Tuesday, August 11, 2020
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Fresh Details Emerge On ‘Ugandan Made’ Solar Powered Kayoola Buses

Kayoola bus/Kiira Motors Corporation

Fresh secrets have emerged about the controversial ‘Kayoola’ solar powered businesses ‘manufactured’ in Uganda by Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC).

The buses have been touted by the KMC as Africa’s first solar powered bus designed to provide select shuttle services.

However, media reports claimed that buses were imported from China and branded in Uganda.

Responding to the matter while appearing before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Friday, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, David Obong denied the accusations by pointing out that one of the buses was assembled by Ugandan engineers in China while the second bus was assembled here in the country by the same engineers who have been beneficiaries of a technology development and transfer partnership with China.

This is after Bunyole West MP, James Waluswaka asked the ministry to clarify on the reports whether the bus was imported and simply “wrote there made in Uganda” or not.

Obong assured MPs that the buses were built from scratch by Ugandans.

However,  the Committee chairperson Nandala Mafabi asked Obong to make it clear whether the buses are merely being assembled in Uganda or manufactured as is the expectation.

Science Ministry Undersecretary, Emmanuel Fred Muganga said 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 bus was specifically designed for Ugandan cities by Ugandan engineers.

Muganga noted that even though most of the parts are imported, the molding of the bus body is done at the KMC plant in Nakasongola.

He however acknowledged that the front part of the bus body is molded from China. Obong invited the committee to pay KMC a visit to learn more about the project right from its inception at Makerere University.

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