The Independent (Kampala)

Uganda: Minister Against Trade Body Vetting China Travel

The state minister for Economic Monitoring Henry Banyenzaki has said that the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) has no capacity to vet women below the age of 35 to go to China for business.

Banyenzaki told The Independent in a telephone interview on Jan. 16 that it is not good to vet women intending to do business in China.

"I don't like it. I don't think you yourself like it," he said, adding it is tantamount to gender discrimination.

The KACITA chairman, Everest Kayondo told The Independent recently that they were cleared by authorities to give out recommendation letters to women intending to travel to China so they can easily be given visas. He said they had recommended over 200 and the number was growing from time to time.

Banyenzaki said anybody under the age of 35 is always productive and can do serious business.

"Most of these ladies and women are involved in textiles and garment business and they earn a living from that," he said. "And China is our preferred economic destination." So why vet for China only, he asked.

"I am following it up with the authorities concerned," he said. "But I am really perturbed with it."

The minister said the vetting process left out the men who are said to be in China dealing in illegal activities like drug abuse. So why vet women alone, he asked.

He said the vetting should be left for the embassies.

It is said that the foreign affairs ministry in Uganda is supporting the move aimed at limiting the number of women travelling to China to do other illegal activities like prostitution instead of real business, which in the end, tarnishes the country's image abroad.

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