Sunday, May 30, 2010

Uganda - Complaints about sub-contractors over construction of fibre optic cable

[new vision] Green Future, a firm contracted to lay the high speed fibre optic Internet from Uganda to Rwanda, has failed to pay 23 local companies it sub-contracted, a source has said.

"Green Future sub-contracted 23 Ugandan firms, one per 30 kilometres, for the Kampala- Katuna stretch. We haven't been paid since December yet we completed most of the work," the source, who preferred anonymity, said.

The local media recently quoted Felix Kabyanga, Green Future's managing director, as saying that about 3,000 casual labourers had been paid even when no money had been paid to the sub-contracted firms.

"We expect to resume on May 29 and shall pay all the companies," he said.

Kabyanga added that a financial crisis had hit the project which forced work to halt after the Kenya Data Network incurred financial constraints.

This, he said, was caused by a feasibility study oversight where they had undermined the terrain which contained hard soils and rocks in some areas thereby increasing the construction expenses.

Kenya Data Network and Altech Stream are the main contractors of the sh16b project.

Recently, the over 5,000 workers who were hired by the sub-contractors threatened to destroy the fibre optic cables over non-payment. One of the contractors who declined to be named, said there had been unclear explanations from Green Future who blamed all the delays on the main contractor.

"This is one of the things that will undermine the East African integration efforts. Why can't they pay us? This is a raw deal for Ugandans," the contractor said.

Uganda: Fibre Optic Contractors in Wrangles

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