The Parliamentary Committee on Natural Resources has directed the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) to review a license it issued to Chinese Company Mango Tree Group to mine sand.
The directive comes after the MPs discovered that in May last year, the then minister for environment, Prof.Ephraim Kamuntu, directed that the company only deals in digging Lake Victoria shores for fish farming, building ports and ships.
However, MPs said they were shocked to discover that the company had instead diverted into sand mining that their license doesn’t permit.
The committee chaired by Isingiro County MP, Alex Byarugaba, told the UIA officials on Wednesday that they should have revoked the company’s license following the ministerial directive.
The UIA Director, Basil Ajer, together with officials from the authority were being questioned why Mango tree got an investment for sand mining and why they are not following the 1991 Investment Code that has a schedule for activities for locals only.
The committee members also noted that the low funding to the UIA is affecting the monitoring process of investors who enter into the country and end up operating in businesses that would be done by locals.
Kiboga East MP, Keffa Kiwanuka, said that there have been complaints from local traders that UIA favors foreign investors hence they had to explain themselves on the mentioned queries above.
MPs said that the little funds given to UIA cannot help them monitor all the investors hence many are seen diverging from operating their intended investment.
Ajer also explained the hurdles they experience with the limited funding and as well distances UIA as being part of issuing trading licenses to the foreigners who are seen operating in petty businesses especially in Kikuubo.