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INTERVIEW: Col.Nakalema Talks to World Business Journal on Guarding the Interests of Investors

State House Investors Protection Unit (SHIPU): Guarding the Interests of Investors by World Business Journal

World Business Journal talks to Col. Edith Nakalema Asizua, Head of Unit, State House Investors Protection Unit (SHIPU), about establishing accessible reporting channels for investors to address concerns and mitigate risks associated with misconduct.

What prompted the creation of the SHIPU, and how does it collaborate with the Anti-Corruption Unit?

Established by H.E. President Museveni, the State House Investors Protection Unit (SHIPU) began operations in July 2023. It was formed as a direct response to the need to prioritise and provide specialised attention to investors, acknowledging their critical contribution to national development. Unlike the State House Anti-Corruption Unit (SHACU), which addresses all corruption-related cases, SHIPU focuses exclusively on cases affecting domestic and international investors. This initiative stems from the President’s directive to furnish investors with genuine information to safeguard them against fraudulent activities and to ensure coordination among government entities to eliminate undue delays. While distinct in their roles, the operational synergy between SHIPU and SHACU is unified in their mandates and scopes, demonstrating a combined effort in handling investor-related issues. When investor concerns are reported to either unit, there is an immediate collaboration with relevant Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to find a resolution. Our united goal is to cultivate a prosperous investment environment in Uganda, realising this vision through cooperative endeavours with all stakeholders to promptly address and resolve complaints related to investors.

What are your objectives for the first year?

We prioritise the President’s directives, the Manifesto, and the National Development Plan, ensuring diligent implementation within specified timeframes through collaborative coordination with various agencies. Recognising the vital role of investment in national development, we value investors for their contribution to economic growth, job creation, and revenue generation. We aim to increase investors’ confidence by offering a dependable destination when uncertain about the proper authorities.

Which areas pose potential challenges that investors should be cautious about?

Numerous reports indicate that corrupt individuals masquerading as high-ranking government officials, including Ministers and Permanent Secretaries, have misled foreign investors. This leads to a pressing need for heightened awareness about legitimate authorities within government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies. These impostors have resorted to forging signatures to deceive investors, underscoring the critical necessity for increased sensitisation to thwart these dishonest practices. It is imperative to safeguard investors against falling prey to fraudulent schemes perpetrated by such fraudsters, emphasising the importance of distinguishing between authentic and false representatives.