Amina Hersi Moghe, considered one of the wealthiest women in Uganda will have her $17.7m (Shs64b) loan with now defunct Crane Bank repaid using taxpayers’ pockets after receiving a financial bailout from the government, Ministry of Finance has confirmed.
The government’s intervention comes after Amina, Managing Director of Horyal Investment Company which owns the partially completed Atiak Sugar factory in Amuru District, barely 30km to the border with South Sudan convinced President Yoweri Museveni’s government to give her a bailout.
Works on the sugar factory had grounded after Moghe failed to pay back the loan she had secured besides her Oasis Mall (Nakumatt) and high-end Laburnum Apartments also struggling for survival.
Government sold its stake in Kinyara Sugar for $5.2m (Shs18.6b) which will be invested in Amina’s sugar factory to enable her secure an extension in the repayment of the loan that is now with dfcu Bank, Matia Kasaija said on Friday during a visit at the factory that is now expected to be commissioned in June 2018. Additional $12.5m has been invested in the factory to complete the acquisition of machinery from the Agricultural Credit Facility at a maximum interest rate of 2% per annum.
“Moghe is a gift from God to the people of Amuru. Government shall not let her factory assets be sold due to the bank loan. We shall use the money from Kinyara to buy some of her shares,” Minister Kasaija said with applause from residents of Kilak North County lead by Amuru LC5 Chairman Micheal Lakony.
The government will consequently become a shareholder in the sugar plant venture.
“The President (Museveni) called me and asked when the factory will produce the first bag of sugar and I told him we are almost there,” Moghe said.
It is not clear how Hersi got in contact with Museveni and other powerful people in the government. But the President makes clear his admiration of her qualities.