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Chinese investors petition PM over unstable electricity

Minister Nankabirwa visited Zhongkai Electronics Limited and Sky Pipes industries in Kakiri over issues of unreliable power. COUTESY PHOTO

Kakiri, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Chinese investors operating different factories in Kakiri Town, Wakiso District have petitioned the Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to express their frustration with the erratic electricity supply in the area.

Represented by Cai Jiashun, Zong Bo and Lin Yangbin, the investors early this week petitioned Nabbanja explaining that irregular power supply in the area has slowed down production at their factories while several machines have been rendered faulty due to erratic power supply.

They operate such companies as Sky Pipes Company Limited that specializes in manufacturing of integrated plastic pipes and Zhong Kai Electronics Limited, a manufacturing plant for house ceilings which they sell locally and export bulk of the products within Africa. They occupy 35 acres of land in Nakyerongoosa village, along Kampala – Hoima highway.

In their petition, the investors also indicated that for the unreliable power, the electricity tariff levies on their factories are extremely exorbitant forcing them to resort to standby generators in the wake soaring fuel prices.

Ricky Tumwesiga, an Administrator at Sky Pipes and Zhong Kai Electronics, and a language translator for the investors revealed that they spend over 100 million Shillings in purchasing diesel fuel every month to run the generators due to rampant outage or dim power.

He told URN in an interview on Friday that they spend at least 400 million Shillings on electricity bills every month, describing it as an expensive venture on their investment. They also reportedly employ over 800 Ugandans.

In her response, the Prime Minister directed Ruth Nankabirwa, the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development to undertake a fact-finding visit to factory sites and expeditiously fix the problem in order to protect the investors.

During her spot field visit, Nankabirwa could not establish the reasons for power unreliability, as no technical persons from Umume Ltd, the largest energy distributor in Uganda that oversees the transmission line in the area was present. She directed the technical department of her Ministry to investigate the matter within seven days.

Dr Patricia Kevin Litho, the Principle Communications Officer at the Ministry of Energy says that a technical team in the Ministry is already on the ground to investigate the matter in order to come up with appropriate interventions.

Kakiri is a fast growing areas that is also home to many of Kampala City’s workers, factories and well as military installations. It currently relies on the Kawanda and Busunju feeders which, given the area they traverse, are prone to fluctuations.

In April 2020, the power distributor Umeme announced that it would establish a 4.9 billion shilling sub-station in the area to improve electricity reliability, but nothing as yet has happened oon the ground in this regard.

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