Speaker Kadaga Rebecca has ordered the government chemists to with immediate effect investigate the allegations that that thermos flasks contain some dangerous substances.
The directive by the speaker comes days after the social media was awash with the report that there is a tablet-like substance in thermos flasks which is very harmful to the human health.
Kasese woman member of parliament and former Leader of Oppositions in parliament Winifred Kiiza told the house that upon being informed by sections of Ugandans, she broke two of her flasks and found three tablet-like substances in them.
She submitted the substance before the house during plenary sitting on Wednesday, 23 January 2019.
“I call upon the Ministry of Trade, Uganda National Bureau of Standards and the Ministry of Health to take interest and find out why such substances are in flasks,” said Winfred Kiiza.
Busiro North member of parliament Medard Lubega Sseggona wondered how Uganda National Bureau of Standards have failed to block the importation of such goods into the country.
“The National Bureau of Standards with police have been attacking shops in Kampala, confiscating property of Ugandans and what they say is that they are enforcing standards. But one would wonder where these people are when these things (flasks with harmful substances) are being imported into the country,” wondered Sseggona.
State minister of Finance in charge of Planning David Bahati said the government would soon table a consumer protection Bill to address inspection of goods to ensure quality standards.
“We discussed the Bill at Cabinet and passed it. We expect it to be tabled before Parliament in February,” said Bahati.
While responding to the Speaker’s concern on the shortage of inspection officers at the borders, Bahati said this would be addressed in the 2019/2020 budget.
Hon. Alex Byarugaba (NRM, Isingiro County South) suggested that the flasks in question should be laid on table so that they are known to the public.
Hon. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda however, said that government should first investigate the substance before the flask is laid in the House.
“The trouble we are going to find ourselves in is to lay the flasks and condemn them even before they are investigated. Let the substances first be investigated and if they are found to be harmful, the flasks can be laid,” said Ssemujju.
State Minister for Defence and Veteran Affairs, Bright Rwamirama concurred with Ssemujju saying the the substances should be investigated first before taking action.
“This can be a marketing strategy. Let these materials first be tested because if we move on hearsay, somebody could actually cause a problem here,” said Rwamirama.
“The Clerk to Parliament should send the items to the government chemist so that they can write a report and get back to us,” said Kadaga.