Museveni Directs UNRA To Award Road Construction Contracts To Three Chinese Companies Without Due Process

Museveni Directs UNRA To Award Road Construction Contracts To Three Chinese Companies Without Due Process

By Simon Abaho

President Museveni has written to the Uganda National Roads Authority directing that six government projects should be awarded to three Chinese companies without undergoing the mandatory bidding processes.

According to the three separate letters to the UNRA Executive Director, Allen Kagina, the projects will be handled through a pre-financing model.

“The purpose of this letter is to direct you to enter into an agreement with China Communication and Construction Company(CCCC) to design and build the mentioned roads,” Museveni says in a June 21, 2021 letter to Kagina.

In the letter Museveni wants the Chinese company to handle the Kisubi- Nakawuka-Nateete/ Nakawuka- Kasanje-Mpigi/ Nakawuka-Mawugulu- Nanziga-Maya/ Kasanje-Buwaya , Nakasero –Northern bypass VVIP road and the reconstruction of the Pakwach –Karuma road and the Karuma bridge.

“The government of Uganda will provide budgetary appropriations in quarterly installments from the third year of execution,” the letter adds.

In another letter, Museveni directed that the construction of Kanoni-Misingi-Mityana(37km) be awarded to Zhongmei Engineering Group whereas Chongqing International Construction Corporation(CICO) will be in charge of the Kabwohe-Kitagata-Rukungiri(65.7km) and Misindye-Kabimbiri- Zirobwe-Wobulenzi-Kapeeka(138km) road.

The president has in the same vein directed UNRA to award the projects to construct Mpigi-Kibibi-Mityana(60km), Kanungu-Hamulwa(47km) and Butogota-Buhoma(32km) to Ashoka Buildcon Limited, an Indian company.

However, the directive by the president to UNRA means that the competitive bidding process that would allow the most efficient companies will be foregone for these specific projects.

One of the Letters Seen.

In the four separate letters, President Museveni says his decision is motivated by meetings he had with officials from the four companies.

Pre-financing model is one where the contractor gives an earlier commitment to finance the construction of the road project or any other project and government pays them later in the second or third year of the contract.

This happens when government doesn’t readily have funds for the project but wants it is to continue.

UNRA spokesperson, Allan Ssempebwa said the arrangement would allow the mentioned road projects to kick-off and the government pays the contractor later.

“This means the contracts have committed to offer funds for the project and the government will pay them in the second or third year of the contract. The good thing is that all the projects had been committed for construction under the NPDIII yet we have so far moved one year. It was only a matter of getting funds for the construction to kick off,” Ssempebwa said.

He insisted that this arrangement will enable the construction of the roads kick off and as the government looks for money to pay the contractors later in the third year of the contract, unlike other arrangements where the government is under obligation to first pay a certain sum of money before the contractor begins work.

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