Parliament approves UGX200 billion for road construction in DRC
Uganda will contribute 200 billion Shillings to the joint construction of a 223-kilometre road with the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
The amount was approved by Parliament on Tuesday following a bilateral agreement between Uganda and DRC, to implement strategic infrastructure projects. These include; constructing the road from Kasindi to Beni measuring about 80 kilometres, Beni to Butembo measuring 54 kilometres and the Bunagana border to Ruchuru-Goma road which measures 89 kilometres.
As per the agreement, Uganda will contribute 20 per cent of the total cost of the project estimated at USD 334.5 million, as a measure to boost trade between the two countries.
The move has however attracted criticism from legislators and some members of the public who questioned why Uganda would invest billions of Shillings in another country, yet its own infrastructure is waning.
Hon. David Mutebi the Buikwe South MP argued on Tuesday, that it was unrealistic for Uganda to work on roads abroad yet the roads in the country is in a terrible state.
Erute South MP Jonathan Odur also requested that the matter be deferred until the government provides the copies of the agreement, saying there is a possibility that the agreements could be flawed.
However, the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga posed the question asking if the funds should be approved and the majority voted in support. Kadaga said that the road was vital especially at a time when Ugandan products are blocked from accessing markets like Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda.