Senior presidential advisor and NRM Office of the National Chairman (ONC) chief Hadija Namyalo Uzeiye has said mafias have failed the formulation of a tea policy, forcing “Uganda to currently face tea quality challenges resulting in falling prices.”
Namyalo was speaking as the chief guest at the belated Youth Day celebrations in Bushenyi District on Thursday, where she tasked the leaders to investigate what is failing the tea policy- including in Bushenyi and Mityana District where the crop is sold at low prices.
She was responding to issues affecting residents as presented by the Bushenyi District chairperson Jafari Basajabalaba, and the district lawmaker Annet Katusiime Mugisha.
While speaking, Mugisha told Namyalo that that farmers and other players in the tea industry were going through fire after a kilogramme of tea dropped from Shs600 to Shs200 at the auction centre in Mombasa, Kenya.
“Some farmers have gone on to uproot tea plants since they are no longer benefiting. We ask you to help us and talk to the president about it so we can get a solution,” she said.
Basajabalaba complained noting to Namyalo that the Mbarara-ishaka Road requires urgent attention.
Namyalo respinded saying: “I wrote to the president about it though he has yet to respond. Coffee is better because it has been handled. Why is it that tea, a drink that is widely consumed across the world, has not had a policy? Why is it that the prices are always low? It means there is someone benefiting from this crisis.”
“We need to know who this person is benefiting on behalf of Ugandans. I cannot pursue this matter alone. We are supposed to tackle it together. I am asking the bazukulu from Bushenyi District that we get a pen and petition the government and force it to intervene in tea matters because tea is one of the cash crops that we have in Uganda,” she added.
On the Mbarara-ishaka road, Hajjati Namyalo asked the people of Bushenyi district to task the government through writing, demanding a valid explanation.
“I have seen this road. If a decision was made to work on it under the national budget, who stole this money? It means someone stole money for your road. You must come out as the people of Bushenyi and fight to make sure that this road is worked on,” she highlighted.
The ONC donated items like fertilisers, welding machines, sewing machines, milling machines, popcorn machines, salon equipment, and others to youth and women groups in the district.