In a letter dated June 15, 2014, Nandinda directed that the rehabilitation works of the District Council Hall be halted, citing inflated costs by the district contracts committee when they awarded a tender for the rehabilitation of the hall at Shs47 million.
“Can you imagine the bills of quantities show that a square meter of fairly good tiles, which is sold at Shs35, 000 in hardware shops in Kabale Town, has been priced at Shs150, 000? I can see taxpayers’ money being misused,” said Nandinda.
Nandinda said he would also order for investigations into the awarding of the tender and the people behind the exaggerated costs will be brought to book.
However, Patrick Besigye Keihwa, the Kabale District LC5 boss says the RDC has no authority to halt a contract awarded by the district’s administration, adding that the bills of quantities were never exaggerated.
“If the contractor gets the tender, his main objective is to earn profits. That is why prices in the bills of quantities must be higher than the actual market price,” said Keihwa.
Nandinda and his deputy, Moses Nuwagaba, have continuously accused Keihwa of defending and bailing out civil servants suspected to have misused taxpayers’ money, but the LC5 boss denies the allegations.
It should be noted, however, that according to the new Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Act (PPDA) amendments, Accounting Officers who sign contracts whose prices differ from the prevailing market price are liable to imprisonment, pay back or pay a fine if not all after thorough investigations.
“An Accounting Officer who signs a contract contrary to (a) section 26 (2), commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand currency points or to imprisonment not exceeding five years, or both,” reads the act in part.