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Uganda’s Parliament approves Shs450 billion loan for Kitgum-Kidepo Road Upgrade

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Parliament has approved a government request to borrow up to Euro 110,543,947.52 (about Shs 450 billion) from Standard Chartered Bank to finance the Kitgum-Kidepo Road upgrading project.

The 115 km Kitgum-Kidepo Road in North Eastern Uganda, connects the Kitgum and Kaabong districts.

The motion for the approval was presented by the Minister of State for Finance (General Duties), Hon. Henry Musasizi, during the plenary sitting presided over by Speaker Anita Among on Tuesday, 30 April 2024.

Musasizi said that upgrading the road has been prioritised to promote tourism by facilitating movement of tourists visiting Kidepo Valley National Park.

“This sub region has the lowest road density of 5.9Kms of paved national roads per 1,000km2 land area,” he said.

He added that this will also contribute to regional development of Karamoja-sub-region, which is one of the highest poverty stricken sub regions in the country.

Minister Musasizi said that upgrading the road will not only ease movement to South Sudan and Kenya, but will also improve and promote trade with the two countries.

He further pointed out that although tourism remains one of the best performing sectors of the economy, its potential has not been adequately exploited due to inadequate tourism infrastructure such as roads making tourists to travel through poor gravel to reach the national parks.

Legislators were however unhappy that the House Committee on National Economy, to which the loan request had been referred for scrutiny, had not done so and had not reported on the motion.

The Government Chief Whip, Hon. Denis Hamson Obua, moved a motion to waive the requirement, paving way for the debate without the report.

The MPs, led by the Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Joel Senyonyi, Hon. Jonathan Odur (UPC, Erute County South) and Hon. Ssemujju Nganda (FDC, Kira Municipality) among others argued that proceeding without a report would set a bad precedent.

“Many times government enters into problematic agreements. The matter was sent to the Committee but the committee has not produced a report,” said Ssenyonyi.

Parliament Of Uganda

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