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UNRA cleared to start Expresway works

By Martin Kitubi

Added 3rd July 2020 03:17 PM

Parliament has allowed the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to procure a contractor for the Kampala-Jinja Expressway (KJE), authorities have revealed.

UNRA cleared to start Expresway works

Allen Kagina (left), the executive director Uganda National Roads Authority, Omach (right) and Augustine Obyero during the inauguration of the new board at the works ministry headquarters yesterdayhowever

Parliament has allowed the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to procure a contractor for the Kampala-Jinja Expressway (KJE), authorities have revealed.

 

 By Martin Kitubi

Parliament has allowed the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) to procure a contractor for the Kampala-Jinja Expressway (KJE), authorities have revealed.

The procurement process had been halted due to fights over the contract.

A source at UNRA, who requested anonymity, told New Vision that they have embarked on the procurement process.

"Parliament gave us the green light to procure a contractor in May this year and we have embarked on the processes," the source said.

The development was also confirmed by Eng. Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko, the chairperson of the parliamentary committee on physical infrastructure.

Kafeero, who is the Nakifuma County MP, said: "We have allowed UNRA to go ahead with the procurement for the Kampala-Jinja Expressway project."

During a telephone interview with the New Vision yesterday, Kafeero, however, said the Executive advised that no Chinese company be awarded the deal.

"The President wrote to us and directed that no Chinese company should be granted the deal. The presidential directive is in black and white and we have it on record," he said. However, in line with the new timelines for the completion of the project, Kafeero noted that UNRA is yet to submit the new proposals to the House.

Construction was expected to kick off in 2015, but it was delayed by a number of factors such as the delayed approval of the loan.

According to the proposition of financing arrangement for the project, the expressway will be built under a public private partnership (PPP).

The project forms part of the northern trade corridor from Mombasa in Kenya through to Kigali in Rwanda.

It is a strategic corridor since it serves as a trade link to the sea for the land-locked countries of Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Fred Jachan Omach, the UNRA board chairperson, said construction will start this financial year, 2020/2021.

He made the remarks in an interview with New Vision just after he was inaugurated as the board chairperson for the second term.

"The KJE is one of the projects we must fast-track, Ugandans have waited for it," Omach said.

FUNDING THE PROJECT

According to UNRA, the Government has earmarked $300m (sh1.1 trillion) for clearing the right of way (compensations) within five budget cycles from 2016 to 2020.

Phase 1 of the project will involve the development of urban expressway, including the Kampala southern bypass (18km) plus 35km of the main line from Kampala to Namagunga. This is estimated to cost $800m (sh2.9 trillion) and will come from different financiers.

The project will be funded by Viability Gap Funding (VGF), which is co-funded by both the Government and the African Development Bank (AfDB), European Union (EU) as well as Agence Française de Développement (AFD).

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