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Probe on Mukono-Katosi road starts

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President Museveni flags off construction of the Mukono-Katosi r

President Museveni flags off construction of the Mukono-Katosi road recently. Construction of the road has become a centre of controversy with the IGG citing fraud in the project. Monitor photo 

By  PAUL TAJUBA & NELSON WESONGA

Posted  Friday, August 22   2014 at  01:00

In Summary

There have been media reports that Eutaw, an American company, fraudulently acquired the contract to work on the road.

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MUKONO- Parliament Committee on Physical Infrastructure spent much of yesterday touring the Mukono-Katosi road to ascertain if construction of the road had started.

Mr Ephraim Biraaro, the chairperson of the committee, said: “We have established work is going on and the company has already constructed 13 kilometres,” he said.
“We are yet to establish the exact amount of money so far spent.”

The tour comes against a backdrop of media reports to the effect that though government had paid Shs24.7b to a construction company, the company is yet to start work.

However, government is expected to spend Shs165b to tarmac the road.

The visit also comes just when Uganda National Roads Authority is weighing in on whether to terminate Eutaw Construction Company’s contract given to build the 74-kilometre road.

Should the contract be terminated, Uganda might lose the Shs24.7b that UNRA had already paid out to Eutaw.

The Finance ministry earlier this week blocked the release of more money to the company after reports emerged that government could have signed the deal with a fictitious company purporting to represent Eutaw in Uganda.

Earlier, the American company had written to government, disassociating itself from some individuals here claiming to be its representatives.

Relatedly, the MPs heard that Eutaw wants to sub – contract another company to do the work.This, according to UNRA, is not unusual.

Mr Biraaro said the committee would not, just as yet; look into if the procurement of the American company followed the right procedures.

So far, it has been reported that Works minister Abraham Byandala, disregarded public procurement procedures by vouching for the American company.

Mr Byandala, however, has countered that this could not have stopped UNRA from carrying out due diligence on the company.

He faults his predecessor, Mr John Nasasira, and the minister for the Presidency, Mr Frank Tumwebaze, for orchestrating a smear campaign against him.

Mr Tumwebaze denied the accusation, saying Mr Byandala is using him as a scapegoat for his woes. Mr Nasasira, the former Works minister, who was expected to make a statement on the matter last evening, had not done so by press time.

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