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We Were Cleared of Any Wrong Doing in Katosi Project – NWSC



National Water and Sewage Corporation (NWSC) has said it was cleared of any wrong doing in the $212m Katosi Kampala Water Project procurement process.

NWSC in early 2017 advertised tenders for the construction contract of the project and the bid evaluation was done May 2017.

However, on December 21, 2017, the Office of the IGG received a complaint in respect to the Kampala Water – Lake Victoria WATSAN Project (KW- WATSAN) Package 4D –Katosi Drinking Water Treatment Plant and Nsumba Pumping Reservoir.

The complaint alleged corruption and influence peddling in the project. The IGG referred the matter to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) on Jan 3, 2018 for investigation.

According to NWSC, the complaint was thoroughly investigated by different authorities and found to be totally baseless.

“The allegations were subjected to investigations, PPDA administrative review appeals tribunal and High Court and were found to be lacking in any merit,” NWSC stated in a recently released public notice.

The notice further stated that PPDA accordingly wrote to the IGG on January 18, 2018 Ref PPDA/000/B02 confirming that there was no merit in the complaint.”

After receiving the findings of the PPDA investigation the IGG wrote to Managing Director NWSC, Eng Silver Mugisha on January 29 2018 discharging the authority all allegations.

“The IG is in receipt of a report of investigations conducted by PPDA which is copied to you in which no evidence of wrong doing or procurement anomalies have been found. Consequently, this is therefore, to inform you that the IG will not be carrying out any further investigations,” Irene Mulyangoja Kakooza Inspector General of Government wrote in a letter that was copied to the Ag, Managing Director PPDA and The Country Representative, French Development Agency (AFD).

On January 9, 2018, the whistle blowers appealed to PPDA for Administrative Review but the board rejected the appeal because of lack of merit in the accusations.

The whistle-blowers further appealed to the PPDA Appeals Tribunal. In its reasoned and detailed decision made on March 2, 2018 the PPDA concluded that there was no evidence of influence peddling and conflict of interest in the award of the Katosi contract.

Following the allegations of corruption on the Katosi water treatment procurement that arose in two whistle blower letters dated December 2017 and January 2018, the compliance departments of the project funding partners the European Investment Bank (EIB) and French Development Agency (AFD) conducted an investigation into the procurement.

In a letter dated April 20, 2018, the investigations by the AFD Compliance Department were not able  to prove the allegations contained in the whistle blower letters. The AFD therefore concluded that there was no sufficient information to fault the procurement process. The investigation by EIB came to the same conclusion of AFD which did not find evidence of prohibited conduct that would raise any objection to the continuation of the Katosi project.

“AFD would like to let you know that investigations led by the AFD Compliance Department were not able to prove the allegations reported in the anonymous letters. On this basis AFD considers there is no sufficient information and reasons so far to the best of its knowledge to end the procurement process,” Cecile Couprie the Deputy Director AFD in charge of African Department stated in the letter

After exhausting all the appeals processes the whistle blowers went to the High

Court in Kampala on April 17, 2018. The whistle blowers withdrew their case and each party met its costs.

“The management of NWSC would like to warn the public to ignore any allegations of corruption in the Katosi project. These allegations were investigated, discredited and found to have no merit. NWSC remains committed to water for all, for delighted customers by a delighted workforce,” part of the public notice stated.

After prolonged procurement wrangles, the project was finally awarded to a consortium comprising Suez International of Egypt and Sogea-Satom of France who signed a binding contract with NWSC in june 2018 to design and build Katosi Water Works with the related intake, storage and transmission infrastructure at a contract price of Ush 378b.

” Actual development works started in January 2019 and the project is so far 75% complete with major civil works at the water treatment plant 100% complete. The reservoirs in Nsumba, Ssonde and the pumping station in Namugongo are substantially complete. The pipeline from Katosi, to Nsumba, Mukono, Seeta, Ssonde, Namugongo, Kyaliwajjala, Ntinda to Naguru is also near completion. The project is expected to be completed and water ready to flow in the first quarter of 2021. Once completed, the project will eliminate any water shortages in Kampala and the surrounding areas,” Stated Eng Mugisha

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Charles Mbire gains $1.2 million as stake in MTN Uganda rises above $51 million



Ugandan businessman and MTN Uganda Chairman Charles Mbire has seen the market value of his stake in MTN Uganda surge above $51 million in just two days, as the share price in the leading teleco company increased by a single digit.

The single-digit bump in the share price caused the market value of Mbire’s stake to gain UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million) in less than two days.

The million-dollar increase in the value of his stake came after Uganda’s largest telecom company delivered the country’s largest-ever IPO through the listing of 22.4 billion ordinary shares on the Uganda Securities Exchange (USE).

Upon completing the largest IPO in Uganda’s history, MTN Uganda raised a record UGX535 billion ($150.4 million) from the applications that it received for a total of 2.9 billion shares, including incentive shares.

As of press time, Dec. 7, shares in the company were trading at UGX204.95 ($0.0574), down six basis points from their opening price this morning.

Data gathered by Billionaires.Africa revealed that since the telecom company registered its shares on the Ugandan bourse on Mon., Dec. 6, its share price has increased by 2.5 percent from UGX200 ($0.056) to UGX204.95 ($0.0574) as of the time of writing, as retail investors sustained buying interest long after the public offering.

The increase in the company’s share price caused the market value of Mbire’s 3.98-percent stake to rise from UGX178.45 billion ($49.96 million) to UGX182.86 billion ($51.2 million).

