Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) is likely to be dragged to Courts of law after failing to pay five consulting firms that took part in the construction of its 22-floor headquarters in Nakawa.
The claimants include J.E. Nsubuga Associates Limited, M&E Associates Limited, Kaburu Okello Consulting Engineers, Bikandema &Partners and Project Management &Engineering (Promo) Consultants Limited.
In a January 24 notice of arbitration to URA Commissioner Corporate Services, the offended consultants through their lawyers Ms Milton & Co. Advocates say the tax collection body breached the contract vide procurement ref No. URA/CSD/SRVCS/13-14/00002 for the provision of consultancy services for supervision of the iconic URA Tower.
According to the notice, URA has since then refused to pay claimants damages estimated to Shs3.2 billion (interest accrued and costs of arbitration proceedings).
Now the government body has been given seven days to respond to the notice from date of receipt.
“Should we not hear from you within the said time, we shall proceed to file an application for mandatory appointment of an arbitrator in accordance with section 11 (3)(b) of the Arbitration and Conciliation, Act Cap 4, Rule 13 of the Arbitration Rules, laws of Uganda. Should you consider an amicable settlement please let us know in your response,” notice partly reads.
“Please note that all correspondences relating to our clients claims against you should strictly be communicated directly to us.”
Meanwhile, the Shs139 billion URA Tower was commissioned last weekend by President Yoweri Museveni.
Its ground breaking ceremony was held on October 31, 2014 and construction started on February 2015.
At 22 floors, the Tower, fully funded by the government, is so far the tallest building in the country. It was designed by a Ugandan Jonathan Nsubuga and constructed in four years. When fully occupied it has a maximum sitting capacity of 1,700 staff.