Finance

Finance (518)

Post Bank Goes Smart With New Cardless ATMs

By Michael Kanaabi Dollar

In a bid to offer more convenient and up to date services to costumers, state owned  Bank  Post Bank Uganda Limited has introduced smart ATMs that can be used with or without ATM cards as it’s latest innovation.

Some of the value added services customers can take advantage of with these new Smart ATMs include larger deposits of up to 30 million Ugx and cheaper money transfer services across the country.

According to Post Bank Uganda's CEO Julius Kakeeto, the introduction of these Smart ATMs is part of the bank’s medium term strategy to move from the mainly brick and mortar banking to integrate more digital channels into the services they offer their customers.

“ Our newly introduced Smart ATMs will offer greater convenience, save time and cut transaction costs for our customers too as they will be able to bank up to 30 million Ugx through our smart ATMs some thing the old machines didn’t have which will offer convenience mainly for SMEs that close business late and need to bank their cash for safe custody.”  

Getting rid of the long queues in the bank something  we have also been working tirelessly towards since we embarked on this digitisation strategy in 2020. This drive has been boosted with these new full self service Smart ATMs which will ensure more types of transactions and larger transactions sizes can be done at any of our 60 Smart ATMs across the country.

Besides being able to transact using these machines with just your fingers and no need for an ATM card, Customers need not to worry about fraud and crime with in these new smart ATMs and other digital applications of the bank according to Andrew Kabeera the Bank’s Executive Director.

“We have ensured that as management, the bank staff have the type of skills with in our Human resources and the necessary technology too to make sure our customers transactions are safe and fraud can be averted quickly by investing over $4 million dollars in advanced systems to guarantee this” he said.

Presiding over the function as the Chief Guest, State Minister for Finance Honorable Henry Musasizi applauded Post Bank for this new innovation.

“ As government we are looking at mainly two things to uplift our people from poverty. The first one is integrating every one into the monetized economy and secondly ensuring cheap and affordable capital reaches our low income citizens scattered across the country all of which these new Smart ATMs and Post Bank’s digitisation drive will support.”

 As a result we commend post bank for this great innovation and pledge to work with it to ensure the success of our programs as government going forward especially the Parish Development model we are now rolling out country wide he added.

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SMEs Have A Critical Role In Creating Jobs & Incomes - Miraj Barot

Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in developing countries like Uganda are critical when pursuing sustainable growth because they create jobs, are innovative and pay taxes to government, Miraj Barot, the Managing Director of Tirupati Group Of Companies, told a high-level conference in Kampala.

“SMEs have played a more successful role in increasing employment and arranging incomes; they are drivers of sustainable economic growth. As they say, little drops of water make a mighty ocean; similarly, smallscale industries can combine and make a huge economy,” Miraj said.

He was speaking at the Religion & Enterprise Africa Summit 2022 event on Saturday at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala. The Summit was organized by Human Capital International Uganda under the theme ‘entrepreneurial transformation through faith-based innovation, investment, trade and technology.’

Miraj, who was discussing the topic ‘Advantages of Having SMEs in Developing Countries’, explained that SMEs have competitive structures and strategies and can easily adapt to changes. “During covid19, a tailor who was making clothes for people suddenly started making masks; SMEs are highly flexible,” he said.

He said that for success, SMEs need to be faithful to their religions inorder to be able to do good, be ethical and with high levels of integrity. "It is very important to have these values instilled in us in our youth so that they not only maintain social values of our families but also the entire country to prosper at large.

GEN SALIM SALEH: The Powerful Invisible Hand Fighting To Save Bitature's Empire From Shs177bn Loan Debt

By Abbas Kabonge 

Businessman Patrick Bitature woes involving his South African lenders continue to intrigue Ugandans who each day wonder how he will sort his financial mess especially now when the country is limping due to the harsh economic times.

To pay or not pay is the question on the mind of Ugandans regarding the loan worth about Shs177bn that hangs on the head of one of Uganda’s astute businessmen who have been able to build a fortune in a manner that many cannot explain. 

During the days when the registrar of companies was working on an application by Vantage Mezzanine Fund 11 partnership seeking to transfer Bitature's estate for onward auction, the businessman learned of the same and swung into action. 

