Minister Kyambadde warns Chinese companies to register before close of the year

By Kidandi Moses
Chinese business men operating in Uganda have accused Ugandan locals of witch hunting them due to  fear of competition.
This follows the directive by the minister of trade Amelia Kyambadde directing Chinese businesses that are not registered to quit by 31st of December 2016.This was during the official opening of the the week long Jua Kali exhibition taking place at the KCCA grounds Lugogo.
In their defense, the the Chinese traders say they are operating genuinely,employing Ugandans and paying taxes.
The Jua Kali exhibition running under the theme Buy East Africa SME products, build East Africa”  has been organized by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives in collaboration with the Ministry of East Africa Community Affairs.

NEMA admits they are still many illegal sand miners

The National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) has admitted that several companies are mining sand around Lake Victoria illegally.

Officials from the environmental watch body told MPs on the Natural Resources committee today that a study done in October 2015 indicated that the said companies were illegally mining sand and have degraded areas surrounding the lake in Mpigi and Kalungu districts.

Some of the companies named include Lukaya Sand Dealers Company, owned by Sun Xianzhong and Zheng Junqing, Chinese nationals, whose permit was cancelled for non-compliance in October 2015.

In October and November 2015, NEMA also cancelled the permits of Tesco Industries Limited, owned by businessman Drake Lubega; Aqua World Limited and Sim Construction Limited owned by Pastor Samuel Kakande; Capital Estates owned by John Ssebalamu; He Sha Duo Company Limited and Zhong Industries.

Dr. Jerome Sebadduka from NEMA says there have been several enforcement operations in Lwera wetland, which has prompted many of the companies to comply eventually.

Dr. Tom Okurut, Executive Director NEMA admits that several companies have blatantly failed to comply with guidelines on their permits. He says the lack of adequate staff to monitor these activities has hampered their operations.
However, legislators, including Syda Bbumba and Alex Byarugaba, accused NEMA of laxity in its watchdog role on protection of wetlands in the country.

Okurut, in response, shifted blame on the local governments which are mandated to monitor any activities in wetlands.
NEMA says plans are underway to draft guidelines to regulate sand mining activities in wetlands.