A summary of the CHOGM Audit findings
The Government of Uganda (GoU) hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in November 2007. As such, the Government was mandated to put in place facilities that would meet the requirements of the Commonwealth Secretariat and in accordance with the specifications which are contained in the Guidance Notes on the Organisation of CHOGM (Blue Book). Among the activities undertaken in preparation for the meeting, were are the improvements of infrastructure including the terminal buildings at the Entebbe Airport; roads in various areas; parking, driveways and certain structures at the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort Centre; and, landing points along the shores of Lake Victoria at strategic locations. Beautification projects were also undertaken at various places and along road corridors that were to be mostly used by the CHOGM delegates. The Government then released sh255b for the preparations for CHOGM, in the 2007/8 financial year.
VEHICLE LEASE AND HIRE
According to accountability documents submitted to Parliament by the Ministry of Works, the government spent Sh26.3bn on vehicles (transport) alone.
• The Government spent over sh20b on vehicles for CHOGM. About half of the money, or sh9.4b, was spent on 144 executive vehicles for the Queen and other heads of government. The rest went to Police motorcycles, patrol cars, lead cars and ambulances. The Auditor General found a lot of irregularities in the procurement process of the vehicles. In addition, his report found that the vehicles purchased and hired were not according to the agreed specifications, both in terms of model and year of manufacture.
The Bidding process
• In May 2006, bid documents were made and firms invited to submit proposals. Adverts appeared in Daily Monitor, The New Vision and The East African on May 31 and again on June 5 and 8. Consequently, 40 companies were given the solicitation documents.
• On July 14, 2006, three days before closing date, the works ministry halted the process indefinitely. The reasons given to the Permanent Secretary of the works ministry, Charles Muganzi, were the “hurried nature of the process”. Other reasons cited were the fact that the minister was not consulted before tendering, and that revisions had been made in numbers, types and specifications.
• On December 18, five months after the process was halted, Muganzi wrote to the procurement authority, PPDA, asking to approve direct procurement from one company, BMW. According to the letter, the decision had been taken two weeks earlier by the Cabinet sub-committee on CHOGM, chaired by Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya. The letter did not explain how BMW was chosen and why it took the Cabinet five months to take this decision.
• On January 5, 2007, PPDA rejected the request for direct bidding and instead allowed for restricted bidding, demanding for at least three companies to send in proposals. For one-and-a-half months, no action was taken by the ministry. As time was running out,
• On the February 22, 2007 President Yoweri Museveni wrote to the CHOGM Executive Director expressing concern as to “how one company, BMW, had been agreed upon when there were others willing to offer the same combination of purchase and lease option”.
• On March 12, 2007, more than two months after the PPDA decision, the works ministry prepared new bidding documents to five companies. The companies invited were Motorcare (acting for BMW), Toyota, Spear Motors (for Mercedes Benz), Victoria Motors and Cooper Motor Corporation. The vehicles to be supplied were 30 executive cars for purchase and 174 vehicles for hire for 30 days. Although CHOGM only lasted for three days, a period of 30 days was provided to allow enough time for inspection. Only two firms sent in bids: Motorcare and Spear Motors.
• The committee evaluated the two proposals between April 12 and 24. Motorcare’s proposal had been submitted under a joint venture with another company, Europcar, and signed by an official acting on behalf of Europcar. Under the law, the company that is invited to bid should be the one submitting the bid. It was later discovered that Europcar had changed its name a year earlier and was by now called Intercar.
• During the evaluation, the committee noted that Motorcare submitted a trading license which had expired in December 2006. Under the law, the company should have been disqualified. Instead, the committee forwarded the matter to the Solicitor General who asked Motorcare to explain. Motorcare subsequently submitted a new trading license, dated April 16, 2007. The law also requires that if a bid is submitted by a joint venture, the license should be in the name of the joint venture.
• During the technical evaluation, the committee concluded that some of the BMW cars did not meet the required specifications; they were station wagons whereas saloon cars were needed. The Mercedes Benz cars, on the other hand, were found to meet all the required specifications.
• As to the cost, the committee noted that there were two options for the Government to decide on. It could either buy 204 Mercedes Benz cars at 8.3m euros (sh19b), or buy 30 cars and hire the remaining 174 for 6.9m euro (sh15.7b). The committee recommended that since “the rental option does not offer value for money”, it would be prudent to buy all 204.
• On May 8, 2007, Spear Motors was notified that it won the tender for the supply of 204 Mercedes Benz cars at 8.3m euro. “I am pleased to inform you that on May 2, the contracts committee approved your tender for supply of executive saloon cars for VIP use during CHOGM 2007,” said the letter, signed by Muganzi.
• The same month, in a surprise move, the Vice-President halted the process. In a letter dated May 28, 2007 to the transport committee, he wrote that the Cabinet sub-committee had decided to lease all the vehicles. He claimed that he received a cheaper option for leasing BMW cars at 4.1m euro (sh9.4b). It was not clear how he got the offer privately as it was not presented during the tendering process.
• In a letter two days later, Bukenya directed and authorised the transport committee to go ahead and initiate negotiations with the representative of BMW in Uganda. The ‘new’ offer by BMW included 62 station wagons which had not been requested for in the bid documents.
• The number of cars was also brought down, from 204 to 144. Of that number, 114 were to be leased and 30 bought. According to the regulations, change of specifications and numbers should have been communicated to the other bidders and new bids should have been invited.
• On June 1, 2007, Muganzi wrote to Spear Motors, notifying them of the cancellation of the tender “due to lack of sufficient funds for the procurement.” The same day, new bidding documents were made and they were strictly given to one firm, Motorcare/Intercar. Permission to use direct sourcing was not obtained from PPDA, contrary to regulations. This was five months before CHOGM.
• On June 4, Motorcare/Intercar submitted a bid of 4.1m euro (sh9.3b). Of this, 1.4m euro (sh3.2b) was for buying 30 saloon cars at 47,000 euro each, and another 1.8m euro (sh4.1b) was for hiring 114 other vehicles for 30 days. Airfreight was charged at 742,000 euro (sh1.7b). However, Motorcare did not submit the required performance security of 10% of the total contract sum. “Failure to submit the performance security shall constitute sufficient grounds for the annulment of the contract award,” the document said.
• The company also did not submit documentary evidence of three years supply experience, as was a requirement in previous biddings. A further inquiry from the Uganda Revenue Authority revealed that one of the partners, Europcar, had not submitted any trading returns since it was formed in 2005.
