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Tayebwa criticizes bureaucratic procurement delays on Kampala-Jinja expressway

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Tayebwa criticizes bureaucratic procurement delays on Kampala-Jinja expressway

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa has criticized bureaucratic procurement procedures that are causing unnecessary delays in implementing national strategic projects.

Tayebwa made the remarks while chairing the plenary sitting on Tuesday, February 6, 2024, following a statement by Mr. Fred Byabakama, the state minister for Transport, on the status of the Kampala-Jinja Expressway.

The Deputy Speaker wondered why the procurement process for the construction of the Kampala-Jinja Expressway has taken more than five years, a development he said is already costing taxpayers money.

“Why should procurement take five years? You told us that you were starting the road when a bag of cement was still at Shs20,000, now it is at Shs35,000. Who is going to pay for this?” Mr. Tayebwa questioned.

The Kampala-Jinja Expressway Project, financed through a loan amounting to Shs842 billion secured from the African Development Bank, has already incurred Shs3 billion in commitment fees for taxpayers. However, the works on the project are yet to commence.

In a statement presented to Parliament, Minister Byabakama said the Kampala-Jinja Expressway would be undertaken as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project in accordance with the PPP Act, 2015. He explained that the developer would need to mobilize private financing for the project’s implementation, which they would recover over a 25-year Operation and Maintenance period.

Mr. Byabakama highlighted that all bidders participating in the procurement have raised ‘bankability issues’ affecting the ability to commit private financing to the project.

“This includes a Partial Risk Guarantee (PRG) covering annual payments that will be made to the Developer. During the O&M period, the Developer will be fully reliant on the government of Uganda to make timely payments for it to meet its debt and other payment obligations,” he elaborated.

Without the guarantee, he emphasized, private finance cannot be secured at competitive rates. “The PRG is under discussion with the Ministry of Finance, and once it has been approved, the procurement will proceed with the issuance of the final bidding documents to the pre-qualified bidders. Within one year of issuance, the contract with the selected Developer will be signed,” the Minister assured.

The Minister informed Parliament that the land required for 45km has been acquired, including 14km along the Southern Bypass and 31 km along the Kampala-Jinja mainline.

“The progress of compensation has been slowed down by the lack of funds to effect payments,” Mr. Byabakama informed MPs. By December 2024, he stated that the government targets to have acquired the full section from Kampala to Namagunga and the whole Kampala Southern Bypass.

“The rest of the land from Namagunga to Jinja is planned to be acquired by December 2025,” he added but insisted that the development is fully dependent on budgetary allocation for land acquisition.

Sarah K. Biryomumaisho is a Multimedia journalist (Broadcast & Writing) with 11 years of experience. She holds a Diploma in Business Administration from Makerere Business Institute and a Certificate in Media Management from Women in News. She completed a Course in Wikimedia in 2020, making her one of the very few Wikipedia Editors in the country. She also has a certificate in Gender Justice Reporting from The International Women's Media Foundation, IWMF. She has worked with a number of media houses including 6 Radio stations, most recently Galaxy fm 100.2 & Radio 4. She has worked with Andariya Magazine as a writer. Sarah worked as a Digital Communications consultant for the newly revived Uganda Airlines and is also a Digital enthusiast. She owns a Media Organization called TheUgPost that publishes in Uganda and has a global reach. Twitter; https://twitter.com/BiryomumaishoB

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