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Chinese Firm Faces Probe for Theft, Abuse of Workers Rights

Hoima Resident District Commissioner John Stephen Ekoom told Uganda Radio Network on Friday that a fact finding operation by the District Security Committee established that a number of people were involved in Fuel siphoning, theft of construction materials and abuse of workers rights.

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The Hoima district security committee has instituted a committee to investigate the theft of construction materials, fuel and abuse of workers' rights by China Railway No. 5, a construction company that was contracted to construct the 135 kilometer Kigumba- Masindi- Hoima- Kabwoya road.

The committee is comprised of Hoima District Police Commander Erima Twaha, the Officer in charge of Criminal investigations department at Hoima Central Police Station Ezra Esiko and the Hoima district Labor officer Anthony Ayesiga.

Hoima Resident District Commissioner John Stephen Ekoom told Uganda Radio Network on Friday that a fact finding operation by the District Security Committee established that a number of people were involved in Fuel siphoning, theft of construction materials and abuse of workers' rights.

He says the instituted committee will carry out the investigations for a period of two weeks and present their findings to the District Security Committee for legal action. Ekoom further directed the district CID to open up a general inquiry file against the officials, involved in any intolerable acts.

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Ekoom says after the report, those who will be implicated will be arrested and penalized accordingly for sabotaging government project. He says the government has injected a lot of money in the construction of the road and whoever diverts funds meant for the road construction must be arrested.

The government of Uganda in 2015 awarded China Railway No. 5 Engineering Construction Company Limited a contract to upgrade the 135 kilometer stretch from gravel to bitumen standards at a cost of 159.6 billion Shillings.

The project that is being financed with a loan from the African Development Bank [ADB], United Kingdom department for International Development [DFID] and counterpart financing from the Government of Uganda is expected to be complete by August 2020.

Allegations of Fuel siphoning, theft of Construction Materials and Mistreatment of workers among foreign Companies working in the Albertine Graben have become rampant in the recent past.

The company faced similar complaints when it was contracted by the government to tarmac the Bulima-Kabwooya road, one of the sections of the 238-km Kigumba-Hoima-Kagadi-Kyenjojo road.

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