Signing of the coffee deal

Ms Enrica Pinetti, the purported owner of Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited (UVCC) signed the $80million Coffee processing contract as a witness.

On February 10, Kasaija signed Shs 284 billion Coffee processing deal with Pinetti to process and export Uganda’s coffee in Europe and Middle East.

Whereas Finance Minister Matia Kasaija signed on behalf of Uganda Government and in presence of Secretary to the Treasury, Ramathan Ggoobi as witness, it has emerged that the part for the second parties is only signed once leaving space for the actual contractor empty raising a lot more questions on who could be the rightful owner of the firm.

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The controversial deal attracted criticism from various players in the agricultural sector. The Finance Ministry has been blamed for failure to consult stakeholders in the coffee sector and going 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.

The Parliamentary Committee on Tourism Trade and Industry summoned Matia Kasaija, Enrica Pinetti, 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 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.

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