IGANGA, UGANDA: The Minister for General Duties in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon Justine Kasule Lumumba has blamed members of parliament in the 11th parliament for passing a tax on diapers which will affect a number of innocent people who make use of them.
Hon Lumumba, the former NRM Secretary General and a born of from Bukooli central constituency in Bugiri district made the remarks on Sunday as she presided as the chief runner at the Katono Run organized by Iganga Health and Fitness Club in conjunction with Mandela supreme flour.
The function that took place at Iganga district headquarters was aimed at appreciating former Iganga municipality mayor Hajji Siraji Katono alias Kiwoire towards his contribution to sports, fitness and networking in the eastern district and Busoga as a whole.
At the function which was sponsored by among others Mandela supreme flour, Iganga corporate club, Iganga Health and Fitness Club and the spinal injury association, Ms Lumumba urged all leaders to have a diversified and broad way of viewing things before making any decision.
“During those days when they were handling the anti-homosexuality bill, they targeted barring homosexuals who intend to use the diapers without considering others like those with spinal injuries who also make use of them. Whenever we’re in leadership, we should look at things in a very diversified and broad way,” said the Minister.
“We shouldn’t just look at someone putting on blue and take him to be FDC before we check well the branding of the cloth. It’s the mistake which was made and we must acknowledge that we’re not broad enough in our thinking,” Ms Lumumba said before donating 3 million to Hajji Katono and 1 million to the spine injury community.
She however blamed locals for garbage mismanagement in Iganga town and called for collective responsibility in managing garbage without considering who is bigger than the other. Lumumba pledged to gear up fundraising for enough garbage vehicles in the town by bringing various individuals and organizations to raise funds, on condition that people of Iganga should first raise start-up commitment funds.
Former mayor Hajji Siraji Katono, who is also the club coach and patron of Iganga Health Club commended Hon Minister Lumumba and suggested that they develop a fitness day for Busoga as a region such that people can participate and do fundraising for some development projects within various districts in Busoga sub-region.
“I want the whole Busoga to emulate these fitness activities and spur development through them. It’s my desire that it covers Busoga such that when I go to Kamuli district, I find such fitness clubs. We can go somewhere and fundraise for at least painting a public building, among other contributions,” Hajji Katono said before beseeching Ms Lumumba to become their patron of the whole region.
Meanwhile, the executive director of Center for Spinal Injuries Advocacy (CSIA) Ms Atim Joyce Mary Blessing pleaded with the government through Hon members of parliament to revise the tax which was imposed on diapers, making them more expensive citing that it gives them a hard time to live comfortably without using diapers.
“We all know that the spine is the engine of the body and when it’s damaged, the body organs are disturbed and you become unable to control urine and stools, so I request gov’t through MPs to scrap the tax on diapers because we ought to suffer if the tax stands,” Ms Atim said.
It should be noted that parliament during the time of debating on the anti-homosexuality bill this year, reasoned that homosexuals use diapers after suffering the consequences of the habit and MPs resolved to put tax as a means of fighting gay behaviours by approving a tax on diapers.
Little did the MPs know that a certain population of innocent Ugandans use such diapers as a life ease, given their health conditions.