Masaka district local government has petitioned President Yoweri Museveni over the poor state of roads in the district.
The local government leaders claim that most of the roads that fall directly under the central government are in a very sorry state, which undermines their performance and service delivery to residents.
Godfrey Kayemba, the mayor Masaka municipality, says they intend to awaken government about its responsibility of maintaining the roads under its care. He says the poorly maintained central government roads in the area paint a bad picture of their performance as local government to the public that expect improved services.
The affected roads include among others Broadway, which runs through Masaka town from the Mbarara bypass, Nyendo-Cathedral road and Nyendo-Bukakata road that are currently filled with potholes and ditches.
Joe Walusimbi, the Masaka Resident District Commissioner, says his office is overwhelmed by complaints from the public concerning the poor state of the roads, saying that he spends a lot of time pleading with residents not to demonstrate.
Walusimbi put the blame on Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) for its failure to prioritize roads in Masaka.
“A few days back I was very busy appealing to the Wananchi not to demonstrate. I called the UNRA manager who promised that he was going to work on that stretch in the first week of this month,” said Walusimbi.
Peter Ssenkungu, the Masaka district National Resistance Movement (NRM) party chairperson also confirmed that the public is agitated because of the poor state of government roads in Masaka. He asked government to provide UNRA the required resources to fix the roads to save them from the pending political anger.
Ssenkungu is equally concerned that some of the affected roads have repeatedly featured in the national budget, but they haven’t been worked on, which raises doubt in the public about government’s commitment.
The leaders have forwarded a joint petition to the president through the government manifesto implementation unit; demanding that their concerns are addressed with urgency.
Fred Kamugira, the deputy director of the manifesto implementation unit in the President’s Office who is leading a team that is assessing progress on the implementation of the NRM manifesto in the region, has acknowledged the problem, promising to bring it to the attention of the president.