Wednesday, 20th October 1993
The Council met at 2.30 p.m. in Parliament House, Kampala.
(The Vice-Chairman, Al-Haji Moses Kigongo, in the Chair).
(The Council was called to order).
THE AGRICULTURAL SEEDS AND PLANT BILL
(The Council adjourned for 15 minutes).
THE CHAIRMAN: Let us proceed with the Bill.
THE AGRICULTURAL SEEDS AND PLANT BILL
MR. BUTAGIRA (Rwampara County, Mbarara): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr. Chairman,
I rise to support the Bill.
MR. KARUHANGA: Mr. Chairman, I have the paper where there are questions to be answered
by the Minister.
THE CHAIRMAN: I thought he had changed his mind.
MR. OBWANGOR: Mr. Chairman, Question 2/93 to the Minister for Works.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF WORKS (Mr. J. Nasasira): Mr. Chairman, Obwangor his
Question 2/93 requests the House to know what we are doing about the maintenance of the
Railway Network in the country so that we reduce on accidents derailments and save the costs of
repair of tracks, wagons and coaches.
This is a very big question that I will have to answer in bits because maintenance involves
materials, people and equipment. To start with, the Ministry or the Uganda Railways
Corporation has established an Internal Construction Unit which is gradually building up its
capacity for heavy repair work and has increased every year its equipment. On the rails that form
part of the track materials, worn out rails have been replaced especially in curves where wearing
has been greatest.
New rails for a ten kilometers stretch worth 720 dollars have been ordered and they are expected
to arrive this month. Considering quantities of timber slippers have been purchased locally and
installed. This has led to a drastic production of the frequency of derailment in Station Yards.
Steel slippers have been ordered for ten kilometers section worth 525,000 dollars - the first batch
has just arrived. Slippers would be said to be the single most important because of derailment
especially on the Kampala/ Kasese Line. In the meantime all slippers are being un-condition
On the side of fittings, some new fittings ordered from Kenya were delivered and installed.
Another order for this worth 200,000 dollars have been placed and delivery will commence in
three months time. Part of the track is maintained by ballast or aggregates. In this respect, the
crasher has been purchased and it will crash ballast at the rate of 30 tons per hour and is being
installed at Kamwenge. In the meantime, the URC continue to buy ballast from private Stone
Efforts also have been put in place to reconstruct the Tororo - Pakwach Line and culverts have
been installed. The other part of maintenance is to improve on cite for the track operators or
drivers. One of the problems has been weeds. We continue to carry out clearing of weeds
manually. But we have found that there is need for a more cost effective weed control with
appropriate chemicals and in this respect, chemicals for this purpose are on order.
The next part that improves maintenance is instructions, and these are done by the railway
workers. In this respect, the frequency of track inspection by Engineers and Permanent Railway
Inspectors has been stepped up considerably to merge the prevailing level of track deterioration.
I want at this point, to note that most of our railway tracks, especially the Kasese Line, are as old
as Uganda in terms of name. What I am trying to say, they are over 90 years old. We should
realise that part of the equipment that was being used here was the equipment that was imported
in as second- hand. So, I am talking that they are older than Uganda, does not mean the day when
they were laid on our track. However, because of this situation and knowing the gravity until we
get money to lay new Railway Lines, we have increased our frequency of inspection and
Assistant Permanent Railway Inspectors are, for instance, not required to inspect each point in a
40-kilometer section once every two days. But they are doing it now every day. Similarly, for
the key-men who have got a 6-kilometer section, they have also doubled their inspections.
Train speeds. Where necessary train speed restrictions have been imposed to reduce the
possibility of the seriousness of the accidents that occur. The other cause of accidents has been
trainloads. Train Payloads are reviewed regularly, for instance, on the Kampala/ Kasese Line, the
maximum Wagon Pay-Load was reduced from the design 40 tons to 35. It is through these
efforts, that in fact derailments have been reduced and I can give hon. Obwangor and this House
through you, Mr. Chairman, the derailment letter since 1990.
In 1990 there were 322 derailments. That does not mean fatal accidents. In 1991, they were
reduced to 270, in 1992, they were reduced to 174, today in the first half of this year, and they are
58 derailments. If we go proportionally they will be just over 100 by December. So, these are
the efforts that the URC and the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications have put in
place in order to reduce on derailments and save on cost. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MR. KANYOMOZI: While we appreciate the efforts the Railways have put in place and the
Ministry, I am wondering whether they have looked, since they are ordering so many things at
their Stores and Store-Keeping because in our Committee we found that that one was also a
problem. How are we going to ensure the Committee on Parastatals, how are we going to ensure
that there things which they have ordered are not going to disappear before they are put on the
THE DEPUTY MINISTER FOR WORKS (Mr. J. Nasasira): Mr. Chairman, I appreciate the
concern of the Chairman of the Committee on Parastatals. His concern is equally ours and as you
remember, we passed a Bill establishing URC on commercial principles. Par of that
establishment and the process is restructuring Railways and we definitely having a look at that.
