A procurement scandal has rocked the shs61bn World bank procurement project for municipalities under construction works for selected infrastructure subprojects in Masaka city, Mubende and Entebbe municipalities.
The projects are worth Shs61bn and were awarded to Chinese construction company, China Wu Yi Co. Ltd, according to the Best Evaluated Bidder (BEB) notice dated December 21st , expiring on January 5th.
However, according to dossier by a whistle blower before PPDA and IGG, the procurement process was marred with irregularities.
In the dossier dated January 5, the whistleblower alleges that the evaluation and contracts committees were not property constituted thus rendering the process a fraud.
“As the lead entity, I bring to your attention that the Masaka contracts committee and procurement disposal units were not properly constituted and further flouted procurement guidelines thereby tainting the whole process.
”The Masaka city town clerk purported to remove Mutebi Ibrahim from the contracts committee without following the laid down procedures in the regulations specifically failure to seek and get approval of the permanent secretary,” the dossier notes.
“The same official was appointed by the town clerk as caretaker head of procurement disposal unit, a non –existent position in public services. The fact that Ibrahim Mutebi was for all intents and purposes still a chairperson of the contracts committee, he should not have been part of the evaluation committee.”
The dossier further states that it was irregular for an imposter Mutebi to author two different invitation letters for the contracts committee on the 28th October , 2020 with one as caretaker PDU-Masaka city and another as chairperson of the contracts committee leading to a potential conflict of interest .
“The purpose of this letter is to request that due to non-conformity with the procurements laws and guidelines, the award be annulled and tendering process be redone.
The Uganda Municipal Infrastructure Investment Program (USMID) has been under implementation since 2013. The Program has performed consistently well since effectiveness.
Progress towards the Program Development Objective (PDO) has been rated satisfactory throughout, with overall implementation progress rated moderately satisfactory or better.
The safeguards performance has ranged between satisfactory and moderately satisfactory. Given the success of the ongoing USMID Program, replenishment of funds through Additional Financing (AF) is now being proposed to both broaden the investments and increase the number of municipalities.