The director of the pan African center for strategic and international research Dr. kihura nkuba this week made a visit to the lango region, as part of his pan African campaign which as seen him visit more than five kingdoms in the last two months. Dr kihura nkuba a devoted pan African is working tirelessly to make sure that all African kingdoms are returned to their former glory both economically and spiritually and this has been his message telling kings and kingdom officials he is meeting about the importance for each kingdom being able to sustain itself financially other than having to wait for donor aid.
On his recent visit to lango kingdom he toured the once mighty Lira spinning milling factory that was built by the Uganda government in the 1960’s, he was told that at one time the facility employed more than 6000 employers but at this stage it had fallen into a state of disrepair following the ill-fated government project of privatization that saw this factory fall into the hands private investors who latter vandalized the facility stripping it of its valuable cotton processing equipment.
This facility was serviced with reliable power supply, a rail way line and constant supply of water, this was because president obote had intended lira to be the industrial capital of Uganda since it was strategically located to service central Africa and sudan. Even in its state of disrepair the factory still has the capacity to process cotton which is purchased from local farmers at a rate of 1300 shs per kilogram. The company is now under management of Rwenzori cotton Ginners Company limited, who employ about 100 casual workers.
Dr Richard Nam the prime minister of lango kingdom and Col. Omure Bosco the regional commander of operation wealth creation and other kingdom officials realized the potential for this facility if it was in the hands of the kingdom rather than being managed by foreigners who end up fleecing the community they operate in, if the factory is in the hands of the lango kingdom then the kingdom would act in the best interest of its people, the region and the country at large.
As part of his operation wealth creation strategy Dr. Kihura Nkuba has tasked all kingdoms in the country to nominate four projects or factories they can setup and manage with in their kingdom and to offer substantial and strategic piece of land where this projects and factories will be situated.
Dr Kihura Nkuba then proceeded to tour the newly constructed peanut research and processing center which was set up and now operated by the Uganda industrial research institution, this facility was setup as part of a presidential campaign promise after people in the region complained of not having peanut processing factory and as such their peanut went to waste as it was poorly processed, Dr Kihura Nkuba and the prime minister of lango kingdom both commended the government of Uganda for having set up this facility and requested employees and the community at large to make good use of this state of the art peanut processing facility which cost the government more than 400,000 usd. Dr kihura nkuba reiterated that if put to proper use this facility could bring immeasurable wealth to the region since they are the leading growers of good quality ground nuts.
The visit climaxed with a cultural event that was organized at the Lango Cultural Fund Center where Dr kihura nkuba was the chief guest along with the lango kingdom prime minister mr. Richard Nam and the operation wealth creation Lango region rep Col. Omure Bosco and the delegation from TV Africa which included the head of communications Mr. Rwamusigazi Kyakunzire, students from the pan African center and the television crew. They were welcome with authentic lango cultural music, dance and drama performed by a group of elderly but highly energetic performers.
With a crowd numbering more than 200 people most of which were lango clan leaders from the 154 clans that make up the lango kingdom. The regional rep of operation wealth creation first took to the stage and highlighted ways and means by which they can utilize the government initiative to better their lives and communities at large he spoke of government commitment to end house hold poverty if the people fully understand and implement the strategies of operation wealth creation.
And in his iconic speech Dr. kihura nkuba used the opportunity to remain the people of the looming danger if people continue to disregard the traditional diet and that the most foods people eat and drink have been laced with cancer causing chemicals sometimes intentionally by people who what to destroy the black race, he urged the people to return to eating their traditional food such as millet and sorghum which are high on the nutritional table and instead of drinking soda which he noted contains more than 3600 carcinogenic chemicals including aspaterm and yellow color they should resort to their traditional beverages such as ajono made from sorghum, this would both make them health and rich since it’s the local former and producer that gets the money there by retaining money in their economy. Speaking about the origin of humanity Dr. kihura nkuba remained the clan leaders that they are the leading figure in the world when it comes to medicine, science, technology humanities and any other knowledge because their ancestor gave the world and in particular the western word all its sciences and philosophy. “we are alpha and omega, the beginning and the end never has ever been a time that black people didn’t exist and never will be a time that black people will cease to exist we are enternal my brothers and sisters” kihura. With reference to the book “General History of Africa” by UNESCO volume two chapter 1 “ more than 150,000 year ago beings morphologically identical to man of today where living in the areas of the great lakes, at the foot hills of the mountains of the moon and nowhere else” he used this fact to cement the notion that it’s not just his words but that even the united nations of the world acknowledge this face that black people where the first to populate the world and as such black people all over the world now and in the subsequent future should not be the weak link but should work to regain their lost glory.
