Ugandans’lack of honesty angers Chinese business community

Chinese nationals doing business in Uganda have decried the lack of integrity among many Ugandans as a major stumbling block to having a successful business operation in the country.

This disappointment was aired out at the launch of the Fuqing Association, a group that intends to bring together all Chinese nationals operating in Uganda who hail from the Fujian province of China.

This is the latest of such associations in Uganda which bring together different Chinese hailing from specific parts of china. Under such platforms, the Chinese community shares experiences and knowledge on how to overcome several obstacles encountered while doing business in Uganda.

Uganda is among the major markets of Chinese business, dealing in numerous subsectors like oil, construction, electronics, textile and fast-moving consumer goods. However, the Ugandan business community has occasionally opposed the Chinese influence in the country, citing the unleveled field for competition.

Reports indicate that the differences in the economic setup of the two states and the Ugandans’ experiences with Chinese bosses have led to numerous standoffs, and may harbor racial bias. Additionally, cultural differences have been a major challenge for business as well.

According to Jane Shi, who spoke on behalf of the team which was launching the association, the Chinese community faces a number of challenges in Uganda, but the lack of integrity is really making business hard.

Shi says whenever Ugandans are entrusted with top positions, most of the time the employers are let down and at the end of the day they have to bring in their fellow Chinese from China to come and do the work, which is not desirable.

“I wonder whether it is a cultural problem, however we always hope and pray that this can be overcome so that we stop bringing people from China to work here,” Shi said.

Uganda is host to more than 700-Chinese established businesses employing many locals, however on numerous occasions, there have been allegations of human rights violations by employers.

To this, Shi identified that the language barrier is the main cause of these incidences, as each party can’t easily communicate to each other hence the misunderstandings and the fights which are unnecessary and undesirable.

Wilson Muluuli Mukasa, the minister for public service and acting justice minister who officiated the launch of the association, says it is short-sightedness for Ugandans who cheat the Chinese and this not only has an impact on the actors but entire Uganda as a country.