RDC: Compte Rendu de la 50eme Reunion du Coseil des Ministres (25.09.2020)

A Breakdown: Oil Exploitation, which is so taxing… why are the deals confidential?

Today, the Government of Tanzania have together with the Government of Uganda signed off to a Host Government Agreement (HGA), also together with Total, the supposed builder of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

Today, all the years of waiting, stalling and finding measures of taxes pays-off. We can still wonder what is basic fee structure and what is the price of taxation of the extraction of oil exploitation in the Lake Albertine basin. In the same regard, we can wonder is the specific route for the pipeline and what consequences it will have to nature, reserves and national parks. Because, the drill itself is just in the near proximity of Murchinson Fall National Park. Before it will continue or pass through other untouched areas of both Uganda and Tanzania.

There is still not answers or openness about the deals in the regards to the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and the Tanzania National Oil Company (TNOC), in combination to the ownership and licences of China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) and Total. Therefore, there are plenty of stakeholders and everyone wants to profit on the resources.

With both Republics signing of the HGA agreement and preparing for the Final Investment Decision (FID). The building of the pipeline and the industry can start off. This has also been stopped by taxation and the questionable acquisitions of exploitation licences in Lake Albert. Therefore, the whole Heritage and Tullow taxation case and the costs it had for Total to pay off that. Is still not shown to the public or if the Government of Uganda has forgiven the past company to give way. While Tullow surely wanted profits for their time and the valuable licences they had gotten rights too in earlier rounds.

What is also worrying to me? Well, the deals are not public. The agreements between the Corporations and the Republics are practically unknown and only mere fragments is out. Just like the power-sharing of 60% to Tanzania and 40% to Uganda. Is still not saying much, considering this will be still carved up by Total and CNOOC too, also some sort of deal with UNOC and TNOC. These will not operate on charity, but as a benefactor of the Republic itself.

The public should know this, because it is public resources, state resources and oil exploitation on public land. The companies are using licences and also the same licenses to transport the crude oil in the pipeline from Lake Albert to Port Tanga. Therefore, it is needed to get this knowledge to show the price, the agreements and the possible perks. Because, we don’t if they even have strings or not.

We should wonder why its confidential and kept a secret. The companies should also be displeased, unless they like to exploit without any transparency. Because, these deals and arrangements haven’t been made transparent or with accountability. It has been done in the chambers of Entebbe and in Tanzania. The general public will only see a fraction and not know the full extent.

That is a deliberate action by Presidents and their handlers. The UNOC, TNOC, Total and CNOOC can operate without to much scrutiny and just enjoy the cheers. There is a need to know, but don’t expect it. Since, the GoU and GoT haven’t delivered this in past, neither has the GoU showed anything from the previous deals with Heritage/Tullow. Why should they suddenly change of heart?

I don’t think so… unless there is a sudden miracle. If not … if there is a shady deal and one company feels used and will take it to an international court. Then, we will see some evidence of what went down. However, until then… we only know the bits and pieces. Peace.

A Breakdown: Oil Exploitation, which is so taxing… can start if Tanzania signs a deal too..

Last year in September 2019, the Farm Down Agreement of Tullow Oil was supposed to be traded to Total E&P Uganda. This was a long and prolonged negotiations, as the British Tullow Oil has been in dispute of taxation and payments of fees the Government of Uganda, which was deemed as the “Presidential Handshake”.

What happen yesterday with the Financial Investment Decisions (FID) of Total, as it has taken over the stakes of Tullow Oil. While agreeing on added terms in combination with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to drill after petroleum in various of blocks on Lake Albert, also build the petroleum pipeline from Hoima to Port Tanga, Tanzania.

The Port Tanga and Pipeline agreement was sealed in 2017 between the Government of Uganda (GoU) and Government of Tanzania (GoT). That after lots of meetings and consultations between the parties. There was some who even tried to get it Port Lamu in Kenya, but that was ditched. Also, causing a rift between Dodoma and Nairobi.

Now, the next step is that Total and CNOOC is able to get a Host Government Agreement (HGA) for the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project. That was agreed by the parties in Entebbe for the territory of Uganda, but it is not sealed with Tanzania.

Though it should be in the interest to sign an agreement with President Magufuli and the CCM. Now, that they have fixed the first part and the licences to drill on Lake Albert. Total and CNOOC needs the HGA in Tanzania too. That will be beneficial for the Republic there too.

