Ugandan MPs question cost of railway project
14 October 2014, 14:00
Kampala - A section of MPs have vowed to block China Harbour Engineering Company Ltd (CHEC) from constructing the Standard Gauge Railway saying the cost of the work is far higher as compared to what Kenya will spend on the construction.
They say some corrupt officials are behind the shoddy deal and they can not accept the waste of tax payers money.
Some have gone ahead to petition the Chinese bank-EXIM [Export and Import] which intends to finance the constriction of the project bringing to its attention what they called facts that should be considered before such finances are disbursed.
The legislators who include Theodore Ssekikubo, Wilfred Niwagaba, Bernabas Tinkasimire, Paul Mwiru and Abdu Katuntu, claim that the contract between the government and the Chinese company didn’t follow proper procurement procedures in addition to claiming that the figures involved are high compared to other quotations by neighboring countries.
Addressing a press conference at parliament, Ssekikubo said, '' Whereas in Kenya which is going to construct a longer distance is spending 3.5 billion US dollars, in Uganda which has a shorter distance the figure has been put at over 8 billion US dollars.Why?There must be an element of corruption.''
They added that whereas the court halted the process of signing the contract with CHEC and parliament also pronounced itself on this matter, the ministry is proceeding with intentions to sign the contract and therefore wanted to bring this matter to the notice of the bank.
Sekikubo said much as they support the project, it has not been done through the right procedures, a matter they said is not being done in the interest of Ugandans which may not make them responsible for the terms and conditions therein the financing agreement.
The railway is meant to link land locked countries including Uganda Rwanda Burundi and South Sudan to Mombasa port.
Last week, presidents from the East African Community and their representatives launched the construction of the railway in Uganda.
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