By this time, the registrar of companies had listened to the submissions of the lawyers of Vantage in the absence of Bitature lawyers. The registrar was on the verge of delivering a ruling placing Bitature's estate on the auction stall. 

Bitature somehow learned of what was going on and quickly dispatched his lawyers of Muwema and company advocates to thwart what was going on. Inside information indicate that Bitature's lawyers requested to be made part of the ongoing proceedings since what was going on had the effect of gravely affecting his interests. 

Vantage smelt a rat and informed the registrar how Bitature had gatecrashed the proceedings. They argued that Bitature was wrongly before the tribunal. This is since, they pointed out, the borrower had agreed while taking the loans in 2014, for the securities to be unconditionally altered and sold off upon his failure to pack back the loans.

Despite those explanations coupled with the fact that Bitature was actually in absolute default of the debts, the registrar went ahead and stopped the proceedings half way. The registrar even went ahead and placed the file containing the proceedings itself, on the shelves to gather dust. 

Bitature's lawyers had exploited the arbitration process in London in respect of this dispute, to move the registrar to do what she did. Seething with anger and completely unaware of the side-games going on, the lenders proceeded for a review of the registrar's ruling. 

The South Africans would end up not liking at all what transpired before Justice Musa Ssekaana. Other than overruling the registrar, the judge instead invalidated the whole debt worth Shs177Bn.  

He ruled that since the lenders hadn't registered their dealings with Bitature, before going ahead to lend money to him, such a breach invalidated the subsequent loan transactions themselves. 

We now understand that prior to all these happenings, Bitature had petitioned one of President Yoweri Museveni's powerful brothers and confidant, Gen Salim Saleh to rescue his empire from auction over these loans. 

Amidst emphatic moves by the South African lenders, Bitature is known to have met Saleh in Namunkekera, Nakaseke, Luweero. The president's fond sibling has been camping there in Namunkekera whilst overseeing industries being set up but numerous investors. 

The purpose of Bitature's visit was to plead with the powerful Saleh to save his empire from the auction that was pending given his failure to clear the debts he had acquired from Vantage. Fortunately, Bitature is one of the regime's erstwhile supporters and campaigners.  

So, Saleh was readily at hand to listen to his woes as well as do the needful. Still unaware of the evil hand behind what was going on; the lenders not only appealed, but also advertised Bitature's empire for sale. 

Justice Stephen Mubiru kind of overturned Ssekaana's ruling but as we all know by now, a slightly higher court led by Justice Christopher Gashibarake has since intervened and put the auction of Bitature's empire on hold. 

Incidentally, in order to appease the lender and solve the impasse, tax payers' money is about to be unleashed to clear Bitature's personal debts.

Young Business Women Showcase At Luwero Women’s Market Exhibition

Over 100 young women showcased their small businesses at a special women’s business market exhibition aimed at empowering them.

The exhibition, dubbed “Women’s Day Katale”, was hosted by the Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Uganda’s apex body for the private sector, in partnership with the Mastercard Foundation’s Young Africa Works initiative in Uganda in celebration of International Women’s Day 2022 themed, “investing in young women for a sustainable tomorrow.”

Speaking at the event hosted at Kasana Sports Grounds in Luwero, Hon. Victoria Sekitoleko - the Vice Chairperson of the PSFU Board said, “Through this initiative, we are re-echoing our recognition of the contributions, resilience, and potential of young women in Uganda. This Women’s Day Katale provides an opportunity for young women in Luweero to gain linkages for their goods, products, and services to the available market.”

The exhibitors received business development support through free financial literacy, brand image consultancies, and guidance on embracing technology to support their long-term business objectives while ensuring sustainability and excellence.

In his address, Adrian Bukenya, Uganda Country Head at the Mastercard Foundation, highlighted the fact that Uganda, has one of the highest proportions of women-owned businesses anywhere in the world.

“It is up to all of us to ensure young women and men have the support they need to drive change in their communities, and contribute to our economy as equals. We need to work with intentionality, urgency, and at scale to enable systems-level changes that will catalyze opportunities for young women in Uganda and in fact the continent.” 

Bukenya commended the exhibitors for their skills, creativity, and value and highlighted two young women who participated in the exhibition.  Nineteen-year old Namato Shamira, who recently enrolled in the URDT (Uganda Rural Development Training Institute), expanding her tailoring skills and learning to make shoes and bags. She started her own business, tripled her income, and plans to pay forward her experience to 30 other young women. 

