Ruhakana Rugunda, Uganda's prime minister, speaks during an interview in New York, U.S. on Thursday, July 23, 2015.  Photographer:  Michael Nagle/Bloomberg  *** Local Caption *** Ruhakana Rugunda

MOVE FAST ON NATIONAL BIOTECHNOLOGY AND BIO SAFETY BILL SAYS RUGUNDA

By Edwin Muhumuza

Prime Minister Dr.Ruhakana Rugunda has called for a quick review and passing of the controversial National Biotechnology and Bio safety bill 2012.He has however cautioned that it must be thoroughly examined and understood in order to protect Ugandans from unexpected results from the law. His remarks came as he officially opened the last stakeholders meeting before the bill can be tabled on the floor of parliament.

Dr. Rugunda also noted that there were two forces opposed to the bill; ’innocent’ citizens who are afraid of new scientific ideas who need to be helped to understand since their concerns were legitimate. Secondly, he said, another force were groups of people who want to see Uganda remain backward and dependent and therefore the adoption of genetic engineering was a threat to their dominance that must be confronted.

He said, ”I look at this law as an enabler of some kind the way Information Communication Technology(ICT) has helped humans make some progress. So it will make it easier for us to achieve so many things.”

The Prime Minister added that whether we like it or not, ‘they are here to stay and therefore the need to support our scientists who now have a home, the ministry of science and innovation, in order to flourish and benefit from their innovations.’

Chairperson on the committee of science and innovation Hon.Kafeero Ssekitoleko has expressed optimism in parliament ahead of the tabling of the National Biotechnology and Biosafety bill,2012 for passing.The bill has for close to 8 years been on the shelves after majority of the Members of parliament failed to understand it when it was first tabled.

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