MR. OBWANGOR: Mr. Chairman, analysing from the omnia past reply to my question, 2/93
by the hon. Deputy Minister of State (Applause). The Deputy Minister of State for Works.
MR. PINTO: Point of order. Is it in order, Mr. Chairman, for hon. Obwangor to give ministerial
promotions in this House?
THE CHAIRMAN: He is not in order. Proceed hon. Obwangor.
MR. OBWANGOR: Forgive me, Mr. Chairman. May I put it to the Minister that now that he
has acknowledged that in 1990 there occurred accidents equally in 1991, say 270 and in 1993,
174. Does it occur to the Minister that when a Railways is dislocated, it causes poverty in
Uganda and therefore, no economic development in the line - I mean had of transport which is
essential to deliver a commodity to the consumer because a commodity cannot he produced until
it is in hands of the consumer.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER FOR WORKS (M. J. Nasasira): Mr. Chairman, my answer is
THE CHAIRMAN: Proceed please.
MR. OBWANGOR: Question No.3/93.
THE DEPUTY MINISTER FOR WORKS (Mr. J. Nasasira): Mr. Chairman, hon. Obwangor
wishes to know about the renovation of the Station Master’s House at Soroti Railway Station.
The rehabilitation of the Station - the Station Building, the goods shed and the residential
buildings. In respect for the renovation of the Station Master’s House, which part of the Railways
Station at Soroti, requisition funds amounting to Shs. 10 million has been released. Work should
commence or may be it might have commenced by now. Since hon. Obwangor has just come
from there, he might be in a better position to know whether it has started.
On the Station building. The rehabilitation of the Station building will start in about two months
time. The estimated cost is Shs. 10 million. On the Good Shed and other residential buildings,
those have been estimated cost - this building has been estimated to cost UG. Shs. 200 million.
At the moment the Uganda Railways Corporation is not in position but is actively trying to
mobilise these funds. As soon as these funds are available or part of the fund, the rehabilitation
work will start.
MR. OBWANGOR: Does it occur to him that without error, and a correct and efficient
operating system, that those people who are workers are rendered this way?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER FOR WORKS (Mr. J. Nasasira): Mr. Chairman, this is in respect
with Post Office Building at Soroti. A tender for the rehabilitation of the building has been
awarded. Work will commence shortly. (Applause)
MR. OBWANGOR: Mr. Chairman Question 5/93, in relation to Kireka for which we want to
get, serve them to the people. Not just sit in Kampala and then you go out and deceive the
THE DEPUTY MINISTER FOR WORKS (Mr. J. Nasasira): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I
do realise that Kireka is quite far from Soroti. But I definitely appreciate hon. Obwangor’s
concern fro the Nation. But I am told that is where he lives. I want to assure hon. Obwangor that
his request for the Post Office at Kireka is being looked into. (Laughter)
MR. OBWANGOR: Mr. Chairman, arising from hon. Minister’s reply does it occur to him that
when people are not served, they are starved and made a nuisance to be slaves?
THE DEPUTY MINISTER FOR WORKS (Mr. J. Nasasira): Mr. Chairman, it does occur to
me that what is ideal is necessarily what is possible all the time. In other words, there is a limit of
what we can do at what state. But definitely the goal is that we should achieve the idealism of
MR. OBWANGOR: Mr. Chairman -(Interruption)
THE CHAIRMAN: Let us move please.
MR. BUTAGIRA (Rwampara County, Mbarara): Mr. Chairman, I rise to support the Bill
and add my voice to those who have found this Bill to be very important for the Agricultural
Sector of our economy. I am told the hon. Minister is not around, but I will continue. There is no
doubt about it that the system that is designed to promote regulate and generally -(Applause)-
ensure smooth policy on Seed Distribution, Seed Multiplication and other related measures is
important. I had one misgiving although I support this Bill and that is generally on the issue of
creation of authorities.
It would appear that there is a presumptuous disease these days that creation of authorities may be
the answer to our problems. Even matters that can be regulated departmentally, even matters that
can be dealt with administratively within the normal hierarchy of a Ministry, we tend now to go
on creating authorities. Now, my worry is the effectiveness of these authorities. Judging by
those that we have created, I am worried, I am worried about the effectiveness of creation of
authorities. Soon maybe the government will wind up and we end up with authorities scattered
everywhere, and we sell them. That is my worry and maybe by way of a caution on this tendency
these days of creating authorities and thinking they are the answer to our problems.
The second point I want to make concerns the issue of chemicals as far as seeds are concerned. It
would appear that not much has been said about measures to control pesticides, and about
harmful effects of some of the pesticides. Not long ago, I read a story and this was in connection
with tea in Toro, that those people who were working on tea plantation, there was a chemical, I
think supplied by TWIGA, I do not know whether it is dithane, maybe ambush. That there was a
chemical - because the labourers were not given protective wear, they were exposed to these
chemicals, and as a result, some of them became impotent.
