Parliament’s committee on State and Statutory Enterprises this week ordered Chinese contractors to deposit over 31 billion shillings to the account of Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) before the end of business on Tuesday.
In 2014 UNRA deposited over 47 billion shillings to the different accounts of five Chinese contractors China Railway 18th bureau group company limited, China Railway number three engineering group company limited, Zhongmei engineering group limited , China Railway number five engineering group company limited and Chongqing international construction corporation and these companies were supposed to compensate people who were affected by the construction of Olwiyo Gulu, Musita-lumin/ Busia -Majanji road , Kanoni Sembabule -Villa Maria road, Gulu -Acholi bur and Acholi bur -Musingo roads but instead they used it to acquire make money.
In an interface with the members of parliament on the committee some of the companies agreed to have used the money to finance their businesses which forced the chairperson of the committee Abdul Katuntu to order the companies to deposit all the money in their possession to the UNRA Kampala station account together with the interest they had acquired from the funds.
However, at first the committee found a hard time to decide where this money should be deposited by the contractors not that once this money is returned to the consolidated fund, there will be a delay in the completion of the projects and further delay payment of the affected persons. Other MPs suggested that the money be deposited on the accounts of the affected districts but later it was decided to keep on one of UNRA’S station accounts.
The contractors promised to return the money by end of business on Tuesday evening apart from China railway number three who asked the committee to give it one week as the money was in China and they were in holiday and hence could not access the funds but the committee refused to accept their plea.