President Yoweri Museveni has signed into law five bills that were recently passed by the Parliament of Uganda.
During Tuesday plenary, Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, informed parliament that the President assented to the the Civil Aviation Amendment Bill 2024, Judicature Amendment Bill 2023, The Explosives Act 2023, Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Act 2023, and The Competition Act 2023.
The Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances (Control) Bill, 2023
The bill after gazette, will permit licensed cultivation and usage of marijuana solely for medicinal purposes, while imposing severe penalties for various substance abuse offenses.
The law allows marijuana and khat cultivation strictly for medical and authorized purposes, with violators facing substantial fines, lengthy imprisonment, and property forfeiture.
Farmers involved in the cultivation of the prohibited substances will now have to obtain licences from the health ministry, and those who fail to do so will suffer jail, according to the content of clause 11. Repeated offenders will now suffer jail.
Under clause 7, a pharmacist who prescribes any of the prohibited drugs and substances under the Act will suffer a Shs1 billion fine, 10 years in jail or both.
Under clause 8, medical professionals who, in contravention of their duties under this Act, prescribe and supply the prohibited substances will have their names removed from the registry of professionals
The Civil Aviation Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2024
The bill aligns Uganda’s aviation authority with the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
It empowers a chief investigator to initiate inquiries into aircraft accidents or serious incidents occurring within Uganda or any contracting state that doesn’t plan to conduct an investigation.
The Explosives Act 2023
This focuses on regulating the licensing and use of explosives in the mining sector. It repeals the existing Explosives Act of 1936 and establishes the role of Chief Explosives Inspector.
The Judicature (Amendment) Bill, 2023
This introduces an increase in the number of judges in both the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. The amendment addresses the need for expanded judicial capacity.
The Competition Act, 2023
This is intended to facilitate fair competition in markets and prevent practices having adverse impacts on competition in markets and primarily seeks to control anti-competitive behaviour of firms that has a negative impact on competition in Uganda’s market.