A United States-registered company and a local businessman Apolo Senkeeto have dragged the Ugandan government to the Constitutional Court, alleging that the Inspector General of Government acted unconstitutionally when he stopped the company’s contract with Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to upgrade the 74km Katosi road.
According to the documents filed in court, the petitioners allege the company signed an agreement with UNRA in which it undertook to carry out civil works for upgrading of the road from gravel to paved (Bitumen) standard.
The company said it commenced work and UNRA made an advance payment of Shs 24bn, representing 15 percent payment as provided for in the agreement.
According to UNRA’s project brief update dated 10 September 2014, work in progress executed by the company for the period July 2014 up to September 10 2014 amounted to 16.5 percent of the total work to be done and the report noted that the work was ahead of schedule.
The petition claims that “in spite of its successful execution of the contracted work,” on July 17 2013 the Inspector General of Government wrote to UNRA instructing it to stop the company from “continuing with the work” on the grounds that its contract was “irregularly granted” and instead the work was given to a SBI company which charged Shs 100 bn more expensively than the American company.
Senkeeto was then separately charged by the Inspectorate of Government in the Anti-Corruption Court allegedly for presenting to UNRA a forged security bond upon which the contract was granted.
Senkeeto denies this charge and has produced a police report which exonerated him and pinned down the insurance broker and a member of staff of the insurance company of having sold a forged bond.
According to the police investigation report seen by ChimpReports on Saturday, “the stolen money was taken by Maimunah Kabasemeza and her husband Majara Mbaga who dealt with Michael Joseph Kintu and others who forged the performance bond document that cost Shs 75m.”
It further added that the “source of money was from Mr Apolo Senkeeto of Eutaw Construction company and the purpose was to secure a performance bond. The money was taken in the month of May, 2014 and the forged performance bond was dated November 21, 2013. This shows pure fraud by both Basemera and others.”
The petitioners complain among other things that the “action of the IGG in stopping their contract contravened section 230 of the Constitution and infringed” their constitutional right to earn a living.
They also assert that the IGG can only exercise jurisdiction over public servants and does not extend to private persons like them.
The petitioners therefore want the court to direct UNRA which was sued as a co-respondent to pay them general damages for breach of contract and special damages of Shs 20m per day for wrongful confiscation of their vehicles and equipment until their release.