Besides the annual washing away of roads and bridges owing to torrential rains, government according to the legislators has forgotten the region’s infrastructure.
Members of parliament from Karamoja region are frustrated about the state of their roads and are accusing government of neglect. The MPs argue that apart from the damage caused on the roads by torrential rains, government has neglected the infrastructure in Karamoja. On Friday, Karamoja MPs decided to hold government accountable over the poor road network in their region.
Led by Samson Lokeris, the Dodoth East MP, the legislators petitioned President Yoweri Museveni to intervene on the road infrastructure in their area. Lokeris accused the ruling government of using Karamoja region as a voter bank and abandoning it after elections. Currently, most roads in Karamoja have become impassable after torrential rains washed away several bridges paralyzing transport in the region.
Lokeris says that they mobilize parliament not to approval the budget for the new financial year unless money is allocated in the budget to fix roads in Karamoja. Simon Peter Aleper, Moroto Municipality MP says that he is disturbed that after supporting the NRM government for the last 26 years Karamoja has not registered any tangible benefits. He likened the movement to a Bible upon which people in Karamoja believed in for decades.
He however says that many people in the region have now discovered that the movement Bible can no longer be trusted. Aleper says that the people in Karamoja have lost trust in the regime, and are demanding for accountability.
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Rose Lilly Akello, the Kaabong MP says that improving the road network in the region would attract investors to the area and facilitate easy access to health facilities. She however says that without a good road network, the resources in Karamoja will remain unutilized. Remegio Achia, Pian county MP is angry that despite the fact that the Moroto- Nakapiripirit road was included in the 2011/2012 budget, nothing has been done yet the financial year is coming to the close. He says, Museveni has been pledging to work on the road since 1996 in vain.
He demands to know why the road was left out and now appears under the unfunded priorities. He is frustrated that they have not received any replay from the relevant Minister and NRM caucus which they approached over the road works.
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According to the current budget government had planned to upgrade the 93KM Moroto- Nakapiripirit to tarmac. The process stalled even after the contractor had agreed to proceed with the work. China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) wrote to the minister of Transport sating that they were ready to continue with construction of the road even when government experienced financial constraints.
Zhang Rongliang, the Vice General Director CRBC proposed that the company signs the contract and UNRA releases the available amount for the commencement of the road works. The company was ready to construct the road without claiming interest on delayed payment but government failed to decide on the matter.
Government is planning to increase budgetary allocation for Works and Transport sector in the coming financial year. Despite its minimal performance, the works and transport sector will receive a boost of 178 billion shillings, bringing it to 1.43 trillion shillings.
karamoja mps loss confidence in nrm over poor roads
roads in karamoja region in uganda