Johnson Munono, the town clerk of Mbarara, is in trouble for allegedly disregarding a directive from the Public Procurement and Disposal of Pubic Assets Authority (PPDA) against the award of a management contract of Mbarara taxi park to a private company.
In a March 18, 2015 letter, the PPDA Executive Director, Cornelia K Sabiti said the accounting officer (town clerk) of Mbarara Municipal Council disregarded section 90 (7) of the PPDA Act, 2003, in rushing to sign the management contract for Mbarara taxi park to beat the administrative process that was underway at the authority.
The PPDA noted that a complaint was lodged for an administrative review for the award of the Mbarara taxi park management services to Mbarara United Taxi Owners, Conductors and Drivers Cooperative Society Limited on February 17, 2015 and that a copy of the same complaint was sent to the accounting officer on the same date. The authority also reportedly wrote on February 19 informing Munono about the review appeal.
PPDA added that despite the above notification, a contract was signed between Munono and the best evaluated bidder on February 20, 2015 when the administrative review at the authority was underway, contrary to section 90(7) of the PPDA Act 2003. The Act provides that a contract shall not be signed by the accounting officer with the provider during the administrative review process.
“In light of the fact that a contract has already been signed by the accounting officer and the best evaluated bidder, the Authority in accordance with Section 9(1) (b) of the PPDA Act, 2003 recommends that appropriate action should be taken against the accounting officer by the Permanent Secretary, ministry of
Local Government, for his complete disregard of Section 90(7) of the PPDA Act, 2003,… .” the letter reads.
Munono declined a recent request for a comment on the issue, claiming: “I have not received a copy of this letter.”
The row over the management of Mbarara taxi park pits two rival taxi bodies in the municipality against one another. They are Mbarara United Taxi Owners, Conductors and Drivers Cooperative Society Limited and Mbarara United Taxi Operators Cooperative Society Ltd.
The two companies were aised to form one g management company to run the park but they refused. Instead, the two groups decided to bid differently when Mbarara municipal council invited bids on January 6, 2015. The council hoped to raise Shs 13m from the taxi park every week.
MS Mbarara United Taxi Owners, Conductors and Drivers Cooperative Society LTD offered Shs 14,875,000 while MS Mbarara United Taxi Operators and Cooperative Society LTD, the successful bidder, offered Shs 16,042,700. Some taxi operators in the park said the quoted figures are too high for Mbarara taxi park. They said the high bid offers have pushed the transport fares up.
Source : The Observer