Prime Minister Dr Ruhakana Rugunda has this morning reacted to yesterday’s decision by National Environmental Management Authority [NEMA], to proceed with the implementation of the ban on polythene bags, despite his earlier directive not to.
NEMA officials yesterday, unhealthy accompanied by police raided supermarkets in Kampala CBD and confiscated the parking materials.
Prime Minister had earlier on Tuesday evening asked the Authority to halt the ban as consultations into the matter proceed.
In a phone interview this morning, Dr Rugunda told Chimpreports his directive still stands and that NEMA officials had been served with orders to stop the operation.
He however clarified that the Authority had not adamantly overlooked his Tuesday directive, but it was an issue of late communication.
“You know that I issued the statement stopping the ban late in the evening, NEMA had already made its arrangements to implement the ban. This was an issue of intra-government communication; but normally government bodies don’t contradict each other. We are one body.”
Dr Rugunda further informed us that cabinet yesterday discussed the same matter and resolved that the ban is put on hold for at least one month, as consultations with stakeholders carry on.
An Inter-Ministerial Committee was set up to examine the matter further to conclude the consultation process, and prepare a Cabinet Paper within 30 days for the consideration and decision of Cabinet.
The Committee comprises of: Ministers of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives; Water and Environment; Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries; Finance, Planning and Economic Development; together with the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA); Uganda Manufacturers’ Association; and Kampala City Traders’ Association (KACITA).
Meanwhile according to another statement issued by the Prime Minister this morning from yesterday’s cabinet resolutions, the ban will only affect a certain fraction of kaveera usage.
It will apply to the importation, local manufacture, sale or use of polythene carrier bags.
The ban however, will exclude polythene packaging materials for agriculture; industrial use; medical use; research and science; sanitation; construction material; and exports. It will also exclude polythene packaging materials for foodstuffs such as bread, milk and other groceries.
The Premier urged NEMA officials and other stakeholders to heed to the new arrangement.