Museveni signs four bills into laws

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Museveni signs four bills into laws
Kobs flee to the wilderness in Ajai reserve after a successful translocation from Kabwoya wildlife reserve

NATIONAL | As government moves to adopt the rationalisation of different agencies, President Museveni has signed into laws four bills.

The Presidential Press Unit on Friday confirmed that the four bills including Free Zone (Amendment Act 2024), the Uganda Wildlife (Amendment Act 2024), the National Library (Amendment Act 2024), and the Uganda National Metrological Authority (Amendment Act 2024) were all signed by the president on Friday, following their recent passage by the parliament.

“The president of the republic of Uganda has signed four bills into law. The bills were recently passed by the parliament awaiting the president’s assent,” reads a statement issued on Friday.

The Free Zone (Amendment Act 2024) has included sections to boost Uganda's economic competitiveness by refining regulations that govern the establishment and operation of free zones.

Under the new law, Uganda Free Zones Authority and the Uganda Export Promotions Board has been merged into one entity, now referred to as the Uganda Free Zones and Export Promotions Authority under the supervision of the Ministry responsible for trade.

These zones, designated areas where goods may be imported, handled, manufactured, and re-exported without intervention from customs authorities, are considered critical to boosting trade and attracting foreign investment.

“An Act to make provision for the establishment, Development, management, marketing, maintenance, supervision and control of free zones to facilitate the development and promotion and coordination of all ex-port related activities,” reads the new law.

The new law has also Okayed payment of terminal benefits to the board members and staff of the Uganda Free Zones Authority who, following the merger, are not appointed to the board of the new agency.

“Compensation is not payable to any member of the board of the Uganda Free Zones Authority for loss of office resulting from the merging of Uganda Free zones and Export Promotions Authority,” the new law reads in part.

In the Uganda Wildlife (Amendment Act 2024), the new law will now see Uganda Wildlife Conservation Education Centre merged with Uganda Wildlife Authority.

The law signed on Friday is expected to relieve the government of the financial drain on its resources and the burden of wasteful administration and expenditure of maintaining two agencies whose functions can efficiently and effectively be performed by one agency

The Uganda National Metrological Authority established in 2012 has also been dissolved.

“The staff of the Uganda National Meteorological Authority may be redeployed to serve in the public service subject to availability of positions. On the commencement of this Act, all the property, assets, rights, obligations, liabilities of the Uganda National Meteorological Authority shall vest in the Government of Uganda under the Ministry,” reads the Uganda National Metrological Authority (Amendment Act 2024).

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