Saturday August 12 2017

Government gives ultimatum to Namanve investors

Uganda Investment Authority executive director Jolly

Uganda Investment Authority executive director Jolly Kamuhangire (right) State Minister for Privatisation Evelyn Anite (centre) check bottles of Bella Wine made by Ms Prudence Ukkonika (left), in Namanve on Wednesday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN WANDERA  


KAMPALA- Government has issued fresh warnings to investors to develop land allocated to them or else the central government repossesses the plots.
Recently, government revoked the allocation of plots to more than 10 businesses in the Kampala Industrial and Business Park, Namanve and reallocated them to other investors.
Mr Hamuza Galiwango, the director of land development with the Uganda Investment Authority, said the 180 land titles given free to investors would be reclaimed in six months should they fail to develop them.
“There are 12 plots given to investors that have operational factories, 85 plots are under construction and 130 plots that were recently repossessed were reallocated to new investors. In six months, another 180 plots allocated to investor are to be withdrawn if they not developed,” he said.

Speaking to journalists after the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) annual investor meetings held at UIA offices in Namanve in Mukono District on Wednesday, Mr Galiwango said the investors were given a three-year grace period to develop the plots.
He added that some investors do not consider the plots a priority investment option while others say the park has poor infrastructure.

The meeting that was presided over by Ms Evelyn Anite, the State minister for Investment and Privatisation, was convened to get feedback and propose remedies to the challenges faced in the major three industrial parks in Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area.
The parks include the Kampala Industrial and Business Park, Luzira Industrial and Business Park, and the Bweyogerere Industrial Estate.
Ms Anite rubbished earlier calls by some investors for government to guarantee their bank loans.

“Some of you want a letter of no objection from government, this means we have guaranteed your loan and if you fail to pay, the banks come for government land,” she said.
“First you came to us as an investor and you turn around again for government to guarantee your loan. You are also asking for five years of grace period to develop the land. We have an agreement with the people of Uganda for three years, so your request cannot work,” Ms Anite said.
She echoed Mr Galiwango’s warning to the investors that the undeveloped land will be withdrawn with no option for appeal.

“When we were withdrawing the land titles from some investors, they ran to high offices claiming how they campaigned for President Yoweri Museveni. Your connections with the President will not build a factory to create jobs,” Ms Anite said.
Earlier at the same meeting, Ms Susan Ndaru, the Aqua Cool Ltd general manager, accused a General of the Uganda People’s Defence Force of grabbing the company’s land. She declined to name the General.

“We got land here but we have failed to develop. Whenever we go to try and develop the plot, guns are drawn at us with instructions from a General. Is there any chance of getting another piece of land or this General is untouchable?” she asked.
Investment and Privatisation, minister Anite promised to resolve the dispute.