There was a report, I overheard the Minister saying that maybe some of these men were not
performing but -(Interruption)- on a serious note, there is a report by the Ministry of Labour on
this issue and the Health Department, that is concerned with occupational hazards came up with
this matter and if we are not careful, and we look only at the side of promoting seeds and we
forget about chemicals that are treating these seeds, we may end up with a problem like that one
which we have alluded to. In other words, the companies or the authorities that are concerned
with the distribution of chemicals like Twiga and so forth, it should also be part of their
responsibility apart from promoting sales, also to promote protective gear so that our people are
The other point also concerns the issue of organic foods. There is a move in some of the
developed countries of moving away from treated foods and moving to promoting what they call
organic foods. Organic foods are natural foods, eaten without adding chemicals. Chemicals have
produced a lot of effects. Even cancer is traced along some of these chemicals. Now, organic
foods - if you sell foods that are not treated, if you go to some of the Cafes in Europe, they sell
more than these foods that are treated with all sorts of fried things and so forth.
In other words, they have realised the danger of eating foods that have been treated. They are
moving away from chemicals to natural foods but here unless we alert our people to this danger -
that is okay, you may eat something fried, when it tastes nice, but the consequences may be
terrible. In other words, there should be a conscious effort by the Ministry of Agriculture to
promote the use of organic foods - eating foods that are natural from outside.
I will look through this but there are non-stringent measures put in place regarding importation of
plants or seeds from outside, some of which might be harmful to agriculture here. In some other
countries, you cannot leave the Airport if you are carrying even a banana. It will -(Interruption)
MR. MUKISA: Point of information. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Through you, I would like to
inform the hon. Member holding the Floor that this importation of seeds without knowing what
seed is coming in can be very troublesome.
About a year ago, somebody came in with a seed which he was selling at 50/- a piece - one seed
and he told people in my area that at least that they passed for French beans and he was telling
them that this is a very expensive been in France, a kilo would cost 5,000/-. These people went
ahead, planted these beans, looked after them. It took 8 months before harvesting and now in the
areas of Kibimba, Busowa and virtually the whole of Bukoli, you find tins, bags of this seed.
Nobody knows what to do with it, nobody knows where it came from and they are stranded with
it and they come saying ‘can you find a market?’ I have gone to the Export Promotion Council,
they do not know what the bean is and there we are. So, this is a very important point and I hope
if it has not already come to the notice of the Minister since she comes from that area, at least, she
once came from there perhaps she may assist us. It is indeed a problem - so the point is very
important. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MR. MULWANIRA: Point of information. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would like
also to give some additional information to the hon. Member maybe the Minister will also take it
up. While hon. Butagira is complaining about these chemicals, of course, some of us got worried
about a chemical called furadan when we put it on plants. It is quick to kill everything that passes
its way and one of my friends from the USA was cautioning me that I should avoid eating these
bananas where you have treated with furadan, because it takes a lot of time to get out of the plants
and we are just feeding on this chemical without knowing the after effects.
Let me hope that those who are concerned can look after that. Why I came up with some other
information is about something I read about in the paper. It is really a chemical, and it is a live
chemical. Somebody is proposing to bring a beetle to destroy the Water Hyacinth which is
disturbing us on Lake Victoria and most of the Fishermen I represent have grown a yam which
they have nicknamed Jamaica and I am sure once this beetle has finished the water hyacinth, it
will land on these yams which they have called Jamaica yams and I am sure these are some of the
cautions hon. Butagira is raising that while we are solving one problem, we might be creating
another. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MR. BUTAGIRA: Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I was concluding when this important
information was being supplied, but they emphasised the danger that unless we really have
stringent measures to control chemicals and also to control importation of these seeds and plants,
we may end up in trouble. So, I appeal to the hon. Minister that in collaboration with the relevant
peoples - tighten the measures at the Airport, tighten measures at the entry points to make sure
that only those plants or seeds that are not harmful to us or our plants here are imported in this
country. Thank you.
MR. RUTARO (Bujumbura County, Rukungiri): I will make a few observations starting with
Section III on top of what other Members have already observed about the composition of the
I have an observation relating to having offices occupying positions of the authority. Hon.
Members will recall last year or a year or so ago, we had the Coffee Development Authority put
in place and the composition of the Board was made along the same lines as this has been made.
When there was a misunderstanding between the Minister concerned and the Board, there was a
stalemate because the Minister would not dismiss an officer while it is easy to get a Board
Member off from a Board but an officer occupying a particular office cannot be easily dismissed
and that caused a big problem. I hope this will not cause the same problem once this Authority
has been made.
In Section 3(ii) or rather sub-Section (ii), it is stated that the condition of the Board Members may
be determined by the Minister but, suppose the Minister does not determine them, who then
determines the conditions on which these Members will work. I think the Minister should put it
clearly on how these conditions will work.
