The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) will spend over over Shs207bn on the construction of Rukungiri-Kihihi-Ishasha-Kanungu road.
A leaked letter authored by Christopher Gashirabake Director Legal, Advisory Services Ministry of Justice advised UNRA to sign the contract with China Henan International Corporation Group.
In his 14th September 2018 letter to UNRA, Gashirabake noted: “This is to advise that the draft contract with China Henan International Corporation Group for upgrading to bituminous standard at a contract price if Shs207,834,646,967 inclusive 18% VAT is hereby cleared for signing.”
However, the move by the roads agency has left a section of Ugandans irked.
Nobert Mao, the Democratic Party President, took to his Twitter handle and questioned the approximately USD700,000 that’s going to be spent on each kilometer.
Another Ugandan, Albert Mucunguzi admitted that whereas he isn’t experienced in road construction, he found Shs2.7bn per kilometer too costly, noting “Worse if you remember they will just create some second grade stuff in the end.”
It wasn’t long before other Ugandans started to weigh into the subject with a one Jared Opio expressed fears over capital flight saying China will likely hijack all public entities, “China is going to start calling agency by agency.”
It should be noted that an engineering audit by Auditor General in 2016 revealed that the contract price for Kampala-Entebbe Express Highway was inflated to a tune of Shs56bn.
It was revealed that the China owned China Communications Construction Company (CCCC) won the contract through a solicited bid pricing.
This was after the delegation from CCCC walked to UNRA and presented a proposal on how they had found remedy for the thick congestion along Entebbe Road by constructing a new road.
The Contractor worked on the design, which UNRA had no input in and at the end of the audit exercise, the price of the works were found to have been exaggerated .