New UNRA Board Urged to Uphold Accountability

Former Minister Fred Omach (R) who's the new Chairman Board of Directors at UNRA taking oath as Head of the Anti Corruption court Justice Lawrence Gidudu (L) looks on

The Minister of Works and Transport Monica Azuba Ntege has Tuesday inaugurated the newly appointed Board of Directors for Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) making an appeal for transparency and accountability in their three year tenure.

The seven member Board will be headed by the former State Minister for Finance Fred Omach who succeeds Angela Kiryabwire Kanyima.

Other members of the new team include Dr. Umar Bagampade, sick Eng. Samson Bagonza, physician Dr. Joseph Muvawala, Laban Mulanuko, Ms. Petra Sansa Tenywa and the UNRA Executive Director Allen Kagina as an ex officio.

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They were sworn in under an oath administered by the Head of Anti-Corruption Court Justice Lawrence Gidudu at an event held at Kampala Serena Hotel.

The new Board will be faced with a daunting task to create a new dawn at the roads Authority following a regime of corruption that marred the entity in the recent past.

A commission of inquiry into UNRA led by Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire in 2016 partly blamed the Board of Directors then for negligence in oversight as the fraudulent procurement processes and insider trading prevailed.

For five months, the Board was suspended by then Minister of Works and Transport Abraham Byandala claiming that their negligence was stalling road projects.

It is from this background that current Transport Minister Monica Atege Nzuba urged the new Board to adhere to strict accountability and to ensure that there’s zero tolerance to corruption.

“I charge the new Board to demand accountability from UNRA management which will be through quarterly reports that show the performance of projects,” the Minister said.

She also asked that as opposed to their predecessors who spent a lot of the time in boardrooms, the new Board should get out in the field and carry out supervision.

Although she admitted that the entity is faced with inadequate funding given its ambitious mandate, the Minister tasked the new team along with Management to “think of ways and practical solutions to bridge the gap and deliver better services”.

Fred Omach, the new Board Chair noted that road infrastructure is at the heart of government’s effort to integrate the economy adding that; “The Board will be participatory and take decisions based on consensus.”

He however asked the Minister that UNRA regulations whose implementation has dragged on for years be fast tracked.

The UNRA Executive Director Allen Kagina in her remarks hailed the line Minister for appointing a new team without allowing for time lags as was the case before.

“We shall work closely with the new Board to wipe out corruption by establishing internal systems that will detect malpractices and deal with them and to create an efficient transport network,” she said.

Kagina reiterated the plan to build UNRA’s machinery and human resource capacity that will see it construct it’s own roads.


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