Outspoken businessman, Barnabus Taremwa, has written to President Museveni, narrating the torment he has endured at the hands of officials working in government offices including State House.
Taremwa, who is known for speaking his mind, said the officials who claim being close to the President not only frustrated his businesses but nearly forced him into exile.
The rancher, who is a brother of Joviah Saleh, wife of Gen Salim Saleh, said his situation has been experienced by “many other Ugandans who have suffered or are suffering under the negative forces hiding in government.”
He gives the example of the Africa Gold Refinery (AGR) in Entebbe which he started only to be pushed out by Belgian dealer Alain Goetz who earns over $1bn annually but doesn’t pay taxes to government due to an existing tax holiday.”
According to official records from AGR, as at June 30, 2016, the gold refinery exported 5,306 kilograms of gold worth $222m (Shs 752bn).
In the Year ended June 30, 2017, the company sold 9,185 kilograms of gold worth $407m (Shs 1.4tn); and in the year ended June 30 2018 put on the market 8,199 kilograms of gold worth $374m (Shs1.3tn).
ChimpReports understands the company enjoys a tax holiday, meaning the better part of these profits are being repatriated.
Alain Goetz and his brother Sylvain were in February, 2020 found guilty by a court in Antwerp of money laundering and fraud and given 18-month suspended jail sentences.
Goetz reportedly set up a fraudulent system in 2010 and 2011 for customers to sell gold anonymously to the Tony Goetz refinery in Antwerp for cash, creating the basis for black-market trade.
“The neocolonialists and their sympathizers in government are taking advantage of you for selfish personal gains,” Taremwa told Museveni in a letter dated June 19, 2020.
“They have started relocating to other countries because they have made enough money in the shortest term possible, which won’t be the case after the tax holiday, and they will pack and go. They will wind up and leave Uganda and myself empty handed,” he further cautioned.
That Taremwa, whom many know as a highly ‘connected’ man, is crying of witch-hunt, sheds light on how the so-called mafia feeding on political influence and relationships has accumulated invisible but overwhelming power.
“Mr President, as a senior citizen of this country who believes in fairness and justice, I humbly want to know the involvement of government and State House in a venture I started, executed and was snatched from me,” Taremwa concluded his letter to the President.
Officials at State House said they don’t comment on correspondences to the head of state.
Below is Taremwa’s letter in full: