Bi-Lateral Meeting on the Closure of Uchumi

•    The Government of Uganda sent a delegation to Nairobi, Kenya to discuss the issue of the closure of Uchumi Supermarket outlets in Uganda and the outstanding payment to suppliers, employees, landlords and statutory obligations.
•    The meeting took place on Wednesday 03/02/2016 in Nairobi.
•    The Ugandan delegation was led by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives Amb. Julius Onen
•    The Kenyan delegation was led by the Political and Diplomatic Secretary in the Ministry of Foreigh Affairs and International Trade Amb. Tom Amolo.
Key Issues Discussed
•    Remittance of statutory deductions
•    Union dues
•    Employees remuneration and final dues
•    Suppliers payments
•    Landlords
•    Utilities
Way Forward
a)    An Inter- Governmental Committee to be formed to address all issues of non-paid claims by Uchumi Supermarkets in Uganda. The committee will comprise of 10 members with each side to have 5 representatives headed by a Principal/Permanent Secretary.
Composition of the Committee
•    Principal Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade
•    Kenya High Commissioner in Uganda
•    Uchumi representatives
•    Permanent Secretary Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives
•    One Government representative
•    2 representatives of Uchumi Supermarket Claimants
•    Legal Expert appointed by the Government of Uganda

(i)    Terms of Reference of the Committee
•    Develop a timeframe for settlement of claims
•    Review and verify all claims from suppliers
•    Propose recommendations on possible ways of settling the claims
•    Government of Uganda to facilitate the access by Uchumi supermarkets representatives to former premises to enable access records
•    During Inter-Governmental process, all goods in former Uchumi premises should not be interfered with by all parties.
•    The committee to resolve issues bilaterally and allow for the negotiated settlement.
•    Advise claimants to cease all courts processes
(ii)    Suspension of all legal processes
Following the formation of the inter-Governmental committee, all the parties are requested to allow the Inter-Governmental Bilateral proves to proceed and suspend all legal processes.

(iii)    Launching of the Committee
The Inter- Governmental Committee to be launched in Uganda by Friday, 12th February 2016.

b) The meeting recommended that the Bankruptcy Petition by Uchumi Supermarket be withdrawn immediately.

The two partner states agreed to amicably resolve the matter bilaterally as per agreed roadmap outlined above.

The Launch of Kayoola Solar Bus

•    The Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) has completed the development of the Kayoola Solar Electric bus.
•     Government will unveil it to the nation and world at large at a function  officiated by His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on Tuesday 16th February, 2016 at Serena Hotel, Kampala.

The Kayoola Solar Bus
•    It is one of the vehicle concepts developed by KMC. It is a Solar Electric Bus is a 35-seater electric vehicle with zero tail-pipe emissions, having a range of 80 kilometers with latent range extension by means of real time charging, enabled by roof-mounted solar panels.  
•    Kiira Motors Project is an industrial development intervention supported through the Presidential Initiative for Science and Technology Innovations in the Education Sector following H.E. President Y.K. Museveni’s launch of the KIIRA EV on 24th November 2011 at Makerere University.
•    In order to realize the Vehicle Manufacturing Capabilities in Uganda which will include the assembly and manufacture of a variety of vehicles including but not limited to;
-Light and Medium Duty Trucks
-Buses, Kiira Motors Project metamorphosed into Kiira Motors Corporation, a limited liability company mutually owned by Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) which holds majority shares in KMC on behalf of Government of Uganda.
Achievements of KMC so far
•    So far, three (3) vehicle concepts have been developed.
1.    The two-seater Kiira EV Proof of Concept which is commonly known as the “Green Car”
2.     The Kiira EV SMACK Hybrid Electric Vehicle that was launched in 2014
3.     Now the “Kayoola Solar Bus”.

Benefits of the Launch of Kayoola Bus
•    Transport: The Kayoola Solar Electric Bus will provide a locally-sourced, eco-friendly public transport solution not only in Uganda but in the East and Central Africa.
•    Environment: The bus relies on lithium-ion batteries to power an electric motor that is coupled to a 2 speed pneumatic shift transmission. This technology serves to conserve the environment and health.
•    No noise pollution: The bus quietly cruises past its noisy polluting competitors
•    Employment: Kayoola seats are handcrafted giving jobs to the SMEs.