January 13, 2015

More Chinese Firms Target Railway Deal

Three more Chinese firms are eying the Standard Gauge Railway contract, Uganda Radio Network has learnt. Two of the firms have been identified as China Railway Group Limited and China Railway Construction Company.

Member of Parliament Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko Chairing the Probe Committee on the Standard
Member of Parliament Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko Chairing the Probe Committee on the Standard

China Railway Group Limited has written to Robert Kafeero Ssekitoleko, the chairperson of the select committee investigating the controversial award of the Standard Gauge Railway contract worth UGX 22 Trillion to China Habour Engineering Company-CHEC.

The investigations followed a petition by MPs Theodore Ssekikubo, Wilfred Nuwagaba, Barnabas Tinkasimire and Abdu Katuntu citing flaws in the procurement process.

It came after government terminated a Memorandum of Understanding with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation-CCECC.

Despite the fact that the investigations are still ongoing, China Railway Group Limited has formally expressed interest in the deal.

In a four page letter to Kafeero, Shi Yuan, the East African Representative of China Railway Group Limited says the firm is currently working on similar projects in Ethiopia which are nearing completion.

Yuan notes that as a leading company in the world and the largest railway construction company in China and having contributed to the infrastructure and social development in the East Africa, they are highly specialized in the railway business.

He says they are confident that their expertise will be helpful and valuable to the grand railway project in Uganda that is designate to go ahead.

In the letter, China Railway Group Limited particularly expresses interest in the Standard Gauge Railway Lines of Uganda generally, Kampala-Kigali section and the Kampala Light Railway for the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area.

Ssekitoleko said that, several people are approaching them requesting that the committee visits them while in China to compare and contrast with China Habour Engineering Company and China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.

He however, clarified that his committee had not assumed the role of procuring a new contractor.

Ssekitoleko notes that the emergency of new companies is a good development and will inform the committee’s recommendations to Parliament.

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