Thirty-year old Bernadette Ojao’s struggle started after dropping out of high school and she spent almost three years searching for a job to earn a living and look after her family. Her luck changed when a friend gave her a sewing machine.

She, however, did not have skills or knowledge of the fashion and design industry to put the gift to good use. When The Innovation Village, a Mastercard Foundation Young Africa Works partner, put out a call to entrepreneurs, she leapt at the chance to join the creative industry.

Through upskilling and business support, she learned how to make reusable sanitary pads and reusable masks. Her first sale was 1,500 face masks to Tugende, a Bodaboda company that supplied the masks to their motorcycle riders in Kampala. Bernadette currently employs six fellow women from local communities and the slums of Kamwokya.

The exhibition, held at the Luwero Kasana Sports Grounds, attracted more than 300 participants from local government, the private sector, and the community.

Stanbic Bank National Schools Championship Returns

The acclaimed Stanbic Bank Uganda annual National Schools’ Championship (NSC) is back, and participants have up to March 8, 2022 to submit their business idea entries to stand a chance of winning grand prizes worth over UGX60million.

At least 60, 000 students from more than 100 Ugandan secondary schools are expected to participate in the months’ long grueling enterprise challenge that will climax in October with outstanding business ideas standing a chance of being linked to investors on top of winning expensive prizes from the bank.

Now in its seventh year, the 2022 NSC is running under the theme ‘Empowering the Job Creators of Tomorrow’ and will encourage participants to pitch especially climate smart business ideas in line with Stanbic Bank Uganda’s sustainability strategy.

“We are empowering job creators of tomorrow, but we also want to see them address global challenges such as climate change---that way, we can count on a generation of entrepreneurs that appreciate the importance of doing the right business, the right way,” said Cathy Adengo, Head of Business Sustainability at Stanbic Bank Uganda.

Launched in 2016, the NSC has registered growth each year from 32 schools participating in the inaugural year to over 100 (since 2020) with over 600 student business ideas generated.

At least 200 businesses have since been set up from the ideas submitted---90 of the 187 actively running student-led enterprises have received capital grants from the championship investor-relations initiatives that help link bankable ideas to financing.

Four-tier competition

The Stanbic National Schools Championship is a four-tier competition involving new schools (Startup Challenge); schools with existing businesses BizGrow Challenge); alumni (AlumGrow Challenge) and teachers (TeachGrow Challenge).

Participating students will have to compete in several qualifying rounds, including attending a boot-camp after which a winner is identified at a grand finale in September.

In the bootcamp, participants are taught different skills including business plan development, product development, customer care, communication skills, branding and marketing.

Elve Nshuti, 20-year-old alumni of the programme said, “I’ve been exposed to a variety of opportunities since my participation in the competition. Last year, I was able to win Ugx1.5million capital to invest in my tech company I-Tech Africa.

I’ve gained more exposure equitably to customers through the championship. I’ve learned to be responsible and empowered, valuing collaboration over division and long-term gain over short-term gain because this is how my future will be bright.”

Bank Of Uganda Injured My Reputation As A Businessman, They Must Pay - Ruparelia Vows

The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed, with costs to the respondents, an appeal by Bank of Uganda against businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments, the real estate arm of the Ruparelia Group, bringing to end a five year litigation battle between the businessman and the central bank.

The five justices of Supreme Court including Rubby Opio Aweri, Percy Tuhaise, Ezekiel Muhanguzi,Prof. Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza and Faith Mwondha also ordered that the management of Crane Bank (in receivership) be returned to its shareholders, the original owners.

Now, in an interview with Spy Uganda, a local online news website, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia has lamented that Bank of Uganda actions to close Crane Bank and allegation of mismanaging the bank he founded injured his reputation as a businessman.

"I made heavy losses because of Bank of Uganda. My reputation as a businessman was destroyed. I have never failed any business. Bank of Uganda killed my career when they said I had failed my own business, Crane Bank. That has a bearing especially with my business partners,"

He added: "I told you from the beginning that Bank of Uganda stole my bank. I thank the judiciary for not shielding such dubious games. They have to pay costs of the suit right from the commercial court to the Supreme Court,"

When Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia lost Crane Bank over alleged mismanagement, by law, it meant that he cannot open or directly run another financial institution. In fact, because of that, he also lost his forex bureaus.  This, he says, is not good for his name and business.

