A Chinese contractor Chongqing International has been ordered by parliament to refund 1.8bn shillings that were paid out under a false claim.
This was during a sitting of parliament committee on State Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) session to look into a selected sample of road contracts executed by UNRA.
UNRA officials led by former Executive Director,Eng. Kimezze Ssebugga,were grilled for making payment to a bogus claim for a penalty of 1.8bn Shs for a purported delay by NEMA to provide an Environment Impact Assessment report for a stone quarry to supply materials for the upgrading of the Vurra-Arua-Koboko road according to 2013-14 Auditor general’s report.
UNRA paid the Chinese contractor Chongqing international 1.8bn in cost claims and sought to seek for a refund from NEMA as a result of the delay.
However MPs on COSASE this morning noted that the claims were illegal since the law gives NEMA six months within which to provide approval which it did in four months.
The contractor was faulted for proceeding to apply for cost claims one month after applying for approval from UNRA. Also at fault is the project consultant Comptran engineering and planning associates who provided UNRA with wrong advice.
After a stormy session with MPs led by committee chaired by, Abdu Katuntu, and his deputy Anita Among both the contractor and the consultant accepted blame for the seeking the illegal payment hence MPs suggested that the money be recovered.
The committee chairperson Abdu Katuntu ordered that the contractor refund the money by close of business on 29th next week and be banked on UNRA’s account provided.