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Wednesday, 25 August 2004
 
  Parliament met at 10.48 a.m. in Parliament House, Kampala.
 
PRAYERS
 
(The Deputy Speaker, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, in the Chair.)
 
The House was called to Order.
 
MOTION FOR PRESENTATION, CONSIDERATION AND ADOPTION OF THE REPORT OF THE SESSIONAL COMMITTEE ON WORKS, HOUSING AND COMMUNICATIONS ON THE MINISTERIAL POLICY STATEMENTS FOR FINANCIAL YEAR 2004/2005
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Chairperson, Committee on Works, Housing and Communications. 
 
MR WAKIKONA: I have something of urgency and (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: But you did not notify me.
 
MR WAKIKONA: You did not communicate from the Chair but you forgive me. I have to present it; people are dying.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Has the volcano erupted?
 
10.50
MR DAVID WAKIKONA (Manjiya County, Mbale): If you give me a chance, I will tell you the details. Thank you, Madam Speaker. It has already been reported to this House that Mount Elgon is erupting any time. Yesterday on the other side of Mount Elgon, the Kenya Government moved all their people 70 miles away from the mountain. I went to the First Deputy Prime Minister, who is also Minister for Disaster Preparedness, and asked him what he is doing on the Uganda side. He told me, Mr Wakikona, you advise people when they see gas, to run away. I find this advice very unprofessional because where would they run to?
 
Secondly, even if the matter has not been confirmed precisely that the thing is erupting tomorrow or the day after, preparedness means pre; you do something before it happens. So, I am requesting that the Government, through the First Deputy Prime Minister, takes very urgent steps to make sure that these people are put somewhere safe until it is confirmed that there will be no eruption. Otherwise, we are likely  Manjiya alone has about 200,000 people, and you know it is down in the valley. When magma runs down, all those will be buried. That is the urgent request I put to government, that these people should at least be put in a safe place while we watch the situation especially considering that our counterparts on the other side have moved people to Kakamega, which is 70 miles away. Thank you, Madam Speaker.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, this matter came up first on Monday and we had indicated that on Thursday there would be information from the Government about it. But in view of what is happening, could the Minister for Environment please tell us what is really going on? What is your seismic report on the possibility of volcanic eruptions?
 
10.53
THE MINISTER OF STATE, ENVIRONMENT (Maj. Gen. Odongo Jeje): Hon. Speaker, thank you very much. I do not have a final position but I have preliminary information on the situation that we are talking about. The place, which is affected, is called Kapkwen; it is not in Kapchorwa, it is on the other side of Kenya. The place, which is affected, has a diameter of about five meters and within that area the temperature has now risen to about 170 degrees on the surface of the ground. Within that same locality, there is a cave and there are gases coming out from the cave. Within that locality there is also a lake called Lake Barongo, and within this lake there are still gases coming out. This is the preliminary information and there are investigations, I have indicated.
 
As to whether these are indicators of a pending eruption is yet to be determined and I hope tomorrow when I make a full statement I will be able to say, Yes, these are signs of an eruption or No, there is likely to be no eruption. But that is the preliminary information I have as of now. I thank you.
 
10.54
THE MINISTER OF STATE FOR PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (Mrs Hope Mwesigye): Thank you, Madam Speaker. Unfortunately the Minister in charge of Disaster Preparedness is still in a Cabinet meeting. But this morning in Cabinet this issue was discussed and we were informed that yesterday a team of experts was sent to Mount Elgon to assess the situation and as we talk now government is making necessary preparations to see how to deal with the evacuation of the people. I thank you.
 
10.55
MR NANDALA MAFABI (Budadiri County West, Sironko): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I am getting worried with both ministers statements. I thought we had technical people, well trained, well informed, who would be able to come up with the results? I have discovered the Minister in charge of Disaster Preparedness goes there when people are already dead. Is it a deliberate policy that until all the mountainous people are dead, that is when you will be able to move in?
 
It is common knowledge; 170 degrees centigrade is dangerous enough. Madam Speaker, I propose that the Ministry in charge of Disaster Preparedness gives us an alternative today because we are not so sure about tonight. I got a call this morning, people are in a desperate state and we need your help. Thank you.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, you know that we have a bit of a problem with our populations in Kapchorwa, in Mbale and also other areas, because they compete for livelihood with the national parks, the forests and so on and so forth. So, if the little land they have is going to be taken over by the eruptions, adequate and very urgent arrangements need to be made to evacuate them.
 
10.57
MS ALICE ALASO (Woman Representative, Soroti): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am glad that the Executive is going to come up here tomorrow to make a statement on the threat in the Elgon area. You might recall that when the report on the humanitarian situation was presented, one of the issues that were noted was to do with the landslides in Manjiya and the victims of those landslides. The Office of the Prime Minister, especially the Department of Disaster Preparedness, was requested to come back to this House and present a report or at least inform the House on what has been done to address the plight of those people but up to today nothing has been reported to this House.
 
Madam Speaker, I therefore wish to request that when this report comes up tomorrow, the Office of the Prime Minister would also take care to inform us on what they have done to address the plight of the landslide victims that was earlier requested of them. Thank you.
 
10.58
DR KAPKWOMU NDIWA (Kongasis County, Kapchorwa): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I had a chance to talk to the District Commissioner of Kenya about the impending eruption as stated; and that was by telephone conversation. He assured us that there has been a team of experts from Nairobi, which had visited the scene, and they were not convinced that there was any likelihood of volcanic activity going on, but further investigations would be taking place. That does not mean that we have to take chances.
 
I wish our meteorologists could actually have a word with the Kenyan experts who visited the scene yesterday. I thank you.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay, since we have 24 hours I hope that tomorrow we shall have a comprehensive report on the likely effects of mountainous activity and also the possibility of moving people, if there is a problem.
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: I have an important issue here.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, why do you not notify me in advance? You know the rules, and I have been sitting in my office since 9.00 Oclock. The rules say you must notify me before 11.00 Oclock when you have something urgent to say. Let us deal with the Budget.
 
10.59
THE CHAIRPERSON, SESSIONAL COMMITTEE ON WORKS, HOUSING AND COMMUNICATIONS (Mr Nathan Byanyima): Thank you Madam Speaker and honourable members. In conformity with Article 90 and in accordance with our Rules of Procedure, rule 154, I wish to present the Report of the Sessional Committee on Works, Housing and Communications on the Ministerial Policy Statement and Budget Estimates for Financial Year 2004/05, for your consideration and adoption.
 
The report is a short one but I would request members that you have had the report with you, we can go through it very fast and react to it. At the same time I want to appeal to members that there is more information in the policy statements. There are two volumes: volume I is for major policy of the ministry plus the ground work to be done whereby you would see major works, which will anticipate work in this particular financial year, and then volume II shows the performance. But this one has the ministerial structure. It shows who is who in the Ministry of Works, plus the work that was supposed to be done, which is at the end of the report so that every Member of Parliament can be able to know which road in your district or in your constituency is going to be done.
 
This sector, as you all know, is responsible for road infrastructure, development and maintenance in the country; transport, planning and regulation. It is also the domain of the housing policy. The sector also houses the communication policy and regulates all operators in the communication industry to ensure equity, standards, regional balance and sustainable development.
 
The method used is the usual one. We analysed the policy statement, made field visits to Bugiri, Hoima, and Kiboga and Hoima roads. We discussed it with the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, who is also the chairman of the steering committee road sector development programme. We also met ministers and technical staff and we interfaced and received memoranda from Members of Parliament for the road words in their constituencies. We also had thorough consultancy on the progress of the development of the national transport master plan.
 
On the basis of those visits and interactions, the committee appreciated a number of key milestones registered in the sector, and proceeded to make a number of observations and recommendations. Among the key milestones we have formulation of strategic investment plans. This sector has strategic investment plans, which all given the funds I think it would be able to deliver.
 
One of them is a ten-year road sector development programme, which will provide a sound road network by upgrading 1,672 kilometers of gravel roads to bitumen standard; construction of 21 kilometers of new roads and reconstruction of 490 kilometers of paved road. It will also establish a strong road administration and promote the development of the local construction industry.
 
Some of the projects that have been implemented or are in advanced stages are shown in the table on page 2.
 
We also have a ten-year district roads investment programme whose objectives are to improve access to rural and economically productive areas and to gradually build up the district road network planning and management capabilities. This total investment is about US $467 million, including about US $35.5 million investment for the dilapidated Kampala city roads.
 
Another one is the national transport master plan, including a master plan for the greater Kampala metropolitan area. Other investment plans include:
 
1. Inland water transport project,
 
2. Axle load control programme,
 
3. A 20-year investment programme for Entebbe International Airport,
 
4. National plan of action for human settlements development; and
 
5. Information and communication technology policy implementation strategy.
 
The investment plans are important for monitoring and evaluation and they guide in effective resource allocation; and:
 
i. Maintenance of the entire road network and bridges to motorable conditions.
 
ii. Procurement of equipment for districts. The ministry has consistently procured road equipment e.g. graders as per policy for each district in Uganda so that maintenance of urban and feeder roads is not compromised. For example Madam Speaker, on Friday, 27th of August the ministry will be distributing road equipment to districts of Wakiso, Mayuge and Kayunga and the process will continue.
 
iii. There is also procuring a ship for Kalangala islands. The Minister of Works launched the assembling of the ship at Portbell early this month and the ship is expected to be finalized in March next year. At least the people of Kalangala will now have safe means of transport with this project. The committee believes that after that ship is built, they could focus on other lakes like Lake Kyoga, Lake Albert and Lake George.
 
iv. Under air transport, last financial year alone seven Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) were concluded between Kenya, Tanzania, Ghana, India, Germany, Iran, and DRC while that of Rwanda is being reviewed and that of South Africa is being finalized.
 
v. There is phenomenal growth in the communications sector. The sector has registered tremendous growth and the committee got assurance that by July 2005 all sub-counties in Uganda will have some form of communication facility with the outside world.
 
We made some observations and recommendations in each sub-sector, beginning with transport.
 
The transport sub-sector contributes immensely to the economic growth and poverty eradication in the country. An efficient transport infrastructure is vital to support economic growth and improvement of the quality of life of the population. The transport sub-sector policy aims at promoting efficient, safe and effective transport services to provide effective support for increased agricultural and industrial production, increased trade and tourism; and provide support to social and administrative services.
 
There are a number of observations we made but I will scan through them:
 
The committee observed that detailed information was lacking on the performance of the district and urban roads. It is not possible to establish which districts or regions are performing efficiently and effectively. However, it is gratifying that the Minister of Works is preparing an inventory on roads to be upgraded, from district roads to national roads, and the committee was of the view that we begin with one road from each constituency so that every Member of Parliament has a road to bring him to the main road to Parliament.
 
The recurrent budget of the sector has over time stabilized while the development budget to the sector - in percentage terms - has been going down. And while the budget to the sector is decreasing, the expectations and demands of the people are increasing and the presidential pledges for road construction are also rising. So, we are really at a loss in the sector. The fact is that this particular sector has no private people coming in. We will not compare it with Health or Education whereby private people are going in. The Government has been going it alone and yet the funds are going down.
 
Madam Speaker, the high cost of road works has continued to concern the committee. The committee learnt with appreciation that a study on the unit cost of road works is underway and would be completed before the end of this year. However, other concerns remain in terms of cost overruns and time revision of project implementation, which remain a cause of hemorrhage in the sector.
 
The committee observed that quality management must go hand in hand with cost management. The committee recommends that the ministry should publish market rates for materials in road construction to guide the districts.
 
Secondly, the ministry should step up its monitoring and evaluation mechanism, to be more efficient. The committee recommends that the Ministry of Finance releases funds to the Ministry of Works to purchase vehicles for station engineers so that they are able to effectively monitor road programmes in their areas.
 
Madam Speaker, road reserve policy. One of the major hindrances and cost to road works in this country is the element of compensation to property owners. Government has got to secure land from private owners before it makes or expands a road or even for purposes of extracting murram.
 
However, the committee observed the following weaknesses with regard to protection of the road reserves:
 
1. Even where government has made compensation, like on Entebbe road, those compensated have not been directed to leave the road reserve, and therefore could claim compensation again in the event of future expansion of the road.
 
2. Even those who have encroached on the road reserve like the owner of Jovenna Petrol Depot at Namanve, which is few meters from the main road, have not been brought to book; neither have their properties been demolished.
 
3. On top of that, Madam Speaker, the Government does not normally own titles to its roads. So, it remains a problem to us.
 
The committee recommends that the Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications should be more vigilant in the protection of the road reserves. Road reserves should be gazetted and the public sensitized against encroachment on road reserves.
 
Madam Speaker, honourable members, we looked at traffic congestion in Kampala City. The committee noted that Kampala City continues to suffer from traffic congestion. In addition, Kampala as a transit city suffers from transit traffic. The committee observed that whereas the Kampala-Northern by-pass, which will be inaugurated tomorrow, Thursday, would initially alleviate traffic jams in the city; this would be a temporary situation since Mukono and Kampala are soon joining up. In addition to the Kampala City Council steps of converting a number of roads into one-way traffic, the committee recommends that government should do the following:
 
1. It should encourage big buses as opposed to matatus as a means of public transport in the city, and government should facilitate core investment in this aspect, as it might be too costly for any investor.
 
2. Construct fly-overs on busy junctions.
 
3. Widen city roads and patch potholes.
 
4. Open passenger trains between Mukono and Busega.
 
5. Construct taxi parks in the outskirts of the city where matatus could stop.
 
6. Restrict parking on certain roads.
 
7. Rehabilitate traffic signals in the city.
 
8. Demarcate laybys (bus stop bays) because everyone comes from his office and stops the taxi in the middle of the road, which brings about congestion.
 
9. Traffic segregation should be provided for and enforced on all urban roads. For example, heavy trucks should not pass through the city centre.
 
On road safety, Madam Speaker, the committee noted that interventions to reduce accidents are not adequately articulated. There is no holistic and integrated plan involving all stakeholders like the Ministry of Health ambulance system, Police and civil society to address road accidents decisively. You will realize while we are spending a lot of money on HIV and Malaria, accidents are depriving us of our people and we need to pay a lot of attention to this particular department. Some of the institutions in place like the National Road Safety Council and the Transport Licensing Board, which would spearhead this challenge, are grossly under-funded. The committee, therefore, recommends that funding to these two bodies be increased to spearhead the new safety measures.
 
On the road projects, we picked two road projects, which we visited, because there were some problems with them. On the Malaba-Busia-Bugiri road, the committee noted that this road failed when it had not yet been handed over by the contractor, Sterling/Straberg joint venture. The road was rehabilitated at a cost of about US $20 million, through a grand from the Germany Government. The committee carried out an on-spot assessment of this project and established the following:
 
1. 50.5 kilometers (one lane) of the road (out of 82 kilometers) had failed prematurely.
 
2. Government had authorized the consultant, Gauff Ingenuire to hire a consultant to investigate the causes and failures and TRL Consultants from the United Kingdom were hired for the job. They had produced a draft report on what went wrong but not who was responsible.
 
3. Government and the project consultant had launched traffic surveys on the road to narrow down on who was responsible for the failures.
 
4. Meanwhile, remedial works had commenced on eight kilometers, that is one lane of the badly affected road pre-financed by the contractor, implementing the recommendations of the consultant who investigated the failures. Madam Speaker, this particular road failed on the left hand side as you leave Malaba, which shows that where the traffic is loaded, it is the side that actually failed prematurely.
 
The committee appreciates the efforts the Ministry has undertaken to investigate the causes of the early failure of the road. The committee recommends that the minister reports to this august House on his findings as soon as possible. In the meantime, the committee recommends that two functional weighbridges should be placed at Malaba and Busia to stop overloaded trucks from damaging our roads.
 
Busunju - Kiboga Hoima Road Project:
The committee noted that this project was behind schedule, the work started in 2001 and was expected to have been completed by July this year but they informed us that if resources were available, work would be complete within 15 months.
 
The committee learnt about the following problems in the project:
 
i. The contractor was experiencing financial difficulties.
 
ii. The alternative approaches of executing the work, like sub-contracting to other willing companies and/or using alternative stabilization of the base by mechanical stabilization rather than lime stabilization, which is provided in the contract, were being examined by the employer before taking a decision.
 
The committee was assured that everything possible was being done to ensure that the taxpayers of Uganda do not get a raw deal. Meanwhile, the committee will continue to closely engage all the concerned parties and monitor development to ensure quick action on the project.
 
Expansion of the railway line to Juba:
 
Yesterday, Madam Speaker, the Committee of Finance elaborately explained the Railways Corporation because it is being prepared for privatization, but the Committee of Works is greatly appreciative of the renewed interests of government in railway transport as exemplified by the opening of the Tororo-Mbale-Kumi-Soroti line, which had been rendered inactive for many years.
 
Following the return of peace to Southern Sudan and strategic business opportunities available there, government should move quickly to connect its rail line to Juba. In the same vein, connecting of Kasese line to Eastern Congo is the right thing for government to do. The committee strongly recommends that government sources funds to develop the Juba line.
 
Poor road maintenance culture:
 
The committee continues to observe with concern the poor road maintenance culture by both the central government and the local authorities. Potholes are not patched as a matter of urgency and when attempts are made, the bases of the road are already extensively damaged. This is in addition to traffic jams and accidents that are caused due to poorly maintained roads.
 
The committee recommends that the ministry and local authorities, especially Kampala City Council and the municipalities of Masaka, Jinja, Mbale and Gulu, should be given more funds so that they may in turn move swiftly and decisively to repair potholes. There may be need to study the re-introduction of road gangs for these kinds of spot road maintenance.
 
Performance of PAF funds on roads:
 
Information on PAF funds on road maintenance in the districts is very scanty. More information is required on resources that go to districts for road maintenance for example PAF funds, PMA funds, LGDP funds, all in the name of road maintenance. There is a danger of misuse of these funds through similar accountabilities by district authorities. The Committee on Local Government Accounts should examine this matter closely.
 
Madam Speaker, honourable members, we found that there are underserved areas. The committee was concerned that investment plans in the sector had not adequately catered for regions like Karamoja, Kisoro and Bundibugyo. The committee recommends that more investments should be made in these regions.
 
Communications sub-sector:
 
The communications sub-sector comprises telecommunications, ICT and postal services. The liberalization of the sub-sector has brought about the establishment of the Uganda Communications Commission as an independent regulator of the sub-sector.
 
Then, we had the splitting of the previously Uganda Posts and Telecommunications Corporation into Uganda Posts Limited, Uganda Telecom and Post Bank Limited.
 
For telecommunications infrastructure development, there continues to be a steady increase in the rolling out of services but promotion of ICT requires very heavy investment and physical infrastructure for which funds have not been availed. We made a number of observations on this sub-sector:
 
One of them is that the duopoly being enjoyed by MTN and UTL is coming to a close in July 2005. The Transport and Communications Directorate in the Ministry should now be preparing for opening up of the market to more competitors in the provision of telecommunications services. In this regard the committee is concerned about the policies, and the enabling law to open up from duopoly to competition is very slow.
 
The ICT policy, which the committee regards as an important policy to provide a framework for the growth of ICT in Uganda, is delaying to come on stream. The committee urges government to deal with the challenges and remove the bottlenecks blocking its delivery.
 
Madam Speaker, on the economic regulation of communications operators, prices and tariffs of communication services have remained high. The billing rate of one minute has remained problematic with a lot of concern that a minute is equal to 3040 seconds. There are serious concerns that customers are not getting value for their money in terms of airtime.
 
The Uganda Communications Commission, the regulator was found not to be in a prepared state to crack down on this illegality. For example it would be very unaffordable for an average Ugandan to sustain inquiry or conversation on phone for ten minutes.
 
The committee noted that there is limited national infrastructure for communication services in Uganda especially for fixed line infrastructure. While the two operators MTN and UTL are obligated by the licence to give us fixed phones, MTN has 600,000 mobile subscribers and 10,000 fixed lines, and UTL has 286,156 mobile subscribers and 57,779 fixed subscribers. This means the two providers are going in for mobile and not fixed phones.
 
We also looked at the absence of a national competition law in Uganda, the anti-trust legislation. In an environment where the market forces are not strong enough to deter the emergence of monopolies or oligopolies like in the communications sector, there is urgent need to enact anti-trust laws to guard against collusion by the few but powerful operators.
 
National services providers compliance with the licence obligations: Madam Speaker and honourable members, the committee noted that the two national providers, MTN and UTL, had not yet covered some counties as demanded by their license obligation. However, the UCC argued that the cut off date would be July 2005, when penalties will be imposed. The committee insists that the rollout to the counties should be expedited without awaiting recourse to the above penalties.
 
