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MPs Defer Approval Of Shs 20Bn Request For Kiira Motors Pending Review Of Earlier Appropriation

Members of Parliament on the Budget Committee have deferred approval of a supplementary budget worth 20 billion Shillings for Kiira Motors Company to produce and deploy initial electric buses in the greater Kampala Metropolitan Area.

The committee has deferred approval until it interacts with the State House comptroller and officials from the Ministry of Finance regarding an earlier 77 billion Shillings appropriated for Kiira Motors Corporation and not yet released.

This follows a report by Parliament’s Presidential Affairs Committee to the Budget Committee indicating that the required funds are to procure parts and materials to enable Kiira Motors Corporation to produce 20 e-buses and the acquisition of 5 faster chargers for the deployment of buses. The report was presented by Adjumani Woman MP, Jessica Ababiku, the Chairperson of the Presidential Affairs Committee.

According to the report, Kiira Motors Corporation plans to produce eight Kayoola EVS at 10.5 million, 71-passenger electric city buses at 8.4 billion, seven Kayoola EVS at 8.0 million, 56-passenger electric city buses at Shillings 4.9 billion, five Kayoola coach Shillings 10.5billion, 44-passenger Electric city buses at Shillings 5.7 billion, and five 360Kw fast DC chargers at Shillings 1.055 billion.

The committee says that this was a presidential directive in his addresses on the 20th and 27th of July 2022. The Presidential Affairs Committee says that Kiira Motors Corporation has previously secured a capitalization of Shillings 312.45 billion from the government from the financial year 2018/2019 to the financial year 2022/2023.

MP Ababiku said that in the current financial year 2022/2023, Kiira Motors Corporation informed her Committee that it was at the brink of commercialization and required 12.5 billion as operational expenses for three consecutive financial years.

She said that even though this money was appropriated, the Corporation has reported in this financial year that no remittance has been made. Ababiku asked the Budget Committee to approve the supplementary budget request.

However, Amolatar Woman MP Agnes Apea questioned the supplementary budget request yet parliament had already appropriated money in the budget that has not been released.

She also noted that the Shillings 20 billion supplementary request was not clear on how the money was going to be spent. “The explanation of what you are going to do with 20 billion is not very clear. It appears to me if I was to buy this bus…it seems it is going to be very expensive. I want the Chair to really explain,” said Apea.

Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi, the Shadow Minister for Finance, wondered if the committee has ascertained whether there is value for money invested in Kiira Motors Corporation since supplementary budgets are requested every financial year. Muwanga said that the corporation should not be given more money since parliament appropriated funds that were never released.

Patrick Isiagi, the Budget Committee Chairperson, said that during the 10th Parliament, Kiira Motors made a request of over Shillings 80 billion and they noted that this was the last request.

Paul Omara, the Otuke County MP, agreed with MP Kivumbi, saying that the corporation does not need more funds from parliament because it already has money in the budget.

Maxwell Akora, the Maruzi County MP, disagreed with his colleagues, wondering if they are willing to jeopardize an investment of over Shillings 300 billion for Shillings 20 billion.

Isiagi noted that the entity was not being denied funds but their money was already in the budget and that it should be released.

The committee resolved to invite the State House comptroller and Ministry of Finance to find out what happened to the Shillings 77 billion appropriations to Kiira Motors in the current financial year.

-URN

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