Solicitor General Francis Atooke has come out to defend government’s decision to withhold the balance of USD 28 million dollars from a Chinese firm constructing the bridge over Isimba power dam.
The contactor, China Water International and Electric Engineering (CWE) on Tuesday lodged its complaint to Parliament’s Physical Infrastructure Committee on the withheld funds.
Xia Nenghani, the CWE boss told the MPs that although they had received 92.5% of the total payment on this project, this amount was insufficient considering that the ongoing works are correctional, since the dam was completed.
Nenghai pleaded to have this money for construction to continue, lest works on the bridge were likely to stall.
However, Solicitor General Atooke while commenting on the matter, defended government and cast the blame on CWE which he said had failed to live up to the contract that was signed between the two parties.
He noted that the amended terms in the contract stipulate payment of this sum after completion of works and fixing of various defects.
“Addendum 4 amended the payment terms and says, yes we shall pay, we shall approve this final certificate after you have repaired these defects that have been pointed out by the onus engineer.”
Although money remains readily available, Atooke said there should be a sort of assurance or retention guarantee to ensure that the contractor does not abandon work as soon as he is paid.
On the prospects of government being said, he said they were ready.
“Can they go to court? Yes, even the government of Uganda can go to court because the terms and conditions are very clear,” he affirmed.