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Chinese firm fails to explain Entebbe contract acquisition

The Committee on Cosase in a meeting with officials from the Chinese construction firm.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) is puzzled after officials from China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) failed to explain how the company acquired the contract for the expansion of Entebbe International Airport.

CCCC officials were on 03 February 2022 appearing before COSASE on their contractual terms and obligations in regard to the US$200 million Entebbe International Airport expansion and upgrading project.

COSASE chairperson, Joel Ssenyonyi asked CCCC officials to explain how the company obtained the contract to expand and upgrade the Airport.

Despite his attempts to simplify or rephrase the question for the officials’ comprehension, no satisfactory response was availed.

The company’s general manager, Fan Wei said he has been in that position for two years and is not in possession of any information or documents in regard to acquisition of the contract for Entebbe International Airport.

He said all the documents are in custody at the CCCC Headquarters in Beijing, China and they cannot get the documents considering it is a New Year festival season in China which is expected to last until 16 February 2022.

This submission was a sore sting on the MPs’ ears.

“In any organisation, even if you are one day in office, you are given a handover report, but two years down the road, the CCCC general manager has no idea about the project he is executing. You cannot hold us at ransom because of the ongoing celebrations in China,” COSASE Vice Chairperson, Lucy Akello said.

Nkunyingi Muwada, Kyadondo East MP asked the committee to exercise its constitutional power to involve police detectives to fully investigate CCCC officials saying their lame responses were in contempt of the committee which has powers of the High Court.

“These people are intentionally not giving this committee the information required. It is illogical not to have a clear record of the existence and operations of a company in a project they have been implementing for the last four years,” Muwada said.

The committee is probing how CCCC got the contract following reports that there was no competitive bidding contrary to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act.

Fan Wei insists that the firm is executing their duties well in line with the contractual terms and that physical work on expanding and upgrading Entebbe International Airport is at 75 percent. However, he could not explain the nature of the works that have so far been completed.

Ssenyonyi expressed disappointment with the officials over their failure to explain how they got the contract and subsequently, asked them to submit all the vital documents not limited to bidding documents and contract letters by Monday next week.

“Your responses make us doubt if you are doing the right thing at the airport and if you are the right people for the job. We shall give you time to avail the documents, but you must still be able to speak to these documents. It is unfortunate that you can’t even answer basic questions,” Ssenyonyi said.

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SOURCE: UGANDA PARLIAMENT MEDIA

One comment

  1. Let them bring the documents because we pay taxes.

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