When Bank Of Uganda Erroneously Took Over Management Of Crane Bank Before Fraudulently Selling It To DFCU Bank

The news of Bank of Uganda taking over management and closing down of Crane Bank Limited trekked into public spaces timidly in the third quarter of 2016. Ruparelia Group, the proprietor and highest shareholder of Crane Bank, issued public denials describing such talk as false and a rumour.

Bank of Uganda, the regulator of the banking industry also offered support to Ruparelia Group when the then governor of the central bank Emmanuel Tumusime-Mutebile (now deceased) issued a press statement saying Crane Bank was safe.

"It has been brought to our attention that messages have been circulating on WhatsApp instructing depositors to withdraw their money from Crane Bank within the next week. We wish to categorically state that these messages were not issued by Bank of Uganda,” Mutebile said.

The rumour persisted and indeed, on 20th October 2016, the Bank of Uganda took over the management of Crane Bank, the commercial bank which had been started in 1994 by businessman Sudhir Ruparelia, the chairman of Ruparelia Group, for being significantly under-capitalised.

In the statement signed by governor Mutebile, the Bank of Uganda said Crane bank posed a systemic risk to the stability of the financial system and the continuation of the bank’s activities was detrimental to the interests of its depositors.

Mutebile then appointed a statutory manager, Edward Katimbo Mugwanya, to run the bank and suspended the board of directors of the bank. He was quick to assure depositors that their money was safe as the bank would continue to operate under the Mugwanya management.

That a week ago before the takeover of the Crane Bank, the central bank was denying that Crane Bank was vulnerable perturbed the public. Just about a year before, Crane Bank had been voted the best bank in Uganda by the UK based Financial Times Publishers and organizers of the Banker’s Magazine, an accolade they had previously won numerous times.

The takeover of Crane Bank by the Bank of Uganda sparked off bad blood between the two institutions that led to a historical court battle that only arrived at its end five years later, in 2022 with the central bank on the losing side at the Supreme Court directed that it pays costs and reverts Crane Bank to its shareholders.

So many things happened in the five years including a parliamentary inquiry by the Parliamentary committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) that investigated the closure of seven banks by the Bank of Uganda.

Under the chairpersonship of Abdul Katuntu (MP Bugweri County), COSASE filed a report that faulted the central bank for not falling the laws, corruption, intrigue and other misdemeanours when causing the closure of not only Crane Bank but also other six banks.

The other banks included Teefe Trust Bank LImited, International Credit Bank Limited, Co-operative Bank Limited, Greenland Bank Limited, National Bank of Commerce and Global Trust Bank (U) Limited. The Auditor General Report on which the COSASE investigation was based highlighted broad corruption, misappropriation of funds by the Bank of Uganda and illegal closure of commercial banks.

But before the COSASE inquiry, the takeover of Crane Bank by Bank of Uganda had been marred by irregularities including the fraudulent manner in which the central bank sold Crane Bank assets to dfcu Bank via a phone call instead of the standard and statutory open bidding.

At the helm of causing the closure of Crane Bank, National Bank of Commerce and Global Trust Bank (U) Limited was Dr Luis Kasekende, the then deputy governor and Justine Bagyende the executive director supervision. In various reports, these were held accountable personally.

And as the Crane Bank – Bank of Uganda comes to an end, the central bank as the regulator of the financial sector is left with an egged face with a lot of work to do to bring its house in order and gain not only public trust but also from the financial institutions it regulates. 

Stanbic Properties Limited Unveils Inaugural Real Estate Market Report Showing 89% Occupancy Rate

A new real estate sector report compiled by Stanbic Properties Uganda Limited, a subsidiary of Stanbic Uganda Holdings Limited, as at the end of December last year, indicates that average occupancy from surveyed buildings was recorded at 89% for Grade A, 83% for Grade B and 74% for Grade C buildings.

The report says that the prevailing median rents were recorded at US$15, US$11 and US$8/m² /month for Grade A, B and C buildings respectively exclusive of service charge.

