Karamoja: The NRM got money for the army, but not for the starving…

The recent surge in cattle theft and cross-border conflicts in Minister Kasiaja: Karamoja sub-region issues will continue to be addressed. In a recent supplementary budget, Government provided Shs.112.5 Billions to facilitate the UPDF to carry out operations” (91.2 Crooze FM, 14.06.2022).

More than half a million people are going hungry in Karamoja – Report” (…) “A new report indicates that the Karamoja region is undergoing a crisis of food insecurity and may slump into famine if there are no measures to reverse the situation immediately. The report on integrated food security phase classification also shows that Moroto and Kaabong districts are in a critical phase of acute malnutrition. While receiving the report, the government committed to implementing some of the short-term recommendations” (NTV Uganda, 14.06.2022).

We know that the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) launched Operation Usalama Kwa Wote in July 2021 and they have continued ever since. The UPDF and the authorities have burned villages and killed civilians in their manhunt for cattle-rustlers. However, there been no oversight or proof of their operation really stopping violence or the murders for cattle in the region.

The only thing that has been shown is that the government has killed around 700 civilians and there is no direct justification or proof of the need to do so. There is no direct proof of the use of firearm or report on the use of the weapon. People are just killed and dying because the UPDF said so.

In this regard… the budget priorities are very clear. As the Karamoja is getting funds for the operations of the UPDF in the region. However, there is nothing scheduled or funds to cover or help the people in need. Karamoja is possibly getting into famine and people are now going hungry. That is a sign that the government has failed this people. They are now in the hands of the government.

The UPDF seems to be more important than the civilians it is defending. Since, it has funds and operational means, but the public don’t have what they need. Neither does the state has the mechanisms or the institutions to help them. That’s why they are starving and not getting help. This shortfall has to be covered by either a UN Organizations, CSOs or NGOs. Because, they have ability and funds to come to their aide. Since, the state don’t pay it no mind and would only care if it was profitable.

Karamoja have been targeted and the army has intervened as it has… because the minerals and mining operations needs land. The villages and the people have to flee lands and the use of former methods is to shield their operation. Now it is even more evident as Karamoja is getting money for the army, but not the people in need. This has been forecasted by FEWSNET and others. It isn’t like it happened without any forewarning.

Karamoja was in a danger-zone and the army operations there wouldn’t make it any better. No, the state has addressed its own needs, but the needs of the population. The region has burned because of the army and the soldiers haven’t helped the farmers or the cattle-keepers. Instead it has possibly worsened it and created more internally displaced people. Therefore, it is striking that the UPDF gets funds, as a reported half a million will live in food insecurity and live in hunger.

I don’t see the state doing much or taking action about it. This will most likely spiral into a famine. Because, the state doesn’t have mechanisms or the willpower to do what is necessary now. That’s because the ministries and the institutions haven’t been invested into and neither is there a working protocol for cases like these. That’s for the simple reason: The International Community and their aid organizations are the shortfall for the inept and corrupt elites of Kampala.

That’s why the Minister of Karamoja will do nothing and neither will anyone associated with it. They are awaiting orders from the Office of the Prime Minister and the State House. Which will wait and we shouldn’t expect any miracles. The army is stationed here and they will not bring hope to a troubled region. A region that has burned and now it’s soon starving too. It doesn’t get a minute of peace or hope. Peace.

Opinion: Museveni cannot govern… as he blames the colonial British for poverty in 2022…

Here we go again… Museveni blames the ones before him for his inaction and lack of ability to govern…

President Museveni said this words to the leaders from Acholi and Lango sub-region on Saturday:

““When the colonials came here, they made our people grow the crops they wanted: cotton, tobacco, coffee, tea, and then our leaders just copied what the colonialists told them…So, when I studied the issue, I could see danger, number one was only working for the stomach” (…) “They (locals) must work for the stomach and the pocket. But secondly, even the ones who are working for the pocket do so without cura (calculations). That is how you get West Nile growing tobacco. If you grow tobacco on one acre, you will never get out of poverty…” (Oketch & Akullo, 2022).

