LOP Mpuuga Questions NEMA Express Penalties

The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament (LOP), Hon. Mathias Mpuuga has questioned the decision behind the penalties against poor waste management. 

He made these remarks while presenting a statement on the post recess situation during the plenary session on Thursday, 09 March 2023..

The express penalties were instituted by the National Environmental Management Authority (NEMA) on 08 February 2023 in respect to various environmental breaches. 

The fines range from Shs3 million to Shs100 million.

The penalties target motorists and pedestrians who may be caught disposing off waste poorly.
“The fines are not only unrealistic but inequitable and should be clarified to the citizenry for their full understanding,” Mpuuga said.

He added that whereas the negative impact of poor waste disposal management on the environment and its eco-system is recognised, members of the Opposition side of Parliament believe that the fines were hastily drafted.

Mpuuga asked for a comprehensive explanation from the Ministry of Environment over the cascading nature and hierarchy of the penalties.
“Parliament needs to know how these seemingly arbitrary figures were conjured up and what informed the penalties because we are the ones to decipher regulations for our electorate,” he added.

The LOP also demanded for a solution to the ongoing industrial action of the senior district health officers over delayed payments.
Senior Health officers are on strike over the government’s failure to pay their allowances for over four months. 

Mpuuga asked the Ministry of Health to explain the circumstances which led to the industrial action and its implication on the health sector.
“We need to know who in the government is to blame for the supposed delay in payment of these allowances,” he added.

Mpuuga again decried the continued arbitrary arrests of citizens by security operatives without subjecting them to natural justice.

He said that five people namely, Kared Ssebi, Kabugo Bassajja, Yasin Ssebunya and Fred Kagimu from Nakaseke District and Sadam Mubiru from Makindye Division were abducted by security operatives between 08 and 15 February 2023.

Mpuuga noted that whereas the matter had been raised with the concerned authorities, they had not got any feedback on the whereabouts of the missing persons.

The Government Chief Whip, Hon. Denis Hamison Obua promised to get in touch with the concerned ministers for responses to the LOP’s statement.