By Hillary Nsambu
The High Court has rejected the bid by a Nigerian road construction company to stop the procurement of a different contractor to expand the Northern By-pass.
Raynolds Construction Company (NIG) Ltd. was disqualified by the Government, Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and the European Union.
The decision was based on the failure by Raynolds to bring proof of at least two projects it had done to the requirements of the Northern By-pass expansion project.
The expansion of the road includes conversion into a dual carriage way and elimination of all roundabouts replacing them with fly-overs.
Raynolds, which already has a contract to build the Kampala-Katuna road, was the lowest bidder, the Court heard.
The Government, UNRA and the EU insisted that the requirements for the Northern By-pass project are complex and differ from the ones for a road like Kampala-Katuna, which Raynolds is handling.
When Raynolds’ was disqualified, it filed an application for judicial review of its disqualification as well as orders to quash the decision and a court order that the contract be awarded to it. They argued that their disqualification was illegal.
The application for judicial review is still pending. Raynolds also filed an application for a temporary injunction stopping the procurement process until its main application is heard.
But Charles Emuria, the High Court registrar, rejected the application for a temporary injunction saying allowing it could cause government to lose funding.
The expansion of the 21- km by-pass that runs from Bweyogerere to Busega is to be funded by a euro 67m grant from the European Union.
Dan Alinange, the UNRA spokesperson said the court case has delayed commencement of the bypass expansion works which were slated to start this month.
He said the EU had also threatened to withdraw the funding if the contract is not awarded on time.
The Registrar noted that Raynolds had failed the technical evaluation and UNRA withdrew the award.
He ruled that Raynolds failed to demonstrate that it deserved the orders it was seeking from the Court.
He agreed with Joseph Matsiko, the UNRA lawyer, that the Government and UNRA had the unfettered right to cancel the procurement procedure and they rightly exercised their mandate.
“Because granting the order might cause the Government to lose funding, the application should be dismissed with costs,” Emuria stated in his ruling.
According to the affidavit filed by Sebbugga-Kimeze, the UNRA acting executive director, it was a condition that if there was no contract executed between the respondents and the contractors by April 8, 2014, Uganda would lose the Euro67m funding.