Madam Speaker, I wish to lay on the Table - because we could not get photocopying services - the list of rollout of MTN in the whole country, as of March 2004. Later the secretarial services will be able to avail these copies to members for them to see that UTL and MTN have not been able to cover the whole country, as the licence obligates them.
 

Uganda Rural Communication Development Programme (URCDP):
 

Madam Speaker, questions of transparency were raised in respect of criteria for rollout of services under the RCDP. The committee asked about the criteria used to set up start-ups in the under-served areas, as some areas in the North were not covered at all, like Dodoth County. However, the committee was informed that at the end of the three phases of rollout, all sub-counties and districts would have some form of communication service either by national providers or under RCDP. All in all, the committee noted with appreciation the tremendous growth in the communications sector.
 
The committee noted the high cost of civil works in the installation of communication services, like when they are laying fiber optic cables. The committee noted that as a result communication services had remained costly. Unfortunately, such civil works duly damage roads. This scenario is also relevant in the provision of utility services like water and electricity.
 
Therefore, Madam Speaker, the committee recommends:
 
1. That the ICT policy should be expedited to guide the growth of the sector and also regulate ICT content, especially pornography.
 
2. The committee recommends that whenever roads are being constructed like Jinja-Bugiri road, which is on course now; Kampala-Kabale, which will be next year; and Busunju-Kiboga-Hoima, conduits must be laid for future use by utility providers to reduce on the cost of installation and damage to the roads.
 
We also touched on the housing sub-sector. Madam Speaker, we know housing is a basic need but in this country we do not look at it as a basic need. Over 60 percent of residents in urban areas stay in slums. Slum settlements are characterized by poor sanitation and high incidences of epidemics. There is, therefore, need for public investment to upgrade the slum settlements.
 
In addition, there is the challenge of housing the 800,000 internally displaced persons arising out of the insurgency in Northern and Northeastern Uganda.
 
The major constraints in housing development have been the high cost of construction materials. The committee feels that urban areas lack planning and development control. An unfavorable land tenure system has also continued to contribute to slum development.
 
So the committee made some observations on the housing sub-sector:
 
" The sub-sector continues to report yearly that it looks after government buildings, but it was found that this only applies to Parliament and State House.
 
" For the last five years the ministry has been developing the Building Control Bill; we are eagerly waiting for it.
 
" The housing projects, which had been started with the funding of DANIDA in Mbale, Jinja and Arua, have failed to expand beyond those areas. So, it is a concern of the committee.
 
" On the civil servants pool houses, there is no clear plan on where and how the Shs 25 billion realized from the sale of pool houses is going to be deployed to address the concerns of the present and future civil servants who did not benefit from the pool houses.
 
The committee was informed that part of this fund was put at the disposal of Housing Finance Company of Uganda, to lend to the public for housing development. The committee was further informed that the Ministry of Finance has insisted that the funds must be lent to civil servants at market rates. The committee finds this approach insensitive to the plight of the present and future civil servants, who with all fairness are supposed to benefit from this fund.
 
" The committee observed that there is urgent need for the Ministry in charge of Housing to come up with interventions to empower the rural poor, in view of the impeding exhaustion of grass, with appropriate housing technologies.
 
" While the committee recognizes the importance of the housing sub-sector, it is disappointed that over the years the sector has been neglected. The committee urges government to reconsider adequately funding this key sub-sector.
 
" The committee noted with concern that in spite of recommendations to develop strategic investment plans for this vital sub-sector, which has direct linkage with poverty reduction, no tangible progress has been reported.
 
Madam Speaker, recommendations on the housing sub-sector:
 
" The committee recommends that the Building Control Bill should be expedited and brought to Parliament within this current financial year.
 
" The committee has for the last four years been requesting for increased funding for the housing sub-sector without success. It is hoped, Madam Speaker, that this will be the last time this recommendation is repeated. The committee, therefore, recommends that funding to the housing sub-sector be significantly increased to enable it accomplish its programmes.
 
" The committee recommends that the civil servants, who have never benefited from the pool housing scheme, access funds from the sale of pool houses at a modest interest rate.
 
Madam Speaker, we come to budget requirements for the sector. It is evident that the sector is grossly under-funded given the mandate it is expected to execute and peoples expectations, plus presidential pledges.
 
The committee observed that the budget ceiling or resources given to the sector are far short of the budgeted estimates. To make matters worse, there are usually budget shortfalls or cuts in the development budgets. For instance, while Parliament approved Shs 138 billion for development expenditure for last financial year, only Shs 109 billion was released. Even the releases were erratic, with no money released for the month of July and September 2003.
 
Madam Speaker, if you take this particular financial year, only 48 percent of the budget requirements for development expenditure have been provided. So, the ministry expects that the Ministry of Finance will consider to revise upwards the development expenditure for the ministry in order to realise its planned activities. This scenario of under-funding, shortfalls and erratic releases of the meager resources to the transport sector has far reaching consequences to the economy namely:
 
1. Government efforts to address poverty are frustrated, market accessibility is hindered, tourism development is curtailed and access to health and administrative access is limited.
 
2. Lack of maintenance interventions results in increased vehicle operating costs and increase in travel time.
 
 
3. Delays in project implementation and completion of road works result in paying interest and penalties, and loss of value through deterioration of work already done but not finished.
 
4. Failure to raise relatively small counterpart funding for donor supported projects reduces governments credibility thereby reducing sources of funding for new road works.
 
5. Low standard of some road works because of the need to spread thinly to cover the entire roadwork and restore it to motorable condition. On this issue, with little funds the sector has been moving all over the country to spread thinly because of the little funds so that they could cover the whole country. But we would advise that if there are no funds it would be better to spread thickly on a few projects, complete them and have value rather going all over the country. But since this country is under-developed, it is important for the Minister of Finance to reconsider and possibly get part of the big money. Yesterday he read out the development expenditure for the Ministry of Works.
 
Madam Speaker, the under-performance of the sector affects the implementation of the presidential manifesto with so many road pledges that have remained unfulfilled.
 
In view of the above, the committee recommends strongly that the strategic importance of the sector in the whole economic development and poverty reduction should be matched with the priority that it deserves.
 
The committee commends the Ministry of Finance for its realisation that this sector deserves more resources and taking a decision to exempt roads and bridges contracts from VAT, which resources are estimated at about Shs 38 billion. These could be used for counterpart funding.
 
Madam Speaker, the committee wishes to appreciate the co-operation received from the minister, technical staff and heads of departments for the assistance they provided to us in giving us information and being in our marathon meetings.
 
The committee recommends that Parliament should approve the following expenditure for the Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications for financial year 2004/5, to fund the various programmes and activities under the sector:
 
Recurrent Expenditure, Shs 27,045,825,000.
Development Expenditure, Shs 367,667,555,000.
 
Madam Speaker and honourable members, I beg to move that this honourable House adopts this report and approve the funds. I thank you.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you very much, chairperson and your committee for a very comprehensive report. I can confirm that the report has been signed by more than one-third of the members of the committee. It, therefore, fulfills the requirements of rule 170(1) of our Rules of Procedure. So, make comments, seek clarifications, but I will limit you to three minutes each.
 
11.36
MR TOM KAYONGO (Lubaga Division North, Kampala): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I beg your indulgence that you first of all allow me to inform the House of the tragic accident that happened in my constituency yesterday at about 11.30 a.m. A primary school, which was poorly constructed, its storied building collapsed and there were primary seven children doing coaching. I am glad that the Minister of Education in charge of Primary Education is here.
 
Madam Speaker, there were pupils doing coaching and the contractors who were building. They were doing some repairs, trying to make space for a library, and it collapsed. As it has been reported in the newspapers, two lives were lost. Probably, I would like to ask the ministry to stop coaching because it is not necessary. Well, also Kampala City Council failed to supervise the builders  (Interruption)
 
THE MINISTER OF STATE, PRIMARY EDUCATION (Mrs Namirembe Bitamazire): Thank you very much honourable member for giving way. Madam Speaker, the information I am giving is that the Ministry of Education and Sports has learnt with great sorrow of the loss of life under such circumstances.
 
Secondly, a process has been set in motion to find out exactly what was going on, whether that school is government or private, whether the building is under SFG programme, and so on and so forth. As soon as we get more information about the details pertaining to the issue, we shall inform you.
 
Then thirdly, Madam Speaker (Interruption)
 
MS NAMAGGWA: Madam Speaker, the minister is wondering whether the school was private or public? I am wondering whether somebody from government would be supervising or overseeing the private schools, or we have different agents for the private and public schools. Is it not the same ministry to do this? Should we have a different agent to do so?
 
I am asking this question because in Masaka we recently had a toilet, which had just been built. It collapsed and a child died in school and we have never had a report from the Ministry of Education. Is it the same Ministry to do the overseeing of the two institutions: private and public schools? I just want to be guided so that we make reference to the right institution.
 
MS ALASO: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am quite lost. I know that there is a policy that there should be no coaching but I am wondering whether it is really the coaching that is responsible for the collapse of this building. I would rather that the honourable member in-charge of the affected constituency redirects the debate to address the question of the building because that building would have collapsed on any other person whether it is the children or women or whoever else.
 
It was a dangerous building and it partly reminds me that at one time I brought it out that in my constituency there is a school where the walls have totally cracked, Serere Primary School. They are all cracked and any time now Serere Primary School will also, God forbid, collapse on children and we will wonder whether it is the coaching or the building. Thank you.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, honourable members, let us focus on the lives of all Ugandans whether they are in private or government schools, or they were undergoing coaching or not. We have had incidences where walls collapse on people who are not school children. Let us focus on the standards of buildings in this country generally, please.
 
MRS BITAMAZIRE: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. The relevancy of whether the school was a government or private one is in the fact that many private sector participants have been putting up buildings for housing or shops or anything and then finally they turn them into schools. So, we have to find out exactly, was that building being constructed for a school or was it just being converted into one? So, whatever information we get will be very relevant for any follow up action on this matter.
 
Finally on coaching, Madam Speaker, I would like to inform this august House that the Ministry of Education and indeed government does not recommend and support coaching. That should be known. So, whatever other issues are related, I want to state the fact that we do not recommend it because we think that the children should get their time to relax and recreate and come back fresh. But many other subscribers and stakeholders are persisting and sometimes they hide in unauthorized buildings and houses. I thank you.
 
MR KAYONGO: Thank you, honourable minister. Madam Speaker (Interruption)
 
MR AWUZU: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I am rising to support my colleague, the Minister of State for Primary Education, in that importance of what she said about whether the school belongs to government or it is a private school. If it is a private school and it is within Kampala City Council, then in the first place the building plans of that school should have been inspected and approved by Kampala City Council to ensure safety. So, if it is a private building then it is Kampala City Council, which should see that the drawings are correct, the foundations are correct, construction is correct up to completion and then up to occupation permit. And in that case, it would not involve the Ministry of Education.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable Minister, but what happens when the same ministry licenses that institution?
 
MR AWUZU: Well, I am not aware whether it has been licensed or not. But definitely, when the ministry goes to license that school I believe, and I am sure they do go and inspect -(Interruption)
 
MS NAMAGGWA: Madam Speaker, I am trying to find out whether government should come here and lament about this inefficiency in terms of coordination. I would like, first of all, to say that actually we are very disappointed because inter-institutional arrangements are not there to help us to ensure that actually the economy and the society are properly served. Are you in order to tell us what you have not done with Kampala City Council, with Masaka Municipality and others? Really, we do not want to hear about what is happening; we want to hear about the safety of our people, which you have not catered for. Is he in order, Madam Speaker?
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think I had already made my ruling before you got up. Hon. Kayongo, please complete your points.
 
MR KAYONGO: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Probably let me also inform this House that this morning, I went to city council and I saw the Mayor. But they do not even have capacity to pull down the remaining structure. So, I would like to probably ask the Minister of Works to go and pull down that structure, which might be used when the school re-opens because the remaining structure is equally dangerous.
 
Madam Speaker, I would like to thank the Ministry of Works for the work done on our road between Bakuli - Namirembe and Wakaliga. I must appreciate, government through its wisdom with the Government of Japan, gave us a donation and we have a new road. However, the ministry had the obligation to work on the walk-side and they have not done it, and it is wearing away very fast. So, I wish to request the ministry to put in place some funds to work on this section.
 
Madam Speaker, my constituency is being affected by the Northern by-pass, and I am glad to say that most of the people have been compensated. There were some who had been missed and the ministry officials contacted them and I think their compensation is being worked out.
 
But there is a water source, used by the people in Kawaala to collect water and all the people around. But if that water source is closed, I do not know where we are going to fetch water from. So, when I met the people, therefore, they said the Government is going to provide an alternative water source. This work is to be inaugurated tomorrow but that one has not been provided.
 
Madam Speaker, I would also like to draw the attention of the Minister of Works to the fact that we had a round about at Nakulabye but it is no longer there. The honourable Minister knows this, and I thought it would be cited in his policy to work on that section between Nakulabye and Lubigi. It is full of potholes. That road is a government road it is not for KCC. So, I would like to ask the minister in charge really to help us with Nakulabye round about. That section is very bad, there is a terrible traffic jam and because the round about is almost cleaned off, people just cross. It is dangerous!
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Kayongo, the matters you are raising are bilateral; they are constituency matters. Do you not have time to go and see the Minister of Works and you discuss these details? They are really so bilateral. Now, what will I say about Wakaliga?
 
MR KAYONGO: But the minister has heard. Finally, Madam Speaker, the LGDP funds. Many times, whenever we talked about these funds, some of us have been misunderstood to the effect that probably because the sitting government in KCC is DP  but these are funds where people in Kampala District have missed out. You have seen what has gone on in Nakawa -(Interruption)
 
MR NANDALA: Thank you, Madam Speaker and my colleague. The clarification I want to seek from my friend is that, is this Local Government we are discussing now so that we can talk about LGDP, or we are discussing Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications?
 
MR KAYONGO: Madam Speaker, in this report, LGDP funds have been cited as one of those funds, which the ministry has lost. Madam speaker, with that I thank you very much.
  
MR MULENGANI: Well, I just wanted to give information emphasising that in the report, the Chairman emphasised LGDP and referred to Local Government Committee. So, whereas it was mentioned, it was not discussed wholly.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Now, honourable member, I appreciate that really you must air the issues of your constituency. But you are really making this a Lubaga matter and other people want to say a few other things. I am really encouraging you to meet the minister and his team. You live in Kampala, the ministry is partly here, partly in Entebbe. Please help us.
 
11.50
MRS DORA BYAMUKAMA (Mwenge County South, Kyenjojo): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the committee for the report, and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications for its commitment and swift responsiveness to issues raised by Members of Parliament; in particular, in respect to the Kyegegwa-Kyenjojo road, as well as the Kampala-Mityana road. More funds should be given to this ministry.
 
I have two issues I would like to raise in respect to the report. The first one is highlighted on page 10, number 13. The committee notes that there has been an effort to expand the railway line to Juba, and concludes by strongly recommending that Government sources funds to develop the Juba line.
 
I would like to get clarification from the committee especially, in respect to the fact that we have recently signed the East African Customs Union. Early this year, we signed the East African Customs Union and one of the issues that were raised at that particular meeting in Arusha was the transport network. Now, in light of this, the railway link was clearly identified as being very important. I would like to ask the committee, what happened to the East African Railway and Road Transport Plan especially, the Tanga  Musoma link? Would this not give Uganda an alternative route to the sea via Dar-as-salaam? How come the committee has not placed any emphasis on it in light of the fact that we are part of the East African Community, and that this is even maybe more important than the link to Juba which is also landlocked?
 
In addition to this, Madam Speaker, my second point is on the issue, which is raised on page 11 number 15, on the performance of PAF funds on roads. When you look at the introduction, the committee says: This sector is responsible for road infrastructure development and maintenance& ensure equity, standards, regional balance and sustainable development. But in this particular paragraph it says: More information is required on resources that go to districts for road maintenance, for example, PAF Funds, PMA, LGDP all in the name of road maintenance and that there is a danger of misuse of these funds through similar accountabilities by district authorities and the committee shifts its own responsibility to the Committee on Local Government Accounts to examine the matter closely.
 
I think this shifting of responsibility will not help us. We, as Members of Parliament, need this information on the amount of money that goes to the districts so that we can perform our oversight function. I am one of those Members of Parliament who, to some extent, have been frustrated because after getting a grader, you find that the district still continues to say that they do not have funds to work on these roads! And the issue, which was raised by the Chairperson of the Budget Committee on standards and value for money, still needs to be addressed. So, I would like to propose that the Committee on Works, Housing and Communications, the Committee on Public Service and Local Government and the Committee on Local Government Accounts should sit together with the ministries concerned in order to see how this information can be given to Parliament so that we, as Members of Parliament, can perform our oversight function. Because when the roads are not worked on it will be us, the Members of Parliament, who are blamed. Our roles are usually confused and, therefore, it is in our interest that we address this performance of funds on roads. I thank you.
 
12.01
MR JAMES KAKOOZA (Kabula County, Rakai): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to say bravo to the committee for the comprehensive work they have done but I need some few clarifications maybe from the minister.
 
Concerning PAF funds and the LGDP  actually, I happen to be on the Local Government Accounts Committee - you find that there is misuse and substitute of these PAF funds. But I would like to know, what happened to the inspectors, who could come from the central government to monitor these roads made by the districts? Formally, we had some inspectors who could inspect these roads and the use of this money within that district. When you compare the roads made by the central government and those by the districts, you find that the former are in better condition. So, I would advise that the component of this money, which is sent to the districts, could be withheld by the centre and then they do the work properly.
 
Then another comment is on page 13 on airtime, where the committee says that instead of one minute it is 30 seconds or 40 seconds. I would imagine if we have no anti-trust laws, a company just comes, invests and exploits all the profits and it is taken back without investing it here. I do not know whether ever since they made the agreements with these companies when they came in to invest, they have ever revisited and given advice on this or these companies to take some precautions.
 
Still on page 13, on communication development, I assume that when we passed last years Budget, we did exempt the optic fibres. So, I expected that the costs of using this airtime could have come down but they are still exploiting our people. We feel that the Minister of Communications should revisit these agreements, and do a bit more so that we can help our people to use airtime cheaply and very effectively. Thank you.
 
12.04
MRS MARY KAROORO OKURUT (Woman Representative, Bushenyi): Thank you, Madam Speaker. Let me also add my voice to those who are thanking the ministry for the job well done. At least now we have fewer potholes, which used to be as deep as graves.
 
Now, there is a point that they brought up, naming of roads. Madam Speaker, it is a scandal. When you look at the city there are very few roads, which have got proper names. Like where I stay, there was no name; I am the one who put up the signpost. And when I called the concerned parties I said, There is no name on this street. They said, But, Madam, everybody can see that this is a circular road so, you do not need a name. But if we are going to use our creative imagination to think about names, I think it is a tragedy. So, it should be a very strong recommendation that these names should be very clear.
 
On the housing sub-sector, the recommendation is very good, but we need to go further. Because the slums, the housing estates, for instance, the Naguru Police Station, there is always a flow of sewage, it is a perennial river and they have never corrected it. One time I went there. You find vegetables and maize growing and you think you are buying something healthy and it is not. So, if we can look at the sanitation and the sewage because really this is the identity card of the whole country. It will even chase away tourists when they come. So, Madam Speaker, I want to thank the committee but if they could give very strong recommendations on those two issues. I thank you.
 
MR DEUSDEDIT BIKWASIZEHI (Buhweju County, Bushenyi): I thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the chairman and his entire committee for the work well done. If you put a question to me now and you say, Bikwasizehi, what are the problems on the roads in your area? I would say that, The biggest problem is maintenance and I am happy it has been highly pointed out by the committee.
 
It is a shame, Madam Speaker, these roads were constructed and they are not properly maintained. In fact, I would like to pose a question and say, Of these monies that we are giving the sector, what is the percentage for the maintenance, or what is supposed to be the maintenance fund for these roads. These roads were constructed a long time ago, and it is a shame that we cannot maintain them!
 
Madam Speaker, I have got very high respect for the honourable Minister of Works and he happens to be my Crown Prince for my kingdom, but I do not know how I can exonerate him and his ministry from this problem of Malaba-Busia road. Because I imagine, the Ministry of Works should have a hand in approving the design of the road and then being there all the time doing continuous monitoring. I am actually surprised to see that some funds  a lot of money - are spent on hiring people to find out what happened. I also want to pose a question to him, What happened when you were approving the design of the road? And what happened when you were monitoring the construction of this road?
 
