UNRA probe committee hands consultant to police

Wednesday July 15 2015

Ms Mary Kuteesa (L), the assistant lead council

Ms Mary Kuteesa (L), the assistant lead council to the UNRA commission helping Mr Ronald Luberenga (R), the head of MAPCON Consultants, to go through documents during hearing yesterday. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 

By EPHRAIM KASOZI

KAMPALA. The commission of inquiry into the alleged mismanagement at Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) yesterday handed the managing director of a consulting firm to police over alleged fraud.
The commission chaired by Justice Catherine Bamugemereire directed police detectives to take over investigations into the alleged fraud against Mr Ronald Luberenga, the managing director of Mapcon Consultants Limited, in connection with valuation and compensation of people affected by the construction of the 92km Hoima-Kaiso-Tonya road in Hoima District.
Mr Luberenga appeared before the commission and testified that his company did not pay any tax to government during the contract period of 12 months although the company was paid up to 70 per cent of the amount.

“We did not pay any corporation tax except the withholding tax by UNRA of six per cent,” he said.
The commission heard that up to date, the compensation exercise is not complete due to pending appeals and protests while huge sums of money was allegedly paid in compensation of ‘ghost’ land owners.
Mr Luberenga also told the commission that Mapcon submitted its final reports for the affected people in 2013 contrary to the documents indicating that the final report was submitted to UNRA in June.

The testimony comes hardly a week after local leaders from villages that were affected by the road construction accused the firm of allegedly defrauding them during the compensation exercise.
Local council leaders testified that officials of Mapcon, which was hired to handle valuation and compensation of the affected people, under valued their property leading to underpayment.
The evidence given before the commission will form the basis of the report after inquiring and investigating into the alleged anomalies in UNRA.

The commission
The commission is mandated to investigate and inquire into the procurement and contract management processes by which UNRA awarded contracts for national road works. It also seeks to investigate and inquire into the acquisition of land by UNRA and generally to examine the basis and methodology employed by the Authority to compensate land owners and persons affected by national road works.

ekasozi@ug.nationmedia.com

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