This has been a long time… the first reports of agreements and production licenses to blocks on Lake Albert in early 2000s. This was agreements being made between the government and the Tullow/Heritage and ENI as well. Which later has caused rift between the companies and the Republic, as the Oil Companies wasn’t willing to pay taxes and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) needed to win a Court Case in 2014 to get taxes owned paid by Tullow, as they had to cover the loss of taxes from their acquisition of Heritage Oil.

So, the news today is big. Maybe, the President got another Presidential Handshake, as the Tullow Oil Taxes case brought a lot of kickbacks. The deals sealed between Museveni and Total is a secret. Therefore, only the agreement of what it does is in public, but not the costs, the tax-grade and the limitations of it. Total and CNOOC can have gotten it for cheap for all we know.

That is something for the time to tell. Now, the Lake Albert Basin, the Lake Albert Blocks for drilling is sealed, which has been in question and awaited a verdict for years. The same has the years of a agreement for a company to build the pipeline and pay the rates for having the operation going.

Now, there is one final agreement that needs to be sealed in Tanzania. By all means, the Republic’s needs also to settle the routes, the land-acquisitions and other arrangements too. While the other HGA is necessary to get started. As the process is now moving. The initial agreements are made, but the companies still needs goodwill elsewhere to make this pop-off. This will be years in the making. As the state of Uganda is scheduling a Oil Refinery in 2023, but that depends on everything else goes as planned at this point.

And in this business, at this point, everything that can be stalled and discontinued can happen. Even, if one of the companies stops seeing the financial viability and lack of profits. Than, they might suspend and try to sell the Producing Licenses Agreement to someone else again.

I wouldn’t be shocked, if Total bails out or something. There been so many companies involved and we are still not starting production. This being in the works since the early 2000s with the modern day deals and new arrangement for petroleum activity in the Lake Albert basin. That is why I am reluctant. Because, at any given moment, someone gives way and it sto

Brexit: Boris is giving the middle finger to Brussels

It is a reason why the European Union, the bureaucracy in Brussels shouldn’t trust London, Her Majesty’s Government and Whitehall. The 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson shows how devious he is this week. His using all terms and all ways to vilify the EU. Instead of looking into his own actions.

The EU didn’t force the Tories to sign and ratify the Withdrawal Agreement, an agreement the Tories in combination with the EU Negotiation Team made together. Which was revised between the Theresa May government, where Boris was the Foreign Secretary and his own term before passing it. This was supposed to be a “oven ready” deal.

The Tories, the ERG and all the Brexiteers has promised a simple and easy transition from being a member state to become “fully independent”. Alas, these folks have forgotten even though they are residing on a island. They are not living in a vacuum. These folks are acting like they can decide and that there is no implication from the other party. They are expecting the EU just to accept similar terms from a “third-country”. While the EU Members are supposed to swallow the bitter pill. That is how unserious and dumb the London regime is.

Boris is really acting a fool, when he late last year Accepted the WA, which was within boundaries, having safeguards and clauses to secure the integrity of the United Kingdom and the Good Friday Agreement, as the EU wouldn’t want to jeopardize the economy or the free movement from Ireland to Northern Ireland. That is just an simple argument at this point.

Still, the Tories is okay with doing something illegal, breaching international law and getting disrepute worldwide. They are willing to risk further trade-deals with all outside countries. Inflict even more damage, than what a no-deal would initially do and renegotiate after World Trade Organization standards. The UK really wanting to be a pariah state in Europe. Ensuring they are left behind and all on their own behalf. Becoming independent from the EU, but at a huge price.

Boris is playing with fire and won’t feel the consequences until the fire is put out. Then the investigations can say what has been damaged and estimates to rebuild. The UK are willing to risk all and also its reputation. There will be few who are willing to trust and even make arrangements. As they see months ahead of time. The UK might vilify and amplify own interests over the agreed upon agreement. That is how it seems now.

Yes, the UK could have been in another situation, if it never accepted the WA, but it did. They voted it in and ratified it. They negotiated the deal and the stipulated articles are written there after. Where it has safeguards and securities for both parties. This is known, but Boris wants to play out that its risking own “integrity” and “independence”. If it was so, why did you push it through Parliament and Prorogued it before voting it through?

Boris hasn’t really planned this. This will be a “victory” for the Brexiteers, but it will be a false one. It will feel like they won something to ditch the WA, but they are also a lost island. With every measure they will become alone. They are feeding the rest of Europe with disgust, because why should they trust London and the government there? When they can months apart, ditch agreed upon deal? Why should anyone trust Johnson and his cabinet?