Madam Speaker, there is this use of Sector-Wide Approach - it is good. But as you can see - I think on page 13, it has been alluded to by hon. Dora Byamukama about different funds being used to construct roads. That means there is nobody in charge because a road is a road, whether it is constructed by PAF funds or by LGDP funds. Why do we not consolidate these roads and say, These are our roads and we say, Minister of Works, you are in charge of these roads and this money comes there so that you are accountable. We get someone to account for such funds. I think that is a problem when we continue like this.
 
Lastly, there is a tendency to concentrate on trunk roads. His Excellency, the President has been asking that you have a tarmac road passing through an area, but it has no economic significance. It does not stimulate economic development in the area where it passes. Studies have shown that trunk roads are just for hauling these big trucks, transporting these big people in their Pajeros and so on. But it is the feeder roads, which go to the producers in the countryside, that have a direct bearing on the economy because they are the ones which transport peoples produce, which transport products to the market. So, I am requesting that the ministry, apart from the trunk roads, takes keen interest, if we want to develop this country, in the feeder road sector. I thank you, Madam Speaker.
 
12.10
MR NDAWULA KAWEESI (Kiboga County West, Kiboga): Thank you so much, Madam Speaker. I wish to thank the chairman for the report. My remarks go first on page 10, the Busunju-Kiboga-Hoima road project. When you read that passage, they say the road should have been finished in January 2004 but it was not finished. I am interested to find out, who is picking the cost of the delay? Is it the contractor, the consultant or the ministry because we were expecting the road that was never delivered? We want to know the cause of that delay.
 
When you go further in the same passage, they indicate the problems, which were identified. Madam Speaker, how does the contractor experience financial difficulties? What does this one mean? That the employer is not paying, that it does not have the money, what are these financial difficulties? I would want the Chairman of the Committee and maybe the minister to help me understand it.
 
The next thing is saying that they are looking at The alternative approaches of executing the work like sub-contracting. Normally, this is a standard phrase in the contract document - how you sub-contract, whom you sub-contract, what you sub-contract out. So, how come it is now that they are looking at the project, which was supposed to have been finished in January?
 
Then the next part of that sentence says, or using alternative stabilisation of the base. Madam Speaker and honourable members, this road has been standing there since 1954. Really, for the Works people to say in 2004 that they do not know what stabilisation they should use for the base for it to be tarmacked, it is incredible! The contract was awarded. When we should have received the road, they are telling us they do not know what to use to stabilise. Really, I need those answers.
 
Madam Speaker, my next comment actually falls on what hon. Bikwasizehi was talking about on paragraph 15, performance of PAF funds. I think time has come that government must review its policy on some things. This thing they call sector-wide approach is just confusion now. Many of these products, which are technical - constructing a road is really a technical product. So, regardless of what the road does, someone who does it must have some engineering knowledge.
 
Now, when you say LDP funds, then there is PMA, what is the road money doing in a plan for modernising agriculture? The fact that the farmers need lorries to take their crops does not mean that they must construct that road. The fact that a local government is administering a particular region does not mean it must construct that road. It should be the Ministry of Works, the department of government charged with the roads, they have got all the good engineers. Actually even the Registrar of the Engineers Registration Board is in Ministry of Works. So, really I wish to request the ministry, and the Government for that matter, that some of these things need review. While there were very good catchwords by the World Bank, maybe they are really getting a little bit harder on us now.
 
Madam Speaker, I looked through the report - maybe I was not attentive when it was being presented - but there was little mention about the air transport. The air transport in this country is really a problem. To fly Entebbe/Nairobi and back, you pay $350 dollars - economy and it is 45 minutes. The same with Kenya Airways, to fly Nairobi/Mombasa or Nairobi/Zanzibar, 45 minutes they charge $150. So, we are talking about tourism. How can anybody pay that big premium? To fly Nairobi/Entebbe $350. What is the ministry doing to make sure that at least (Interruption)  well, it is only Airline coming, but we get value for our money and even tourism can we promoted.
 
Recently, I was in Malaysia. To fly from Kuala Lumpur to Lankawi in 45 minutes, you pay $50. So, why should a tourist come to Uganda when he is going to spend $350 for 45 minutes, when he can spend $50 for 45 minutes in Malaysia?
 
So really, I wish to request the ministry to look at air transport and see that while we are promoting tourism, trade there is a big problem in the country.
 
Madam Speaker, still on trade and tourism. To move a container of 20ft from Durban to Mombasa is $800; to move the same container from Mombasa to Kampala is $3,500 and that is the problem that the railway line collapsed. So really, how can an industrialist come and stage here to sell in East Africa under the customs union where you must pay $3,500 over and above what your competitor in Mombasa is going to pay? So, these are really very serious matters to the economy. That is why these departments of works, housing and communication, are really the gateway to our development. While private sector can do so much, I think government has a lot to do.
 
Madam Speaker, on the housing sub-sector. When we were starting the debate, hon. Kayongo, mentioned the problems that are in - may I find out from the ministry, what happened to the building standards? In this country there used to be what they call an occupation permit. Before you occupy the building, you are required to get an occupation permit. What happened? Does the ministry still issue these permits or they have been removed? Because everybody wants to put up a storey building and many have worked in Roko, and they have known how they put up these buildings. Unfortunately, someone who was just a porter or a foreman in a certain site in Roko, comes up and tells the businessman, I can put up a storey building. And because this businessman is avoiding paying the high costs of a good engineer to do the building, he goes for that.
 
Madam Speaker, it is not only that building but many of them. Go to Katanga and see those hostels being put up. You do not need a structural engineer to know them; you just look at the bars they are using, the way they are doing it. When you go to the site and ask the builders, Where are the architectural drawings? They say, What are you talking about? They do not know, because the man just goes, puts seven bars and rounds them up. That was so heavy; puts the small ones half an inch. So, Madam Speaker, we wish to request the Ministry of Works to rejuvenate these building standards. The people who know how to do the work are there. Unfortunately, everything that is good goes in the frame yard; they charge a little bit higher. So, because Works has not enforced it, guys are undercutting those who do not do the job by trying to offer their inferior services and Works is not implementing, so we are going to get these inferior services. I thank you.
 
12.19
DR JOHN PETER ESELE (Bukedea County, Kumi): Madam Speaker, I thank you. Today I have learnt that the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to the Treasury is also the Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Road Sector Development Programme. I also know him as the Chairman of the PMA steering committee and he must be chairman of other committees. He is a very busy man. I think we are overworking him.
 
Madam Speaker, the Ministry of Works is one of the ministries I am always feeling. At least there is some work going on especially on the roads, highways and the communications sector. But I have problems with the district roads and the community access roads. Recently, I was in the district and I was complaining to them about the district roads, these ones connecting sub-counties. I said the Ministry of Works is one of those with the highest budget. As a matter of fact, it is about four times higher than that of Agriculture. But they said that the money that the Ministry of Works has is for the highways, there is very little of that money that goes to the districts.
 
And when I looked at the releases from the Ministry of Local Government to Kumi District, they are always about 45 a quarter and that is very little money to work on the district roads. Madam Speaker, I would like to request the Ministry of Works to increase the allocation to the districts for the district roads. We really need these roads, but they are in a very poor state although the highways are okay.
 
Regarding the community access roads, I am told that this is a responsibility of the sub-counties. The roads are in a very sorry state. My children do not go to school very early because they fear the dew, so they go to school late. We cannot transport produce; the sick people can hardly be transported on bicycles to the hospitals. Now there is a notion of LGDP funds; but the sub-counties get an average of seven million per quota. The districts tell them that they need six million per kilometre of the community access roads. Now, that means that in a quota, a sub-county can do only one kilometre. But a sub-county can have more that 50 kilometres of the community access roads.
 
However, the sub-counties are willing because the districts have got graders. The sub-counties would be willing to buy fuel and other lubricants and pay the allowances for the operator of the grader, but for some reasons, the districts are not willing to have this done. Should I request the Ministry of Works to instruct the districts to allow the sub-counties to just maintain the graders so that they can work on the roads? Thank you.
 
12.23
MS ALICE ALASO ASIANUT (Woman Representative, Soroti): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I want to thank the Committee for this report. I am looking at the Road Reserve Policy and my understanding of a policy is that it is a commitment; it is made so that it is implemented. I am both surprised and probably also disappointed that actually while the policy exists, there is an apparent lack of commitment to ensure that the road reserve policy in this country is implemented. It is common knowledge if you move on our highways that you find people setting up all sorts of structures, petrol stations, car stages etc. You find them just next to the road and then you wonder, Is there a reserve policy really meant for this particular road?
 
Madam Speaker, my concern is that, while there is a Road Reserve Policy on paper, I think the ministry has not got out to commit itself to ensuring that this policy is adhered to. Otherwise, what would explain all these businesses, all this construction next to our roads if there was a commitment?
 
I am aware that Ministry of Works, Housing and Communications has a monitoring inspection unit. Do they take interest in ensuring that as they drive along these roads, they are also concerned about petrol stations like the Jovenna Depot, like the other stage on the Tirinyi junction as you join the Tororo road? There is a stage there; something that is really out of place completely. But it is happening right under our noses, until one day somebody seeks compensation twice or another day, someone gets an accident out of that irresponsible activity, then we come in here. For me, Madam Speaker, there is this question of supervision; but I think there is also some element of corruption. Somebody had better fight it, otherwise, it is not very convincing to have a policy, which is simply on paper and you see it being undermined every other day.
 
The second issue is to do with the Malaba-Busia-Bugiri road. This road is a major highway in eastern Uganda. It is very important to this country, and the committee gave it a lot of time. But I think the findings continue to be very disappointing. First of all, the road was constructed at US$20 million. Then the next thing you hear is that, it failed prematurely. Before you even understand how it failed prematurely, a consultancy is put in place to investigate the causes of the failure. Now, before you even understand what the consultancy has come up with they say, The report said what went wrong, but not who was responsible. Madam Speaker, I have a very big problem here, first of all, who constituted the terms of reference for this consultancy because if you are interested in addressing (Interruption)
 
MR NANDALA: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker, and my colleague for giving way. There is even more worry here. The Auditor General says that road maintenance equipment for Malaba-Bugiri road Shs 229 million was borrowed illegally. You can imagine, they have got even equipment to maintain the road, which does not exist.
 
MR NASASIRA: I wanted to ask, hon. Mafabi, to repeat the information, I did not get it well; then I might be able to respond.
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, it is the Auditor Generals report ending 30 June 2003, on the report on the Ministry of Works page 55, 14.5 Illegal borrowings.  
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can you read it?
 
MR NANDALA: Page 55, 14.5 says: Illegal borrowings: During the year under review, the ministry obtained bank overdrafts totalling to Shs 273,423,930 on three project accounts without authority from the Treasury. These projects included MityanaFort Portal road corridor Shs 17,215,659, road maintenance equipments worth Shs 229,035,062 for reconstruction of Malaba-Bugiri road. By the end of the year, the overdraft on the road equipment maintenance account was Shs 229 million as outstanding.
 
MR NASASIRA: I want this clarified because it is going on Hansard and it might confuse us. Normally, when you have an auditors report, there are audit queries and at a convenient time the report goes to the PAC and the accounting officers come and clarify. What hon. Mafabi is talking about is that some money that was meant for some projects was borrowed from those votes for some other work. It does not imply that that money was embezzled or was eaten. The query is that some money which was meant for the work on the corridor on Fort Portal-Mityana road and some work on road equipment, meaning for procuring road equipment, some of that money was borrowed. That is what that statement is talking about, and it is saying that the money was borrowed without the authority of the Treasury. That is an audit query, which will come to PAC, and which the accounting officer, who is the Permanent Secretary, will come and clarify.
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, my simple accounting shows like this -(Interruption)
 
MR WILLIAM NSUBUGA: With due respect to hon. Nandala Mafabi, I am a Member of Public Accounts Committee and when the Auditor General compiles a report, he compiles a report for all queries where the responsible ministries have failed to answer. It is not procedurally right for, hon. Nandala Mafabi, to use the Auditor Generals report, which is under Public Accounts Committee. We are synchronising these queries and we are even summoning the accounting officers, who is the Permanent Secretary and not the minister.
 
So, it is not procedurally right to pin the minister now when there is room for his technocrat to come to the Public Accounts Committee and answer the query. And if hon. Mafabi is not contented, he can come to the committee; the rules allow him. So, I do not agree with the suggestion of using the audit queries to pin the minister; it is not right.
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, I want to thank my colleague. Information is information and it must be utilised whether in raw or final stages. Bugiri-Malaba road is a very serious issue, which my colleague must understand that there has been a problem. The road was opened like today, the following day it was spoilt (Mr William Nsubuga rose_)- give me chance.
 
MR WILLIAM NSUBUGA: Madam Speaker, is it in order for hon. Nandala Mafabi to continue using the audited query, which is under Public Accounts Committee? Is he in order to use such a document when actually it is a document of Parliament? We are supposed to synchronise it and summon the relevant officers to answer. Is he in order?
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Now, hon. Mafabi, when that report was brought to this House, we committed it to the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) to scrutinise, evaluate and then report back to this House. Because now I am at a disadvantage, I do not have the report, I have not heard from the Chairman of PAC, I think it is premature for now to be using that.
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, it is very good I accept that that the committee is there. But I want colleagues from Parliament to understand the problem of Bugiri-Malaba road. It is a serious issue. If the Ministry of Works, which was in charge of implementing and supervising, has not taken action, even the report from the international consultant is not saying discipline this one because the Ministry of Works is the one that appointed him, then it must be serious. Madam Speaker, that road is a very serious issue; we must not just sweep it under the bed (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Nandala Mafabi, I have used that road and the Members of Parliament have invited me to examine that road and I have been there. It is a serious issue, but I think let us go by what the committee chairman has reported because certainly he says he is not satisfied with what the ministry has done before going into the figures of what went where. The chairman is clear that he is very dissatisfied with the management of that road; so let Members debate along those lines.
 
MS ALASO: Thank you, Madam Speaker. My concerns on this road are very serious and I am happy that everybody is very concerned. The road continues to have additional financial leakages. On this road we could have put up and developed other roads, and if we continue at this rate it is really worrying for this country.
 
Madam Speaker, while the committee is concerned about what is happening, they simply recommend that the minister reports to this august House on his findings as soon as possible. I think the committee should have urged the ministries probably give other specific duration. The matter of this road has gone on too long in this House. Any more time, uncertainty of two months or as soon as possible, what is as soon as possible? I think there must be some more specificity on the matter of this road. I propose that, if it was possible in a months time we should have a comprehensive report on the matter of this road.
 
Finally, Madam Speaker, I want to seek three clarifications:
One, in 2001, this House passed a loan for the development of landing sites. Soroti District was supposed to benefit from three of them. Up to now the landing sites of Kagwala, Mulondo and Bugondo have not been worked on. A loan was passed; I wonder what happened.
 
Two, I would also like to be told what happened of the budgetary provision of last financial year for the Serere-Bugondo road. Last year, Shs 55 million was allocated to this road; it was not worked on. This financial year another Shs 55 million - is it a policy, is it a procedure to budget for something twice and no work is done? What is happening?
 
Three, I want to find out from the Committee Chairperson why he did not up-date us on security roads in Northern Uganda. I thought this report would have brought out something on security roads well aware that we still have very serious security concerns, and Ministry of Defence has always been telling us about the need for these roads. Could the Chairperson tell me why he did not comment on this? Thank you.
 
12.36
MR SAMUEL ABURA PIRIR (Matheniko County, Moroto): Thank you, Madam Speaker and honourable members. I am joining the rest of my colleagues who have already contributed about this report, which was well done. Roadways are the most defective ways of promoting development and increasing income. So, this requires a higher technical skill of work. As I speak, when you observe the way roads are done these days and to make matters worse, when we tender roads to the laypeople who have no skills, it becomes something very embarrassing. The Ministry of Works should put in place a committee that monitors all the tendering roadways networks in a district or in a country.
 
Madam Speaker, we have a terrible weather in Karamoja. We are lucky that we are communicating because of the long droughts. When the rain comes Kotido is cut off, Nakapiripirit is cut off, Moroto is cut off. There have never been bridges that can enable us to cross to the other side when it rains. So, I do not know what we are doing or what we are planning when we are making a road. When we budget for a road, do we include the bridges?
 
Not only that, we have continued maintaining the size of roads, which were constructed in the colonial days. If you start your journey from Kumi, Soroti, Katakwi, Moroto it is just about three meters. I do not know what is the standard. They put there some kolasi of about two meters. Any time you are driving another vehicle is coming, you have to slow down because the roads is small. I thought Iganga to Tirinyi road could be a model of the roads today we should be having. How can you maintain, after 42 years of independence, the same road? So, it is just a pass way.
 
Now for us in Karamoja, we do not mind, we can remain for years and years without the tarmac. Why do you not give us just murram? We do not care about tarmac now we were forgotten, we do not need it even. We shall continue dusting ourselves when we go from there we come back. So, Nakapiripirit-Kotido road going to Loote, when it rains you cannot - it is good that we have mobiles now, we can only communicate by air but travelling is not there.
 
On top of that, honourable Minister, I think you are very experienced on this. When shall we tour our areas to see - in this case I do not want to complain for nothing. Just be practical, when shall you go to the field and see what we are doing?
 
Further more, there was a huge budget that was given for the track routes - some people call them security roads. What has happened? None has ever been attempted not even one-metre track route. What happened to that budget? Those track routes, as we are now planning to resume the disarmament, could now be cleared so that it is easier for the soldiers to see or to monitor or to pursue these warriors who go somewhere. We do not have a road network that makes even the insecurity more rough.
 
At least be mindful of something. You can deny us dams but give us the road now so that we develop. We can bring our hides and skins to sell in Kampala because now when you have got a road, which is one metre and these days there are ambushes there is no way you can run very fast, buses fear. So, I would like to say that, in future if ever there is another budget we should be number one in the plan because we are always the last. Karamoja should be first and this will be the end of under development. But every time you just maintain, I am going to Nakasongola, Masaka road when will you come to Karamoja?
 
So, I am talking with a very sad heart and I am really disappointed with the way we are undermined. Does it mean that we happen to live in Uganda but we are not Ugandans? I think we are not Ugandans because everything is nothing for us.
 
12.41
MR MIKE SEBALU (Busiro County East, Wakiso): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the committee for their work and the good report that they have provided for this House. I would also like to register my appreciation to the Ministry of Works. I got communication in my pigeonhole this morning to the effect that they are going to be providing some road equipment to some of the districts, which have hitherto not benefited from that programme. So, I would like to thank you on behalf of Wakiso district.
 
Secondly, I would like to put my major comments on the issue of our road network vis--vis decongesting Kampala City. Kampala City is so congested and there are lots of traffic jams. I think the ministry needs to link up with some of these urban authorities and look at the road network around the city.
 
The one-way road arrangement has played some part, but you find that the problem of congestion is still a big problem. The idea of the northern bypass is a good one; and definitely when it is put in place it will go a long in decongesting the city. The vehicles will just pass by without necessarily going through the centre of the city. There is a problem with Entebbe road; you know we have the airport as a facility which is used by the entire country. You find some people coming from all districts of Uganda using that one road to the airport given that in one way or another some activities may lead to that road.
 
We are going to have CHOGUM soon in 2007, if we are to plan ahead of time the Ministry of Works is one of the stakeholders, which should be in the planning process to ensure that when we have such big activities in the country- We have had very big conferences especially those that involve Heads of state, and Entebbe road becomes a big problem and the problem is even extended to the city centre; and yet there are other road outlets which could help in easing that traffic. A case in point is the Natete-Nakawuka-Kasuku road and Nakawuka-Mpigi, because you find people coming from Mbarara, and Kasese going to Entebbe. They have to come to Kampala, the city center, to congest it and then move on to Entebbe; yet it could easily be done in such a way that those people can branch off in Mpigi, go to Kawuku and then head to Entebbe. In so doing you will find that the traffic in town, which is not necessary - if I am going to Entebbe and I am going back to Masaka, I do not need to come to the city centre.
 
So, I do not know how the ministry is looking at such arrangements as a means of decongesting the city? When CHOGUM comes with over 40 Heads of state with their convoys, it becomes easy to manage the other Entebbe road, which can be reserved for the Heads of State and the delegates, and then other motorists can use this alternative route. These are some of the things that can help in terms of decongesting and allowing easy movement.
 
