The Uganda Peoples’ Congress (UPC) a political party in opposition has expressed concern over the increased closure of business by a number of Multinational companies in the country.
Recently, a number of multinational companies have announced closure of business in Uganda which include; Africell, Smart Telecom, Shoprite supermarkets, Game Stores, Alliance One International among others.
These have cited reasons ranging to the economic hardships that have befall the country as well as stiff competition from fellow competitors.
Addressing the media at the party headquarters in Kampala, the UPC Spokesperson, Sharon Arach Oyat said that multinational companies exiting the country and closing their operations is a big threat to the national economy.
“When these multinational companies come to the country to setup businesses, they come to only make profits, but as a country we look at a number of factors ranging from providing employment to our people, technological transfer, development, among others and to achieve this governments offer incentives to these companies that will sustain them including but not limited to tax holidays and grants,” Oyat said.
The party mouthpiece said that these companies have been employing thousands of Ugandans as well as paying taxes to the state adding that with more than one company logging their resignation in the business sphere, many Ugandans are going to lose jobs which threatens their livelihoods.
“We therefore urge government to interact with these companies and come up with more suitable ways of carrying on with business without Ugandans losing jobs and widening the already eclectic unemployment gap,” Oyat advised.
Oyat as well urged government to protect the workers and ensure that they receive their benefits as slated in their employment contracts before the companies withdraw business.
“In most cases, when companies are exiting a country, they tend to exploit workers and cheat them of their pay and benefits. Therefore, UPC calls upon the ministry of gender, labour and social development to investigate and ensure that all workers are treated fairly amidst the exit of these companies,” Oyat noted.
The Minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija has since come out urging the distressed companies to approach government for help instead of existing the country.
Kasaija noted that these companies should understand that Uganda is not the only economy that is currently undergoing through hardships but should engage the duty bearers on possible solutions so that they can stay and push on with business.