Under Section 5, sub-Section (ii) - the Minister says or rather the Bill states that, ‘the Minister
may, by Statutory Order alter the composition of the variety release Committee’. I would like to
know from the Minister what reasons she anticipates that could cause her to need or any other
Minister for that matter to alter the Committee; because if you leave it like this, it means any time
you go to sleep, get up, feel like changing the Committee, you will change the Constitution or the
composition of the Committee. Surely, we should have reasons why that composition should be
changed and in 5(iv), the same reasons do apply. Section 8, sub-section (iv) states that ‘the
Minister may grant breeders rights for variety of seeds on the recommendation of the national
Seed Industry Authority, and I am at a loss why it is necessary to the Minister look for rights by a
breeder or anybody else.
I think if the National Seed Industry Authority is able to recognise that this person is a breeder,
they can issue rights directly because at any rate, I do not see any danger in - if they are going to
recommend, I do not see where a Minister will say, no, do not give these rights; and Section 8
that, ‘all plant breeders of private and public institutions and importers for seed production shall
be registered without paying. I do not know why this has to be included. The registration may be
a requirement but without paying, you may as well leave out the word without paying - shall be
registered will be enough in my view. But if they have to be registered and if there are any costs
that may be incurred, we may as well add that they shall pay.
Section 9, sub-Section (ii) and Section 10, sub-Section (i), more or less carry the same meaning.
In 9(ii) ‘all the seed producers shall be licensed annually and on application to the National Seed
Certification Service’ and in 10(i), ‘a person who is a seed conditioner shall be licensed annually
on application to the same organisation’. As far as I am concerned, if there is any licensing,
there will be conditions attached to that license. There is nowhere in this Bill, where it is
indicated that there will be policing or a way of finding out whether the person licensed is
flaunting the stated rules. I have not seen it anywhere. It will be necessary to put a condition or a
way of finding out whether the rules of the game are being followed.
Section 13(ii) says, ‘a person appointed under this Section may enter and analyse, inspect or
sample the seeds in any person’s premises’. This is similar to what we had in the Police Bill. A
person appointed by a Minister enters anybody’s premises, any time of the day whether the owner
wants it or not and takes a sample. It may be one kilo, it may be a whole bag depending on what
the owner has. I think this Section should be amended to indicate the amount that may be
sampled and the conditions in which this person can go and take a sample.
Section 16, I do not quite understand completely because it says, ‘a person not being a seed
producer or registered seed importer who without a seed seller’s license sells seeds for sowing
purposes, commits an offence.
Question No. 1, the person who will have sold seeds and he is not a producer and he is not an
importer, that means he will have stolen, very likely otherwise how does he land on these seeds
that he is selling?
Secondly, how does anybody get to know because he may sell seeds and nobody uses those seeds
for sowing rather than for consumption and you have no way, if you have sold your seeds, they
have gone off - the purpose to which they have been put you probably will not know -
MR. KANYOMOZI: Point of information. Mr. Chairman, the matter is made even more
complicated because who is a seed producer? He is not defined in the number of definitions that
we have. It becomes very difficult in a peasant community that we have. If I send my seeds to
my son or my daughter - I am sending the seed. I am going to be committing an offence since
there is no definition of a seed producer? Mr. Chairman, it makes the thing very complicated and
I can see people being arrested for passing on seeds for cultivation.
MR. RUTARO: Thank you very much for the information. Certainly -(Interruption)
MR. MAYENGO: Point of information. Mr. Chairman, it seems as if the hon. Member who
just sat down - let me give him information as well as the Member holding the Floor. I would
think that the seed producer is more or less the same as the seed grower. That one is defined in
the definitions. However, what appears to be funny to me is that the emphasis is on selling - if he
sells he has committed an office but he does not, he has not. If he gives them free, there is no
MR. RUTARO: Thank you very much for that piece of information. It does not matter, with
our peasant background the methods or rather the production is largely in the hands of the
peasants and on daily basis, they sell - maybe not -(Interruption)
MR. OBWANGOR: Point of information. Mr. Chairman, I would like to inform my Colleague
holding the Floor of the House, you see the Minister of Agriculture and her advisers do not know
the typical agricultural life in the African way. For example, my daughters have sons and
daughters; they come for me and to their mother to look for seeds e.g. simsim, groundnuts,
pumpkins and anything. Whereas in the course of is going to our home, the Police will arrest her.
How nonsense the Minister of Agriculture will be.
MR. RUTARO: Mr. Chairman, I think this Section even if we were to agree to put this section
in place, it would be extremely difficult to police to be able to follow up on offenders, and if you
cannot, police then may as well not put the rule in place. Section 23, talks about a person who
commits an offence under provisions of this Statute, many Members have already made their
contributions, but this is a very, very unfortunate thing where a Minister by statutory instrument
will pass sentence and this will be variable, the time is not stated. One time a fine may be levied,
maybe Shs. 5,000/- or Shs. 50,000/- and another time a Minister thinks, no this is too much,
changes - which I think should not be the case, and besides Shs. 3,000/- in sub-section 2, I think
is very, very small -(Interruption)
MR. BUTAGIRA: Point of information. Mr. Chairman, I want to give information to hon.
