As the negative effects of the Covid19 pandemic and its attendant lockdowns continue to bite economies across the world, Uganda’s President Gen Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni has issued orders to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to take quick steps to save a tycoon in the petrol business.
Ugandan businesses and much of the economy were closed due to the lockdowns largely instituted to prevent the spread of Coronavirus disease or Covid19, the deadly viral respiratory disease that ravaged the world for much of 2020 and 2021.
Although the Ugandan government, supported by development partners, has put in place recovery plans, these have just been a drop in the ocean. Many struggling businesses across the country continue to close while a number of people continue to lose their properties over failure to clear bank loans.
Tycoon Geoffrey Rugazoora and the entire family, the Rugazooras, have found themselves in a similar situation.
On September 05, Gen Museveni wrote to Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja addressing the issue of support for Mogas Uganda Limited.
But lucky for Rugazoora, he was able to secure audience with President Museveni and the General from Rwakitura has issued directives aimed at saving the Rugazoora family business, Mogas, from collapsing or losing on their properties.
The Rugazooras and their Mogas business own about 15 acres of land in Mukono near the railway and they are willing to sell it to government so as to ably pay their bank loans without the pressure that comes from clearing loans from private lenders.
“There is a Ugandan family, the Rugazooras, that are quite active in businesses, including owning Petrol Stations in Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, Congo etc. They have some debts that they could not promptly settle because of the Corona-19 Pandemic,” Gen Museveni wrote to Prime Minister Nabbanja on September 05.
“However, they have prime land of 15 acres in Mukono near the railway. If the Government bought that land, they would get the money that could help them to reschedule their debts into manageable instalments that they would be able to pay over a period of seven years.”
In the same letter copied to Mogas Group Chief Executive Rugazoora, Vice President Jessica Alupo and Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, President Museveni called for a speedy transaction between the Rugazooras and government as will be guided by Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka.
“Let, therefore, the appropriate agency of Government buy that land at the prevailing market price. Should it be Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development or Works or which one to buy?” further wrote Museveni.
“Involve the Attorney General to advise you. Move fast so that the debt does not escalate.”
It is not only Mogas Group boss Rugazoora who is in trouble with bank loans and on the verge of losing his properties. Even presidential advisor and singer Catherine Kusasira is nearly losing her house, rentals and land in Makindye after failing to pay back a loan, and auctioneers have already put her properties on sale. (Read Story Here).
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