A statement issued by the Presidential Press unit on Sept. 6 said the adviser, who was not named, has been allocated a hotline for reporting any bribe demands that hinder investments and scare away investors.
“For the investors, if you come across some corrupt officers asking for bribes—I have appointed a senior advisor on investments with a hotline for reporting anyone who asks for bribes or frustrates investments. If caught they will be put him in the freezer,” the President reportedly said.
The President today was on Sept. 6 visiting the new Hilton Hotel which is nearing completion on Nakasero Hill, in Kampala.
He commended the Aya Group for the investment and regretted the delay caused by what he described as a confused lawyer.
The President said he is considering taking the lawyer who confused documents for a stakeholder from the Industrial Development Corporation in South Africa and delayed project implementation to the law council saying he acted unprofessionally.
He said the matter was settled after he called President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and advised them to get a better lawyer. He said he was considering taking the lawyer to the law council for misconduct.
Constructed on a 14 acre land that was previously occupied by the Ministry of Information, the Hilton site is approximately 1,240 metres (4,070 ft) above sea level, making it one of the highest points in the city.
Aya Investments Limited, a subsidiary of the Aya Group, have been working on the 24-story building with a work force of up to 600 workers all Ugandan. The hotel is due to be opened in March 2013.
“There were old government buildings for the Ministry of information here but Uganda was not earning anything, instead it was spending money to maintain them. When these people said the spot was under-utilised and that it could bring in more money. If a woman is barren, you don’t chase her away but you devise ways to get one who produces,” he said, adding that the hotel once complete will employ over 2000 people permanently and will earn over US45m per annum about half the money that the country earns from tea production.
Museveni commended the Aya group for attracting other investors in the agricultural sector, adding that the country’s weather is suitable for both tropical and temperate crops that are harvested twice a year or three times with irrigation. He urged the investors to visit Uganda agricultural research institutions to share information about improved seed varieties and biotechnology, adding that what the country needs is working capital and processing for value addition. The President called on workers to support investors who will tell other investors about Uganda to attract more jobs, adding that they should fight people who discourage foreign investors, saying they are against job creation.
The Aya Group chairman Muhammed Hamid said despite the challenges, they have achieved and delivered what they promised and assured the workers that they are due to start investments in modern agriculture practices to boost production and add value to ensure continuity of jobs.
The Director for Africa-India Hiton Hotels worldwide Yan Van Putin said once opened the hotel will be one of the best on the continent offering traditional Uganda hospitality including education and training.
The Minister for Trade and Industry Amelia Ann Kyambadde commended the Aya group for creating employment and supporting the youth from the rural areas. He said despite the challenges and the negative publicity, it was now time to celebrate the achievements.
“This contributes to the country’s economic development, skills in the hospitality industry, revenue to government, tourism etc. We want to commend our President for his visionary leadership and support for this project,” she said.
The meeting held in the spacious Hilton Hotel gardens was attended by the Ambassador of Ethiopia to Uganda H.E Degefe Bula, That of S.A H.E Jon Qwelane and Ministers Irene Muloni of Energy and that of State for Finance (Investments) Aston Kajara.
written by Uganda Information, September 07, 2012
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