Whistleblower petitions IGG over shs300bn Busega-Mpigi expressway

Kenneth Kazibwe

A whistleblower has written to the Inspectorate of Government over what he has termed as an irregular procurement process of the Busega-Mpigi expressway.

The Ugandan government in December 2016 signed a loan agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) for the construction of the 23.7km Busega-Mpigi Expressway that will cost $91m (Shs322b)

The four lane dual carriage way will have four major interchanges to facilitate interconnection with roads at Nabbingo, Nsangi, Maya and Lungala in Wakiso district with 20km of link roads and five flyovers.

However, in his letter to the IGG, the whistleblower says there was an irregular procurement process for the construction of the highway was done fraudulently and government risks losing over shs140bn in the deal.

“Apart from the delayed procurement process even when Uganda is already paying the interest to the loan of Shs576Bn from African Development Bank (AfDB), there is a huge financial loss of Shillings 143,276,907,207 that the country is about to make as it is clear that the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is set to award the 4th   lowest evaluated bidder in the names of M/S China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and China Railway 19th Bureau Group Co Ltd (CCECC &CRGC),”says the whistleblower’s letter to IGG.

“It is nearly one year since the UNRA Procurement Directorate opened the bids on 31st August, 2017 but the top management in UNRA have been frustrating the procurement process by imposing on the Agency’s Procurement Directorate and Evaluation Committee the 4th lowest evaluated bidder instead of the lowest eligible, compliant and substantially responsive bidder as the PPDA Act directs.”

The whistleblower explains that UNRA top management are exerting pressure on the procurement committee to ‘unethically’ award the project to CCECC and CRGC  even when their bid would additionally cost government shs140 billion.

He adds that the companies quoted shs530 billion which is far higher than the lowest bidder who had quoted shs390 billion.

“Therefore, madam IGG, it is my humble request that you crack the whip as soon as possible and save the country from this loss because the illegal procurement is inevitable,” says the letter.

The whistleblower also quotes the African Development Bank which he says declined to give a no objection to UNRA following their evaluation report to the bank where they had recommended the two companies but adds that UNRA was asked to revisit their assessment thus proving the procurement process had flaws.

He has also copied the letter to the Minister of Works and Transport, chairman UNRA board of directors and UNRA Executive Director.

When contacted about the same, the Inspector General of Government spokesperson Ali Munira confirmed the letter but said she could not divulge more information because she was in a meeting.

“Yes, its true the IGG received the letter,” Ali told the Nile Post on phone on Wednesday morning.

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