Ethiopia: Ministry of Foreign Affairs – On the Resolution of the League of Arab States on the GERD (22.05.2023)
I write what I like.
“Transport CS Kipchumba Murkomen releases SGR agreement for public scrutiny. Some key loan terms:
~ Loan amount not exceeding $1.6Bn
~ 2.0% per annum interest
~ 0.25% management fee
~ 20-year tenure with a 7yr grace period
~ preference for the purchase of goods from China” (Kenyan Wallstreet, 06.11.2022).
The SGR Agreement decides that the Kenyan Government has 13 years to repay the loans for the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). This is happening after the 7 year grace period. The agreement was signed off on the 14th May 2014 and 7 years after that is last year May 2021.
There been speculations about this agreement ever since the Jubilee government signed it and accepted it’s terms. It was even at one point, rumours that the Kenyan government had signed off the Mombasa Port operations to the China EXIM Bank.
What it instead says in addition to the terms of the direct financial manner. It says something very interesting…
A key parts of the SGR Agreement is this, as well as the other mentioned terms: “The Borrower undertakes to procure that the Government of Kenya or the relevant authorities of Kenya shall stipulate and issue preferential policies, regulations or approvals in relation to RDF which could be applied in priority to make the repayment of loans in relation to the Project as owning to the Lender, the Long Term Service Agreement and its due performance, the revenues generated from the Project which will be applied in priority to make the repayment of loans in relation to the Project as owing to the Lender (except for the expenditures of operation and management of the Project), the Inlander Container Depot (inland port) established in Nairobi and its mandatory customs clearance, and all other necessary policies or approvals, with an aim to ensuring the due operation of the Project and the repayment of such loans in relation to the Project as owing to the Leader” (SGR Agreement, 2014).
Here the borrower is setting the terms of usage and how the transport policies are set. This is now in print and in public. It now makes perfect sense why the authorities and the government ordered all goods or movement of cargo is directed to the SGR. That is done in accordance with the agreement actually. Because the stipulation is actually there…
Certainly, you can wonder if Beijing or the China Exim Bank is happy with the leakage of the agreement between them and the Kenyan Government. They would most likely be happy to have it under seal and hidden from the public space. Because, now the realities of this agreement is in the public domain.
The SGR is already a sort of failure and lack of creating revenue. That’s why the SGR haven’t been profitable or had the ability be viable. That’s why the Kenyan Government had to direct all cargo to go through the SGR and to the Navisha or Inland Port in Nairobi. Therefore, this agreement is just showing how bad this deal was.
The one winning here is China and they are getting lots of interests out of it. They are able to get the Kenyan government on their side. The Kenyan Government accepted a huge loan for an expensive railway. A railway that will take forever to be a feasible enterprise. That’s why these terms will be a liability and an expensive expense for the taxpayers in the years to come. While the SGR will not deliver or be able to re-coup the debt. That’s what is tragic here… Peace.
“Hon. Ssemujju Nganda has asked the Prime Minister to find a compound for the First Family so that they can stop packing military trucks in the middle of the road. “We have roads in Kololo but these days when coming to Parliament, there are trucks that seal the roads when the president is having meetings, even the KCCA roads near Nakasero State House. Maybe we should procure a compound for the president because if it’s not……him, it’s the wife or son. I use the banks in Kololo and sometimes I go without money for a whole week.”~Ssemujju” (Parliament Watch, 05.05.2022).
We know this and heard about this for ages. The road-blocks and the “Green Truck Alerts” says it all. That has been heard around the globe. It should be worldwide now. Those pictures of army trucks and road-blocks are now so common that it would be shocking if it didn’t happen.
That the First Family is used to special treatment is also ordinary. The are the epitome of VIP and “High Above”. We know that the President is driving in a huge convoy. The same does his cabinet and all the high ranking officials.
When there is National Resistance Movement (NRM) have a Caucus or moved the Parliament to Kololo the roads have been blocked. Every national event, last 1st May Parade and the Birthday Bash Marathon. The roads was blocked as well. Soon, the state shouldn’t only make a compound for the “High Above” convoy. No, it should build a separate road-network for the “high above” and his huge “entourage” because they are causing traffic problems.
The roads of Kampala wasn’t built for this and neither was the roads around Kololo. There should be done studies and ensure the needs are met. Since, it has become a place of importance. Not only for swearing-in the President every 5 years, but for all sorts of speeches and big ceremonies. That’s why there is a need for a better road congestion and planning. This has certainly never happened by the Ministry of Transport and Works (MoTW), neither the Minister of Kampala or the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA). We can rest assure that the state has never ordered Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) or City Hall to study it either. Because, the plights of the city dwellers or citizens in the capital doesn’t matter that much. Its more important to have a televised speech, than making the city liveable as that happens.
With this in mind… the President is in his might expected to stop all business and roads in-and-around Kololo or from Central Business District or Nakasero Hill. No, the NRM doesn’t care and they are not concerned of the costs of the road-blocks. Neither are day concerned about the Presidential Convoys or any other High Ranking Official. They are driving like they have no rules, they have police, ambulances, army vehicles, police and everyone else following them. It is like a motorized village hitting the road and only missing a chef or pastry chef ensure the VIP get more than cassava when arriving at the end of destination.
Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) MP Nganda Ssemujju knows the First Family acts like owners and so does their court. The others are just to obey and follow orders. So, he did really challenge them here. He knows that nothing will happen. Just like with every preposition and whatnot to make things work. Because, the state isn’t interested in that, unless there is coins and profits for the first family. That’s just the sad reality of how things are working these days.
The convoys and road-blocks will continue to be an issue. The roads and the traffic jams will be a re-occurrent feature of the nearby area. That is just the price of the flamboyant acts of the President and his inner-circle. Peace.
It is now official that Dott Services will have a majority of the roads that’s getting upgraded in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Dott Services was awarded 60% funding to it. While the Ugandan state will have another 20% and the Democratic Republic of Congo has another 20%. So, a private company has 60% and the governments has 40%. That says a lot.
Yesterday, the Presidents officiate the road development project and the joint cooperation of the nations. Where the Ugandan government is spending billions of shillings on this. To a company awarded the building of it without any tenders out or open bidding. This was a operation and deal written behind closed doors.
Dott Services will be in-charge and honour this agreement to upgrade three roads. These are Kasindi-Beni (85 Km); Beni-Butembo (54 km) and Bunagana-Rutsuru-Goma (89 km).
We know these constructions and such will be shoddy. They will be a cash-grab. There will be no accountability and the funds will go missing. The Dott Services have gotten off the hook and lack of due diligence.
The government funds put into this will be lost. At one point or another. The quality of the works will be shoddy. The roads will have issues before the gravel is actually put. Don’t expect magic, but a disregard of accountability, as well as calling it a “smear campaign” and such.
Dott Services is shielded by the Gods. They are allowed to operate without any real scrutiny. Not expect the roads to be built. If it is… it will take years and years. The roads will take forever and the company will need additional funds. The equipment will be lacking and there will be mismanagement.
So, don’t expect this project to be great. When you are giving it to a company like Dott Services. Expect it to end in a tragedy. The UNRA couldn’t even keep their head above water with this company. How do you think the DRC authorities will struggle with this? Why does President Tshisekedi accept this and not a respectable company? Or is it because the Ugandans are paying for the party and he gets it for free?
We can wonder, but this shouldn’t be celebrated. It is a scandal in the making. This is public wastage of funds and nothing good will come out of this. That’s because the states has allowed Dott Services to be the main company working with this. Peace.