By Samuel Balagadde
The Government is looking for a competent company to manage and operate Marine Vessel (MV) Kalangala. The vessel which plies Nakiwogo landing site in Entebbe and Lutoboka in Kalangala, was assembled in 2005 as fulfilment of President Museveni’s pledge to the people of Kalangala for eased water transport and connectivity to the mainland.
It was initially managed by M/S Mulowooza and Brothers between 2006 and 2010 but when the three-year contract expired, the works and transport ministry took over its management to date.
The vessel is currently in Mwanza, Tanzania where it is undergoing the annual repairs to meet the international maritime safety requirements. Susan Kataike, the works and transport ministry spokesperson said the procurement process for the private operator for the vessel is ongoing.
However, Kataike warned operators of private boats who are taking advantage of the absence of MV Kalangala to dangerously load passengers to and from Kalangala via Entebbe landing site.
Last week a locally built boat loaded with over 70 passengers from Entebbe landing site to Kalangala got stuck on the lake after its engine stalled but they were rescued by the marine Police.
Bernard Khabakha, a senior inspector of vessels with the ministry, said all passenger boats are supposed to be inspected to ascertain their seaworthiness before they are licensed to operate but many operators do not heed this.
Fred Badda, the Bujumba MP said the Government should avail alternative and safe transport means to Kalangala via Entebbe whenever MV Kalangala is taken for annual inspection and repairs
MV Kalangala set for private operator