Court blocks termination of Nakivubo contract

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Kampala.

Court has temporarily suspended implementation of resolutions by the Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium (NWNS) board of trustees to terminate the redevelopment of the sports ground by three companies who won the contract in 2014.

“…an interim order doth issue restraining the respondents, their agents and employees from terminating the public private partnership agreements between the Applicant and Respondent or in any way affect their rights until the hearing and determination of the substantive application for a temporary injunction,” reads the court’s interim order dated January 18.

The order was issued by Mr Alex Ajiji, the assistant registrar of the High Court. The court noted that it was unfair for the management of the stadium to terminate the contract yet it was legally awarded.
The injunction follows a petition by Mr Micheal Agaba of Nakimuli and Co. Advocates, the lawyer representing the three companies, who accuse the stadium trustees of breach of agreement.

The companies are Future Land (U) Ltd, Bestin (U) Ltd and Ntelenfune Enterprises Ltd. They won the contract to redevelop the stadium in 2014.

However, on January 15, the stadium’s board of trustees convened and resolved to cancel the contract on account that the contractors had delayed to start the redevelopment work.

Sources who attended the meeting but declined to be named, told Daily Monitor that the board members were divided on the cancellation of the contract, which forced the chairperson, Mr Godfrey Mabirizi, to resign.

Mr Mabirizi, sources added, had opposed the termination of the contract, explaining that the stadium is heavily indebted and cannot manage to compensate the contractor.

Mr Mabirizi communicated his resignation to Sports minister Charles Bakkabulindi, on January 16. In the resignation letter, which this newspaper has seen, Mr Mabirizi noted that despite the stadium’s staggering indebtedness, government has not bailed them out.

“…I regret to inform you that I am resigning my position as chairperson Board of Trustees NWMS. I am handing in this resignation due to personal reasons and it will come to effect immediately,” Mr Mabirizi’s letter reads in part.

The letter was also copied to the Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Education and Sports, the commissioner for Physical Education and Sports and the general secretary for National Council of Sports.

The contracted companies would, among other projects, construct a perimeter wall with more than 1, 500 lock up shops facing the Park Yard market, carry out physical planning for upgrading the stadium to a 25,000-seater from 15,000.

On December 3, 2014, Mr Bakkabulindi wrote to the NWMS board of trustees, endorsing the redevelopment of the stadium but advised that the process should be executed lawfully.

The stadium redevelopment plan was shared out as thus; Nterefune Enterprises was to redevelop the pavilion, Future Land was to redevelop the parking grounds facing the new taxi park, Bestin was to redevelop Park Yard market and Ham Enterprises to redevelop where Ham Shopping mall currently sits.

When contacted for a comment on the matter, Mr Bakkabulindi hang up after we told him the issue.

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