Sev­eral me­dia out­lets in­clud­ing Ugan­da’s lead­ing Dailies: Daily Mon­i­tor and NewVi­sion, run sto­ries on Gov­ern­ment re­mov­ing the ban the poly­thene bags. These  re­ports were how­ever de­nied by Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity [NEMA], the body han­dling and im­ple­ment­ing the ban.

How­ever NEMA said that the to­tal ban on the im­por­ta­tion, lo­cal man­u­fac­ture, sale or use of poly­thene car­rier bags ex­cludes pack­ag­ing ma­te­ri­als used for food stuffs such as bread and milk prod­ucts, ex­ports, for med­ical and in­dus­trial use. This to many has been a con­tra­dic­tion.

aNYWAR
Hon Betty Anywar in Parliament showcasing the different alternatives to the Kaveera that can be endorsed for use .

Yes­ter­day, Hon Any­war Beat­rice, woman rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Kit­gum Dis­trict, pas­sion­ately ex­pressed her dis­dain for Gov­ern­ment, by ask­ing the Speaker to or­der Gov­ern­ment not to lift the ban.

“I do not un­der­stand why gov­ern­ment, more so the ex­ec­u­tive chooses to dis­re­spect par­lia­men­tary de­ci­sions, as a par­lia­ment of Uganda, we pro­nounced our­selves on the Kaveera ban, the law was passed, but re­cent me­dia re­ports show that the Ex­ec­u­tive di­rectly un­der­mined this de­ci­sion.” said MP Any­war

NEMA started im­ple­ment­ing the ban on poly­thene bags, ef­fec­tive April 15 this year. The ban was first im­ple­mented in June 2007, when gov­ern­ment first slapped a ban on the im­por­ta­tion, use and pro­duc­tion of poly­thene bags of 30 mi­crons and be­low, which are usu­ally very thin. But this did not last long as NEMA was over­whelmed by the man­u­fac­tur­ers.

Gov­ern­ment also im­posed an ex­cise tax of 120% on the im­por­ta­tion of all poly­thene bags. De­spite this, traders still smug­gle poly­thene bags into the coun­try as the en­vi­ron­men­tal watch­dog NEMA looks on.

Will this en­force­ment by NEMA be ef­fec­tive?

The woman rep­re­sen­ta­tive went ahead to show­case the dif­fer­ent pa­per bags, sisal bags that many Ugan­dans are now pro­duc­ing as al­ter­na­tives for car­ry­ing their foods and shop­ping.

MP Any­war fur­ther went on and asked the min­is­ter for in­for­ma­tion not to put Ugan­dans out of jobs by up­lift­ing the Kaveera ban, say­ing that “they should let Ugan­dans earn a liv­ing through dif­fer­ent hand­i­crafts that can be used.’ Speaker Kadaga, who was chair­ing the house tasked the min­is­ter to re­spond to the me­dia al­le­ga­tions.

In­for­ma­tion Min­is­ter Jim Muh­wezi re­sponded to MP Any­war by clear­ing the air, he stated that:  Gov­ern­ment had not lifted the ban on Kaveera, he also in­formed the house that it was a mis­take in his state­ment that had been mis­un­der­stood by the me­dia.