Among noted that some MPs were sighted entering parliament with T-shirts to aid the demonstration. “By the time Dr. Abed Bwanika brought this, he wants action. And now we have a solution…by the time government accepts that we are going to review within three months, a review in the process can be terminated,” Among added.
The Speaker of
Parliament, Anita Among has warned legislators against staging protests ahead of
the debate on the controversial coffee agreement. According to Among,
she will not hesitate to stop the debate should any legislator demonstrate
during the discussion of the report prepared by the Committee on Tourism, Trade and
“I want to give this strong warning; I have heard
that there are members who want to demonstrate during the debate of the coffee report.
And I am warning members that if I see that kind of demonstration, I will stop
the report,” Among warned ahead of the debate this morning.
by its chair Mwine Mpaka, the Mbarara City South
MP, the committee investigated what was termed as unfair terms in the coffee
agreement signed between the government and the Uganda Vinci Coffee Company
Among noted that several MPs were sighted entering parliament with T-shirts to
aid the demonstration.
“By the time Dr. Abed Bwanika brought this, he
wants action. And now we have a solution…by the time government accepts that we
are going to review within three months, a review in the process can be
terminated,” Among added. She wondered why there is a lack of respect for
//Cue in: “people coming in…
Cue out:…Abed for that.”//
There have been demands by several MPs in the past few weeks for
the tabling of the report on the coffee agreement in parliament for debate. It
came to the Committee Chairperson, Mwine Mpaka informed the house that he was
ready to table the report.
In her response, the Speaker cautioned the legislators on
Tuesday last week against making reckless statements in regard to the committee
report, saying the leadership of Parliament wouldn’t suffocate the report.
the same week, media reports indicated that President Yoweri Museveni met a
section of the committee members in a closed-door meeting on Friday and cleared
the report for presentation and debate. Kasambya County MP, Gaffa Mbwatekamwa later informed
journalists that the meeting had resolved to present the committee report
without making any changes.
According to the agreement, the government
gave Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited free land in the Industrial and
Business Park at Namanve measuring 27 acres after demonstrating its capacity to
establish a coffee processing facility in Kampala.
The agreement also gives the company priority
rights to buy Uganda’s coffee and its concession will end in 2032 and is
subject to renewal. The agreement also exempts the Vinci Coffee Company from
paying Income tax, Pay as You Earn, Excise duty, and remitting NSSF
contributions. The agreement also provides a 5 percent subsidy on electricity
for the company.
However, a number of people involved in the coffee
business including farmers, exporters, processors and opposition legislators
have contested the agreement and described it as a bad deal. The Shadow
Minister of Agriculture, Abed Bwanika, says the agreement contravenes the
Constitution and Section 52 of the National Coffee Act, 2012, which mandates
the Uganda Coffee Development Authority to determine coffee prices.
But, Attorney General Kiwanuka Kiroywa and Finance
Minister Matia Kasaija have since defended the coffee agreement. The Attorney
General told the committee that it was legal and binding.
Network has since learnt that the committee report recommends the cancellation
of the agreement on grounds that it is unconstitutional and violates different
legal provisions. The committee wants fresh negotiations of the agreement after
the cancellation is made and a report presented to parliament within six