Julian Adyeri Omalla, the chief executive officer of Delight Uganda Ltd, has had enough of the skirmishes in South Sudan.
With fresh fighting breaking out, Omalla has made the painful decision to quit doing business in the volatile country, which, she adds, has cost her Shs 3.8bn.
During The Observer’s visit to her 1,800-acre farm in Nwoya district in northern Uganda recently, Omalla vowed never to return to South Sudan even though the last eight years had seen her make enough sales that saw her business thrive.
“I have made up my mind never to return to that country despite having carried out successful business for the last eight years because armed soldiers looted my company’s property, which I had acquired through bank loans,” she said.
“When the new fighting in South Sudan broke out recently, we lost property due to the looting, which forced us to return home with my 88 staff members who are now jobless and my unpaid loans amount to Shs 3.8bn, which I have to struggle and repay,” she noted.
Omalla said her South Sudan business had a bakery, a warehouse, shops, a fleet of trucks that marketed the Cheers brand of fruit juice and a storied residence in Juba.
Omalla said she had expanded her business to supplying Rwenzori mineral water, engaged in the exchange of forex, and dealt in Blue Triangle cement, among other things. But she says she has lost most of these properties due to the insecurity.
“We did not envisage that war might break out again in that country because during the first war, we made losses but later recovered. However, when this new war broke out, we lost almost all the property and that is why I have decided not to return to that country for business,” she said.