The Tories are proving what they are capable of off. Using the Northern Ireland for their own games, instead of serving the needs of Belfast. They are willing to risk all for a quick and brief victory. Since, the cost afterwards will be enormous. The Tories will never state that, but the price of doing it will be big. The damage is epic and it was self-destruction, all made with the intent of delivering a no-deal Brexit. A Hard Brexit, which wasn’t made for the general public, but for a self-serving elite. Peace.

Brexit: House of Lords, Baroness Taylor of Bolton Letter to Lord Chancellor Buckland – Rule of law and the UK Internal Market Bill (11.09.2020)

Opinion: Museveni, Meal-Ticket Politicians is your “invention” …

Politics is working for the people, to get them out of poverty and solve their problems, not to escape poverty for your own self” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (10.09.2020)

That someone who has rebuilt and remade the political system, the one who has made the new constitution and signed off laws, which has commercialized politics. This being the price of party nominations and the price to pay for nomination forms to the Electoral Commission. Together with the hefty salaries, allowances and perks in-office. The ability to spend the fortunes comes with the opportunities of getting in office after paying back the fees to stand as a flag-bearer.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and all their leaders have made this system. Ever since the Constitution of 1995 and the laws for elections that has been made with deliberate action. The NRM knows this and the President knows this too.

That’s why his a bit delusional when he says this:

The main reason why people are fighting hard to go to Parliament is because MPs increased their salary. They earn more than scientists and many other important people to our country. I tried telling them not to do it but they insisted. Now, people want to leave their other work to go to Parliament and earn much. Yet, their motivation should be to serve their people rather than earn from Parliament” (Museveni, 10.09.2020).

Because, the President knows about the rise of salaries and allowances within the Parliament and for the Representatives. The NRM have promoted this and made it more profitable to become an MP. They are getting suits, cars, salaries and allowances, which are really making people millionaires over night.

The President knows this very well. Museveni have made this all happen. While endorsing it and knowingly that the cronies have gotten the wealth. The men loyal to him would get a pay-off and kick-backs from the state. That is why the ideal to run for office isn’t all about the representation, but getting rich. This is not strange, as the MPs and candidates has to spend massive amount of money to able to get in office. That has to later be repaid … and therefore, the knowledge of the costs and the needs to get covered after the campaigns.

So, initially the President is saying the rights things, but his actions has made this system. That is why I am not so forgiving. He has promoted and built this regime. That has all benefited him and his associates. If it wasn’t so, this wouldn’t be like this. The whole system and policies have been enacted within the reach of this Presidency. This wasn’t relics of previous regimes, but his own.

President Museveni can be right, but is terribly wrong at the same time. If he was against it. Why didn’t he act upon it? Well, he wants loyal allies and the easiest way is to pay them off, instead of giving them credit. The President, if he didn’t want this to become like this. He wouldn’t have supported, helped and built the system up this way.

That’s why these statements made by him is hypocrisy… however, that is his M.O. these days. Sounds correct, but acts a fool. Hoping nobody catches his game. Peace.

Brexit: Boris is trying to ambush final stages of negotiations…

If you thought this process was secured and safely followed between Brussels and London. I hate to say it to you. It’s not, because the Tories and Prime Minister Boris Johnson are again using all means to get their way. Even as the United Kingdom have already signed onto agreements with the European Union. They have already progressed to the Withdrawal Agreement. Alas, the UK and Boris think they can scrap that just a month ahead of the final stages.

If you are thinking this is a brilliant move, it’s not. They are showing disingenuous and untrustworthy partner. Who wants to change the terms and the scope of an agreement in the final stages. Instead, of continuing where they left it. He tries again the “pick and mix” strategy. Where the UK can pick what fits them well and not what will be right for the Union, which they are leaving. They anticipate to get their will and counter the already accepted terms. That is insane… but Tories way of diplomacy.

The EU have been very clear about the timetable. I am too. There needs to be an agreement with our European friends by the time of the European Council on 15 October if it’s going to be in force by the end of the year. So there is no sense in thinking about timelines that go beyond that point. If we can’t agree by then, then I do not see that there will be a free trade agreement between us, and we should both accept that and move on. We will then have a trading arrangement with the EU like Australia’s. I want to be absolutely clear that, as we have said right from the start, that would be a good outcome for the UK. As a Government we are preparing, at our borders and at our ports, to be ready for it. We will have full control over our laws, our rules, and our fishing waters. We will have the freedom to do trade deals with every country in the world. And we will prosper mightily as a result” (Boris Johnson, 07.09.2020).

When Boris speaks like this. He thinks his brilliant, but his whacking Dublin and the Brussels. Instead of helping Belfast and the Good Friday Agreement. He is issuing a statement, which is saying its okay to ditch a process. That has been going for so long.

