Kyambadde Breaks Silence on Halting Chamber of Commerce Elections
By Serestino Tusingwire
The Minister of Trade Industry and Cooperatives, Amelia Kyambadde on Wednesday opened up on why she had to halt the elections of the new leadership of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce.
Kyambadde said that she received numerous concerns from different stakeholders raising issues that have to be sorted before the elections are held.
“During a meeting I held on Tuesday, these stakeholders cited loopholes in the election process including; gaps in the Constitution, the Number of delegates to represent the various districts, the legitimacy of the current Chamber Executive to organize the elections and security concerns among others.” Kyambadde stated.
“It’s therefore after this discussion that I decided to postpone the date of the elections until the identified gaps are addressed,” Kyambadde added.
Meanwhile, an interim committee has been formed to be running the chambers since the current Chamber Executive has been barred from conducting any further transactions until a new Executive is in place.
The Interim Committee will be chaired by the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Trade industry with a representative from; Attorney General and Solicitor General Office, Chamber of Commerce, Uganda Registration Services Bureau, Private Sector/ Business Community and Electoral Commission.
It’s this committee that shall sort out these gaps and make sure that a free and fair election is conducted.
She however assured the business community that the ministry is committed to better the services of chamber in every way possible.
Below is the full statement.
FORTHCOMING NATIONAL CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY ELECTIONS
Government recognizes the important role Chambers of Commerce play in growing businesses and trade world over. Chambers of Commerce are a force for economic growth, job creation and prosperity through promotion of trade and Investment, providing market information and advocating for a conducive policy environment that facilitates business growth and competitiveness.
I have however, received a number of concerns from different stakeholders on operations of Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry including a petition on the forthcoming elections. Similar concerns on the forthcoming election have also been received by His Excellency the President.
Action taken by my Ministry
As a Ministry responsible for Trade, the National Trade Policy charges me with a responsibility of creating and ensuring an enabling and conducive trade Policy and regulatory environment for Business growth and competitiveness.
In line with this mandate, Yesterday 29th November 2016, I convened a meeting of all stakeholders including; Executive Members of the Chamber, Representatives of business community and relevant Government Agencies in order to review their concerns with respect to the forthcoming elections of the Chamber.
During this meeting, members raised issues on the election process including; gaps in the Constitution, the Number of delegates to represent the various districts, the legitimacy of the current Chamber Executive to organize the elections and security concerns among others.
After discussing the above issues, together with the Stakeholders we have agreed on the following resolutions;
- To postpone the date of the elections until the identified gaps are addressed.
- To form an Interim Committee comprising of The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Trade industry and Cooperatives and Representatives of;
- Attorney General and Solicitor General,
- Chamber of Commerce,
- Uganda Registration Services Bureau,
- Private Sector/ Business Community and
- Electoral Commission.
The Committee shall
- Appraise the Constitution,
- Develop the voter’s register of the delegates and constitute a committee to organize and conduct free, transparent and fair elections.
- To stop the current Chamber Executive from conducting any further transactions until a new Executive is in place.
As I conclude, I would like to assure the business community that my Ministry is committed to having a National Chamber of Commerce and Industry that is well constituted, transparent, predictable and embracing team work that will lead the country to Middle Income status.