Since we are looking at CHOGUM because it is a confirmed activity, I do not know how the ministry is planning in terms of capacity of Entebbe airport; the technical people say the radar system is really aged. So, how is the ministry preparing itself as one of the major stakeholders in terms of developing infrastructure that will make that activity run smoothly? Thank you very much.
 
12.46
CAPT. GUMA GUMISIRIZA (Ibanda County North, Mbarara): Madam Speaker when Parliament sends ministerial policy statements to committees relevant to sessional committees, the intention is to carry out the anatomy and the surgery so that when a report comes here a lot of work will have been done.
 
On page 5 of the committees report I am seeing a lot of ambiguities, which really disturb my mind. Bullet 1 under 4.1.1: Observations and recommendations on the transport sector - I do not know if it is an observation or it is a recommendation. It begins as follows: There appears to be duplication of roles among institutional bodies that coordinate and implement road works. I want a specific statement, is there duplication or there is no duplication, because we do not have time here to discuss about it appears and so forth.
 
Still under bullet 1, the Committee says, the road agency formation unit, and road sub-sector Steering committee with a secretariat in the Ministry of Finance were more all less doing the same thing. Are they doing the same thing or they are not? More or less this kind of English, Madam Speaker, really leaves you on a roadblock. More or less  you see this kind of English, Madam Speaker, it really leaves you on a roadblock. Are they doing the same thing or they are not? So, what are you recommending as a committee, because this is their report. It was difficult for the Committee to justify the continued existence of these bodies with a lot of. - so what are you saying as a committee? Tell us exactly what you are saying and what you are recommending. We need specific and solid recommendations. Bullet 2 on the same page, the committee says that, there are top civil servants in the Ministry of Finance and Works who are supposed to be the ones to implement road works. As a matter of fact, RAFU, which is an implementing agency of the ministry, is also represented on the steering committee, thus a classic case of agency coordination and monitoring itself. 
 
Hon. Chairman of Works and your committee, what are you telling us? Are you saying top civil servants who are supposed to be implementers; RAFO, which is supposed to be a coordinating and monitoring unit, is part of a steering committee? So, what are you recommending to this Parliament? What should we do? This is confusion in the ministry because you ought to have carried a surgery; what are you exactly telling us, civil servants, top engineers- I do not know RAFO; I do not even know whether RAFO is a legally constituted unit. Did we pass a law? We want to find out all these issues. So, what are you telling us, Mr Chairman, with your sector and your committee?
 
Bullet three, Madam Speaker, the committee observed that detailed information was lacking on the performance of district and urban roads, sure? (Interjection)- excuse me, Madam Speaker, give me three or four minutes because I want to carry out a very critical analysis. If information is lacking on the district and urban roads, which is the engine of the economic pillar, so what is the Chairman telling us, Madam Speaker? That there is no information, or if there is, it is scanty and lacking on the district and urban roads; and that is where the chunk of the money goes, and yet it is the pillar of the economy. Hon. Byanyima and hon. Nasasira, tell us here and now.
 
Bullet 5, on page 6, the committee is saying the recurrent budget of the sector has over time stabilized while the development budget to the sector in percentage terms is going down! The Ministry of Transport is largely a development ministry. I expect a big chunk of the total budget outlay on this sector to be on development. So, if there is a percentage decline on this ministry then catastrophe is looming while the budget is declining, expectations and demand of the people are increasing; but any way I know that demands are going down. We people in Government are the ones heightening the demands of the people.
 
Kisoro road, Fort PortalBwamba road- Hon. Kasirivu here is talking about Busunju road which hon. MP from Kiboga was talking about. So, bullet 6, again, I want the chairperson, Madam Speaker- and that is extremely serious. Bullet 6, you know hon. Byanyima has been a Chairman of this committee since we came here. One of the financial years- I do not remember when he stood up and said  actually it is on Hansard- we could retrieve it- said that the high cost of roads  in fact he came out with specific figures. It was between Shs300-350 million per kilometre unit. The same chairman today is telling us after 4 years we have been here that high cost of road works has continued to concern the committee.
 
Bullet 6, on page 6, the committee says, High costs of road works has continued to concern the committee. So, what is he telling us? In fact, he added that Uganda in East and Central Africa  it is in the Hansard, hon. members, that Uganda in East and Central Africa has got a high cost road network. We want this thing explained. Uganda has got the highest in East and Central according to the chairperson of the Committee then who is still the chairperson. So, we want more detailed information. I have seen hon. Nasasira consulting his engineers here. Why should we have the most expensive roads in East and Central Africa and yet we have the poorest roads? I have given you your time, hon. Nandala. The Deputy Speaker is about to shut me down so sit. I am taking more time.
 
Bullet 7, on page 7, the committee observed quality management go hand in hand with cost management. I do not know what that means. I want the chairperson to explain. I am going very fast on page 8.
 
Road safety. Madam Speaker and hon. members, the carnage of accidents on Uganda roads is a combination of many factors: bad drivers, ill-trained drivers, bad roads, potholed roads, over-speeding. It is a host of reasons that causes accidents but sometimes Government conveniently gets focused one or two areas.
 
Introduction of speed governors, fine, but that is not the only reason; it is a host of many reasons. So, one of the reasons some of us have been giving that this business of privatising and liberalising and Government seems to be abdicating its responsibility in the third world society where majority of the people are trained is really not good. So, there is need for Government to continue being in close monitoring of these sectors.
 
On page 9, a much more serious matter, which every MP, not necessarily MPs who come from Bugiri know that road BugiriBusitemaMalaba road; I have used it many times. It is extremely unfortunate that the committee is so ambiguous about that problem because they are not making any specific recommendation. They are saying Government had authorized a consultant  I do not know how to pronounce the name of the consultant- to investigate the causes and the purpose. The report is on what went wrong but not who was responsible. How can a committee recommend that kind of thing? How can a whole UK Consultant come out and say a report on what went wrong but not who was responsible? Can you take that, Madam Speaker? Can you read this kind of thing before hon. members? You go to Bugiri and look at the road. I have used the road going to Nairobi. Go to Bugiri and look at the road around Naluwerere! How can a committee know everywhere but nowhere and make this kind of recommendation when Government resources are being  this is diversional talk. It is extremely unfortunate but however the committee appreciates the effort of the ministry. Which efforts? The minister reports his findings as soon as possible. No time frame? As soon as possible! 2008 can be as soon as possible, Madam Speaker? What is as soon as possible? So, when we send policy statements to committees, Madam Speaker, we want specific good recommendations. Let me summarise.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, not summary, hon. member, your last point.
 
CAPT. GUMISIRIZA: Madam Speaker, let me finish with your permission which definitely I do not doubt. On page 12, Madam Speaker, it is my contention, communication is extremely vital and important and its contribution on economic development cannot be understated. Madam Speaker, the contribution of communication in an 80 per cent subsistence economy cannot be overstated and should not be exaggerated. So, this business of duopoly- hon. Byanyima calls it monopoly - I do not know how to pronounce it. Some of us whose education is limited- MTN  no doubt about it, it has sacked a lot of money from this economy and they externalise the money; the economy is 80 per cent subsistence The majority of the people in the village you hear them saying I am greeting my wife who is here. I am sending greetings to my wife who is here. Can you imagine that! So the majority of the people are so backward  (Laughter)- but he is spending money. I am sending greetings to my wife who is here seated with me, and you say communication has improved the economy? It does, but in a society that is advanced. So, MTN has stacked a lot of money; the chairperson is talking of about 600,000 subscribers, they could even be more but the contribution of this liberalization is minimal.
 
If people do not realize it, some Ugandans do realize it; they are doing us a disservice. So, Madam Speaker, we urgently need this enabling law to break this duopoly, which hon. Byanyima is calling monopoly; it is a duopoly. They were supposed to have covered the country by a certain date- hon. Byanyima is not even telling us a specific date; they have not, the licenses are not revoked, so we are there in a laissez faire type of situation. Is Uganda a project? Has this country been made a project? Probably I should end there; let me end there.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon. Guma.
 
12.46
MR DANIEL KIWALABYE (Kiboga County East, Kiboga): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the committee and the chairperson for the report. Madam Speaker, when we were debating the State of the Nation Address, I raised the issue of the road network. I specifically talked about Busunju-Kiboga, Kiboga-Hoima road. Some members of this committee assured me that they would visit this project and see how it is progressing. I am happy they went there although they did not inform some of us. The Minister of State (Transport) also assured me that there was no cause for worry, things were moving on smoothly and the project would be completed on schedule.
 
Now the purpose of the committee visiting or conducting fieldwork, I hope, was to assess the value for money. When they visited they were quoting in fact figures, which the ministry was quoting in their statement that Busunju-Kiboga section the contractor had finished 45 per cent of the work and Hoima 36 per cent. I wanted to find out from the Chairperson of the Committee, are you really satisfied with the those percentages because when I am travelling the road is worse than when the contractor started constructing it; it is deteriorated completely. And as they put it on page 17, the committee correctly said that delays in project implementation could lead to loss of value through deterioration of work already done but not finished. This work, which they originally did, is now deteriorated and I do not know whether we are not getting raw deal; we are already getting a raw deal on this. The first contractor bust financially. I was told the same ministry identified another contractor, and it is in this report that this second contractor is also facing financial difficulties; soon they will also financially bust. How sure are we, Mr Chairman, that this project will ever be completed when we are in such a situation? You said 45 per cent of the work has been completed. I would also be interested to know how much of the contract fund have been so far disbursed. Does the percentage of the disbursed money commensurate with the percentage of the work completed?
 
Madam Speaker, the committee is citing a condition, they were assured, I do not know by whom, that if resources were put in place within 15 months, the project would be completed; by who, the contractor or by the Government? Who is responsible for availing the resources? I was told by the hon. Minister of state that World Bank funds this project. Is it the World Bank which has failed to put the resources available, and if it is World Bank, why? If it is Government, is it co-funding, who is bringing a problem? The committee is not very clear on this and I would like to know who -(Interruption)
 
MR BESISIRA: Thank you Madam Speaker and my colleague. When there was a problem in 2001, with the elections, the minister had to travel to sign the contract for this road in Hoima. It seems the people of that side are thinking that possibly they are waiting for 2006 then hurry to complete the road. We are wondering as to whether when the elections are not there we shall never get a road because the road has been lagging and is continuing to lag. Every time it is the Banyoro whose problems are never sorted and yet for them their vote is assured. Do you not think we are likely to put a price on our vote this time? Thank you very much.
 
MR KIWALABYE: Well, Madam Speaker, the people in this region are always positive they have assured the Movement that they will be giving their vote whether the road is constructed or not, may be that is the mistake they are making. Madam Speaker, without diluting what my colleague, Engineer Ndawula, was saying, it is a big surprise; in fact it defeats my understanding to learn that up to now, at this stage when 45 per cent of the work has been completed, people have not decided on what sort of stabilization of the base of the road would be. 45 per cent of the work is completed but they are still debating on how they should work on the stabilization of the base of the road; I am really defeated.
 
Madam Speaker, I raised the issue of compensation of the people who lost their property in the process of construction of this road, and in the process of the contractor blasting the rocks in the stone quarries. I hoped this committee would look at the transparency of the whole exercise of compensation; but the report is keeping mum about this issue. I would expect the committee to make a comment on this. I thank you, Madam Speaker.
 
1.15
MRS LYDIA BALEMEZI (Woman Representative, Mukono): I thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to thank the Chairman and the committee for coming up with this report to the House.
 
First of all, I would like to appreciate and thank KCC administration for the work they have done on making the roads one-way road, which has at least made easy movement within the city. My worry, Madam Speaker, is that we have relied so much on the policemen being in place to direct people where to move and how to move because they have to be there. Not everybody who moves in Kampala is a resident of Kampala and must have known which roads were turned into a one-way. This is why I am wondering whether the committee on Works, Housing and Communication has looked into this to see that there is need to put sign posts like No U-turns, No entry or One-Way. Some of these people who are arrested have no knowledge about these changes; so it makes the whole thing a nuisance to them, I mean those who are not used to using the Kampala roads.
 
Then, Madam Speaker, I come to  somehow I was really disappointed when I listened to this report. I took time off and attended the Committee on Works, Housing and Communication. I informed them about the pathetic position of the road between Kampala and Njeru or Jinja. The chairman is aware, and he promised to look into these areas. I informed him of the specific positions, and I requested him to bring it to the attention of the House so that the House could look into ways and means of improving upon the road. But I am really disappointed because this road is so rough much as it is called a tarmac road but one can drive more safely on a murram road than these tarmac roads.
 
Most of the accidents on the highway between Kampala and Jinja are mainly caused because of the roughness of this road. I am really disappointed because the minister is aware of this. I have raised this issue so many times on this Floor. When a committee comes up without a mention of these areas like Namagunga, Namanve, Mbiko, and Coca cola road where we get so many vital accidents, I get disappointed, Madam Speaker.
 
Then, Madam Speaker, I beg your indulgence so that you allow me just two to three minutes (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: The limit is three minutes.
 
MRS BALEMEZI: We have these roads with the billboards, Madam Speaker. I do not know whether it is Ministry of Works, Housing and Communication who gives permission to the people who erect these billboards. They are wide, long, and in very strategic positions. One time the billboard at the Owen Falls Dam, the bridge just before you leave Mukono  Njeru Town, fell down. It is so wide, wider than that table, Madam Speaker. This is a place where our taxis stop to offload and people to alight. The billboard just fell down one day- thank God nobody was around- I wonder what would have happened if that billboard found a taxi offloading in that position. The same has happened to a billboard just as you ascend that hill after the sugarcanes in Kitigoma. We have another one just as you enter Mabira Forest -(Interruption)   
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: There is some information from the border.
 
MR AWORI: I wanted to give information about billboards. The person who is organising them is a son of a former Minister of Local Government.
 
MRS BALEMEZI: Thank you for that information. The Committee of Works, Housing and Communication has to look into this, and there should be some regulations and specifications put forward to whoever is to put up these billboards. People who use these roads on daily basis are in danger and they pose a lot of worry to the road users.
 
I would like to thank the Ministry for having cleared the road reserve in Mabira forest. I am wondering why these logs are rotting. We need that timber; was there no plan before they cut down those trees? These trees used to be sold very expensively but now they are rotting because everybody fears to pick them. What is the plan and why did the ministry decide to cut them down when they had no plans for those trees which have matured for over years even older then some of us?
 
Madam Speaker, about Information Communication Technology (ICT), Mukono is one of the areas regarded as having been covered with this service. But I really do not know what was put in place, because unless you are near a very tall tree or a very high anthill. We do not have network in almost three quarters of the district. When they talk of Information Technology (IT) having been accessed to all areas, Mukono is expected to have been covered but we have a problem we are not accessing this service.
 
Lastly, I will talk about the railway line that was recommended to be extended from Busega to Mukono. I will just request, since the Ministry of Works, Housing and Communication has refused to work on the road passing through Bukunja, Buikwe and Lugazi, that at least consider a railway line from Kampala to Nyenga because we have three quarters of the district with no (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: and the Busoga railway line.
 
MRS BALEMEZI: Oh, and Busoga. So, please since you cannot give us roads at least bring about the railway line. We still have the railway line, fragmented as it is, but you repair that railway line so that our people can also move and transport their goods. I thank you, Madam Speaker.
 
1.22
MRS LUKIA NAKADAMA (Woman Representative, Mayuge): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Committee and the ministry for this report. I wish to thank the Ministry for considering Mayuge to be one of those who are soon receiving their road units. We thank you for that.
 
Madam Speaker, the problem I have here is, in Mayuge we have a quarry which has been opened by some contractors who are working on Iganga and Jinja road, but these people have not yet paid the residents of that area. Most of them have been told to vacate, some are already staying within the area and their houses have been destroyed. When I talked to these people recently they told me that they are going to compensate them and some houses were going to be repaired. I do not know how these people can open up a quarry without compensating these people or telling them to vacate the area, yet I think these people are facing hard life within that situation.
 
Madam Speaker, the ministry would have planned or would have told those people to plan for the residents of those area before they started their work. Some people are hospitalized because of the sound coming from the quarry. So, that is the problem my people are facing in Mayuge at Lugolole quarry; that quarry, which has just been opened up. Madam Speaker, I would like to request the ministry to consider Musita-Mayuge road. This road has taken long without being repaired or maintained; it has a lot of bumps and potholes. They should request these contractors who are working on Iganga-Jinja road to maintain that road because they are using it do their work around that area.
 
Madam Speaker, I do not know what plans does the ministry have for Kampala because some parking spaces have been moved away. For example, we are not supposed to park on Entebbe road, I do not know where people are supposed to park when they are going to Centenary Bank. At least they would improvise some space for the cars to park instead of roaming about in the vehicle. When you park in unauthorized area you are fined; so, I think the ministry should work on that road so that we do not end up getting fines. Thank you.
1.27
MR SIMON DUJANGA (Okoro County, Nebbi): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like also to thank the Committee for a good report. I have a few observations mainly on page 8, that is traffic congestion in Kampala City and road safety.
 
My first observation is that whereas some roads were made one-way some of these roads have become worse. A case in point is Burton Street, which is made one-way half the way and the other half is dual still; it causes a lot of confusion and Burton Street actually joins Wilson road, which is now more congested than before. So, my appeal to the authorities concerned with arranging the roads in the city should be that they should not be rigid. Let them make some roads one-way and then review because now Wilson road is a nightmare; and those coming from Arua Park on Burton Street when they meet at King Fahad Plaza they do not know what to do, because when you are coming from the DP headquarters, Burton Street is one-way; you reach King Fahad, all of a sudden it is a dual carriage. So, I do not know what criteria they used but they should review these cases. Luwum Street is now free of traffic as a result of making it a one-way. So, I appeal to them to review these cases because they are making the situation worse.
 
The other thing I would like to comment on, Madam Speaker, is that most of the road users we have today do not pay due respect to highway code, especially taxi drivers. They do not respect the highway code and that contributes to the congestion in the city. So, some emphasis should be made on that as well.
 
Then the clamping of cars, I do not know who these people are- I do not know what law they are using- multiplex - whatever they are called. They are clamping peoples cars and this is not a civilized way of doing things. If somebody has done something wrong, just put an invoice on his car and if he does not heed then you can follow him and clamp his car. You find a car parking in the wrong place; you clamp it and make it stationary there and hence causing congestion. I would like these people to have human face when they are applying these rules. Some people are unduly delayed because these people clamp the cars and go away. They do not come back until after six hours to release these people as if they are there to punish them. So, I would like them to have a human face on this issue.
 
Finally, we should educate the public about things like breathalysers and speed guns before we implement the law. Speed guns, Madam Speaker, are instruments, which estimate the speed. If you are over-speeding on Entebbe road they shoot it at you and then it tells the Policeman that that man is over speeding. But I can say this from a position of knowledge that some speed guns tell lies depending on how much noise is around them. So, we should know the source of these speed guns, test them and above all let us inform the public. For example, there are breathalysers that when they get you at night going home they make you breath in some equipment and then say UShs 250,000 or in a cell. Now people are saying, how many beers should we take? They say, So many milligrams and so forth. Why not tell this person, We want you to take two beers or three or four or five or none. We do not understand these things. How many beers should we take? Is it two beers or a glass of wine? But above all, we would like to be informed that from now on we are going to apply this approach. There should be information in advance other than surprising people at night with no coin in their pocket and make them sleep in the Police cell. I thank you.
 
1.31
MR JOHN AACHILLA (Jie County, Kotido): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would also like to thank the Committee for the fair job done. I want to be more specific, and I would like to highlight by asking two peasantry questions. When you look at the table on page 2, which extends to page 3, Mr Chairman, the other time before you made this report I met you and we discussed a number of issues related to my constituency and the broader area of Karamoja. Really, when you look at this table, just as a matter of showing balance and good will, why is there no mention of any success story in the Karamoja region? This is a peasantry question. My peasants are saying the Ministry of Works is vital as you have mentioned in your report, but there is nothing that is successful. You reported very well in the policy statement that many bridges are supposed to be rehabilitated. You have also highlighted one of the most dangerous bridges I have in my constituency; it is among the 66 bridges. The actual fact is that if you compare this document and the State of Nation Address by the President and the many promises that the ministry has ever made which vital information should we take as serious information. Is it what you report or is it the implementation of what the President promises? These are peasants asking me but represented by me now.
 
