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Why Museveni regime is silent on use of formalin to preserve meat, milk

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CHANGE OF GUARDS – Uganda’s beef and diary industry is facing a setback owing to the negative practice of dealers using harmful chemicals to preserve the life of these products.  In particular, Formalin – a chemical used in preserving dead bodies is said to be used in preserving meat and milk from going bad.

A few days ago, Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) carried out an inspection in which a number of Butcheries were found to have been using such chemicals in preserving meat. The KCCA Director of Health Services told Urban TV that Butchers contaminate meat with pesticides and insecticides to preserve it.  However, in an attempt to cover up, KCCA’s Senior Veterinary Officer, Dr. Emilio Ahimbisibwe initially rubbished the reports as false.

On 7th January 2018 some culprits were convicted and sentenced to a fine of 100,000 shillings on their own plea of guilty for spraying meat and fish with “an unidentified chemical to kill flies”.  The same Dr. Ahimbisibwe has now claimed that ” the chemicals will be taken to the Government Analytical Laboratory for testing “.  Since such scientific tests are usually part of the criminal investigations, it implies that court irregularly passed the sentence before investigations were complete thus the light sentence.  The regime has a hand in this in order to mitigate the effects likely to arise from the negative publicity over the use of Formalin.

Since he came to power 31 years ago, Museveni has destroyed almost every sector of the economy in a bid to reign over an impoverished population.  However, he has been promoting the economic wellbeing of his ethnic Balalo (pastrolists) through, among other measures, sectarian promotion of the diary industry. This website (http://changeofguards.blogspot.ca) has in the recent past widely covered this phenomenon thus:

  1. HOW MUSEVENI’S SECTARIAN DIARY DEVELOPMENT SHEME IS BEHIND THE LAND GRABBING – 18/8/2017
  2. UNDERSTANDING MUSEVENI’S STATE OF THE CATTLE ADDRESS – 9/9/3017
  3. IS NYABUSHOZI A ROLE MODEL OF POVERTY ERADICATION – 23/9/2014
  4. BEHIND THE CATTLE CORRIDOR’S 100% VOTE FOR MUSEVENI – 24/3/2016

With a litre of milk costing 2,500 – 3,000 shillings and a kilo of meat costing 10,000 shillings, “Museveni’s people” are assured of a steady income as the rest of the population swim in abject poverty.  In his State of the Nation address last year, he boasted thus; “……..I also export meat from my cattle to Europe where I am paid 10 dollars per kg.  My company Amosi Diaries is exporting milk products to the USA.  One, we should remember that there are richer farmers who do not benefit from Operation Wealth Creation.  These need separate support through low interest money from Uganda Development Bank.  We are for instance now required to supply the Chinese market where a Kg is now USD 11.5.  Uganda produces more milk than citizens can consume.  Because of increased milk production, the country has to rely on international markets to consume the surplus milk”.

Earlier in February 2016 while laying the foundation stone for the construction of a modern USD 11M abattoir in Luwero by Egypt-Uganda Ltd, he said; “…. this initiative offers farmers and cattle keepers especially in the Luwero area, an opportunity to create wealth and jobs.  One abattoir needs 400 cows per day.  I sell 1,000 cows per day and I can rear for you 100,000 cattle for slaughter per annum.”

From the foregoing, it can be authoritatively argued that the practice of treating meat and milk with Formalin which is a preservative for dead bodies to give it long life will undoubtedly negatively impact on his much-cherished diary industry.  Food fraud is a big problem in Uganda. Fraudulent food products practices include counterfeiting, adulteration, deceptive packaging and labeling, tampering and deceptive advertising.  It takes place along the entire food supply chain especially within the small and medium industry organization. Because of Museveni’s destruction of state institutions, the vice has thrived unabetted.  There is sufficient legislation in place to check on such anomalies but its implementation is zero.

The Public Health Act 1959, Sale of Goods Act 1932, Diary Industry Act 2000, Food and Drug Act 1959, Penal Code Act 1950, National Standards and Quality Policy 2008, Uganda National Bureau of Standards Act 1983, The Diary (marketing and processing of milk and milk products) Regulations 2003, UNBS (certification) Regulations 1995, The Consumer Protection Act 2004 among others, are all aimed at ensuring safe and quality food products.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) has two directorates – Crop Resources and Animal Resources and a Department of Fisheries.  It has one agency, the Diary Development Authority, that is involved in the regulation of such food fraud involving meat and other diary products.  In August 2008 two residents of Kampala city were arrested for selling dog meat disguised as goat meat.

In March 2013, KCCA warned against the sale of dead meat for causing Brucellosis.  In August 2014 the meat section at ShopRite Supermarket was closed for selling rotten meat.  In 2014 the regime owned New Vision reported that Formalin was being used to prolong the life of beef and diary products but the matter was simply swept under the carpet.

The regime and its MAAIF in particular, has not come out to clear the air over such a serious development just because it fears negative publicity that would devastatingly affect “his people’s” sectarian diary industry.  However, it is also likely that the vice has been deliberately brought to the surface so as undermine private Butchers in favour of the new and bigger entrants like Egypt – Uganda Food Security Company.

INFORMATION IS POWER AND DEFIANTLY “HITTING ON THE HEAD” IS THE RADICATION

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