By Andante Okanya
A blacklisted contractor has petitioned court over a three-year suspension penalty by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA).
On July 17, Consolidated Contractors Limited filed an application for judicial review at the High Court in Kampala, seeking to quash the suspension, that is effective this year June, 26.
The company is part of a group of 91 service providers suspended by PPDA over issues stemming from unethical behaviour.Court documents do not however specify the service provided by the company.
The regulator and the Attorney General are listed as respondents in the application. Judicial review is conducted by the High Court to scrutinise proceedings plus decisions taken by subordinate courts, inferior tribunals or Government bodies.
The other joint applicants are the company managing director(MD) Wilson Kashaya, and other directors Grace Bakeine, and Annie Asiimwe.
Through Ntanbirweki, Kandeebe and Company Advocates, application is supported by the affidavit of Kashaya, who contends that the suspension was unlawful.
Kashaya states that the regulator’s decision was premised on falsehoods, as the implicated officials were not given opportunity to rebut the evidence presented against them.
“The applicants were condemned, unheard as the first applicant(company) was never shown or availed any evidence or given opportunity to challenge or contradict such alleged evidence from the investigation done by the first respondent,” Kashaya states.
He laments that PPDA’s action is unreasonable, defeats logic, has caused loss, embarrassment to him and associates of the company.
The petitioners want an order prohibiting PPDA from listing them as blacklisted service providers barred from competing in the procurement process.
Court documents show that in a letter by PPDA executive director Cornelia Sabiiti, dated March 10, 2014, addressed to the MD Consolidated Contractors, it contained a recommendation to suspend the company.
The recommendation from Kanungu District Local Government, was premised on a purported forged certificate of completion.
But in a response dated March 18, 2014, the company lawyers wrote to Sabiiti confirming receipt of her letter. However, they queried why the purported forged certificate was not attached.
The case file has been allocated to Justice Elizabeth Musoke. However, a hearing date is yet to be fixed.
On Friday, when New Vision sought a comment from PPDA senior public relations officer Vincent Mugaba.
Asked whether the body was knowledgeable of a case against it, he replied in the negative, noting that he would verify with the legal department.
“I am not aware it. I will have to check and confirm with our legal department,” Mugaba stated.
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