Friday February 16 2018

Dott services, UNRA in legal battle again

Dott services UNRA legal battle again

UNRA ED, Allen Kagina addressing a press conference. COURTESY PHOTO 

By Christine Kasemiire

Kampala. Following a series of protracted legal battle in the commercial court, Dott Services Limited has again dragged Uganda National Road Authority (Unra) to court seeking payment of Shs7.8b in addition to interest of Shs2.3b, Daily Monitor has learnt.

The amount in dispute, according to the court document, arises from the final payment certificate for the reconstruction of the Mbale-Soroti road.

A final certificate is normally issued when a construction contract has been fully completed. Once it is issued by the contractor, all the debt, including balances outstanding ought to be cleared.
In an application written by Kwesigabo, Bamwine and Walubiri Advocates on February 08, Dott services claims Unra, the accused, has not made payments (Shs7.8b and Shs2.3b) to the construction company as purported.
“We wish to state that our client has not received any payment and no confirmation of payment has been made by our client’s bankers as stated in the letter from our client’s bank as attached,” read the application.

How it started
On December 20, 2017, Dott services Limited filed a notion of notice to Unra demanding final payment certificate for the reconstruction of the Mbale-Soroti Road.
The sums were Shs7.8b and Shs2.3b in interest for delayed payment. In a sworn affidavit that this newspaper has seen, signed by Mr Morris Ewama, the contract manager at the directorate of legal services at Unra, the roads watchman claims the applicant, Dott services Limited, was on numerous occasions advised to review the interest but in vain.
Consequently, Unra decided to pay the principal amount (Shs7.8b).

In its defence, Unra claims Shs7.8b constitutes Shs2.6b and release of retention Shs5.2b, of which the former was due on March 10 and the latter on November 2016.
“According to GCC 43 [general conditions of Contract clause 43], interest shall be computed at 1 per cent above Bank of Uganda lending rate prevailing 28 days before interest is due,” read Unra defence.
Mr Ewama goes on to assert in his affidavit, proof that the company paid the principal amount that Dott services claims not to have received.
However, Dott services Limited retains that no such payment was made to them and that Unra, once notified to pay the Sh7.8b, applied to deposit the sum to court so that it can be absolved of the interest.

Frosty relations. The suit comes after the President asked Unra in January to reinstate Dott services Limited’s contract for the reconstruction of Mbale-Tirinyi road. The contract was to be awarded to China Civil Engineering and construction Corporation but was halted when Dott services got a court injunction putting the termination to a pause.