Fred Jachan Omach the former State Minister of Finance (General Duties) has been sworn in as the new Chairman of the board of the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) with calls to his board to ensure corruption is stamped out of the roads agency, value for money on government investment on roads is realized and that internal capacity to build roads is built.
Until Allen Kagina was recruited to head the roads authority two years ago, the agency that has taken the lion’s share of the national budget for the last 4 years had become notorious for corruption and a doyen for poor quality work. Although not completely out of the woods, Mr. Omach’s team boards comes at a time when the authority is transiting away from the old organization with a poor image to a new promising one with a new management and renewed commitment to professionalism and zero-tolerance to corruption.
The other members of the board are: Engineer Sam Bagonza (representing the Ministry of Works), Dr. Umar Bagambadde, Dr. Joseph Muvawala (National Planning Authority), Laban Mbulamiko , Petra Sansa Tenywa and Allen Kagina, the executive director of the authority who is an ex-officio member.
Speaking at the swearing in, Monica Azuba Ntege, the Minister of Works & transport, herself an immediate past member of the UNRA board, said, ““You are coming in at the time government is emphasizing the need for zero tolerance to corruption, guide UNRA management to ensure that the authority assets are well documented and managed, have greater vigilance against fraud...”
Allen Kagina said although the name of the authority has been tainted with corruption in the past, the current management is working to extricate the name of the agency from its ugly past and promised to deliver an efficient, corruption-free and value-for money conscious organization. She said in the last two years the authority has in fact delivered to expectations, although its past still dogs it in the eye of the public.
UNRA was established by an Act of Parliament in 2006 and is mandated to improve and maintain the national road network as part of Uganda’s socio-economic development agenda.