MPs Order Chinese Contractors to Refund Sh1.8bn to UNRA

The investor was ordered to refund the money by close of business on Tuesday

Parliamentary Committee on Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) has Thursday ordered a Chinese construction Company, page Chongqing International Construction (CICO) to refund a sum of Sh1.8bn to UNRA that was illegally requested by the company as a fine.

UNRA awarded CICO a contract worth Sh138bn for upgrading of Vurra-Arua-Koboko-Oraba road, pharmacy however, before the commencement of, the Chinese contractor made a fine claim of 1.8 billion Shillings from UNRA citing delays in securing the Environmental Impact Assessment report from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA).

CICO contractors claimed that the failure by UNRA to avail the report led to the delay of construction by four months which according to the signed contract, UNRA had to pay a total of Sh1.8bn as fine which they effected.

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However, according to the Auditor General’s report, this nugatory expenditure by UNRA would be avoided and advised that they should reclaim the lost monies from NEMA since they had done their part and it’s NEMA that had delayed the report.

This prompted the committee to invite NEMA to give their side of the story who on appearing led by the Executive Director Tom Okurut provided documentary evidence that they had provided the Environmental Impact Assessment report earlier than the required period in the law.

“The Act requires that we provide the assessment report within 6 months and after receiving the request, we went ahead and issued a report within four months,” Okurut told the committee with documentary evidence.

The committee chairperson, Abdu Katuntu then questioned why the contractors went ahead to claim the fine which surprised the members together with the UNRA hired Nigerian consultant, Robert Gyesi by revealing that they were ignorant of the NEMA Act but acted in respect with the signed contract.

This angered legislators who hurriedly ordered the Chinese Contractors to refund the money to UNRA without any further delay.

Katuntu ruled that the contractor wires Sh1.8bn to UNRA account Kampala Branch before end of business on Tuesday.


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