• The evaluation committee recommended the award of tender to Motorcare/Intercar the next day. The award was subject to negotiations on price reduction, payment and delivery schedule. On June 6, the negotiation team carried out negotiations but, as expected, Motorcare/Intercar being the sole bidder, did not lower its price. Ten vehicles for training of drivers were supposed to be delivered by September 25 while the remaining 134 were to be delivered by October 21.
• On August 15, 2007, Spear Motors sued the Government over breach of contract, demanding sh1.3b in damages. The owner, Gordon Wavamunno, claimed that he had already placed orders with the manufacturer. He also raised the issue of Motorcare’s trading license that had expired.
Visit to factory
• On September 16, 2007, three Government representatives travelled to the BMW factory in Germany to inspect the vehicles, in accordance with the terms of the contract. However, upon arrival, they were told that the vehicles were already en route to Uganda. The Government thus wasted sh14.6m in air tickets and allowances.
• The delegation was also not given the production details such as orders, production runs and parts delivery. The manufacturer informed them that the information would be contained in the airway bills. The delegation was also not able to visit the airport of departure where the vehicles were said to be loaded.
Arrival of cars
• The first batch of 17 cars arrived in Uganda on September 19, 2007, four days after the purported departure. Normally, air freight from Europe to Entebbe takes only one day. The last batch of vehicles arrived in Uganda in the middle of October, one month after the purported departure.
• Inspection of the airway bills showed a lot of contradictions. Aeroport International de Vatry in Paris, France, was stated as the airport of departure although Denmark was stated as the country of departure. The airway bills were issued by a company called Avient Aviation Harare Zimbabwe, casting further doubt on the origin of the vehicles. The supplier only handed over the vehicles to the works ministry on November 17, five days before CHOGM. This was contrary to the delivery schedule. At inspection of the vehicles, a lot of snags were detected. Most cars lacked spare tyres and model plates. The latter is an important vehicle identification guide.
• Some cars were diesel instead of petrol, other were manual instead of automatic. However, because there were only five days left, the Government had no choice but to accept the vehicles as delivered.
Further scrutiny on the BMW website of the vehicle identification number, using the chassis numbers, revealed that all 30 saloon cars the Government bought were manufactured in November 2005, not 2007.
• The price for the 2005 model – if bought new – would have been 31,000 euro. Cars in Europe lose 30% of their value as soon as they hit the road. This means that the real value was 21,700 euro.
• The Government, instead, paid 47,600 euro per car or more than double. Following this logic, and as airfreight was charged separately, the Government could have lost 777,000 euro (sh1.7b) in the purchase of 30 BMW cars.
• As a result of late delivery, the hired cars were only used for about eight days, yet the same price was paid as for 30 days.
• At 1.8m euro for 114 cars, this means that each car was hired at 16,000 euro (sh36.5m) for the entire period. In comparison, renting a BMW 5 series car in Europe from AVIS costs 87 euro per day, or 2,610 euro for 30 days.
• The Auditor General’s office also found that the factory in Germany had not manufactured right-hand drive cars for five years.
• It established that the 64 hired station wagons were actually manufactured by a plant in Austria and that 41 of them were three years old, contrary to agreed specifications.
Considering all this, it might have been cheaper for the Government to buy all the vehicles, some of which were three years old, than leasing them.
• Because of the controversies surrounding the procurement process, the Auditor General decided to carry out further investigations into the ownership of Europcar/Intercar.
• It established that the company was formed on April 29, 2005. Its initial shareholders were Robert Kabonero (30%), Albert Gatare (30%), Eugene Nyangahene (20%) and Seci Company (20%), owned by foreign minister Sam Kutesa and his family. Three months later, Seci Company transferred its shares to Kabonero.
• According to the amended Memorandum of Association, filed on February 22, 2006, the shareholders were Kabonero (60%), Gatare (20%) and Nyangahene (10%). It is not clear who owned the other 10% at the time.
Although the works ministry wrote to the supplier in December 17, 2007 to ask for remedies, It has not yet been established whether any response was received. Since the supplier did not submit a performance bond, there is a risk of the Government losing all the money.
The Government spent 20.2b on the purchase and lease of vehicles for the summit, according to the Auditor General’s report. This does not include sh3.5 b spent on car rental services from local companies. Out of the3 sh20.2 b, a total of sh9.3b was spent on 144executive cars for the Queen and other heads of state. Another 10.9b was spent on police motorcycles, patrol cars and lead cars, and on ambulances.
• The government bought 80 BMW Police motor cycles at a total cost of 2.2m euro or sh5b. Approval was requested from the procurement Authority PPDA, to go for a sole bidder-Motor Care which acted for BMW. PPDA approved sole bidding in view of standardization of the police fleet. Motor Care submitted its bid on March 30, 2007. During the evaluation of the bid, the committee found that its trading license had expired in December 2006. Under the regulations, the company should have been disqualified at that stage instead the matter was forwarded to the Solicitor General who asked Motor Care to clarify. Subsequently in response, Motor Care submitted new trading license dated April 16, 2007.
• As was the case with the BMW cars, the pre-inspection team during the visit to the factory in Germany on December 16, 2007 never got to see the motorcycles, contrary to the terms of the contract. The team was told the motorcycles were already on the way to Uganda by air. Yet the first batch only arrived four days later, on December 20.
• The team was also not provided with production details such as orders, production runs and repairs delivery.
• Inconsistencies were also noted upon arrival of the motorcycles as to the country of origin.
• The airway bills stated that the airport of departure was Vatry in Paris, France. Documents presented to URA, however indicated that the country of origin was Denmark. Yet the contract stated that the motorcycles should come from a specified country (Germany).
• According to the manufacturer, the model that was supplied was first manufactured in 2005, the Auditor General noted in his report. According to the Auditor Genral, the Motor cycles like in the case of the BMW cars should have cost at least 30% less since they had been two years old.
Police Patrol Pickups and ambulances
• An additional $1.7m (sh2.9b) was spent on 20 police patrol pickups, 23 ambulances and one police command vehicle.
• The contract was awarded to Toyota Uganda through restricted bidding. The Auditor General did not find major problems with the procurement process. However the auditors found that the ambulances deviated from the agreed specifications.
• There was no separation of the drivers cabinet from the patient compartment in the rear, and their was no air conditioner for the rear.
• Vital medical equipment was missing. There was no instrument cabinet, refilling oxygen cylinder and working lamp, contrary to agreed specifications. There were also no hooks, tongue puller and mouth opener.
