Confusion As Construction of Kaguta Bridge stalls

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In short
In December last year, John Byabagambi, the state minister for works said government was considering constructing the bridge in the nearby Alebtong district.

Confusion is brewing between Agweng Sub County and Lira district authorities over the stalled construction of Kaguta Bridge. It follows the withdrawal of the contractor from the construction site in Orit parish in Agweng Sub County under unclear circumstances. Kaguta Bridge links Lira to Otuke and Pader districts. In May 2012, government contracted Coil Limited, a private firm to construct Kaguta Bridge in fulfillment of a pledge made by President Yoweri Museveni during the burial of 300 victims of the LRA massacre in 2004.


However, recently the contractor withdrew equipment and materials from the construction site under unclear circumstances drawing protests from area residents and sub county authorities. As a result, Richard Okello, the LCIII chairman of Agweng Sub County led a group of leaders and residents to the office of the Resident District Commissioner to protest the removal of the construction equipment and materials from the site. Okello suspects foul play by the contract and some local leaders to secretly divert the bridge to another area.
 
In December last year, John Byabagambi, the state minister for works said government was considering constructing the bridge in the nearby Alebtong district. The minister argued that it was not economically viable to have two bridges within a distance of 3Kilometers. Patrick Ogweng, the LC V councilor Agweng Sub County says that this could be the reason the contractor has withdrawn from the site. He however, insists that the construction of the bridge in the sub county would facilitate the movement of produce to the market and boost the incomes of the war victims.


Richard Enen, the Lira District engineer says that he was not aware that the contractor has removed the equipment from the construction site. He says that all he knows the contractor had suggested to delay the works to allow the water levels to go down.  The management of Coil Limited has not yet commented as none of the officials could be reached by URN.

 

About the author

Ronald Odongo
Ronald Odongo is the URN bureau chief in Soroti, Eastern Ugandan.Kaberamaido,Serere,Ngora,Katakwi,Kumi,Amuria,Bukedea, and Soroti fall under his docket. Odongo has been a URN staff member since 2012 though he had been a contributor since 2006.

Odongo started out as a bicycle reporter for Radio Unity in 2004. He was Radio Rhino FM's senior reporter, Luo news anchor and station producer between 2006 and 2011. Odongo started out as a freelance writer for Uganda Radio Network in 2006.

Odongo is particularly interested in reporting on community health, and education concerns. Good governance and human rights beats are dear to Odongo as a former Lord’s Resistance Army rebels captive 1996-1998.

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