The Rt. Hon. Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has directed the Resident District Commissioner of Sironko to close all gambling and betting centres in the district.
Kadaga made the directive following an appeal by the RDC Kigayi Wamoto that a law on gambling and betting should be passed to control the business which has seen many youth spending time and money on the games.
“Madam Speaker, the people in these villages spend so much time on gambling and drinking; we appeal to you and Parliament to pass strict laws to control these and have people engage in productive ventures,” he said.
Parliament passed the Lotteries and Gaming Act, 2015 which provides for regulations for the gambling and betting sector.
The Speaker said that Parliament already passed a law to regulate gambling and betting and it just needs to be implemented.
“We passed a law; gambling and betting facilities are only allowed in cities and municipalities. I am directing you to close all those facilities in the trading centres and villages,” Kadaga ordered.
Kadaga made this directive while presiding over the handing over of an ambulance to Sironko District at Budadiri. The ambulance was purchased by the District Woman representative, Hon. Florence Nambozo.
Kadaga cited some countries where the citizens are prohibited from taking part in gambling but not that government would not get to that level but instead called for regulation.
“I was in Cyprus recently and was told that locals are not allowed in casinos; they are a preserve for foreigners. We do not want to go to that level. Let us regulate these activities,” she urged.
She advised the people of Sironko to avoid misusing the new ambulance and let it serve the purpose for which it is meant.
“I do not want to hear that it is being used for carrying matooke, charcoal and being used for weddings. Let it be for strictly emergencies,” she warned.
Hon. Nambozo called on government to implement the pledges made to the district which is a hard to reach area.
“Madam Speaker, we come from a hilly area. We need schools, hospitals and request that the roads are worked on to ease movement within the district,” Nambozo said.
Responding to the MP, the Speaker said that she had seen a letter from the President about the pledges made and that Sironko was one of the districts highlighted for implementation of those pledges.
“I will support the demands of the people of Sironko. The reason I travel is to see, hear and evaluate the needs of the people,” Kadaga added.
The function was also attended by Members of Parliament from other regions of the country.