Released on Feb.09 at a press conference held in Kampala, the report says, market evidence indicated more demand for the newer Grade A office buildings that feature large – open layout floors and state-of-the-art design and safety characteristics is emanating from companies in the oil and gas, financial services, government parastatals and engineering sectors.

Spencer Sabiiti Oyes, the Chief Executive of SPL said, “the key firms/companies that stimulated this trend are those that had previously been leasing smaller spaces in lower-tier Grade B multiple buildings because the market never provided ample opportunities to consolidate their operations in a single building.”

Other key demand drivers, according to the report included exclusiveness of the stand-alone Grade A office structures evidenced by an increase in enquiries away from multi-tenanted office buildings to take advantage of branding and fully control their security requirements.

Furthermore, demand for space in the lower tier Grade B and C buildings whose rents are low was dominated by start-ups as well as small and medium enterprises.

 

Sabiiti said, they also noticed several non-governmental organisations scaling down on their rental space by consolidating their operations in single stand-alone formerly residential buildings as opposed to renting several buildings particularly in areas of Bugolobi, Muyenga and Naguru.

This trend was primarily driven by downsizing due to COVID19 related budgetary constraints faced by foreign funders as well as a growing work from home trend for employees who only use formal office workspaces on an as-needed basis.

In terms of pipeline, the completion of buildings currently under construction will add approximately 36,000 m² of lettable space to the existing stock by the end of 2023.

It is anticipated that Grade A space will account for 90% of the pipeline developments, according to the report.

Retail property market

The formal retail sector was traditionally concentrated in Kampala’s central business district and a few high-end residential areas in the peripherals particularly Naalya, Lubowa and Entebbe.

However, the report says, the growth of Kampala’s prime retail sector has spilled over into the sub-urban areas of Wakiso district where the retail sector is experiencing a fundamental transformation through improved quality and standards.

“As of December 2021, we observed an increasing trend towards the development of formal super and hypermarkets as well as shopping malls in Sub-urban suburbs in Wakiso and Mukono districts,” Sabiiti said.

This trend is being driven primarily by the increasing purchasing power of the working-class, who predominantly reside in these areas. 

Additionally, the COVID-19 related movement restrictions also forced consumers to increase their retail expenditure within their immediate residential neighbourhood.

The retail sector in Kampala is more vibrant compared to the metropolitan areas of Wakiso and Mukono.

That said, findings from the survey revealed that Kampala’s prime retail malls were facing stiff competition from locally owned suburban shopping centres in Wakiso district whose market was majorly supported by a higher domestic consumption by the middle-class.

The highest rental rates were registered in prime malls where tenants pay between US$22 to US$27/m 2 /month for prime retail space on the lower floors and between US$12 to 16$/m 2 /month for large space occupiers on similar floors.

“We expect openings of new retail stores and expansion of existing retail stores to remain stagnant or very limited as retailers acclimatise to the post COVID19 retail environment in the near future,” Sabiiti said.

This is mainly due to the fact that COVID19 related restrictions have forced consumers to adopt online retail, a tendency that is likely to stabilise and continue.

FINALLY: Supreme Court Dismisses Central Bank Appeal Against Sudhir Henceforth Bringing The Crane Bank Case To An End

Probably the longest litigation battle in Uganda’s financial sector has come to an end after five years with Bank of Uganda, the regulator of the financial sector, coming out of it bruised, hurt and shamed for not knowing how to do its job.

As the public expected, the Supreme Court on Friday dismissed, with costs to the respondents, an appeal by Bank of Uganda against businessman Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments, the real estate arm of the Ruparelia Group.

The highest ranking court in the country ordered Bank of Uganda directly pay costs at all court levels, right from the Commercial Division of the High Court. The court also directed that the management of Crane Bank be reverted to its shareholders.

The Supreme Court ruling effectively settles a long-standing legal battle between Sudhir Ruparelia and the central bank, dating back to 2017 when the regulator erroneously took over the management of Sudhir’s Crane Bank and eventually sold it to DFCU Bank.

According to the ruling, Sudhir Ruparelia will not pay the Shs397b that Bank of Uganda had wanted him to pay. This ruling excited Sudhir Ruparelia who over the period of the litigation maintained the Bank of Uganda has stolen his bank.

Crane Bank Limited (in receivership) had sued Sudhir and Meera Investments Limited in the High Court Commercial Division. The bank had sought recovery of money, allegedly misappropriated by Sudhir Ruparelia as a director and shareholder.

