President Museveni has directed that Shs141 billion, which would have been spent on the construction of a road in this financial year, be given to Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) to complete the building of their vehicle plant project.
President Museveni, who laid a foundation stone at the plant in Jinja Industrial Park on Saturday, said the completion of the plant will produce quicker results than the road to be constructed.
“[The Minister of Finance, Mr Matia] Kasaija has proved that he focuses on the future because he said even if we die, let us die, but let us look for Shs141b. We can stop the construction of one road this year and start on it next year because this [project] will make money. The road doesn’t make money in the short run,” Mr Museveni said.
Earlier, Mr Kasaija told President Museveni that he would look for Shs141b for the construction of the plant this financial year.
The plant is expected to be completed in December and launched in January 2022.
KMC is a state enterprise aimed at establishing vehicle manufacturing in Uganda.
The plant at the Jinja Industrial Park is being constructed by the Uganda People’s Defence Forces through its business arm, the National Enterprise Corporation.
President Museveni, who banned importation of buses and assembling of new ones in Uganda, expects buses for Ugandan market to be manufactured in Uganda saying it will create employment and reduce on the forex sent abroad to buy vehicles.
He said his future plan is to also ban importation of used cars that use fuel in Uganda because of their impact to the environment.
Mr Paul Musasizi, the chief executive officer of KMC, said they will be able to start mass production of the buses by mid next year.
The plant is billed to produce 5,000 vehicles annually.
Mr Musasizi said they have already worked with Tondeka, a bus company, to supply them with 1,030 buses and they will be delivering more than 300 units by February next year.
Lt Gen James Mugira, the managing director of NEC, said the UPDF’s engagement in business projects has helped to save money for the government without compromising standards.
The Kiira Vehicle Plant Start-Up Facilities are designed for the production of buses (electric and internal combustion engine) targeting the domestic and regional market with a goal of 65 per cent supply chain localisation by 2030.
The Plant will provide Contract-Manufacturing Services for multiple Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) participating in the regional market enabling them to enhance Automotive Local Content Participation.