Why Mr Museveni DRC Roads construction is suspicious – Obedgiu Samuel

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Goli–Mahagi–Bunia Road, the road in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, connecting the towns of Goli in Uganda with Mahagi, Djugu, Nizi and Bunia in Democratic Republic Congo. The northern end of this road is in Goli, Uganda at the international border with DRCongo. The road travels in a general south-westerly direction, through the towns of Mahagi, Ngote, Nioka, Djugu and Nizi, to end at Bunia, a total distance of approximately 181 kilometres (112 mi)

This road is one of three roads that have been identified by the governments of Uganda and DR Congo, as of significant importance in facilitating trade, human interaction, regional integration, and enhancement of security along their common border. The three roads are:

  1. Goli–Mahagi–Bunia Road , 2.Kasindi–Beni–Butembo Road and 3. Bunagana–Rutshuru–Goma Road.

Some of the justifications which Mr Museveni is giving which I consider lame for constructing these roads is that:- By the end of the year 2018, Uganda had exported goods worth 1.9 trillion Shillings to Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, he further claims that formal trade DRC accounted for about 800 billions Shillings and informal trade fetched about $ 300 million ( about 1.1 trillion Shillings).

You need to know that Mr Museveni and H.E Flex Tshisekedi (DRC Presdent) to the contribution towards the construction of this roads in 2018 during the first DRC Investment Summit and the total cost for constructing this road, will be 1.2 trillion Shillings. But recently in the suplimentary budgeting on Tuesday 20th October 2020, the Parliament of Uganda passed the first bunch of the money allocated for the project ( about 22 billion Shillings).

However on a sad note during the Parliamentary proceedings, Mr Museveni and his government deliberately did not avail the Members of Parliament with the relevant documents like Memorandum of Understanding that he signed with DRC in regards to the project, for scrutiny. In other words the Uganda’s MPs are not informed about anything in regards to the paper works between the two countries and yet it was supposed to be made available to them before even passing the first suplimentary budget to fund the project. So that means the Parliament was in the dark about what they were passing ‘AS USUAL’.

Fortunately, despite Mr. Museveni and his Government deliberately failing to table the project’s MOU to the public for scrutiny, we have come across leaked documents (MOU) of the deal he had with Presdent Felix Tshisekedi, which clear stipulates how the technicalities of the road will be done.
Now, in that MOU the Dott Services which they so call a local company of which I don’t concur with because too many of Indian Nationals and few locals. It was the one given the contract to construct the roads.

If am to quote from that MOU the two heads of states signed, it states that, ” When the Dott Services get the contracts, the project shall be financed through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) Module by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) set up to mobilize 60% of the project costs and subsidy contributions that shall be made by both Government of Uganda and that of Democratic Republic of Congo for the purpose of making the project viable and buying down the costs of capital, hence reducing the user tariffs.

Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) can be either a company or a partnership. But in this case it’s going to be a company which Dott Services is going to create specifically for the purpose of this project. Meaning that it will not do it as Dott Services but instead it will create another company through which it will execute the project of constructing the roads.

Now, when the S.P.V is created by Dott Services according to the leaked documents, it’s going to secure the Debt Financing through which it will raise the money inform of Debt that it will use to construct the roads in the DRC. Then the recovery of the money from the roads they will have constructed under the project, will be through a road toll or tariffs. In other words, the users of these roads will be charged for it, just like Entebbe Express High Way. To recover the money used by the S.P.V, hence not a free good and these information were not availed to the floor of Parliament.