• The supplier never presented the 10% performance guarantee, as required in the contract. However according to the Health Ministry, The Ambulances were taken back to Toyota and the missing equipment was fitted. They have since been distributed to regional referral hospitals and hospital along accident prone high ways.
• A total of sh217m was spent on two vehicles which were not delivered by the time of CHOGM. (A refrigerated van and a canine pick-up to carry Police dogs).
• The delay was blamed on a decline by the first successful bidder to take up the offer.
• The vehicles were expected to be delivered by March 2008 but it has not yet been established whether they have been delivered.
Hire of vehicles
• The Government spent another sh3.5b on car rental services from three local companies.
• The biggest chunk went to Swift Link Tours and Travels. The company secured a contract on August 3, 2007 for a total sum of sh2.7b, which was increased to sh3.3b three days before CHOGM.
• However, a review of the contracts and examination of the records found that the procedures for receipt, deployment and movement of vehicles were inadequate.
• There was no monitoring of which vehicles were being used by whom and for what purpose, the Auditor General’s office explained.
• Verifications further revealed that there were under-deliveries for certain type of vehicles, which resulted in a loss of sh116m.
• Swift Link was also exempted from paying sh166m withholding tax, contrary to the Income Tax Act, the audit report noted.
• Two other companies were contracted to provide buses. Simba Tours and Travel was contracted to supply six buses for 50 people at sh127m, while Scandinavian Express was to provide three luxury busses for sh75m.
• The Auditor General established that although the buses were meant to be used for transporting delegates across various venues, many of them were not used most of the time and were found parked at Kololo Airstrip.
• While companies who had been contracted for car rental were under-utilised, a company which had not been contracted provided taxi services to a number of delegates.
• The company, CHOGM Tours Agency, is now claiming sh434m.
• The Government has disclaimed responsibility and the matter is in court.
• Additionally, an amount of sh87m was advanced to a local company, Auto Carwash, to cater for cleaning vehicles for the event.
• The money had not been accounted for by the time of the audit. The service provider has refused to hand over his activity report before he is paid the rest of his claim. “I could, therefore, not confirm the numbers of vehicles washed and the times,” the Auditor General noted.
Source: The New Vision October 29, 2009
• The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Charles Muganzi, told MPs that although the national task force had approved international bidding, the sub-committee instead directed that the cars be purchased from one company. "I could not have rebelled against a directive from the cabinet sub-committee, chaired by the Vice-President," Muganzi told the public accounts committee.
• When asked earlier if there was pressure, he said: "Yes, there was pressure from the way we changed from international competitive bidding to restricted bidding and then to direct purchase." The Government bought 30 BMW cars and leased another 114 from Motorcare/Intercar at sh9.3b.
The decision to go for sole bidding came after two competitive bidding processes had been halted. According to a small faction of MPs, the changes had been made to suit personal interests. They expressed shock that although PPDA and President Yoweri Museveni insisted that procurement procedures be strictly followed, the ministry ignored the law. The angry MPs shouted at Muganzi, who was flanked by 20 ministry officials, demanding to know whether the sub-committee was free to flout the laws at will. Under pressure, Muganzi named the vice-chairman of the Cabinet sub-committee as foreign affairs minister Sam Kutesa. He also named the other members as works minister John Nasasira, finance minister Ezra Suruma, local government minister Kahinda Otafiire and former information minister Kirunda Kivejinja.
The MPs were further riled when Muganzi failed to produce evidence that he was directed to change the first open bidding process. They dismissed his explanation that the instructions were verbally communicated to him by Nasasira. He was ordered to bring evidence when he returns to the committee today. He is also expected to bring the minutes of the Cabinet sub-committee halting the international open bidding process.
The committee members were also concerned over the failure to award the contract to Spear Motors, acting for Mercedes, which had been recommended by the evaluation team. Spear Motors has sued the Government for breach of contract.
Theodore Sekikuubo (NRM) had direct exchanges with Muganzi who, at one point, begged committee chairman Nandala Mafabi for protection. "Mr. Chairman, can you protect me, the member is personalising issues," Muganzi said as Sekikuubo insisted he must answer. "The changes were not innocent," Sekikuubo shouted. "There were personal interests and as a result money was lost. You are hiding the people behind this and you will fall with them. This country is tired!" Mafabi supported him, suggesting that there was personal interest on the part of the Vice-President. "The VP, having seen that his interests were not catered for, went for leasing. He was completely involved in this bad deal and the Government lost money."
The Government had initially planned to buy 204 executive cars and Police vehicles through international open bidding.
According to the Auditor General, 40 firms were issued with solicitation documents in May 2006. However, three days before the closing date, the works ministry halted the process indefinitely citing the "hurried nature of the process". Ten months later, in March 2007, the ministry prepared new bidding documents which were sent to five companies, using restricted bidding.
The evaluation team recommended the offer made by Spear Motors, which was for the purchase of 204 Mercedes Benz cars. However, the process was halted again. The Vice-President, in a letter to the transport committee, explained that the Cabinet sub-committee had decided to lease all the vehicles. Two days later, he directed and authorised the transport committee to initiate negotiations with the representative of BMW in Uganda for the purchase of 30 cars and the lease of 114 others.
On June 1, new bidding documents were made and they were strictly given to one firm, Motorcare/Intercar. Permission to use direct sourcing was not obtained from PPDA, the Auditor General noted. Upon arrival, it was discovered that the vehicles were not new.
Scrutiny of the vehicle identification number, using the chassis numbers, revealed that all 30 saloon cars were manufactured in November 2005, not 2007.
The Government bought the vehicles at 47,600 euro each, yet the price of the 2005 model was 31,000 euro, and would have been less if the car had been used.
Source: The New Vision 4 November 2009
How road firms spent sh100b
• Of the sh370b spent on CHOGM, about sh100b went to road works, according to the Auditor General’s office.
• These included emergency road repairs, road rehabilitation and road maintenance, Road rehabilitation works, which were undertaken in the first half of 2007, involved the resealing of selected roads in Kampala and Entebbe, amounting to nearly 70km. The works ministry used the restricted bidding method and invited bids from seven companies.
• Six companies were awarded contracts. However, the original contract sums were far above the estimate of the works ministry’s engineer, with some triple the Government estimate.
• The contract sums also kept on increasing – some by 134%, without any clearance from PPDA, the procurement body. PPDA needs to approve any increase above 25%. As a result, the road rehabilitation programme, which had been estimated at sh15b, ended up costing almost sh40b.
