President Yoweri Museveni has declined to assent to the Public Private Partnership bill and returned it to the house for the second time for further amendments.
In his January 7th letter to Rebecca Kadaga, the speaker of parliament Museveni notes that he is opposed to the close requiring parliament to approve all public private partnerships.
“I have received the Act of PPP which I referred to Parliament earlier, Parliament returned it to me without the requisite amendments I advised you on, I am again returning it to Parliament because all expert opinion and my own judgment is of the view that debating possible public private partnerships in Parliament may deter foreign investments in the Country”, reads Museveni’s letter in part.
He explains that foreign partnerships are not the same as loans since they are investments that, a quieter body like Cabinet would give better results.
Museveni notes that, those who are pushing a thinking that these foreign partners are dying to come to Uganda fail to realize that Uganda is not China adding that, it is not a compelling magnet that is pulling investors as if they have no alternative.
Museveni reminds the speaker that he is aware of a number of projects that were mishandled in Parliament and cites the misinformation that was started by some legislator that he sold Diary Corporation for 1 dollar.
He said the allegation led to the cancellation of an investment and took the Country many years to get another investor.
Museveni said that a number of other opportunities have been lost leading, which has left the country with a challenge of youth unemployment.
On Tuesday, Kadaga referred the bill to the appropriate committee of Parliament and demanded that it reports back to the House on Thursday this week.
Aston Kajara, the state finance minister in charge of privatization tabled the motion for Parliament to reconsider the bill.
In October last year, Museveni returned the Exercise Duty Bill 2014, Finance Bill, 2014 and Public Partnership Bill, 2014.
Article 91 (3b) of the Constitution mandates the President to return some bills to Parliament for further scrutiny. However, the same constitution mandates parliament to pass the bill into law should the president fail to assent to it within 90 days.
The Public Private Partnership bill was first passed by Parliament on 18th July 2014. However, Museveni rejected it saying it on grounds that it was wrong to subject all public-private partnerships to Parliamentary approval.