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Gov’t yet to decide on Jinja express highway financing

FILE PHOTO: Artistic impression of a section of the Jinja-Kampala Expresway.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija has told Parliament that the Cabinet is yet to take a decision on the financing of the Jinja Express highway.

The Jinja Express Highway which will be constructed at a cost of 1.1 billion dollars (4 trillion shillings) is a 77.09 kilometer proposed four-lane toll highway from Jinja to Kampala.

In September, President Museveni stopped the tendering process for the proposed expressway as a public-private partnership (PPP) and instead invited a Chinese company, China Railway 17th Bureau Group Company to lead the project.

The President said there is no need to borrow if the Chinese can construct the road with their own money and Government pays later. MPs say although the World Bank had accepted to finance the expressway, Government interfered with the process.

Kasaija who was on Wednesday responding to queries about the financing modalities said that there are two alternatives of financing including the Public-Private Partnership, or contractor facilitated financing but Government has not yet come to a decision.

Elijah Okupa, the Kasilo County MP questioned why the road was advertised and several contractors bided. Okupa said Government is seeking to review the modalities, which explains why they are delaying the project.

Kasaija told the house that he would return on Tuesday next week with a Cabinet position on the proposal and give clear details including the exact amount of the project.

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