ROBERT NOAH WAKABI
There are two sections of opinion on whether we as Ugandans should use tax payer’s money to invest in Kiira Motors Corporation with the ambition or hope to mass produce this electric vehicle and sell it in an open market.
My personal opinion as a tax payer, is a big NO. We should not.
I will not address myself to the 15bn that has allegedly disappeared into thin air using Kiira Motors as a conduit. That alone can not make an intelligent argument for or against this arguably brilliant idea. I will leave it to Munyagwa to unearth the dirt so he can extort his own ‘cut’ before shelving the case for ever.
My case is on the ‘Opportunity Cost’ defined loosely as the loss of other alternatives when one alternative is chosen. This is a basic economic term taught in secondary school, so many lay Ugandans like myself should easily comprehend it.
Question is…. of all the alternatives we have on the table to consider spending our ‘tax payer’ money on …. is the design, development, manufacture and sale of Kiira Ev the best alternative we would choose ?
Where are our priorities (if we have any) as a nation for example when it comes to investing in science, technology, research and development ?
We have as many pressing needs as we do have desires and aspirations as a nation. When it comes to spending tax payers monies, I would pay more attention to the pressing needs of the tax payers and frankly car manufacture is not high up on the priority list.
The proponents of this irresponsible project are branding themselves patriotic, progressives, ambitious, and clever. They are branding us unpatriotic, unambitious and low esteem.
I would have no problem with Kiira Motors if it was funded from all sources other than tax payers money.
I would instead spend tax payers money on challenging our intelligent youth to manufacture good quality solar panels, solar batteries and solar water pumps made in Uganda, to substitute these fake expensive Chinese solar products.
For three simple reasons;
1 – That these three things have an existing and fast growing market locally, regionally and globally.
2 – That these 3 products would benefit the majority of Ugandans who have no access to the national power grid.
3 – That these products would be used by the poorest communities in Uganda and the richest corporations almost in the same measure.
Lastly, the truth of the matter is grandstanding aside… Uganda’s comparative advantage for the next 50 years will probably not be in the automobile manufacturing.