Parliament puts Works minister on the spot over weigh bridges


• MPs concerned over delays at weigh bridges
• Kadaga orders Parliament investigation

ABE ALTHEA

Collections that the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) gets from fines caused a storm in Parliament on Wednesday with legislators demanding to know what the roads body collects and how much it ploughs back to the districts that host the weigh bridges.

This followed a query raised by Bunya East MP Waira Kyewalabye Majegere, who rose to the Minister of Works and Transport Monicah Azuba on how the weigh bridges are being run.

The Legislator complained that Mayuge Weigh Bridge along the highway from Jinja to eastern Uganda is badly situated, with only one entry and exit point yet it handles long vehicles that often cause heavy traffic jam and in other incidences accidents.

“Why did the Ministry provide such minimal parking space and moreover with only one way for both entry and exit?

What measures are being put in place to expand the narrow space and to ensure the trailers do not park alongside the road? Majegere asked.

Majegere also wondered what is being done to ensure that the transfer delays at the bridge are limited to not more than 30 minutes.

He also demanded the Works and Transport minister reveals how much money has been collected in penalties at the bridge in the last 5 years; and how much of it has been ploughed back to Mayuge as the host District.

In response, Azuba said that the solution is not to make the area bigger but that the weigh bridge has been upgraded where both sides of the road will have a weigh bridge and Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is already working on the designs for this.

Azuba’s explanation was not convincing to most MPs that Speaker Rebecca Kadaga ordered the House’s committee on Physical Infrastructure to investigate the performance and running of weigh bridges across the country.

UNRA currently manages all the seven weigh bridges across the country.
In November 2017, the Authority unveiled new regulations on axle load, a move that has seen offenders fined over Shs500m for a single over loaded truck.