In less than two days, his stake gained more than UGX4.42 billion ($1.24 million).

In a statement after the successful listing of MTN Uganda’s shares, Mbire said the IPO shows the confidence that Ugandans and other investors have in the company, its brand and strategic intent.

“We commend all the regulators for their support in our work to become a USE-listed company and to comply in a timely manner with the listing provisions of the national telecommunications operators’ license,” he said.

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350 million (debt free).

Steady but sure-MBIRE who is the biggest investor on Ugandas Stock exchange with stocks valued at more than $55 million is laughing all the way to the bank after MTN declared the latest dividend payout.He has steadily grown his business empire which is believed to be more that $350. ( debt free).

He is into communications-revenue assurance-cement-distribution-oil services-real estate-oil exploration and logistics.

Source: Billionaires Africa

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2-year-old dies at Arua hospital as nurse demands Shs 210,000 bribe




A two-year-old child died at Arua Regional Referral hospital after a nurse, Paul Wamala demanded a bribe amounting to Shs 210,000 before carrying out an operation. 

The incident happened on Saturday, after Aron Nabil, a two-year-old child was referred to the hospital for an operation after he was diagnosed with intestinal obstruction, a medical emergency caused by a blockage that keeps food or liquid from passing through the small intestine or large intestine.

According to the relatives of the child, Wamala allegedly asked them to initially give him Shs 30,000 to buy medicines to commence the procedure. He however returned shortly asking for an additional Shs 180,000 from the relatives.

Emily Adiru, a resident of Osu cell, in Bazar Ward, Central Division, and a relative of the child says although they paid money to Wamala, he abandoned the child without carrying out the operation. According to Adiru, Wamala later refunded Shs 200,000 through mobile money, after she threatened to report him to the police.

“They told us this boy needs an operation which was supposed to be done in the morning on Sunday at around 7 am. They took him inside there, some doctor came from the theatre, he called one of us and said, we should pay Shs 70,000 for buying medicine to start the operation. We paid the Shs 30,000 [but] after paying the Shs 30,000, after some minutes, the same man came and opened the door and called us again, and told us we should pay another Shs 100,000. We also paid the Shs 100,000 and we thought it is finished. We were outside there waiting for our patient to come out [but] then this man came back again and said we should pay another Shs 80,000,” said Adiru.

Although the operation was later carried out after a 7-hour delay, the child didn’t make it, and relatives attribute the death to negligence. Miria Ahmed, a concerned resident wonders why such incidents have persisted at the facility which is supposed to service the citizens.

“Is the problem the hospital, is it the management or it is the human resource that is the problem in the hospital? A small child like this you demand Shs 210,000 for the operation? Well, if the money was taken and the operation is done, I would say anything bad but this money was taken and the small boy was abandoned in the theatre,” she said. 

When contacted Wamala refused to comment on the allegations. Dr Gilbert Aniku, the acting hospital director says that the hospital will issue an official statement later since consultations about the matter are ongoing.

Arua City resident district commissioner, Alice Akello has condemned the actions of the nurse saying she has ordered his arrest so as to set an example to the rest. The case has been reported to Arua regional referral hospital police post under SD reference No:05/30/05/2022.

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Mexican president’s Mayan Train dealt new legal setback | Tourism News




Activists say the planned tourist train will harm the wildlife and natural features of the Yucatan Peninsula.

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has been dealt the latest setback to an ambitious plan to create a tourist train to connect the country’s southern Yucatan Peninsula.

On Monday, a judge indefinitely suspended construction on a portion of the project, known as the Mayan Train, saying the plans currently do not comply “with the proceedings of the environmental impact evaluation”.

The ruling follows a legal challenge by activists who said they were concerned the 60km (37 mile) portion of the train that would connect the resorts of Playa del Carmen and Tulum would adversely affect the area’s wildlife, as well as its caves and water-filled sinkholes known as cenotes.

The original plan for the disputed section was for an overpass over a highway, but the route was modified early this year to go through jungle at ground level.

The federal judge cited the “imminent danger” of causing “irreversible damage” to ecosystems, according to one of the plaintiffs, the non-governmental group Defending the Right to a Healthy Environment. In a statement, the group said that authorities had failed to carry out the necessary environmental impact studies before starting construction of the section.

Lopez Obrador had announced the ambitious project in 2018, with construction beginning in 2020. The roughly 1,500km (930 mile) cargo and passenger rail loop was presented as a cornerstone of a wider plan to develop the poorer states and remote towns throughout the about 181,000sq km (70,000sq mile) Yucatan Peninsula.

The railway is set to connect Caribbean beach resorts with Mayan archaeological ruins, with authorities aiming to complete the project by the end of 2023. The plan is estimated to cost about $16bn.

The project has split communities across the region, with some welcoming the economic development and connectivity it would bring. Others, including some local Indigenous communities, have challenged the project, saying it could not only disrupt the migratory routes of endangered species, including jaguars, tapirs and ocelots, but could also potentially damage centuries-old Mayan archaeological sites.

The National Fund for the Promotion of Tourism, the government agency overseeing the project, has said that it expects to “overcome” the latest challenge and that work should continue after an environmental impact statement is finalised. It said the Environment Ministry was currently reviewing its environmental application for the project.

For his part, Lopez Obrador has insisted the railway will not have a significant environmental effect and has accused activists of being infiltrated by “impostors”.

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