William Ruto’s business deals in Uganda raise eyebrows in Kenya

By The Weekly Vision

Kenya’s deputy president William Ruto who was on a 3-day private visit to Uganda recently is said to have invested heavily in a five-star hotel in Hoima, Uganda. He is also understood to be the majority shareholder in Stabex oil, the fastest-growing petroleum distributor in Uganda.

 Stabex may be a new kid on the block but is selling more than 40m litres of fuel. Records from Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development reveals the firm has over 100 operators and more than 1,000 petrol stations spread across the country. Stabex is a major wholesale supplier of small and medium Petrol stations in the country including Union Energy, Jab Petroleum, Hashi Petroleum among others.

Records from Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development reveals the firm has over 100 operators and more than 1,000 petrol stations spread across the country

The company is based in Nansana, off Kampala-Hoima Road, Stabex also supplies fuel, oil and equipment to bulk users including; transport, construction, mining, marine, factories and government institutions. Some of them include the giant Kakira Sugar, Dott Services Uganda Limited, China Railway, and Abubakar Construction Limited.

The DP has for sure followed in the footsteps of his boss President Uhuru Kenyatta. The president has for years been on a charm offensive in neighbouring countries exploring business opportunities. The president’s family-owned Brookside milk family is virtually enjoying a monopoly in milk distribution in neighbouring Uganda, just like it’s here in Kenya.

Ironically this comes at a time when the dairy industry in Kiambu the president’s home county is facing major issues that need to be addressed urgently, the same applies to cash crops like tea and coffee. Brookside acquired Fresh Dairy, a household name in Kampala as investments in the milk processing sector soared to $80m (about Shs288 billion) by the end of 2016.

Uganda currently has Brookside Dairy (Fresh Dairy) Uganda Ltd (the market leader), Jesa Farm Dairy Limited, Pearl Dairy Farms Limited, Amos Dairies Limited, Paramount Dairies Limited, GBK Dairy Products Limited, Vital Tomosi Dairy Limited and Mega milk, among others. These players have a total installed capacity of 1.4 million litres per day.

According to a report by Euromonitor, Uganda has been identified as one of the 20 markets of the future that will offer the most opportunities for consumer goods companies. “Uganda’s modern retail outlets are expected to increase their sale of dairy processed products at 11 per cent. Other players have set up factories closer to the source of the milk. VTD, Pearl Dairy and Amos Dairies are all located in Mbarara, near the source of the milk.

One of the factors driving the increase in milk production volumes according to the experts is youth involvement in commercial dairy production. Brookside further acquired stakes in Uganda Crane Creameries Cooperative Union (UCCU), which markets 300,000 litres of fresh milk every day from its coolers in Mbarara. Uganda is targeting to increase milk processing to more than 50 per cent of all the marketed milk.

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