Museveni Launches Construction of Kampala-Entebbe Expressway

6006 Views Wakiso, Uganda
President Yoweri Museveni Wednesday launched the construction of the 1.1-trillion-shilling four-lane and toll-paying Kampala-Entebbe Expressway. The event took place at Kyengera-Busega, where the 36.9 kilometer dual carriageway will start ending at Entebbe International Airport. The road will also branch out at Impala to Munyonyo, a distance of 12.62 kilometers. The expressway is designed to have four major interchanges to facilitate interconnections. These are at Busega, Kajjansi, Lweza and Abayita Ababiri.

The expressway will also have 19 flyovers and 17 underpasses. The road will also be compressed one meter thick and each lane will have a width of 3.65 metres. The expressway is intended to improve traffic conditions in Kampala Metropolitan area, contribute to urban development and complement other strategic development projects. According to UNRA’s executive director Eng. Peter Ssebanakitta, the road will be completed in over four years, with the set deadline falling on July 19, 2017.
Ssebanakitta said the Kampala-Entebbe expressway, which will be one-meter thick, will be a state-of-the-art product and a marvel in East Africa. He said the road will be completed on July 29th 20. Unlike the current Kampala-Entebbe road, usage of the expressway will be paid for at a fee to be set. Three toll plazas will be set up at Busega, Kajjansi and Abayita Ababiri. The expressway also has speed limits. On the Busega-Entebbe Airport stretch, the speed limit is 100 kilometers per hour while on the Munyonyo stretch it is  80 kilometers per hour.
The road is being constructed by China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), the firm that built the Soroti-Lira road. CCCC is a state-owned Chinese company. The Government of Uganda is contributing 26 percent of the cost that is about 112 million dollars, while China’s Export and Import Bank (Exim) is contributing 74 percent, about 350 million dollars. According to the project manager Zhang Wei Dong, the expressway is a contractor initiated project, meaning the contractor had to identify the need for the road, agree with the governments of Uganda ad China on a soft grant to finance it.
But the Uganda National Roads Authority will be the main executor, supervised by the Expressway Supervision Company of China. Dong said so far they have got right of way for six kilometers of the expressway yet they need at least 10 kilometers for real work to begin. He said there is a need for encumbrances on the road to be cleared in time if they are to complete the road in time.
According to UNRA’s Ssebanakitta, compensation of land owners is underway, adding that all landowners whose land will be affected will be adequately compensated. He appealed fro patience in case of delayed compensation. The Chinese ambassador to Uganda, Zhao Yali expressed confidence in CCCC saying he is sure they will do quality work on time. He said the road will boost economic development of Uganda. Works minister Abraham Byandala said the concept used for the expressway is to design-and-build which ensures completion in time. He said he will not tolerate any shoddy work, adding that the road’s progress will be reviewed regularly.

 President Museveni, before launching the construction work, praised China for offering support without political conditions. Using the analogy of a poor many who demands gratitude because he offered you chicken, China does not behave like that. Museveni invited the Chinese to invest in Uganda, citing agro-processing, minerals and infrastructure as virgin areas. Responding to calls for federalism for Buganda by Busiro South MP Medard Segona, Museveni said agitating for federo won’t develop Uganda. He said he is not happy with people who cling on ethnicity to pursue selfish interests.


About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.

In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.

I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."