what is this public works contract that causes turmoil and divisions in the Senate?

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In the DRC, did the Senate have the right to undertake renovations to its plenary hall? The question sparked anger from President Alexis Thambwe Mwanda last week.

A Senator, Bijoux Kitenge Goya, a member of the EcoFin commission, arrested him just a week ago by letter to ask for an explanation. According to the rules of procedure of the Senate, the office has one week to respond in plenary, until satisfaction, under penalty of risking the establishment of a parliamentary committee of inquiry. Even beyond this inquiry, several senators, including in the ranks of his coalition the FCC, question the urgency of this work as well as the choice of a contractor with whom Alexis Thambwe Mwamba would have worked.

The President of the Senate partially explained in session last week. Alexis Thambwe Mwamba said he was forced to start work during the parliamentary recess so as not to have to “relocate the Senate at the start of the school year”. This work surprised more than one senator since the renovation of their plenary hall was not included in the budget they had voted in mid-December just before the holidays.

Four million dollars worth of work

Six other projects were listed for approximately $ 3 million. But the deal the Senate made with Modern Construction for Indian businessman Harish Jagtani exceeds that amount, several senators point out. According to a document consulted by RFI, all taxes included, it is just over four million dollars, including 3,470,000 for the works.

In his side, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba said it had followed the entire procurement procedure. On January 20, 2020, it obtained at least one favorable opinion, that of the Directorate-General for Control of Public Procurement. It remains to be seen whether this new extra-budgetary expenditure has indeed been authorized by the entire chain of public expenditure. A government source says it doubts, given the restrictions imposed in recent months.

In any case, during his opening speech at the session, Alexis Thambwe Mwamba displayed his full confidence. ” I hope that the Prime Minister here present will give instructions for the company to be paid and I will personally take care of it “, He had launched himself.

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