BREAKING: Rugunda Suspends Ban on ‘Buveera’

Trash in Kampala: The burning of plastic bags for disposal may cause air pollution, eye and skin irritation and itching, respiratory failure and headache from exposure to fumes (Internet photo)

City Hall Grade one Magistrate Moses Nabende has charged 10 people including embattled Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago’s aide Deo  Mbabazi for being a public nuisance as they organized a rally to discuss electoral reforms on Thursday morning at Nsambya.

The others included Moses Oboke, information pills Godfery Mugisha, and Sam Kalule, information pills Isaac Kaddu, Bonifred Ssenkungu, Bashir Ibanda, Medard Mugumya,Ronald Kafumbe and Musoke Ssenkusu who were arrested on Thursday afternoon at Sharing Hall Nsambya, where opposition politicians had organized a rally on electoral reforms.

State prosecutor Jackie Kyasimire told court that the accused and others still at large had organized a public rally to discuss electoral reforms but without permission from the concerned authorities.

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“The rally was to be addressed by among others Dr.Kizza Besigye and Erias Lukwago to discuss electoral reforms which still being discussed by parliament. The manner in which the rally was to be held would lead to breach of peace in the neighboring areas,” said the prosecutor.

She said investigations into the case are not yet complete and she therefore requested for more time.

However, the accused asked for bail but the Magistrate referred them to May, 19, 2015 when their application would be considered and further remanded them.

On Thursday afternoon police led by Kampala South RPC Siraje Bakaleke swung into action arresting opposition politicians Dr.Kizza Besigye and Erias Lukwago for holding an unlawful assembly at Nsambya sharing Hall where they were to address the public on the government’s proposed electoral reforms.

“The public order management law stipulates it that whoever wants to hold a rally has to obtain permission from the concerned authorities; which they didn’t follow. We could not allow them address such a big number when we are not aware,”Bakaleke told Chimpreports on Thursday.
Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has ordered the postponement of the implementation of the ban on use of polythene bags in Uganda.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) issued a public notice that with effect from 15th April 2015, what is ed the ban on the use of Buveera (Polythene bags) which had been imposed in the 2009/10 National Budget would be implemented.

In a brief statement to ChimpReports on Tuesday night, advice Rugunda said he was “approached by representatives of Uganda Manufacturers’ Association (UMA) and Kampala City Traders’ Association (KACITA) who met me today 14 April 2015.”

He said the traders “raised concern about this ban which was meant to take effect on 15 April 2015,” adding, “I advised them that the ban would be postponed while discussions with relevant Ministries and other stakeholders are being finalised.”

The Prime Minister’s instruction will be seen as a huge setback in ridding the country of pollutants.

According to Shafiq-ur- Rehman, an environmental expert at Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, plastic bags contain toxic dyes and plasticizers that can leach into foodstuffs, thereby endangering consumer’s health.

He says “burning of plastic bags for disposal may cause air pollution, eye and skin irritation and itching, respiratory failure and headache from exposure to fumes.”

Pollution also increases with increasing numbers of discarded polythene bags. After settling in the ground, these polythene bags destroy the soil ecosystem by retarding the soil’s carrying capacity.

And, due to property of non-permeability of polythene bags, they cut off respiration of soil system, therefore, affecting plant life along with other micro flora to finish. This in turn suppresses vegetation, soil binding capacity and causes landslides, soil erosion and nutrient migration when rains. As a result, forests in the mountainous regions are reduced.

Research shows that plastic bags are made of various chemicals which are mainly toxic thus being very harmful to the health and environment.

The chemicals used to make plastic bags are xylene, ethylene oxide and benzene.

These are toxic chemicals that are sources of various diseases as well as disorders in humans. They do not only provide negative effects on the health of people and animals but also to the air.

It is understood that Rugunda could have made the directive to save businesses which manufacturer polythene bags from crumbling thus negatively impacting on the country’s economy.

However, the health benefits of banning polythene bags seem to outweigh the tax revenues and employment opportunities generated from the polythene industries in Uganda.


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