Lamwo District Considers Blocking Investors from Petty Trade

2649 Views Lamwo, Uganda

In short
The district says that foreign investors who settle there should engage in large whole sale trade.

Lamwo district is considering introducing strict regulations to prevent foreign investors from engaging in petty trade. The district says that foreign investors who settle there should engage in whole sale trade and leave petty trade to locals.  The decision follows persistent complaints from local traders accusing Asian immigrants of engaging in petty trade such as selling vegetables and basic household commodities.

They want the district leadership to slap a ban on such investors to protect them. James Opoka, a businessman from Padibe town council says that most Indians traders in the town council are either engaged in retail trade or distribution of sachet waragi. He wants the district to intervene and ban such investors from the district. Simon Lokwiya, a businessman operating in Lokung trading center shares the same sentiments.

He says that many Indians flock to the district to supply toxic Alcohol to the residents, which endangers their lives. Geoffrey Canlit Otto, Lamwo district secretary for finance and administration acknowledged the plight of local businessmen in his 2012/2013 financial year budget proposal. Otto wants the district to criminalize the involvement of foreign investors in petty trade. He wants the office of the Chief Administrative Officer identify such petty businesses to be left for indigenous traders.

Mathew Okoya Akera, the Lamwo district speaker says that the consensus in the district is that foreign investors should not be involved in petty trade. He says the district will deal with the matter to ensure that local businessmen are protected.

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He also says that they have started a process to enact an ordinance banning the supply of sachet waragi in the district that will target both foreign and local businessmen.
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The Indian Community in both Lamwo and Kitgum has remained silent on the matter. Indian traders approached by our reporter refused to comment on their alleged involvement in petty trade.


Tagged with: local investors