By Andrew Irumba
Just two days after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s strongly worded letter to head of Gov’t Bussness Prime minister Ruhaka Ruganda directing him to immediately close a controversially opened up ‘Sugar bond’ in Uganda leaked, another manufacturers who have suffered undue competition in other sectors such as the biscuits and juice Industry have written to the president asking him to not only act on sugar but all other sectors in the local production, because they all need to be safe guarded against undue competition.
One of the complainants, the managing Director Britania Allied Industries Uganda Ltd, the manufacturers of Splash among other products Mr.Vinay Dawda has urged the president to redeem the entire local manufacturing industry by jealously safe guarding the local market first for the local manufacturers if his dream of sustaining BUY Uganda Build Uganda is to have significant progress, because they (local manufacturers) are facing undue competition from imported products which do not even contribute to the country’s revenue basket compared to local manufacturers.
This week, president Museveni ordered prime minister Ruhakana Rugunda to work closely with the Attorney general and close a sugar-bond that was being used as a stop-over for sugar en-route to South Sudan and DRC.
“Who allowed this sugar bond to be established? I really demand to know. More importantly, I now direct that, working with the Attorney general, this “Sugar Bond” should be immediately closed, never to be re-opened again,” read part of Museveni’s strongly worded letter.
Now,upon reading Museveni’s missive to Rt.Hon.Rugunda, Vinay added salt to an injury by unmasking more rot in the local sector, bellow is an extraction from his 3 paged letter to President Museveni..…
This is applicable for all items. Uganda is the only country in EAC which allows food stuff to be bonded for re-export, including biscuits, juices, cooking oil etc, for which there is surplus capacity in Uganda. Such businesses do not benefit the economy of Uganda as they hardly employ any people, but also do not pay the taxes. This is surely detrimental to the industry in Uganda and should be stopped. Moreover based on fictitious export documents, such goods are also dumped back in Uganda which impacts the local products. Let them send their goods to Sudan and Congo Directly,”
Britania, being the pioneer processors of fresh fruit juice-Splash and various confectionery products have been the biggest victims of ‘bonded products’, few years ago the company closed its confectionery production and relocated it to Kenya due to un-regulated competition by imported confectionery products, where by, after evading taxes, they would cut prices to half price, which a local manufacturer religiously paying all Gov’t taxes couldn’t afford to do, but to opt out of the business. According to Mr.Vinay, the same ‘unleveled’ ground is being exhibited in juice production where most juices are imported to unfavorable compete with a locally made product-Splash.