MBARARA – North division’s financial operations have been halted after the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority(PPDA) tribunal closed its bank account at Housing Finance Bank Ltd.
According to John Matama Behangana, the Town Clerk Mbarara City, the garnishee nisi order arises from a court case filed by one of the applicants who was among the bidders that applied to be the consultant supervisor for the contract with Multiplex Company to construct roads in Mbarara City.
Garnishee nisi order is a court order served on financial institutions, banks or any person believed to be in possession of funds of a judgment debtor.
In a circular addressed to the legal department of Housing Finance Ltd through Ajju, Baleese, Bazirake Advocates, PPDA issued an order directing Housing Finance bank Ltd to freeze account number 0500128496 in the names of Mbarara City North Division Collections Account.
“The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets (PPD) tribunal has as per its mandate under Section 9 (k), (i), (d) of the PPDA Act issued a garnishee nisi against the above captioned account number that belongs to Mbarara City, a judgement debtor in the said application. The purpose hereof, therefore, is to forward the same to you for action,” reads part of the letter
“You are therefore advised to freeze the said account and appear at the tribunal to show cause why the funds indicated in the said garnishee nisi should not be paid to us for the benefit of our client and judgement creditor, Obon & Infrastructure Development JV” the letter further read in parts.
In reference to the letter, the civil suit No. 20 of 2021 dated 28 October 2021 was filed by Solomon Kisambira Baleese, the counsel for the applicants to PPDA tribunal ordering for the money totaling to amount Shs47,415,980 be put of Garnishee nisi order due to incompetence arising from court awarding to Obon and infrastructure development JV Vs Mbarara City (Debtor) and MBJ Technologies Ltd.
While presenting the letter during the city council meeting on Friday, Mr Behangana confirmed to the Councillors that, there is a court case running which requires immediate input.
“There is one applicant who applied to be the consultant supervisor for the contract he did not win; another company won but he went to court. Court decided two weeks ago that we put aside that contract and now they have gone ahead to freeze one of the accounts of Mbarara City North” says Behangana.
“Yesterday the Senior Town Clerk of Mbarara City North brought me the order which was sent to the bank that, the account will not allow any withdrawal until we have paid them. It is an administrative issue but it has not been scheduled but it is urgent because Mbarara City North now is not living, its dead because its account is closed so while it makes sense for me to come to council Mr. speaker, but it is also very important to give life to Mbarara City North,” he added
Behangana said the matter needs to be rectified urgently to restore the life of the division’s account.
According to Gumisiriza Kyabwaisho, Mayor Mbarara City North Division, freezing the Division account was an error since the contract matter was between Mbarara City and Obon and the infrastructure development JV.
“PPDA made a mistake because we don’t appear anywhere in this case since the contract awards are done by the city, not the division. It was totally wrong for PPDA to attach our division account to the debtors yet the matter was with Mbarara City, not the division” Kyabwisho insists.
He adds that the tough decision has affected the constituency negatively as they have failed to have funds to run the constituency affairs.
“Of course, it’s a challenge to clear the dues especially to those who clean the division streets and roads and perfecting other service deliveries though we have manoeuvred,” says the Division Mayor
The fact that the central government hasn’t released any single coin to Mbarara City, PPDA focused on the north division which had some money on its account, adds Kyabwisho.
“For them, they only focused on our account because it had the local revenue collections which PPDA went for,” he said.
Kyabwisho says progress is on to reopen their account, though the matter is still going on between Obon and infrastructure development JV company and Mbarara City Council.
Also, the City Town Clerk, Behangana says, their lawyers on the ground are ready to resolve the dispute between the council and the contractor amicably.
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