Kampala- Government has awarded a Shs11b contract to a Nigerian company to carry out the second phase of land surveying and certification project amid bitter fight between senior government officials.
The Nigerian company, GIS Transport Limited, beat its rival Sivan Design DS Limited in the procurement process to implement the Systematic Land Adjudication and Certification programme. World Bank is funding the project.
According to Lands ministry sources, the contract was signed after a meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, the First Deputy Prime Minister, Gen Moses Ali, Lands minister Betty Amongi and Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi at the Office of the Prime Minister in Kampala.
When contacted yesterday, Ms Amongi declined to comment on the awarding of the contract, saying she only gives official information on working days.
“If you want official information, you call on a working day,” Ms Amongi said before she hang up.
Her junior, Ms Persis Namuganza, declined to comment either, saying we should talk to Ms Amongi.
Ms Amongi was against awarding the Nigerian company a contract which pitted her with Ms Namuganza, and the government technical officials, including Ms Dorcas Okalany, the Lands Permanent Secretary and Mr Muhakanizi, who wanted the firm to get the contract.
In a June 27, 2018 internal Memorandum to Ms Okalany, Ms Amongi stated that due diligence had not been done on GIS Transport Limited and therefore technical officials should not sign the contract until a fresh evaluation has been done.
On June 29, Ms Okalany wrote to Mr Muhakanizi seeking guidance to Ms Amongi’s decision.
“The best evaluated bidder was notified. However, due to the issues raised by the minister in various correspondences, it has not possible to sign the contract and commence work and this may result into a mis-procurement,” Ms Okalany stated.
In his response on July 2, Mr Muhakanizi ordered Ms Okalany to disregard Ms Amongi’s decision since ministers do not have a role in procurement process and move forward to sign the contract.
“I am therefore writing to you: to urge you to move forward with the project activities as provided for in the project work plan and associated procurement plan, as approved by the project steering committees. Therefore among other things, please proceed to sign the contract as already advised before,” Mr Muhakanizi stated.
He threatened to take disciplinary action against Ms Okalany if the delay affects the World Bank funding.