The minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Judith Nabakooba has summoned Mbale city authorities and Dott Services over the slow and shoddy works on municipal roads.
Mbale city is implementing the second phase of the Uganda Support to Municipality Infrastructural Development (USMID) project. The contract was awarded to Dott Services and the works are expected to end by February next year.
The minister’s visit to Mbale follows a public outcry especially from vendors, who said that the slow progress of works on Cathedral and Naboa roads has made the roads impassable due to flooding caused by the ongoing rains.
Nabakooba said that the city officials from Mbale City Council, Dott Services, and USMID coordinators should meet her in Kampala next week to discuss the matter.
"[I have some summoned of them] over the road works that are not moving as expected, a lot of business is on standstill and there was tension. I decided to come on ground because I was already here to see what exactly is happening and how can we solve this matter because the project being disputed is under the ministry of Lands. There are concerns that is why I have decided to call for that meeting on Thursday in my office. We sit, agree and have a plan to fastback the civil works in Mbale city, look at the priority areas and how can they speed up the work because services are being disrupted and also urging them to improve on their working relationship with the communities because if the communities raise concerns and they are not listened to it cause some challenges," said Nabakooba.
The mayor Industrial City Division, Masaaba Muhamood Mutenyo claimed that Dott Services have such a bad track record and they wonder how it has been awarded all the contracts for the construction of roads in Mbale city.
"The other complaint that we have as leaders, we don't know how the procurement process is done but they gave us a contractor, Dott Services which has a very bad name here within the public. They don't have public relations with our people. These roads are being worked in in the Industrial city we're not involved, for them when they come, they take over the city as leaders they don't involve us to know what is going on so that we can be in position to explain to our people and they are the only contractors who have been given all the roads in the city. According to us, we think maybe, you have over-piled them," said Mutenyo.
Mbale Central Market chairperson, Ayubu Madoi appealed to the minister to task the contractor to prioritize completion of Naboa and Cathedral Avenue roads since business along the market street has been on a standstill for over five months.
Mario Christobal, the project manager Dott Services, says that the works are ongoing except for a few challenges like the rains. He however says that the road will be completed at the stipulated time.