Hotels Owners, Traders Protest Parliament Vote on Smoking

President Museveni has appealed to the people of West Nile to maintain peace and unity in the region, page rx saying their support has led to a growing healthy population and enabled government to implement development programmes.

“I am glad that NRM is able to maintain peace supported by you people. The population of Uganda has gone up. I urge you to support and maintain this peace, website like this ” he said.

The President who is on a four-day working visit to promote the wealth creation campaign in the West Nile region and Northern Uganda was Monday addressing a mammoth rally at Celecele West Village Grounds in Moyo Municipality.

The President said while government has ensured that there is development including developed road infrastructure, electricity, piped water, schools and health centers, development does not belong to an individual.

“If there is a tarmac road, you can’t take a mattress at night and sleep on the road and say there is development, let me enjoy it. In order for us to be benefit, we must add wealth. Wealth is in your homes. If you got cows, chicken, fruit garden, plantation of trees that is wealth. If you have a house for renting, a shop or boda boda to get money, that is wealth,” he said.

The President told the people of Moyo that when government works on development and people don’t work on wealth ‘you all are limping’.

“You can’t walk properly. There is a tarmac road but people are poor in the houses next to tarmac and electricity that you can’t put in the house because there is no money to pay for it. Wealth Creation is very crucial for food security and incomes. I want projects in each home dedicated to cash. Each home must have a cash project,” he said

He called on the people of West Nile to exploit fish farming along the river valley, dairy cows, poultry and fruit farming to boost their incomes.


On the issue of services, President Museveni called for an audit of sectors such as health, education, transport, banking etc to ensure proper service delivery.

He called on parents to ensure that their children attain proper skills for job creation.

“Children are studying English, French, literature! Which of those courses will enable them to get jobs once they finish? If you study Latin and you pass very highly, the question is who wants to use Latin? Even in Church these days they no longer use Latin. That used to be in 1960s but now they are using local languages,” he said.

The President said children must study skills courses that can get them jobs including professional courses such as book keeping, auditing, metal fabrication, carpentry, ICT, nursing or midwifery.

“For example, I can’t deliver a woman; I used to deliver cows, but a woman… I run away. You need a skilled nurse,” he said.

The President said government intends to have a technical school per constituency and urged parents and teachers to guide their children on their career choices.

On Hepatitis B, President Museveni cautioned the people of Moyo against irresponsible behaviour that can help fuel the epidemic and also called for massive adult vaccination and sensitization.

The President later contributed Shs 10million to the SACCO of civil servants and another 10 million to the SACCO of Boda bodas.

The LCV chairperson Jimmy Vukoni Okudi in their memorandum called for the remarking of the border with South Sudan, saying it has become a source of conflict. He also called on government to ensure that benefits of veterans are paid expeditiously.

The LC1 Chairperson for Celecele West Village in Moyo Municipality Tarapkwe Sarah Rose thanked the President for his good governance and for meeting the people of Moyo.

“Your achievements are great and Ugandans have benefited a lot. Thank you for your brilliant ideas and plans. We northerners have got peace and unity. We are now brothers and sisters. Your intentions to bring unity and peace with our neighbouring countries and people of Africa is great. I wish you become young again,” she said
The Uganda Hotel Owners Association and traders have raised concerns over a vote by Parliament to adopt the Tobacco Control Bill

The Bill seeks to regulate the consumption of tobacco products and exposure to tobacco smoke, this through the inclusion of measures like restrictions on the sale and display of tobacco products.

It further prohibits smoking in hotels, more about restaurants, bars and other listed public places and within a 50 meters radius from these premises as well as smoking in public terminals including airports and airfields.

Jean Byamugisha, the executive director of the Uganda Hotel Owners Association in an interview said Parliament should bring all stakeholders involved in the tobacco trade on board before the bill is passed.

“They might pass (the bill) and close hotelsIf clauses are passed for creating smoking areas, the design should be agreed on by all the stakeholders and a time frame given to implement the agreement,” she said.

Furthermore, Clause 11 (2a) of the revised Tobacco Control Bill prohibits smoking in public places, work places and public transport.

The Second Schedule of the same bill lists public places as offices, office buildings, work places, court buildings, factories, hotels, bars and restaurants, health Institutions, education institutions among others.

In its report, the committee on health recommended amendment of the radius restriction from the initially proposed 100 meters of a public place to 50 meters radius.

Byamugisha revealed that implementing this bill without proper consideration would impact on the hotel business greatly. According to her, creating a smoking area of 50 meters from the hotel may be unrealistic.

One of the other contentious areas in the debate has been a call for the law to provide for designation of smoking areas, which is currently missing in the bill because the proponents of the bill claim that they want a 100% free smoke environment. Several MPs have however challenged this as impractical.

“We need to get a compromise on the proposals in the Bill. Hotels are visited by smokers and non- smokers. We are aware of the risks of smoking but we don’t want to inconvenience anyone who comes to our hotels. There should be a dialogue by all stakeholders on this matter,” Byamugisha concluded.

Everest Kayondo, chairman Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), has also called on Parliament to be practical in their discussions on this bill.

Everest Kayondo, Chairman of KACITA
Everest Kayondo, Chairman of KACITA

“The bill has a lot of madness. The proponents talk as if they want to ban tobacco trade and smoking. It looks like smoking is being made illegal. Parliament makes a law that is workable for traders, health workers, producers and farmers.”

The proposed law seeks to introduce harsh restrictions on the sale of tobacco products, further prohibiting any form of incentives or support from tobacco industry to traders.

Kayondo says Parliament should be fair and take into consideration the fact that many earn a living from this sector.

The proposed bill has also come under fire over a proposed total ban on advertising of tobacco products with traders claiming it will undermine their business.

Samuel Mukasa, a businessman under the KACITA said Parliament needs to be calm in coming out with a law on tobacco because the result may affect more than just the tobacco industry which they think they are punishing.

“If they refuse the advertising of products by traders and also stop us from displaying it on the shelves like all other products, then how will people know what is being sold? Display bans will simply cause confusion and increase smuggling if we have to sell under the counter,” he revealed.

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