MPs protest Dott Services contract award for Uganda-DRC roads over previous shoddy works

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Members of Parliament have protested government decision to award the contract for the construction of the Uganda-DRC Roads to Dott Services Limited.

Legislators sitting on Parliament’s Physical Infrastructure Committee argue that Dott Services has tainted its image by producing shoddy work here in Uganda, thus, according to them, risks tainting Uganda’s image in the international community.

This followed Works snd Transport Minister, Gen Katumba Wamala’s revelation that the controversial construction company has been selected as the contractor to construct the Uganda-DRC Roads.

The question was raised by Koboko County law maker, Mr James Baba  for Gen Wamala, who was appearing before the committee yesterday to clarify on the media reports that the contract had been awarded to Dott Services Limited.

“Dott Services has appeared before this Committee on several occasions because of the nature of their shoddy work on Mbale-Soroti road and Tirinyi Road. Now, we hear that they are the ones who have been given the contract. We want the Minister to confirm to us whether this is true,” Mr Baba said.

In December 2016, Dott Services Limited was subject of parliament investigation following a petition filed by Dott Services Limited, protesting what they termed as hostility of Ms Allen Kagina, the Executive Director for Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) towards their company.

In reponse, UNRA accused Dott Services of uttering false financial statements during the bidding on Kigumba-Bulima Road, Kyenjojo-Kagadi-Kabwoya Road, Fort portal-Hoima and Mbale-Nkokonjeru Road and Rukungiri-Kanungu-Ishaka Road projects.

UNRA also listed a number of roads projects in Eastern Uganda, Dott Services Limited is said to have produced shoddy work like the Mbale-Tirinyi Road and Mbale Soroti Road.

Although Mr Katumba admitted that the development was true as reported in media, he, however, said Dott Services Limited was picked by DRC and that Uganda is only contributing 20 percent in the construction of this road as the rest is going to be paid by the DRC.

“The project in DRC, Uganda is contributing as a regional project, we aren’t the ones contracting the contractor. It is the DRC which is responsible for contracting the contractor. We are contributing just 20% of the money. The rest of the activity, the contracting is done by DRC. DCR is a sovereign state, it does its work as a sovereign state, but for us because of the interest we have talked about to promote trade and ensure we promote trade, we are contributing 20%”.

In October 2020, Parliament approved the Shs3.4t supplementary funding, of which Shs200b was earmarked for Uganda’s contribution to the construction of 223km of roads in the DRC.

The project followed a bilateral agreement between Uganda and the DRC to implement strategic infrastructure projects, with Uganda Uganda’s contribution placed at 20% of the roads project.

Government argued that the total project cost was US$334.5m and Uganda’s contribution amounts to US$66.9m (approximately Shs254b).

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