Since 26th January 1986 the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has been in power. The Ugandan republic has been freed from the colonial toils from 9th October 1962, which is close too 60 years of independence from the United Kingdom or the British. That’s a long time ago and there been several of administrations between Museveni and the British. Therefore, his really stinging it here.

For a man that was supposed to bring “fundamental change” and be different than his predecessors is saying he couldn’t change things. A man that has been in office since 1986 and for 36 years as the heads of state. If someone had the time or the ability as an executive and could appoint the right people in the Republic. That would be the likes of Museveni.

Museveni could have changed the policies, the incentives and the opportunities for the farmers. The President could decree and push the Ministry of Agricultural, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) into new ways of subsidizing or help farmers to choose the right cash-crops. However, the regime haven’t and certainly not tried. They are to busy making cash-grabs, land-grabs and quick-get-rich-schemes for that to fall on death-ears.

President Museveni has had the powers and the ability to make vast difference. He could have had parastatals or government institutions within MAAIF who could do bidding and ensure the sector was taken care off. The President has a choice but has chosen not too. That’s why his blaming Obote and the colonial leaders of the past.

The NRM could have done something, but haven’t done it all. It is like they had their hands tied and wasn’t able to do anything. For all of these years the President was in power. Nothing substantial did happen and he was powerless. That’s why his blaming the colonial leadership and previous leaders after ruling the Republic for 36 years. This is telling of how unsuccessful his at this point. Peace.

Reference:

Bill Oketch & Charity Akullo – ‘Museveni blames past regimes for poverty’ 13.06.2022, Daily Monitor, link: https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/museveni-blames-past-regimes-for-poverty-3846976

Teso Affairs: In the Teso Sub-Region they are eating termites to survive the famine!

Residents of the hunger stricken areas in Teso region are now forced to eat termites due the current hunger crisis caused by last year and this year’s prolonged drought. Florence Kulume a mother of nine and a resident of Atira sub county in Serere district goes early morning to look for grass, sort it straight before washing it with roots of a certain tree locally known as “Ekoboi” in Ateso which is sour and loved by termites” (Kampala Dispatch – ‘Starving families in Teso resort to eating termites, Karimojong flee to Kenya’ 13.06.2022).

The Teso Sub-Region is hit with food insecurity yet again. It seems like the Teso Affairs and the state haven’t followed previous recommendations or any sort of thing. As the problems of past is revisiting the area. An area where the state has invested in a fruit factory, the Soroti Fruit Factory, but not secured the farmers or the agricultural sector as a whole. Since, within a few years time and a new drought settles in. The same issue of hunger and starvations sets in.

I have to use the sentiment of a farmer from the last time in 2017. Because the situation hasn’t changed but its more of the same.

Still, a local farmer wrote a piece to the Chimp Reports that has some valuable assessments:

The current hunger in Teso has largely been attributed to drought, while this assertion may hold some truths; there is increasingly evidence that the Ministry of Teso Affairs has not done its part. Hunger in Teso is as a result of both internal and external factors. For many years, the region has been experiencing declining productivity and this was recently worsened by drought. For districts like Ngora, Bukedia and Kumi, land fragmentation has heavily affected productivity” (…) “Clearly besides drought, Teso food systems are in a crisis and our expectation was that the Ministry of Teso affairs working with other stakeholders would work to address this problem. Our view is that hunger should be among the ‘affairs’ that Ministry of Teso Affairs should be engaged in. Agriculture remains a major livelihood for our people in Teso and therefore we require urgent response from Ministry of Teso Affairs on its plans to help our people get out of the current hunger crisis” (Akorikin, 2017).

