President Museveni hasCommissioned a fleet of road construction equipment purchased by the Uganda Government, this morning in Bbuto-Bweyogerere, Wakiso District.
Museveni was today commissioning multibillion Komatsu road construction and maintenance equipment from Japan at the Spedag Interfreight Warehouse, Buto Yard in Bweyogerere, Wakiso District.
“The NRM government emphasizes quality and uniformity. Don’t buy Pajero here, Nissan there… how will you maintain them? Why not get one reliable partner to maintain and also get credit. What is the nature of your fleet of vehicles? This is how government vehicles end up in private garages. Government garages are not there anymore,” he said.
He said procuring equipment from one source ensures quality and uniformity and maintenance is easy. Museveni re-echoed his concern over more imports in the country that have turned it into a supermarket saying there should be no more imports of commodities that the country can economically produce. “We shall trade in areas which we can not produce economically.
This is vertical integration, from the garden to the table, from the field to clothing, Uganda should be able to do that,” he said. Museveni said he decided to negotiate a procurement deal with the Prime Minister of Japan after government realized that previous equipment procured from China easily broke down. –
While commissioning, the president said that previously, government had a few and fragmented road construction machines which could not cover the whole country.
“You would find one district with a grader another with a bowser only, making road construction and maintenance difficult”, he said.
“That is why I proposed that we purchase a fleet/lumpsum of equipment for distribution to all districts”, he added.
It is said that these 1,000 pieces were purchased by the government from Japan. Each district will have a full set of equipment (a motor grader, a wheel loader, a vibro roller, a water bowser, and two dump trucks).
“The Japanese have over time improved the quality of what they produce. These are therefore high quality equipment and it explains why I convinced government to buy them in large quantities”, commented Mr. Museveni.
In 2014, the President then initiated the idea of procurement with Eiji Inui, then JICAs Director-General for Africa Department. He however advised that the Chinese equipment should be rehabilitated and used alongside the new Komatsu equipment from Japan. “Since I’m not a businessman looking for tenders and njawulo, I was convinced that acquiring equipment from Japan on a large scale was viable.
There is somebody called a chief engineer who is supposed to help avoid this meandering. I don’t need consultation fees or commission. My commission is God. He will reward me,” he said. Museveni warned that there should be no more tenders at the districts for road construction and that maintenance must be force on account (be done by staff of the ministry). He said all districts will receive a full unit of equipment.
The bulldozer valued at sh900m and excavator valued at sh850m will be based at the regional level including in all the three colonial zones of Mengo, Masaka and Mubende. The Minister of Works and Transport, Monica Azuba Ntege, said 1151 pieces of road equipment were procured for all the 121 district local governments including the six newly created districts that will come into force in July 2017.
The president added that now each district should be able to plan and work on their roads and even open up new ones.
Government through the Ministry of Works and the districts will provide fuel, maintenance and spare parts.
“The ministry of works should therefore have regional workshops where repairs are done”, the president directed.
He added that all districts will have the duty of repairing these equipment and I ask that equipment is well maintained. This is not a donation, we bought this with government money.
The ministry should also establish a central workshop, where the machines can be overhauled, and in future be able to assemble similar machines here in Uganda
I thank the government of Japan for their assistance and cooperation with Uganda.