Museveni bail out of indebted tycoons stirs public outcry

HAM Enterprises C.E.O Hamis Kiggundu shows President Museveni artistic impressions of his multi-billion arcades

HAM Enterprises C.E.O Hamis Kiggundu shows President Museveni artistic impressions of his multi-billion arcades

The public has widely criticised the plan by President Yoweri Museveni to bail out heavily indebted prominent businesses in the country with taxpayers’ money.

The plan if approved could see the use of Shs1.3 trillion taxpayers’.

Thursday this week, a list of companies owned by prominent businessmen such as Mr Patrick Bitature of Simba Group, Mr Abid Alam of Steel Rolling Mills, and Mr Mukesh Shukla of Shumuk Aluminum Industries leaked to the media.

Others are Mr Sikander Lalani of Roofings Limited, Mr John Sebalamu of Grapes Construction and Mr Hamis Kiggundu of Ham Enterprises who are awaiting a cabinet decision.

Steel companies dominate the list in terms of amounts required.

The companies made their way to the government list for a possible bailout after failing to meet their debt obligations on loans they had acquired.

According to government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo, all the companies that applied to be bailed out will be investigated and genuine ones approved.

“One of the parameters for bailing any distressed company is whether it has been meeting its tax obligation as required by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA),” said Ofwono while appearing on Capital on Saturday.

The company with the greatest need is Roofings Limited, which has obligations of Shs201 billion on a loan from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Shs8 billion from Diamond Trust Bank.

Already, Steel Rolling Mills has been placed under receivership in order for Standard Chartered Bank to recover a loan of almost Shs60 billion.

The Simba Group also has liabilities in excess of Shs200 billion owed to Crane Bank and other unnamed banks.

Grapes Construction, which owns Freedom City Mall, has debt obligations of Shs100 billion owed to Stanbic Bank.

Several companies in Kikuubo Shopping Centre such as Senana Enterprises, Ssebaggala and Sons are also on the list.

Hamis Kiggundu known for his lavish lifestyle is also on the list.


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