A team of URC officials led by Managing Director Stanley Sendegeya told the committee that they had initially planned to procure six-year-old locomotives at 36 billion Shillings but they ended up procuring four eight-year-old locomotives at 48 billion shillings.
Members of Parliament have faulted
Uganda Railway Corporation for purchasing old locomotives at a cost that was much higher than that of new locomotives.
The Parliament Committee on
Commissions Statutory Authorities and State Enterprise (COSASE) was today meeting officials from URC over the
procurement of locomotives which were later found not to be compatible with Uganda's rail system. This follows concern that the
eight-year-old locomotives were long and couldn’t turn on the available triangular sections of the rail
among other challenges.
A team of URC officials led by Managing Director Stanley Sendegeya told
the committee that they had initially planned to procure six-year-old
locomotives at 36 billion Shillings but they ended up procuring four eight-year-old locomotives at 48 billion shillings. The decision, he says, was taken by Chief Engineer
Julius Musimenta in disregard of recommendations by a team of experts within URC.
Peter Katwebaze, the Acting Chief Mechanical Engineer said that the reason they went for the old ones was that the new ones would take between two to three years to be procured and
yet the locomotives were needed urgently.
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Committee Chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi questioned the
transition from the initial 36 billion for slightly newer locomotives, to
48 billion shillings for older ones.
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Katwebaze, however, said that the evaluation
at that time took into consideration the foreign exchange rates and the viability
of procuring new versus old. He added that the figures were out of a feasibility study.
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Rukiga County MP Roland Ndyomugenyi said that the URC officials were not telling
the truth as they cannot start the basis of the 36 billion for new locomotives
and 48 billion for older ones.
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Tom Kimera, a Procurement officer at
URC was handed over to the Parliaments Criminal Investigations Department (CID)
to record a statement over the varying costs.