Come to page 4, Madam Speaker, really we are talking of maintenance of entire road networks and bridges as a situation that should really propel us to monitor the conditions of our roads. Madam Speaker, I would like in lieu of what I have just mentioned - my hon. Friend Abura Pirir talked about it - when is he coming to Karamoja.
 
The other day I went with members of the Tourism, Trade and Industry Committee to my region. In fact, between Kotido and Kidepo we made more walking than really driving and they saw the problem which was there. In order for you to express that this Parliament represents the whole regions of the country why dont you have the courtesy to call there and look at the roads? I am not looking at only the services rendered, but even people are asking about the technical persons that are representatives in these areas. It is so bad that if you went there most of the bridges are non-existent. Mr minister, in Kotido they are saying your signature is not there. As Movement person really why cant you appear and put your signature there before you are reshuffled?
 
Lastly, Madam Speaker, this is about the facts, which are mentioned on page six, point three and four. This is in observance of the lack of performance in the districts and urban roads. This is so lamentable, if you went there it is so bad and we wondering under what benchmarks do we make accountability of the funds put under this sector? Is it through assumed mean or are we using extrapolated figures of what is happening just on table? The committee has pointed it very clearly, read bullet three and four on page 6 and you will see that there is a lot of information which is realistic. Do we assume, or we are doing the right thing, are we accountable, or we are imaginary? Thank you very much.
 
1.36
MR AVITUS TIBARIMBASA (Ndorwa County East, Kabale): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I have to make some remarks on about six points. One is on road reserve policy, this one, hon. Alaso has given some brief about it. But I also want to give this information to the House that I belong to Public Accounts Committee and there was a query about some road reserve buildings on Entebbe road and this was in the financial year 2001/02. We agreed with Ministry of Works officials to organize a meeting for members of Public Accounts Committee so that we would go and find out why those buildings are still hanging along the road. The clerk to the committee is seated here, he remembers, we are now in 2004/05, that meeting has never been organized. So one wonders, if there is a policy on road reserve? When are you are paying this person to vacate the road reserve before you construct a road? What is the problem if there is already a policy? So, I think the problem there is lack of implementation.
 
Secondly, Madam Speaker, is the question of congestion in Kampala and this one if you remember very well in last years budget, the Ministry of Finance had promised to start constructing flyovers. We ended the year, no explanation to the public, what happened and now a recommendation is coming back? Otherwise some work should have started on these flyovers last financial year.
 
The other point was on Bugiri road and this was been covered. Another point is on Busunju, Kiboga, Hoima road. Somebody has put a question that who is actually responsible because there is what we call commitment control system? Do you start work before you identify the funds? I first passed through that road, I think in the year 2001/02 December and I passed again through that road last year, the situation is pathetic. Who is responsible? Was the contractor put on site before identifying the funds? I would like to be updated on that.
 
Madam Speaker, the other point is on housing sub sector. We are told that about 50 percent are semi permanent and the remaining 30 percent are grass-thatched huts. Madam Speaker, Namugongo area, was handled by Ministry of Works. It was turned from a common mans slum area to a rich mans slum area. There is no plan at all how houses have been put up. What is the problem? You destroy a slum and turn it into another grade of a slum area? I want to be updated.
 
There is this question of giving money from pool houses to those people who are Government employees, and they did not benefit from the pool-housing scheme. This thing has been with us, who is supposed to implement it? Money is there, but the policy cannot be implemented. Where is the problem?
 
Lastly, Madam Speaker, is on these markets along the roads, has the Ministry of Works, Communications and Housing got any policy to control these people because these are sources of accidents. When a vehicle has stopped, these chaps fly from the sides carrying foodstuffs and they do not take care to know that there is another car coming, so these areas are prone to accidents. I would like to know from the minister or from the chairman of the Committee whether there is a policy to govern these markets along the roads? Thank you.
 
1.41
MS JANET NANTUME (Buikwe County West, Mukono): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I also want to thank the Committee for the report. However, I am going to dwell on only one thing in the interest of time. This is concerning the road safety. I want to agree that actually there is need for us to look at this problem critically just as the Committee has mentioned. I had a chance this year for Mukono district to host the Health Day and they chose the venue to be in Lugazi.
 
A few days after we had that very terrible accident where over 40 people were actually burnt in that accident and 16 bodies were buried in a mass grave. That is a day when we were exposed to a number of gadgets, which are very essential as far as road safety is concerned. I had read about the gadgets and I did not know that actually they existed in Uganda, but there were a number of them and we had a number of paper information, which had to be passed out to people in a way to combat this problem.
 
But I thought that maybe after that day a lot of work was going to be done to ensure that we save a lot of people who are dying in road accidents. Remember these are our taxpayers. But I am not so satisfied with the way the committee has come up with the recommendation. I think we need to be a bit more serious. The way the committee has looked at it, they have not internalised it.
 
Similarly, they have not come up with a very sound recommendation to show the seriousness of this matter. Several times we have spotted out those black spots for the Ministry of works where a lot of accidents occur now and then, and which lead to the death of a number of people. Some of these problems actually are a responsibility of the ministry, like the shoddy work during road construction. So, when I find that other areas are concerned about the way their roads are being constructed, I think they have a reason. This is a road, which has taken more than five years. Ever since it was constructed, we have been having problems at Kitega where stones were not properly mixed with the tar, and now and then when it is hot, it is slippery so we get accidents there.
 
When it is cold and it is raining, it is slippery, we get accidents there and it involves a number of people. This is also where the issue of road reserves comes in. When we find such areas where accidents occur so frequently, why doesnt Government come up and demarcate those areas as road reserves such that our people move away? So, I am appealing to Government to come up strongly to activate that policy of road and railway reserves before many of our people die. I thank you.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, I have noted a few more people who would like to contribute, but it is past 1.40 p.m. I would like to suspend the House until 2.45 p.m., and we shall only utilise half an hour to conclude this business of the Ministry of Works then proceed to Ministry of Agriculture. So, we suspend the House until 2.45 p.m.
 
(The House was suspended at 1.45 p.m.)
 
(On resumption at 2.54 p.m. _)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: On Monday, I informed you that one of the prominent Ugandan Musicians in the person of Elly Wamala had passed away. We did stand for one minute of silence, but there has been a request from his family that he be recognized. Although we are busy with the budget, I will give this matter exactly ten minutes. So, Minister, please move the motion, Mrs Wamala and the family; and the Ugandan Musicians are up there in the Gallery.
 
MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION TO PAY TRIBUTE TO THE LATE ELISHAMA WAMALA
 

2.56

THE MINISTER OF STATE, GENDER AND CULTURAL AFFAIRS (Mr SamBitangaro): Thank you, Madam Speaker. This is a motion for a resolution of Parliament to pay tribute to the late Elishama Wamala, a distinguished musician of Uganda. This motion is moved under rule 45 of our Rules of Procedure.
 
WHEREAS Parliament notes with deep sorrow the untimely demise of the late Elishama Wamala, which occurred on the 22nd day of August 2004;
 
AWARE that the late Elishama Wamala has been a person of good repute and integrity, and whose music and songs held Uganda in high esteem;
 
CONSCIOUS of the late Elishama Wamalas love for his country and human rights, which made him serve his nation with dignity and honour, promote unity in diversity through music and the art;
 
APPRECIATING the late Elishama Wamalas ability to mobilize, educate and counsel Ugandans on previous, current and future social and political issues for the existence a better Uganda;
 
NOTING the exemplary promotion of the Uganda languages and culture exhibited by the late Wamala through his compositions that have always been in one of the Ugandan languages and culture, thereby sustaining and earning the Ugandan languages and culture international recognition;
 
NOTING further the contribution of the late Wamala to the intellectual heritage of Uganda, having sustained the music industry in Uganda since 1955 to-date.
 
ADMIRING the humble and respectful character of the Ugandan Musician of the millennium who had respect for all regardless of age, status or social background, which made the late Wamala a role model, artist and citizen, who should be emulated by other artists and citizens of Uganda;
 
Now therefore, this Parliament resolves as follows:
 
That it collectively conveys its deep condolences to the family, relatives, friends, artists and the nation as a whole upon the loss of this gallant and industrious son of Uganda;
 
That it takes cognisance of the distinguished services rendered and contributions made by him to the nation, not only as a musician, but also as a servant of the people of Uganda.
 
Madam Speaker, I beg to move.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. Can we have the seconder?
 
2.59
MR KEN LUKYAMUZI (Lubaga Division South, Kampala): Thank you very much. Madam Speaker, I stand to second the motion. Elishama Wamala was a distinguished son of Uganda, who devoted most of his life to the promotion of music in our motherland, Uganda.
 
He loved and practiced music right from childhood. He was one of the first batch of students to receive a Diploma in Music, Dance and Drama at Makerere University. He is a former Lecturer at the Uganda Management Institute; he is also a former Director of Uganda Television.
 
He has achieved quite a lot and out of his achievements, I have managed to sort out the following: He is the founder of the Musicians Club in 1989. He is a recipient of the Pearl of Africa Life Time Achievement Award; he is a recipient of the Best Artist of the Century Award.
 
Out of his most outstanding compositions were musical themes like Nkole Mpakase - Let me work hard to meet the high demand; Viola, Leticia, Emirina, May, and Welcome to Uganda, Your Holiness, Pope Paul. We still remember him globally because of that contribution. (Applause) Above all was the invention of the song, which addresses the problems of the ordinary people, the Boda Boda and more so another one called Twalyako byetwalya - The past was glorious. Lastly was one song called Talanta 
 
Madam Speaker, if I was to analyse briefly what Elly Wamala stood for I would say as follows:
 
His tenor voice was exciting; he had spectacular composition skills, he cared a great deal about the results of his musical instruments; that is why in most of his compositions the instruments, including saxophones, talked ahead of his sweet melodious words that he selected. Whenever he sang he would have indicated that he has already sang. The instruments talked to man and woman. He talked and sang gloriously.
 
Madam Speaker, in summary, his success in music had a notable bearing with the conception of character sketches comparable to the fine artistic works of Rembrandt, Leonard Da Vinci, Vincent Goya to mention but a few significant global artists. Leticia, Emilina and Viola are good explosive cases in point.
 
Finally, Madam Speaker, as an individual, I will never forget Elly Wamalas role in building my political career. At school, he spotted some debating talents in me; he was then the Director of UTV. He assigned me some roles in the production of a youth programme on UTV. Later on he associated me with the production for the topic for discussion programme, again on UTV. I got closer to very strong prolific speakers at that time like Adok Nekyon, Charles Alison, Simon Kapepe, Oding Odinga from Kenya.
 
Finally, Madam Speaker, if there is any oratorical prowess in me, it is to a great extent attributed to Elly Wamala the man who brought me into the limelight of activity at a very tender age. I would like to pay tribute to that great man; he cared for others, even the small ones like me at that time.
 
Uganda has lost one of the most talented stars in music. Elly Wamala was a spectacular composer; he was developmental, he was also successful in presenting, and above all, he was a man of joy, a performer of excellence. I beg to support the motion.
 
3.04
MR MIKE SEBALU (Busiro County East, Wakiso): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. On behalf of the people of Busiro East, I would like to pay tribute to one of the distinguished sons of this country who has lived an exemplary life and has excelled in his area of specialisation with a very high degree of commitment, discipline and determination. As I pay tribute to the late Elishama Wamala, I would like to thank the widow, Rebecca, who is in our midst, the children and the Ugandan Performing Artists as well as the Parliament of Uganda, for having accepted to pay tribute to our distinguished departed son.
 
Elishama Wamala was a musician, he was a leader in political leadership and he was an LCIII leader for very many years. Indeed, due to his exemplary leadership, he was one time elected a chairman in absentia. He was in London but the people elected him and just called him to come back to take the mantle of leadership. That is the kind of trust that he enjoyed amongst the people.
 
He was a church leader, very active in church and above all he was a family man. He loved his children and educated them very well and those of them that are assembled here, he has got in them very many graduates in Law and other distinguished professions. He loved his wife and he had time for his family.
 
As a community leader, he was a role model, he had time for the community, he was a good mobilizer and he was a very cooperative person.
 
Elishama Wamala as a musician or an artist: He is the best Ugandan artist that we have ever had; a musician of the century, a palm award winner, a decent musician, a man of integrity, very smart, humble and polite, likeable and amiable with a high sense of humour. He was a highly talented in creativity and provided good analysis of society through his music and very perfectionist in his way of doing work.
 
His death was a kind of a reunion; those of us who attended it right from the National Theatre up to the burial in Kyengera, it brought together people of all walks of life. You can imagine a situation where hon. Lukyamuzi, Mr Nasser Sebaggala and Maj. Kakooza Mutale are in one tent; that clearly shows that this man had what it takes to bring people together even in their diversity.
 
Elishama Wamala was a music star without controversy. You know that stars are prone to controversy but he was a star without controversy or scandal and yet he was around for sometime in that field. His musical career spans about half a century and that is definitely above the life expectancy of Ugandans. So his career was much more than many of us in this House, the kind of life we have led. Those of us who are in 30s, 40s his career of 50 years is over and above most of us. So that is something to write home about.
 
How do we remember this distinguished personality? The best way we can do it, as Parliament, is to ensure that the Copyright Law is enacted. This is the only way we can protect our performers so that they can benefit from their intellectual property. Elly Wamala had a series of composition but if this law is not put in place, his family stands never to benefit. So the only way we can pay tribute to Elly Wamala is to have this law in place so that we protect and promote those people who take time for creativity. It involves a lot of brainwork and intellectual capacity for someone to come up with those ideas.
 
Secondly, we should involve artists in Government programmes like advocacy work so that they make their meaningful contribution to society and the development of this country. May his soul rest in peace.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, hon. Member. This is a straightforward motion; I do not expect any opposition from anybody in this Chamber. So I would like now to put the question that this Parliament collectively conveys its deep condolence to the family, relatives, friends and nation as a whole upon the loss of this gallant and industrious son of Uganda.
 
Two that this Parliament takes cognisance of the distinguished services rendered and contributions made by the late Wamala to the nation not only as a musician but as a servant of Uganda.
 
(Question put and agreed to.)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members I hope the family is now satisfied that the country has paid tribute to their late member of the family. You are welcome to sit there and watch the proceedings.
 
MR JACK SABIITI: There are two issues that I would like to comment on as far as the Minister of Works is concerned, could you please allow me two minutes (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I have called hon. Namaggwa; she is sitting there, not Sabiiti.
 
MR SABIITI: But I was requesting that if I can be availed the opportunity (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can you allow hon. Namaggwa, who is sitting on the right side to speak.
 
3.09
MS SAUDA NAMAGGWA (Woman Representative, Masaka): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I would like to join the people who contributed in the morning on the Report, which was presented by the Committee on Works, Housing and Communications. I thank the Chairperson for the report, which was well done, and the Ministry and Government as a whole for the progress that has been made in this sector. Although we have had problems within it, I think there is tremendous progress as far as transport and communications are concerned.
 
However, Madam Speaker, allow me to request the ministry to do its overseeing role beyond Kampala and go to the districts. The district roads leave a lot to be desired. I can give you an example of what is happening in Masaka. Probably the tendering system has not established a standard of how these roads should be done. Some of the roads have been repaired properly, but turned into anthills. They have been made too narrow, yet too high. As a result, two vehicles bypass one another. Even a motorcycle rider would have to get off the road to allow the vehicle to pass otherwise the motorcycle would be thrown into a ditch. So, I call on the Minister to extend his services of site seeing to ensure that actually the district roads are made properly.
 
I would also like to invite the Minister to think of the accidents that are occurring on the roads. As someone from Masaka, I feel overwhelmed by what is going on the Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara road. I have another branch, Kampala-Masaka-Rakai, but on that trench I do not have as many accidents as I have on Kampala-Masaka-Mbarara Road. I do not know what is happening. So, I am here to request the Minister of transport to request Government to look into this matter.
 
Madam Speaker, the last two days I looked at the research resources and found that Uganda is the second in the World next to Ethiopia with the fatal accidents. I think if we looked at areas that are major in experiencing accidents, Masaka could be the first. I would like to remove Masaka from this map so that we talk about positive things rather than negative things. If we looked at accidents, they cost a lot; they cost human life, they cost our equipment, property and a lot of other things. So, could the Minister tell us whether they have put up some measures to ensure that accidents are reduced? I would like to invite the Minister to link up with the other ministries like the Ministry of Internal Affairs so that actually a programme of reducing accidents is made. Does the Minister think that it is because of poor construction of roads that is causing accidents or something else? Has he done some research to try to minimize them? Let us know what is happening in terms of accidents.
 
Finally, Madam Speaker, I would like to take note of what has taken place in Kampala; actually Kampala has moved a great deal. I request the Minister to thank the Mayor, who has put the measures in place to improve on our transport. There is tremendous progress for drivers like me in Kampala. If we do not recognize this, we will not encourage him, but I would like to encourage him to do more work in terms of improving transport in Kampala. I thank you.
 
3.14
DR KASIRIVU ATWOOKI (Bugangaizi County, Kibaale): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I also thank the committee for a good report. Madam Speaker, there is one assignment that I want to give the committee, that is, to make sure that this financial year they prevail over the Communication sector and the two companies, which are dealing with communication network, to look into the issue of airtime charging and come back with a report possibly in three months time.
 
Madam Speaker, I also want to thank the Committee for recommending that the ministry should as soon as possible upgrade at least one road per constituency. I am sure Bugangaizi should be among the first constituencies to benefit because we should not remain lost.
 
Madam Speaker, the issue of Busunju-Hoima Road, I cannot sit without talking about it. I want to thank the committee for having gone as far as Kiboga to visit that road. I am sure they will live to their commitment that they will go as far as Hoima, and also visit some of the river crossings in the lost counties in Kibaale. Madam Speaker, much as the ministry worked on the river crossings and constructed bridges, we still have a lot of bridges in Kibaale, which should also be brought on board. When the committee goes there and makes on-spot assessment, I am sure the ministry will respond and include those bridges the committee will have seen on their programme.
 
Madam Speaker, on the ten-year development programme of the Ministry of Works, some time in the 6th Parliament tarmacking of Kyenjojo-Hoima-Masindi-Kigumba Road was around No. 4 or 5, but it seems that road has since disappeared from the list. I am making a very serious point and therefore I need to be given assurance whether that road is still on programme. It is a tourist road, which would connect Queen Elizabeth and Murchison Falls National Park. So, it is very viable and it should be - Actually, Madam Speaker, that time in the 6th Parliament when we talked about the Busunju-Hoima Road the Ministry of Works used to tell us that the Kyenjojo-Hoima-Masindi road was more viable, but nobody now is talking about it.
 
Madam Speaker, as I wind up, I wanted to get an explanation from the ministry. The shifting of RAFU from Communications House, did they acquire property of their own, or are they -(Interruption)
 
(The House experienced a brief power cut.)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, let me suspend the House for five minutes (Interjections). You want to stay here? Okay let us stay here. The Minister of Agriculture was going to check on the power. Okay, let us continue. Please wind up.
 
DR KASIRIVU: Madam Speaker, before we were interrupted by electricity, I was trying to request for clarification from the minister regarding the shifting of RAFU, and wondering whether RAFU had acquired its own property or they are renting? That is what I wanted to get and therefore find out, what is the rationale of moving from a government house to another property? If they are renting, then some reprimand must be made.
 
Madam Speaker, on page 5, the committee has again brought out the matter this Parliament has been debating, the behaviour of Ministry of Finance. Madam Speaker, the Minister should not see or hear our comments and take them in bad faith. That strengthens our argument that the Ministry of Finance must be restructured or re-organised.
 
There is a Road Sector Steering Committee Secretariat in Finance  Yes even if they have the money and they are supposed to dish it out, but who knows anything about roads in Finance! Who? PMA Finance, what Finance! Madam Speaker, I think the biggest problem of this government is Ministry of Finance. There are certain things, which are not moving because of Ministry of Finance. It might be necessary for this Parliament to institute a committee to investigate the performance of Ministry of Finance, and I think the motion should be moved. So, I thank you.
 
3.23
MR EDWARD WESONGA (Bubulo County West, Mbale): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Allow me also to join my colleagues who have already thanked the Committee of Works. I thank the Ministry officials for the report well done. Madam Speaker, while I have thanked the officials in their own capacities, I also wish to deliver the thanks from my electorates for the attention that the ministry rendered to my constituency although not to all parts.
 
Madam Speaker, like as if I am seconding my colleague in Parliament saying that that is a preamble, Madam Speaker as I talk  Madam Speaker protection please.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, hon. Wesonga has now got two minutes and fifteen seconds.
 
