The former minister
for Ethics and Integrity, James Nsaba Buturo has criticized United States
Ambassador Deborah Malac for allegedly meddling into Uganda’s internal affairs.
The Bufumbira East MP
today addressed a Press Conference at Parliament together with Kumi Municipality
MP Silas Aogon on the need for Uganda to totally ban Genetically Modified
Ambassador Deborah Malac expressed displeasure over President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s
decline to sign the Genetic Engineering Regulatory Bill, 2018 into law for the
second consecutive time. The bill seeks to regulate trade and scientific
modifications and bar cloning of human beings.
Parliament passed the
Bill in November 2018 but the President declined to assent to it suggesting a number of proposals that need to be addressed for the
benefit of scientists and the community.
In his letter to Speaker Rebecca Kadaga, the
President appealed to Parliament to among other issues address benefit-sharing between the breeder, inventor and indigenous communities, the
scope of the law, isolation measures, use of poisons and dangerous enzymes and
bacteria and strict liability among others.
His Opposition to the Bill attracted a
statement from Malac who expressed disappointment at the President for failing
to sign the Bill into law.
“We hope that there will be a discussion of the
sound science behind the technology and not allow it to be a conversation that
is full of emotion and misinformation,” she said then.
It is from Malac's statement that former Minister
Buturo criticized her saying that she needed to stick to diplomatic engagements
and not interfere with Uganda’s internal activities.
“A Ugandan Ambassador cannot go to the States
and start telling the American government what to do. Diplomatically ambassadors must not comment on affairs of the host nation,” said Buturo.
He said that if the US
Ambassador was aggrieved she could quietly go to the foreign affairs ministry
and present her case. Buturo appealed to government to take action against the
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MPs Buturo and Aogon
in their statement say they oppose the existence of regulatory mechanisms since
they leave vacuum for abuse.
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MP Aogon said there
are so many regulations that have let Uganda down and that he cannot be part of
having GMOs by regulations. He demanded that government instead rolls out
extension services more effectively and ensure that farmers are well equipped.
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Parliament is yet to
take a final decision on the Bill after the President’s rejection of the Bill. However,
Article 91 (6) (b) of the Constitution allows the Speaker to cause a
copy of the Bill to be laid before Parliament upon the President’s refusal to
assent to it after its reconsideration and the Bill becomes law without the
assent of the President.