Rutaro. He has pointed out a very important provision which I do not know how those who were
framing this statute could have produced a Bill like this. On giving powers to the Minister to
impose sentences, to impose fines. This is a matter that must be provided by Parliament in a main
statute and you cannot by regulations giving the Minister powers to impose giving him almost
powers to be a Magistrate to imprison people -(Interjection)- giving her, okay, this provision, Mr.
Chairman, is obnoxious.
MR. WANENDEYA: Point of information. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. The
information I want to give to the hon. Member holding the Floor through you, is that when a
Body Corporate is created, there are provisions governing such matters like Section 23. Even
when an Authority, is created there must be some authority and that authority is usually
accompanied by what I could call investment into any venture. This would be a dangerous part of
the law in the Section, in the sense that there is no capital in this law, and when I come to Section
3, you find that they are even talking of NRC Members of the Authority. But how are they going
to be paid their allowances?
The Minister - yes, they referred to the matter that they have some 40 million dollars given by
EEC, and some of the money in this country like ASAC and we discuss it on Committee of
Finance, Planning and Economic Development, just disappears in the way it comes in and then
Ugandans are made to pay - our children without knowing where that money comes from. So,
would the Minister maybe, reply in the final analysis, but I wanted my colleague hon. Rutaro to
know that it is a very dangerous law to put section 33, when the Minister is not even a Judge.
MR. RUTARO: I wish to thank the hon. Member for the information but certainly, that was not
information to be because he was referring to section 23, and I had a problem with -(Interruption)
MR. LUBEGA: Point of information. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, in case the
information given by hon. Butagira to the Member on the Floor is taken seriously, because I can
see the Member continuing to debate, hon. Butagira informed the Member on the Floor that the
Minister cannot impose, if I heard him well, a penalty under a Statutory Instrument, I would like
to find out - sorry, I want to seek clarification before the person contributing on the Bill, to seek
clarification from the person who gave the information that is hon. Butagira, whether or not the
Minister cannot impose a penalty so that after that clarification probably I will put in a better
position to contribute at a later time -(Interjection)- Yes, under the interpretation decree, that is
section 38 of the interpretation decree, the penalties are limited, probably what hon. Butagira
wants to complain about is whether or not this interpretation decree provision should be wiped by
this Act, I just -(Interruption)
MR. KANYOMOZI: Point of information. I thought the major issue which the hon. Member
was contributing on is that the Bill now gives the Minister Statutory Instrument to impose a fine,
and to imprison a person to a term not exceeding four years, and we are saying that a Minister
alone should not be the one to do such thing. This is what is in Clause 23(i), we are saying the
Statutory powers being given to the Minister are too much to make him nearly a person like a
Judge of the Supreme Court.
MR. LUBEGA: I think that these are very important observations, because in my contribution,
now that is clear what the Members are saying, the Minister should not be given these excessive
powers, in fact, the intention of the framers of the interpretation decree were to carve the
Ministers powers to give excessive penalties and if this is the case, I think an amendment must be
made at that effect. Thank you.
MR. KARUHANGA: Point of information. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, you know, sometimes I
wonder whether these Bills go through the proper channel before they are brought to this House.
The way I understand the Bill to come to the House, is that the Minister would come up with a
good idea through her departmental heads or his departmental heads, take the ideal to his
Colleagues and in our NRC setting the idea would have to go to the National Executive Council,
if it escapes, it would at least go to Cabinet and once it is agreed, it would go to the Attorney
General Chambers where we are fully flagged department called the First Parliamentary Council,
where a law is read together with others so that it is not conflict with other laws or it is not
obnoxious or embarrassing when it comes and is being read by a Minister.
But now, I can sympathise with the hon. Minister of Agriculture for once she is presented with a
Bill like this to bring it here. She names the Bill as an authority, and this organisation we are
creating is anything but not an Authority. It is anything else but it is not an authority. And
‘authority’ even in English means that you have some authority; you have some powers. But
these people we are creating have no power whatsoever; all the power is with the Minister. So,
what hon. Wanendeya was talking about is not strange.
Secondly, you do not bring a Bill where we have a complete act, in fact, there was even war
which involved people, we had to fight a protracted war to have a rule of law separating powers
of the Executive Legislature and the Judiciary, on this day as we in this country, sit here debating
a Bill, and giving an authority, but not an authority to a Minister to take over the job of Justice
Wambuzi, which prison she is going to receive this person, under what order? Okay, just assume
that you are the Prison Officer and somebody is brought to you say, where are you coming from?
I am coming from Ssekitoleko’s Office. How many years? (Laughter). What have you
committed? I was taking seeds that I was given by hon. Obwangor to take to his home in Soroti.