• The price for the same works varied considerably from company to company. Whereas Energo charged 214m for re-sealing one kilometre of road, Dott Services charged sh1.1b per kilometre – or five times more.
In addition, the quality of the works was doubtful, the Auditor General noted.
• An audit carried out by COWI, a private firm, on behalf of the Auditor General on 12 of the 57 roads found that construction materials such as asphalt, sand and stones were less, or of poorer quality, than certified and paid for.
• All in all, the Auditor General established that sh1.1b had been overpaid on only one-fifth of the roads audited, and needs to be recovered.
However, recovery of money is not the best solution, he noted, adding that the companies should have rectified the works according to the agreed specifications. “Addressing some of the shortcomings through recovery of money instead of materials may not address the long term social and economic effects resulting from the deteriorating quality and strength of the roads,” said the 2009 report.
• Energo was contracted to rehabilitate four roads totalling 39 kilometres. The contract sum was sh6.7b and was later revised to sh8.3b. That was over sh3b above the engineer’s estimate.
• “PPDA declined to give retrospective authority (for the revised contract sum),” said the Auditor General. As a result, “the variation was irregular”.
• The COWI auditors carried out a physical audit on one of the four roads resealed by Energo – Entebbe Airport Road.
• They found less pre-cast slabs, surface dressing and guard rails than claimed, amounting to a total of sh43m.
• Dott Services was awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of two sections of Salaama Road totalling 8km.
• The original contract sum was sh2.1b, which was later revised to sh5b – an increase of 132%. This means that the final cost was higher than the second bidder, Spencon, which had quoted sh4b for the works.
• Again PPDA declined to approve the revised price retrospectively, meaning that the variation was irregular, the Auditor General said.
Dott Services won a second contract for the rehabilitation of three roads in Entebbe, stretching 2.53km.
• The contract sum of sh1.8b was almost three times the engineer’s estimate. This sum was later revised to sh2.8b although it is not clear if additional roads were added.
• Even when going by the original contract sum, the works cost sh1.1b per kilometre, double the amount per kilometre of its other contract and five times the amount paid to Energo for the same works.
Stirling Civil Engineers in May 2007 won a contract for the rehabilitation of four roads – Kampala Road, Queen’s Way, Jinja Road and Mackinnon Road – totaling 8km. Its bid of sh3.7b was double the engineer’s estimate.
• Kampala, Jinja and Mackinon roads had already been repaired under the emergency programme earlier that year. There was a revision for additional works, bringing the total number of roads to 30 and the total contract sum to sh8.7b – an increase by 134%.
• As in the previous contracts, PPDA did not approve the variations and revised contract sum.
Only five of the 30 roads were subjected to a physical audit.
The auditors found materials worth sh235m less than paid for. They established that the thickness of the asphalt was 32mm instead of the required 40mm.
• The also discovered that ordinary paint, costing sh2,400 per metre, was used for road lines instead of thermoplastic paint, yet the cost of the latter (sh5,500 per metre) was paid.
The audit, carried out in August 2008, nine months after CHOGM, found unfinished works on five roads while no works at all had been carried out on Baker Road.
• Cementers won the contract for the rehabilitation of five roads, all of whom had been repaired under the emergency programme just months earlier.
• The contract sum was sh5.7b, more than doubles the engineer’s estimate, and increased to sh8.5b when works on five more roads were added.
• Only two of the 10 roads were audited. Numerous shortcomings were found in the thickness and quantity of asphalt, road markings and steel gratings, amounting to overpayment of sh735m.
• Spencon won a contract for the resealing of three roads – totaling 3.2km – at sh3.8b. This was almost four times the engineer’s estimate of sh1.1b.
• Four more roads were added, pushing the final bill to sh4.3b. Only three out of the seven roads were audited, and shortfalls worth sh110m were found.
• Mulowooza and Brothers won the contract for improvement of the Lukuli-Buziga-Munyonyo road – a stretch of 5.3km. It is the only company that charged less than the engineer’s estimate and did not increase its contract sum.
• However, an audit inspection in January 2008, two months after CHOGM, revealed that almost no work had been done.
The works were only substantially completed at the end of December 2008, a year after CHOGM.
• Additional road maintenance contracts for Nakasero and Kololo areas totaling 48km were awarded to two companies – Spencon and Cementers – at a total cost of sh9.9b.
• The maintenance works involved pothole patching and drainage improvement, similar to the works under the emergency repairs.
• The Auditor General in his report queried how works on 48km could cost about the same as works on 63km. “It was unusual to pay sh9.9b to contractors for maintenance of only 48.6km (sh215m per kilometre), yet sh10b was used for emergency repairs of 63 km (sh158m per kilometre).”
• Equally, he questioned the difference in the rates for the consultants for the same works.
BMW Consulting Engineers was paid sh275m for supervising pothole patching of 63km under the emergency repairs – or sh4m per kilometre.
• In comparison, Prome Consultants was paid sh511m for the same work for 46km – or sh11m per kilometre.
The accounting officer explained that the difference was because of the timeframe of the contracts – four months for the emergency works and 10 months for the maintenance works.
“We, however, observed that despite the explanation, the emergency works actually exceeded the stipulated four-month period,” the audit report said.
• Most of the maintenance works were not completed by CHOGM, the Auditor General noted. Only 12 out of the 42 roads had been fully done by January 2008, two months after the summit.
• Zzimwe Construction was hired to construct a temporary parking area for cars at Shimoni Grounds at a cost of sh471m for use for one week. “The procurement was by direct sourcing and the contractor undertook the works without any formal Government contract,” the Auditor General noted.
• This contravened basic procurement rules. It also complicated monitoring and quality assurance. “Without any competitive evaluation process, there is little or no basis for justification of the level of costs incurred or quality of the works undertaken,” the report said. He added that there was little to show for the amount spent.
Inspection of the parking area in January 2008 showed “a disused piece of land with patches of grass beginning to emerge and isolated murram potholes where tarmac was laid.”
Source: The New Vision Wednesday, 4th November, 2009
• On Thursday October 29th, 2009 MPS on the public accounts committee rapped officials of the foreign affairs ministry for failure to turn up and defend expenditures incurred during the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kampala.
• In December 2008, the Government requested the Auditor General, John Muwanga, to carry out an audit of the funds. According to the audit, the expenditure has risen to sh370b.
