MPs Demand Special Probe On Minister Byabagambi

Four opposition MPs are demanding for the establishment of a committee to investigate State Minister for Works John Byabagambi in the award of the controversial 22 trillion shillings procurement contract for the standard gauge railway.

Works minister Eng. Abraham Byandala listening while his deputy John Byabagambi
Works minister Eng. Abraham Byandala listening while his deputy John Byabagambi

Led by Bugweri MP Abdu Katuntu, the MPs have petitioned the Speaker of Parliament demanding the issue to be tabled in three days.

He says their matter needs urgency and the special committee should be given a period of 30 days to report.

Lwemiyaga MP Theodore Ssekikuubo explained that the matter needn’t be treated casually because it affects the macro performance of the economy. He said by government borrowing the money, Uganda’s debt burden will increase which affects everyone.

The MPs alleged that they have documentary evidence which indicates that the company awarded the contract has no experience since it is only five years old.

The MPs tasked government not to hold court in contempt since China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) won a case against government procuring another company to build the railway.

In the petition they also highlighted that CCECC won the contract at 4.2 billion dollars, but government cancelled their contract and awarded it to a firm which demanded 8.5 billion dollars.

The dispute pits two Chinese companies — state-owned China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) and China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC).

The Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) is one of the components of the Northern Corridor infrastructure projects the East African Community partner states, in particular Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, plan to operationalize by March 2018.

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