Kiira Motors Corporation has failed to account for Shs 15 billion of the Shs 24 billion allocated to it in the financial year 2018/19.
As such as, the legislators on the parliamentary committee on Science, Technology and Innovation have said the corporation needs to be probed further because it is could be superintending over a white elephant project and is being used as money conduit.
Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) is an automotive manufacturing company incorporated by government of Uganda and Makerere University to champion value addition in the domestic automotive industry for job creation and diversification of the economy.
When the parliamentary committee visited Jinja on January 29, they were astonished to find only an overgrown bush at the site where the vehicle plant was meant to be established. Kiira Motors recently carried out pompous road tests in Kampala for its “beast,” Kiira EVS locally manufactured electric car that will cost about $35,000 or Shs 130m.
The ’shocked’ MPs resolved to summon the KMC leaders to parliament to explain, why for seven months after receiving the money, not even a foundation is in existence at the site.
“By now they should have finished the foundation and putting up the skeleton but when we visited it was all bushy,” committee chairperson Fred Bwiino Kyakulagga said during their interactions with the KMC leadership.
According to the committee, the delay to start work raised a lot of questions. KMC received Shs 8.3bn between July and September last year, Shs 4.9bn in the second quarter and Shs 6.8bn in the third quarter for the establishment of the plant.
“The progress of the project is not in line with the plan yet government has made appropriate financial provisions which would give a different level of the target progress. At the moment there is nothing…Indeed what we are seeing, is contrary to what they have been telling us,” Buikwe South MP David Ronnie Mutebi said.
MPs were concerned that the leadership had deviated from the work plan for which Shs 15bn was allocated, rendering the project a 'mere money conduit', which the legislators said is absurd.
However, Kiira Motors Corporation chief executive officer Paul Isaac Musasizi said the money had been given to a contractor who was overseeing the construction of the said plant.
The committee that was interrogating the budget performance for Kiira Motors Corporation for financial year 2018/19 for the three quarters so far covered, was not satisfied with Musasizi's explanation.
“The money-spent does not reflect what is on ground. Where is the money at the moment?” Bukomansimbi South MP Deogratius Kiyingi said.
The committee was however later told that part of the money was channeled to installing power and extending water among other things at the site, but the MPs said the said water and power had been budgeted for in the previous financial year.