Government withdraws free land from five investors

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The minister of state for Investment and Privatisation, Evelyn Anite has said the government has withdrawn land that was allocated to five investors in the Namanve Industrial Park for failure to put it into use.

The investors were penalised after it was confirmed that they had held onto land for over ten years without any development contrary to set regulations.

According to Anite, 387 acres of land in several industrial parks will be taken back by the government after some of these investors failed to utilise the land. Some of this land is located in Luzira, Masindi and Namanve industrial parks.

"We are withdrawing land from investors who have failed to develop it and giving it to investors who want to set-up industries. They will be given a chance when they are ready. Land is a scarce resource and we have to put it to good use," said Anite.

She warned investors who are not serious that any future repossession will come with heavy penalties.

"This is not the first time we are withdrawing land from those non serious investors. We have withdrawn the land from these quack investors before and we didn’t issue any penalty but this time it will come with a cost because you have to recover the money the government is spending" Anite warned.

She noted that the government has decided that if an investor is given land in an industrial park and they develop it to up to 30% (domestic) and 70% (foreign) one can mortgage his or her interest in it.

UIA board chairman, Morrison Rwakakamba said they want to see more domestic investors and this can be an individual, a savings and credit cooperative, an investment club or a group of individuals among others.

"UIA with guidance from President Museveni is laser-focused development of industrial parks. We don't want open spaces but industries. We want to accelerate domestic investment, ”said Rwakakamba on withdrawal of undeveloped land in industrial parks.

The director general, Uganda Investment Authority, Robert Mukiza said they are taking industrial parks to the regions and they want more Ugandans to invest and own industries.

"You have someone who has held 76 acres of land for ten years doing nothing .How can we get 500 factories if someone sits on 100 acres .He or she is supposed to have created 200 jobs ,he or she is supposed to have built an oil factory but is doing nothing. So we are withdrawing the land,"he said.

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