The Constitutional Court has allowed the police to proceed with investigations against American Construction Company Eutaw and its agent, in connection to the procurement, award and advance payments made towards the construction of Mukono-Katosi road.
This follows the ruling of the court that threw out an application for interim orders filed by one of Eutaw’s purported agents Apollo Senkeeto.
Eutaw had also asked court to block UNRA and the Attorney General from further terminating the Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi road contract until in their main petition in which they raise several constitutional issues are addressed.
But in his ruling today, Justice Eldad Mwangusya observed that Senkeeto has no power of attorney to institute a case on behalf of Eutaw as he had claimed.
Justice Mwangusya also noted that there was no evidence to show that Eutaw’s main petition was likely to succeed on grounds that it does not disclose issues for constitutional interpretation, hence no need to issue an interim injunction as prayed for.
The court ruling now allows UNRA to proceed with a new contractor to put an end to the project that has been characterized by scandals.
The lowest new bidder under the emergency procurement for Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi road is now SBI JV RCC with a bid of 179 billion shs. The new contractor has been given 14 days to mobilize and will not be given advance payment as was the case with Eutaw.
It’s expected that the new contractor will have to seek its financing from elsewhere in order to avoid the repeat of what happened with the Katosi road when Eutaw sub contracted a Chinese contractor.
In order to expedite the project, the completion period for the road has also been reduced from 36 months to 30 months.
The feud between Eutaw and Uganda National Roads Authority begun on November 15 2013 when the two companies signed a contract to have the civil works to upgrade of Mukono-Kyetume-Katosi road undertaken at a total cost of Ugx 165 billion. This was after Eutaw’s bid was found to be the best.
Following the award of the contract, EUTAW subcontracted a Chinese company M/S Chongqing International Construction Corporation – CICO to tarmac the road. UNRA then paid 24Billion shs in advance to the dubious road construction firm that has since vanished without a trace.
However on November 24 2014, UNRA wrote Eutaw ordering it to leave the construction site on grounds that it had allegedly entered into the contract on a false pretext.
It’s also alleged that works and transport minister Abraham Byandala used his office to influence the issuance of the contract to EUTAW which was later described as a briefcase company, before completion of the due diligence process