MP Nankabirwa Calls for Special Unit to Monitor Investors

1851 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Ann Maria Nankabirwa the Kyankwanzi Woman MPhas called for the establishment of a Government monitoring Department for potential Investors.

Kyankwanzi Woman MP Ann Maria Nankabirwa is calling for the establishment of a special government department to scrutinize and monitor investors.

Nankabirwa says Uganda Investment Authority, in its current status, does not have the capacity to track down investors after the issuance of investment licenses. Her comments are based on the discomfort among Ugandan businessmen, on the growing number of petty traders, especially Chinese nationals, posing as investors across the country.

Although there is no official record on the number of Chinese traders in Kampala, it is estimated that there are between 10,000 and 50,000 small time Chinese traders who have traveled thousands of miles from China in search for greener pastures in Uganda.

Their presence in retail business in the country sparked off a strike by traders operating under Nakasero Hardware Businessmen Association in downtown Kampala recently. The strike paralyzed business in the areas known to have a high concentration of Chinese and Indian nationals running retail outlets.

Nankabirwa says government need to undertake thorough investigations to ascertain ownership of all businesses in the Country and ensure that there is regular monitoring on the progress of initiatives undertaken by licensed investors.
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In November, 2016, members of the Trade Committee of Parliament issued a three months ultimatum to foreigners in retail businesses to either invest in bigger projects or voluntarily return to their countries.  The decision followed a petition submitted to parliament by Uganda traders under the umbrella Kampala City Traders Association-KACITA.

However, the ultimatum elapsed without any action against the traders.

Last week Trade Minister Amelia Kyambadde observed that Uganda does not have any legal provision for excluding foreign traders from running businesses within the country.

Kyambadde said Cabinet is discussing the best possible way of eliminating foreign nationals from petty businesses after realizing that existing laws and policies did not provide for any kind of exclusion.  Kyambadde says a committee was formed in January to examine the issues raised by indigenous Ugandan traders in relation to the influx of investors.


About the author

Alex Otto
“Journalism that changes lives is my goal,” Alex Otto has said on more than one occasion. That is his career’s guiding principle. Has been since he was a radio journalist in the northern Ugandan town of Gulu in 2009.

Otto passionately believes his journalism should bring to the fore the voices of the voiceless like the shooting victims of Apaa. Otto tries in his journalism to ask tough questions to those in positions of authority.

Based in the Kampala bureau, Otto is especially interested in covering agriculture, politics, education, human rights, crime, environment and business. He has reported intensively on the post-conflict situation in northern Uganda.

A URN staff member since 2014, Otto previously worked with The Observer Newspaper from 2012 to 2013 and later the Institute for War and Peace Reporting IWPR based in Gulu.

He was the URN Gulu bureau chief 2014-2016.