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Opposition MPs to fight Mabira motion

By Vision Reporter

Added 3rd April 2007 03:00 AM

OPPOSITION MPs have vowed to fight the Government’s proposal to allocate part of Mabira Forest to Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL), owned by the Mehta group.

Opposition MPs to fight Mabira motion

OPPOSITION MPs have vowed to fight the Government’s proposal to allocate part of Mabira Forest to Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL), owned by the Mehta group.

By Mary Karugaba

OPPOSITION MPs have vowed to fight the Government’s proposal to allocate part of Mabira Forest to Sugar Corporation of Uganda Limited (SCOUL), owned by the Mehta group.

“The Mabira issue is going to be a battle that we in the opposition are vehemently opposed to,” said Kassiano Wadri, the Opposition Chief Whip yesterday.

He said: “We are already bracing for a fight with the Government when the proposal is brought to parliament for approval. We have agreed that this madness should not be approved.”

He said the Caucus had tasked the shadow environment minister, Beatrice Atim, with carrying out intensive research on the matter, which will be used to defend their position in the House.

Atim had met officials from civil society organisations and toured the forest site, he added, and announced that she would meet senior officials from Mehta Group today.

The Minister for the Environment, Maria Mutagamba, prepared a Cabinet paper on the relocation of the forest, which will soon be tabled to parliament for approval.

The Cabinet paper looks for alternative land which shall be turned into a forest, in exchange for the part of Mabira which will be degazetted.

The minister argues that SCOUL wants to double its sugar production from 50,000 tonnes to 100,000 tonnes per year to address the scarcity in the country.

“We don’t mind them (NRM) beating us by numbers. At least it will be on record that we never agreed to the proposal,” Kassiano said.

“We know that even some NRM MPs will support us. it is ridiculous to give away a natural forest and say that you will plant another one elsewhere.”

Some NRM MPs last week expressed concern over the relocation and said they would oppose the proposal once brought to parliament.

Opposition MPs to fight Mabira motion

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