Solar investor downplays impact of Kenya probe on Uganda operations

Solar investor downplays impact of Kenya probe on Uganda operations
Gomba district solar power plant, the largest solar power plant in East and Central Africa

Gomba, Uganda | URN | The investigations into the tax affairs of Humphrey Kariuki, the chairman of Great Lakes Africa Energy Limited (GLAE) that partly owns the Kabulasoke, Gomba district solar power plant will not affect investments in Uganda. Kariuk is being investigated in Kenya for alleged tax evasion.

GLAE is registered in the United Kingdom. It partnered with Xsabo Power Limited to put up the 20MW project in Gomba at $24.5m. Kenyan media has been awash with reports of Kariuki’s alleged tax dodging in his spirits business. He appeared in court in Nairobi last week and was released on a cash bail of Kenya Shillings 11m (UGX 385m).

There have been concerns whether his troubles in Kenya could affect his operations in other countries including Uganda. Responding to a query from this publication, Kariuki said “I want to confirm that the ongoing investigations will not affect our operations in Uganda or any of the group’s other businesses.”

He told journalists in Uganda last year that his plans for Uganda included a decent planning system for the islands around Lake Victoria. “Uganda has 73 islands, 61 of which have a human settlement. An average of 1,000 people live on each island so we have a plan to put up a system that can energize the whole island at night,” he told Daily Monitor.

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Kariuki said that the allegations leveled against him are “untrue, without merit, fabricated and intended to use the judicial process to tarnish my name”. The allegations over tax evasion in Kenya may prompt governments in other countries where he has invested to look into his tax affairs.