June15, 2018 – The reported sacking of Standard Gauge Railway Project Coordinator Kasingye Kyamugambi could set back the plans for a minimum of four years according to a warning Works Minister Monica Azuba Ntege issued last year.
If it is confirmed, the development is also likely to cast Uganda as an unreliable partner among her regional peers and vindicate the decision by Rwanda to switch to Tanzania as the development partner for her SGR.
The Daily Monitor reported today that a decision to sack Eng. Kyamugambi had been taken and would be made formal next week.
Kenya has been extending her SGR westward towards the border with Uganda with the ultimate aim of connecting Uganda to the sea.
The sacking of Kyamugambi, which has been prompted by a dispute over the class of railway to build also means that Uganda’s system may not be compatible with Kenya’s.
According to a report she wrote in response to allegations by a parliamentary committee which said the cost had been inflated, changing the SGR’s design from the contentious China Class 1, to Class 2, would require new studies and funding negotiations that could come with an additional four year delay penalty for the project.
Kasingye is the latest fall guy in a project that has been troubled since inception in 2012 when Museveni assumed its leadership, moving the initial contract from one Chinese firm – China Civil Construction Corporation CCCC to China Harbour Engineering Corporation.
Trouble for Kyamugambi stems from insisting on delivering a seamless Class 1 railway compatible with Kenya’s SGR network.