The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Science Technology David Obong pointed out that one of the buses was assembled by Ugandan engineers in China while the second bus was assembled in the country by the same engineers.
The Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation has denied
reports that the latest Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) buses were imported from
China and branded in Uganda.
The “Kayoola EVS” the latest prototype from Uganda’s lone car manufacturer
generated excitement from a section of Ugandans when it was showcased in May. The buses are electric vehicles powered by solar energy
obtained from solar panels on the surface of the vehicle.
However several reports last week accused KMC of importing already made
buses and rebranding them as models of KMC manufactured Kayoola buses.
While appearing before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Friday
the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Science Technology David Obong was quick to
deny the accusations. He pointed out that one of the buses was assembled by
Ugandan engineers in China while the second bus was assembled in the country by
the same engineers.
According to Obong, the engineers have been beneficiaries of technology
development and transfer partnership with China.
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Obong defended the record of KMC following a concern raised
by the Bunyole west MP James Waluswaka who asked the ministry to clarify on the
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However, the committee chairperson Budadiri West MP Nandala Mafabi
asked Obong to make it clear whether the buses are merely being assembled in
Uganda or manufactured as is the expectation.
The Undersecretary in the ministry Emmanuel Fred Muganga argued before the committee that the buses
are manufactured by Uganda since the design is a Ugandan innovation by Kiira
Motors. He insisted that the crucial stage of any motor vehicle manufacturing
is the design which is unique to Uganda.
He stated that the Kayoola was
specifically designed for Ugandan cities by Ugandan engineers.
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Muganga noted that even though most of the parts are imported the moulding
of the bus body is done in the KMC plant in Nakasongola, he, however,
acknowledged that the front part of the bus body is moulded from China.
The Amudat Woman MP Mary Nauwat was full of praise for KMC. She told MPs that
she had been pleased with the development and training of Ugandan engineers
when she visited China as a member of the Science and Technology committee to
tour the bus technology project and partnership with China.
She noted that the six engineers who had been selected for
training in China are now passing on their knowledge to other trainees at
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Obong invited the committee to visit KMC to learn more about the
project right from its inception at Makerere University.
According to the Kiira motors website, the Kayoola EVS is a Fully Electric Low
Floor Bus specifically designed for Urban Mass Transportation with a sitting
capacity of up to 90 passengers.
At full charge, the Kayoola EVS has a range of up to 300 kilometres making it
capable of handling the daily duty cycle.