Breaking

Feuds Between Kitgum Market Consultant, Contractor Worry Leaders

Top story
William Komakech, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, says the disagreement between the two firms has greatly affected the progress of the work. Komakech says the poor working relationship between the firms visibly manifest by quarrels in their site meetings.
ongoing construction works at kitgum main market in central division kitgum municipality. photo by julius ocungi

Audio 3

The unhealthy relationship between China States Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd and consultancy firm Saba Engineering Private Ltd Company is likely to affect progress of the multi-billion Kitgum main market construction.  

Construction of the Shillings 23 billion market with funding from the African development bank [ADB] under the second phase of the Market and Agricultural Trade Improvement (MATIP) program commenced in June this year.

 

However, stakeholders in the district say disagreements between the two firms over decisions and approvals crucial in the smooth progress of the market construction are raising eye brows.  

Engineer Alfred Alexis Abonga, the project support officer at Kitgum municipal council revealed on Monday that Saba Engineering officials have been slow in responding to major requests for approvals from the contractor. He made the revelation during a site visit at the market with Kitgum district leaders on Monday.      

//Cue in; “there has been…………      

Cue out……..between the two”//

Abonga for instance said the contractor was on two separate occasions unable to carry on with work for weeks after hitting large deposit of underground water and rocks at the construction site. 

He notes that when a request was sent to the consultant to approve for variations that hadn’t been anticipated in the contract, the consultant took a long time to respond, putting work on halt for weeks.  

//Cue in; “When we are……….    

Cue out…………. could proceed”//  

Abonga says although the challenges were addressed paving way for construction of the septic tank where large deposits of underground water was found, stake holders have to intervene and ensure the two firms relate well.

He however says construction work is moving well noting that the excavation of the basement, concrete blinding work and casting of retaining wall in block A are all complete, adding that the contractor is set to start installation of columns.

William Komakech, the Kitgum Resident District Commissioner, says the disagreement between the two firms has greatly affected the progress of the work. Komakech says the poor working relationship between the firms visibly manifest by quarrels in their site meetings.

  He says his office has since ordered for an in house meeting next week to address the problems affecting the relationship between the consultant and contractor.

//Cue in; “there is a serious…….

Cue out……………relating well”//

Komakech also noted that there is need by both the consultant and contractor to address the plight of their casual laborers who over the weekend staged a strike over delayed payment and poor working condition.

More than 40 workers at the market site laid down their tools and pitched camp outside Komakech’s office on Saturday requesting the intervention of district leaders into alleged, mistreatment by the contractor.

They highlighted delayed and meager payment, lack of meals, safety gears and health insurance for the sick and injured workers and unfair dismissal from work among others.

   

An engineer from Saba Engineering who didn’t want to be named since she doesn’t speak for the firm acknowledged the conflicting communication between the consultant and the contractor. 

She however, says whereas they have been swift in decision making, the contractor has been giving excuses of delays but notes that they will ensure the discrepancies are addressed. 

Construction of the market is expected to take two years.