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Uganda Withdraws from Rift Valley Railways Concession

Finance Minister, Matia Kasaijja announced the move to terminate the concession held by Qalaa Holdings of Egypt in his budget speech to parliament this afternoon.
08 Jun 2017 17:50
A Ugandan 73 Class Locomotive Engine repainted with RVR logo and colors

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Government has finally announced its withdrawal from the Rift Valley Railways concession.

Finance Minister, Matia Kasaijja announced the move to terminate the concession held by Qalaa Holdings of Egypt in his budget speech to parliament this afternoon.

He said the Ugandan side of the Rail track will revert to Uganda Railways Corporation.

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According to the Minister, the decision to withdrawal from the concession follows the failure by RVR to meet parameters like payment of concession fees and increase freight traffic volumes.

The Kenyan government served Qalaa Holdings with a termination notice in April this year. Qalaa Holdings is among other issues accused of failure to turn around the Railway operation in the two countries. Kenyan also said the Egyptian company has outstanding fees of US$ 5.7 million to clear.

There were reports that Uganda would still maintain the concessionaire. Kasaijja now confirms reports that the two countries have resolved to end the concession, which has been running since 2006. 

RVR had been awarded a twenty-five year concession to run passenger and cargo haulage business in Uganda and Kenya. 

A source at Ministry of Energy told URN that Uganda and Kenya on Monday had resolved to end the RVR concession by July this year. President Yoiwer Museveni, says the Uganda Railway to Pakwach will be repaired to transport oil equipment to the Albertine Region. 

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He says the Railway-water transport will lower the cost of transport through Lake Victoria and the Northern Uganda line.

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