The Asian community in general and Mr. Mahendra N. Mehta in particular has been hailed by President Yoweri Museveni for their contributions to the economic development of Uganda.
The President made the kind gesture while speaking at the launching of a book titled ‘PEACOCK’ written by Mzee Mahendra Mehta. The ceremony took place last evening at the Pearl of Africa Hotel in Kampala.
“The Asian community have played a very important symbiotic role for the population of Uganda and my coming here is to salute the contribution of the Asian people and Mzee Mehta is just one of the pioneers. This part of the world was cut off from other parts of the world but was linked by 6 Asian families of Abdallah, Ali and Abubakari, among others, who struggled to bring products, such as textiles and sugar, among others, from abroad,” he said.
Mr. Museveni, who was accompanied by the First Lady Hon. Janet Museveni, also Minister of Education and Sports, further commended Asians for establishing commerce and modern industries in Uganda.
“I salute the Asian people, especially the business operators, for the wonderful roles they played in bringing modern commerce, modern industry and other services in this part of the world. It was, therefore, a crime for one of us, Idi Amin, to uproot these people,” the President said.
The president further commended the confidence of elders like Mzee Mehta, among others, who had left Uganda but decided to come back to start afresh the establishment of a sugar factory in spite of all the disappointments experienced when their properties like factories, sugar plantations, among others, were devastated during the Amin regime.
Museveni noted that the efforts of Mzee Mehta and others like him have made Uganda self-sufficient in sugar saying that some of the sugar is exported. He commended Mzee Mehta for establishing a foundation that will look after the corporate social responsibility. The President disclosed that the government is developing a new sugar policy to ensure order in the sugar industry.
In his speech, Mzee Mahendra N. Mehta disclosed that the Mehta Group of Companies has achieved so much under the leadership of President Museveni noting that 2018 is a historical year for the Group.
While expressing his gratitude to the President for launching the book and the First Lady for her attendance, Mzee Mahendra announced the availing of US$1 million to start the Mehta Foundation for purposes of promoting corporate social responsibility.