Ten of the biggest road projects are being undertaken by foreign firms
The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is undertaking a verification exercise for all foreign personnel working on national road projects in the country.
"UNRA is in the process of streamlining its operations on all construction projects and as such requires that all expatriate staff/persons working on UNRA projects are doing so lawfully and in according with national immigration laws, guidelines and formalities," reads a notice served to contractors.
"This is to inform all contractors and consultants that the compliance verification exercise has commenced and all expatriate staff working on UNRA projects should present valid entry permits, certificate of residence and work permits as required by law."
Eng. Samuel Muhoozi, the Director Roads and Bridges Development at UNRA says the move is meant to comb out foreigners working on road projects illegally.
"Our recent field monitoring exercise revealed that some expatriates are illegally conducting business on our project sites," he told the New Vision.
"Their illegality is a non-compliance issue on our side in terms of project management and also a breach of financing agreements with our donors."
Ten of the biggest road construction projects currently being done for the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) are being undertaken by foreign firms, mainly from the China.
The Kampala-Entebbe Express Highway, Uganda's most ambitious road project to date, is being undertaken by the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC). Olwiyo-Gulu Road is being constructed by Zhong Mei Engineering Group from China, Gulu-Acholibur by China Railway, Atiak-Nimule by the China Railway Wuju (Group) Corporation, Mpigi-Kanoni-Sembabule-Villa Maria by China Railway 3, Musiita-Lumino Road by China Railway Eighteenth Bureau Group Company, Ntungamo-Mirama hills road by Zhongmei Construction Company, Moroto-Nakapiripirit by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), Kamwenge-Fort Portal by China Railway Seventh Group. Mpigi-Kanoni road is by upgraded by Energoprojekt Niskogradnja Ltd.
The rise in the number of Chinese firms doing business in Uganda has also attracted a significant number of Chinese to work on these road projects, with some reports indicating that some of these Chinese have a dodgy status and yet are doing ordinary jobs that Ugandans can do.