• The foreign affairs permanent secretary, James Mugume, in a letter of October 28 to the committee chairman, Nandala Mafabi, asked for more time, saying he had gone for the burial of presidential adviser Fr. Albert Byaruhanga.
• Hon Nandala Mafabi was not able to appear before the committee as scheduled because he had to attend the burial of Byaruhanga, who according to him was a very good family friend. He then requested if another date could be fixed the following week for the hearing. His explanation angered some MPs on the committee who accused him of buying time.
They complained that this was the second time the ministry’s team had failed to appear before them.
According to Theodore Ssekikubo (NRM) there should not be double standards in the crusade against corruption. “We should meet as a committee and take a decision. We should not see the Machumbis (health ministry principal accountant) of this world being probed when the big fish are walking around,” Sekikubo said.
The Inspector General of Government then directed the permanent secretary in the finance ministry to initiate dismissal of Nester Machumbi, the principal accountant in the health ministry, for failure to explain the source of his wealth said to be in billions and not commensurate to his income.
The committee lined up 12 ministers and their permanent secretaries for scrutiny on how the sh370b CHOGM funds were spent. The committee reserved two weeks for ministries and government departments to account for the funds spent on the summit.
According to the committee timetable, the foreign affairs ministry was supposed to appear first because it was the overall supervisor of the activities.
Other ministries lined up are finance, trade and industry, local government, works and transport, water and environment, gender, labour and social development, information and communication technology and health.
Source: The New Vision Thursday, 29th October, 2009
CHOGM Entebbe airport repair cost sh57b
The Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) spent a whooping sh57b on the renovation of Entebbe International Airport in preparation for the 2007 Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM), according to audit reports.
• The auditors were shocked to learn that the contract price for the renovation of the passenger terminal was revised from sh1.1b to sh21b, calling it ‘excessive’. The contract was executed by Cementers.
• Roko Construction was also paid sh11.1b for the construction of the Very Very Important Persons (VVIP) lounge; while consultancy for the lounge reached over sh1b, which was 23 times the amount estimated by the Government engineer.
• Renovation of the domestic passenger terminal at the old airport cost sh10b up from sh2.4b approved by the Government engineer.
• The Engineering Audit Report of CHOGM activities by COWI Uganda noted that the numerous variations had increased the cost of the airport works from the original sh43b to sh57b.
• It also observed that all the payments were made without payment vouchers, that no withholding tax was deducted, and that materials worth hundreds of millions were found in lesser quantities than certified and paid for.
• Consultancy fees amounting to sh7.5b were paid to two firms, Arch Design and Ssentoogo and Partners.
• According to the audit report, Arch Design, a local consultant firm, was procured directly to carry out the initial design and prepare the bidding documents for the international passenger terminal.
• It is not clear if PPDA approval was obtained for direct procurement. Also, no fixed contract sum seemed to have been agreed upon. “The company submitted a negotiated fee note amounting to sh550m to CAA contracts committee for approval.” The full amount was paid.
The report says all payments to this firm were not accompanied by payment vouchers and no deductions for withholding tax were made and remitted to URA.
• The restrictive bidding method was used for three other consultancy jobs: the supervision of the major airport works, the design and supervision of the VVIP lounge, the design and supervision of the remodelling of the departure hall.
Six firms were invited but only two responded. After evaluation, it was recommended that two of the three consultancy jobs would go to Ssentoogo.
• The firm won the tender for over-all supervision of the airport works at a contract price of sh1.1b. This was far above the engineer’s estimate of sh195m. Moreover, the figure was later revised to sh3.4b, which was sh1b above the other bidder’s quotation.
• Ssentongo also won the contract for the design and supervision of the remodeling of the departure hall at sh150m. However, the consultancy firm has made a claim for additional services totaling sh2.3b, the COWI report notes. “This claim should be closely scrutinised given its value compared to the original contract sum,” it recommends.
• The third consultancy contract, for the design and supervision of the VVIP lounge, was awarded to Arch Design though its quotation was more than double that of the other bidder. It signed a contract for sh718m, which was later revised to sh1b, yet Ssentoogo had offered to do the job for sh277m.
• The auditors rejected the argument of the works ministry that awarding all consultancy jobs to one firm would not be prudent.
“The response was not satisfactory because the consultant (Ssentoogo) has complained against the decision and could have sued for damages. The decision resulted into a financial loss of sh440m,” stated the report.
• The auditors in their report complained that they were not availed with progress reports by the consultant. They also noted that payments were not accompanied by payment vouchers or receipts and that no deductions were made for withholding tax.
• Construction works of the VVIP lounge and associated civil works were awarded to Roko Construction at sh9.8b. The contract price was later revised to sh11.2b.
• The work involved the construction of access roads and airport parking apron, fencing and gates, electrical works, grassing and mulching, drainage and a few beautification works.
• A physical audit found several materials in lesser quantities than paid for. For example, the murrum base course was found to be about 1,000 cubic metres less than certified, amounting to overpayment of sh107m.
• The company was overpaid sh435m. The quality was also found wanting. Tests on the quality of the base course showed that the lime content was 4.2%, below the specified 5%.
• The auditors also found different grades of concrete for the parking apron and the taxiways. As a result, the taxiway was already failing. They also complained that they were not availed with the consultant’s report, the drawings and strip maps, the engineer’s estimates, and the detailed scope of the works.
• The contract for the expansion of the arrivals area was awarded to Cementers, yet its bid was only ranked the second best by the CAA contracts committee.
• The committee had initially awarded the contract to Multiplex Construction, subject to conditions that the company be vetted and cleared by Security.
• Other conditions were that the evaluation team first explained why only three companies were considered whereas five were required, and what the basis was for their comparison.
• However, while the committee was still considering the answers, its chairman withdrew his signature to the minutes of the meeting where the contract was awarded.
“The contract committee observed that the evaluation process was mismanaged and the awards were based on defective reports,” the COWI report stated. The evaluation team was disbanded and an independent consultant, Arch Design, was asked to re-evaluate the bids.
• The consultant contracted Cementers at a total price of sh17.7b, which was twice revised, increasing it to sh21.8b – over 20 times the engineer’s estimate.
• Due to security restrictions, it was difficult for the COWI auditors to measure certain items within the building. However, where they had access, they found items worth sh140m in lesser quantities than paid for. They also found that a number of items originally specified were changed to more expensive items as the contract was being executed.
Cementers also won the contract for the expansion of the departure area. There was no competitive bidding. CAA claims PPDA approved single sourcing for this contract.
• In August 2008, there was no signed contract agreement, yet Cementers had already started work and payments had been made.
When the auditors measured some of the works executed and compared the quantities to those certified, they found that at least sh30m had been overpaid.
• CAA used restricted bidding for the construction of the domestic passenger terminal. China Nanjing International won the contract among seven companies that bid. The contract price was sh7.1b, which was later revised to sh10.5b, four times the engineer’s estimate.
• Although the auditors were satisfied with the quality of the works, they noted again that specifications for a number of items were changed.
• Payments were not accompanied with payment vouchers and details of works executed, and that no deductions for withholding tax were made.
Cementers was given a third contract, involving the rehabilitation of the apron at the domestic terminal. Direct procurement was used, contrary to PPDA regulations.
• Cementers only had to provide labour and equipment for this project, while materials valued at $1.5m were provided by MONUC, the UN peacekeeping mission in Congo. The contract sum of sh298m later increased by sh98m for additional works, although the addendum still had to be approved by the time of the audit, the COWI report noted.
• The auditors also complained that no contract documents were availed and that it was difficult to ascertain the exact location of the patchwork repairs done. They also observed that minor cracks had already developed. It recommended that the consultant re-tests the failed concrete sections and recommends remedial measures.
• Other works
To improve the general security at the airport, five watch towers were constructed at various points around the airport.
Using the competitive bidding method, Epsilon Construction was awarded the contract at sh187m, which was below the engineer’s estimate of sh185m.
However, at the time of inspection, it was noted that a manhole cover and solar panels were missing and reportedly stolen.
CAA also invited bids for the beautification of a section of Entebbe Road between St. Johns Church and the airport. The works included bush clearing, landscaping, planting grass, trees and flowers.
Bisons Consults International was the best evaluated bidder out of four companies and was awarded the contract worth sh251m.
There was later a revision for extra works, bringing the total contract price to sh394m, almost double the engineer’s estimate. It is not clear whether there was PPDA approval for the variation.
The COWI auditors further termed sh71m for 6 months maintenance purposes ‘excessive’.
Source: The New Vision Friday, 6th November, 2009
Funding for the above activities was provided by the Government of Uganda (GoU) through its budgetary allocations and a commercial loan negotiated by the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) for improvement of the Entebbe International Airport. The final total estimated costs of these infrastructure projects was approximately USh137 Billion
On the 20th of February 2008 the Office of the Auditor General contracted COWI Uganda Ltd for a period of 10 weeks to provide consultancy services and undertake an audit of engineering activities carried out during preparations for CHOGM. The contract duration was subsequently increased to account for additional works to be audited.
On the 9th of May 2008 the Draft Final Report was submitted to the client in accordance with the ToRs and the management responses from the auditees were received between June and July 2008. Exit meetings were conducted from 06th to 11th August 2008.
Various Ministries were mandated the responsibility to oversee the CHOGM events as listed below
Responsible Ministries involved
Ministry of Finance
The ministry was responsible for releasing all funds to finance CHOGM preparations. But the report states that a colossal Sh9.1 billion was diverted from CHOGM funds and used for non-CHOGM activities. The report argues that this could have affected the implementation of planned CHOGM related activities.
Officials from the ministry will also explain why Sh2.2 billion was invested in J&M Hotel at Bwebajja which did not host any CHOGM guest.
Finance Minister Syda Bbumba was not then in the ministry, which means head of Treasury Kassami will take the bulk of the flak.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Sh255 billion was released from 2005/06 to 2007/08 to cater for the CHOGM meeting, of which Sh110 billion was released during the year under review. However, all CHOGM expenditures were not properly consolidated by either Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the respective implementing ministries/agencies, nor the Government of Uganda consolidated financial statements.
“As a result, all the cash balances on the CHOGM bank accounts were not disclosed in the accounts,” the AG’s report notes. The men to take the flak will be Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa and PS Mugume.
This ministry was responsible for purchase of what is commonly known as the CHOGM vehicles. The AG’s report notes that there were a number of flaws in the procurement of 174 BMW vehicles. Some vehicles delivered were not of agreed specifications.
“It is probable that government would have made substantial savings if the procurement had been carried out competitively and transparently,” reads the report.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will also tell why the supplier, Motocare\Intercar, claimed that the cars were from Germany and yet they were imported from Austria and Denmark at a higher price of 47,600 Euros each, contrary to the manufacturer’s export price of 38,057 Euros.
The government leased 144 vehicles at Sh52 million each for the four days, implying the government spent Sh7.5 billion on leasing. Government further purchased 30 executive vehicles each at Sh124 million (Sh3.7 billion), bringing the total government expenditure on the vehicles to Sh11.2 billion.
In preparation for CHOGM Government spent Sh17.2 billion on investments into two private hotels, J&M Hotel on Entebbe Road and the Commonwealth Resort, as a strategy to help them achieve the desired level of preparedness for CHOGM. It is reported that a whopping Sh29 billion was invested in the Munyonyo Commonwealth Resort, a joint venture between government of Uganda and Meera Investments of Sudhir Ruparelia, but the AG is concerned that the land was never valued, no land title presented, and no audit could be carried out because it involved a private firm. This implies government might have lost the money and there is need to recover it.
At one point, deputy secretary to Treasury, Keith Muhakanizi told Parliament that government was pulling out of the joint-venture with Sudhir Ruparelia in which it had sunk US $7.5 million (Sh15 billion). It failed.
Government in anticipation of thousands of visitors booked 300 rooms in Imperial Royale Hotel but later declared it not ready for CHOGM as some construction was still ongoing by the time of the meeting. By the end of August 2009, the Foreign Affairs Ministry was demanding $1.6m which the Government advanced to Imperial Royale Hotel for the accommodation of the CHOGM delegates in 2007.
Accordingly, the ministry asked the Solicitor General to take legal action against the hotel to recover the money. It is said Imperial Royale Hotel, on its part, received $2.6m (about Shs 5.4 billion) from the government to guarantee accommodation. The hotel would recover the amount by charging the guests. Each CHOGM guest would pay $500 per night. On its part, the hotel says its facilities were ready, but the guests either did not come or sought cheaper accommodation elsewhere. Other private hotels that were paid millions of dollars from government to upgrade their facilities include Speke Resort Munyoyo, Serena, Golf Course and Sheraton, only some of which have paid up.
Ministry of Trade, Industry and Tourism
Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism Kahinda Otafiire and Permanent Secretary Sam Nahamya will appear before PAC to answer queries relating to the huge sums of money advanced to hotels in preparation for hosting CHOGM guests.
