Kampala. Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has questioned lazy companies continue to be awarded contracts to construct city roads, at the second annual Kampala Capital City Authority-KCCA Suppliers’ Conference held at Imperial Royale Hotel on Tuesday.
In his first official duty after weeks of ailment, Lukwago said it is illogical for contractors who deliver shoddy work or take long to deliver on projects to continue benefitting from city contracts and yet when called upon in discourses, they never attend.
With mentioning the contractors, Lukwago made reference to the two Kilometer John Babiiha Avenue (but) which is being done by China State Construction Engineering Company Limited (CSCEC) has failed to complete for more than a year. The same company is constructing the Nakawa-Ntinda road and Kulambiro Ring Road, all funded by World Bank under the Kampala Institutional Infrastructure Development Project KIIDP II.
“If I use the language that these Chinese Companies, I may sound as a racist but those companies from China who are taking the bulk of our contracts in billions, I stand to be guided, how many are here? Or they sent their staff? Because I can tell by their color. I am sorry to sound racist,” Lukwago said while scanning the audience to find the Chinese contractors.
Lukwago says the City Executive Committee, which he heads shall come up with a blacklist containing companies KCCA should stop working with due to their uwanting work. He says if the list is developed, submitted to council and a resolution taken, the matter might attract a major audit query and major disciplinary action against the companies.
Lukwago said that the executive committee has resolved to have the Lord Mayor witness all contracts issued to guide on the companies to get contracts.
The KCCA political wing has often complained about contractors who deliver shoddy work and yet the contracts committee extends their contract. CSCEC and Abubakar Technical Services are the two companies that have often been queried. CSCEC, although yet to deliver on KIIDP II, secured another contract to construct Busaabala Road.
At the same event, the Minister for Kampala Betty Amongi also called on contractors to deliver timely and quality work. She says KCCA shall deny non-compliant companies contracts.
KCCA technical wing has not given any clear explanation on why it renews contracts of queried companies although sometimes, it blames them for providing wrong information during the bidding process. The companies demonstrate the capacity to handle a project but later turn out to be under capacitated.
However, some suppliers who attended the meeting blamed some of the delays on delayed payment from KCCA. They say KCCA may promise to make payments in 30 days but end up taking three or more months before effecting payment.
Michael Muyanja from Re-power Technical Services says delays in payment affects suppliers’ delivery especially for growing local companies.
The Head of the Procurement and Disposal Unit at KCCA, Doreen Akotweere attributes the delay in payment to the late release of funds. She says when procurement ends at the close of a financial year quarter; they have to wait for the Ministry of Finance to release funds in the next quarter before they can effect payments.
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