In 2016, just after an outburst of how much Government of the Republic of Uganda spends on renting offices for Ministries, Departments and Agencies, cabinet of the Republic of Uganda, chaired by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directed that a one stop center for all government offices be constructed at Bwebajja, along the Kampala – Entebbe main road.
The President also directed that funds for the construction of the one stop center for all government offices be gotten from the National Social Security Fund – NSSF to purchase up to 93 acres at Bwebajja, do evaluation and bidding and the actual construction of the center.
Cabinet advised that, instead of spending much money in renting such offices, Government, through the National Social Security Fund would construct such facilities and later, treasury pays back to the gratuity institution.
Upon the reception of such resolution from cabinet, the National Social Security Fund, with guidance from the Head of State, NSSF outsourced M/S Ssentoogo and Partners to urgently carry out a feasibility study of proposed site of the campus in Bwebajja in order to establish the viability of the proposed site and, the cost to be paid to the land owner on the understanding that they would be given the whole consultancy assignment.
A report was later submitted in 2017 and the National Social Security Fund – NSSF, went ahead to purchase the property (93 acres), based on their recommendations. The property was purchased at Ugx 93 billion (each acre bought at Ugx 1 billion).
Later, in 2021, the National Social Security Fund – NSSF rescinded on an earlier decision to have Ssentoogo and Partners do the consultancy and instead opened the service provision to competition with proposal presentation.
Despite the back tracking, three companies passed through the proposal state to bid for the consultancy services. Amongst which are; Ssentoogo and Partners in joint venture with Mutiso Menezes International, Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair & Partners) in Association with Creations Consults Africa Ltd and Symbion (U) Ltd in Association with SVA International (PTY) Ltd.
With total disregard for the value for money doctrine, initial input of M/S Ssentoogo & Partners and the impeccable work experience of the competitors, the National Social Security Fund selected Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair & Partners) in Association with Creations Consults Africa Ltd to have won the bid process.
Well as the initial contractor, Ssentoogo & Partners had quoted the consultancy to cost Ugx 40 billion, the company chose Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair & Partners) in Association with Creations Consults Africa Ltd whose bid cost was Ugx 42 billion.
It has also been established that Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair & Partners) in Association with Creations Consults Africa Ltd,the shortlisted company was instead M/s Dar Al-Handasah in association with Creation Consultants Ltd.
“…And the financial proposal was said to be alien to the procurement services in subject,” a source told this website.
It however has been established that well as the capacity to handle the contract was given to NSSF, technical advice was supposed to be offered by the line Ministry, of Works and Transport. The gratuity fund however has never consulted from the technical people in the Ministry, thus prompting a protest notice from the Ministry engineers.
The same contractor, Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair & Partners), had been awarded consultancy services by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority to offer a similar job on the expansion and upgrade of Entebbe International Airport.
The contractor, in what is said to have been a botched deal, approved the expansion and upgrade works on Entebbe Airport runway 17/35 and 12/30, associated taxi ways and parking aprons which were not properly repaired by the
Seyani & Brothers and the China Communications Construction Company.
Well as the construction is said to have been bad, the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority offered a certificate of completion to Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair & Partners). Such works are said to have led to the skidding on the runway 17/35 by a Rwandan aircraft recently.
President Museveni, on his way to Nairobi for the second Heads of State conclave on the Democratic Republic of Congo in April this year, discovered that despite the offering of a certificate of completion to Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair & Partners), the airport still experienced several inadequacies.
Later, it was established that the work was shoddy and the UPDF engineering brigade with supervision from M/S Ssentoogo & Partners was offered to do the work, with immediate effect.
It was later established that Ssentoogo & Partners was not satisfied with the offering of the contract to a different company.
In January, the Fund (NSSF) tried to respond to some of the issues raised in the award of a contract to Dar Al-Handasah Consultants (Shair & Partners) in Association with Creations Consults Africa Ltd.
However, a source at the National Social Security Fund who asked not to be named for safety purposes, told this website that the response and explanation for picking a contractor with several inconsistencies was not accepted by the different stakeholders in the construction of the one stop center of all government offices.
“The 40 year experience of a company that has been here with competence cannot just be neglected for a company that has exhibited excessive incompetence especially in assets that require high expertise and yet security conscious,” a source at the Ministry of Works and Transport told this website.
Richard Byarugaba, the Managing Director of the National Social Security Fund could not pick our repeated telephone calls, neither did he respond to several WhatsApp messages sent by our reporter.
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