OPINION: Uganda’s Vision 2040 intends to transform Ugandan society from peasant to a modern and prosperous country within 30 years as approved by the cabinet in 2007.
Section 44 of the NEMA act stipulates that it is the Minister responsible that shall in consultation with the Authority prepare a National Environment Action Plan in accordance with the National planning framework which is Vision 2040.
This means that given by the fact that NDP3 one of the 6 medium plans talks about industrialization as a multi-purpose vehicle to lead to greater employment of the youths, then the Environment Action Plan (EAP) should be able to sit well in that government plan but not the other way round.
The law also states that the EAP shall include among others trends in the development of urban and rural settlements their impact on the environment and strategies for the amelioration of the negative impacts.
In a nutshell, the law does not allow bulldozing of Ruparelia group investors by NEMA because the law says we must consider the development of urban areas like Entebbe which is a gateway of Uganda from the airport.
Entebbe gives the first impression to visitors and therefore an important area of focus for development in order to spur tourism.
This means that NEMA should give every necessary support to the investor so that he meets the required environmental standards because The investor is also a big stakeholder in Uganda. NEMA should not badmouth the investor but instead, work together for a common goal.
Ben Ssebuguzi is private sector activist, economist and Secretary General of Uganda Poor youth movement.