Science Ministry denies claims that Kayoola buses were imported from China

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The Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation has denied reports that the latest Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) buses were imported from China and branded in Uganda.

The “Kayoola EVS” the latest prototype from Uganda’s lone car manufacturer generated excitement from a section of Ugandans when it was showcased in May.

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The buses are electric vehicles powered by solar energy obtained from solar panels on the surface of the vehicle.

However, several reports last week accused KMC of importing already made buses and re-branding them as models of KMC manufactured Kayoola buses.

While appearing before the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament on Friday, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Science Technology David Obong was quick to deny the accusations.

He pointed out that one of the buses was assembled by Ugandan engineers in China while the second bus was assembled in the country by the same engineers.

According to Obong, the engineers have been beneficiaries of technology development and transfer partnership with China.

Obong defended the record of KMC following a concern raised by the Bunyole west MP James Waluswaka who asked the ministry to clarify on the reports.

The undersecretary in the Ministry Emmanuel Fred Muganga argued before the committee that 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 was specifically designed for Ugandan cities by Ugandan engineers.

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Muganga noted that even though most of the parts are imported, the molding of the bus body is done in the KMC plant in Nakasongola. He however acknowledged that the front part of the bus body is moulded from China.

The Government of Uganda has 96% shares in Kiira Motors which are held by the Ministry of Science and Technology on behalf of the Government. The other 4% of shares are owned by Makerere University.

Source: URN

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Joshua Amaitum

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