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
Ntege said that the Kampala Jinja Express highway is important since many people
spend a lot of time travelling to Jinja.
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Okupa says Government has been changing positions over the project.
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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.
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The Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga said she would seek clarification
on the matter from the IGG on Thursday before making a ruling.