Top cabinet ministers have been shocked at the rotting state of Uganda’s newly constructed one-stop border post of Katuna while the Rwanda side Gatuna is sparkling and meticulously maintained.
Stunned by the disintegrating though yet-to-be-completed Ugandan side compared to the crisp, well-maintained Rwanda side, the embarrassed ministers angrily quizzed the Proprietors of Amugoli General Enterprises Limited, the construction company contracted to upgrade Katuna one-stop border over failure to complete works the cracks and leakages in the ‘finished’ parts.
After handing over phase one of the 10 Billion Shilling One-Stop Border Post administration block to Uganda Revenue Authority in June 2020, the company in the same year received 6 Billion Shillings from the government to start phase II of fencing the gazetted no-mans-land, tarmacking the road and the parking space.
However, to date, phase II is yet to be completed. The contractor has not yet completed tarmacking part of the parking space. The contractor is also still opening the exit road to Rwanda.
Ministers Rebecca Kadaga for East African Community Affairs, Katumba Wamala for Works and Transport, Jim Muhwezi for Security and Raphael Magyezi for Local Government on Wednesday made an impromptu visit to the border to investigate why works are “taking forever” to reach completion despite many years elapsing after awarding of the contract.
The impromptu visit stems from the cabinet resolution that was held on July 25 this year where government officials expressed anger over the delay in works to get completed without reason.
While at the border, the government officials were also shocked on finding that even the already tarmacked part of the parking yard developing deep cracks as well. They also wondered why the verandah of the already completed One Stop Border Post block was leaking on the wall and part of the roof.
The angry ministers grilled Amugoli General Enterprises Limited’s proprietors to explain why works are not complete up to this time.
The contractor was also tasked to explain what is causing cracks on the already tarmacked part has already developed cracks before completion. The ministers argued that the Ugandan side of the border is becoming a shame since the Rwandan side of Gatuna was completed and looks very neat.
In response, Amugoli General Enterprises Limited proprietors led by Engineer Robert Joseph Oriono Eyatu attributed the cause of cracks on the already tarmacked part to border re-opening in February this year.
They argued that when the border re-opened, trucks started stepping on the concrete that had not yet gained strength. They say that trucks started crossing on the concrete three days after laying it, instead of after 28 days required for it to fully gain strength.
The company officials begged for six more months to complete the remaining work.
The ministers agreed to give the contractor a contract extension of six more months to complete the works and rectify defects on the block that was handed over in phase one.
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