Minister of State for Teso Affairs, Hon. Christine Aporu Amongin has to accept her faults and lack of good governance. The state haven’t done their due diligence or tried to mitigate it. That’s why it’s happening again after 5 years. We know the state will come with excuses. Last time around another minister blamed the suffering communities for selling their crops and whatnot to get money to stay alive. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect much from the state or the ministries in question.

The Office of the Prime Minister and the Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness should together with the Teso Affairs make some mechanisms and help people out. Not only with the direct aid and need food right now. That what they should do and in such a manner that people can eat nutritious food.

Now that it has happen for the second time in 5 years. The state needs to do more than short-term relief. There is a need for more food security mechanisms that actually can help the farmers and the hit communities in the Teso sub-region. Peace.

Reference:

Akorikin, Francis – ‘OPINION: Government Should Review the Relevance of Ministry of Teso Affairs’ (05.05.2017) link: https://www.chimpreports.com/opinion-government-should-review-the-relevance-of-ministry-of-teso-affairs/

Amuru Land Grab: The Apaa Village evictions is never ending story…

Legislators from the Acholi sub-region were blocked from accessing the Apaa township, bordering Adjumani and Amuru districts. The eight MPs from the region were in Apaa on a fact-finding mission following an arson attack, displacement, and reports of gross abuse of human rights over persistent land wrangles. These were instead met by police officers and army men heavily armed with teargas and guns who blocked their access” (NBS Television, 10.06.2022).

This here story goes back in time. So far back that we are now soon two decades since the state gave the land to the investor. Since then the Apaa village has seen the forceful state, evictions and other sorts of tactics of the state to takeover the land. In the Northern Uganda land has been taken and given to “industrial” purposes like the plantations for the Kakira Factory for instance. Therefore, the ideas of taking land for “development” isn’t new. However, the state doesn’t give anything in return to the evicted and only creates more internally displaced persons. Which is another crisis in the making.

The Apaa village and Apaa community deserves better. They have been victims, which shown by this quotation from a report in 2014.

The case of land in Apaa Village (Amuru District) illustrates the suspicions of local people concerning the acquisition of large tracts of land. In 2005, when people were still living in the camps, land was given to Bruce Martin from South Africa who was investing in game reserves for sports hunting. When resistance from the community intensified, it is claimed that the government changed tactics and asked the neighbouring district of Adjumani to contest ownership and claim that this land actually lies within Adjumani District. The Adjumani District authorities then passed a council resolution giving the land away to the ‘investor’. Some participants in this research argued that the boundaries between the two districts of Adjumani and Acholi are clear, and that some district politicians are manufacturing the boundary conflict. During an interview with the District Chairperson of Adjumani, he showed a map of the area in dispute claiming the area belongs to Adjumani District” (Otim & Mugisha, P: 8, 2014).

What is striking is that this case has been a running case in the 9th and 10th Parliament. Now, it returns to prominence in the 11th Parliament too. That means the Apaa village never been resolved, neither has the rights of the Apaa community really been heard. Secondly, the former MPs and Local Councillors haven’t been able to voice it up. This because it is a stalemate and the land is still up for grabs.

We know in 2018 that Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) did some evictions of people in the area. This was done with the support of the army or the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF). That just shows that the District Land Board and Area Land Board wasn’t able to petition or have a say. Therefore, the directives and the promise of land was already settled without considering the implications locally.

That’s maybe why the MPs are trying to investigate it. They are MPs representing the Acholi sub-region, but still not allowed to access the area. That says something about the what is going on and possibly could be furthering escalations. We can be rest assured that the State House has directed it and is silently behind it all. As they have promised the land for the investor.

It is tragic that this is happing to Apaa village. Wonder, if the President would have been so kind to an “investor” if it happened to his farm in Rwaiktura farm in Kiruhura district. As a Namibian “investor” was given land and for “development” purposes in the greater Mbarara area. Because, that would be the same and he would have to idly move without any compensation. That would have been a similar act of land grab, which is what’s happening here in Apaa village in the Acholi sub-region. Peace.

