Opinion: Ggoobi is selling a bitter cup of coffee…

The ones that is believing the greatness and the proper means of the Vinci coffee deal signed by the Government of Uganda. They are naive and not seeing what has happened before. This agreement and deals between the investor and the GoU is bad at best. There is no denying in that. This is agreeing with the same investor and company, which was supposed to build the sophisticated Lubowa Specialized Hospital. That is yet to happen and is hard to believe that the same government would trade with the same person in another deal.

That’s why it’s interesting that Frank Tumwebaze was back-tracking. When he was in the room with one of the agreements was signed. While we know that the different ministries and government entities has participated in this.

This follows Parliament’s move to investigate the deal that the government through the Ministry of Finance signed with the company. The agreement in question was signed in February 10, 2022, amending an earlier agreement signed on April 29, 2015, and the accompanying addenda signed on December 21, 2015 and 17 October 2017. The amendment gives Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited a monopoly over the purchase and export of coffee from Ugandan farmers” (Mary Karubaga – ‘Agriculture minister says not a party to Vinci coffee deal’ 13.04.2022, New Vision).

Commenting about the matter on Thursday, Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary, Ramathan Ggoobi defended the deal as one of the best the country can ever get. “The agreement was signed with Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited to assist in the development of an 80million dollar plant, add value to coffee and export it globally. The agreement was therefore signed following a protracted process of due diligence and feasibility studies,”Ggoobi said. To further defend the agreement, the Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary said the deal was cleared by the Attorney General and was subsequently signed within laws governing the country and that none was broken. Explaining about the agreement, Ggoobi explained that the agreement will support government in the realization of its coffee production target from the current 7 million bags per year to 20 million bags by 2030” (Kenneth Kazibwe – ‘Uganda: “It Is the Best Deal Ever” – Finance Ministry Defends Controversial Coffee Agreement’ 14.04.2022, Nilepost/AllAfrica).

After reading this. You would think everything was clear and things was moving. The last piece of information about the movement on the matter. Was that there was a field investigation in March 2020 on the site of the Coffee factory. Alas, there has been little to no movement, except for huge promises and big dreams of achievements.

The Vinci Company have worked with this since they we’re visiting the State House back in January 2014. That is over 8 years of little to no progress. Only more agreements and furthering a paper-trail of it. It is so slow… that it’s hard to believe it’s the best deal a government could have. Neither can the company be so great… when the movements are so slow. The promises of vast production and jobs seems far-fetched. When there is no proof on site and neither in general.

The Vinci Company and it’s Coffee Processing Factory seems to be a dream that won’t come into reality. The Government or the Company doesn’t have the ability to pull it off. This would make sense and be adding value to the coffee beans, which is growing in Uganda. The idea is positive and the amount of bags would make good profits. However, if it is sustainable or have the funds to do so.

You can wonder, if there was any feasibility study or anything else. As there are little to nothing to show for it. Only huge hubris from the government and now from the Ministry of Finance. Which has to 8 years later say it is a grand deal. While nothing can be proven. If it was the best deal ever. Why haven’t Vince Company set up shop long time ago and even built anything? This is going glacier slow and isn’t promising. Neither is the possible stipulations or articles of the hidden agreement. Which should be public. Because, a monopoly of all coffee beans is a bad deal and would possibly stifle the farmers who is selling their coffee-beans. Peace.

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