Govt bans foreign investors from doing small businesses GOVERNMENT has banned foreign investors from operating small businesses following complaints from traders that some investors were engaged in petty businesses that Ugandans are already doing. The internal affairs minister, Hillary Onek told Indians in Kampala last evening that all investors engaged in small scale economic activities should stop or have their investment licenses cancelled. This comes a few months after Kampala city traders association (KACITA) in their memo to the government after a sit down strike complained that some foreigners posing as investors were operating small businesses pushing Ugandans out of business. "You are (investors) not given licenses to make chapattis and samosas. This should stop because it cannot be accepted," Onek told Indian investors during a press conference at the ministry headquarters. Onek explained for one to be given an investment license should have a minimum financial capital of $10,000 and a big fraction of his workers should be Ugandans. The minister said any foreign investor found to be dealing in small businesses would have violated the investment laws of the country and will be deported to his country of origin. Onek described foreigners conducting small businesses as illegal investors who might have entered into business without investment licenses from Uganda investment authority. However the Indian high commissioner to Uganda, Soumen Ray, denied that there are some investors from his country engaged in small economic activities in Uganda. "There is no single investor from India who is operating small businesses like making samosas and chapattis here. No one leaves India with less than $10,000 dollars," Ray said. The government, onek said has embarked on a crackdown of illegal immigrants and those foreigners doing business without work permits who entered the country without the knowledge of the immigration authorities. He explained that he has directed immigration officials and local council leaders at village level across the country to identify illegal immigrants so that they can be deported to their countries of origin. The illegal immigrants especially from Somalia, Onek, said are a threat to the East African countries that are under constant threat from Al-shaabab terrorists. He explained that available information indicates that 6% of the illegal immigrants engage in inhumane activities such as human trafficking, kidnap and human sacrifice. The state minister for trade, David Wakikona, said the government tasked the internal affairs ministry to identify foreign investors who are doing small businesses contrary to the country's investment laws. This, he said was decided following complaints from KACITA traders "He (Onek) doing the right thing. We told him to sort them out because there is no reason why a foreign investor should engage in hawking business," Wakikona said. He noted that there are some of the foreign investors in Uganda who cannot show their capital base because they are operating as investors illegally and should be stopped. The state minister for planning, Matia Kasaija, said the decision to ban foreign investors from engaging in small economic activities was timely adding that Uganda needs only those investors who can uplift the standards of the people. He said any foreign investors engaging in economic activities without permission from government were breaking the laws of the country. "They are here illegally and the law will catch up with them. We need investors who can help us solve our problems," Kasaija said. The Indian investors later had a closed door meeting with Onek in which they complained about the delay in accessing and renewing their work permits by the internal affairs ministry. Chanzo: New Vision (Uganda) My take: Sisi huku tunashindiwa nini kufanya kitu kama hii?