A Ugandan MP who has put forward a private members bill to reduce smoking in Uganda has accused British American Tobacco (BAT) of blackmail. Dr Chris Baryomunsi revealed he has received a letter from BAT advising that the company will stop doing business with farmers in his constituency because his bill has meant existing arrangements are ‘increasingly less economically viable’, the Guardian newspaper reported on 13 July.
Dr Baryomunsi is defiant in the face of such pressure: “They thought that the farmers would rise against me and disorganise me politically, but I told them I was not moved. I actually assured them that what mattered to me was not the number of years I spend in parliament but what I do when in parliament. I assured them that no amount of blackmail and intimidation would shake me.”