KCCA Council Questions Authenticity of Road Contracts

Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA council is seeking clarification on various irregularities in road construction contracts procured by the technical wing with different companies last year.

The technical team contracted three companies to carry out a portion of the civil works of the Kampala City Roads Rehabilitation Project (KCRRP), which is a loan of Shillings 1.06 trillion from the African Development Bank for the purposes of road and drainage channel construction in the city.

The deployment of this loan has caused a rift between the political and technical teams of the city administration for over three months. In a report by the city’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) in March 2023, it was stated that the technical team allocated up to Sh15.4 billion for the construction of one kilometer, which is very high compared to the regional average.

For this and other reasons, the CEC demanded explanations, including a review of the awarded contracts. In addition to the alleged inflation of civil work costs, the technical team was accused of refusing to provide the contracts to the political team for scrutiny, which they denied. However, this was resolved when the technical team provided contracts for four lots of civil works out of five at the end of last month.

After examining the contracts, the CEC identified several irregularities, which were presented to the council during a special session on Wednesday for discussion and action. One of the issues raised was the allocation of Shillings14.3 billion for the removal and alteration of sewage, underground cable, and electricity linings, which is not the responsibility of the authority.

The special session was chaired by the author speaker Zahara Luyilika, with the lord mayor, the entire CEC team, and the technical team represented by the deputy executive director, the legal director, and the chairperson of the contracts committee. Three of the contractors were also represented. During the council meeting, CEC members presented their findings from the contracts.

John Mary Ssebuufu presented for lot 1, Olive Namazzi for lot 2, Hakim Sawula for lot 3, and Dorren Nyanjura for lot 5. Although each contract had unique anomalies, what was common among all four was the signing of contracts with individuals who had not registered their powers of attorney with the Uganda Registrations Services Bureau as required by law.

In lot 5, it was discovered that the contractor did not provide an acceptance letter to the contract, which the council found suspicious and wants to investigate further. On the other hand, it was found that a KCCA technical officer represented the contractor and was part of the oversight team, which raised concerns. The council sought answers to these and other irregularities.

In his explanation, Caleb Mugisha, the legal director of the authority, stated that despite the anomalies in the contracts, these contracts are legally binding and would deliver the intended purpose. “As the director legal to this organization, I want to assure this august house that we did our due diligence, and these contracts are bidding and will deliver the intended purpose,” he explained.

David Luyimbazi, the KCCA deputy executive director, requested time to look into the issues raised by CEC and provide appropriate answers because some of the issues raised were new to him. “Through you madam chairperson, on behalf of the technical team I request two weeks to look into these issues, and we come up with the relevant answers because some of the issues raised here are new to me,” said Luyimbazi.

Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago stated that this is what the political wing has always been called for. He added that as the supreme body governing the authority, they will not rest until every person involved in this matter is apprehended.

Zahara Luyirika, the speaker of the KCCA council, stated that as elected leaders in the city, they have an obligation to protect the interests of the people who elected them because, in the end, it is them who will pay back the loan.

The council resolved that the contracts for lot 5 should be reviewed, and answers to the other lots should be awaited. The KCCA public accounts committee will investigate all officials involved.  The council set June 6th, 2023 to receive the technical team’s response about the CEC findings.

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