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UGX 1.163Bn Consultancy Work for UWEC Perimeter Wall Fence Shocks MPs :: Uganda Radionetwork
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UGX 1.163Bn Consultancy Work for UWEC Perimeter Wall Fence Shocks MPs

While defending their Ministerial Policy Statement, and Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2024/2025 on Tuesday, David Musingo, UWEC’s Acting Executive Director told the Committee that they procured the services of C4D International Limited, a building and engineering firm for the wall fence construction given the complexity of land the entity sits on.
David Musingo (R) UWEC’s Acting Executive Director defending their Ministerial Policy Statement and Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2024_2025. Photo by Dominic Ochola

Audio 3

Legislators on the sectoral Committee of Tourism, Trade, and Industry were shocked Tuesday upon learning that Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre – UWEC procured private consultancy services for its perimeter wall fence at 1.163 billion Shillings.

EWEC sits on a 72-acre piece of land in Entebbe with a mandate to manage conservation education, showcase the country’s unique wildlife and ecosystems, manage wildlife biodata bank, promote wildlife breeding, and conduct rescue, rehabilitation, and release of wildlife species, among others.

While defending their Ministerial Policy Statement, and Budget Estimates for the Financial Year 2024/2025 on Tuesday, David Musingo, UWEC’s Acting Executive Director told the Committee that they procured the services of C4D International Limited, a building and engineering firm for the wall fence construction given the complexity of land the entity sits on.

Musingo revealed that the consultancy for the perimeter wall fence was one of the three capital development projects funded under the FY 2023/2024 budget at 1.163 billion Shillings. The consultancy firm, C4D International Limited, is yet to finalize the Bill of Quantities– BoQs before a contractor is sourced.  

//Cue in; “The capital project… 

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Musingo explained to the MPs that other capital development projects funded from the running budget include the construction of Mbale Regional Satellite Zoo, and the construction of a pier on Lake Victoria which sparked off scrutiny from the Committee Chairperson, Mwine Mpaka Rwamirama. 

Mpaka, also the Mbarara City South Constituency MP questioned why UWEC hired a consultant for a mere wall fence without consulting the Ministry of Works and Transport, an utter violation of the Public Service Standing Order, and Procurement Policy Book, 2020 issued by the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development.

//Cue in; “Standing Order 15… 

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Accordingly, the standing order requires that a public officer involved in the procurement, utilization, and disposal of goods and services in the public service consult the Ministry responsible for Works before engaging in any works or related activities. The Procurement Policy Book, 2020 listed the Ministry of Works as a competent authority in executing civil works and setting engineering standards across the country.

Bwamba County Member of Parliament, Richard Muhumuza Gafabusa, observed that the whole process of procuring the services of the consultant was fraudulent arguing the consultancy should have been at the initial stage of the project before funds were appropriated.

//Cue in; “Now if you are using …

Cue out… now request for money.”//

When asked to clarify the matter, high-ranking officials from UWEC’s mother Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities who included Kakula Khwirome, the Acting Permanent Secretary, and State Minister, Martin Bahinduka, remained with their lips tied but pleaded for leniency.

UWEC officials decried a funding gap of six billion Shillings which they said has affected several of the entity’s projects such as animal food and health care; safety, and handling services, countrywide conservation education and outreach programs, staff salaries and payment to volunteers, staff uniforms, and staff medical insurance among others.

UWEC’s approved annual budget for the Financial Year 2023/2024 was 21.7 billion Shillings. However, at the half year, the Government through the Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development released 10.849 billion only to cater for wages, operations, and capital expenditure.

Overall, the entity is lobbying Parliament to appropriate its 46.4 billion Shillings as additional capital funding in the FY 2024/2025. The funds will cater for the completion of the 1st Model Satellite Centre in Mbale, the revamping of botanical gardens, the boost lion population in protected areas, and the completion of the floating restaurant on the Lake among others.