kampala and the rest of Uganda; between urban and rural life; between poverty and growth; between traditional and modern relations between the EU and Uganda; between the past and the future,” he said.

He said the EU has announced an additional 200million Euro for supporting Uganda’s transport sector until 2020.

The Minister of Works and Transport Abraham Byandala urged the contractor to complete the work on time and budget and most importantly to deliver quality work.

“I will be watching to ensure value for money,” he stressed.


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