Umeme says for every pole they will have to shift, authorities should pay sh4m
"Umeme must remove the electricity poles at their own cost because they know they did wrong to put poles in the middle of the roads," Butime said
The minister was responding to the deputy mayor of Makindye-Ssabagabo municipality, Vincent Kawere, who informed him that their hands were tied as Umeme electric poles have obstructed their road work construction.
Kawere told the minister that Umeme is demanding sh4m to remove each pole.
Butime who was on Wednesday touring the roads in the municipality was irked by Umeme's actions and said he was going to refer the case to the Ministry of Energy to take action.
The minister was shocked to find the roads in the area in a sorry state and promised that government will procure road equipment to have the roads worked upon.
Out of 394 kilometres road networks only 10km are tarmacked.The municipality is also grappling with understaffing.
Kawere said out of 148 required staff they have only 36 and this affects service delivery.
When contacted, Stephen Ilungole Umeme publicity manager, said world over, electric poles are planted on road reserves.
“It is a standard practice to plant poles on road reserves. There is nothing unusual about It,” Ilungole said.
On the sh4m, Ilungole said Umeme follows the regulations to arrive at the cost. “There is no malice,” he said.
He explained that the price is determined by the cost incurred of relocating poles as some may be damaged and unusable.
“If there are any costs, they are informed by the cost of replacement,” he said.
The minister also toured Kira Municipality roads and they were also in a sorry state.
The Kira Municipality mayor, Julius Mutebi, informed the minister that their attempt to work on roads has been hampered by the communities who don’t want to give land demanding compensation first.
Mutebi also told Butime that the road equipment has broken down and repairing it is costly and therefore, they can’t work on bad roads.
“The equipment's persistent break down has affected the implementation of road works,” Mutebi said.
The mayor said out of 292 Kilometres of road network within his jurisdiction, only 12% are tarmacked, 28% gravel and 60% earth.
Kira has a population of 400,000 people of which 212,449 are female and 187,551 male while Makindye Ssabagabo has a population of 320,000 people.
The Kira municipal includes three divisions; Kira, Namugongo and Bweyogere.
The mayor enumerated the challenges the municipality is faced among them inadequate staffing, persistent breakdown of road equipment, changes of project scope due to delayed implementation, increasing traffic on the roads, lack of weighing unit department for road materials and poor community attitude towards road opening projects.
Responding to the concerns raised by the leadership of the two municipals after the roads inspection, Butime said there is need to harmonise the construction of roads in Wakiso, linking to the city centre.
He called upon the ministries of local government and works and Uganda National Roads Authority, Kampala Capital City Authority and Uganda Road Fund to come up with a roadmap of how to tackle the enormous task of road construction and maintenance in Wakiso district and Kampala city.
The minister encouraged the leadership of Kira to sensitise the communities about the value of good roads because it will reduce health hazards especially caused by dust.
The roads inspected in Makindye Ssabagabo include; Kibutika-Ndejje, Zimwe, Nyanama, Kisigula Mutundwe and Star Lwezza while for Kira Municipality are Kira-Kiwogogoma, Nakalere, Bwoyegere-Buwatiro, Kirinya-Bukasa and Welcome to Kireka.
The minister was accompanied by principal inspector of local government, Sliver Tindizirarira and commissioner district inspection Gad Twesigye among others