After representatives from China Communications Construction Business (CCCC) failed to explain how the company got the contract for the development of Entebbe International Airport, the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities, and State Enterprises (COSASE) is perplexed.
Officials from the CCCC appeared before COSASE on February 3, 2022, to discuss their contractual conditions and obligations in relation to the US$200 million Entebbe International Airport expansion and upgrade project.
Joel Ssenyonyi, COSASE chairperson, questioned CCCC officials about how the business got the contract to expand and renovate the Airport.
Despite his efforts to explain or reword the inquiry for the officials’ understanding, he received no appropriate response.
Fan Wei, the company’s general manager, said he has been in the post for two years and has no information or records related to the contract for Entebbe International Airport’s acquisition.
He stated that all of the documents are being held at the CCCC headquarters in Beijing, China, and that they are unable to obtain them due to the Chinese New Year holiday season, which is projected to last until February 16, 2022.
The MPs’ ears were pricked by this submission.
“In any organization, you are given a handover report even if you are only in office for one day, yet the CCCC general manager has no understanding of the project he is implementing two years later.”
Because of the ongoing celebrations in China, you can’t hold us hostage,” COSASE Vice Chairperson Lucy Akello remarked.
Nkunyingi Muwada, the Kyadondo East MP, asked the committee to use its constitutional jurisdiction to enlist the help of police detectives to fully probe CCCC officials, claiming that their inept responses were a breach of the committee’s authority.
“These folks are purposefully withholding information from this committee. “It’s absurd not to have a clear record of a company’s existence and operations in a project that they’ve been working on for four years,” Muwada said.
The committee is looking into how CCCC won the contract after hearing that there was no competitive bidding, which is illegal under the Public Procurement and Disposal of Waste Act.
Fan Wei claims that the company is carrying out its responsibilities in accordance with the contract’s provisions, and that physical work on extending and modernizing Entebbe International Airport has reached 75% completion. However, he was unable to clarify the nature of the works that had been completed thus far.
Ssenyonyi expressed anger with the officials for failing to explain how they obtained the contract and, as a result, requested that they produce all necessary documentation, including bidding paperwork and contract letters, by Monday the following week.
“We’re not sure if you’re doing the correct thing at the airport or if you’re the right individuals for the job based on your comments.” We’ll give you some time to get the documents.