Arua city chamber of commerce gets new leaders
By Andrew Cohen Amvesi
ARUA. The members of Uganda national chamber of commerce and industry (UNCCI) Arua city have elected their new leaders.
The leaders were elected during an election organized by UNCCI Secretariat officials at Heritage Courts hotel in Arua city on Monday.
During the election, the members unanimously seconded the candidature of Dr. Ronald Debo with 149 votes after Caesar Trinity Draecabo withdrew his nomination in protest over alleged cases of irregularities.
Debo now becomes the new UNCCI Arua city chairperson replacing Jackson Atima Lee Buti, the Arua Central Division MP who has been holding the office for the last five years.
Debo was deputized by Tonny Ochaya. Other leaders elected in the executive include; Rose Munduni, the chamber secretary, Hajj Jamal Irima, the treasurer and Miria Ahumed Miria, the chamber coordinator.
Those elected to lead the different sectors are; Patricia Adania, the head of agribusiness sector, Jimmy Madira, the head of the legal sector, Ijosiga Baakole, the head of the construction sector, Yusuf Adaku is the new head of the transport sector, Francis Aleni, heads the tourism and hospitality sector, George Andama is the new leader of the wholesale and retail sector, Matha Tiko, finance and Enid Enzaru heads the ICT sector in the chamber committee.
While presiding over the elections, Jobel Ayiko, the Arua city commercial officer said all the necessary guidelines were followed in the process of conducting the elections.
He dismissed Draecabo’s allegations of irregularities, saying all guidelines issued to the commercial office of the city were properly followed.
Ayiko instead congratulated the new chamber leaders and pledged to work closely with them in transforming the business sector in the city.
“I’m grateful that the task has already been done. What remains ahead is a big task again for the new chamber to take on. I need the new team to bring change, a lot of change. Cities are centers of excellence particularly in service delivery, let the small businesses know about the chamber, we will work together to see that we strengthen the private sector by having associations in market and trading centers to increase membership for the chamber,” Ayiko said.
In his remarks, Debo promised that as a team, they want to make the new Arua chamber a model chamber in the country.
“The chamber of Arua city must be an exemplary chamber among all the chambers in Uganda. We saw the vibe that came with it. Arua is a unique city; we are bordering Congo, we are bordering South Sudan and there are very many tribes here, very many businesses, national organizations and every other business in the city. We are going to ensure that we bring the private sector together and do everything the chamber can allow us to do to make the private sector strong and vibrant,” Debo stated.
MP Atima, the outgoing Arua chamber chairperson charged the new team to move down to the grassroots to mobilize the business community, empower them, expose them and promote their businesses so that they get a good livelihood for their families.
As part of their achievements, Atima said they have done a lot of networking for Arua chamber across the globe.
“We have done a lot of networking globally. Through my leadership, I led a delegation of entrepreneurs from Arua to Germany twice for business forums. I also led another delegation to China. I brought a delegation of entrepreneurs from China to Arua here, we held a meeting and as I talk now, these entrepreneurs are already working in Kapeeka. They have established Industrial Parks in Kapeeka. These are the Chinese who came under my leadership and met my people of West Nile where they are supposed to establish an Industrial Park. I have done a lot of networking in that regard,” Atima said.
James Odomel, the head of communication, public relations and ICT at UNCCI Secretariat said they recently signed an MoU with Algeria’s chamber of commerce.
“They visited President Yoweri Museveni, we had a function at Hotel Africana and they are investing over USD700m in Uganda. They want to do trade with us, Madam Olive Kigongo is the chairperson. Now you people have been suffocating here, by postponing these elections, you would be left behind but now I am happy that the elections have been held and I congratulate the new team on board,” Odomel said.
He pledged the commitment of the UNCCI Secretariat to working with the new Arua city chamber leadership in ensuring that the chamber moves forward.
Ham Muzamil Ezama, the Arua Deputy Resident City Commissioner (RCC) in charge of the Central Division tasked the new team to foster unity with the disgruntled team.
“We will recognize the competence of the leadership of this chamber of commerce by mobilizing more people to join the chamber of commerce, this should be one of your aims and objectives. Please, make it a priority that even those you disagree with, you call them and look for solutions to make sure that you agree at a certain extent,” Ezama advised.