URA Tower: Design Defects Were Noticed 3 Days after Commissioning

Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) registered and documented defects on its brand new Shs 139bn tower, just 3 days after its commissioning on January 19th 2019.

ChimpReports has seen a copy of a letter written on January 22nd 2019 by the URA Commissioner of Corporate Services who also headed the Tower Project, Herbert Rusoke, to the contractor J.E Nsubuga and Associates Ltd.

In the letter, Rusoke stated on the reference that the 22 floor building had two precarious design defects at the 12m gap and atrium that required review.

“This is to bring to your attention that on January 4th, 19th and 20th 2019, we received rainfall and on each of the above days, significant amounts of water entered into the building through the Atrium on floor two and on the upper ground level,” said part of the letter.

Rusoke stated further that the development presented substantial risk on the building and the sensitive data center.

“This (design defect at the 12m gap and atrium) present risks of water getting into the floor boxes, causing short circuits and possibly damaging equipment in the data center,” added the letter.

“Further note that the design of the reception area at 12m gap requires review due to water sipping through different corners of the roof structure,” noted the letter.

URA also rejected the main door of the tower 3 days after its commissioning and in effect ordered the contractor to remove and replace it.


“It was also noted that Bi-fold door installed at the upper ground public entrance does not have the splendor and impressiveness expected of a door in such an area and is thus rejected,” said the letter.

The contractor was given only 5 days to address all the above issues.

On Monday a video emerged from URA showing one of the floors taking in a great deal of rain water and stranded workers scampering for safety as computers soaked in water.

URA in a statement on Monday revealed that the problems are yet to be addressed. The statement signed by Head of Public and Corporate Affairs, Vincent Seruma however stated that the tower design will not be revised.

“A more robust solution to protect the lovers from storms is being put in place while at the same time maintaining the original design features of the building to remain energy efficient and environmentally friendly,” said Seruma.

The construction of URA Tower, which also has the full capacity of 17,000 people, 5 floors parking of 1000 cars and many other features, took four years.

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