Kiira Motors, Uganda’s pioneer automaker, is set to produce at least 1,030 buses, 50 units of which will be electric for Tondeka BTC to be deployed for the Mass Transit Bus System Project in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area, the two companies announced in separate tweets on their respective official accounts.
In what is considered to be the biggest- multi-billion local partnership that will also attract Original Equipment Manufacturing (OEM) technology transfer, financing, and ICT ticketing systems operator companies, the companies said that preparation for the delivery of 10 'training buses' (8 diesel and 2 electric) is underway.
These will include 5 Complete Built Unit (CBU)/Fully Built Unit (FBU) diesel buses, parts and materials for building 3 diesel and 2 electric buses, and 2 chargers will be shipped and delivered before the end of August 2020.
Kiira Motors and Tondeka executives were tight-lipped about the details of the partnership which sources said has been a work in progress since the year began.
Impeccable sources said details about the partnership which many Ugandans have been pushing for - to realize Mission Vehicles Made in Uganda will be “released at an appropriate time.”
The companies, however, indicated that the building of the 3 diesel and 2 electric buses will be done at Kiira Motors.
“This will facilitate training of critical mass on manufacturing and maintenance of the buses ensuring an end to end operationalization of the #KiiraVehiclePlant.”
They explained that the ‘Training Buses' will also enable validation of the Logistics Plan and Strategy for delivery of parts and materials for the 1,030 Buses.
This includes packaging; handling of goods during shipment, delivery lead time, customs clearance, road transportation among others.
“The Training Buses will empower the Operator Ecosystem through training of drivers, charging operators, stewards, supervisors, cleaners and data collection ahead of the launch of the Mass Transit Bus System. The Training Buses will also ensure bus deployment validation of the Ticketing and Fare Collection System (TFCS) IT infrastructure, depots, charging infrastructure, bus stops and control center among others.
The multi-million-dollar Kiira Vehicle Plant is nearing completion at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park.
With a capacity to produce 22 buses a day and an estimated 5,000 buses a year.
The Kiira Vehicle Plant -the largest in the East-Central African region is at 81% completion.
It is being built by the UPDF engineering brigade under the UPDF business arm - the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) headed by the amiable General James Mugira and Gen. Sabiiti Muzeyi.
The writer is a Communications and Media consultant and Advocate Courts of Judicature-Uganda (firstname.lastname@example.org)