Lukwago Wants Shs600bn Tondeka Bus Loan Rejected

Lukwago Wants Shs600bn Tondeka Bus Loan Rejected an accessible web community

By Kamuntu Frank

The Kampala City Lord Mayor, Erias Lukwago has urged parliament to reject the government’s proposal to borrow Shillings 600 billion from Exim Bank of India to finance the Tondeka Metro Bus Project.

The government has committed to the above sum through Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) for the Tondeka Bus Service.

However, Lukwago says he was not briefed about the proposed project saying the loan to fund it is a surprise.

“We have gathered from media reports that Government plans to bankroll the entire project with a loan from Exim Bank to a tune of shs600 billion. I personally have no record to that effect and I have no official communication from any Government office,” said Lukwago.

“According to our budget for the financial year 2020/2021, the ceiling prepared for us by the Finance Ministry is shs285 billion. It comes as a surprise to us that there is a massive investment of shs600 billion that will be injected in a project that is alien to our budget framework paper,” he added.

Under the Tondeka Metro bus project, the proposed principal public operator in Kampala Metropolitan area is expected to serve in collaboration with the Works and Transport and Uganda Development Corporation. It is expected to start operation on September 1, 2020.  

On Tuesday, Lukwago appeared before the parliamentary committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry to present his views on the proposed greater Kampala mass transit bus service spearheaded by the ministry of Works and Transport.   

He explained that there is not adequate planning for the bus project. He also noted that the loan request is very exorbitant and more than double the KCCA budget. 

Lukwago also disclosed that KCCA has been sidelined in the project, adding that he even doesn’t know those behind it. He also revealed to the committee that he hasn’t seen any write up regarding the project.  

“Roles and obligations of KCCA in this project, I have to state with lots of regrets that there is no concept paper, no project proposal, np structural plan or any other form of write up that have been presented to the Authority of Office of the Lord Mayor for consideration,” said Lukwago.     

The director of Pioneer Easy Bus Company, Albert Muganga observed that the obligation of government is to gazette bus stages and stops and support infrastructure for sustainable operation of city bus transport but not to provide funding to private operators.

He objected to the loan application, saying as Pioneer, they have operated bus services in Kampala before without a loan and support from government. The committee chair, Robert Kasule Ssebunya advised government to take leadership of the bus system and attract more bus operators to ensure efficient service delivery in the sector. an accessible web community

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