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Kagina faults former UNRA directors on misplaced sh47bn

Kagina (far right) at the committee hearing on Wednesday.
Kagina (far right) at the committee hearing on Wednesday. PHOTO GODFREY SSALI

The Executive Director of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) Allen Kagina has faulted former directors for advancing billions of shillings meant to compensate persons affected by various road projects, to contractors’ accounts.

Kagina was responding to a query Wednesday by the parliament committee on commissions, statutory agencies and state enterprises on the unaccounted for sh47 billion that was advanced by UNRA and is still being held by various contractors, mainly Chinese construction companies.

The committee chaired by Bugweri MP Abdul Katuntu wanted the team of former and current directors led by the UNRA executive director Kagina to explain why out of sh47 billion given to the various contractors, only sh32 billion had been paid to the people affected by the various road works around the country since 2014.

Kagina agreed that such monies should have remained on UNRA’s accounts where there are adequate safeguards to avoid loss of government funds.

“It seems like it was easier for UNRA to put the compensation money on the accounts of contractors of companies going to do civil works,” Kagina told the committee.

“Why should money be put on contractors’ accounts rather than UNRA to pay directly?This is not a good practice because it means you have put government money into the hands of a private entity,”said Kagina.

The committee also heard that UNRA irregularly advanced 6.5 billion to a Chinese Engineering firm Zhongmei Engineering Group Ltd for Olwiyo Gulu project without basing on the valuation report approved by the chief government valuer.

The committee was looking into audit queries for financial year that ended on June 30, 2015. Kagina took over the leadership of UNRA last year.

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