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MPs Query Cost of Kalangala Ferry Project

Members of Parliament have raised a red flag on the Kalangala Infrastructure Services Project (KIS), and are planning to make a formal complaint to the Ministry of Works.

The MPs say they received information from analysts that the long term cost of the hired out ferry service, is much higher than if government had acquired its own brand new ferries.

KIS is the first private firm in Uganda to be granted a license to own and operate a commercial ferry service.

It operates two roll-on roll-off passenger and vehicle ferries, one of which was launched in 2012 and the second in 2015.

It is said to have cost up to 50million US Dollars, most of which was foreign sourced.

Government, through the Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA), pays a fee of Shs1.2million for each trip done across the lake.

According to the Uganda National Roads Authority policy, the ferry is considered an extension of the road, thus no one is required to pay for the crossing which is essentially a bridge to the island.

Rwampara constituency legislator Charles Ngabirano told Chimpreports on Thursday that he and other MPs had established that government would have saved much more money acquiring and managing the ferry service of its own.

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“We’ve learnt that the cost of the ferry is much more than the cost of a ferry itself; why would government hire out ferry services which in the long run are more expensive than the ferry that is being used on the lake?” He asked.

Ngabirano said parliamentarians will be moving to investigate this matter in persuit of value for money.

“Why wouldn’t government buy its own ferry or delegate those ferry services to the government agencies like UNRA to avoid those costs? This is a project in question; we feel that we should find out deeply the cause of this and rectify this abnormality.”

Speaking during a UNRA stakeholders meeting, the Authority’s south western regional manager Benneth Kiganda said stressed that the ferry project belongs to the Ministry of Works and Transport.

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