Reference:

Otim, David & Mugisha, Police Charles – Saferworld: ‘Beyond the reach of the hoe: The struggle for land and minerals in Northern Uganda’ (April 2014)

Ethiopia: The FDRE wants to profit on the needs of fertilizer to the Tigray region…

 

The viciousness and the usage of conflict to earn profits or consolidate power has no ends in Addis Ababa. The Prosperity Party and their allies are using the conflict beyond shadow of a doubt. While the humanitarian truce is in effect and some convoys are reaching the Tigray region. There been reports of blocking seeds and such in Afar region, as it was about to on a later stage enter Tigray. Therefore, we know the total humanitarian assistance haven’t reached it’s destination.

That’s why reading this from FAO is really alarming, as the Federal Government has ensured the man-made famine and the starvation in the region as well. That has been done because of the besieged roads into it and the blockade, which is done with the “mercy” of the state. This is why so many people in the region is suffering and has a daily plight, which we cannot imagine. The OCHA reports of late has shown that. Even with the drip-drops of entering convoys. That is still not enough to patch the hurt or the damage created by all the months of non-entry of humanitarian assistance.

That’s why reading this… you know what sort of sinister game the Prosperity Party is playing with the international community and the donors of the humanitarian assistance to the Tigray region. Just read these lines here. As we are in the middle of planting season and without seeds or fertilizers the next harvest is doomed. So, the PP is really showing their “heart” on this one.

FAO Urgent Call:

Tigray’s Meher season is just weeks away (June/July 2022). With the rainfall outlook favourable (normal to above-normal), the season offers a critical and cost-effective opportunity to improve food availability across the region. However, limited access to agricultural inputs (particularly fertilizers, but also seeds) is a major threat to the season. The Government of Ethiopia has offered humanitarian agencies access to fertilizer through a government facility to support vulnerable households in the Tigray region. As the lead agency of the Agriculture Cluster, FAO is calling for urgent funding from resource partners to enable Cluster partners to immediately secure 60 000 tonnes of fertilizer from the government facility and ensure farmers have it in-hand before the start of the season. The existing humanitarian truce offers an important opportunity to deliver inputs to Tigray” (Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) – ‘Tigray: Urgent call for assistance’ 06.06.2022).

Just imagine the millions in needs and who has been blocked for months on ends. Bank-accounts frozen, no telephones, no electricity and no food security. The same folks are now awaiting the World Food Programme and other organizations to come in and fill the void. However, it isn’t enough to air-lift or purchase the needed seeds or fertilizer. No, that has to happen locally and the PP has ensure earning currencies on it. The same folks that has blocked and besieged the region. They are now planning to profit on the misery they have created since November 2020. The PP has the nerve and the guts to do so. Because, they know the UN and their agencies will not try to pull strings or find other avenues of getting it. Since, they are living on the mercy and begging to enter to begin with.

That’s why this sort of play… only shows how vicious and sinister the PP is. They have no concern of the plight, the famine or the starvation happening in Tigray. No, they don’t pay it no mind and only wants to earn fortunes on it. Now, they are ensuring all fertilizer are provided by the state and ensuring revenue this way. While they should be lucky to get it for free in the first place and it should been a donations to the ones in need. Instead, they have to beg for funds and ensure they can reach the season. This is the preparation time and soon it’s to late.

So, it is really saying something when the FAO has to do this in June, as the planting is starting in July. Therefore, the time table is short and the strings, which is put on them is a burden too. If it had been cheap and easy. The FAO wouldn’t have come with a plea for help or the urgency of funds. That just shows how the FDRE wants to profit on the misery of their own people. Peace.

The Rise of the Cassava Republic: A look into President Museveni’s “National Address “On the State of the Economy”

To use frugally these imported items (kukekereza, kwereembareemba) or kubyesonyiwa (get alternatives)” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (22.05.2022).

