We haven’t given up on Al-Hajj Kigongo’s coming, says Arua City Chamber Boss

By Andrew Cohen Amvesi April 8, 2024

ARUA. Dr. Ronald Debo, the Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI) Arua City branch chairperson has come out to assure the public that they have not yet given up on their effort to bring the National Vice Chairman of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM), Al-Hajj Moses Kigongo to Arua.

According to Debo, Kigongo’s coming for a Baraza (community dialogue) with the business community in Arua which was earlier slated for February 20, 2024 was politically sabotaged.

But speaking to journalists on Sunday April 7, 2024, Debo said despite the sabotage, they are not giving up on their course to have Kigongo in Arua to directly speak to the businessmen and women in the city.

“Al-Hajj Kigongo’s coming was sabotaged politically. That if Al-Hajj came here, it would be like, one, I will be popular, two, it will be like he has sided with a candidate, then three, is that the following I have, will bring insecurity in such a way that I am splitting NRM into two. I know, you know those are all lies!” Debo said during a courtesy visit made by hundreds of residents of Arua Central Division to his office.

“Our purpose was to have a business Baraza with the government. We have not given up on that issue. I can’t talk it out on media because when I talk it out on media, they will sabotage it again. We are looking at other alternatives to see into it that this business Baraza still happens,” Debo stressed.

He, however, noted that when there was high tax on Boda Bodas and enforcement was brutal, they discussed with Al-Hajj Kigongo who called the Commissioner General of URA and within a short time, a solution was got to the problem.

“We were able to get a tax holiday of six months and the tax on motorcycle registration was reduced by 50 percent. I pray that people are using that opportunity. So, whereas Al-Hajj didn’t come, that was already an achievement we registered as the chamber of commerce,” Debo said.

Similarly, Debo said they were also expecting some investors to come at that same period but some of them postponed their coming over the same political sabotage.

But he said the chamber is still in touch with the investors and that he will continue to pursue them until they come to Arua city.

“We want to bring them to come and invest in West Nile and in Arua city in particular. We want them to invest in sugar, invest in cement, invest in hospitals and even in education to stimulate the economy to create jobs,” Debo remarked.

He observed that the biggest problem they have in West Nile is poverty at household level, adding that it is through job creation that people can be in position to improve on their household income.

“My hope is that by the end of this year, the industrial power will be there. They are about to commission the last turbine at Karuma power dam. So, we can’t wait for power first. Let the investors come, we explain to them our challenges and opportunities that lie ahead so that the construction of industries will be taking place. The day the power is switched on will be the same day industries will start running,” Debo stated.

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