Dongsong is the Chinese company developing a $620m (Shs2.2 trillion) Osukulu industrial complex in Tororo District which will include a fertiliser manufacturing plant and a steel plant.
President Museveni wrote a letter to the Finance minister Matia Kasaija, labelling Dongsong as a “serious investor” who intends “to turn the waste of the steel factory into construction bricks, and also wants to import sewing machines for sealing the bags of fertlisers”.
“The URA staff, either out of ignorance, malice or corruption are tossing our investors endlessly—in this case for the whole of July 2018. Meanwhile, the machinery blocked at Mombasa is incurring demurrage charge, Anybody who does not understand the mission of industrialising and modernising Uganda must leave URA.” Museveni wrote.
URA’s commissioner for public and corporate affairs Vincent Seruma acknowledged receipt of the letter and said “the matter is being handled administratively”.
URA officials, according to correspondences and insider accounts, had pressed Dongsong to pay customs duties for the machinery to the tune of Shs4.5 billion.
However, Dongsong’s lawyers ABMAK Associates maintained that the company in 2014 entered into a mineral agreement with government, which provided for tax exemption.