UTB Calls for More Investment in the Sector

case "sans-serif";”>The new charges have been presented before the Anti-corruption court by Senior Principal State Attorney Vincent Wagona.

Wagona told court on Monday, July 21 that new evidence has been gathered convicting Kazinda together with other three of the 69 new charges despite the first accounts of diverting of public resources, abuse of office and conspiracy to defraud.


In the new charges, Kazinda is believed to have misappropriated more than Shs5.4b meant for post-war reconstruction in northern Uganda and Karamoja sub-regions under the Peace, Recovery and Development Plan (PRDP).

Kazinda was last year sentenced for 5 years after being convicted of abuse of office, 25 counts of forgery, making a document without authority and unlawful possession of government stores.

During Kazinda’s reign at OPM, at least shs50bn was plundered by a racket of officials at his office, Finance Ministry and Bank of Uganda.

It is said New Caltex Service Station Ntinda, a fuel station owned by Hussein Katumwa, Ahmed Masembe and Ibrahim Masembe had been supplying fuel to OPM since 2009.

Between 2010 and 2011, there was a fuel shortage and the fuel station was approached by OPM to supply fuel to the Department of Refugees and Disaster Management for purposes of delivering food to disaster prone areas in northern and eastern Uganda.

An investigative committee of Parliament found that there were no contractual dealings with OPM but fuel would be taken without a promise to pay.

price "sans-serif";”>The demand for these huge sums of money comes hardly two months after the finance minister Maria kiwanuka announced that tourism sector will only be given Shs 6bn in this financial year 2014/15.

Speaking to journalists at parliament after meeting the Trade and Tourism Committee the public relations officer Uganda Tourism Board Edwin Muzahura said despite Uganda’s tourism potentials across the country, its biggest challenge has always been in terms of promoting it abroad for better market and opportunities.

Muzahura called on government to increase investment in publicizing the sector and construction of more advanced infrastructures that could be used by both local and international tourists.

“Our system in terms of tourism relating to the Air transport facilities are still low compared to other African countries,” he noted.

Muzahura cited an mediate example of the Air Uganda services which were put on hold saying this has paralyzed the tourism sector so much.

“In the past 3 budgets the tourism sector in Uganda has been getting not more than Shs2bn yet it’s believed that tourism is one of the foreign exchange to the economy of Uganda.”

In the East African region Uganda invests the least sum of money in tourism; Rwanda invests over $15M, Kenya invests over $30M annually and Tanzania the same.

The chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Trade and Tourism Hon Flavia Kabahenda said its high time government increased the funding in tourism sector because this is the only sector which does not require a lot of capital investment since majority of tourists attractions are gifted by nature.

‘If government fails to put more funding in this sector it means it’s not interested in earning more foreign currency ‘ Kabahenda added.

Shadow minister for tourism Hon. Kevin Taaka said it’s not about increasing the funding, but putting the available resources into good use.

“If the entire funds meant for tourism sector were put to good use at least Uganda would be better than it is today, but the biggest challenge is corruption in which almost half way of the money meant for this sector is embezzled.”

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