What is your relationship with him? I am his son. You are not a producer, therefore, you have
committed an offence of four years. This is serious look, we have solved all these problems, we
have gone through this before and we have solved these problems. (Interjection)- let me finish.
This Bill is a very important Bill, and I am going to give information. It concerns the production,
the protection of our Plant and Seed Industry. Something that is the mainstream of our life. It is a
very important Bill, and it should have been even seconded by the Chairman of the Sectoral
Committee on Agriculture. Mr. Chairman -(Interruption)
MR. WANENDEYA: Point of order. Mr. Chairman, I know you are concerned just as much as
other people. Last week we postponed the Police Bill, but is it in order for us, when we have no
sectoral committees but standing committees of Parliament which are used in some other parts of
the world, and these standing committees if we adopted rules strictly as it is done in other parts of
the world, we should not debate this Bill and, therefore, is it in order for us to continue when this
Bill should have gone to the Committee on Agriculture , Mr. Chairman?
THE CHAIRMAN: It is quite in order please, proceed please. Order, order please.
MR. RUTARO: Mr. Chairman, the gravity of the problem that Members are being asked to give
a Minister judicial powers has been very, very well underlined. I would like to suggest that
Section 23 be deleted completely because even in sub-Section 2, it states, ‘not withstanding the
provisions of Interpretation Decree of 1976, the Minister may impose a fine exceeding Shs.
3,000/-‘. You can imagine somebody, some victim of some kind who appears in front of a
Minister and he is or she is judged as an offender and then the Minister says you shall pay Shs.
1,000,000/- because they imposed a minimum which is Shs. 3,000/-, but the sky I think is the
limit, after the Shs. 3,000/.
I would like to appeal to Members that this Section or rather to the Minister first, before I call on
Members to do the needful, to cut out the whole Section completely and re-number the others
after getting that one out. It has been stated by the Minister that there is no need for financing
this authority and that this has been going on, which is all right. I would like to point out that the
conditions being set generating the authority is not required t furnish the Minister with any
information regarding their finances and, therefore, a Minister will be very, very incompetent to
put in place any financial conditions to the Members of either the authority or the Seed Variety
Release Committee. The Sections where the Minister is, I think should be deleted most of them
as far as I am concerned. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
MRS. SEBAGEREKA (Ntenjeru County, Mukono): I give support to this Bill, because it
provides for the promotion regulation control of plant breeding and variety release. It further
provides for multiplication conditioning marketing, importing and quality assessment of seeds.
This Bill is a very, very important Bill to protect a farmer in Uganda, and to save the face of the
seeds and plants that are indigenous to this country. I would also like to say that it is a very sell
meaning Bill, because it reduces foreign seed importation that has often become a source of
trouble, leading to large financial expenses on education.
In the past, we had as many plants - foreign plants coming in. There has been something like big
clover which was introduced here as nitrogen fixing. This has been a menace to our soil; the
water hyacinth came as an ornamental plant, the catema camaral was introduced as a compound
flower, all these have had a reverse effect to our plants and waters. Farmers need to be protected
and given more opportunity to prosper by giving them farm implements and improving on the
seed growing for commercial farming rather than peasant farming.
My question here, is this Bill; is it really stressing the importance of the seed and plant protection
or is it just forming an authority, and when the Minister was explaining yesterday, she mentioned
that this is going to be a private authority, and this private authority it seems as if the Minister is
giving with one hand and taking with the other hand. I do not see how this has already been
commented on by many Members who contributed to this Bill that the Judiciary powers should
be separate from the executive powers.
The Minister when presenting this Bill should have kept its executive powers and the Officer of
the Attorney General should have looked in the technicalities of this Bill. For example, there are
a lot of these people like the Kawanda Research Station, the Namulonge Research Station, this
Section 5, the variety release committee. All these which are here, and they are suffering because
of lack of funds, because of lack of technical people and I do not see when they are in this terrible
state how can another authority be put up to - is it competing, it is supplementing, it is
complementing these existing bodies which are already in place.
I would like to conclude by saying that I realise the need for the Ministry of Agriculture t take
urgent action, against the importation or sale of low quality plants and seeds which maybe disease
but the law should be handled through the legal framework. I want to give an example of where
life is concerned, the Minister of Transport formulates the rules for the roads but the traffic
offenses are implemented by the Judiciary. I would like to conclude by saying that let there be
proper separation of powers. I thank you.
MRS. KULANY (Women Representative, Kapchorwa): Thank you, Mr. Chairman; I stand to
support the Bill. I have a few observations to make, I want to differ with the title of the Bill. I
would have preferred it if, they called it a company instead of an authority. Our neighbour Kenya
has something of what we are trying to establish now and it is called Kenya Seed Company, and I
think it is doing well. So, I do not see why we cannot also imitate the same.
