Parliament to make decision regarding the signed coffee deal tomorrow

Parliament is expected to take a decision on the controversial coffee deal signed between Ministry and Finance and Enrica Pinetti, the proprietor of Uganda Vinci Coffee Company tomorrow.

This is after Parliament’s Trade Committee completed its probe into the deal that has been criticized by Ugandans.

Mwine Mpaka, the Chairperson of Trade Committee, took to his twitter handle saying:

 “The parliamentary committee on trade has concluded investigations into the coffee agreement and will be ready to present its findings and recommendations on 3rd May 2022 (tomorrow). We appreciate all stakeholders who supported us during this investigation,” he tweeted

Asked to highlight some of the resolutions taken by the Committee in a phone interview, Mwine refused to give any kind of information  he couldn’t share resolutions because it’s still just a Parliament document that has not been made a public document.

Meanwhile, Civil society group led by Southern and Eastern Africa Trade Information and Negotiations Institute (SEATINI) Uganda have scoffed at the proposed 246 jobs that will be created by Vinci company, saying the agreement falls short of detailing the kinds of jobs Ugandans will get. The government however wants this clearly stated within the agreement.

While appearing before the Trade Committee, Jane Nalunga, the SEATINI Uganda boss, argued that Uganda has been struggling with unemployment rates which increased to 2.44% in 2020 from 1.8% in 2019, and tasked Government to ensure that opportunities are created for Ugandans in order to reduce the employment.

We don’t know whether these are the total employee jobs created together with those ones who are going to come from outside or Ugandans, but we have seen a number of companies which have been given a lot of tax incentives and you can see the way they treat our people. There is a lot of casualisation labour, our people aren’t given contracts and that means that government can’t recoup some money through pay as you earn,” said Nalunga.

Nalunga also asked the Trade Committee to investigate how Vinci Company came to win tax exemptions, including those barred in the laws citing section 12 of the Investment Code Act that provides for minimum capital investment required for a foreign investor to qualify for incentives, yet in the agreement, there is no mention on the capital requirement that Vinci has to qualify for the incentives.

She warned the Committee that the extreme tax waivers will affect Uganda’s struggling economy saying that this was creating a situation of monopoly which results into unfair competition and to make matters worse, government would also be losing a huge sum of money.