Cassava. Cassava. Cassava. Well, here we are and things are not changing. The Head of State came with his history lecture, but he says he fixed everything since 1986, but the problems are always returning. Things are never stable enough or ability to permanently find solutions. That’s why even the “revolutionary” man and His Excellency is living large. The same does all his cronies and it’s really unique that a man who has all the wealth and all the power. To say to the citizens to not by imported items and switch to cassava.

Just read these lines in 2022:

The struggle between the two lines, therefore, was as follows: the revolutionary side (our side) pointed out that what was primary was to avoid death (massive death – ekyorezo), all other problems notwithstanding. The reactionary line was to emphasize the loss of jobs, loss of businesses, loss of school time, pregnancies of young girls, etc. Our line was that ebizibu (problems) are not equal (comparable) to death (okufa). Death is irreversible, while problems are reversible at the appropriate time. “Ekitatta Muhima, tekimumalako ente”, we say in Luganda (if a Muhima does not die, even if he loses cows, he will, in time, recover them)” (Museveni, 22.05.2022).

He is speaking well of the lockdowns and the stopping of society as he did for months during the global pandemic of late. Where the state had no emergency or contingency plans to help their citizens. There was a lack of support and the price of survival must have been really hard on the citizens living hand-to-mouth. As there is only one elite who could work from home. The day-traders and the ones living of their hands couldn’t do that directly. That was why so many was hurting.

Now, he speaks of the revolutionary line, as the NRM is far from that now. They have become the elites and the bourgeois who is eating of the plights of the rest. The President will not say that, but his staleworths, associates and all in collective is living large while the rest is struggling. That’s why his speaking like this. Because, it is so easy on the throne and when you especially doesn’t come with solutions, but let the people fix it for themselves. That’s the “revolution” his bringing… and he is clearly not on point with the needs of the people anymore. As their plights and the trouble to afford basic commodities isn’t going away and he choses to nothing about it. Since it is only a problem, but he don’t won’t to solve it. As it is not about survival…

He continues:

Again, here, we confront the struggle between the two lines: the revolutionary, patriotic line of the truth and seriousness on the one hand and the reactionary line of populism, cheap popularity and lack of realism of: prices-control by Government, subsidies, tax cuts on the other hand. Although this is not as serious as covid-19, the choices here, are also with serious implications. It is a choice between okubandama (collapse) of the economy on the one hand or survival (kwetaasa, kuhonoka). The real medicine for high prices and shortages, is increased production. Produce more, if you can” (Museveni, 22.05.2022).

It is really clear that his trying a balancing act, but it’s far from revolutionary at this point. It is being relaxed about the trouble and issues of the people. Instead of supporting and finding means to an end for the mwannachi. He prefers to look silently by and hoping the resilience of the people will linger on. Neither is his fearing uprisings or major demonstrations. Because, the “bread and circus” is working. Secondly, there is enough to keep people content with bare minimum. While the people should afford a bar of soap or cooking oil. The loaf of bread is just a proof that the society is weakening and the middle-class is dying too. There is only the rich who is connected to the government and their inner-circles. The businesses are thriving because of connections and suction from associates of the state. The rest has to fight and struggle.

He speaks of producing more, but who is buying and how are you selling that? When people cannot afford things to begin with. That will only benefit the traders who are exporting and not the people who cannot earn enough to pay the increased prices. Especially, when the state isn’t planning to help to regulate or subsidies imports of certain products. Neither, can certain products be produced at a massive scale for a reasonable price over night either. So, the President here is really naive or if not. Ignorant on the facts and what this really do. Its more Cassave and less wheat all over again…

In conclusion, I repeat that the only, really, serious dangers to our future are: reliance on only rain-fed agriculture; damage to our environment; and a nuclear-war among the mistake-makers” (Museveni, 22.05.2022).

Well… there you have it. This is the vital parts of the speech, because the rest was more history lessons and not relevant for today. That’s why I have only these paragraphs. He just shows what his asking for the public. You have to figure it out and if not use less soap. If not someone has to start production in Namanve or Luzira for that matter.

