by Kabuye Ronald
As the talk on deportation of foreign petty traders deepens, civil society organization under their Umbrella body SEATINI and Kampala City Trader’s Association KACITA have called for a comprehensive national dialogue to agree on a systematic approach on how best to handle foreign investors other than using havoc methods.
Addressing a joint press conference the country director SEATINI Jane Nalunga attributed the problem of foreign investors engaging in petty trade to liberalization policies, associated with structural adjustment programs and a weak regulatory framework since they don’t support the development goals.
It’s on this note that Nalunga called for a comprehensive dialogue that will conclude on a regulatory framework which balances the rights and obligation of foreign investors and those of the state, citizens and environment.
Meanwhile the chairperson of KACITA Kayondo Everesto expressed the need to put in place conditions for foreign investors like restricted them to manufacturing, investing in schools, hospitals and hotels above three star grade just like it’s done in other countries.
‘’Chinese give you their visa on condition that will not do any business in their country even if its free of charge, in Kenya where we are agreed to trade under the COMESA 30% of the investment must belong to native and you are not allowed to open up petty trade but in Uganda businesses are 100% owned by foreign investors, being transparent doesn’t mean being naked.” Said Kayondo.
He further attributed increased poverty rate in the country to investors pulling out money from the economy and taking to their country.
He said that often time’s people focus on the growth domestic product GDP rather Growth National Products GNP which is inclusive.
“Yes it’s true that our GDP has grown but the people who invest in the country take the money to their countries thus Ugandans losing out and stay poor which frustrates our GNP. It’s time we put conditions to foreign investors so that country benefits at large.” Kayondo added.
It should be noted that the minister of trade, industry and cooperatives Hon. Anne Amelia Kyambadde requested parliament through the parliamentary committee on tourism, trade and industry to give her up to 31st of this month to government not to validate licenses of foreigners involved in petty trade but this followed the expiry of the first ultimatum which elapsed on the 6th of this month.
by Kabuye Ronald