Deputy Speaker urges more support for Kiira Motors plant

Oct 13, 2022

Kiira Motors is planning to produce 30,000 buses for the regional market.

KMC CEO Paul Musasizi (2L) speaks as Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa (C), exec c/m Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa & others listen on during a tour of the facility in Jinja on Oct 12. (Credit: KMC)

Umar Kashaka
Journalist @New Vision

INDUSTRY

The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Thomas Tayebwa, has called for more support for the Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) plant project in Jinja in eastern Uganda.

Tayebwa made the call on Wednesday (October 12) while paying a courtesy visit to the plant being constructed at Jinja Industrial Park.

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa (front 2R) on a guided tour of the KMC plant

Deputy Speaker of Parliament Thomas Tayebwa (front 2R) on a guided tour of the KMC plant


He was taken on a guided tour by Kiira Motors executive chairman, Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa, and the chief executive officer, Paul Musasizi.

“This project still needs more support and it shouldn't be a project which is only championed by the President alone, but by all of us,” Tayebwa said in a statement.

He noted that the plant is a key project for Uganda and is an undertaking to be proud of as a country at large.


The Deputy Speaker said he was impressed by the work being done by the National Enterprise Corporation, a commercial arm of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), and supervised by Makerere University consultants. 

"This [project] is a true testimony that the moment you believe in your national capabilities, you can move mountains. Our very own National Enterprise Corporation is the one putting up such a massive project."

Tayebwa was guided by KMC executive chairman, Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa (2L) and the CEO, Paul Musasizi (R)

Tayebwa was guided by KMC executive chairman, Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa (2L) and the CEO, Paul Musasizi (R)


Parliament backing

Tayebwa,  who is also the MP for Ruhinda North, pledged Parliament’s support for the plant project, saying they would do all it takes to ensure its successful completion.

He urged KMC's top brass to run the facility with a private sector mindset.

“I urge you (that) don't run [the facility] like a government institution. I have been reading through reports; most of the government institutions are practising corporate governance."


He rallied KMC staff not to behave like public servants. 

“Those who [don’t] perform should get out of the way, we bring in others. Don't only look at it as a business, but look at it as a springboard for training more Ugandans so that they can go and work in other manufacturing factories."

Tayebwa also noted that no country has fully transformed without venturing into industrialisation and manufacturing.


About the plant

The first phase of the plant’s facilities include an assembly shop, a warehouse, in-plant circulation roads, perimeter fence, waste water treatment plant, site drainage and utility distribution.


The construction is being undertaken by UPDF through National Enterprise Corporation and supervised by Makerere University consultants.

The plant sits on 100 acres of land and will start production at nince buses a day, ramped up to 22 later.

President Yoweri Museveni recently directed that sh141b, which would have been spent on the construction of a road in this financial year, be given to KMC to complete the building of their vehicle plant project.

The President, who laid a foundation stone at the plant, said the completion of the plant would produce quicker results than the road to be constructed.


Kiira Motors CEO Musasizi said that completion of the first phase of the project had been delayed due to inadequate funding, among other factors.

KMC has built synergies with the private sector and development partners to explore sustainable multisectoral backward, forward, and lateral linkages which are pivotal in promoting local content participation in building the indigenous motor vehicle industry in Uganda.

An bird's eye view of the Kiira Vehicle Plant site

An bird's eye view of the Kiira Vehicle Plant site


The establishment of the plant is poised to catapult KMC along a sustainable growth trajectory cognizant of the disruptive industry vehicle technologies including connected, autonomous, shared, and electric vehicle technologies.

This will promote and catalyze the shift to environmentally friendly transport solutions which will go a long way in improving sustainable energy consumption, air quality and demonstrate Uganda’s commitment to enhanced environmental stewardship.

KMC is working with Tondeka Metro, RentCo Africa, and Golden Dragon as the technology partner to produce 30,000 buses at KMC for the regional market, with 65% parts and components localized by 2030.

The visiting Deputy Speaker had a feel of one of the Kiira electric buses

The visiting Deputy Speaker had a feel of one of the Kiira electric buses



They plan to produce and deploy 1,030 buses by mid-2023, 50 of which will be electric.

The initiative is aimed at modernizing public transport in the urban centers in Uganda and beyond while building the indigenous motor vehicle industry through technology transfer and supply chain localization.




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