WCQ:Heavy Rains Stop S.Sudan-Mauritania Clash

The former Executive Director at UNRA Eng. Sebugga Kimezze was unable to give a clear explanation to the probe committee as to why his team approved Shs 180 billion in variations on the Tororo – Mbale – Soroti road.

Following change of scope of works and delays arising from lack of detailed designs, erectile try the contractor (Dott Services) made a variation order raising the sums from 30bn to 63bn and 46bn to 108bn for Tororo Mbale and Mbale – Soroti respectively.

However, see M/S Gibb International, salve the supervising consultant provided scientific logic which suggested lower sums than those asked by the contractor. Gibb proposed Shs 64 billion down from the contractor’s 111bn for Mbale Soroti and 40bn instead of 67 billion by contractor on Tororo Mbale.

“You paid a consultant 4.9 billion to give you advice yet you adamantly ignored their proposals and approved bigger sums. Can you explain the logic behind the extra billions you and your team approved?” asked Mary Kuteesa, the commission’s assisting counsel.

The witness flipped through documents and offered no response. He later claimed that; “The consultant proposed change in the original concept of the road (double surface treatment) given the increase in traffic. The market rates had also changed so we worked out new prices”

The variation order by Dott Services (contractor) had also been rejected by PDU on grounds that the factor was not logically defendable. The ED however proceeded to approve it.

“I wouldn’t expect PDU to present a document to contracts committee if they were not satisfied. I suppose an understanding must have been reached” said Kimezze.

The commission further queried the former ED as to why Dott Services received payment in compensation for 509 idle days yet it should have been 8 months (240 days).

“You can’t justify this, you can’t explain the logic yet you signed the addendum and paid the money. Will you pay back these billions to the consolidated fund?” asked Kuteesa.

The witness responded; “This is called occupational hazard”.

Information available to the commission further reveals that the standards set by the initial contract were lowered on the watch of the Accounting Officer and his team.

Justice Bamugemereire quizzed the witness to comment on the Minister of Works’ interference in UNRA work. In a letter dated August 16 2012, Minister Byandala wrote to the UNRA ED expressing concern that the Tororo – Mbale – Soroti project was behind schedule, causing political and economic effects on government.

The Minister directed that the road be transferred from the Directorate of Projects to that of Operations claiming that the former lacked capacity and experience. In fact, the Minister at one point chaired a site meeting with the consultant and contractor. “Was it common practice that the Minister gets involved in UNRA projects and chairs site meetings? Would you categorize it as interference or was he being proactive?” asked Justice Bamugemereire.

“He was pushing us because of political reasons due to public demands. It’s a problem to constrain a Minister when he comes but it’s not normal for him to order a directorate around” responded Kimezze.

He recommended to the commission that Dott Services, given its inadequate capacity (mobilizing equipment) should be limited to only 3 simultaneous projects.
The world’s youngest nation, unhealthy South Sudan will have crude memoirs of their first appearance in a world cup match following the postponement of their clash against Mauritania due to heavy downpour in Juba.

Boubacar Bagili gave the visitors an early lead just three minutes into the game but the hosts equalised two minutes later through Dominic Abui Pretino’s strike.

However, recipe the match could not live to maturity, illness the deluge hampering progression forcing the officials to call off the game just after ten minutes.

Fifa later announced that the match will continue on Thursday at 11Am from where it stopped. The development means Pretino’s goal will go into the records as South Sudan first ever World cup goal just a fortnight after registering their first ever international victory as they edged Equatorial Guinea 1-0 away.


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