7/10/14.News briefs. Ban importation of second-hand vehicles, NEMA advises Government

Following a similar ban on the importation of old vehicles into Kenya, the Ugandan government is under plans to stop importation of such second hand old vehicles into the country.

Vehicles that are eight years old and above will not be imported into Uganda come 2015.

The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) executive director, Dr. Tom Okurut told Members of Parliament that come 2015, car traders will not be allowed import second hand vehicles into the country.

“These are old vehicles manufactured in the 1990s and emit a lot of dangerous gasses to the environment,” cited Dr. Tom. “We can no longer afford to use old technology that is associated with many health hazards,” added Dr. Tom.

Most of the air pollution experienced in Kampala comes from the many old vehicles and therefore need to limit their importation.

However, most of the car dealers criticized the proposal arguing that most Ugandans are low earners and cannot afford buying vehicles manufactured in 2007.

“Used cars are one of Uganda’s main sources of revenue and therefore considering its ban may not be possible,” the dealers expressed their doubt.

Government should work on issues like prices of fuel which are high before thinking of banning old cars. Most of swamps have been cleared away for industrial development and this as well increased air pollution. NEMA should look at these before ban of old cars.

Networking: Post Bank to partner with ABC Capital Bank

Following a stiff competition in the banking industry, banks have now resorted to partnerships.

Post Bank Limited is set to sign a partnership with ABC Capital Bank. This comes after a successful of a similar partnership that was signed in Kenya and has been running now for a month.

Mr. Kumar Dandapani, the ABC Capital Bank Executive Director cited that this type of partnership will enable both to reach out to new areas as well as expand on their operations.

The partnership is expected to add two million new customers all the country. “This will be through extension of services to the rural communities especially the farmers for agricultural loans, education and trade,” added Kumar.

The Post Bank communications officer, Ms Jackie Tahakanizibwa said they are only waiting for the signing of the memorandum of understanding and thereafter implementation of the partnership.

Ugandan shillings weakens more

The Ugandan shilling has depreciated by at least 1.7 per cent in July 2014 compared to the 1.4 per cent in June 2014.

By Wednesday 9th July 2014, the shilling was buying at 2,650 and selling at 2,660 against the US dollar compared to the 2,600/2610 it traded a fortnight ago.

An increase in demand for imports has also exerted more pressure on the Ugandan shilling making it depreciate further. The other reasons for the depreciation included dividend payments by big corporations such as MTN.

However, Bank of Uganda (BoU) has intervened to reduce the volatility. Dr. Mugume Adam, BoU director of research said BoU will intervene to manage volatility by maintaining a daily purchase of at least $4m.

About M. B. Mugisa

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