Moyo authorities investigate contractor over shoddy work

The new OPD building at Aya Health Centre II in Metu Sub-county, Moyo District for which the contractor is being probed. PHOTO | MARKO TAIBOT  

What you need to know:

  • Mr Emmanuel Bada, the district secretary for Works and Technical Services, said Aya Health Centre III is one of the three health facilities in the district that was marked for refurbishment and upgrade.

Authorities of Moyo District Local Government have commenced investigations into the alleged mismanagement and shoddy works by Arindua Construction Co Ltd.

In the Financial Year 2019/2020, the company was awarded a Shs480 million contract by the district local government under the Uganda Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfer (UGIFT) to carry out refurbishment works at Aya Health Centre III in Metu Sub-county, Moyo District.

Authorities cite substandard works that include cracking walls and floors, and failure to complete on time.

Mr William Anyama, the district chairperson, at the weekend said despite the irregularities, the contractor disappeared from the site without handing it over to the district.

“The floors of the wards (buildings) put in place have developed cracks, some of the door fittings and shutters are hanging or absent before the facility is commissioned. The wooden parts are already warping while the contractor has disappeared,” Mr Anyama said.

He added: “We earlier monitored the facility and faulted the contractor over the shoddy works and we made recommendations to them but even when they made the correction, it was worse yet these are public resources that should be put to the best use.”

 Mr Anyama said the company would be brought to book through prosecution.

Mr Emmanuel Bada, the district secretary for Works and Technical Services, said Aya Health Centre III is one of the three health facilities in the district that was marked for refurbishment and upgrade.

“Unfortunately, work done here is quite unsatisfying. We have been writing to the relevant authorities about the shoddy work but no action or response has since been served to us,” Mr Bada said.

He said the contractor was meant  to complete the works in six months. 

The same problem is being experienced in the other two health centres; Gbari and Lama.

Mr Ronald Andi, a resident, accused  district leaders of not ensuring timely monitoring and supervision of the project.

“All political and appointed officers can supervise and recommend the termination of the contract just in case they detect shoddy work, but this was not done,” he said.

When contacted, Mr Ratib Atiku, the managing director for Arindua Construction Company, said they delayed handing over the facility due to negligence from the district technical officials.

“The district engineer and the district health officer failed to inspect the facility while we worked and as a result, certain things did not come as per the plan,” Mr Atiku said.

 Mr Atiku also blamed the company’s failure to beat the project deadline on Covid-19 restrictions and the poor road network which made transportation of raw materials and other logistics difficult.  “When Covid-19 delayed us, we requested for an extension of the contract and we were granted, when we were notified about the defects on the buildings, we ensured we corrected them,” he said.

Some of the projects whose works have been delayed include refurbishment of Moyo General Hospital, Amua Bridge in Gbalala, as well as classrooms at Dufile Seed Secondary School.

Mr Geoffrey Vuciri, the deputy chief administrative officer of Moyo District, yesterday dismissed claims of lack of supervision.

“We have been visiting that place many times, snags that were identified by the (district) engineers were attributed to lack of aeration but they are fixing them,” Mr Vuciri said.

Mr Vuciri said besides periodic assessment done by the district technical team, a team from the Health Ministry visited the site for an assessment and that the handover will be communicated by the central government.

“Whatever will happen within this period in terms of infrastructure defects is being monitored and it must be handled by the contractor because he has not yet handed it over to the district, we are still waiting for the report of the joint monitoring done by the ministry officials,” he added.

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