Museveni promised a “Steady Progress” and “Securing Your Future” but in this speech. He never really meant these things. Because, he is leaving people to fight for themselves. Since he has no incentive or reasons to do things. That’s for a simple reason. He don’t fear retribution or a revolution against him. As the President for 36 years… he hopes he has dozed people off so much. That they will never care to turn against him in the streets, avenues or in the villages. Even if they can’t afford basic commodities. Peace.

Ghana: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration – Minister for Foreign Affairs, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey addresses Security Council Meeting on the Nexus between Armed Conflict and Food Insecurity (19.05.2022)

A bitter cup of coffee: A brief look into the Parliament Report on the agreement with Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited

Today the Plenary Session spoke about the “Report of the Sectoral Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry on the Investigation of the alleged unfair terms in the MoU between Government of Uganda and Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited” published on the 29th April 2022. This is unravelling as the public and media is surrounding it. As the UVCCL company would get tax-wavers, coffee beans monopoly and other parts of the agreement, which is favourable to a company, which isn’t operational or fair for the farmers or coffee industry as a whole.

The UVCCL agreement is already questioned. The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) and other high ranking officials adamant defence of it. Only shows how the faulty and unfair, partly illegal agreement was put into play. While this agreement would also endanger and certainly become a real hurdle for a growing coffee industry. A cash-crop turned into a monopoly.

I will not discuss the free-land, the lease or any of those sorts. That is interesting on it’s own, but there are several of other quotes, which just shows how bad this deal was and how in the wrong the authorities are to authorize it. Secondly, the UVCCL was supposed to do magic and get huge funds out of nowhere. While not being operational to build a big coffee processing plant. It just shows how this deal was the rig the economy and the whole coffee sector towards on entity. That’s really despicable…

Here are some quotes from the Parliament Report:

6.1.7.5 MOU is not sincere on the quantity of premium grades According to the MOU, UWCL’s coffee supply requirement for the start of the project is estimated to be 27,000 metric tonnes and 60,000 metrics tonnes at full capacity. The committee was informed by Uganda Coffee Private Sector that the conversion rate of Green coffee to soluble coffee is 3:1 and this means that UVCCL requires about 180,000 metric tonnes of green coffee. The committee however observes that Uganda’s average annual export for the past 5 years is about 5.2 million bags which is equivalent to about 309,000 metric tonnes. This implies that WCCL at full capacity will take 58.2% (180,000 metric tonnes) of Uganda’s coffee production. The committee notes that the stated reason for UVCCL’s desire to “ring-fence” is to ensure uninterrupted supply of high quality soluble beans” (P 23, 2022).

The Committee observes that whereas UVCCL has share capital of USD 10 Million, the money required to construct such a factory envisaged in the agreement is estimated by UCDA to cost about USD 44OM in the first year alone. The committee is convinced that UVCCL given its limited share capital cannot be in position to borrow a sum which is 44 times the value of the company” (P: 28, 2022).

The Committee observes that UVCCL was not eligible to benefit from the 49- year lease extension since it had not complied with the building covenants under the initial Lease agreement. This means that the lease was irregularly extended” (P: 30, 2022).

The Committee further observes that the UVCCL has not, even after the extension of the lease to a full 49-year, done any construction works on site to-date” (P: 30, 2022).

