MPs Direct Minister To Fast Track Foreign Investors Validation
Parliament’s committee on Trade, Tourism and Cooperatives committee has given government two weeks to validate all foreign investors in the country.
The directive stems from an ongoing exercise of foreign vendors within the central business district in Kampala, being carried out by a joint effort of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and the immigration directorate in the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
While appearing before the committee on December 6, 2016, the Minister of Trade, Amelia Kyambadde revealed to the MPs that a committee already in place has embarked on validating the documentation of foreigners dealing in retail and wholesale trade in Uganda, starting with Kampala.
In her justification, Kyambadde explained that the exercise, which follows complaints of lack of work permits and illegal migration status, had prompted government to also heed to President Museveni’s directive that foreign traders leave retail business to Ugandan traders.
She revealed that the exercise, which started last month, will be completed on December 31, 2016.
However, a number of MPs rejected the deadline. The legislators noted that with traders under Kampala City Traders (KACITA) having complained about the invasion of foreign traders, particularly Chinese, since last year, the validation exercise should have been conducted earlier.
Kampala Woman MP, Nabilah Naggayi Ssempala said the deadline should be brought forward to enable Ugandan traders make sales during the Christmas period.
However, Kyambadde said they could not change the deadline because there had to be a semblance of procedure to follow, something that did not amuse MP Naggayi.
She accused the minister of undermining the committee and Ugandan traders.
The vice chairman of the committee, Alex Ruhunda, also Fort Portal Municipality MP, directed that within f14 days, government should have concluded the validation exercise and report back to the committee.
The minister asked for time to consult with the validation committee on the deadline extension and return on Friday with a decision.