In Summary

Unra executive director Allen Kagina is cut from the same – if not tougher – mold. She is a woman of determination and results. Her bold decisions while head of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) broke a few businesses but the country achieved a good revenue collection structure that continues to deliver results. Her leadership in this effort should, therefore, be supported by all with a long-term outlook. Politicians at whatever level should, particularly, not fail this exercise.

Uganda National Roads Authority (Unra) is this week set to commence the demolition of illegal structures in the road reserve on Entebbe Road. The exercise – if Unra carries through its threat – will see the razing of close to 1,000 makeshift and permanent buildings.

As expected, there will be a lot of noise and dust; not from the bulldozers cutting through tons of concrete but from building owners and local politicians calling for a halt to the exercise ostensibly because their voters are being affected and “government” has not provided alternative places for the affected to be relocated.

That is how all previous attempts to restore order on road reserves and other public places have always ended, even when all acknowledge the structures are illegal and shouldn’t have been built. In the case of the attempted clearing of Centenary Park in Kampala a few years ago, no less a person than the minister of Trade Amelia Kyambadde went to the scene to personally switch of the engines of the bulldozers!

Today, Centenary Park is a big slum in the middle of the city and the proprietor whose controversial lease ended has managed to get the President to support her to stay to the detriment of proper planning and other city residents!

We, therefore, hope that Unra will be supported to restore the road reserves for expansion of the Entebbe single-lane road into a dual carriageway as planned. Anyone who lives on this road or regularly uses it to and from the airport will agree that the endless hours spent in traffic with some missing flights is something that should end.

It will be tough to pull off this one but it can be done. Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) executive director Jennifer Musisi demonstrated so when a few years ago she led the demolition of illegal structures on city roads, notably Bukoto and Nakawa, paving way for dual roads that have tremendously eased traffic flow in these areas.

Unra executive director Allen Kagina is cut from the same – if not tougher – mold. She is a woman of determination and results. Her bold decisions while head of Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) broke a few businesses but the country achieved a good revenue collection structure that continues to deliver results. Her leadership in this effort should, therefore, be supported by all with a long-term outlook. Politicians at whatever level should, particularly, not fail this exercise.

After Entebbe road, Unra should as promised move to other highways leading out of the city.