Metu Katabazi shows President Museveni the design work for the manufacturing plant. COURTESY PHOTO

Uganda banks on new manufacturing plant to eliminate second-hand car imports

President Museveni has said the proposed automobile manufacturing project in Kasese District will help Uganda do away with the importation of second hand vehicles.

While breaking the ground for the new Metu Africa Bus Industries at Kasese Industrial Park on Saturday, June 5, 2021, the President said the project represents the future of Uganda.

The US$50m (about Ush177b) project is expected to produce automobiles and machinery, road, city, tourist and school buses.

“This programme presents a big challenge where you depend on the brain. You get wealth from brain-power and skills. Europe is stronger because of this. Don’t think the people of the world depend on agriculture,” Mr Museveni said.

‘You can fit Uganda in the United States of America 40 times, but only 2% of Americans do agriculture. The majority are in industry and services. Before COVID19, we were getting US$1.5b (about sh4.3 trillion) from tourism and only US$5m (about sh17.7b) from coffee,” he added.

Museveni commended local proprietor and investor Metu Katabazi, a civil engineering graduate from the University of Nairobi, for working to stop the importation of second hand vehicles and also create jobs.

“Second hand vehicles are not good. By driving second hand vehicles, you give rich people’s children jobs when yours don’t have. The whole of Africa imports cars and gives jobs to Japanese, Indians etc. Why give others jobs and forget yours? Second hand vehicles are also bad for your health and for the environment. They have a high fuel consumption,” said the President.

He called on Africans to stop importing already built cars, buses etc, saying all the money for the work and other materials for building is lost.

“Fortunately, we have high quality steel in Kabale and Butogota. Even if we import steel but use our own labour and electricity, we shall retain 35% here while 65% goes to buy parts. In the future, we shall also retain the 65% here. When we assemble, all parts are made abroad. Metu says ‘don’t assemble’. He wants to fabricate, not assemble,” said Museveni.

The President commended Katabazi for choosing to invest in Kasese and was happy that the people of Kasese provided the land.

“He insisted on coming to Kasese. I wanted to give him more land in Namanve but he insisted that Kasese is near the market. I want to give him a concession to make city buses. I will order KCCA to procure these buses so that he can get more money from our economy and make more buses.’

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