Monday, July 9, 2012

The Political Economy of the Tobacco industry in Uganda

We are told that the tobacco industry is a major contributor to government tax revenue in Uganda.

We are also told that  there are 600,000 tobacco farmers in Uganda  in the five major Tobacco growing districts which include Arua, Nebbi,Kanungu and Hoima.

We also know that BATU, which has an estimated 90% market share runs several 'corporate social responsibility' projects in Uganda.

And we also know that BAT in 2011 announced an increase in Cigarette sales of 29% as compared to 2010.

And we are told BATU shares on the Uganda Stock Exchange have one of the highest share prices in Uganda.

Make no mistake. BATU is a multi-billion shilling industry that will do all within its power to protect its turf. And they are doing that well. They have appointed renown Businessman James Mulwana as their Board Chairman and ( Senior Presidential Advisor,John Nagenda before him).

The main stream press in Uganda has been infiltrated as we seen in our dailies' reporting. You see BAT is a major advertiser in the Ugandan print media.

And Politicians? Oh, those love campaign contributions and lobby gifts.

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