MR WESONGA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker. As I talk now, I wanted the ministry to bear with me over two issues. One, I thank the senior Minister and the Minister in-charge of Communications although in future I will thank the junior Minister in-charge of roads who has not visited my constituency yet. I am sure you saw what is on the ground. To make the matters worse, for some of you who read in the papers; Mt Elgon is threatening and for people to run away from trouble in Bubulo West, one must cross a huge river. Lighten our darkness we beseech you Lord.
 
Madam Speaker, our worry is that while we thank Government through the ministry for the one bridge, which is not, like on page 2 of the report, sighted anywhere but I will help the chairman of the Committee on Works to bring it  You know, to tell this House that the people of Bubulo West are so grateful about the bridge of Buweswa and they pray that since in your own arrangement you have informed this House that you are yet to construct  (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Wesonga, so far you are just thanking and thanking. I do not know, do you have any problem in  (Laughter)
 
MR WESONGA: Madam Speaker, I am overwhelmed. Madam Speaker let me proceed. While you have given us 66 bridges, which are are already designed, my question to the Minister is that is Buwagogo Bridge on board? Is Butuwa Bridge on board or is Mungasa Bridge on board? The situation is serious and dangerous and we do not know how we shall escape from the eruption of Mt. Elgon.
 
Madam Speaker, the observations I can make on the report is on the issue of MTN, Celtel and UTL. You know when you do not regulate, and if the chairman responsible for the Commission that is supposed to regulate the costs of those business people; the Celtel, MTN and the rest, are aware that at times instead of going for sixty seconds, one takes money at a mere 30 seconds and takes full pay and up to now you do not know what you can do and yet even the Commission has no solution. What about the poor peasant? Go to my Constituency, everybody who wants to talk to me beeps or rings and he does not know the cost. When MTN tells you that very soon you will be cut off, by the time the computer girl stops, the phone is off. Madam Speaker, I would request that the Ministry takes a serious note over that and protects this country from exploiters.
 
Madam Speaker, on page 5, my colleagues have made a number of observations, but my worry is about a sector supervising itself, at the end of the day the same sector signs a certificate for work; it is dangerous. Therefore the Ministry of Finance, Works and these other projects like RAFU should have separate of responsibilities when transacting for Government. I hope from now the ministry will take it as a serious matter for Wesonga to supervised himself, approve the work he is supposed to do and authorize payment; in international regulations, it is illegal. I thank you, Madam Speaker.
 

3.30

MR AGGREY AWORI (Samia-Bugwe North, Busia): Thank you, Madam Speaker. I rise to express concern on a number of difficulties that I have experienced in this particular ministry. Madam Speaker, as much as I agree with some of the recommendations by the committee, I would like to point out that there have been a little bit timid in pointing out difficulties and recommendations.
 
Madam Speaker, when you look at page 9 of the report - I am addressing the issue of Malaba-Busia-Bugiri road. In section (iii) they produced a report on what went wrong but not who was responsible. What kind of double talk is this?
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Awori, hon. Guma went on at length on that matter for twenty minutes; could you choose something else, because it is already in the Hansard.
 
MR AWORI: Thank you, Madam Speaker, as a matter of fact, my recommendation to this particular item is that we are going to move a motion in this august House to cause a commission of inquiry into what happened in this particular road. There is more to it than we read in this particular report. Madam Speaker, there is a lot more to this particular situation, but given your ruling that we spent a lot of time on it, I should not belabour it.
 

Madam Speaker, I quickly move to the second point - aviation transport. I am expressing concern about safety at Entebbe Airport. The current radar that we are using is a military one - (The House experienced a brief power cut) - Madam Speaker, I find it difficult to speak -
 

THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: When you cannot see me?
 
MR AWORI: When I cannot see you. (Laughter)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay proceed, hon. Awori.
 
MR AWORI: Madam Speaker, it is just our nature in my culture that when it is dark you do not talk.
 
Madam Speaker, I am sure the Minister is aware that recently we had an inspection group from the United States to determine whether Entebbe Airport could be a point of origin for an aircraft to fly directly from here to the United States destination. We have yet to qualify in that category, and I am asking the ministry to take up this matter urgently because we want to use Entebbe Airport to take our goods to the United States directly without going through diversionary stops. So, I hope they can look at the report on the recommendations of the United States.
 
Madam Speaker, again at the Airport, not long ago we expressed concern about the way we were being mishandled by presidential security. Is it possible for you to put in your plan that next time round, let us move the VIP terminal away from the current commercial terminal to the old Airport and make it what they call General Aviation Terminal, that is for private aircrafts plus presidential so that the President and his VIPs are away from the commercial terminal. They create a great inconvenience, not only to us, but also to themselves. The facility is there, the infrastructure is in place; the Presidential Jet hanger is in place. So, I do not see why we continue to have the President landing on the other side inconveniencing a lot of us; even a presidential guard cannot perform his duties correctly.
 
Madam Speaker, again talking about airports, I was horrified to see in the press that among other things they are recommending to have Kampala International Airport. What are you thinking about? Why do you want to have another airport here 20 minutes away from another International Airport? Why do you want to waste money like this? Absolute madness! On top of that, we have got Gulu Airport, which has the longest runway in East Africa, why cant we use it to initially put up for the purpose of jet fighters. If they can be redeemed, we can use not only for commercial aviation, but also to promote tourism because it is the nearest airport to tourism.
 
I am happy to note that Arua now is being upgraded to handle international aviation for the purpose of servicing Southern Sudan and Eastern Zaire. Why dont you also expand and improve on Gulu Airport? LRA is not bad enough to scare us away from such an important facility.
 
Marine transport: I am happy that now have transport from Kalangala to the mainland. But also the matter of CHOGUM; when CHOGUM comes next year, I do not know what the Minister has in plan.  The way I see it, between Munyonyo and Entebbe Airport, you could have a speedboat such as a haul craft such as we have across the Channel between England and France. From Munyonyo to Entebbe, it will take no more than fifteen or thirty minutes. If we have a haul craft, definitely we shall be relieving pressure on the road between Entebbe and Kampala. Aviation or marine transport is the cheapest you can get; you do not have to maintain that particular road, it is almost cost free; and buying such a haul craft is no more than US $ 5 million; it is an established fact. You can go on the Internet, punch in information, it will come out, that you can have a haul craft that can carry 150 passengers plus so many other cars. So, when this Summit comes, why do we not do that? And in terms of developing infrastructure, it is already in place. Munyonyo is there, we have a marine port, we have a marine facility at Entebbe Airport. So, Madam Speaker, I am recommending to the hon. Minister to seriously look into this.
 
Last but not least, we would like to make Entebbe Airport a hub for cargo in Eastern and Central Africa. The Minister is aware that aircraft that pick up cargo from Nairobi at high altitude have to take less fuel. They actually prefer to pick up fuel from Entebbe where they can take maximum load, which can take them to any destination in Europe. If we can do that, definitely we are going to realize more revenue from selling fuel to various international carriers. Why dont we develop that facility?
 
While we are doing that, Madam Speaker, the capacity for us to keep fuel reserves at Entebbe Airport have yet to be developed properly. We have those small tanks around, in case of difficulties to get fuel from Mombasa or Dar-er-salaam, Entebbe Airport will not be serviceable within 14 days; the fuel reserves there cannot last us 14 days. I wish the Minister, in his response can tell us about the capacity to hold fuel. In terms of an emergency, how long can we hold out without getting fuel from Mombasa? So, Madam Speaker, I call upon the hon. Minister to expand on fuel reserves.
 
I want to talk about the radar. As I said a few minutes ago, the radar we are using right now is a military one and ILO laws we have there are also of a military nature, the landing system there. So it is really important, especially before CHOGUM, that we acquire our own civilian radar and it is not too much money; it is about three million dollars. This equipment should be put in place. I beg to move.
 
3.50
MR JACK SABIITI (Rukiga County, Kabale): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I thank the chairman and his committee for the good report. I also thank the Minister and his staff for doing their statutory duty to look after transport services.
 
Madam Speaker, I have two technical comments to make and then one request. The request is that in the last Budget, there was a statement that Muhanga-Kisizi-Rukungiri Road would be repaired but it was never repaired. Although I had been promised that it was going to be taken over by the Central Government, but I do not see it in this years Budget either. So could the Minister let me know what I should tell the people of Rukiga.
 
Madam Speaker, the technical matter: On page 15 the committee observes,
On the sale of civil servants pool houses, there is no clear plan on where and how the Shs 25 billion realized from the sale of pool houses is going to be deployed.  
 
They further state: The Committee was informed that part of this fund was put to the disposal of Housing Finance Company of Uganda to lend to the public for housing development.
 
Madam Speaker, we continue not to follow the rules and laws and even the Constitution in this country; at times we find ourselves in unnecessary debates. Under what law is this money being dished out without the authority and Act of Parliament? I want that clearly explained on the Floor of this Parliament.
 
Madam Speaker, Article 159(2) of the Constitution states:
 
The Government shall not borrow, guarantee or raise a loan on behalf of itself, any other public institution, authority or person except as authorized by an Act of Parliament. 
 
Now, once these houses are sold, Madam Speaker, the money is supposed to go directly to the Consolidated Fund Account and then it is appropriated, either we appropriate this money and hand it over to that institution so that money is legally put to use. In the absence of an Act of Parliament it is illegal to borrow and lend money from this Fund. So I want an explanation from the hon. Minister of Finance and from the Minister of Works, Housing and Communications.
 
Madam Speaker, I am also bothered very much with the pledges. On page 18, under (6) it states:
The under-performance of the sector affects the implementation of the Presidential manifesto with so many road pledges which have remained unfulfilled.
 
Madam Speaker, the uncoordinated decision making in the Executive regarding priority setting and finance management will continue to distort finance management in this country. When you are looking for votes you have a manifesto to implement in a given year. Later, you go to ministries, they come up with policy statement to put what you wanted or what you want done in that manifesto and half way during that financial year your pledges are nearly half of the Budget. Surely, I do not understand how we are going to manage this country! I do not know whether we are going to implement the pledges we have yet we have a budget every year. We are supposed to implement what we have put in the Budget, so that means we have no clear direction how to manage our finances in this country. So I appeal to the relevant ministers, those who will go nearer to the President, if they can whisper in his ears that it is really necessary to make sure that we adhere to the Budget after the priorities of the Executive have been set.
 
Lastly, Madam Speaker, I am given to understand from the last page that the money given to this great ministry is Shs 367.6 billion for Development Expenditure and Shs 27.0 for Recurrent Expenditure. But when we look at the draft estimates, which were given to us, I have been calculating, I found that nearly 28 percent is from donor funds. The funds that have already been identified and promised by donors to be in this Budget have been removed. Now, if this money has been removed and already has given to the country, it may not already be in the Consolidated Fund Account, but if they Budget by less 25 percent and we do not authorize it, when this money comes, where will it go? So, I am asking the Minister of Finance to clearly inform Parliament where this money is going.
 
If you look at page 17, the money we always give to the ministry is released and yet in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development it is near to what we budgeted for. So at times money disappears and we do not know where it is going. So I am worried about this 25 percent and most of it is in dollars. I want the Minister of Finance to explain this matter so that this money is extended (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Clarification from the custodian of the dollars.  
 
MR SABIITI: I should finish my statement.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think he is clarifying on where the money is.
 
MR SABIITI: At least let me finish my sentence.
 
MR RUKUTANA: Thank you, Madam Speaker. The issue of discounting donor funds by 25 percent arose before the committee and my colleague holding the Floor was present, and we explained. Our explanation is as follows: judging from the past performance of donor funds, no donor funds are disbursed 100 percent. The average has been a disbursement of 75 percent of the committed amounts. So, in order to do balanced budgeting, we found it necessary to appreciate the reality of what actually happens every year. That is why we said that the provisions from donors, we must have all of them discounted by 25 percent, just to appreciate what normally happens in reality.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Please, conclude, hon. Sabiiti.
 
MR SABIITI: Madam Speaker, this is a very dangerous decision. It is a decision that is going to distort the entire budgeting process and I may as well ask him this question. Even for the locally generated funds we have never hit the target. Why have you not discounted 25 percent from the locally generated funds?
 
In any case this is money given to the country and Parliament is actually authorized to look at this money when we are budgeting. If you put it aside, should we now ask our donors that Please, remove 25 percent because the Government of Uganda is saying they only want 75 percent? This is money that has been given by the donors. It must be in the Budget. If it does not come, or whatever percentage does not come, we discount it at the end of the year. Why are you discounting it now? If it comes, what are you going to do with this money? So, really there is a technical problem, which I want the minister to take note of, and this Parliament to resolve. With this, Madam Speaker, I thank you very much.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, I am aware that this report is very important; it touches the whole country but we have been on the Committee of Works since this morning. I am really pressed by time, so I would now like to ask the minister to respond and if there are matters, which have not been touched at all, we may allow one or two interjections. Minister, please respond and then the chairperson.
 
3.50
THE MINISTER OF WORKS, HOUSING AND COMMUNICATIONS (Mr John Nasasira): Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. First of all, let me also add my voice to those of honourable members by thanking the chairman and the committee for their report and the issues they raised. We in the ministry feel the report is balanced because it recognizes the achievements but also highlights other areas, which we appreciate.
 
Secondly, I would like to thank all the honourable members for their contribution and especially those who, as they were demanding for more services from the ministry, also as a preamble appreciated what we have done. So, we would like to thank them.
 
I will try to quickly go through the issues that were raised. I think about 20 people contributed. I want to make a few general comments from the committees report and then go to individual issues that were raised by honourable members. But of course there are other issues, which were touched by many members, for example on road safety, on issues like Bugiri-Malaba road and so on, on which I will make one general statement, and I hope that will answer all those who raised the same issues.
 
With respect to the report, on page 6, paragraph 4, the report says that the sector provides no data on the level of utilization of the road, and road equipment. They say there is absence of facts and figures on passengers, vehicles, and types of vehicles over a period of time. While we might not have the records for passengers, we have records for vehicles and their types, those that we think are on the road - and there are classifications. Even those that are new get registered every year. We have this in our data bank for a period going back 20 years. So, those records are there except for passengers, and I thought I should clarify on that.
 
With respect to paragraphs 8(a), (b) and (c), and this matter was also raised by a number of honourable members, this is to do with compensation. First of all, on Entebbe road there was a delay to demolish structures that were compensated for; these await finalization of the cadastral surveys, and a sub-division of the expected plots on new plans. Let me explain this. If we are going to widen the road reserve for our road and say you have land or a plot where we compensate part of it; the Minister of Lands tells you that you have a plot and we are taking part of it, not the whole plot. What we take and what remains, a survey has to be carried out and the title redefined and in order to do that, it takes time. Until the cadastral maps are worked out and the deed plans and titles are worked out, you do not straight away demolish because the person is waiting to finalise that. That is what has delayed.
 
There was another reason why we are cautious. The ministry was taken to court because when the demolition exercise started, the affected people took us to court because we had not finalised this. That is why we are moving more cautiously now.
 
The other issue was an example cited of the Jovenna oil depot at Namanve, and we are chasing this case. Let me also add that the problem of development of structures near the road reserve is not purely under us. We see the structure coming up after it has been approved. When buildings are going to be constructed, the process is that the developer prepares a plan, the plan goes to the appropriate authority for approval before construction, and the authority for approval - my ministry is not part of that authority - should be the one to see that the plan, structure and location are proper. Straight away if it is on the road reserve, they say, No, your plan is within the road reserve and we do not approve of it.
 
A lot of structures are approved without our input or without checking on the road reserve and people start developing, and in some cases we have been acting very harshly. If you check near Kevina House for example, I know that is one road we use often, and there are many like that; but let me use that one. You will see that somebody was trying to build a petrol station there and we stopped him. He went back and got approval, and we stopped him again, until we had to block the whole road off with guardrails. So, we have had our own battles but this needs the co-operation of the approving authority. You should not approve any structure to be constructed along the road without checking whether that land generally belongs to the developer or not, and that is part of the appointing authority, and a problem we are having.
 
However, I agree with honourable members and the report that we are trying to strengthen the policy on the road reserve. Our biggest problem has been our land policy. The land policy, taking the Constitution into account, was ahead of getting adequate land for roads. The road reserves were determined under the Road Act of 1964 and amended in 1965 and we have remained with those road reserves because there was always a provision - we shall acquire more land when we want it. And we passed the Constitution and now land belongs to the people. So what we are waiting for is a new law, which is coming, where Uganda will be one planning unit.
 
In other words, you cannot acquire more land now because then we will not do any road; it is too expensive to acquire land. What you will do is, when you declare Uganda a planning authority, then you will have laws or by-laws so that although there is private land, if the land is near the road, before you develop any permanent structure near the road, you have to get approval. And when we want to do dual carriageways and highways, we have to pay billions and billions of money, like we have paid for the Northern corridor, which we are going to launch tomorrow.
 
Madam Speaker, the committee also on page 8, on road safety, mentioned that there is no holistic and integrated plan involving stakeholders like the Ministry of Health ambulance system, Police and the civil society. I would like to clarify on this. There is a holistic and integrated plan for road safety, which we started working on in 1999 and now we have got a three-year road safety action plan, which started in 2002/03 and will end in 2006. We also have a five-year road safety improvement programme.
 
Let me mention a little of what this plan covers in phase I. This plan covers the production of the engineering design manuals, it covers the production of highway codes - and we launched the Highway Code in April this year - it covers the preparation for training curriculum for drivers, which we hope will be ready soon, it also has a curriculum for driver instructors (Interruption)
 
CAPT. GUMA: I do not know which one I should take and which one the House should take. The minister is saying on page 6, bulletin 4 (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, I think that is the chairmans report.
 
CAPT. GUMA: No, no, the minister on page 6 - you want to confuse me; I know what I want to talk about. The minister is saying on page 6, bulletin 4 that, No, the committee got it wrong, we have data on vehicles, types of vehicles and so on and so forth. It is bulletin 4, Madam Speaker, yes. The minister is now telling us that, No, the committee never saw the information, but we have it.
 
On road safety, page 8, he is also saying there is a holistic and integrated approach, which involves a, b, and c. So which one should we now take: the committee position or the ministers position? Is it that this committee never requested for this information from the ministry? I am now really at a loss. I want your guidance and the ministers guidance.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable minister, I do not know whether you have identified the areas.
 
MR NASASIRA: I have said that on paragraph 4. What we do not have are figures for road users such as passengers but we have always had a database for the types of vehicles and the number, and the classifications, for a long period. And I would like to lay those papers on the Table. (Laughter). We shall provide these to the committee for future work. Well, I am trying to make adjustments in the report. You make a report but sometimes you might find in the committees judgment where they might not have had information at that time  it was not there. So, it is better to harmonise this report and my contribution so that we move together.
 
On the other issue of the road safety -(Capt. Guma rose_)- maybe if hon. Guma had waited for me to finish, Madam Speaker.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Guma, there is information on road safety coming up.
 
MR NASASIRA: The committee is saying there is no holistic and integrated plan involving all stakeholders like the Ministry of Healths ambulance system, the Police and the civil society to address road accidents. I had started clarifying on that one. We have a holistic plan but what the committee is talking about is that the plan should involve the Police and Health, as one plan. So, I do not think there is a conflict there.
 
Here they are saying that there is no one plan integrating all this, and I was going to explain that. That is why I was telling you this. Now that you have the Highway Code, there is a plan to establish a road safety unit. In this road safety unit that is where the Police and all the rest will be. But it is in our plan.
 
As for assessing requirements for accidents from research and training of epidemiology, that is Health; and establishment of a public emergency ambulance system, that is Health. So, the committee is saying it is not there and I am saying, yes, although you are saying it is not there, this is our master plan, which we are executing up to 2006. It will be there, so there is no conflict. There is no conflict at all. I know 2006 rings many bells but our plan started in 2002.
 
What have we done in that comprehensive plan? Recently we issued the following regulations, which members will have seen even in the press. Drunken driving, I think there was an honourable member asking me how many bottles - I will come to that later. There are seat belts, speed limits, speed governors, crash helmets, rules of the road, expense penalty scheme, the use of mobile phones and weigh bridge regulations. All these are part of that plan that will address the holistic approach to road safety.
 
Madam Speaker, on page 9 the committee recommends that two functional weighbridges should be placed at Malaba and Busia to stop overloaded trucks from damaging our roads. We already have a weighbridge at Busia. There was one at Malaba but it was removed because we had to construct Malaba border post. Now that Malaba border post is finished, the weighbridge is being taken back to be installed.
 
