- Published: 22 April 2016
Kampala - The High Court in Kampala has quashed with costs the government ban on vending unlabelled or unpacked milk in the city and the 21 Municipalities across the country. While quashing the ban that was issued by State Minister for Agriculture, Bright Rwamirama, Justice Yasin Nyanzi held that the minister’s ban was irrational as he didn’t consult the milk vendors
and other relevant stake holders prior to the ban. Further in his ruling that took close to three hours reading, the judge observed that there was no overriding public interest to warrant the ban of vending unpacked milk in the city and municipalities before wondering what the milk vendors would do with their unpacked milk. The ruling of the court followed a successful suit that was filed last year by a group of dissatisfied dairy traders under their umbrella association of the Uganda National Dairy Traders Association Ltd.
The milk vendors had asked the court to quash the same ban by the government. The government had wanted only few people to deal in already packed milk but now with this ruling of the court, over 50,000 small milk producer groups can now freely sell their unpacked or unlabelled milk without any hindrances.
Further in his verdict, justice Nyanzi wondered why the minister issued certificates to the milk vendors to operate their business but a month and half later, turned around to enact a law that the certificates will not be used and the same use would amount to a criminal act.
The milk vendors had in their suit, stated of how the on the face of it the ban was vague and unjustifiable as it forbed the marketing and vending of raw milk or pasteurized milk in cities and municipalities which is their mainstay and yet there is no compelling reason for unfair discrimination of this kind. Edward Kutesa, the spokesperson of the milk vendors welcomed the court’s ruling and that justice had been served to them.