This just shows how double edged sword this is, as the United Kingdom and its government think they can do this now. They think they can steer it all and ditch all previous commitments. That is really rich in consideration to all the previous deals and arrangements made in advance of the final stages.

If they leave without a deal. That will hurt the EU, but also hit hard the UK. The UK will have start a fresh and the conditions will be altered again. There will be nothing soft about that, as the stalling and the actions made. Might even trigger the EU to make an example of the UK. Instead, of being a trading partner and a neighbour. The EU is the main market for the UK. Therefore, it is weird that the PM takes it so easily. The cost and damages of not having a deal. The businesses and the financial institutions of London should be shaking. If not find the quickest way to Dublin to continue their operations within the parameter of EU conditions. Instead, of the uncertainty of the Whitehall and the HM Government. Who clearly have no issues to put everyone on the altar and hoping this doesn’t cost them something. Which it eventually will do.

Boris is risking it all, making assessments that is risky. Still, he thinks he can pull this off. The ones losing is sadly not him, but the British public and their businesses. Peace.

Mzee asks for people to wake up, again!

The medicine for poverty is money, enough money” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (12.08.2020)

The republic must have been slumbering for 34 years now. The President is saying this again. Insulting his own citizens, who he has represented his whole adult life. Where he is telling them what to do. However, it is a reason why these schemes his promoting isn’t working for the general public. If they had worked, it wouldn’t be reissued and renamed over the years.

With this in mind, he has steady over the years said his people is sleepy, lazy and eating. They are enjoying the perks, but not working. Today he said the same thing. That they are not participating in work and paid workers. They are informal workers on the outside of the registered work-force. That because of the lack of opportunities and jobs. This is never in question from the President.

Everyone is supposed to be in micro-finance schemes, make things, grow beans and sell blood. There just have to ways to push in a gig economy. That is why the President speaks of Wealth Creation, NAADs, SACCOs and Associations. Instead of development through grander schemes to actually create business opportunities and fiscal growth.

That is why he barks like this:

According to the a 2014 survey over 68% of the households are sleeping. He urges the youth to wake up and take part in meaningful development and stop sleeping” – Museveni (12.08.2020).

Youth, please wake up from the sleep that you are in. Let us stop talking without acting. I am a former youth, so whatever you are telling me, I know it very well” – Museveni (12.08.2020).

He has used these rhetoric before. Instead of actually delivering and making opportunities, which brings fruits. Instead, his giving tokens with help of donors. While his not investing proper infrastructure and policies to make a change.

The President blames others, while have not contributed or made anything substantial. That is why its easier to say the citizens, the youth and society isn’t acting up. When you as the leaders for over three decades haven’t pulled them out. The President knows this, but its easier to blame others, than actually do something about yourself.

The government haven’t had the ability to make a difference, in such a regard that most people could get employed. The NRM and the President have had three decades to set-up a stable economy, have policies and measures for natural growth. Instead of ensuring this, he is making small moves and not long-term fiscal stimuli, neither policies to ensure work. This is handing out small pockets of funds, but not something to generate steady growth. Which have been the sort of action made by this government.

Therefore, the President should not call people out for sleeping, but for his inaction and lack of proper policies. This is why they are sleeping. There is no opportunities or chances to get a job. This is something the President knows, but is brushing over.

Sleep is the curse of death, but saying this again and again to the public. Only shows the President is doing a blame-game. Instead of actually delivering a substantial policy and a robust economy. Where the citizens have the option and can join a workforce. However, at this point of time. There is little to none and that’s why they are “sleeping”. Peace.

Opinion: Raila sold out the marginalized counties [as they are now a hostage of his BBI]

It is proof with the support of One Shilling One Person, the motion made by the Commission on Revenue Allocation Formula for funding of the Counties in the Republic, which was voted in today. Today, President Uhuru Kenyatta knows who has bought for little. This being Raila Odinga and his Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka and his Wiper Democratic Movement (WDM).

We are now seeing how easily the President can get his way. Why? Well, the President doesn’t have a real opposition. Maybe after the next election there might be some. However, right now, he can pound the people and make them sing. They will dance to the tune of the President and his will.

Odinga is doing this for one reason: BBI.

All things goes back to prestige of a non-starter project with no proof or not actual needs in the Republic. It is the sort of phantom of the Opera and awaiting dancing in the dark. That he goes against his own governors in Coast and Northern parts of the Republic.

