Wednesday, April 14, 2021
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Umeme ‘Not In Panic’ Over Contract Expiry

Uganda’s leading power distributor, Umeme has revealed that it isn’t panicking over the uncertainty surrounding its contract renewal.

The remarks were made by Patrick Bitature, the Umeme Board Chairman while addressing the press at Sheraton Hotel on Thursday after the company’s Annual General Meeting (AGM).

“We are not in panic mode under any circumstances. We still have seven years to the expiring of our concession,” Bitature said, adding that Umeme officials presented facts to the President when they met him a few months ago.

High Tariffs Explained

Selestino Babungi, the Umeme Executive Director noted that they don’t set electricity tariffs as believed by many Ugandans. He said the tariffs are set by the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) after considering many factors.

“56% of the bill goes to generation [costs], 9% go to the transmission company and 10% goes to operation and maintenance (Umeme),” Babungi said, adding that 20% goes to assets related to Umeme.

He said since government is restructuring costs of Bujagali and Isimba and Karuma dams are nearing completion, power costs will come down soon.

He said Umeme has reduced energy losses from 38% to 17.2% as of 2017, an indication that the power distributor is committed to see reduced tariffs.

New Board Members

During the AGM, the shareholders approved new board members. They are Anthony March, Andrew Buglass, Stephen Emasu and Riccardo Ridolfi. They now join the board led by Patrick Bitature with members Gerald Sendaula, Florence Namatta Mawejje, Pieter Adriaan Falling, Selestino Babungi, the managing director, and Florence Nakimbugwe Nsubuga.

Directors who resigned from the board are Charles Chapman, a founding management director of Umeme, Stuart David Michael Grylls, Christopher Nicholson and Adrian Mucalov.

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Taddewo William Senyonyi
William is a seasoned business and finance journalist. He is also an agripreneur and a coffee enthusiast.

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