The Kampala City Roads Committee was inaugurated at City Hall, with Hon Ronald Balimwezo, the Nakawa East MP, elected as chairperson.
The committee is made up of 28 members, including the Lord Mayor, all Kampala MPs, the Executive Director, the KCCA Deputy Director Roads and Drainage , all Division Mayor’s, all Town Clerks and a Division Engineer from each of five divisions.
The City Roads Committee is established under Section 25(2) of the Uganda Road Fund Act, 2008 and the attendant regulation outlines their role, which essentially is to provide oversight over Road Funds allocated to local governments to undertake routine and periodic road maintenance of their roads.
The election took place at City Hall following a meeting that was convened by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka. The law designates the 28 members of the committee to choose their chairperson.
The purpose of the inaugural meeting, as outlined in Section 8(1), was to establish the committee and set its objectives.
After being elected Balimwezo, emphasized the need to enhance the financing of roads in the city, citing the fact that only UGX 10 billion of the infrastructure budget of UGX 78bn was earmarked for roads next financial year.
“We all need to work together to ensure roads in Kampala are worked on. I want to urge government and Parliament to allocate more money to KCCA to work on these road. This is our city we need to fund it,” Balimwezo said.
According to URF, the committee will be responsible for overseeing the seasonal maintenance and construction of roads within the city, and ensuring transparency and accountability in the use of URF funds allocated for road maintenance.
The Lord Mayor Hajji Erias Lukwago welcomed the establishment of the committee which he said will help on monitoring of road works.
“We have generated consensus and elected Eng Ronald Balimwezo as head of the roads committee. I’m glad that as city leader we are speaking one voice on the issue of Kampala roads. The roads are a menace to all of us,” Lukwago said.
He also revealed that apart from the City Roads Committee, the Roads Act 2019 establishes the Roads Authority headed by Lord Mayor.
“On Monday we are going to have a meeting three of us, me, the ED and Hon Balimwezo to see on how to handle the businesses in the city,” Lukwago said.
In her remarks, KCCA Executive Director Dorothy Kisaka expressed her delight that political leaders would be involved in the maintenance of roads. She highlighted that the URF had allocated KCCA UGX 26 billion for road maintenance in the 2022/2023 financial year, with UGX 21 billion already disbursed.
The URF sees the committees as its contact point in the district or cities for the purpose of guiding transparency and realistic annual programs.
The City Roads Committee is crucial, and road users should pay attention to the roles that the committee plays, as the quality and road conditions in the districts and cities are highly dependent on the oversight services provided by members of the City Roads Committee.
Under the URF Act, all districts and Cities have an obligation to form roads committees.