It is easy to see this is giving more funds tot he Central Region Counties. This is benefiting Mount Kenya and the populated areas. This is not helping the regions who has been lagging behind. It will ensure the devolution agenda fails. Yes, there are harder to get proof of spending in the counties, but now they have lesser ability to develop or even make a difference. Since, it will only benefit the counties who has the most people.

Turkana county will be hurt by this. That is easy to see, while other ones will suddenly have the feeling of printing money. While others suddenly having quickly emptied after the vote. The corrupt officials will steal, if it is more there or less. However, if you fill the funds of the other counties. There should be expectations that others will have more and they indulge in that wealth. While the others have to use scraps to develop and run their counties.

Remember that all of this was done to save useless and hopeless BBI. This is counter intuitive of the devolution. As Constitution of 2010 and other legislation has been to help the marginalized. However, the third revenue allocation formula is going against that.

Still, the BBI is alive, the devolution betrayed and the marginalized thrown to the wind. They have their own luck, because the ones in power doesn’t care. The Counties are left behind and they will be further left behind by this.

There is no winners here, except for the allies of the President and his associates. The state is supposed to redistribute wealth. Instead, they letting the rich be richer, and the poor getting poorer. That is surely how this is ending and the betrayal is clear.

All done for the simplest of reasons … to save grace of the grand prestige of BBI. That is the cost of this. All for a mushy handshake and done in a manner, which are leaving people behind.

BBI is clearly worth trading anything for. I am sure the ODM can sell snake-oil for it. Even when there is no proof of what it does and delivers. Except for giving checks and envelopes to keep Odinga and allies preoccupied.

That is why he could sell the marginalized counties on the alter of the BBI. That is the reality. Peace.

Opinion: “Pastor” Kasolo’s prosperity gospel …

Some of you think by only praying, you will go to heaven yet God created all of us in His image. If God created us in his image, why are others rich yet you are poor? God will punish you for embarrassing Him by being poor and you will not go to heaven. Those who think they will only go to heaven by being so prayerful should forget it” – State Minister Haruna Kyeyune Kasolo

I have a feeling the State Minister of Microfinance, Haruna Kasolo should become a pastor. The way his singing a gospel. Kenneth Hagin and Kenneth Copeland would be proud of Kasolo utterance lately. Speaking like a flexing preacher.

Kasolo wants so badly to be a TV Pastor, be the likes of Hagin, Copeland and Hinn. That’s his emulating them while speaking of the relaunched SACCOs, NAADs and OWC under the umbrella of Emyooga.

Just to explain where I’m coming from, Harvard Divinity School defines it like this:

The Prosperity Gospel (PG) is a fast-growing theologically conservative movement frequently associated with Pentecostalism, evangelicalism, and charismatic Christianity that emphasizes believers’ abilities to transcend poverty and/or illness through devotion and positive confession. The PG is popular among impoverished communities, where at best it is considered to offer the poor a means of imagining and reaching for better lives (at times accompanied by sound financial advice), and at worst is criticized as predatory and manipulative, particularly when churches or pastors require heavy tithing” (Harvard Divinity School – Glossary Terms – The Prosperity Gospel).

I feel Kasolo does the same thing. His following the PG to the Tee. He should open up a church somewhere and become a pastor when his time as Minister is over. The church can be named the Wealth Creation Church (WCC) or the Emooyga Baptist Chuch (EBC).

He has already started his journey. As his preaching the prosperity gospel. That the poor has to sow their seeds and tithing to the congregation. Maybe that way he can keep relevance and have a career.

Just to prove my point, Hagin Ministries wrote this: Start where you are. Be faithful to obey the Word by paying your tithes and giving offerings. And be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit when He directs you specifically to give. You can’t out-give God. If you sow seeds bountifully in faith and obedience, you will reap an abundant harvest of blessings!” (Hagin – ‘Investing God’s Way’).

Copeland for instance wrote this: I lost a job and went broke” they’ll say. “That was when the Holy Spirit was finally able to teach me to put God fist in my life. That proves poverty can sometimes be a BLESSING of the LORD”. Such statements sound spiritual, but they are plain wrong. Going broke is never a BLESSING. It’s a curse” (Kenneth Copeland – ‘Project Eden – Filling the earth with the glory of God’, September 2011).

When seeing how Hagin and Copeland writes. It is similar to what Kasolo was saying. The PG Teaching isn’t new, but when a State Minister uses the same language. You know your selling tricks and schemes. When your using the tricks of false prophets. What sort of policy are you selling?

This is snake-oil salesmanship. Kasolo must be so proud.

So when are you becoming a Pastor or a PG Preacher? That is your next career, I suppose. Peace.