EDITORâ€”I concur with the view by Jackie Tumwine about BAT sponsorship of the CHOGM in the business forum as particularly detestable. There would seem to be little to bring such diverse peoples of the Commonwealth together in a voluntary association.
Yet the Commonwealth has grown and flourished. In part, the Commonwealth works because of its shared history and common institutions. These traditions serve only to facilitate cooperation. What binds the Commonwealth and makes it relevant for its diversity as well as the world are the principles such as democratic values and participation, peace and global poverty alleviation that it represents and the special way it operates.
As the hosts for CHOGM 2007, Uganda needs to borrow a leaf from Malta who hosted the CHOGM in November 2005. They had to comply with the corporate sponsorship policy that obliges host nations to desist from acquiring funds from firms and/or associations that deal in arms and tobacco, to mention a few such products. Ironically, BAT is at the forefront in the funding of CHOGM-related activities probably trying to regain the glory it has lost in industrialised countries. Is it simply because Uganda is a poor commowealth nation? Furthermore, the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) to which we ratified obliges us to undertake stringent measures to curb tobacco smoking because of the health-related problems such as the cancer it causes. Worse to note is the realisation that many of the tobacco farmers are not only exploited by tobacco moguls but also disempowered by the activity.
BAT shouldnâ€™t fund CHOGM activities