Uganda’s Investor Protection Unit Exposes Land Scams, Bribery in Investment Landscape

On Wednesday, Col. Edith Nakalema (middle) held key meetings with Emek Eker (on her left), Turkey’s Honorary Consul to Uganda..

Summary:

  • The State House Investor Protection Unit (SHIPU) in Uganda has reported 271 cases of investor fraud since launching its online portal on December 1st last year. The portal addresses issues like land fraud and bribery, helping streamline investment processes and protect investors.

KAMPALA, (Examiner) – The State House Investor Protection Unit (SHIPU) has reported a significant number of land fraud and bribery solicitation cases on its Investor Protection Portal since its launch on December 1st last year. Edith Nakalema, the commander of SHIPU, highlighted the portal’s critical role in eliminating intermediaries who have historically impeded the investment process, particularly affecting foreign investors.

“Within the first month, we received over 20 reports of investors being defrauded,” Nakalema noted. The portal, which is directly connected to the president’s office, ensures prompt monitoring and resolution of each case, demonstrating the government’s commitment to safeguarding investors.

In the five months since its launch, the SHIPU online portal has logged 271 cases of investor fraud, underscoring the urgent need for more transparent and efficient investment processes in Uganda. The portal acts as a central hub, integrating various government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to streamline investment procedures and shield investors from fraudulent activities.

Out of the 271 cases, 171 were reported by local investors, with the remainder involving foreign investors. Land fraud was the most frequently reported issue, with 57 cases. Other major complaints included bribery solicitations, bureaucratic delays, financial disputes, mediation and arbitration issues, extortion, impersonation, and tax-related problems. Nakalema described the portal, which supports more than ten languages, as a game-changer for Uganda’s investment sector.

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Illustrating the portal’s effectiveness, Nakalema shared a case involving an Indian investor who nearly lost property valued at $76 million due to a loan complication. During the Christmas holiday, officials from the Ministry of Lands attempted to transfer her land title to a bank. SHIPU’s timely intervention, even during the holiday period, ensured the investor retained ownership of her property.

Emek Eker, Uganda’s honorary consul to Turkey and an investor with two registered companies in the country, praised the portal. Eker remarked that it simplifies the investment process and eliminates the need for expensive delegations to attract investors. “It’s a very user-friendly system, and being directly connected to the president is a significant advantage,” she stated. The SHIPU online portal exemplifies Uganda’s commitment to creating a secure and efficient investment environment, heralding a promising future for both local and international investors.

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