PAKWACH. Officials from Uganda Contracts Monitoring Coalition (UCMC) have cautioned contractors against shoddy work which doesn't make community realise value for money.

This is after contractors alleged that the shoddy works are due to excessive kickbacks asked by the district officials.

Mr Paul Twebaze, the chairperson UCMC said they are looking forward to empowering the district procurement officers to fully follow due procedures in awarding contracts and give recommendations for the government to promote accountability and transparency.

"We don't step on the footsteps of people but we have noticed that there are cases of conflicts of interest, conspiracy and incompetent on the side of some contractors who don’t deliver but end up swindling taxpayers’ money," he noted.

Twebaze was presenting findings of open contracting during a function organized by Africa Freedom of Information Centre (AFIC) at Pakwach district headquarters on Thursday.

The findings implicated the procurement office of the district for not complying with the law especially by displaying information to the public on notice board and engaging the community to participate in the procurement process.

At Ley primary school in Alwi sub-county, a whistleblower informed the organisation of a complaint lodged about a four-stance latrine for the school awarded to a contractor three months ago whose work hasn’t commenced to date.

This has put the school at risk as it intends to close due to the poor state of latrine which is on the brink of collapse because of poor workmanship.

The school has a population of 540 pupils who share a dilapidated latrine with teachers. The deputy headteacher of the school, Mr William Onzuga said they are worried of losing life due to the poor state of the toilet.

The findings also revealed that the pending contract was awarded to a contractor who expressed worry about excessive kickbacks that have forced him to delay the work.

The contractor said the burden of a bribe in securing a contract is affecting the quality of delivery that the monitoring team should urgently address.

"The cost of building materials is high and besides, we have to make some profits out of the bill of quantity and worst of all, we have to give some airtime to our bosses," the contractor said.

At another construction site in Owere market landing site in Pakwach town council, the community expressed concern over the stalled vendors’ market construction which commenced in 2017 but has not been completed to date.

Owere market 22 02 20

The project was questioned due to shoddy work after the two stance latrines developed cracks before commissioning, an act which later angered Pujwang residents.

The contractors requested UCMC to use its powers to influence the award of contracts to competent companies on merit.

Twebaze said they intend to sensitise the masses in the district to get involved in full participation of award of contracts and monitoring of projects and champion complaint of mismanagement.