The latest ruling was on an application to withdraw an appeal and the party that was supposed to meet the costs of the withdraw of the appeal.

Seyani Brothers In Trouble Over Fraudulent JLOS Tender

The Contracts Committee in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs has scrutinized and described as illegal, the process employed in awarding the contract for the building premises intended to house the Justice Law and Oder Sector (JLOS)—citing glaring illegalities and gross fraud.

Seyani Brothers and Company Uganda Ltd, a local construction firm, have also still been named in Parliament for contract breaches in the Entebbe International Airport upgrade, is now on spotlight after officials started investigations on how the firm was dramatically awarded a contract to erect JLOS headquarters.

A top source, who did not want to be identified said the said contract, the committee unearthed irregularities in the bid evaluation process, that suggested error and omission that could have been intended to favour a particular contractor, and in the process unfairly awarding the contract Seyani Brothers who had emerged the lowest bidders.

According to a report of the Evaluation Committee chaired by Mr. Sam Wairagala, ten companies submitted bids to the committee, including M/S Zhongjiao third highway engineering (EA) Company Ltd (UGX329,085,479,040),

M/S China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (UGX224,561,455,452), M/S Consortium of China Communications Construction company Ltd and China First Highway Engineering Ltd (UGX522, 281, 795,283) and M/S Zongyang Construction Group Company Ltd (UGX270, 533, 009, 992) all Chinese companies.

Others are M/S Seyani Brothers and Company Uganda Ltd, an Indian firm, (UGX241, 698, 637, 254), M/S China National Aero-technology international engineering Corporation (UGX280, 093, 511, 526), M/ S SMS Construction Limited and Farrin Joint Venture (Ugandan) (UGX212, 263, 924, 272) and China Railway Construction Engineering Group (UGX274, 874, 281, 734.21).

M/S Sino-hydro Corporation Limited (UGX 496, 414, 290, 527) and M/S Sadeem Al Kuwait General Trading and Contracting Company (UGX243, 143, 599, 032) had also applied. 

However, M/S Zhongjiao Third highway engineering (EA) Company Ltd, M/S China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation and M/S Zongyang Construction Group Company Ltd were eliminated at initial stage.

The rest of the companies were subjected to rigorous technical evaluations according to the source.

The source said three of the remaining seven, were eliminated on technicalities including SMS Construction Ltd and Farrin Joint Venture, who was the lowest bidder.

These are; M/S Consortium of China Communications Construction company Ltd and China First Highway Engineering Ltd

SMS Construction M/ S SMS Construction Limited and Farrin Joint Venture and M/S Sadeem Al Kuwait General Trading and Contracting Company.

The lowest bidder of the four, was M/S Seyani Brothers and Company Uganda Ltd at UGX256, 438, 726, 074 followed by China Railway Construction Engineering Group at UGX294, 263, 358, 382, China National Aero Technology International Engineering Corporation came third at UGX299, 654, 081, 010 and the fourth was China Sino-hydro Corporation Limited at UGX531, 163, 290, 863.

On that basis, the bid went to Seyani Brothers and Company Uganda Ltd. However, it is not clear how Seyani Brothers quotation changed from 241, 608, 637, 720 to UGX256, 438, 726, 074.

The source said, the Contracts Committee found that the Evaluation Committee flouted the bidding law particularly Regulation 17(2 and 6) of SI No.7 of 2014, which empowers the contracts committee to invite a technical person to clarify on the submissions.

In this case the evaluation committee blindsided some of the bidders. For example, whereas clarification was sought from Sadeen and Kuwait General Trading and Contracting company, M/S Seyani Brothers concerning their bid documents the other two companies Consortium of China Communication Company Ltd and China First-Highway Engineering Ltd were never contacted.

This is in contravention of Section 43 A and B of the PPDA Act.

The Contracts Committee according to the PPDA Act holds power to approve an Evaluation Committee for each submitted procurement. It also has power to approve negotiation teams, to ensure that before it is approved, a procurement is in accordance with the procurement plan.

The Contracts Committee also approves bidding and contract documents.

According to the Contracts committee report, the process was marred by “incurable irregularities” and the contract could not be passed.

The committee’s decision saves the Ugandan government and tax payer billions of shillings.

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