Lawmakers question Byandala over Mukono – Katosi road

PARLIAMENT. Works and Transport minister Abraham Byandala yesterday fell short of satisfying demands by MPs that he explains his role in the current controversy surrounding the Mukono- Katosi road.
Responding to questions during the House debate on the report from the Parliament Committee on Physical Infrastructure, the minister cherry picked which questions to respond to and gave a blanket response that everything is fine about the road.
“Government is handling this and it is going to come with a statement,” he said. “What I want you (MPs) to take to the public is that the road works are going on and the project will be completed.”
A storm was set off when the government Ombudsman raised a red flag saying Eutaw, a firm that had been paid Shs24.7 billion by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to upgrade the said road, is not a genuine company.
Since then, there have been accusations and counter accusations between the Cabinet minister and colleagues of Mr Byandala crying foul and claiming to be the target of a political witch-hunt.
The UNRA board has suspended four senior staff, including acting executive director Ssebugga Kimeze.
However, MPs pressed the minister to, among other things, explain why public servants were suspended over a transaction which was sanctioned by the political leadership of the ministry.
Rukungiri Municipality MP Roland Mugume (FDC), demanded that before Parliament endorses the Works and Transport budget, Mr Byandala should first make a statement to the House.
The minister maintained that the money which was paid was not lost and was “just an aance payment”.

iimaka@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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