Uganda: MPs call for action on soaring commodity prices

Kampala, Uganda – Lawmakers have demanded the government take action on rising prices of basic commodities including soap, sugar, cooking oil and fuel.

Addressing an issue of national importance during the plenary on Thursday, March 10, 2022, Nakaseke South County MP Paulson Luttamaguzi said a bar of soap has gone from Shs4,000 to Shs12,000 and there are concerns the inhabitants.

“Even products made in Uganda are expensive and yet the government has made no statement. People are asking the cause of the price hike,” Luttamaguzi said.

Gaffa Mbwatekemwa, MP for Igara West County, added that even agricultural input prices have risen, citing that a bag of fertilizer now costs Shs220,000 from Shs130,000.

He called for the suspension of fuel taxes, warning that if prices are not checked now, commodity costs will continue to rise, not with the war between Ukraine and Russia which has caused tensions in the world.

“Responsible ministers should explain this issue in detail. Ugandans are tired. We are tired!!” said Mbwatekamwa.

Busia Municipality MP Geoffrey Macho pointed out that the situation is worse in border districts, saying a bar of soap now costs 15,000 shillings.

“Prices of all commodities have doubled due to the weakness of the Ugandan shilling, against the Kenyan shilling,” Macho said.

Bunghoko County North MP John Faith Magolo said soaring prices have forced MPs to abandon their constituencies because they do not have sufficient explanation.

“They stormed me and demanded answers. I’m scared to go to my constituency. They assured me that when they see the vice president going to her constituency, they will arrest her because they knew she had answers,” he said.

Rushenyi County MP Naome Kabasharira said the high prices mainly affect the poor, who are the majority.

“The fuel can’t be managed, but we continue our business. It’s unfair to the people we represent,” Kabashirara said.

Kassanda County North MP Patrick Nsamba has indicated that the issue of soaring commodity prices should be prioritized during MPs workshop on parish development model scheduled for Friday, March 11, 2022 .

“Discussing the parish development model will be meaningless if the issue of rising commodity prices is not addressed. This program is tied to the income of local communities,” Nsamba said.

Vice President Anita Among has given the government until March 15, 2022 to make a statement on this.

“Let’s give the government time to prepare so they can give us actions, not just lamentations. This is a multi-sector issue,” she said.

Chief Government Whip and also Ruhinda North County MP Thomas Tayebwa said the Prime Minister is expected to meet with the manufacturers on March 11, 2022 to consider the matter and will deliver a statement on Tuesday March 15, 2022.

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