As Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) prepares to procure at least 1,000 buses from Ashok Leyland of India, a whistle blower has written to the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit decrying how the deal was handed over to a single bidder without competitive bidding.
The plaintiff’s letter, which we have come across, chides the Ministry of Transport and KCCA for not allowing public participation through open bidding to allow local investors to participate.
This act which contravenes all procurement laws, threatens to throw the deal into the murky waters of a legal process that could throw it out altogether.
“Reference is made to the above where the press has reported that the government of Uganda through the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transport are working together to enable KCCA procure 1000 buses from Ashok Leyland of India. All the routes in Kampala Metropolitan Area have been given to this company to run without allowing other interested parties to participate.” Reads part of the letter.
The complainant says that the local bus companies have been denied an opportunity to participate in the project in which they could build capacity, expand their industries and provide jobs to over 5,000 Ugandans.
“First of all, The Ministry of Transport and/or K.C.C.A did not allow public participation through open bidding to allow our local investors to participate. It looks like this Ashok Leyland was handpicked to supply these buses in total disrespect of public procurement rules. Its subsidiary was also granted all routed to ply the exclusion of all other players.
The result is that the local bus manufacturers have been denied an opportunity to participate in this project which would have enabled local bus industries to build capacity, expand their industries and provide over 5,000 jobs to Ugandans in the manufacturing industry.”
The letter further reads, “This Ashok Leyland is getting a lot support from the government of Uganda of course using public funds by guaranteeing the payment for these buses, giving them designated routes. With the previous trends, this is a dubious transaction that will end in a loss for Ugandans.”
The intention of the letter is to move the office of the IGG and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit to immediately stop the outrageous transaction, investigate and acts of corruption and abuse of office intended to enrich individual at the cost of the nation, bring the culprits to book and ensuring that the project is undertaken in a transparent manner in accordance with the laws and practice of public procurement among others.
As Ugandans we believe that your intervention will save Ugandans money unlike in previous cases of Katosi Road Construction Saga, The Local Government bicycles saga, Temangalo saga and many more,” the letter continues.
Below are letters indicating that both the IGG and the State House Anti-Corruption Unit have received the complaint and are set to investigate over the next few days.
Last year, the KCCA disclosed its intention to acquire the buses, which it said would help alleviate the problem of menacing traffic jams in the city. At the time, Peter Kaujju, the communication director at KCCA, revealed that 200 buses would be acquired through a facility from the African Development Bank. In spite of the strict procurement rules at the bank, the process of acquiring the buses has gone off track and threatens to elicit a legal process that will derail the project.
Peter Kaujju, the director communications at KCCA said they expect to have 200 buses under African Development Bank as a solution to improve public transport by next year.
He said currently, they are experiencing an influx of people coming to settle in the City. “we are working on all the city roads to reduce on traffic flow. We have trained scouts to help drivers to use the roads correctly because some drivers are not aware of the new changes,” Kaujju said.
He also noted that they have put in place traffic signals for road users if used well; they expect a reduction of the jam.
This article was originally published on Chimp Reports.