HomeBUSINESSMPs on Trade Committee Advise Government on Merger Of Culture & Tourism...

MPs on Trade Committee Advise Government on Merger Of Culture & Tourism Ministries.

By Jimmy Twist.

Parliament

The Ministries of Tourism and Gender and Culture have failed to reach a consensus on the proposal to have museums and monuments in Uganda regulated under one ministry, saying the two agencies have been working in harmony with no need to merge the two entities to oversee the sector of the historical site.

This was during a meeting held with Parliament’s Committee on Tourism and Trade that is currently considering the Museums and Monuments Bill 2022, which seeks to protect cultural and natural heritage resources and the environment; strengthen and provide institutional structure for effective management of museums and monuments; prohibit illicit trafficking of protected objects, and promote local content of cultural and natural heritage.

Clause 8 of the Museum and Monuments Bill stipulates the roles of the Minister of Culture, giving them powers to formulate and review policies and legislation on culture and heritage promotion, preservation, and development for museums and heritage sites in Uganda.

mp on trade committee during their visit at Uganda museum

However, a number of stakeholders were opposed to leaving these responsibilities to be handed over to the Ministry of Gender and Culture, arguing that the institution’s role is passive, and instead proposed having the cultural aspect of the Gender Ministry merged with the Ministry of Tourism for effective monitoring and promotion of the historical sites.

The Committee had ordered the two Ministries of Culture and Tourism to harmonize their positions, but the Minister of State for Culture, Peace Mutuzo, accused officials from the Ministry of Tourism of betrayal after they suggested to the Committee to have the Culture Ministry merge and taken to the Ministry of Tourism.

The Minister of Tourism informed the Committee that the two entities had agreed to have the tangible aspects of historical sites regulated by the Ministry of Tourism, while the Ministry of Culture handles the intangible aspects, which would fall under its watch.

mps at stone age section in Uganda Museum

She rejected the proposal to have her Ministry dragged back to the Ministry of Tourism, comparing the proposal to being raped, “These two ministries were separated years ago and for a purpose. Tourism can operate independently from the Ministry of Gender for as long as we can sit and harmonise on the things that bring us together.”

However, Mbarara City South MP Mwine Mpaka said the Committee was forced to take a decision to have both the promotion of tangible and intangible historical sites regulated under one ministry after the Culture Ministry failed to justify the role it plays in marketing and promotion of tourism in Uganda.

But the Minister of State for Tourism, Martin Mugarra, rejected the proposal for the merger of roles, saying the Tourism Committee has also failed to justify the need for the merger because the Tourism and Culture Ministries have been managing the historical sites without any crisis.

Charles Okello, however, defended the committee calling for the merger of the two entities, saying they will be working for the same government and tasked the two ministries to explain how they will register and regulate private ministries as proposed in clause 18 of the bill.

The Museum and Monuments Bill 2022 seeks to repeal the Historical Monuments Act of 1967, Cap-46, which the government says has a limited focus on the preservation and protection of historical monuments, making it obsolete in terms of providing for a much wider cultural and natural heritage.

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