By Our Reporter
Uganda’s President H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and H.E Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo have today launched the construction of over 300 kilometers of roads in the DRC.
Museveni and Tshisekedi launched the project today as they opened up the newly constructed Mponde Bridge linking the two countries.
The two leaders met at the Mponde border post to launch the projects that will be jointly financed by the two countries. Dott Services Limited, the constructor has already assembled the equipment and will be constructing Kasinde-Beni (80km), Beni-Butembo (54km), and Bunagana-Rutshuru-Goma (89km).
During their previous meeting at State House in Entebbe, a Memorandum of Understanding detailing on how the two countries will fast truck transport and business along the border.
The Ugandan forces are currently pitched in Eastern Congo as they gather intelligence information on the operations of the Allied Democratic Forces rebel outfit that has terrorised Eastern Congo.
The signing was witnessed by Speaker Jacob Oulanyah. On the same occasion, a project development agreement (PDA) was signed between the two countries on cross-border roads. The permanent secretary ministry of Works and Transport Bageya Waiswa signed on behalf of Uganda while the DRC minister of state for Infrastructure and Public Works Alexi Gisaro Muvunyi signed on behalf of DRC.
Speaking shortly after the signing ceremony, President Museveni expressed gratitude to Tshisekedi for accepting to partner with the Uganda government in the three crucial sectors of roads, electricity and security that he said are the pillars of development to any nation.
“This is just butter on a bread roll. Peace is the bread and roads are the butter. It’s good that President Tshisekedi sent his team to do something about the roads. We are also ready for the electricity. We took power to Kasindi and now Beni and Butembo. We shall extend to Mahangi. We are ready to work on three things, security, roads and electricity. Even if we don’t do anything else, for now, people on both sides will be happy with these,” Museveni said.
President Museveni said Uganda and DRC not only share borders but their people are the same.
“The Nandis in Congo, the Bakonjo, Banyoro, Bahema, Banyamboga, Bamba, Hutu, Lendu etc are the same people. When there is insecurity, we are affected directly. We currently have 4,000 Congolese refugees in Uganda camps and others in society with their relatives,” he said.
Notably, DRC is further pushing a move to retract from the West African region and join the East African Community, a regional setting that brings together countries in Eastern Africa.