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IGG scrutinizing Jinja express highway financing-Gov’t

Artistic impression of the Busega-Mpigi Express Highway

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  |  Government has said that the Jinja Express Highway financing has been referred to the Inspector General of Government (IGG) for scrutiny.

The Jinja Express Highway which will be constructed at a cost of 1.1 billion dollars (4 trillion shillings) is a 77.09 kilometre 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. 

However, some MPs say although the World Bank had accepted to finance the expressway, Government interfered with the process. 

On Wednesday, the Minister of Works, Monica Azuba Ntege told Parliament that there were issues to deal with the financing modalities of the project. She says that cabinet decided to refer the matter to the office of the IGG. 

However MPs questioned why several loans have been approved by Parliament but had never gone to the IGG for scrutiny.

Elijah Okupa the Kasilo county MP had tabled a motion seeking to delay the debate on the proposal to borrow 1.7 trillion shillings for oil roads unless Government brings them together with that of the Jinja Express highway. 

Ntege said that the Kampala Jinja Express highway is important since many people spend a lot of time travelling to Jinja.

Okupa says Government has been changing positions over the project. 

The Minister of Health in charge of General duties Sarah Achieng Opendi who was representing the Government says Government did not approve the initial funding modality that is why the matter ended up at the IGG. 

The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga said she would seek clarification on the matter from the IGG on Thursday before making a ruling. 

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