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MPs Question Billions Given To Tycoon Amina Hersi’s Atiak Sugar Factory Without Parliament Approval

Tycoon Amina Moghe Hersi

MPs on the Parliamentary Committee on Trade, Tourism and Industry are wondering how Shs54.6 billion meant to pay sugarcane out growers in Amuru district ended up funding the activities of  Atiak sugar  project owned  businesswoman, Amina Moghe Hersi.

This was discovered by the Committee chaired by Mbarara South MP,  Mwine Mpaka while interfacing with the owners of Asiak sugar factory, the representatives of sugar out growers and local leaders.

The committee members questioned the way this money ended in hands of Horyal Investments Holding Company Limited which owns Atiak sugar factory owned by Amina Hersi to plant sugar cane on behalf of the farmers without following the proper procedures.

The committee noted that though the farmers were promised to be allocated some plots with sugarcane plantations, to date no allocations to farmers have been done.

The committee is still investigating the source of Shs16 billion which was also given to Horyal Investments Holding Company without parliament clearance yet it was diverted from  some of  sugar factories in Busoga region.

The committee noted through local leaders from Amuru district that  the  local community prefer burning the sugar cane plantations in the area since they are not benefiting from Atiak sugar project.

It is worth noting that after becoming financially distressed, the Somali born business tycoon who owns Oasis Mall in Uganda through Horyal Investment Holding Company Limited sought to have a joint venture with the government to establish a US$50 million sugar factory in Atiak Sub-County, Kilak County, in Amuru District.

The decision by government to invest in the company was reached at after a meeting on the July6, 2017 between Horyal Investment Holding Company Limited and the Government. Chaired by President Yoweri Museveni, government agreed to acquire equity in the company at US$5.2m.

The payback period for this loan is expected to mature in seven years.

In 2018, MPs sitting on the Budget Committee noted that government used bad negotiators for this investment to have only 10% shareholding which could have been more since the company was in financial distress, with heavy debts from a number financial institutions.

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