The ministry received Sh3.1 billion to ensure CHOGM delegates had safe, secure and comfortable accommodation. The ministry was also in charge of the CHOGM village at the Uganda Museum, where two model huts were built, each at Sh30 million. Answers will be required on this.
According to the Auditor General, the taxpayer lost huge sums of money in the dubious government deals with hotels. For example, the government paid Shs17.2 billion on investments into two private hotels – Speke Resort Munyonyo and Imperial Royale Hotel – as a strategy to help them achieve the required preparedness for CHOGM. However, despite this huge payment, one of the hotels [Imperial Royale] never achieved the desired standard of preparedness and was therefore never utilised for CHOGM.
“It was further noted that the land the owners of the second hotel purport to have invested in the joint venture has never been valued and is still in the names of the hotel owners,” the AG reveals.
An extra Sh13.9 billion not treated as capitalisation was also invested in the same hotel infrastructure. But by the time of audit, government had no share certificates for the investments it had made into the hotel. Is this money recoverable or lost totally?
The Government spent Sh6.1 billion on furnishing and Sh15 billion on construction works of other private hotels that included, among others, Kampala Serena, Golf Course Hotel and Sheraton Kampala Hotel.
In one of the hotels the cabinet directed that the expenditure be turned into capitalisation or shareholding. However, not only has the cabinet directive not been followed, also the terms under which government was made to finance the private venture have not been concluded. There is no mention of how this money will be recovered. This means that the money may never be recovered from the hotels or the hotel owners can now change the terms to their advantage since they got the money before conclusion of the negotiations.
US$4.5 million (about Sh8.5 billion) was advanced by Government to private hotels for hosting self paying CHOGM delegates. The money was to be recovered from the payments the guests made to the hotels. However the hotels did not receive the expected number of the delegates to match the money advanced to them by the government. Government engaged a private accounting firm to establish the recoverable funds paid to the hotels in regard to self financing delegates/guests. The firm ascertained US$ 2,333,121 (Sh4.4 billion) as being recoverable from the hotels out of the US$4.5 million (Sh8.5 billion), leaving US$2,189,699 (about Shs4.1 billion) irrecoverable. The AG recommended that this money be followed up and recovered.
The government’s chief auditor discovered that actually the rates charged by the hotels for both the conference facilities and the rooms were hiked and changed significantly among comparable hotels. This shows that the government did not carry out proper negotiations to obtain better prices or the concerned government officials connived with the hotels to inflate the charges and be paid the inflated difference.
Ministry of Gender, Labour & Social Development
Minister of Gender and Social Development Gabriel Opio and his Permanent Secretary Christine Guwatudde Kintu will have to answer queries relating to the Commonwealth Youth Forum and Peoples Forum. The two forums which preceded CHOGM received various funding from private corporate firms and organisations but there was no accountability given for audit, meaning it cannot be ascertained whether the funds received were properly utilised.
“I was not able to establish the amounts received and ascertain whether utilisation was in accordance with the guidelines,” noted the Auditor General.
Ministry of Works and Transport
The Ministry of Transport contracted construction firms for road works worth Sh21 billion. However some works were still incomplete by time of CHOGM in November 2007 yet the contracting companies had already been paid. This means the government paid for work not yet done which would increase the risk of incurring losses in case the companies failed to finish the work or if they did sub-standard work. Other road works started long after CHOGM yet they were meant for the summit, according to the AG’s report.
There was no consultant for the driveways and parking lot at Speke Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo and the Ministry of Works and Transport handled the project in-house.
In four cases of emergency repairs on particular city roads, the selection of contractors was based on the “pseudo estimates” method, contrary to the procurement rules.
(33) Projects had addenda or variations issued, seven of which were signed after implementation. In seven cases, contractors were paid before signing of the contracts. This means the contractors could even run away with the money without doing the work. Or if they did shoddy work, it would be hard for the government to hold them to make good of the defects, having received the whole payment.
Contractors who were paid did not issue receipts acknowledging the payments received. This means they can demand double payment claiming they have never been paid. In the alternative, it means that the money the ministry officials claim to have paid the contractors could be different from the actual amount received, thus opening the door wide open for fraud.
As a follow up of the earlier engineering audit findings in August 2008, a subsequent audit found out that some civil and road works had not been completed by February 2009. Projects where major works were still ongoing by audit time are: Lukuli–Buziga–Munyonyo road and Munyonyo Marina.
The Attorney General’s (AG) report shows that corruption in the CHOGM activities was wide. For example, some construction materials used such as asphalt, sand, stones, steel gratings and paints in some cases were less than the specified quantities and of poor quality.
“The contractors should refund the money or make good of their poor works,” the report notes, adding; “It was observed that the quality of some works was doubtful. Roads which had just been repaired or reconstructed had either developed potholes or ripping.”
Some stretches of roads were contracted to a number of companies which the AG’s report says were poorly done; and did not follow the recommended designs. For example, Cementers Ltd were in charge of Kampala and Mackinon roads where the AG report notes that this road together with Queen’s Way and Jinja Road had incomplete manholes whose work is valued at Sh235 million.
Dott Services handled various roads that included Yusuf Lule and Wampewo Avenue, driveways and parking lots at Munyonyo, and Munyonyo Marina. All these works, according to the report, had defects. The Yusuf Lule Road had a shortfall in asphalt thickness valued at Sh608 million while Wampewo Avenue’s asphalt shortfall was valued at Sh63.2 million and the anomalies in road markings and missing steel gratings were valued at Sh18 million.
Sterling Civil Engineering Company worked on Kampala, Mugwanya and Circular roads but the AG’s report shows that uncovered drains are worth Sh109 million.
The AG observes that recovering money may not address the long term, social and economic effects resulting from the deteriorating quality and strength of the roads. The AG also says the contractors should be compelled to rectify the works as per the original agreed specifications and design. If this does not happen, the consultants and the ministry’s supervising engineers should be held liable for failure to ensure quality assurance.
The AG further observes that although the ministry has proposed to recover some moneys from retention, this would undermine the purpose for which retentions are made – to rectify defects. He advised that the permanent secretary recovers the money from the outstanding payments and that retentions should be used to serve their intended purpose.
At the time of conducting the audit some road works that commenced after CHOGM had not been completed and by February this year, the works on these roads were ongoing.
But Susan Kataike, the senior spokesperson for the Works Ministry said “all road works are now completed.”