I want to differ with the Minister when she mentioned that everything is in place, except that she
needs the law to implement it. If I am not mistaken, we the highlanders or people living in the
highlands, have not benefited much from what the Minister is already saying, take an example in
Kapchorwa, all our maize seeds and wheat seeds, we get it from this Kenya Seed Company, and
the method is illegal, actually, peasants suffer so much, they have to struggle to get Kenya
Shillings through all funny ways and as such, by the time they get the seed, the price is very
expensive and the returns is not what is expected. So, I would plead with the Minister that maybe
she should set up a research centre to cater for us who have almost temperate climate so that our
MR. EKEMU: Point of information. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I would like to give
information to the Member holding the Floor that, the point she is raising is really important and
affects not only her area in the highland. Even in my own area, for example, the Serere Sorghum
Seeds that are usually sent out into the district. It does not do well in my Constituency except it
does well in the lower region of Nebbi District. Therefore, a new seed centre could be started on
the highland, maybe that will benefit us who are living up in the highlands. Thank you very
MR. OBWANGOR: Point of information. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, I would like to give
information to the Member holding the Floor to take the note that the hon. Mover of the Bill
when submissions are made to the government, she walks out, as the submission is made by the
hon. Member holding the Floor of the House for just utter nonsense.
THE CHAIRMAN: Oh no, no.
MR. MULWANIRA: I thank you, Mr. Chairman. I want to allay the fears of hon. Cuthbert
Obwangor that when the hon. Member of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries went out, I
was taking notes for those who were contributing, so do not worry.
MRS. KULANY: I thank the hon. Members for their informations. Mr. Chairman, before I
conclude, there is this problem of cassava mosaic, I would be very grateful if the Minister gives
us how far they have gone to curb this problem, because actually the way I see it, it is spreading
very first all over the country and this may be very dangerous to those people where this food is
their staple food. Apart from that, Mr. Chairman, I support the Bill. Thank you.
MR. MAYENGO (Kyamuswa County, Kalangala): Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Mr.
Chairman, we have talked about agriculture in this House and outside, and called it the lifeblood
of this country, the backbone, and the heart of our entire life. Anything that touches it must be
done, and if it has to be done, it must be done perfectly. This Bill is vital and I can only compare
it with observations I have made in some other areas of the world where the Governments are
very serious with any importation of seeds. The United States is probably the best example I can
There was a time when they used to say that one could import seeds in America provided those
seeds obtained a cold treatment. Cold treatment was defined as seeds being put under freezing
conditions for 14 days as a minimum, but then they found out that importers beat the law before
the ships arrived some two days before they landed on the shores, the seeds were cold but the 14
days had not been the length the seeds should have been under cold treatment. So, the Americans
said no importation of seeds, and this is almost uniform throughout the States of America and
almost in Canada, it is a serious matter.
I want to look at this Bill and see the practical nature of it. Let me look a little backwards if the
Members will allow me to exercise my imaginations. If this Bill existed in as a law in 1902 here,
what would have happened? George Barabu landed in Uganda, he had two kilograms of cotton
seeds, he gave the cotton seeds to one of the Kabaka’s chiefs, Muganzi Awongererwa and said go
and plant them, when this crop comes, I will buy it, there was no restriction, they went ahead
planting the seeds, and that is the white gold we are talking about.
On that occasion we were lucky, nothing ill happened. The seeds were good as evidence is here,
but suppose under this Bill he had arrived after this has become a law and says three generations,
so he would have imported the seeds and they would have planted them, I think under some kind
of control. Cotton would have grown, harvested and seeds taken out. We planted that also would
have frown, taken - that is the second generation - taken out, we planted a third time, those are the
three generations in this Bill is talking about, if I am right in interpreting it. Suppose there were
no cottonseeds, suppose there were orange seeds? One imports the orange seeds, and we are
going to be planting oranges in this country. Keep plant under those conditions, we want three
generations before they are released, and the oranges take five years to grow, you take out the
seeds, plant them again those ones will take another five years to grow, take them up, plant them
again to get the third generation, so by the time you release them, it is 15 years. Is it practical? I
will leave the question without answering it. Let me move.
The Minister said when she was being asked about finances of the Authority, that the Authority
is being set up with the view to privatisation in future, that it will be privatised. I have two
questions, if it will be privatised, will it carry out the same four functions the Authority is
supposed to carry out? The functions are known there on the Bill. Then again if the idea of
privatising the Authority is ready within the cite, why is it that we do not build it in right at the
beginning and have it there, why wait until the exercise of privatisation comes to this Authority
some years later? We could have taken foresight and done it right ahead of time. Last point, Mr.
MR. KARUHANGA: Point of information. Mr. Chairman, I just want to inform the hon.
Member on the Floor not to be so hard on the Minister about privatisation. What actually
happened is that she came up with this Bill on the 25th of September 1992, to create an Authority,
that is one year and one month ago. At that time, this Parliament had not passed the privatisation
Bill, but now we have, but the Bill had not been discussed. So, all you are asking her now is to
go back and privatise according to the new law or we ignore the law, we have just passed and go
back to 1992, that is the alternative we have.