The Committee notes further that, the VAT Act does not grant any person, not even the Minister, the right to waive a tax. In that regard therefore, the Minister acted irregularly and illegally in granting the VAT exemptions to UVCCL” (P: 38, 2022)

The Committee observes that clause 4.2 creates a monopoly in favor of UVCCL to the purchase of superior quality coffee beans from Uganda by restricting Government from registering any contract or acknowledging any arrangement for the export of coffee beans. The Committee observes that this means that no export of super quality coffee beans shall be allowed by Government until the quantity required by UVCCL is attained. Further still, a monopoly is created in favor of UVCCL since it controls the prices it pays for the coffee beans supplied to it” (…) “The committee also observes that this monopoly is a threat to the already existing 47 licensed processors of coffee with possibilities of causing unemployment, loss of tax and in the worst long term scenario, shut down of operations” (…) “This means the farmer has the right to determine how and to whom he or she sells his or her coffee to. The Agreement therefore interferes with the exclusive rights granted to farmers over their coffee by article 26 of the Constitution by pledging the coffee to a single entity without the consent of farmers. The farmer’s proprietary rights have been affected by the Agreement, irreversibly” (…) “The Committee also observes that whereas farmers are being promised premium prices, the agreement is silent on the method of supply of coffee beans to the factory. This therefore, this opens a window for possible contracted brokers by UVCCL since the factory will need constant supply from different regions of the country. Thus reducing the margin on the farm gate price. The Committee is concerned that designating UVCCL as a price determinant will distort coffee prices in Uganda by disregarding the forces of demand and supply, both locally and internationally, in determining coffee prices” (P: 47-49 + 51, 2022).

It is really interesting the whole agreement, as the inept or the gravity of the whole situation was never there. If not, the MOFPED and other agencies involved never studied or thought of the implications of the arrangement. That a company with lacking funds was to build a big coffee processing plant. Secondly, the plant in question wouldn’t be able to fulfil its mission or planned monopoly itself. As the scale of production only will not meet the targets or the available beans for the plant in question. The farmers are producing to much beans for it process. Therefore, the monopoly is faulty from the outset. Thirdly, the agreement is done without thinking or considering the ones processing coffee-beans already, which is 47 companies and their livelihoods are in danger because of this agreement.

The agreement further has irregularly given a lease of land and it has done any construction work on the site. Meaning the company has some funds on paper and exists, but the operational and plant itself is far ahead of time. The UVCCL gotten dozens of advantages, but has nothing to prove for it. Neither does it has anything materialized.

The state has furthered breached several of tax-wavers to the company and given incentives, which is breaching with laws and regulations. It is like a whole enterprise of inept, incompetent and ill-advised high ranking officials inside the MOFPED. It just like all procedures, all protocols and all safeguards of the state has been thrown out of the window in a haste to sign a deal or amend it in favour of the paper-tiger called UVCCL. A brief-case company which is getting monopoly on the coffee-industry.

The company would further undermine the whole industry from the farmer to the exporters. This company would have all the rights and the positive outcomes. The farmers would be locked into selling to it and that after the price it would set. The UVCCL would practically be a state owned enterprise and be the only one allowed to operate. This giving no incentives and no rights to either farmers or former coffee processors of the Republic. Because, the UVCCL would have the monopoly of the industry for years. That is really bitter and shows how destructive this agreement is.

The MOFPED has served some “high above” or “interests” which we don’t know today. Because, we still don’t know who is behind Hawk Limited, which is the biggest shareholder of the company. However, sooner or later that information will trickle out as well. Because, that is the main benefactor of this agreement and a company like that is owned by somebody with influence and power to get such favours from the state. Peace.

Zimbabwe: Ministry of Finance and Economic Development – Measures to improve availability of Basic Commodities and to Incentivise Farmers to Early Grain Deliveries to the Grain Marketing Board (14.05.2022)

Uganda: FEWS NET projected food security levels as stressed in the Greater Northern Region and a crisis in Karamoja

Staple food prices have continued to increase in recent months and are higher than prices recorded last year and five-year average levels across most of Uganda. Prices of staple sorghum and maize are now significantly above average in several key reference markets across the country. In Karamoja, terms of trade for sorghum against firewood, charcoal, and goats are below average and worse than last year, significantly restricting food access for poor households. After the first season bimodal harvest in June/July, food prices are expected to decline but are now expected to remain above average given expectations for below-average production, increased net exports, and impacts of the war in Ukraine on global supply chains and prices” (FEWS NET, 06.05.2022).