In addition, because this road is from around Iganga, we have combined the Busia traffic and the Malaba traffic. We are putting another weighbridge at Iganga. It has been installed there at a place called Buseya, which is a new weighbridge site. So, on that corridor there will be three weighbridges. I thought I should highlight those before I went on to other issues that honourable members raised.
 
These ones also, I will try to deal with them very quickly in the interest of time, and we are always available in case there are any further clarifications. Madam Speaker, we are available to give these clarifications in the lobby, in our offices and in writing, knowing that we are approaching the 31st, the deadline for finishing the Budget.
 
Hon. Kayongo, the remaining works on Wakaliga road have been tendered out. That includes the shoulders and the rest that you raised. If there is a spring really that is in the road, and we have to build a road, somehow we have to divert this spring or close it; we cannot help it.
 
I did not understand the issue of the Bakuli to Nakulabye roundabout, but the roundabout is there. They were saying it is not there but it is there. Repairs will start on it, but BakuliNakulabye road belongs to the city council.
 
MRS ZZIWA: Thank you very much, honourable minister. The junction of BakuliNakulabye has two major problems, one of which is that as you leave old Kampala to Nakulabye, the turning there was made in such a way that drivers have a very big problem. We raised this to your office and I thought something was being done but nothing has been done yet.
 
Two, there are traffic lights now at that junction but the problem is that more often than not the electricity is not on. I think your ministry and maybe UEDCL have not had a joint plan and that is why you find there is more confusion than assistance that we have got out of this arrangement. So, I want to add it to the clarifications, which you are giving.
 
MR NASASIRA: That junction has been there for many years, both the road going to Old Kampala - what we did was to improve on it by bringing in traffic lights. I am aware that when you are coming from Old Kampala and people now in fact tend to pass through the petrol station - I am aware of that. We are looking at how to correct that. Eventually that road might be made a one-way so that it is only vehicles, which are going down that will use it. I am aware of that.
 
The other issue of power, those junctions have got standby generators, which can last for five hours. Unless the electricity is off for more than five hours, which is not often, they have got a standby generator, which should be working for five hours (Interruption)
 
MR OKUPA: On the issue of the lights, we have a problem on Jinja Road at the Spear Motors junction, it is now over two years and they are not working. Nakawa also has a problem; they are on and off. What is the problem? There are so many accidents happening. The Spear Motors junction as you go to Ntinda and then to Kyambogo, those lights have not been working for one and a half to two years now.
 
MR LULE MAWIYA: Madam Speaker, thank you very much. On the issue of standby generators, I would like the minister to clarify on what could be the problem with Natete traffic lights. These lights have been off for about two and a half months now. I do not know what could have gone wrong. I would like an explanation on that.
 
MR NASASIRA: The Nakawa, Spear Motors junction lights, those are an old type of traffic lights. I think Kampala City Council must be trying to sort them out; I am aware of that.
 
MR OKUPA: And the ones of Nakawa, Makerere University Business School?
 
MR NASASIRA: But at Nakawa the lights are working.
 
MR OKUPA: They are on and off.
 
MR NASASIRA: Okay, we shall look at them; we shall look at the lights together with Kampala City Council.
 
The railway to Juba; hon. Byamukama wanted to know about the Tanga-Musoma line. The Tanga-Musoma line is a project under the East African Community and it is still at a study stage. But the railway towards Juba is also important.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, you asked the minister questions, the minister is answering them, but you are discussing amongst yourselves.
 
MR NASASIRA: I have answered all the traffic light problems in total. The ministry, together with Kampala City Council, will look at the problems of traffic lights, or wherever they are.
 
The railway to Juba is also important, I can almost say even more important than the railway from Tanga. The Tanga-Musoma line was done to have a railway line dedicated to Uganda, but the Juba one is to attract business activities from Southern Sudan through Uganda and Kenya strategically because at the moment at least there is a railway line from Dar-es-Salaam. We wanted to have a dedicated railway line and that one is still being considered in the East African Community programme.
 
There was concern by hon. Kakooza about the central government inspectors in districts. We do inspect district work and a recent report was produced some time last year; we do it annually. What I will promise is that whenever these reports are done, they should be given to honourable members so that you can see our comments, what we are doing with the districts and how we are trying to improve on them.
 
There is a bigger programme for district roads where we are going to have technical teams at regional level. We have worked out a ten-year investment plan for district roads, and we are restructuring the whole of the district road programme. That should be coming soon. It will deal with those matters but at the end of the day it is money. If you do not have enough money to man the roads at the districts, they will still have these problems even if we solve the others.
 
Cheaper airtime: a lot of honourable members have complained that instead of one minute or 60 seconds, you get 30 or 40 seconds. This complaint has come to us; it is highly technical and UCC is investigating it. It is a problem that has come to us (Interruption)
 
MR NANDALA: Thank you very much Madam Speaker and thank you, honourable minister. In many countries, including Rwanda, they are charging per usage not for a full minute. At times you can call and you use 1.01 minutes, and MTN says that is two minutes. Then 59 seconds are stolen! Mr Minister, what have you done about that?
 
MR NASASIRA: I am also aware that Mango and Celtel are not charging per minute. So, it is up to you. That is why we brought in competition in Uganda. You choose the operator who charges you best and since most of them are rolling out -(Interjections)- yes, our current agreements - if you feel you do not want to be charged per minute as a customer, you move to where they are charging you per second.
 
MR OCHIENG: I thank you very much, Madam Speaker. I just want to inform the honourable minister that for a constituency like mine where we only have a monopoly operator, MTN, what do you tell the voters in that area to do? What are they going to choose from? I thank you.
 
MR MWONDHA: I thought the whole essence of having standards is to deal with such discrepancies? What would be the use of standards if one operator cannot comply and you simply ask the population to flee? It is not fair. The Communications Commission should work out standards that must be adhered to by these operators.
 
DR KASIRIVU: Thank you, Madam Speaker. At the risk of losing my friendship with the minister, the reason we have a government is that when concerns are raised, they must be addressed. You do not expect somebody in the lost counties to say, Because there is Celtel and Mango, therefore, let me switch over to another network. Somebody must be in charge! We have made a complaint and it must be addressed.
 
Madam Speaker, in my presentation I gave the committee three months to give us a report on what they have done about this airtime charging system - and we gave these people monopoly so they must conform.
 
CAPT. GUMA: Madam Speaker, I want the hon. Nasasira to help us. If he is talking about himself, and I, and other people, I can understand, we can find this out. But there are many illiterate people in the population who do not know what he is talking about. Until some time ago - I do not remember the fiscal year - MTN has been cheating the population. We did not know; we did not read the agreement. You just talk for 20 seconds and they say you have talked for a minute. So, it is unfortunate for the minister to say that if that is the situation we should go to Celtel, which charges per second.
 
Do people from Ishongororo know that? I am going to hold lectures on that. Even the Basoga from Kidera?
 
MR OKUPA: Thank you, Madam Speaker. We have been provoked by the comments made by the minister and he is basing his arguments on the laissez-faire type of economy, the market economy where supply and demand determine forces. But government must intervene; that is why we have the Government. Even in the market economy there is government intervention. That is why we have a government, otherwise if it were market free, if it were a laissez faire market then there must controls. That is why government comes in, that is why you are there.
 
You know very well the majority of Ugandans are illiterate, they do not understand these things, they cannot even be able to calculate, and they do not have access to all the information. For the market economy to apply there are assumptions behind it. There should be free flow of information and access to this information, which the majority of Ugandans do not have.
 
This issue of MTN is really affecting this economy through marketing strategies targeted at increasing their profits, which are even repatriated out of this country thus indirectly affecting this economy. I can give an example. MTN came and said, We are scrapping service fee. But they went ahead and increased the rate per minute. If you spend only Shs 10,000 per month and you calculate you realized by the end of the month you will be paying service fee of Shs 9,000 per month. If you use Shs 20,000 per month you realize you will be spending an equivalent of Shs 18,000 on service fee. It is just confusing the public because they know most of the population is illiterate. So, they are cheating people using this marketing propaganda.
 
I am even surprised that the Uganda Consumers Association is not coming up on this. In Nigeria MTN was doing the same thing. What did the consumers association of Nigeria do? It mobilized the population and said, Let us switch off our phones for two weeks. Within only two days MTN had reverted the course of charging per minute. So, I think we need that type of mobilization. I know hon. Ken Lukyamuzi is very good at mobilizing. Another thing we can do is switch off; and we are ready to join hands and head towards MTN and the minister. Thank you.
 
MR WADRI: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Ever since I came to this Parliament hon. Nasasira is one of the few ministers that I have held in high esteem and I have never taken him head on but today is the time when I want to take him head on. (Laughter)
 
When you form a government you have a constitutional obligation to protect the citizens who entrust you with the power to rule them. It is so unfortunate that the honourable minister has not learnt from history. When you look at the French Revolution in the 17th century, when the Frenchmen were suffering and going hungry, what did Queen Antoinette tell them? She said, If you have no bread, go and eat cakes. Which is more expensive? Which is more easily affordable? Is it bread or cakes?
 
Today you are telling us, If you are not okay with the rates, you can try other lines. Not all parts of this country are well endowed with the opportunity to have all these facilities. There are many of us who come from areas where we have nothing but the monopoly of MTN, and people are crying, people are complaining. I think is it only fair, as you said rightly on other issues, that you are going to handle it. But for you to come up and say, If you cannot afford the MTN rate you switch on to other lines is the same as telling us that if we cannot have bread we should eat cakes. I think you need to reconsider that, honourable Minister. Thank you.
 
MS ERIYO: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I think when we raise our voices over such matters we really want to help the ministers. Even to say that we leave MTN and go to Celtel, it does not really help because to start a new line you still spend some money. And if you move to a company like Celtel - I am so disappointed in Celtel because before any of these companies went to my district in Adjumani, we could pick some Celtel network in some places and very many people bought Celtel sim cards. Then Celtel deceived us by going to put up a mast, which cannot even go beyond 500 square metres, not even one kilometre.
 
So, it is useless and now, Madam Speaker, a person like me is suffering holding two telephones because if you go to our directory I have a Celtel number, but when I go to my constituency I cannot use it I have to use MTN. So, I have Celtel and MTN. It is so expensive! My voters cannot afford to do that and I think the minister should look into this.
 
Another issue, Madam Speaker, is that these days MTN is cheating people. Because when you use MTN to ring another number maybe Mango, and the Mango line is on voicemail, immediately the phone is off it will cut off 300 and something shillings from you even before you send the message, or before you decide to send the message because originally a voice would tell you that this phone is not available you leave a message. But even before anything they just take your money, so you have no choice but to leave a message. But sometimes you do not wish to leave a message, but just to talk to the person. So, they must really change some of these strategies of stealing from Ugandans. Thank you.
 
MR NANDALA: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Today my fears have been confirmed that there are some people in government who are involved in some of these businesses. Why am I bringing this (Interruptions)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, order! Can you come again? You were saying something.
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, I think my fears have been confirmed today that some Members amongst us are involved in some of these dealings with these telephone systems (Interruption)
 
MR NASASIRA: Madam Speaker, I listened very carefully to what hon. Mafabi was saying, especially with reference to this subject. Is it in order for, hon. Mafabi, to impute that I have dealings with MTN because I was telling people to go to other choices? He said, Now my fears have been confirmed that the leaders are involved in these deals. Is it in order to put my name in such disrepute that I have got dealings with MTN, just because I was talking about market forces?
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable Member, do you actually have information that the minister is involved in this? If you do not, withdraw.
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, I am going to substantiate on that. First of all, when we said MTN is cheating the minister quickly said, Move to UTL. Is he the advertising manager for UTL? Having said that (Interruption)
 
MR OTTO: Thank you very much, honourable Member. About two years ago, when the people of Uganda organised a demonstration against MTN and threatened to match to their offices, the first group to come and give support to MTN was government. The Government issued a statement that We are protecting MTN as investors. MTN went on in the same way with what people were complaining about because of the political will government bestowed upon them. So, this raises the question Why because there are big rumours among the public that there are some senior officials in government, who have shares in MTN and UTL. In this particular case, I have to be clear that the Presidents name is often heard in this. So, can we be clear that people are using their political ways to mint money from peasants? Because I can organise a demonstration tomorrow (Laughter) and I am very serious on this.
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, you can see for yourself that we privatised recently Uganda Telecom, and the day we shall remove the veil we will know who are involved. But let me make my point here. Mango says one family and family means from Mango to Mango or Mango to UTL. But the moment you call Mango to another line you pay full; for a second you pay for a minute. Also Mango charges 15 seconds not a second. When you go to Celtel, it is also the same. Celtel to Celtel, if you call another line you pay for a full minute.
 
Now, Madam Speaker, if the minister comes and tells us like that, we have Uganda National Bureau of Standards. When they get a weighing scale, which is not well they take the man because another man has a good one. Is the minister telling us that since this one is cheating we do not discipline him we just go to the other one who is not cheating? I think that is running away from our responsibilities.
 
I have had high respect for Engineer Nasasira, but given this statement, I am becoming worried and doubting his integrity (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Nandala, I think that one has gone a bit too far. Honourable members, yesterday after listening to the reports of our committees, I said there are certain committees in this House, which are not doing their work. I will name them (Interjection)- yes, I am going to name them one of these days before we finish this budget. Minister, please proceed.
 
MR NASASIRA: You know, the things we say in Parliament go in the Hansard and they are kept for years. And when we are here, as honourable members of Parliament, we should know that we are being recorded for posterity. For somebody to say, I have always had respect and respected this ministers integrity but today I am in doubt I can only pray for you. I am very confident of my integrity, and I think there are many Ugandans who are.
 
Let me go back to my answers. First of all, hon. Kasirivu, our friendship is risk free and I need to explain this matter about charging. First of all, we as a country have a policy of liberalising our economy and if honourable members had given me time to come to the conclusion on this, maybe you would have understood. When we came to the telecom policy  (Interruption)
 
MRS ZZIWA: Madam Speaker, when hon. Nandala Mafabi expressed his doubt of the integrity of the minister, and I saw you give a stern caution in form of the performance of particular committees. I had also thought that you would either call on hon. Nandala Mafabi to substantiate because his earlier substantiation was very elusive, and likewise he did not even come out to say that there is genuine substantiation in his loss of integrity in the minister. I think it is going to set a very bad precedence if it remains in the Hansard. Either he withdraws because when I talk about integrity, there are many issues which comprise of ones integrity. Either he has to prove beyond doubt that the minister is involved and does benefit from the company, which would be  I am not comfortable, Madam Speaker. I would like this either withdrawn or substantiated because we are really missing respecting each other in this House.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: I was being diplomatic when I said that, Some committees in this House are not doing their work so that we share the blame for the problems of this country. But now since the House wants you to substantiate or withdraw, hon. Nandala, please substantiate the question of integrity of the Minister of Works.
 
MR NANDALA: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. If I say you are intelligent and then I discover you are not intelligent any more I tell you, Yes, you are not intelligent any more. So, if I have said I had high regards of the Minister of Works as being very intelligent  (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Nandala, can you substantiate the matter, which has caused you to lose integrity in the Minister of Works?
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, he as a Minister he said, Leave MTN go to Celtel. Why did he say that instead of protecting all of us in totality? What interest has he got in others? Is he the advertising manager for those operators? And that is the reason why I was saying, as a Minister in charge of that communication system, should be able to say, Yes, we have seen that problem we need to address it and there have been rumours here that many of these high ranking officials  (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Are those rumours naming the Minister of Works called, John Nasasira, Member of Parliament for Kazo as one of those? That is what we want to know.
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, if I remember very vividly, hon. Otto Odongo, came up and said, We have known that there are some high ranking officials here  (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: He mentioned the President of Uganda but you talked about the Minister of Works. Can you tell us whether the Member for Kazo, who is here as Minister of Works, has a question of integrity?
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, I have heard information that the Minister in-charge of Works is one of the shareholders in one of these operating lines. That is Mango.
 
MR NASASIRA: I think that is a serious allegation. Madam Speaker, I would like hon. Mafabi to bring information that I am a shareholder in Mango or UTL because that is a very serious allegation.
 
MRS ZZIWA: Just to add as we conclude on this matter. We have been in this august House. We have had allegations on particular Members of Parliament and when these allegations are made, this House does not take them on the face value. We have a Committee on Rules and Discipline where even some of the honourable members here had to appear because of allegations. So, I think when we demand that we cannot, as an august House a respected body, go by rumours we really mean it. And I think for that matter, hon. Nandala, I am not trying to plead for hon. Nasasira for any matter but for the integrity of this House, he should prove those allegations and then this case is put to rest.
 
MR AWUZU: Madam Speaker, it seems hon. Mafabi is accusing the minister because he said, If you are not happy with MTN, you join Mango which I do not know whether the Minister said it. Even the minister is denying. But what I am saying is that, what could the Minister have said there are only three mobile phone companies in this country? So, MTN is out. So, if the Minister had said, If you do not like MTN join Mango or Celtel what is wrong with that? (Laughter). Thank you, Madam Speaker.
 
MR ETONU: I thank you, Madam Speaker. I have heard what hon. Mafabi has said. The only way to solve this problem now is for him to withdraw what he had said because he is saying he is hearing. Hearsay cannot be brought onto the Floor of the House. I have been here since the 4th Parliament and I have never heard of things like this  (Laughter) - and, therefore, for us (Interruption) 
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon. Etonu, is on the Floor.
 
MR ETONU: Madam Speaker, to allow this will make us now dilute the proceedings of this august House. The procedure is clear, either he substantiates and lays on Table documents to prove that the minister is a partner of one of these companies or he withdraws. Otherwise, really we would rather ask a Member of Parliament also to be taken to a disciplinary committee for telling lies to this august House. (Applause)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, there have been precedents in this House where Members have really had to be punished for making unsubstantiated allegations if they could not prove. I would not like us to go to that extent.
 
Hon. Nandala, do you have the information, because you would require things like documents from the Registrar of Companies and elsewhere?
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, if all of you recall I was one of those who were taken to the disciplinary committee one time, and I went and defended myself and I came out. Now, I want to add on another thing -(Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, hon. Nandala, I was really hoping you would not go into that matter of those reports. But now answer my question. Do not add anything new. Do you have the information?
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, I said, I have heard; I do not have evidence. But if given time, I could inquire from the sources and I could easily get evidence. But in the interest of time, as we look for evidence, I can take it that hon. Nasasira has no interest in those businesses. But if I get the evidence I will come. (Laughter)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Can you withdraw, hon. Nandala? It is not really up to you to decide when to bring, when not to bring. You do not have the evidence now withdraw.
 
MR NANDALA: Now, I do not have the evidence; I withdraw.
 
MR KIWALABYE: I am seeking your guidance on this matter because I may fall a victim in the near future, or any other Member would fall a victim. I would like to know, is there law in this country, which prevents an honourable Minister from investing in one of these communication companies or any other company? If not, why do we make a lot of fuss about this? If hon. Nasasira has invested in one of these, and his investment has not compromised his position as a Minister - I do not know, is it illegal for a minister to invest?
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Hon. Kiwalabye, I hope that you do not fall a victim. However, really when you are in government and you are in charge of a sector, you are the manager, you are the supervisor and you also have shares, how can you supervise yourself? It is a conflict of interest. That is the issue.
 
MR KIWALABYE: Can a Minister not even own a taxi? (Laughter)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, order! If I were him I would not own a taxi. I would maybe own something else but not a taxi.
 
MR KIWALABYE: Your guidance, please.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: No, please, Minister complete your answer.
 
MR NASASIRA: So, I want to come back to this issue of what you call cheating. I was saying this in principle because if we opt for a liberalised economy, if we opt for different operators and we opt for competition, in fact we say competition is the best regulator. Now, why I said that, if you had given me time I would have explained further. When we signed agreements with these telecommunication companies, there are what we call tariff caps, where we said you cannot go above this tariff and at that time all the tariffs were based on minutes. It is only recently with technology that people have started - maybe half of the world now still charges telephones per minute. You can go and do your research. But if others improve their technology and there is a way of charging per one second or 15 seconds, or one minute and 15 seconds, they are trying to attract customers to their side.
 
