Kalangala rejects new Gov’t – Island Ferry, Power company – KIS contract over incompetence, corruption

Leaders and the local residents in the island district of Kalangala have appealed to the President, Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Works to immediately withdraw from an agreement signed with Kalangala Infrastructure Services, a company that they say has failed to generate qualitative and quantitative power and run the Island ferries effectively. 

The residents, in an investigation by this website demanded that government should halt all measures that would see that Kalangala Infrastructure Services is granted a new contract to run Kalangala’s Power generation and that of Marine Transport.

Currently, Kalangala Infrastructure Services has gotten the sole license to supply power to residents in the island district. The company alleges, it produces up to 1.6 Mega Watts of power from a hybrid solar-thermal power plant in Bukuzindu.

However, all solar panels worn out in their first year of supplying power and the company solely remained on the supply of power through thermal generation, using a 512 KVA generator.

However, Islanders, instead having been undergoing trials and tribulations as a number of them failed to sustain the ability to pay for the high costs of power supplied.

“First of all, power is expensive. How do you expect us to pay a unit at Ugx 1600 and yet there is intensified load shedding. We can’t have power beyond midnight and yet, at the very inception, the company assured us of the availability of power to use,” Musomesa Richard Senkaaba, a resident at Nakatiba landing site told this website.

Currently, KIS also wants government to sell power to them from the National Grid through the ongoing construction of a Marine Cable between Bugoma – Kalangala and Bukakata in Masaka. Leaders are also rejecting the call saying the company has primarily failed on power distribution and cannot be added new responsibility.

It has also been established that the company has for long a time been engaged in fraudulent activities including the inappropriation determination of the technical and commercial loss values from the power line, thus exorbitantly charging residents for power, with limited regulation.

“They stole money for the electric pole, took money for the power stabilizer and equalizer and left islanders to suffer. When there was realization that it was time to hold them accountable, all of them resigned. Also, they dismissed people, including Mr. Hakim Walya who was in charge of the generation of the commercial and technical loss value of the power line,” a source within the company told this website.

This website understands that also, Mr. Aggrey Kawongolo was sacked from the company for protesting the introduction of a USD 10,000 (About Ugx 37 million) stabilizer and yet more than Ugx 1 billion was provided for the cause.

The company is also involved in the exorbitant use of resources on the ferries, charging government more Ugx 225 billion to manage two ferries, a fee that has managed up to 12 ferries for 15 years by the Uganda National Roads Authority.

Now, Kalangala leaders say, the high costs of doing business between government and the Kalangala Infrastructure Services is costing the deliberation of further resources to the island district.

The leaders say, more than Ugx 225 billion offered to Kalangala Infrastructure Services alone can also operate more than four ferries in the island district for a similar period of time and most of the islands in Kalangala would be better served with great marine transport.

“Away from providing just two ferries, there is a lot that needs to be done. For instance, KIS wants a renewed contract by April, with the same amount of money exorbitantly being taken from Government of Uganda on ferries whose contract say, at the end of this contract will be at Zero value and will not be important. It desires that Government takes action to serve islanders better,” says Willy Lugoloobi, the former District Chairperson.

Government is currently contemplating on whether the Kalangala Infrastructure Services Contract be renewed as the current one is expiring in April this year. Several leaders now want government to instead engage in the utilizing of the much resources offered to Kalangala Infrastructure Services in the distribution to several other islands that currently have no such Marine Services, through a cost effective institution.

Councilors at the District Local Government, Kalangala resident district commissioner and other leaders also, on Tuesday, rejected calls from Electricity Regulatory Authority and the Power company to renew a contract for Kalangala Infrastructure Services Limited


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