Museveni Now Meets New Railway Investor

After losing a bitter competition to construct the multi-billion dollar standard gauge railway in Uganda to China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHECL), visit view Chimpreports has learned that China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) will also miss the contract for another railway line project in the western part of Uganda.

President Museveni has now met leaders of the new railway construction company to take over the western line.

State Minister for Works and Transport, viagra 100mg Eng John Byabagambi had suggested that CCECC enters negotiations to construct the railway line from Kampala to Congo border and to Rwanda.

This was after President Museveni wrote to the Works Ministry in support of CHECL which was seconded to him by the powerful American lobbyist Rosa Whitaker, a former assistant U.S. Trade Representative for Africa.

Museveni preferred CHECL to CCECC after the former committed itself to develop capacity of UPDF Engineers in the construction and maintenance of Lake Victoria Port Infrastructure System and the Railway Infrastructure System; develop an Inland Port and a ship building facility at Bukasa not to mention a railway station.

Other related railway facilities would also be set up right from Kampala to Malaba and Bukasa Port and from Tororo to Pakwach before extending from Gulu to Nimule.

CHECL also promised to train UPDF Engineers and Technicians and remodel Tororo Barracks into a polytechnic centre thus cutting the cost of buying uniform and other attire from abroad.

With these benefits in sight, Museveni is said to have decided that CHECL takes the multi-billion deal, a move that angered CCECC which had already signed an MoU with Works Ministry to rebuild the eastern line of the railway.


Considering that CCECC had claimed investing shs47bn in surveys, government decided to explore means of granting them a contract for the western line which the company rejected. The western area is hilly, implying CCECC would invest more resources in the rehabilitation of the railway line, while the preferred eastern section is largely a flatland.

The move sparked off a political firestorm with government officials fighting in the media on behalf of the two antagonistic Chinese firms.

This angered President Museveni who called CHECL officials to State House where he warned them against interfering in Uganda’s politics. He told CHECL officials to stick to doing business and leave politics alone.

Museveni shops for another investor

Chimpreports understands that President Museveni on Saturday met and held a meeting with the Managing Director of China Railway Group Ltd. Company Mr. Hu Bo.

The meeting took place at State House Entebbe.

State House said in a statement on Sunday that, “President Museveni and his guest discussed issues on the prospective opportunities to invest in the construction of railway line in the western part of Uganda from Kampala to Congo border and to Rwanda.”

It added: “President Museveni told Mr. Hu Bo and his delegation that the work of railway construction is big and China Railway Group Ltd. Company can undertake the construction of the line if they are ready to seek funding for the project.”

The President said Uganda now has technical experts to help in the construction of the railway line and the right materials to be used after the government of Uganda trained some army officers with the knowledge and skills to construct railway lines.

It appears Museveni prefers the involvement of UPDF engineering brigade in such large infrastructure projects, something CCEC did not want.

Mr. Hu Bo told the President, they are confident to undertake the construction of Railway line and that their company is one of the most experienced since it built the TAZARA Railway line.

for starters, the TAZARA Railway, also called the Uhuru Railway or the Tanzam Railway, is a railroad in East Africa linking the port of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania with the town of Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia’s Central Province.

The single-track railway is 1,860 km (1,160 mi) long and was built from 1970 to 1975 as a turnkey project financed and supported by China. At the time of its completion, two years ahead of schedule, the TAZARA was the single longest railway in sub-Saharan Africa. At the cost of US $500 million to build, the TAZARA was the largest single foreign-aid project undertaken by China.

The governments of Tanzania, Zambia and China built the railway to eliminate landlocked Zambia’s economic dependence on Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and South Africa, both of which were ruled by white-minority governments.

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