A group of local investors led by proprietors of Paradise and Wildness Resort have reported Mukono District officials to Investment minister Evelyn Anite for allegedly frustrating a Shs53.3 billion tourism project.
The group petitioned the Minister last week complaining about lack of cooperation from the district officials.
According to Daily Monitor newspaper, the investors singled out the district engineer, Herbert Lutwama, labelling him “a stumbling block” in the planned multi-billion eco-tourism investment project in Makusu Island, Mpatta Sub-county.
Eco-tourism caters for tourists who wish to invest in the natural environment without damaging its habitat. The petitioners sought to increase wildlife in the country and attract more investors. They also wanted to establish a resort that will employ 1,200 people, including wild life scouts, chefs, housekeepers, guides, gardeners, life-savers, instructors, and security teams.
Minister Anite said it was unacceptable for district officials to make investors beggers in a multi billion project that would create jobs for Ugandans.
“Can you imagine investors are begging one of the district officials in Mukono to approve their plans for a major tourism project that is going to create hundreds of jobs for our people,” she said.
“This is unacceptable. If there are any issues in the submitted plans, let those matters be resolved without any delays. Investments must be approved without delays. How can we achieve the middle income status when some people are busy blocking investments?”
Anite further noted she would request Uganda Investment Authority to work with the Ministry of Local Government and the authorities in Mukono District to have the matter resolved.
However, Lutwama denied the accusations raised against him.
“We have not refused to approve the project but we want the right things to be done and the projects must comply with the Building Act of 2013, with National Environment Management Authority Act 2019, Regulations of 2020 and in compliance with Physical Planning Act 2010,” Lutwama told the local daily.
This website has already established that the ministry of water as well as the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) have already given a green light to this project, which means the tourism Investment has satisfied their benchmarks.
The Mukono engineer’s only excuse is that the eco-tourism resort will set up structures on water, and wants to redesign the whole plan without proper rationale. The world over, the architecture of this eco-tourism project is not new – which makes the engineer’s excuse regrettably unfortunate.
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