Donors Ask Govt to Act on UNRA Inquiry Top story

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In short
Donors have asked Government of Uganda to punish those implicated by the Justice Catherine Bamugemerirwe inquiry into corruption at Uganda National Roads Authority UNRA.

Donors have asked Government of Uganda to punish those implicated by the Justice Catherine Bamugemerirwe inquiry into corruption at Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA).

EU Head of Delegation to Uganda, Ambassador Kristian Schmidt asked for progress of the Inquiry report regarding the repayment and recovery of public funds lost through the fraudulent acts of UNRA officials.

While speaking on behalf of Transport Development Partners Group at the opening of the 12th Uganda Joint Transport Sector Review in Kampala, Ambassador Schmidt said it is urgent to fix the procurement processes at UNRA.

The Transport Development Partners Group  includes the African Development Bank, Japan, the World Bank, Trade Mark East Africa, the European Union; Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom.

Ambassador Schmidt noted that there is also need to re-establish a level playing field and assure Uganda's taxpayers that - whether investments are financed by grants or loans -- they get value for money.

The Commission of inquiry report found that close 4,000 km of roads may have been lost due to corruption. The Justice Bamugemerirwe inquiry report was handed to President Museveni in October 2015.

According to the report, it was discovered that at least 4 trillion shillings was misappropriated by the old UNRA management and staff. It found that whereas nine trillion shillings was used to construct 1,500 km of roads in 7 years, these funds were enough to cover 5,147km.

The Commission recommended that 90 former staff of UNRA be prosecuted.  It said Uganda seems to have missed an opportunity to have over 3,000 km of tarmac added to its road network due to misappropriation of funds.

Alex Okello, Ministry of Works and Transport Permanent Secretary,  says government is committed to implementing the probe findings.

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As government take time to study the report, its implementation may further be delayed if some of those implicated succeed in convincing court to quash the UNRA probe report and its recommendations.

The commissioner for Land Registration, Sarah Kulata  recently  petitioned the High Court protesting the decision by the Lands minister to halt her promotion basing on the findings of the UNRA probe.

The probe report named Kulata among individuals culpable for causing huge financial loss to the roads agency due to either negligence or failure to follow procurement regulations.