By Isaac Nabimanya
Officials of the National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) have come under fire after allegedly procuring a large consignment of water supply meters which have since turned out to be fake, yet they cost government hundreds of millions of Shillings.
According to documents seen by this website, the prepaid meters were procured by the Contract Manager identified as John Nkwanga on 2015, who was later subjected to the NWSC Disciplinary Committee, although inquiries into matter have since hit a dead end, without any punitive measures being pronounced on him.
Nkwanga’s troubles started after an Investigative Committee instituted by the Executive of the NWSC compiled a report indicating that Prepaid Meters that had been purchased for various government ministries were fake and had to either be returned to the supplier or destroyed.
Mr. NkwangaHowever, it has been established that following the investigation which unearthed a lot of rot in the NWSC contracts committee, Nkwanga was suspended from duty on September 15, 2015.
That was after the Committee discovered that he had caused government a loss of over Shs2Bn after buying meters that were of less quality and different specifications from those in the procurement contract. He also caused government a loss of Shs 4Bn for delivering Meter Management Software once, yet the NWSC had paid for double delivery.
Nkwanga also caused government a loss of Shs 1.5Bn as payment for Integration Software for the Meters which was never delivered.
Several others procurement misappropriations were registered against Nkwanga and his Contracts Committee, which made the Investigators deduce that NWSC had been made pay for goods and services that were not in conformity with the supply LOT, hence the Contacts manager and other staff who were culpable had to be subjected to disciplinary measures.
However, it should be noted that the scandal was quickly hushed up and swept under the carpets of NWSC offices, so as to save face and image of the government Corporation, which purports to be the best at accountability and transparency.
All this scam was unearthed after a whistle blower and one of the NWSC water consumers told us that One month after installing a water meter, Water bill is 50% higher than the past 3 months when he was on the prior postpaid system.
He says there have not been any significant changes in his water usage patterns.
Ever since prepaid NWSC launched these water meters, the government had not been able to verify the authenticity of the water meters.
A section of Ugandans believe that NWSC should be checked thoroughly so that the whole procurement system can be checked,
“People are concerned whether the measurements of water meters are accurate and we are set to look at that. When we initially started, we realized that there was no legal framework, but that has now been completed,” A whistle blower said.
“We also have the equipment to check the water meters. Going forward, we hope that when UNBS, and the public) move together we will be able to solve these complaints,” he added.
It said that verification of all systems of measurement should be done to ensure that those NWSC Consumers are not cheated. Ugandans want verification so that it can also save the country from making large loses, especially in foreign exchange on exports. He said verification can also save lives, especially when verification is properly.
When we contacted NWSC spokesperson Sam Apedel when confirmed our story saying that as the cooperation, they had a big challenge in procurement where fake meters were bought but as the authority they were trying to rectify the problems so that Ugandans don’t get cheated easily while paying the wrong bills. ‘it true we got such complainants on the fake water meters which could result in to wrong billing but our technical staff are working on that issue ‘he said
On the outcomes of those who embezzled money through the procurement process, he never answered it correctly saying that the NWSC top management would into such matters internally.
Attached is some of the findings