Districts across the country will no longer have control over tenders for road construction and maintenance works, President Yoweri Museveni has announced.
The processes will now be undertaken by the Ministry of Works and Transport as a way of eliminating the procurement chaos that the country is facing. He said that although huge resources were wasted in claims of procurement, the processes were mainly benefiting those bent on making money and not the country.
Under the new arrangement, districts will receive a full unit of equipment consisting of one motor grader, one wheel loader, one vibro roller, one water bowser and two dump trucks worth 2.7 billion Shillings. A bulldozer valued at 900 million Shillings and excavator valued at 850 million Shillings will be based at the regional level including in all the three colonial zones of Mengo, Masaka and Mubende.
The President was today commissioning multi-billion Komatsu road construction and maintenance equipment from Japan at the Spedag Interfreight Warehouse, Buto Yard in Bweyogerere, Wakiso District. Equipment will also be given to UNRA, KCCA, UPDF, the Ministry force account units and Zonal centers.
President Museveni said he decided to negotiate a procurement deal with the Prime Minister of Japan after government realized that previous equipment procured from China easily broke down. In 2014, President Museveni then initiated the idea of procurement with Eiji Inui, then JICAs Director-General for Africa Department.
He however advised that the Chinese equipment should be rehabilitated and used alongside the new Komatsu equipment from Japan.
“Since am not a businessman looking for tenders and njawulo, I was convinced that acquiring equipment from Japan on a large scale was viable. There is somebody called a chief engineer who is supposed to help avoid this meandering. I don’t need consultation fees or commission. My commission is God. He will reward me,” he said.
The Minister of Works and Transport Hon. Monica Azuba Ntege said 1151 pieces of road equipment were procured for all the 121 district local governments including the six newly created districts that will come into force in July 2017.
The equipment was procured using a loan that was secured from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and counter-funding by the government of Uganda. The equipment is fitted with a KOMTRAX system to help monitor fuel usage, engine operation and tracking the equipment’s location to curb abuse.
The Ambassador of Japan to Uganda H.E Kazuaki Kameda said the success of the equipment depends on maintenance and regular check-ups.