Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija

The Parliamentary Committee on Tourism Trade and Industry has summoned the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija, Italian investor Enrica Pinetti and several other individuals over the recently signed coffee deal.

On February 10, Kasaija signed Shs 284 trillion Coffee processing deal with Pinetti, the Proprietor of Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited (UVCC) to process and export Uganda’s coffee in Europe and Middle East.

The controversial deal has attracted criticisms from various players in the agricultural sector. The Ministry has since been blamed for failure to consult stakeholders in the coffee sector and go on to sign on their behalf. The speaker of parliament Anita Among has since directed the Committee Chairperson Mwine Mpaka to investigate the signed coffee deal.

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The committee has since summoned a permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Finance Ramathan Ggoobi, Attorney General Kiryowa Kiwanuka, Minister for Trade Industry and Cooperatives Francis Mwebesa, Minister for Agriculture Frank Tumwebaze and the Solicitor General.

Other are; Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA), Uganda Coffee Federation (UCF), Uganda Coffee Quality Trader’s Association, Uganda Coffee Trader’s Alliance, Rwenzori Coffee Trust, Bugisu Cooperative Union, Ankole Coffee Cooperative Union, UNZO Coffee, Uganda Large Scale Farmers Association, BUCADEF, UGACOF, KAWACOM, ESCO (U) LTD, and OLAM (U) LTD.

The Minister for Agriculture Frank Tumwebaze has since denied any involvement in the signing of the coffee deal. He said his ministry was not involved and asked everyone to pose their questions to the Finance ministry.

Ggoobi said the coffee agreement will support the government in achieving its coffee production target from the current 7 million bags per year to 20 million bags by 2030.

Yesterday, Katikkiro Charles Peter Mayiga condemned the government’s decision to partner with the Italian investor to process and market Uganda’s coffee. He said there are many individuals who can do what the investor intends to do.

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