President Yoweri Museveni has warned officials in government who frustrate investment by extorting money from potential investors threatening he will lock them up.
Museveni made the comments on Tuesday while commissioning the first phase of the Uganda-China Industrial Centre in Sukulu, Tororo district which will produce glass, steel, organic-fertilizers, bricks and cosmetics among other products.
The President hailed the Chinese government for facilitating Chinese companies seeking to invest in Africa.
The multiple factories in Sukulu industrial park are owned by Chinese firm Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group and will create over 2,500 jobs. The industrial park sits on up to 1,600 acres of land.
Museveni said that government is investing heavily in infrastructure like electricity and the Standard Gauge Railway so as to reduce the cost of doing business in Uganda, but was quick to add that corruption is dragging these efforts.
“Uganda will become more competitive in doing business. This is however if you fight corruption,” Museveni said.
He called such corrupt elements as ‘flies’ and parasites who hover and feed off investors.
“You hear that there are flies who hover wherever there are left overs of food. Those flies must be fumigated because they disturb our investors,” he said.
“We are going to lock them up,” the President warned.
He called on Ugandans to cooperate with government in the fight against corrupt tendencies by volunteering information. Thus it is a simple fight that will be won, he said.
“That is a simple fight. We shall wipe it out as long as we get the facts,” Museveni said.
Last year, the Minister for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations, Herbert Kabafunzaki was arrested on suspicion that he had solicited a Shs 15 million bribe from an investor.
Prosecution alleges that on April 8, while at Serena hotel in Kampala, Kabafunzaki directly solicited for a bribe in return to clear the image of Hamid Muhammed, the proprietor of AYA group of companies from allegations of sexual harassment lodged against him by a former employee at the Nakasero-based Hilton hotel.
The female employee had filed complaints with both Police and with Kabafunzaki, in his capacity as the Labour Minister.