UNRA Threatens to Cancel Zzimwe's Koboko Road Contract over Shoddy Work

2093 Views Arua, Uganda
Road builders, Zzimwe Construction Company, are under fire in Arua for doing a shoddy job on the rehabilitation of the 78-kilometer Arua-Koboko-Oraba Road. In March, Zzimwe won a 1.8 billion-shilling tender to make temporary repairs to the gravel and earth Arua-Koboko-Oraba Road. The rehabilitation was to be done ahead of the full upgrading of the road from murram to bitumen early next year. However the work, expected to be complete in nine months, is however still dragging on. Jimmy Makmot, the station engineer for Uganda Roads Authority in Arua, says Zzimwe has abandoned the work since June. He says the company has refused to respond to calls to explain the delay and so the Roads Authority has sent a letter of warning to it, threatening the termination of the contract. //Cue in: iWe have held #i Cue out: i# the contract terminated.i// Samuel Ssemakadde, the site supervisor for Zzimwe Construction Company, blames the delay on a fuel shortage. He doesn't explain what caused the fuel shortage and when it begun. Ssemakadde says the company has just received 10,000 litres of fuel and it will complete the work within the stipulated contract period. The Arua-Koboko-Oraba Road is the stretch is the main northwestern trade route from Uganda to Sudan. It is also important because it very close to the point where the borders of Uganda, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo converge. People who have to use the road every day are not impressed by Zzimwe's promise to reform. Gilbert Akuma, a resident of Nyadri sub-county, claims to have witnessed Zzimwe workers pouring loam soil on the road, instead of road-grade murrum. He claims that because of this the road is in a worse state than it was before the repairs begun. Hassan Bakole, a taxi driver who uses the road daily, disagrees with this. He says the road was certainly better that it was before the repairs started. However because it is incomplete, navigating through the bumpy stretch is hard, particularly when it rains. Bakole says a number of passenger and goods transporters have threatened to go on strike if Zzimwe doesn't complete the work in the next two weeks.