By Hanning Mbabazi
Kampala: China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and China Railway 19th Bureau Group (U) Ltd won the bid to construct the 23.7-kilometer Mpigi Expressway through a joint venture.
Mark Ssali, the Communications Officer Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) disclosed developments on Thursday 11 July.
“The contract has been awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and China Railway 19th Bureau Group (U) Ltd. The civil works will soon commence; the project is expected to be delivered in a period of 30 months with defects liability period of 12 months,” Ssali said.
The construction works will be bankrolled by the African Development Bank and African Development Fund at the tune of Shillings 547 billion.
According to Ssali, the African Development Bank and African Development Fund signed the final contract for the construction of Mpigi expressway with UNRA and the said joint venture on June 18, 2019.
Earlier on the project encountered several setbacks following complaints from whistle blowers and mini reviews by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority-PPDA, which delayed the contract award.
Last year, a whistle blower petitioned PPDA and the Inspectorate of Government to probe the procurement process and the alleged poor record of some of the companies involved in the task. The probe uncovered inconsistencies in the bid documents of the joint venture submitted by an Italian company, Cooperativa Muratori Cementisti & di Ravenna/Advent (CMC and Advent).
However, shortly before the PPDA report was issued, the UNRA Executive Director, Allen Kagina sought a no objection from the African Development Bank-ADB, which gave green light to the project on grounds that the said inconsistencies couldn’t affect the project.
According to the project civil works progress report, UNRA has already acquired part of the land for the project to prevent challenges they experienced during Entebbe expressway project whose construction delayed as some individuals asked for hefty compensation to give way for the project.
“Since August last year, we have acquired right of way, a number of Project Affected Persons- PAPs have received their monies and pulled down their property to pave way for the project. 7km are so far readily available for the commencement of construction,” said Ssali, adding that, more PAPs are lined for compensation.
The Mpigi Expressway, which is one of the multinational Busega – Mpigi, and Kagitumba – Kayonza – Rusumo Roads Project, is intended to decongest Kampala and ease transport by reducing on traffic and travel time. Just like the Entebbe expressway, this one too is being constructed under the Public Private Partnership-PPP.
Other upcoming projects of its kind include; Kampala-Jinja expressway, Kampala-Busunju expressway, Kampala-Busega-Mpigi expressway, Kampala outer belt and Kampala-Bombo expressway, which will all be tolled.