Ministry of Local Government
Local Government ministers Adolf Mwesige and Hope Mwesigye, and Permanent Secretary John Kashaka Muhanguzi are also expected to take questions on the ambitious decoration project that was meant to turn Kampala and Entebbe from dusty garbage littered towns to clean modern towns with flowers.
The AG notes that to achieve this, in some cases government paid colossal sums of money to decorators to do beautification work on selected strategic places in and around the city but no written contracts were made with them. Without knowing the terms under which they were engaged, the transaction became a fertile area for fraud.
For instance decorators were engaged to do decoration work without any contract or agreement with the Ministry of Local Government. They have since presented bills of Sh617 million which have been disputed by the ministry. A decorator engaged to carry out beautification work on Clock Tower–Nsambya–Gaba–Munyonyo-Salaama– Kibuye Corridor has not completed the works months after CHOGM despite an advance payment.
But even then, the whole decoration effort has fallen flat, with garbage returning to the streets and some of the materials having been vandalised.
The ministry was responsible for telecommunications and live broadcasting of the event. Venues had to be connected to information and communications technological equipment. This required setting up ICT equipment for connectivity, desktop hardware and application services, technical support, the CHOGM Information Portal, Media Centre design, satellite and broadcasting facilities.
Prime Minister’s Office
This, among others, was in charge of media and publicity. Saatchi & Saatchi and TERP Consult got the CHOGM media and publicity contract. The former is owned by Patrick Quarcoo while the latter is owned by the president’s son-in-law Odrek Rwabwogo.
Regarding the media centre and publicity the Auditor General could not ascertain if the procurement of the equipment complied with laws due to “absence of supporting documentation”. But the report says the contractor for the publicity and media centre has so far been paid Shs7.8 billion out of a contract sum of US$4.5 million (Approx. Sh9 billion).
Another company contracted at Shs2.4 billion to provide publicity services had so far been paid Shs1.4 billion without adequate supporting documentation. The same company made collections of Shs360 million which has not yet been properly accounted for.
Source: The Independent October 30-Novemebr 5, 2009Summary of the report findings
In January 2008, Prime Minister Apolo Nsibambi gave the Auditor General James Muwanga a 30-day deadline to deliver audited accounts of expenditure on the Commonwealth Heads of State and Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Kampala in November 2007. Two years later, and in spite of two reports by the Auditor General, nothing seems to be clear about the cost and benefits from CHOGM. As the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) launches investigation into CHOGM expenses, its total cost is not known although it is generally accepted that CHOGM is the single most expensive event Uganda has hosted.
The initial budgeted cost was Sh180 billion but this swelled to Sh278 when supplementary budgets emerged. Now, however some reports put the final cost at between Sh300 billion and Sh380 billion.
The Public Finance and Accountability Act, requires the accounting officer for CHOGM (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the accounting officers of the CHOGM implementing ministries to account to Parliament for the resources appropriated for CHOGM. But Cabinet specifically asked the Auditor General to carry out an audit following public outcry over alleged massive thefts of public funds and shoddy work
The AG’s findings, in his 2008 report, reveal huge amounts of money lost in outright fraud, substandard or undone works, and recklessness on the part of the government negotiators during the contract talks. The AG wants government to recover outstanding money, ensure agreed works are completed, and accounting officers to issue reports of closure. Will it happen?
Out of 26 physically audited projects, 15 were physically tested and the results showed that eight or 60% were poorly done.
Some road construction materials and items used, such as asphalt, sand, stones, steel gratings and paints were, in some instances, less than the specified quantities and of a poorer quality. Because of this, the AG wants up to Sh1 billion recovered from the Ministry of Works and Transport alone.
Eight ministry officials, most likely ministers, are to appear before PAC including those from the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Tourism, Finance, President’s Office, Vice President’s Office, Prime Minister’s Office, and Ministry of Information.
Under the Public Finance and Accountability Act, 2003, the Accounting Officer, CHOGM (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the Accounting Officers of the CHOGM implementing Ministries are duly accountable to Parliament for the resources appropriated for CHOGM activities.
Others were Tecla Kinalwa (Secretary Office of the President), for Security and Accreditation committee; Martin Odwedo, (PS office of the Prime Minister) Media and Publicity; Dr Sam Nahamya (PS Tourism, Trade and Industry) was in charge of accommodation; Mohammed Kezaala (PS Ministry of Health) was for health; Geoffrey Kibbuka (Ag. PS ICT was in charge of communications; Richard Muhinda (State House Comptroller) for Spouses programme; and David Ebong (PS Gender, Labour) in charge of Youth Forum.
Other committees were Arts and Special Exhibition in Museum and Cultural Events and the Commonwealth Business Forum. The chink in the summons, however, is that some of the ministers and accounting officers did not hold these portfolios at the time CHOGM was held. Hilda Musubira who headed the CHOGM secretariat for example has since resumed her job as deputy head of public service and is unwilling to talk on CHOGM affairs. While reports of shoddy work and inflated bills have dominated the media, compiling final CHOGM accounts has been complicated by payment claims that have not been settled two years later.
Just after CHOGM in December 2007, Works minister John Nasasira told parliament that his ministry owed Sh2.65 billion to the firms that provided transport after the budget shot to Sh27.31 billion from Sh24.66 billion. Those unpaid included Katatumba Safaris demanding Sh542.4 million and CHOGM Tour Agents 2007 Ltd Sh485.7 million, African Nature Conservation Sh203.5 million, and drivers.
At least 1,241 vehicles were used instead of the 1,044 and that vehicles purchased to transport sniffer dogs and a refrigerated van were still in the bonded warehouse due to the late release of funds. A CID investigation into allegations that the vehicles (BMWs), which were used to transport guests, were imported from South Africa instead of Germany has not been made public.
At the time of the latest audit, 34 ministries reported huge outstanding debts arising out of the CHOGM since some major activities and contracts were still ongoing. It is not clear how the ministries intend to pay these debts. For instance, the Ministry of Works has outstanding CHOGM bills of about Sh31 billion yet it only has Sh1.5 billion on its account. How do they intend to clear these bills?
In conclusion therefore, with the current findings into the CHOGM inquiry and given the recent dramatic turn around of events as per the ongoing probe into the CHOGM scandals, and further given the fact that the real cost of CHOGM is still in rising estimates, one can only assert that corruption in this country has become a form of accountability. There is therefore a need for administratively driven reforms and incentives that will facilitate the state and the citizens of this country to develop vested interest in honest government and such incentives must stem from the ‘Top’.