President Yoweri Museveni has directed the Ministry of Works and Transport not to take up a loan to fund construction of the proposed 77 Km Kampala-Jinja Expressway or any other ordinary road project going forward.
Museveni says borrowing for government infrastructural projects henceforth must be reserved for the railway, electricity, capitalizing the Uganda Development Bank, as well as special road projects for tourism and oil.
In a letter last week to Minister Monica Ntege Azuba, Museveni said he “reject(ed) the idea of the Kampala – Jinja Expressway.”
The president’s directive followed a meeting he had with a Chinese firm named as China Railway No.17, which, he said, undertook to build the road with their own money and recover it through road toll collection.
The company, based in Taiyuan in the Chinese province of Shanxi, specializes in construction of railways, highways, houses, airport terminals, and hydro-power engineering projects.
“Why then should we borrow for this road,” Museveni wondered.
“Moreover the roads are not the major cost reducers compared to the railway or electricity. Therefore, I invite that company to make their presentations and proposals.”
The Chinese company, once the presidential directive is heeded, will join a list of 8 others which by late last year had been shortlisted to take up the construction project.
The Kampala Expressway project was projected to cost government up to $ 1.55Billion which is a little over Shs 5.5Trillion.
The African Development Bank had last year committed to extend a 230Million loan for this project.