Dott Services, the construction firm that had previously been blacklisted from doing business with government agencies, has been formally cleared by the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga, ending months of ping pong between the firm and government.
The impasse threatened to stall several construction projects that government had contracted to Dott Services. Chief among them is the 5.5 megawatts Nyagak III hydropower project, in which Dott Services is one of the three companies contracted under Genmax Nyagak Ltd. The venture is projected to cost $14.5 million (Shs 51.8bn).
Other ongoing projects by Dott Services include the construction works on the 4.8 megawatts hydropower project on River Waki in Buliisa as well as the construction of Nakivubo and Kinawataka main sewers.
In a letter addressed to the president, a copy of which The Observer has seen, Byaruhanga affirms: “Whereas Article 99 of the Constitution clearly vests the executive authority of Uganda in the president to be exercised in accordance with the Constitution and the laws of Uganda, the issuance of executive orders as legislative instruments with the force of law by the president in exercise of this authority is not specifically authorised by the Constitution.”
He adds: “Accordingly, in view of the above provisions, my opinion is that the executive instrument barring Dott Services from participating in road construction stands withdrawn as per the president’s directive and was, in any case, unenforceable. Dott Services is, therefore, free to participate with any entities in so far as those relations are within the law.”
Byaruhanga’s advice is in response to an earlier letter authored by Museveni on May 29, where he made it clear that he had no objection retracting an executive order he had issued in April instructing government agencies not to deal with Dott.
Museveni had made it clear in his letter that he would seek further guidance from the attorney general. Yesterday, Venugopal Rao, the chief executive officer of Dott Services, welcomed the development. He said the company had not been formally informed about the earlier executive order and had only read about it on social media and in newspapers.
“For the company, it is business as usual. We are very positive on the business environment and support for the private sector. As Dott, we are a responsible company committed to the transformation of this country through provision of effective service delivery in the areas of infrastructure, energy and agriculture,” Rao said.