The Cassava Republic is getting hit hard by not only the rising commodity prices, but the weather. The agricultural production will be slowed down and that will hurt the farmers of the regions in the Northern Uganda and in the Karamoja sub-region. That is very evident and FEWS NET together with the World Food Programme is clearly having an oversight here. This here should worry the state, as it has targeted and had a military operation in Karamoja. Which is not mentioned here, but the burning region of Karamoja isn’t having a better times ahead of it. To the contrary things are only getting worse.

The Cassava Republic is also hit with an impactful war, which is not only hitting the exports of wheat, but in general. That’s why prices of commodities will go up and has gone up over the last year. Things are not getting better there either. Just read the quote below, which is a continuation of the first quote from FEWS NET on the matter.

In general, prices of food and non-food commodities have increased notably since late 2021. The main driving factors include rising transportation costs due to increasing fuel prices, seasonally declining market stocks, and reduced production prospects from the upcoming first season harvest following below average rainfall. More recently, impacts of the Russia-Ukraine crisis have driven further fuel price increases and increased the rate of general inflation of food and non-food commodities, further reducing household purchasing power. In March, retail prices of maize grain and sorghum increased farther above five-year average levels. Retail prices of beans and cassava generally remained below average in March, though prices of beans increased by 9-20 percent across monitored markets from February to March” (FEWS NET, 06.05.2022).

Here is the worrying statement:

However, rising food prices will likely result in some higher selling prices for famers, increasing access to income for those with near average production. For pastoralist households, pasture and water availability is expected to improve in May given the forecast of above-average rainfall. Overall, most households in bimodal areas are expected to access sufficient food and income to meet their essential food and non-food needs, with Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes expected to persist at the area level throughout the projection period. However, given revised expectations for a third consecutive below-average production season as well as rising prices of food and non-food commodities including fuel, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes are now expected to persist throughout much of northern Uganda for the majority of the projection period. In Karamoja, availability of food and income is expected to remain seasonally limited as the lean season progresses. Given delays in the agricultural season, the lean season is now expected to last through July, longer than usual by about three weeks. During this time, insecurity is likely to continue constraining limiting income-earning, including from livestock production and sales. When schools reopen for the new term in early May, households will likely experience some improved food consumption due to WFP’s food and nutrition programming for school children, including school meals, take-home rations, and supplementary food for households with malnourished children. However, food prices are expected to continue increasing through around June until the harvest from bimodal areas begins to boost market supplies, with an increasing number of poor households likely to face consumption gaps and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes during this time. Though some seasonal price declines are expected following this, prices are expected to remain above average. For many poor Karamoja households, below-average purchasing power will continue constraining access to food from market purchases. Around August/September, the start of harvesting in Karamoja is expected to support improved access to food from own consumption and income from crop sales and reduce the number of households facing consumption gaps, though Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are expected to persist at the area level even during the post-harvest period. Overall, widespread Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are now expected to persist through at least September, with worst-affected households facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes” (FEWS NET, 06.04.2022).

We are seeing changes and the next coming months will be impactful to say the least. As the farmers and everyone else will struggle. There will be lack of food and a distress in some parts of the Republic, but it can become really dire in Karamoja. The Karamoja where the army has attacked, burned villages and gone after the citizens. That’s where things are getting worse and where they will have a terrible food insecurity to the levels of crisis. They can possibly get into Emergency, which should worry anyone. This just really speaks of how the state is failing its citizens and things are not getting any better.

The state should act upon this and think of safeguards. Nevertheless, don’t think they will. They rather send more soldiers and have more birthday bashes for Muhoozi. Than being concerned with the lack of food or ability to plough their fields. No, the state is more busy scheming and enterprising for their own. That’s why this sort of news needs to be spread. Because, the citizens of Karamoja and the Greater North will be hurt by this. That is the message from FEWS NET and it should be heard. Peace.

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