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Kanungu Contractor Abandons Works after Workers Demand their Pay

Eddy Kalanzi, an engineer who is also a victim, says that he the company owes him 1,649,000 shillings. Kalanzi says that Kalema would at times not give them food yet he of demands them to work the whole day without resting. He says that whenever they call Kalema’s phone he does not pick.
Some of the affected workers in the office of the Kanungu deputy RDC ,Gad Rugaaju

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Nine workers of Jokamax Construction Company Limited are stranded in Kihihi town council, Kanungu district after their executive director abandoned them and escaped when they demanded unpaid wages since February of this year. 

Jokamax Construction Company Limited, which belongs to Joshua Kalema, is subcontracted by China Henan International Construction Company (CHICO) to construct the drainage system and small bridges on the ongoing tarmacking of 78 kilometers Rukungiri-Kanungu road.

The affected workers include seven stone patching engineers and two casual laborers. They include Eddy Kalanzi Kaddo, Joseph Abigaba, Andrew Kajimu, Anthony Kangwire, Mike Twinomujuni, Abdu Ryima, and Shafi Muhumuza among others.

According to the workers, in their agreement with Kalema each stone patching engineer was to be paid 35,000 shillings per square kilometer while each casual laborers was to be paid  7,000 per working day. However, workers say that despite working, Kalema declined to pay them the wages since February this year.

Mike Twinomujuni, one of the affected engineers says that he is owed 1,750,000 shillings.  Twinomujuni says that since January however, much as Kalema was supposed to be paying them every Saturday, he would keep on adjourning and promising to release the money any time. 

Twinomujuni says that they worked until last week when when  Kalema disappeared.  Eddy Kalanzi Kaddo, an engineer who is also another victim says that the company owes him 1,649,000 shillings. 

Kalanzi says that Kalema would at times not give them food yet he demands of them to work the whole day without resting. He says that whenever they call Kalema’s phone number he does not pick.  He says that they are now stranded in Kihihi, hungry and their hopes of sending some money to their families are now faded.   Kalanzi also says that they have on Friday sought help from the office of the Deputy Resident District Commissioner in Kihihi after CHICO that subcontracted Jokamax Construction Company Limited also gae them a deaf ear. 

 

//Cue in: “kati ekyaliwo boss… 

Cue out: …kutuyamba leelo.”// 

Gad Rugaaju Ahimbisibwe, Kanungu Deputy Resident District Commissioner confirmed to our reporter that he has received a complaint from engineers and casual laborers accusing Kalema of disappearing without paying them.

Rugaaju also says that he today personally tried to reach Kalema on phone but he would not pick. Rugaaju also says that Kalema disappeared and abandoned incomplete works.  According to Rugaaju, Kalema’s disappearance puts ongoing road works at risk of stalling.

 Rugaaju however promises to engage other relevant authorities to hunt for Kalema. Efforts by our reporter to get a comment from Kalema were futile since he could not pick his phone.  Nicholas Ndamwesiga, the CHICO Community Liaison officer also did not pick his phone calls to give a comment about the matter.

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