Sugar companies from Busoga sub-region are seeking Parliament’s intervention in the fight against ‘unfair’ competition from ‘sugar bonds’ which has frustrated local manufacturers.
While meeting Speaker Rebecca Kadaga today, the managing directors of sugar companies revealed that sugar bonds which were earlier banned by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are still operating.
Sugar bonds stock pile imported sugar and since they are not taxed due to their illegal existence, they sell at a cheaper price.
As a result the executive director Madvani Group Ltd, Mwine Jim Kabeho said traders from neighboring countries are now buying sugar from the said bonds causing huge amounts of locally processed sugar to rot.
Kadaga who said she was not aware of the illegal sugar trade, said Parliament has debated on the poor trade relations with neighboring countries and tasked the Minister of East African Community Affairs to address them at the regional level.
“We had a motion on the floor of Parliament for Government to demand Kenya to implement East African trade protocols, they have blocked our milk, they have blocked our sugar, they have blocked our chicken, they have blocked everything,” said Kadaga.
She observed that Tanzania and Rwanda were also becoming unreliable, prompting her to advise the Minister of Trade to explore other markets such as those under Common Market for the Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
Kadaga took the chance to call upon sugar companies to give back to the community inform of road construction, sating a number of roads in Busoga were becoming impassable. “Some roads such as the one in Kaliro is now impassable. When the locals see me they tell me they can’t reach the markets and hospitals,” said Kadaga.
The Managing Director GM Sugar Ltd, Milan Dobaria said that since most companies have construction machines they use for their own feeder roads, they would be able to support the cause. “We need to identify the road which is affected the most so that we can start sit down come out with the budget and start with it,” said Dobaria.