The committee on Commissions Statutory Authority and State Enterprises (COSASE) has produced that Uganda Railway Corporation (URC) land leases should be cancelled.
While showing the committee reports, the chairperson, ‘Joel Ssenyonyi’ stated that different district land boards in Kampala, Jinja, Mbale, Gulu, Nwoya, and Uganda Land Commission had changed created illegal leases on URC land.
“The issuing authorities should cancel AII illegal leases on URC land. The officers in the district land boards interested in issuing the illegal leases should be held responsible, and URC should come up with clear tools on how to lease its land so that can ascertain the appropriate value,” he said
He demonstrated that numerous requests by URC to these land boards to cancel the declared illegal leases have been ineffective, making it difficult for URC to recover its land.
URC has written to the bodies, according to Ssenyonyi, but the letters have gone without respond, while some of them have been added as parties to URC lawsuit proceedings.
Concerning the recently acquired locomotives, the committee discovered that the four locomotives purchased in 2021 for Shs48 billion were sitting idle in the workshop.
Furthermore, the reports of the Ssenyonyi’s stated that the URC workers faced the committee and revealed that the locomotives were imported without any knowledge that this is too long for the triangles and not able to turn.
Moreover, the committee also found out that there were irregularities in the procurement process of the locomotives with older locomotives purchased at higher costs, and yet a lesser amount could have bought new ones.
“A URC select committee suggested that the business acquire locomotives that are six years old for Shs 36 billion after conducting a market survey. “However, eight-year-old locomotives worth Shs 48 billion were bought,” Ssenyonyi remarked.
The committee suggested that the Ministry of Works and Transport take responsibility for failing to follow government equipment procurement policy.
They also want the management of URC interested in the procurement held responsible for ignoring procurement regulations and the unexpected costs incurred on modifications of railway triangles in Jinja and Tororo and the U-turn in Kampala.