The leader of the National Unity Platform (NUP) Robert Kyagulanyi alias Bobi Wine has lashed out at the government for failure to help Christopher Sembuya, one of Uganda’s most successful businessmen to revive his business when calamities befell him.
Kyagulanyi made the remarks shortly after taking part in the burial of Sembuya at Kikwayi village, Buikwe district. He passed away last week.
Sembuya understood the dynamic of doing business in Uganda and championed indigenous banking, industrialisation, and broadcasting in Uganda.
He co-founded Sembule Group of Companies in 1971 and was proprietor of Sembule Steel Mills which was the first Ugandan-founded company to manufacture steel products such as wire mesh and nails.
Sembuya also started Sembule Investment Bank (now Bank of Africa Uganda); Pan World Insurance which turned into Lion Assurance; and Cable International Television (CIT) which turned into the debunked WBS TV.
As early as 1980, Sembule group was manufacturing products including radio sets like Makula which introduced FM technology in Uganda, energy saving bulbs, street-lighting systems and TV sets through Emboli Electronics Limited.
By 2000, Sembule was a leading brand name in industrialisation across East Africa, according to Kyagualnyi.
Unfortunately, Kyagualanyi narrated that Sembuya’s companies ran into financial trouble beginning around the late 1990s and were eventually put under receivership.
He noted that in 2014, his Sembule Steel Mills was taken over after pleading for a government bailout but in vain.
“It is a pity that until his death in 2022, Mzee Sembuya was still seeking government help of about Shs 18 billion to revive his business empire,” said Kyagulanyi.
Sembuya is survived by a number of children including Stephen Sembuya who was NUP flag bearer for MP Buikwe South in the 2021 elections.