By Patson Baraire KANUNGU
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has
presided finally over the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the 78.5Km Kanungu–Kihiihi –Ishasha –Rukungiri road. He later addressed a public rally in Kanungu Town.
Museveni explained that people should stop thinking that it’s African Development Bank that constructs roads in the country , but the Ugandan Government.
The NRM has done a great job, developing a country whose economy had almost collapsed, to where we are now. This is no mean feat. The principle has always been, use the meagre resources to cause maximum impact.
This new Rukungiri- Kanungu road will among other things promote tourism, which is a major foreign exchange earner, contribute socio-economic transformation and regional integration because it will link us to the DRC.
President Museveni further explained while addressing thousands of people who turned up at Kanungu District Headquarters playground to witness the ground breaking and flagging off the Construction of the much awaited Rukungiri – Kanungu road.
The 78.5 kms road was contracted to the Chinese Company and it will take 3 years to complete stretching from Rukungiri Town through Bugangari and Nyamirama to Ishashaon the border with Democratic Republic of Congo and then through Kihihi Town Council to Kanungu District Headquarters.
Mr Museveni said that the government of Uganda obtained a loan from African Development Bank to work on the road but it does not mean that that it’s the bank that is constructing the road but the government of Uganda.
He said that the road would have been done earlier but there was there was corruption in the tendering process which caused it’s delay.
He however said that the government of Uganda is committed to work on all roads in the country without looking out for loans because some roads like Kabale to Kisoro, Kikagati – Mulongo road, Ishaka – Kagamba road and Ntungamo – Rukungiri road were constructed using own Ugandan money .
He also assured that all tourism roads connecting to the main roads will be constructed and also extend the road from Kanungu , through Rugyeyo to Nyakishenyi and Kisizi and up to Rubare using locally generated funds.
Earlier the Minister of Works Monica Azuba said said that sh 29m has been earmarked for compensation of the residents along the stretch of the road and 49% of these have been paid while 46 kms of the road is cleared to be worked on immediately. She also said that the contractor will tarmac 2km of the roads in each Urban Councils of Rukungiri, Kihihi and Kanungu district .
Minister Azuba warned the contractor against using child labour and also asked parents to make sure they keep their children in school and don’t allow them to be lured to go and work on the road.
Speaking on behalf of the people of Rukungiri and Kanungu which are the beneficiary districts Josephine Kasya thanked the President for presiding over the ground breaking ceremony and said that once the road is complete, it will change the lives of the people in the areas where it will pass since it will connect them to national markets.
The function was also attended by Minister of State for Works Gen Edward Katumba Wamala, Kinkizi East MP Chris Baryomunsi who is also the Minister of Housing, Uganda National Roads Authority Executive Director Allen Kagina , Kinkizi West MP James Kaberuka , Kanungu Woman MP Elizabeth Karungi, Rujumbura MP Fred Turyamuhweza , religious leaders and opinion leaders among many officials.