Uganda is pulling all stops to appease its distraught Chinese investors to keep them from leaving, including providing military and police security

Mr Shu said last week that many investors were considering leaving unless the government beefed up security following the October 23 incident.

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  • The Ugandan government has already deployed military and police officers to guard Chinese investors after they came under attack and threatened to leave Uganda.
  • Mr Shu said last week that many investors were considering leaving unless the government beefed up security following the October 23 incident.

The Ugandan government has already deployed military and police officers to guard Chinese investors after they came under attack and threatened to leave Uganda.

“I may personally be resilient to this kind of insecurity because I lived in South Sudan, which is more hostile than here. But other investors who are faint-hearted can leave,” Mr You Jing Shu, the chairperson of Guangdong Chamber of Commerce, a lobby of about 50 Chinese companies in Uganda, said in an interview with Daily Monitor.

On October 23, a group of unknown assailants raided the residential quarters of CCLE Rubber Company in Mbalala in central Mukono District injuring five people — three Chinese nationals and two Ugandans. The attackers are said to have made away with $11,000 in cash, mobile phones, and electronic appliances whose worth was unspecified.

Mr Chen Fan, the director of the company, told Daily Monitor that the machete-wielding gang beat up the security guard, injuring him, and took away his gun which they later abandoned.

“This is scaring us. I feel I should leave the country because this is not the first company to be attacked. It is very bad,” Mr Fan said.

Uganda police spokesman, Mr Emilian Kayima, has assured the Chinese nationals that they are safe in Uganda and said investigations on the attack and other similar ones are underway.

“We are taking this matter seriously. As I speak, I am in the field in Luwero (district that neighbours Mukono to the southeast) investigating a similar matter and very soon we shall come up with a solution,” Mr Kayima said.

Uganda has a thriving community of Chinese nationals numbering between 10,000 and 50,0000, according to local Chinese expatriates estimates.

Attracted by Uganda’s stability and demand for cheap goods, Chinese nationals have in recent years set base in Kampala.

Major infrastructure projects like Uganda’s Mandela National Stadium, a $1.7 billion hydropower dam in western Uganda, and the highway connecting Entebbe to Kampala have all been built by Chinese companies.

Asked whether the military deployment was informed by police’s lack of capacity to handle crime, the army spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, did not specifically admit or deny but said investors are one of the government’s top priorities and their security requires adequate attention.

“The investors provide jobs to our youth and pay taxes to government. We take that in high regard,” Brig Karemire said.

It won't be lost to Ugandans though that Chinese lives matter more than theirs and for now the little security manpower the country has will be firmly focused on securing Chinese interests while they continue to suffer in silence and with no option of issuing threats.

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