Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra was in the country to officially launch Go Lotto, the latest gambling craze in town. Shinawatra who is the Chairman Advisory Board, Global PS Lotto, handed five boda boda to lucky winners and a Toyota double cabin to Saadi Kigozi.
“Each time I come here I appreciate more and more why Uganda is known as the Pearl of Africa. I am very excited about launching this service in Uganda and I hope that Go Lotto will benefit the people of Uganda,” said Shinawatra.
He said that Global PS Lotto Investment chose Uganda after he has tested lotto with people in his country and hopes it will assist in developing the lives of the people of Uganda. A significant portion of all the proceeds [30% of net proceeds] from the sale of Go Lotto tickets will be used to develop social and other programmes in Uganda and supporting the education, sports and health sectors.
“I feel very passionate in these areas and with my experience in Thailand where I introduced lotto while still the prime minister and got millions in revenue that I used to develop the said sectors, I hope by bringing Go Lotto to Uganda similar benefits can be achieved even here,” he said.
WHO IS SHINAWATRA
Born in1949, Thaksin Shinawatra is a businessman who was Prime Minister of Thailand from 2001 to 2006 until he was deposed in a military coup and was later charged with corruption. Before that, Shinawatra was a successful telecom entrepreneur and one of the richest people in Thailand.
While Prime Minister, Shinawatra introduced a range of partly effective and highly popular policies to alleviate rural poverty. He launched the country's first universal healthcare programme, the 30-baht scheme, as well as drastic social order and drug suppression campaigns. After being overthrown, Shinawatra’s most publicized investment was his acquisition of Manchester City Football Club, a popular club among Ugandan football fans today. He would later sell it off after running into financial trouble.
He managed to return to Thailand in early 2008 after the change of government there. However, after visiting Beijing during the Olympic Games, Shinawatra did not return to Thailand to hear corruption charges against him. In October, the Supreme Court found him guilty of a conflict of interest and sentenced him in absentia to two years in jail.
In late 2008, it was reported that the UK had frozen $4.2 billion of his assets. However, the UK government has not confirmed or denied this claim. Thaksin's economic policies, helped accelerate Thailand's economic recovery from the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and substantially reduce poverty. GDP grew from 4.9 trillion baht at the end of 2001 to 7.1 trillion baht at the end of 2006 and Thailand repaid its debts to the International Monetary Fund two years ahead of schedule.