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Professionals demand transparency in Uganda’s investment deals

Mr. Robert Kabushenga is a coffee farmer

Mr. Robert Kabushenga is a coffee farmer

A digital community of Ugandan professionals, mostly in the diaspora, has expressed skepticism over the government’s planned investments and initiatives worth UGX 933BN in the 2024/2025 budget. The concerns were raised in a vibrant online discussion, with some members questioning the viability and accountability of these projects.

“My skepticism about these so-called investments and initiatives comes from our rich history of producing white elephants,” said Robert Kabushenga, a member of the community. “We have a history that tells us how all this will end. It is only fair that we ask questions now, ahead of this investment misadventure.”

Kabushenga cited Uganda’s history of failed projects, including Tristar Apparels, worth US$ 10m, Hides & Skins, worth UGX 150BN, Atiak Sugar, worth UGX 170BN, Roko Construction, worth UGX 200BN, Banana (PIBID), worth UGX 240BN, Coffee I Consort, worth UGX 37BN, Lubowa Hospital, worth US$300M, Teso Juice, now given to Azeb Mesfin, widow of Meles Zenawi, former Ethiopian PM, for free, Aya Hotels, Akon and Naguru Cities, Bwebajja Government Campus, Tororo (Sukulu) Phosphates, Rakai EPZ, Cassava Project in Nwoya, and Fish Processing Plants.

“They may soon become a tourist attraction,” he added, highlighting the burden on ordinary Ugandans through taxes and debt repayment, benefiting private individuals without accountability.

Kabushenga emphasized the need for transparency and public scrutiny, questioning the lack of investment in wealth production and the prioritization of enriching a few individuals. “It would be good for the numbers to be made public so we can actually see that these are an investment in the national good. But as we have come to know, this is to enrich a few individuals,” he said.

The community called for enlightenment and lifting social consciousness, hoping for a better approach to investments and governance in the future. “All I can do now is share my thoughts in the enduring faith that a more enlightened generation can do better than we have done for the greater public good,” Kabushenga concluded.

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