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Kitgum CAO Wants Ministry of Education to Decentralize Award of Contracts

Zeep Construction Uganda Ltd was awarded contract on April 10 and handed the site on May 22nd to construct the seed Secondary School sitting on a 21 hectares’ piece of land with funds from World Bank worth 2.55 billion Shillings. However, five months down the road, the contractor has only done bush clearing and has since abandoned the site.
Martin Jacan Gwokto, the Kitgum District Chief Administrative Officer speaks at the abandoned seed secondary school site on Wednesday in Labongo Amida Subcounty.

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Martin Jacan Gwokto, the Kitgum District Chief Administrative Officer has asked the Ministry of Education to decentralize the process of awarding contracts for construction of seed secondary schools.  

His call follows failure by one of the contractors to commence construction of Amida seed secondary school in Manwoko South Village in Labongo Amida Sub County.  

Zeep Construction Uganda Ltd was awarded contract on April 10 and handed the site on May 22nd to construct the seed Secondary School sitting on a 21 hectares’ piece of land with funds from World Bank worth 2.55 billion Shillings.  

However, five months down the road, the contractor has only done bush clearing and has since abandoned the site. 

Speaking during a visit to the abandoned school site, Gwokto said the District local government should be given the mandate to directly handle adverts, documentation and procurement to ensure total control and supervision. 

He says some contractors contracted at the central government tend to do work in their own interest because they feel they are only accountable to the central government than the Local Government. 

Gwokto says they have records of the same contractor awarded five other contracts for schools and wondered why bulk contracts are given to one single contractor. 

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 Gwokto noted that the contractor has already lost one financial year out of the three financial years the project is supposed to take. 

He says the district was forced to return almost 600 million shillings meant for the project last financial to the consolidated fund because the contractor failed to execute the work. 

Patrick Bogomin, the Kitgum District Engineer says that so far 15 weeks accounting for 30 percent of contract time has already passed minus any significant construction work taking place at the site. 

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But Zeep Construction Uganda Ltd General Manager Andrew Cohen Olal on Thursday during a meeting with Kitgum District leaders said the delays was because they were never handed the project layout and the understanding the exact boundary of the land they were to work on. 

He says the District handed the work layout on Monday and noted that they couldn’t also proceed with the work because all along there was no proper access road linking to the school site.   

Olal says they will start work immediately once the access road is properly graded with the help of the district to help in transporting machines and materials at the site.   

Gwokto says they have given him a chance to proceed with works at the school site but noted that he must start it immediately since he has committed himself.

The one-year project is expected to be completed on June 4th 2020.

The seed school will have six classrooms, one ICT and library block, a laboratory block, Multipurpose hall, administrative block, two blocks of five stance latrines, accommodation for six teachers, provision for playground and compound work.

Two more sub-counties of Labongo Layamo and Labongo Akwang are also expected to benefit from the World Bank project for seed secondary school construction.