Parliament has granted Bukoto West Member of Parliament, Hon. Muhamad Ssentayi leave to introduce the Consumer Protection and Management Bill.
Although the proposal was meant to be presented by the Chairperson of the Committee on Trade, Tourism and Industry, Hon. Mwine Mpaka, the Speaker Anita Among used her discretion to suspend the rule to allow Ssentayi to present.
Ssentayi who moved the motion on Tuesday, 08 November 2022 said that the enactment of a consumer protection law in Uganda will enable the setting of standards for the quality, safety and reliability of goods.
He said that the bill will provide for remedies actionable in law in case of non-compliance with those standards as well as prohibit unfair or misleading trade practices.
Ssentayi stated that the failure to enact legislation that specifically provides for the legal protection of consumers in Uganda will continue to undermine the quality of goods produced and supplied in Uganda.
He said that this will also put consumers in a weaker position than those with whom they deal, depriving them of their money's worth and product value and continuing to escalate the violation of the right to equal protection under the law.
Ssentayi added that currently, the laws regulating the protection of consumers are scattered.
“A consumer protection law is necessary to offer protection to consumers not only against fraud and dishonesty in commercial dealings but also oppressive bargains and qualitatively deficient goods and services,” he said.
Buhweju County MP, Hon. Francis Mwijukye said the bill will help in standardization and dealing with consumer exploitation.
He said that those who are aggrieved can now seek redress because of this bill.
“We have had a situation where the government directs banks not to increase interest, and loan officers not to exploit people, but this is still happening. We believe we need this law to promote fairness and equity,” he said.
Although government through the Deputy Attorney General, Hon. Jackson Kafuuzi sought to halt the process of introducing the bill stating that the government was also in the process of preparing the bill, Speaker Anita Among ruled that the process continues.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.