The Board of the Uganda Railways Corporation has been inaugurated by the Minister of Works and Transport Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala.
The event took place Friday at the Ministry of Works and Transport headquarters in Kampala.
The board composed as follows;
During the inauguration, the Minister of Works and Transport General Katumba Wamala reiterated government commitment to making railway transport the preferred mode of transport for both exports and imports in Uganda.
“The government policy currently is to promote rail as an efficient low cost carrier of bulk cargo from Uganda as finished products and into the country as raw materials”, General Katumba said. He added that by doing so and moving heavy cargo to rail, the roads that government spend a lot of money on constructing will be relieved of the pressure exerted by heavy trucks.
On Public Private Partnerships in rail, the General said that government would not allow any such partnerships especially in the freight rail services. Doing so would be seen as failing to learn from the past.
He added that such arrangements would be allowed only in passenger rail services.
He called on the board to priorities protecting and strengthening the image of the Corporation. “This is important as it will allow for government efforts in the railway sub-sector to be see and appreciated. The good image will also attract more clients to railway transport, which is cost friendly and effective.
On his part, Hon. Musa Ecweru, the Minister of State for Works called on encroachers on URC land to leave and allow for thelined projects to be implemented. He also pledged the support of the Ministry to the Board and Management of URC to implement its projects smoothly.
Hon. Fred Byamukama, the Minster of State for Transport asked the board members to execute all their duties with the highest level of integrity and efficiency. “A board member is supposed to help an organization to deliver on its set objectives.
This however should be done with the highest level of integrity and transparency,” he said.
The incoming Chairperson of the URC Board, Mr. HanningtonR. Karuhanga called on government to expedite compensation to the Corporation for the land in Nsambya. “The 69 billion shillings if paid to the Corporation will help it run operations smoothly”, he said.
He also asked the Uganda national Roads Authority (UNRA) to expedite compensation for the URC land through which the Entebbe Road flyover was built.
The Uganda Railways Corporation Board is comprised of 8members and serves for a period of 3 years according to the URC Act of 1992, the law that governs rail in Uganda.