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Museveni to launch bus assembly plant today

The Kayoola Solar Bus is powered by a composite battery bank with a real-time solar charging system for range extension. Museveni will March 9 launch a bus assembly plant in the Country. (FILE PHOTO)

MUKONO– Uganda’s Museveni will Saturday, March 9 launch the first batch of 67-seater Metu Zhong Tong buses assembled in Uganda

The buses are assembled at a plant located in Namanve, Wakiso district. The parts of the buses are imported from China and assembled locally.

According to Katabaazi, the chairperson of Metu Zhong Tong Bus Company Ltd, the chassis, engine, and gearbox are assembled, painted, wired and fitted at the Namanve plant.

About 50 workers operate on site, among them engineers, mechanics, welders, and other professionals; the company hopes to be assembling 20 buses per month by June.

Some of the workers were trained by a team from the Zhongtong Bus Holding Co. Ltd in China. According to Metu, each bus will cost sh400m, which he describes as the cheapest in the region.

The buses boast spacious baggage area and roomier passenger seats. According to Metu, the cost of each unit is expected to go down when he starts manufacturing some of the spare parts.

The bus company is also targeting a wider regional market covering neighbouring countries like Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, DR Congo, and South Sudan.

A new bus costs between $145,000 (about sh548.7m) and $200,000 (sh756.9m), depending on the brand and model. A typical 67-seater bus costs (taxes included), costs about sh610m.

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