Today in Parliament | 25th October 2023

This is an update from the Parliament of Uganda marking the 25th Sitting of the 2nd Meeting of the 3rd Session of the 11th Parliament. This Sitting was chaired by the Deputy Speaker Rt. Hon. Thomas Tayebwa. In his communication, the Presiding Officer informed MPs that there are efforts to ensure that the impasse between the two sides of the House is resolved. “We are facilitating the process so that we have our colleagues re-joining us. I hope we come to an amicable solution to this matter”. Tayebwa said.  The Speaker also called for the regulation of Ponzi schemes which have seen several people lose large amounts of money. He cited the most recent case of the Capital Chicken scheme where over 80 persons lost billions of shillings.

Later, the Minister for the Ministry of Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Tumwebaze Frank presented the Animal Feeds Bill for First Reading which was later referred to the Committee on Agriculture, and the report is expected within 45 days. The Bill seeks to provide the legislative framework for the operationalization of the Animal Feeds Policy by regulating the production, importation, exportation, and marking of animal feeds and by establishing the Animal Feeds Committee to regulate the same.

 The Minister for Agriculture Animal Industry and Fisheries, Hon. Tumwebaze Frank also briefed the House on the 43rd World Food Day event held on 16 October 2023 at the National Coffee Research Institute in Kituza, Mukono under the theme, ‘Water life, water is food, leave no one behind’. “I commissioned a multi-purpose coffee and cocoa laboratory funded by the government at a cost of UGX 5 billion at Kituuza to provide permanent solutions to pests & diseases as well as other constraints affecting production & productivity of the two crops”, Tumwebaze said. The Minister also revealed to the MPs that the Anti-tick vaccine being manufactured by scientists in Uganda has passed the clinical trial stage & found to be 80% effective, compared to the vaccine from Cuba that was approved for use at 50% efficacy. “We were advised by the scientists that we shouldn’t keep updating at every stage some saboteurs may interfere. But the good news is, the clinical trials have been conclusively done and stand at 88% efficacy. This is much higher than the only one vaccine on the market which was commercialized at 50%”. Tumwebaze said.

Reacting to the statement, Sheema South MP, Hon. Elijah Mushemeza called for the preservation of soil fertility by supporting the local production of liquid organic manure while Kanyum County MP, Hon Simon Peter Opolot said as World Food Day is marked, he looks forward to a time when there are no people going hungry. “I wish for a day when we shall have food for all and not have the kids on the streets begging for leftovers in our cars”. Opolot said. On her part, Vice President Hon. Alupo Jesca also said that the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal, Industry, and Fisheries should ensure that the food consumed is not contaminated with acaricides. She added that development of the anti-tick vaccine has taken long. “We have done budgeting for this item and we need to take into consideration that most of our country depends on livestock”. Alupo said. The Deputy Speaker on his part said there was concern raised at the Press ACP- EU Joint meeting that there are pesticides made in Europe, banned there but are exported to the Third World Countries. He called on the ministry to have measures in place to stop this.

The House then moved on to consider a statement on the rising fuel prices in the country. This was presented by the Minister for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Nankabirwa Ruth “For the last one month, prices have not changed and the country has remained well supplied. My ministry will continue to monitor the sub-sector to ensure that Uganda’s market gets a continuous supply of petroleum products through all the supply routes at competitive prices”. Nankabirwa said. She told MPs that MEMD intends to amend the Petroleum Supply Act to support UNOC to supply all oil companies. “Effective Jan 2024, the oil marketing companies will be directly supplied by UNOC which will improve security of supply and result in competitive prices”. the minister said.

Minister Ssentamu Ruth Nankabirwa also presented an update on the status of oil and gas projects in the country. “The ministry is leading the formulation of a National Petroleum Policy following the review of the National Oil and Gas Policy, 2008, and Energy Policy, 2002”, Nankabirwa said. She further said “It is expected that 80-kilo tonnes & 20-kilo tonnes per year of liquefied petroleum gas will respectively be produced from the Tilenga & Kingfisher projects. This will enable the country to reduce deforestation & save us from any climate change impacts”. She also told MPs that the Government is on track to ensure that the first drop of oil is produced by the end of 2025.

Reacting to the statements on the fuel prices and the developments in the oil and gas sector, Kumi Municipality, Hon. Aogon Silas said “You are the first minister to present a statement here and not blame  Covid-19. Others came here and blamed COVID-19, later they said Russia-Ukraine and now it is Israel-Gaza. We need to interrogate those statements”. UPDF Representative, Gen Peter Elwelu on his part said “The money you are using to get oil out of Hoima is not your money. When the owners say otherwise, what will you use? As national leaders, we need to look at these things globally. Let us not blame our colleague ministers so much”.

Parliament Commissioner, Hon. Solomon Silwany later presented a motion for a resolution of Parliament to adopt the recommendations contained in the Auditor General’s report for the financial year ended 30 June 2023. The motion was adopted by the House.

The Deputy Speaker afterward adjourned the House to Tuesday, 31st October 2023 at 2.00 p.m.

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