The Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) has urged Government to remove taxes on life jackets so that Ugandans who use water bodies can access them at cheaper rates and save lives.
This comes after the unfortunate incident of the Lake Victoria boat accident that left over 20 people dead due to the capsizing of the boat in the water last week.
UPC spokesperson Sharon Ayat Arach while addressing Media on Wednesday at Uganda House called upon Government to reach out and offer any necessary support to the bereaved families.
“This is not the first time such occurrences have been registered on our lakes in the country especially Victoria. Surprisingly, and according to the Uganda Police Force,even the Police boat that was on the rescue mission capsized in water and they decried the
hazardous conditions that their officers face while executing their life-saving duties,she said.
UPC urged that Government should give full support to the Marine Team to enable them execute their work without any limit ations.
The Party has noted that the use of ordinary boat canoes that are overloaded with both passengers and goods coupled with the rare use life jackets is a common cause of accidents.
“It is also worthy to note that the life jackets are too expensive to be afforded and used regularly by our ordin ally people who commonly use water transport. This is a matter of life and death that no one should play with, and Government has the obligation to protect and save the lives of her citizens”, Ayat Requested.
UPC therefore appeals to Government to remove the tax on life jackets. The Marine Rapid Rescue Teams should be given more appropriate training skills with modern technology and be on stand-by throughout the year. Weather forecast reports are equally
important to be integrated with our traditional skills of sailing, fishing and transport.
With time, we need to phase out boat canoes and replace them with speed boats powered by engines which are more reliable.
On the issue of sports, UPC asked Government to fund more national netball team,the She Cranes after putting Uganda on the map of Africa and the world in the just concluded 2023 Netball World Cup in South Africa.
This performance that saw Uganda
uplifted to No.1 position on the continent of Africa and No. 5 in the entire world is very commendable. “This victory comes with a lot of commitment, hard work and sacrifice on the part of the team and its collective responsibility which calls for much investment in
the field. We want thank the She Cranes Coach Fred Mugerwa for the job well done.Now the challenge is to ensure that such performance is not just a ran off. UPC is fully aware that sports require adequate investments in terms sports facilities and coaches from grassroot level to national level”,she hailed.
She added”the Netball Association has to be thanked and appreciated together with the parent Ministry of Education and Sports. However, if the country is to benefit better in such sports, the Government through her line Ministry of education and sports has to trace the talents of our young people right from primary level and support them with all the necessary requirements as sports are increasingly becoming lucrative job that can absorb many of our talented youth”
Now the best way that can help to move forward sports is to seek ways and means of professionalising the sports clubs in the country and attracting sponsorship and provide equal funding in all the sports sectors.