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#KampalaPotholesExhibition: President Museveni responds after Kampala shamed for bad roads

On April 17, 2023, Capital FM Uganda’s radio host, Gaetano Kagwa, led his compatriots in shaming Ugandan authorities for the bad state of Kampala roads that are filled with deep potholes.

“Welcome to #Kampala, #Uganda. The #pothole capital of the world. Please enjoy your stay. 🇺🇬 #KampalaPotholeExhibition @KCCAUG (Kampala Capital City Authority), @UNRA_UG (Uganda National Roads Authority), @ParliamentofUg3 (Parliament of Uganda,” tweeted Gaetano, also the host of The Voice Africa.

Using the #KampalaPotholeExhibition, thousands of Ugandans uploaded photos of the potholes within their vicinities, some filled with rain water others claimed were deep enough to declassify Uganda as a landlocked country. Mockery was made of the roads and the hashtag went viral internationally.

Three days later on April 20, 2023, the Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni, responded to the international shaming the roads in his capital city had received. In a statement issued by the Office of the Presidential Advisor- Special Duties, it was revealed that President Museveni ordered the release of billions of shillings to have the potholes filled; and the roads repaired and maintained.

“Kampala City Council should give monthly updates on the cleanup, repair and maintenance of the roads in the city. I direct them to follow the PDM approach and have at least one garbage track for each of the 99 parishes. I want a garbage skip every 200 meters. They must regularly make public service announcements for tourists and city dwellers using information booths at all passenger terminals.

The 41 Africa Development Bank city roads project will continue for the next four years to improve city transport. I now direct @mofpedU (Ministry of Finance) to urgently release the quarterly contribution to @KCCAUG  (Kampala Captial City Authority) of Shs6Bn for pothole filling, repairs and maintenance of roads. I have been told that only 30% of this money has been released. I task the @KCCAED (Director Dorothy Kisaka) and her team to give the country an account of progress in this matter.” Said President Museveni.

The statement ended with a new hashtag, #M7TourismBroadcast

Nairobi News previously reported that in January 2020, he State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Henry Okello Oryem, was quoted in Ugandan media saying that bad roads and potholes could be a part of tourism for people visiting from wealthy countries with no road issues. Mr Oyrem explained that the city’s road networks had been damaged by prolonged rains prior to January 14, 2020, Committee hearing, and it shouldn’t be a point of concern for anyone.

“For us, a bad road is cause for complaining. But for people in affluent societies who have never experienced getting stuck on a bad road, pushing a car from a ditch can be part of tourism experience,” said Mr Oryem.

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