April 24, 2013

RVR To Lose Millions Over Internal Management Clashes

Rift Valley Railways-RVR Uganda is set to lose millions of shillings following a clash between the Chief Commercial Officer and the Nairobi based Chief Operations Officer.

It follows a directive by Carlos Andrade, the RVR Chief Commercial Officer to move empty cargo carriers also known as flat beds to Nairobi, which has left goods worth millions of shillings stuck in Kampala. Some of the cargo stuck at the goods shade in Kampala includes Timber and wheat destined for export to Mombasa port.

It is alleged that when Andrade ordered the movement of the empty cargo carriers from Kampala to Kenya, the chief marketing officer Tobias Heinmann objected to the directive. Heinmann issued another directive to have the cargo carriers moved to Mombasa with goods which angered Carlos Andrade.

By Tuesday evening, the cargo loaders were stranded as the stalemate between the two officials was yet to be resolved. When URN visited the RVR Kampala offices, officials from Bakhresa, which contracted RVR to ship wheat to Mombasa were waiting to meet Mark Rumanyika, the RVR General Manager Western over their failure to fulfill their part of the bargain.

Rumanyika declined to speak to URN about the matter. However, sources within RVR said  the company was at the verge of losing customers and questioned why one of the bosses in Kenya preferred to shuttle empty cargo carriers to Nairobi.

According to information obtained by URN, moving a flat bed to Mombasa costs 2,000 US dollars irrespective of whether it is loaded or not. The source alleged that the officials in Nairobi are trying to create business for the Kenyan wagons leaving Uganda to lose out.

Mukwano Group of companies recently off-loaded its cotton seed cake in Tororo that was destined for Mombasa from Lira forcing the company to move the cargo.

A source in RVR Uganda has blamed this on the concession agreement that government signed with RVR in which it gave away all its rights leaving no overseer. He explains that all this leave out Uganda Railways Corporation – URC which should have played an oversight role. The source called for the review of the concession by parliament to avoid similar scenarios in the future.

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