“Details on the ROKO bailout have emerged indicating that the planned purchase of shares by the government will also mean the government injecting operation capital as well as inheriting UGX 130 billion liability from the construction company. Experts advise government to audit ROKO Construction Ltd or risk going down with it” (NBS Television, 08.07.2022).
“Decision on the proposal to buy preference shares in Roko is stayed. The Speaker says the minister will need to take into consideration the concerns of MPs and come back to the House with a position before a vote is put” (Parliament of Uganda, 20.07.2022).
The fall guy and the needed construction company Roko Construction Limited is having trouble financially and the Government of Uganda is intending to bail-out the company. That’s why things are questioned, because it is a private company and suddenly the government comes to its aide. This is happening, because we know the company is used as a contractor for prestigious development projects.
The Roko company is getting a helping hand for one reason, it serves a purpose and a need of the state. Not because no one can else do the same, but it’s a useful entity for the government. Just like other companies who are in fields are getting similar treatment. That’s why it’s just an example of how the system is rigged.
This is why I will take vital quotes from the Minority Report on the company from the Parliament. Since the Opposition has no stakes in the company or how its run. They are not earning funds or kickbacks from it. The deals between the state, company and developers are done outside their knowledge. That’s why Roko shows up in all sorts of scandals. Not only this bail-out, but elsewhere too.
First: “The Executive Director of UDC informed the Committee that it did not undertake the required due diligence. This was attributed to failure to access funds amounting to UGX 800 million required to contract competent professional accounting firms to undertake the due diligence. It is therefore illogical for Government to fail to avail UGX 800 million for the due diligence exercise but instead proceed to seek approve from Parliament for UGX 207.13 billion” (Minority Report, 20.07.2022).
Second: “The President Directive referred to in the extract reaffirms the need to contract a profession competent firm to undertake due diligence of the Company. It should be noted that the Cabinet Extract was been drawn from a Minute of a Cabinet meeting held on 4th July 2022. Please note that this directive was given almost a month after the proposal was tabled in Parliament i.e. 6th June 2022” (Minority Report, 20.07.2022).
Third: “During the Committee meeting, the Ministry represented Roko Construction Ltd as a domestic investor. However, it was established that while the Company is registered in Uganda, based on its ordinary shareholders it is of foreign owned company. The 15,000 ordinary shareholders are owned by Swiss nationals who include. Jean Mann Francey Koehler (12,000), Friedhhelm Erwin Jost” (1,500) and Kurt Wolier Blaeter (l,500)” (Minority Report, 20.07.2022).
This Minority Report just proves how the state operates. The Roko Construction Ltd. is vouched for and one of them. That’s why it’s so easy to bail it out. There is a connection that is more important than reasons or even proper protocol. This is why the company is in favour and getting the good graces. It serves a purpose and therefore needs saving. Not because it is correct or done with the justified ways. No, the President and the cronies needs companies like this to work and entertain their prestige projects. In such a manner, that they all can profit and life moves on. That’s what the state hopes happens. Just like the scandals surrounding other companies like Dott Services etc.
One day it is a scandal, another day it’s totally forgotten. That’s what the state is hoping for and I think they will succeed. There is enough of other tragedies in the Republic. Which certainly make everyone forget about these billions of shillings spent on a construction company. Peace.