National
Baboons ambush MPs at Karuma bridge
Publish Date: May 22, 2014
Baboons ambush MPs at Karuma bridge
The legislators were on their way to Lango sub region when they encountered the hungry baboons. Photo by Kennedy Oryema
  • mail
  • img
newvision

By Kennedy Oryema

LANGO - Several legislators on the parliamentary health committee were ambushed by a group of hungry baboons at Karuma bridge on their way to Lango sub-region.

Led by chairman Kenneth Omona, the committee was travelling from Bunyoro to Kole district Wednesday to consult tobacco farmers and other stakeholders. The MPs are also scheduled to visit West Nile, which is another tobacco growing area.

At the bridge, the legislators (Kenneth Omona (Kalaki), Jennifer Egunyu Nantume (Buvuma), Beatrice Rusaniya (Kiruhura), Ruth Lematia (Maracha), Femia Wadada (Sironko), Medard Bitekyerezo (Mbabara Municipality), Patrick Mutono (Butebo) and Parliament staff were briefly held 'hostage' by a team of hungry baboons who were in pursuit of a bit as the legislators posed for photographs.

They later returned to the nearby bushes after they were given an assortment of food including bananas and biscuits.

Baboons and monkeys on this highway live on food hand-outs from travelers from West Nile, Lango and Acholi sub-regions.

After the photo session, the legislators later had talks with the president International Tobacco Growers Association Francois Van De Merwe, before they left for Lango..

The Anti-Tobacco Bill 2014 is the brainchild of medical doctor and MP Chris Baryomunsi. It is a private members bill with intentions of addressing health concerns. 

The Uganda Constitution Article 79 (1) provides that '‘Subject to the provisions of this constitution, Parliament shall have power to make laws on any matter for peace, order, development and good governance of Uganda”.


Francois Van De Merwe, the president of International Tobacco Growers Association was critical of several sections of the bill. PHOTO/Kennedy Oryema

Francois Van De Merwe, a South African-based Tobacco farmer, said there is need for the committee to make informed decisions before the bill is passed.

He criticized the sections of the new bill which seek to bar tobacco industry merchants from interacting with farmers.

He said there is need to maintain the Tobacco Marketing Act 1969 which provides a framework of operation between the industry players and farmers.

The farmer explained that once the bill is approved in its current form, then industry players would be barred from corporate social responsibility, providing tree seedlings as is currently happening.

De Merwe said smoking tobacco is a choice and that incidences of tobacco smoking in the country is low.

The bulk of tobacco is exported in form of cured leaves, though Merwe said the levy on export will eventually be passed to the farmer in form of prices.

Currently, the companies dealing in tobacco include Uganda Tobacco Services, BAT Uganda, Continental and Tobacco Leaf to mention a few.

The Anti-Tobacco Bill 2014 intends to control consumption of tobacco and protect youth under 21 years of age from consumption of the products. It also seeks to ban display of the products.

The constitution provides for consultation with stakeholders, which is handled by a relevant committee of Parliament, before debate in the plenary of Parliament.

Tobacco farmers in Kole district said Tobacco farming is their main livelihood because other crops fetch relatively low prices.  They said a kilogram of beans and maize fetches about sh500, while tobacco top grade is sh6, 750.


RELATED STORIES

Tobacco industry cautions on new legislation

Tobacco farmers accused of wasting earnings

Tobacco companies frustrating Bill, says MP

Tobacco to account for 46% of all deaths - Report

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Resettling of Bududa families starts
GOVERNMENT will this week start resettling 1150 families in areas at high risk of landslides and floods from the Mount Elgon region as part of its efforts to find a permanent solution...
Judge blasts parliament over gender insensitive laws
HIGH Court Judge David Batema has blasted parliament for passing what he called insensitive laws when it comes to women issues...
Kenya grieves one year after Westgate mall attack
Thousands of mourners gathered in Kenya''s capital on Sunday for emotional commemorations marking a year since Somali Islamist gunmen attacked Nairobi''s Westgate shopping mall and massacred at least 67 people....
Gen. Wamala honoured in US
The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Katumba Wamala, has been inducted on the prestigious Hall of Fame of the United States Army War College, making history in the region....
Mediators urge end to fighting in S. Sudan
East African mediators seeking to broker peace in South Sudan on Saturday denounced ongoing "senseless fighting" between rival sides in a conflict that has ravaged the new country for the past nine months....
UCC asks telecoms to remove roaming charges
UGANDA Communications Commission is asking operators to renegotiate with their partners across Kenya and Rwanda to enable seamless implementation of the One Network Area directive, which removes roaming charges within the three states....
Should bride price be made optional?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter