By Spy Uganda
The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has clarified that owners of private vehicles are exempted from the requirement to have a dustbin installed in their cars although they remain subject to littering laws.
NEMA Executive Director Dr. Barirega Akankwasah says the directive affects public vehicles like taxis and buses, adding that there should be no more “hullabaloo” about trash bins in the cars.
“Regulation 33 of SI 49 of 2020 only requires public service vehicles to have waste receptacles as a must in addition to no littering; private vehicles are only required not to litter,” he says.
NEMA had before April this year announced that it would on April 1, 2023, commence an Administrative Penalty Scheme for environment breaches in line with Section 172 of the National Environment Act, No.5 of 2019.
“The express penalty scheme is intended to deter non-compliance to environmental laws and to prevent environmental degradation through payment of monetary penalties (fines),” the authority said then.
According to the ordinance, littering from commercial buildings and depositing rubbish/waste on a roadside, or ditch attracts a maximum fine of up to shillings six million.
The implementation of the law however has since failed due to huge criticism from law pundits and the general public that is wondering whether the big problems affecting the nation, littering is among those that should be prioritized with such a fine of Ugx6m.
In fact, various stakeholders led by the Uganda Law Society (ULS) legally objected the directive on grounds that there is no enabling law that NEMA is relying on to enforce it.
Bernard Oundo, the ULS president, last month said: “Our position is very clear, there is no offence for not carrying a dustbin in under our laws and, therefore, NEMA cannot implement a law that doesn’t exist.”
Meanwhile, NEMA has since halted the directive saying it’s giving Ugandans more time to prepare for it.
In the Monday press briefing, Uganda police force’s mouth piece CP Fred Enanga told the press that Police had adjourned their planned operations on those with out Dustbins in their cars untill NEMA ‘realligns’ their legal provisions.