HomePARLIAMENTTrade Committee Hands over Vinci Secretary to Police.

Trade Committee Hands over Vinci Secretary to Police.

By Jimmy Muhumuza,

Parliament.

The Parliament’s committee of trade and Tourism which investigates controversies surrounding the controversial coffee deal between the government and Uganda Vinci Coffee Company has been shocked to discover plans by Vinci Coffee Company to mortgage the 25 acres of land offered to the company by the government.

The probe kicked off today with the committee listening to the petitioners who asked parliament to recommend the cancellation of the agreement.

The Vinci company secretary of Vinci Moses Matovu had been handed to police for making contradicting submissions.

The Parliamentary Committee of Trade and Tourism today kicked off a probe into the controversial coffee deal between the ministry of finance and Enrica Pinetti’s Uganda Vinci Coffee Company. The committee started by interacting with the section MPs who petitioned parliament led by Abed Bwaninka (MP Kimanya-Kabonera) who trashed the deal and asked the committee to recommend the cancellation of the agreement

The lead petitioner Abed Bwanika tasked Government to explain whose coffee is committed to the US$80M Uganda Vinci Coffee Company since the farmers who are the main growers of coffee were not consulted before the deal was signed on their behalf.

Buhweju County Mp Hon. Francis Mwijukye submitting

Bwanika also protested the proposal to commit 3-6% of the best coffee in Uganda to Vinci, describing this as a monopoly that is geared toward frustrating the coffee farmers in Uganda and disadvantaging other processors. They also slammed the selective tax holiday given to Vinci.

During the probe, it was revealed that Government has already spent Shs17Bn in clearing the 25acres of land that was gifted to Pinetti in Namanve Industrial Park.

The committee learned from the petitioners that the agreement whose negotiations started in 2014 does not provide for any clause of termination on the side of the Government, contrary to reports by the Ministry of Finance that the agreement is enforceable for ten years up to 2023.

The Trade committee chaired by Mwine Mpaka also grilled officials of Vinci Coffee Company who turned up without their director Enrica Pinetti saying she’d had been summoned by the statehouse.

Committee members were shocked to land on documentary evidence indicating that the Vinci plans to mortgage the 27 acres of land leased to the company by the government to raise funds to set up the factory.

However, the Company Secretary of Vinci Coffee Company Moses Matovu acknowledged that they had intentions to mortgage the land but they have not done it.

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