The event was wrapped up with a traditional lango meal Dr. kihura kihura nkuba personally liked the sweet potatoes and the vegebles locally known as gobe. After the meal the dancers gave the evening the match awaited traditional ambience of music dance and drama.
Speaking to some of the participants they all were thankful of the lecture and the wealth of knowledge they had gained in just one seating they wished more and more of these lectures would be held as this would go a long way is helping them wake from this perpetual slumber.
Lira spinning mills factory fact file
The factory seats on 30 acres of land, the biggest cotton spin and it probably worth 8 billion ugx in its current state.
It’s the second largest cotton spin in all for Africa and in its heydays it was the number one scale and production output.
Most of the cotton is grown by poor farmers who earn about 1300 ugx per kilogram including even the cotton seeds and yet the cotton seeds cost about 5000 per kg, In other words the former are being cheated by the buyer who then separate the seeds from the cotton and sell the cotton seeds to mukwano and other oil producers for extraction of oil.
It started out being owned by the Uganda government, It was then sold off under the ill-fated privatization.
The Uganda government had installed a water pumping system of a capacity of more than 7 million litres of water and a high voltage direct power line from Jinja in fact the electricity power supply all comes from this one facility.
The factory contained a hospital, a metal fabrication workshop, an electric workshop and among the equipment it included sorters, spinner, and separators and among the finish products they make cotton yarns and finished cotton clothes.
Lira spinning mills woes started in 1985 when Lira Spinning Mill’s former Managing Director, Johnson Werri-Iga, fled because of the war in the North. When he returned, about a year later, he found that the company had sold off his house to settle utility bills. He sued the company seeking Shs 50 million as compensation.
The matter came to court in 1991. By then the Public Enterprises Reform and Divestiture (PERD) now renamed Privatisation Unit, had taken over the company to prepare it for privatisation.
However, its lawyers failed to defend the matter that dragged on in court until around 1998, when the High Court ordered for a sale of company assets to pay Iga and meet legal costs.
Jing Hong and her brother Guo Dong, who then operated a Chinese restaurant on Jumbo Plaza in Kampala, heard of the court order to auction Lira Spinning Mill from John Arumus, a former employee of the company. He persuaded them to borrow money to acquire the mill.
They two secured a $20,000 loan from Tianjin Haihe International Labour Services Engineering Corporation Ltd, a company that usually lends to Chinese institutions involved in the engineering and manufacturing sector. Under Guostar Enterprises, the two acquired Lira Spinning Mill for Shs 300 million. Guostar Enterprises took 70% while Tianjin Haihe acquired 30%. The new company had a share capital of Shs 300 million.
Initially, the company was registered as Jinda International Textile Company. After they took over, the Chinese realised that they needed working capital. They started dismantling some of the equipment, which they sold as scrap. The factory had been affected by the 1986 war.
According to David Lomami Watmon, he was invited by Jinda to dismantle and buy some of the machine components. Watmon was then dealing in scrap.
From this deal, the Chinese raised about Shs 50 million. Watmon was retained as General Manager of Jinda while the Chinese planned what to do with the complex.
They later obtained a loan from Uganda Commercial Bank, Lira Branch, of Shs 500 million. To support their loan application, Jinda said they had obtained 17 containers of new equipment from a company in Hong Kong, which they intended to use in Lira. According to the shipping manifest the consignment was purportedly scheduled to leave Zhanjiang Port on January 9, 2000 and arrive at Durban, South Africa in February 2000. Yet the company applied for the UCB loan using the same papers in January 2001. Despite the inconsistency in the documentation whereby the Chinese used a one-year old manifest to support a loan application, they all the same got the money.
And the according the way funds were used thereafter, Shs 300 million of this loan was remitted to Tianjin Haihe, apparently to pay the money they borrowed to buy Lira Spinning Mill.
According to documents, the rest was used to pay off local debts and run the mill for the time being. No money went to pay for the equipment that the Chinese claimed would arrive through Durban.
