Govt Insists on December 31 Deadline for Validation of 'Investors'

2259 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde says that the initial ultimatum, issued by Parliaments Trade and Tourism Committee, giving government fourteen days from December 6, 2016 to ask all foreign traders operating retail and wholesale businesses to leave, is too short.

Government says it will stick to a December 31, 2016-deadline to validate foreign traders operating retail businesses in the country.

Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde says that the initial ultimatum, issued by Parliament's Trade and Tourism Committee, giving government fourteen days from December 6, 2016 to ask all foreign traders operating retail and wholesale businesses to leave, is too short.

The pronouncements come on the backdrop of an order by President Yoweri Museveni that foreign investors must leave retail and wholesale businesses for Ugandans and move to industrial parks. This followed complaints from traders that foreigners have pushed them out of business by taking over all small businesses in the country.

Last week Kyambadde asked for time to consult with agencies like Ministry of Internal Affairs and Immigration, Bank of Uganda, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and report back to parliament.

However, today she told the committee that the validation exercise will continue until the end of the year. She adds that while the validation exercise continues, no foreign investor will have a renewal of retail and wholesale trade licenses.
 
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The meeting however did not go without drama as Kampala Woman MP, Nabillah Ssempala and Kyambadde exchanged words again, after the minister demanded for a written report from the committee on their findings on the status of all foreign investors in the central business district.
 
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Kasese Municipality MP, Robert Centenary and Busia Municipality MP, Geoffrey Macho demanded to know how many foreign investors are operating under licenses which were meant to operate businesses in industrial parks.
 
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Last week, the minister revealed that 1,500 foreign investors have so far been validated.

The committee directed government to stop issuance of licenses for retail business to foreign investors; deport investors found with fake immigration documents and arrest any persons found hiding illegal investors.

 

About the author

Olive Eyotaru
Olive Eyotaru is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Eyotaru has been a URN staff member since February 2015.

Eyotaru started practising journalism while still studying at Uganda Christian University. She was a reporter with Ultimate Media Consult Ltd between 2005 and 2007.

In 2009, Eyotaru joined Monitor Publications Limited, under KFM Radio as a parliamentary and business reporter. Consequently, Eyotaru started writing for the Daily Monitor newspaper until January 2015, when she moved to URN.

She is interested in reporting about politics, health, human rights, business and sports.