President Museveni has urged the remaining residents still settling on government land at the proposed Mbale Industrial and Business Park site in Mbale to leave in good faith and embrace industrialization, saying government needs investors to build industries, create jobs and improve the wellbeing of Ugandans.
“Those still occupying the land should leave in good faith. This land was for BCU and government paid BCU for it. You may have encroached on it without knowing but we will let you harvest your crops so that we can expand the industries here,” he said.
The President assured the community that all people affected would be compensated adequately as agreed with government.
Mbale currently has only one industry that is fully functional – the Elgon Millers which employs over 1000 people.
“If we can have 30 more industries here and they employ our people, we will have over 30,000 jobs for our unemployed youth and also get foreign exchange. We want this park to have industries to process your coffee grown in the mountains instead of selling it has beans. Our children looking for jobs will find them here,” he said.
The President who is on a two day working visit in the district also laid the foundation stone for the park.
The 619 acres industrial park land was purchased by the Government of Uganda for the Uganda Investment Authority in April 2008 at a cost of Shs 3.1 bn and since then the UIA has obtained the land title and carried out cadastral and topo- surveys.
It is projected that 60 to 100 investors will locate in the Park within 5 to 10 years with capital to be invested projected at US $ 80m to $ 150m, creating an estimated 3000 direct jobs in the Mbale and neighbouring municipalities.
However, according to the Minister of State for Trade Dr. Mutende, completion of compensation has taken a long time and this coupled with the court case which dragged on led to a waste of time and a delay for the investors to start.
The Minister however, said that the investors from Italy, America and some Ugandans are now ready to invest here, calling on government to tear down the bureaucracy to fast track implementation of the project plan.
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