Construction of Ntungamo Mirama Hills Road Suffers Set Back

6496 Views Ntungamo, Uganda

In short
Ezekiel Kakwaya, a resident of Mirama Hills boarder Town is bitter with UNRA for allowing the road construction workers to excavate the graves of his parents and other family members.

The construction of Ntungamo-Mirama Hills road in Ntungamo district has suffered a setback due to a dispute between property owners and Uganda National Roads Authority-UNRA over compensation.  On 15th September 2014, government contracted Zhongmei Engineering Company to upgrade the 37kilometer Ntungamo-Mirama hills-Kagitumba road stretch through co-funding with Trade Mark East Africa.

 
Only 165 out of the 2.024 people affected by the road works have been compensated. As a result, the remaining residents along the 7.73kms road stretch in Ruhama Sub County have refused to surrender their land until they are compensated.  In October and early this month, angry residents picked up machetes and clubs threatening to attack the road construction workers deployed to erase their houses and plantations.

 
It took the intervention of Hussein Nuwagaba, the Officer in Charge of Mirama Hill Police Station to calm down the situation. Sharon Resty Nakato, one of the affected residents faults UNRA for attempting to erase their property without evaluation.


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Ezekiel Kakwaya, a resident of Mirama Hills boarder Town is bitter with UNRA for allowing the road construction workers to excavate the graves of his parents and other family members. Kakwaya, who broke down in an interview with our reporter, said the action of the road workers is unforgivable.

 
Edward Mukalazi, the Deputy Manager Zhongmei Engineering Company says they have halted the construction work until the grievances of the affected property owners are resolved once and for all. According to Mukalaza, they took the decision following the endless conflicts with the residents since they started the road works. He says they have only completed 8 kilometers of the road works.

                        
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Martin Olwa, the UNRA project manager says following numerous anomalies in verifying those eligible for compensation, they have terminated the contract of Katuramu and company Valuers and Surveyors. 

 
He says UNRA has already taken over the responsibility of verifying all the affected persons and those whose land was taken following the change in the road design.


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According to Olwa, donors have threatened to withdraw from the project if the construction work isn't completed within the agreed time period in September 2016.

 

About the author

Mariam Kabasongora
Mariam Kabasongora is the Mbarara URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under her docket. Kabasongora has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Kabasongora began her career as a reporter for Messiah Radio in Kasese in 2001. She was subsequently a reporter with Endigyito Radio in 2005, Voice of Kigezi in Kabale between 2002 and 2005 and a freelance reporter with URN from 2007 to 2010. She was the news editor with Voice of Kamwenge in that district from 2008 to 2010.

Kabasongora covers agriculture, local government, health and faith stories. She is also interested in politics.