Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) officials were yesterday grilled by MPs over among others the Right of Way Management Information System (ROWMIS), that was meant to handle all processes under land acquisition.
According to the Auditor General’s report for the year ending 2017, UNRA signed a contract with Sivan Designs D.S Limited pertaining this system on April 8th 2014.
The Shs 496 million system ran for 30 months ending on April 8th 2017.
Yet, despite rigorous staff training, the AG observed that by the time it expired only 3 projects had adopted this technology namely; Kampala-Jinja Express Way, Kampala Flyover and Southern By-Pass.
The Auditor General John Muwanga warns that invested monies could be lost and worse still, implementation and monitoring of the Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) hampered altogether.
Appearing before parliament’s committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), Allen Kagina the UNRA ED tagged this to infrastructural gaps.
Kagina says at the time the programme expired, it was imperative to buy laptops for staff that had risen from 31 to 67 due to restructuring. She says there was no way, this programme could be executed without technological aids.
“In May 2016, the system consultant trained a small team of land acquisition staff… the staff must have computers so we went into the process of acquiring computers”, she explained.
Meanwhile, legislators also demanded an update on the titling of acquired land. Specifically, they questioned why there still remains a backlog in land titling despite UNRA constituting a team of 5 members in early 2016.
This was followed by the recruitment temporary land surveyors and 13 land valuers in July that same year.
Findings from the AG indicate that as at December 2nd 2016, only 18 titles were ready to be returned while 84 others were under process out of a total 2,882 titles.
UNRA is required to acquire titles for land acquired and return them to the land owners after mutation.