Kampala

The Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has signed two firms to complete the stalled 74km Mukono-Katosi road project amid ongoing legal battles in court.

According to the January 12 agreement, UNRA signed the contract with JV SBI International Holdings AG and Reynolds Construction Company worth Shs253 billion with work expected to start within 14 days from the date of signing.

“..the employer desires that the works known as civil works for upgrading of Mukono – Kyetume-Katosi-Nyenga road should be executed by the contractor and has accepted a bid by the contractor for execution and completion of these works and remedying of any defects therein,” reads a copy of the contract signed by Mr George Bwanga, the acting executive director of UNRA.

Mr Dan Alinange, spokesperson of the road’s authority, confirmed the signing of the contract with the two companies.
“We signed the contact on Monday after an earlier court injunction was lifted and the cases in the Constitutional Court cannot block us from proceeding,” Mr Alinange said by telephone yesterday.

Eutaw Construction Company, the original contractor that later delegated the project to a Chinese firm CICO, has applied to the Constitutional Court to block UNRA and the Attorney General from signing a new contractor until their main petition challenging the cancellation of their Shs165b contract is disposed of in court.

The ruling on Eutaw’s application for interim orders is expected today.
In a similar petition, CICO is challenging the Inspector General of Government’s report which directed UNRA to open a fresh procurement process for a new contractor and barred the firm from participating in the new bidding process.

Initially, court had issued the interim injunction barring UNRA from implementing the IGG’s directives but on Friday, Nakawa High Court judge Wilson Masalu Musene nullified the injunction.
His ruling allowed UNRA to proceed and implement the IGG directives of signing a new contractor for the project.

Mr Fred Muwema, Eutaw’s lawyer, said he was aware of the signed contract but declined to comment, saying the matter was in court.

Cancelled deal
The IGG cancelled the Eutaw contract on account that the firm fraudulently subcontracted the project to CICO, causing the Uganda government a loss of at least Shs24b in illegal advance payment.