So, if I say that in the circumstances, with our agreements we have in place, the best way is, if you find one operator overcharging you, you go to the alternative operator, I am not trying to favour any or campaign for any. In any case, even if I was campaigning for UTL, I am a shareholder as government. Government still has 49 per cent in UTL. Even if I was having shares anywhere in any business, I would declare it to the IGG. I do not see anything wrong with having shares and not declaring it. This idea of people - I have accepted your apology - trying to pin people, as thieves is unacceptable in a civilised society. (Applause)
 
MR MUTULUUZA: Madam Speaker, the honourable Minister seems not to understand our argument. We are saying, is there no way you as Government, as our protector, you can protect us from being cheated by this company?
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: But, honourable Member, why do you not leave him to finish his answer? If he misses it out, then you remind him that we need protection.
 
MR NASASIRA: I will give the final answer on this when I come to what we are going to do with a duopoly because there is a question about a duopoly. I will come to that.
 
Naming roads, hon. Karooro Okurut. I agree with you we have been urging city council to name roads, to give roads names and put there signs. Actually, roads have names but there are no name signs.
 
Maintenance, hon. Bikwasizehi, is still a problem because we still have maintenance under-funded. Our economy is still small, our budget is small what we get is not adequate even at the national level. If we have to maintain our roads adequately, we would need I think about $ 70 million per year. We are now getting about $ 40 million so, we are getting about 60 per cent of 55 per cent of the maintenance money we want. And for the district roads the situation is worse; the budget is small. I do not want to talk about community roads. They have literally no money unless you use 25 per cent from LCI or LDGP and so on.
 
MR BIKWASIZEHI: I thank you, honourable Minister, for giving way. What I was up to, honourable Minister, when you have a building of this nature or any asset especially in accounts, you must provide for depreciation. Now, when you do not provide for depreciation, that asset will be eroded away. So, equally with the roads, constructing new roads every year without maintaining those ones, which you have constructed, is as good as not doing a very good job at all.
 
So, my argument was, in your annual budget, in this money which Parliament appropriates, there should be a provision for a percentage for maintenance because that is very crucial. You are sure that the road you are building is not permanent and it must be maintained. So, I am only requesting that when you are budgeting have an inbuilt factor of maintenance so that we see these roads maintained throughout. I thank you.
 
MR NASASIRA: Well, I agree with you. What you are saying is correct from the economic sense but it is not practical from the financial sense. Because you are saying whatever roads you have, maintain them properly, do not go on developing other roads, do not tarmac roads. For example, if we provided all money for maintenance, we would not tarmac any roads. But that one also has got its economics. If a road has reached a level where it is supposed to be tarmacked, then the vehicle operating cost will go high and you find that you are spending more money trying to maintain it as murram so you have to tarmac it. To tarmac it costs more. What I am saying is that, as of our economy now, there is no adequate funds for our road programme and we know it. There is a deficit for our road programme but we will try to keep balancing both continuing improving some roads, tarmacking them, maintaining the roads for people to use but not properly enough as we would have wanted it.
 
Now, hon. Bikwasizehi, who calls me his Crown Prince and I have promised him that as soon as I become a king, he will be my Katikkiro.  (Laughter) He said he will take me on now on Malaba road and everybody has been really concerned. Let me tell you, honourable members, my ministry is even more concerned than you on what happened to Malaba road and that is why we are trying to find out. It is our duty to construct good roads but we knew that road had a problem from the beginning. The problem was that in that area we are being supported by the Germans. The only money they could put in rehabilitating that road was $20 million and the design was that we will design it one layer less and the Government of Uganda will provide another $10 million to put another layer on top.
 
But it was assumed that the road would be constructed to that layer, and should be able to serve between two and three years. I have all these records. And by that time the Government of Uganda shall add $10 million and we shall finish the job - what happened is that even the two years, three years were not finished when the failures started happening and that is why we put an inquiry. But this is not the fist time. For those who have got experience in construction, it is like any business, you construct some everything goes right, you construct others something goes wrong and you have to find out why that thing was wrong, and that we shall find out and that is why we established an international company TRL, we are almost reaching the conclusion.
 
But to give, honourable members, information about this road, I would prefer, Madam Speaker, that since we are almost coming at the end of our conclusion, I will come and give a full statement with full facts and full evidences to this House about that road if you give me one month. (Interruption)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Minister, give me a timeframe?
 
MR NASASIRA: I am assured that everything should be ready within a month. So, if you give me by the end of September, I should brief this House of what we are going to do.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Okay, that is now Government Assurance.
 
MR NASASIRA: Hon. Ndawula Kaweesi, is speaking about the delay of Busunju-Kiboga-Hoima road. As I had briefed this House before, this road delayed. Busunju-Kiboga-Hoima road started at the same time with Arua-Nebbi-Pakwach road. Now Arua-Nebbi-Pakwach road is finished. This one was slightly longer although it also had its problems especially, Nebbi-Pakwach. It is finished now but this one delayed.
 
The main delay was the contractor, whose headquarter company went under receivership and we had to stop this branch. It is the Government and the bank together who stopped the contractor because we were not sure we were dealing with the right contractor. It took a year to resolve that matter, meanwhile the works had stalled. That matter was resolved. In fact, no new company was appointed. It is the same company, Sterling Uganda, which was returned on the job. If we had to cancel the project even what we have now we would not have it. We thought it was better for our development to resume with the company that was already on site.
 
But what the Committee is talking about financial problems is that, when this contractor was coming back they had to get new guarantees from another bank. And when we paid their money, $4.2 million to start work, that bank held on half of the money. So, we think now the financial situation of the contractor is getting better.
 
Again some people were asking, This road has been there why are you deciding the design of the base now? Actually, the argument, if you want to go in technical terms, was that whether you use lime with murram or you use what they call mechanical stabilisation, which means stone with murram - the contractor was proposing stones with murram, although he had tendered for murram with lime. But both methods were allowed in the specification of the contract. So, he wanted to go for the other one because the Kenya lime became expensive because - I am afraid, up to now we are trying to get Ugandans produce lime that is the standard which they up to now have not been able to. So, he had to import lime from Kenya and the contract was going to be too expensive, the lime was expensive. So, he had to do the other method on trial for testing before we could approve it. That has been finished. Half of the material he wants to use has been approved, the other half is not yet approved, and that is what caused the delay but it is not that we did not know what to do with the base.
 
I agree that the Entebbe/Nairobi route is relatively expensive. It is because of the monopoly of Kenya Airways. We could not have our own other airlines and because of the bilateral air services, Uganda Airlines collapsed. So, we are now into serious discussions with the Kenya authorities. In fact, they were here a week ago because we want them to give rights again to other Ugandan airlines so that they compete. We want the Uganda airlines to have their frequencies. We are reducing the Kenya Airways frequencies so that the Uganda airlines that are here can take on those frequencies, and we hope when that competition comes, then the prices should come down.
 
Hon. Esele, yes the concern of the district and community roads is taken. Increasing the budget, I think we have mentioned that that, we need to increase the budget but I have told you also the plans that we have for district roads.
 
I have talked about the policy on road reserve, which was raised by hon. Alaso and I have also talked about Malaba-Busia road.
 
Now, with respect to landing sites, which are going to be done in Soroti under that programme, there are landing sites, which will be done there.
 
Now, with Serere  Bugondo road, yes it was budgeted. It was supposed to have been done last financial year but when they inspected the road, they found the money that had been budgeted was far less than the intervention required. Money has now been allowed in this Budget and that road is going to be tendered next week for 120 million rather the 55 which would not have done adequate work.
 
I share the concerns of honourable members from Karamoja. The move into Karamoja where we had five contracts and we are going to spend over UShs20 billion on Karamoja roads and bridges (Interruption)   
 
CAPT. GUMA: About the cost from Jomo Kenyatta airport to Entebbe, is it the high cost of $350 because of Kenya airways monopoly or a high cost at Entebbe airport? Because when you talk to British airways or Emirates they would never want to have their aircraft at Entebbe for more than a given period of time because of the high costs at airport. So, does he think that the high cost of $350 from Jomo Kenyatta airport to Entebbe airport here is because of the monopoly? Is it a monopoly issue or a high cost at the airport?
 
MR NASASIRA: The only high cost I know at the airport is the aviation fuel and the reasons are clear; we are far from the sea. This issue has been going on because we have done comparative costs at different airports in the region. I will print the costs, you know, handling charges, parking charges, fuel charges of all these regional airports and I will deliver that information to Parliament and then we shall now talk from a strength of data. I think that is the only way I can summarize it.
 
About the high cost of Kenya Airways, they are the only ones operating; it is a monopoly. They have all the frequencies and this comes from how we negotiate our rights on where to land. Other airlines like Emirates are not allowed to pick passengers from Entebbe airport and drop them in Nairobi. So, until we have our own airline, which is a bilateral air Service agreement (BASA) between Kenya and Uganda to have our national carriers to compete on that route, Kenya Airways will still have a bit of monopoly. But we are going to solve that.
 
MR NANDALA: Madam Speaker, at least I have ever travelled with Emirates from here to Nairobi and back. Why did they drop me there? Was I illegally carried? You are saying Emirates is not allowed to carry people. Two, if it is fuel, why do those planes not take fuel from Nairobi because they are coming from there and they go when they are loaded and the cost will be low.
 
MR NASASIRA: That time when Emirates dropped you, they were doing what we call code sharing. They were code sharing in the name of Uganda Airlines. I think you have heard at the airport where sometimes, for example, one airline is announcing two airlines taking people. They were using the freedom of landing code sharing arrangement. But about the fuel, I do not think even Kenya Airways picks fuel from here; I think Kenya Airways pick fuel from Kenya. So, the issue of Karamoja needs to be addressed in totality. It is understood and it is one of the major problems. Whether it is infrastructure or bridges, we are trying to address it as a package.
 
MS KIRASO: Madam Speaker, before the minister leaves the issue of bridges, I wanted to know if it is also part of the policy of the ministry to trade bridges with the third term otherwise known as Kisanja to the extent that some people have started denouncing PAFO because of bridges- (Laughter). Thank you.
 
MR ODONGA OTTO: Madam Speaker, in line with that, hon. minister, I am about to lose the bridge between Gulu and Pader. We should be clear, because if the precondition of getting the bridge is the kisanja then we would rather use boats. So, hon. minister, you will make me know what to do- (Laughter)
 
MR ANANG-ODUR: Madam Speaker, we should have had a bridge over the Nile connecting Apac and Masindi. There is a road, which should have come from Kitgum-Lira-Masindi/Apac-Masindi and we are hoping to connect it to Hoima and Mubende. My colleague, Ms Beatrice Kiraso there, reminded me that one could exchange a bridge for a kisanja; if the minister was categorical on this matter, we in Apac could consider it if that bridge can be done. Mr minister -(Laughter)- Is it possible for the minister to give us a bridge over the Nile-Masindi Port so that we can have a deal? -(Laughter)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Now, honourable members, I think they were talking about 66 bridges. Can you stick to issues under discussion and then when you want to discuss that bisanja business you go and sit somewhere, not on the Floor of this House because I cannot rule on them.
 
MR NASASIRA: Thank you, madam Speaker. My ministry has been constructing bridges and roads and has no connection with bisanja debate. But, definitely, if bridges were for kisanja, I think the bridge at Masindi Port needs more than one kisanja; it is a big bridge- (Laughter) But we have no connection; I think that was a creation of the Press.
 
I have taken the issues of decongesting Kampala, and many honourable members have been referring to how Government is planning to host CHOGUM and how to deal with the infrastructure. A committee has been established and soon a report will come out, and I think even honourable members of Parliament are going to participate in the preparation to host CHOGUM in terms of accommodation and infrastructure. But, of course, we have to do it within our means and we do not have to disrupt our micro-economy because we are hosting a conference that is going to last few days. Let us improve the facilities we want for a successful CHOGUM without really bursting our budget and assuming flyovers and so forth because of CHOGUM.
 
Hon. Guma has left, I wanted him to help me in this campaign of over using the telephones. He was saying in his constituency a man rings his wife when the wife is sitting next to him. I thought he would help me as a Member of Parliament in this campaign, but I will talk to him outside.
 
Again, hon. Kiwalabye, on Busunju, the contract had problems. We have now resolved 95 per cent of those problems. All I can assure you and the people of the area is that the contract now is on course and it will finish in those 15 months. The 45 per cent/50 per cent might not be seen everywhere, but when you are counting the percentage of what is covered, you do not only talk about the physical work on the road, but you also talk about the pits, stock piled, the stone crashed; all this is taken into account. In other words if somebody else had to take over, how much would I spend to finish the work? So, those percentages are correct.
 
Hon. Balemezi, we share with her the issue of billboards. We have always written to city council with my colleague the Minister of Local Government. These billboards, again, is a problem of decentralisation. They go to the authorities and they are allowed, the next thing you see is a huge billboard on the road. If you may recall we gave a notice, I think it was in November last year; we gave a public notice in newspapers for people to remove constructed billboards without approval. We have now given a final notice that we are going to bulldoze them. So, I hope we shall get the support of this Parliament when we bulldoze billboards that have been illegally installed.
 
MR KABAREEBE: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker and thank you very much honourable member for giving way. The clarification I am seeking is that these billboards are planted with the permission of the districts and Municipal councils where they pay money. So, I do not know whether by removing them it might not put you in conflict with the districts? This is the clarification I wanted.
 
MR NASASIRA: We have written to the district authorities, as I said we are in touch with my colleague the Minister of Local Government, we are not saying there should be no billboards. I know they get revenue from them, but there should be billboards at an appropriate place and somebody to approve their construction so that they are structurally sound. The billboards should be structurally sound; they should be sited in the right places and not everywhere. So there must be some approval from us if you are going to build them along our roads.
 
Hon. Lukia, I am informed that compensation on Bugiri-Jinja road has now been paid Shs400 million. But if there are any cases that are still pending, we have a channel through the contractor for addressing those cases.
 
MS NAKADAMA: The minister said those people were given very small amount of money which cannot enable them get a plots and construct their buildings. Those people have been staying in those areas with their families and their buildings are being destroyed; so they cannot use that little money they are being given to look for plots e and then construct buildings.
 
MR NASASIRA: Okay, where there are cases like those, we shall address them and sort them out. That is what I can promise. Hon. DUjanga - I think he has left. He was more concerned about how many bottles of beer or glasses of wine one should drink before you are arrested. The test of alcohol content is decided in the milligrams per unit, either from breath or from blood. Yes, if you do not agree with the breathalyser they will take you to a hospital, take blood out of you and test it. That is the next phase as evidence in court.
 
Now, I am told the concentration depends on how strong you are and how strong is your bladder. If you are weak, the milligrams per We are using these tests and that is what is used globally. The gadget changes the light on the side so it is difficult to gauge it by a number of bottles. As you know Nile Special is 7 percent and Bell is 4 point something. So, if you take three Nile Specials, you are equivalent to someone taking four to five Bells. So we keep on this test and our people will eventually adjust.
 
I agree with him that most road users do not respect others. But you see this is a culture. In fact, we have been talking about road accidents; the biggest percentage of the cause of road accidents is actually the driver; our driving system and our inspection of vehicles had gone down like most other things had gone down in the country. This is why under this programme, road action plan, all these will be sorted out. That is why we are starting the curriculum of teaching road safety in primary schools.
 
MAJ. RWAMIRAMA: Thank you, Madam Speaker. The minister has talked of road accidents and I have checked through our report there is something very serious that has been omitted. I would like the minister to clarify. Madam Speaker, at present, on the highway, we have non-tariff barriers and these manifest themselves in form of humps and these humps are also one of the greatest causers of accidents. Let me give you a critical incident of the Mbarara highway. From here to Mbarara, you have 17 barriers that make an average of less than 15 miles for every hump. In Kyengera, Nsangi, Buwama, Nkozi, Lukaya, Masaka, Kyabakuza, Kinoni, Mbirizi, Kyazanga, Lyantonde, Nsanga and Biharwe, you can hardly move and these humps are not standard. Before Mbarara town, in a distance of four miles, we have a stretch of almost two miles of humps.
 
Madam Speaker, I would like the minister to clarify whether this is a standard way of minimizing accidents, or what is the rationale? When I used to move from here to Mbarara in 1986 when that road was very bad, it used to take us five hours. At the moment it is taking us the same time because of these humps.
 
MS MUGERWA: Madam Speaker, I would like just to inform the member holding the Floor that most of the humps are in transit towns to reduce accidents (Laughter)
 
MAJ. RWAMIRAMA: Madam Speaker, the point of clarification is that on highways we are expected to move without interruptions. What I was trying to drive at is that development should actually be off major roads, otherwise, it becomes meaningless. I could go on and tell you more about humps. Kampala to Kabale, you have about 35 barriers; it is a nuisance.
 
MRS RUTAMWEBWA: I thank you, Madam Speaker. I stand to oppose what the honourable member for Isingiro north is proposing. I would like to use the same road as an example to say that this Masaka-Mbarara road in the last four months alone, in my constituency, I have lost six people, including two LC III Chairmen. They were killed in areas without humps by the Jaguar bus. So, I am calling for more humps, hon. Minister of Works, Transport and Communication. I thank you.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, there are two sides to this debate on the humps.
 
MR KATUNTU: Madam Speaker, hon. Rwamirama has raised a very crucial point. Mr minister, Busembatya town council has written several letters to your ministry asking you to build humps. So many people have died in the town council as a result of over speeding. So, I am inquiring, hon. minister, when are we having humps in Busembatya town council? (Laughter). But, certainly, Madam Speaker, I share hon. Rwamiramas concern. I can also explain that since 1986 there has been quite a big increase in the big vehicles on that road; a number of Pajeros and Land crusers ply between Kampala and Mbarara. May be that is the reason why we have (Laughter)
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Honourable members, I think that the information you are really giving is uniform. Is there anybody who has different information?
 
MR ALINTUMA: Thank you, Madam Speaker. I want to support really the institution or the construction of humps. My town of Mbirizi was the first one to agitate for humps and the minister obliged and gave us humps. I was losing an average of four people per month because of road accidents through Mbirizi trading centre. But ever since that time, I think in a period of one year, we have only lost one person and had one other accident. So, I really appreciate the installation of humps.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Now, honourable members, I think let the minister tell us his policy about why he has got humps. Minister, please tell us about humps.
 
MR SABIITI: I want to thank the hon. Minister for having rescued our people in Rukiga County because of the humps he provided at Muhanga and Bukinda. I thank you very much.
 
MS KABAKUMBA: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. As I appreciate the humps but my concern is about the standardization. Some are too high, the small vehicles find a lot of problems; some are wavelike, we find it very difficult and they are really breaking our vehicles. When you go to Wobulenzi, they have constructed humps in a different way. There is need to standardize these humps. This issue came about in the 6th Parliament and all I remember they were suspended or banned for some time. I do not know if it is the quality of work because eventually they wear off and they leave the roads badly damaged. So, the issue is, standardize these humps if you want them to serve a useful purpose. Thank you.
 
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: You can go on and thank the Minister.
 
MRS BALEMEZI: I thank you, Madam Speaker. The business of standardizing these humps might not work, for example, Kampala-Jinja road, this is a road, which takes various sizes and capacities of vehicles. When we standardize it, say for example, if we have ramps some of the vehicles like these Land crusers and the pajeros do not feel those rambles, so they just rush through the rambles; but the lorries and tracks feel these humps.
 
Then the bridges, I cross five bridges along JinjaKampala road. When you do not have these humps just before the bridges people who are not familiar with these roads end up in the water like at Sezibwa. We have had so many vehicles disappearing at the Owen Falls Dam; whoever goes down there never comes back, and we have had so many graves along the road because whoever crushes none comes out because of this road. Before we had these humps, drivers could make it within 40 minutes  the 80 kilometres, they would make it in 40 minutes. But when we have the humps now at least you get them making it within an hour or slightly below that.
 
Still, we need more humps especially in trading centres like Mbiko, Lugazi and Mukono. These areas have so many schools around them and children crossing these roads are not mindful about the humps and vehicles. So, it is only the drivers who could be at least made aware to slow down by providing humps. So, I would like to support the minister when he talks of bringing in more humps on the highways.
 
MR MUZOORA: Thank you very much, Madam Speaker. Honourable members, they have worked on these roads without considering the standards, the level and the height of the humps we require.
 
I was with the hon. Minister in Rwamparas dangerous spots; he saw one spot where so many people had died because of the speed; and they requested that he should put humps. They requested the minister themselves, not even through me. Now the problem is the way they put these humps; they put something like a hill; even wheels going to Rwanda get stuck on top of it; they cannot go over. The purpose of the humps should be to alert, not even to disturb the vehicle, but to alert the driver when he hears that noise he should slow down but not to hold stuck a vehicle. We are talking of the standards, but we are not saying that the humps are bad, no, but the way they are constructed. You put a heap oA System Error Occur. Please reload page