OBWANGOR: Mr. Chairman, to build on the future of a legislation is speculation, it is not
honest of the Government, the law must be clearly put to this hon. august House to make the law,
the good law, not madingise, I repeat not madingise. (Laughter) Why? Because if it is
speculation as the hon. Elly Karuhanga has stated, is that we are being cheated intellectually and
will not run the country properly. I am not a lawyer, but I am intelligent because a law ought to
be clear, honourably just to the House. If the - as my Colleague hon. Karuhanga who is a lawyer
states that we are bringing here speculation, oh dear me! I will soon resign.
MR. MAYENGO: Mr. Chairman, I thank the hon. Members for the two types of information.
The information which hon. Obwangor has just given, I do not know whether it was to me or to
the hon. Karuhanga. I wanted to bring to an end my remarks -(Interjection)- as long as we have
hon. Obwangor, we are going to have cheers in this House.
It seems to me as if the idea which we had in mind when we were setting up standing committees
is being overlooked. The ideas were that these standing committees for once would try to get
away from the strict separation of powers and work along with the executive in re-defining these
Bills before they come to this House. Maybe, I should not say it before, because actually the Bill
could be read a First Time, and then be assigned to the Standing Committee with the requirement
that within 14 days, the Committee reports back. The Ministry could bring its team to meet the
Committee and the Committee could even call upon the public, people from outside and discuss
this Bill so thoroughly that by the time it would get here, there would be no need for what
appeared to be a punishment to the Minister to hurry and get through some Amendment. After so
much work on the Bill, you find amendments that have just come in.
If the rules were to be followed strictly, and if this Bill was coming to an end today, probably one
could have got on one’s feet and said that there was not enough notice before the amendments
came, and that probably would have put all the amendments backwards and forced them to be
totally disregarded. I said that at the beginning of my remarks that this is an important issue we
are talking about. That is a country that rests entirely on agriculture for the foreseeable future.
For that reason, I would wish to save this Bill and make it better and I would hope that the
Minister will not feel uncomfortable to have this Bill re-examined by our Standing Committee
and then brought back to us to pass perfectly. So, Mr. Chairman, I move that this Bill -
MR. D. LUBEGA: Point of information. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Before the hon.
Member on the Floor moves, I would like to inform him and the whole House through you, that
when Members have had a Bill for a long time, such as Members have had this particular Bill,
and my remarks may refer to many other Bills. It is only discretion and initiative on the part of a
relevant sectoral committee before we come to this House to timetable themselves, because I
think the order of business was given I understand, and this Bill was listed sometime ago in any
case it was issued a long time ago. Now, it is only initiative of a certain relevant Standing
Committee to pursue and maybe improve upon any Bill, we do not have to wait until we come to
the House. Otherwise, we shall always be referred to standing committees. So, let each sectoral
committee look at the order of business for a period, I think this was issued and sort out what
belongs to it so that these Bills are attended to before we come here.
MRS. SSEKITOLEKO: Point of information. Mr. Chairman, yesterday when the Chairman of
the Sectoral Committee on Agriculture was contributing and even when I was introducing that
Paper, I told you that the Sectoral Committee had gone through that Bill and secondly, he himself
told you. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
MR. OLUM: Point of information. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I think yesterday when I was
contributing on this Bill, I went through a bit of time explaining to the Members that in the
1992/93 Sectoral Committee meeting, we discussed this very Bill and we had made our
comments and some of them are contained in the report of last year’s Sectoral Committee which
has been produced by the Committee on the Economy. I think what is now of essence and real
issue are the legal aspects of this Bill; the technical part of it is quite good and I think we all agree
that this is a very important Bill.
Maybe the information I would like to give here is that the Minister has already circulated some
amendments, 16 of them, if Members could maybe when they are contributing look at the
amendments and I think the Minister has also circulated a very length explanation of the Bill. I
think some Members have begun to go back and sleep into the idea that this is actually a company
that is going to perform some sort of executive position. I think this is an authority and I think we
should look at a legal aspect, how the punishments are going to be meted out, and how these are
going to be sorted out. I think that is where the problem now lies, maybe instead of throwing this
thing back to us, we shall have very little to report back to you because we have already reported
what we think about the Bill.
My information maybe to the Member on the Floor, hon. Mayengo, is that, we should select one,
two items which are really of concern that is legal aspect, and maybe we could ask for an
adjournment for the legal Committee to sit together with the Minister and really rectify the legal
in position that the Bill likes to bring about, because bringing the Bill back to us, is not going to
save time, what is important, I think now are the technical people in legal profession to look at
how the Attorney General’s Chambers could request a bit of time, this will possibly be the best
way out of this. Those are information.
THE CHAIRMAN: With that, we have come to the end of today’s session we adjourn until
tomorrow at 2.30 p.m.
(The Council rose at 5.00 p.m. and adjourned until Thursday, 21st October, 1993, at 2.30 p.m.).