President commissions multibillion Akello Hotel in Soroti, urges Ugandans in diaspora to invest home

Wednesday 6th March 2013

President Yoweri Museveni has called on Ugandans in the diaspora to exploit the prevailing peace and conducive environment to invest back home and participate in developing and building their country. The President said one of the problems of Uganda and Africa in general is lack of vision because people are not able to see how to move forward.

He said when his government came into power; he privatized government hotels and the transport system like buses because government had no capacity to run them. “Government does not have to run hotels, it deprived the private people – we decided to leave that space for the private people. When you hear Besigye and his friend here Okupa saying Museveni has sold Uganda this is what was happening. But we did this deliberately.

Government could not run them and we were denying the opportunity by the private people to do that. Now this is starting to pay up. Before you could not find anywhere to wash hands in Kumi except in private homes, now Opolot has put this here. He is already employing 50 people,” he said. The President was speaking during the commissioning ceremony of Akello Hotel Limited, a multibillion hospitality facility in Soroti owned by a Ugandan Physician Dr. Opolot based in South Africa. The President hailed Dr. Opolot and his wife for investing back home and urged him to encourage other Ugandans in the diaspora to do the same.

He cautioned Dr. Opolot not to invest in too many things but focus on the major ones, including considering building an international school in the region to attract the international community to work there. “I wanted to convince the UN to relocate to Soroti because of the flying school because Entebbe was congested. The problem however was lack of accommodation and international education for their children. This affected expansion of the airstrip because there was no business.

The more services we have the more business,” he said. The president pledged to look into the issue of land for expansion for the hotel, adding that there was no land problem, only confused leaders, misleading people. “Look at all these young people. I saw so many others on the way here. What is wrong with getting them jobs? Why should anybody oppose this? If it is government land, I will give you part of it,” he said.

He also directed officials from his office to ensure that the hotel is quickly registered with the investment authority and issues like tax refunds and holidays taken care of, adding that Dr. Opolot is a powerful ally of government and should be assisted. The Proprietor Dr. Opolot said he fled to South Africa during the insurgency in Teso region but following the subsequent return of peace, he decided to invest in the hotel industry. The complex has 81 rooms and is involved in training people in partnership with UCC Soroti.

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