It is curious that Jinda International Textile Company Limited that was registered on November 27, 2000, according to documents from the Registrar of Companies, would have shipped goods from Korea in January that year when it never existed as a business then.
And along the way, they realised that the ship’s manifest presented to the bank was registered to Jinda International Textile Corporation Ltd, whereas the local company was registered as Jinda International Textile Company Limited. A change of name was effected on August 3, 2001.
Kampala lawyer, Caleb Alaka, who offered the legal service, was given 5% shareholding in JITCO for his efforts, while James Arumus also got 5%.
Some of the money from the UCB loan saw the directors improve their lifestyle as Arumus acquired a Pajero (short chassis), Jing Hong got a Pajero (long chassis) while Guo Dong upgraded to a white Land Cruiser VX, with personalised plates, JITCO.
The company then decided to diversify its operations to include importation of tractors, dry cells and hoes. It was in this business that they sold defective tractors to a Kumi farmer.
Meanwhile, Arumus went back to the drawing board and wrote another proposal to the President, asking for financial assistance to operate this mill. In that letter, JITCO again claimed that they needed the money to pay for a consignment of textile machines from China. The letter was delivered to the President by Mohammed Mbabaali, a presidential aide. That is when the President asked Uganda Development Bank to process a $1.5 million credit facility for JITCO.
But the hitch was that the land title that was to be used as collateral was still with UCB in Lira. UDB was persuaded to buy that loan and get the collateral from UCB.
After the UDB took over the loan, things changed again. Guostar Enterprises, the main shareholder in JITCO, started Uganda Lotto. In a bid to raise participation, they invested too many lucky numbers in the first batch of receipts and before they could sell enough lotto tickets, they had run out of money. So Uganda Lotto closed down after six months.
JITCO did try to revive the mill and imported used equipment from China, through South Africa in 2004.
With this they were able to make 260 tons of yarn in 2004 after the President commissioned the plant. There was an attempt to export about 100 tons of yarn to China but was rejected as being of poor quality. Some of it was sold locally. After this effort, JITCO resorted to selling off equipment as scrap, just to survive.
While this was going on, Arumus again sat down to write another letter in which he persuaded Barclays Bank to extend a $2.4m loan to JITCO. Barclays Bank was to share the collateral with UDB. With the new money, JITCO tried its hand in new business, Wango, a pyramid scheme in which members would pay $270 to join. Each member of Wango was required to recruit 4 members, who each contribute $270. Out of this, the original recruiter gets $30 from each of his recruits (120 dollars). The new recruits then recruit others. Wango’s recruits are in the business of marketing Chinese herbal medicine, used for conditions such as manhood enlarging, vagina tightening, etc.
Wango is still on, with its office in Raja Chembers, Parliament Avenue in Kampala.
In May this year, Barclays Bank recently moved in and took over the company after JITCO failed to pay the loan.
The bank is now looking for a buyer after the receiver, Andrew Kasirye, failed to get managers. Barclays intends to sell the company assets to recover its money.
In 1984 when the factory stopped it remained in the hands of two care takers and in 2000 the Ugandan government entered into a memorandum of understanding with the with jitco a chinese campany the government of Uganda paid jitco hefty sums of money.
The chinese also latter borrowed allot of money from banks while using the building as collateral after realizing the factory was worth billions of dollars, they then striped it an sold the equipment and ran to set a hotel in china.
The ministry of finance should how ever be faulted for not looking after the gureentess and going after the brief case investor.
During the lango conference the president of Uganda HE Yoweri Kaguta Museveni promised that the factory would be turned over to the Lango kingdom, however Barclays bank which had loaned the chinese money using the system of fractional reserve and phantom deposit, repossessed the facility and then sold it to an Indian owned company known as Rwenzori Cotton Ginners Ltd for a small sum of money.
Rwenzori Cotton Ginners Ltd now runs the facility on a small scale, they recently dismantled the old Chinese equipment the Chinese had installed and installed relatively new equipment from Indian but still their production capacity is severely limited since they don’t have enough equipment to produce the cotton thread and as such they are unable to produce finished cotton products such as the cotton yarn, threads and even threads and as such they end up exporting raw un processed cotton, thus little is done in the name of value addition since they are exporting raw materials of which its price is very low compared to the finished products.
In its view the kingdom and others feel that this facility should not be left in the hands foreigners and international money lenders who have conspired to the country and in particular the people of the Acholi and Lango.