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Katete Bridge Users Protest Poor Condition :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Katete Bridge Users Protest Poor Condition

Donozio Kibanda, a businessman in Mbarara City and resident of Birere in the Isingiro district, says that the authorities have been promising to work on the bridge every financial year in vain.
Parts of the damaged Katete Bridge (2)

Audio 7

The sorry state of Katete Bridge has irked the users of Lugazi- Kashenyi road in Katete Ward Mbarara City South Division. The bridge crosses over River Rwizi and provides a shortcut for banana and charcoal dealers connecting to Mbarara from Isingiro district.

However, the users of Katete Bridge say it is in a sorry state, which forces them to use Isingiro-Mbarara road, which is 20kilometers long. Lugazi- Kashenyi road is just 5Kilometers. Donozio Kibanda, a businessman in Mbarara City and resident of Birere in the Isingiro district, says that the authorities have been promising to work on the bridge every financial year in vain.

He says many motorcycle riders get into accidents on the bridge as they try to dodge holes and sharp metals on the bridge.

//Cue in: “orutindo nirubi munonga… 

Cue out: …oru ahabwa accident.”//

He says the city collects a lot of taxes from people that use the bridge and they are entitled to a better bridge.

//Cue in: “tihariho ekikurema gavumenti… 

Cue out: …orutindo rwa katete.”//

Evaristo Twesigye, a cart pusher, says that the metals used on the bridge are not up to the standard, which explains the repeated repairs annually.

//Cue in: “Omutindo ogu barikurutekaho… 

Cue out: …kutomerera omu rutindo.”//

Robert Mugabe Kakyebezi, the Mbarara City Mayor says that Katete Bridge is under the  Ministry of Works and Transport. He explains that despite bringing the complaints about the bridge to the attention of the Ministry, they have not received any reply.

//Cue in: “the situation of… 

Cue out: …had a meeting.”//

He says that they will hold a meeting to discuss the emergency repairs they need to undertake on the bridge.

//Cue in: “meeting here with… 

Cue out: …using the bridge."//

Richard Mugisha, the Mbarara City Deputy Clerk says they are aware of the challenges on the bridge noting that it should be decommissioned considering its 25 years lifespan. He says that they have asked the ministry of works to come to their rescue on this bridge and three others including Kanyeyite, Karugangama, and Kitobero in Mbarara City South Division. 

//Cue in: “normally the routine… 

Cue out: …back online,”// 

According to Mugisha, they can not touch money from their Shillings 40.2Billion budget, since they are conditional grants that can’t be used to do repairs on the bridge. Susan Kataike, the Ministry of Works spokesperson confirmed that the bridge is under the Ministry and will be worked on when a team of Engineers that was sent there early this year to assess it files its report. 

Early this year, the Inspectorate of Government commenced investigations into the allegedly shoddy works following the collapse of pillars built on Katete Bridge in April at Shillings 25 million. Siraji Sempagala, the Mbarara Regional Inspectorate Officer, says that they submitted the file to their headquarters for guidance but it was returned with comments asking them to do more investigations.   

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