This isn’t a far fetched, ancient history and such. Many of the men behind the ills of the past is still lingering around. They are in the chambers of powers, having titles and being called “honourable”. These men used their opportunities in the past to earn fortunes on the misery of others. They created massive networks, supported local militias and forged companies to ensure wealth. These was Generals, High Ranking Officials and Associates of the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
This they did across the Democratic Republic of Congo. These men in question was Gen. Salim Selah, Gen. Kahinda Otafiire and Maj. Gen. James Kazini. They we’re all participating in the plundering, the looting and the illicit resource flight from the DRC to Uganda. They ensured the military presence and their allies could extract, steal and operate illegal businesses to profit out of. That was all done with the blessing of the “High Above” in Kampala.
Today, I started to reminiscing about Maj. Gen. James Kazini, the late General who was killed by his girlfriend in 2009. That was year after the war in the DRC ended. The man who had together with various of factions, barriers to market and usage of force made it possible to enrich himself on the conflict. He together with Gen. Salim Selah secured companies like Victoria Group. Victoria Group even had as one of their shareholders being Gen. Muhoozi Kainerubaga. That’s why this enterprise was supported, all from the top!
The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) used the power they had in the region to exploit the mineral resource and re-export it. Like selling diamonds, gold and coffee as Ugandan, but it origins was from the DRC.
Therefore, knowing all this, as the news of the Cabinet Meeting in Entebbe on Monday this week. Which stated building road-network in the North Kivu Province. I cannot help to think, that it’s not only a wet-dream for road-scandal with tenders, lost funds and ghosts. Also with the history of the UPDF. The history of men like Maj. Gen. Kazini. There could be people willing to profit from the sins of the past again. Especially, profitable mineral resources as cobalt and others, which happens to be in North Kivu.
So, if Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) is building the roads in North Kivu. Then, the President and his team will come excuses that the UPDF need a battalion to ensure the safety of contractors and engineers. While, the same army will also configure ways to participate in more military entrepreneurialism in the province. That would be a way to kick-back and make it profitable.
That the UPDF and UNRA would do this wouldn’t be shocking. There is to much resources and possible exploits for them to not grab it. Even if it is a illicit business and illegal. Still, to this day the Ugandan government is exploiting Congolese gold as they are minting it at the Gold Refinery in Entebbe. Which is why, I am thinking there is more plans ahead in North Kivu.
They are not just going there to tarmac some roads and build a bridge or two. No, they are not compensation for the past hurt and looting. No, these men are finding a new way to exploit and profit of the situation. This is the same government that has used Kisoro as a base and supported para-military groups in the DRC. The same government that was a safe-haven for M-23 soldiers. Therefore, I have little trust of the goodwill…
Until proven otherwise. Peace.
Yesterday on the 28th September 2020 at the State House in Entebbe, the Cabinet Meeting have made several of decisions. These are usually rubber-stamped by the Parliament. Therefore, what they decided is decisive. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and its government are really starting a expansive plan.
The NRM are now going forward with building roads in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
These roads are:
Kasinde – Beni (80 Km)
Beni – Butembo Axis (54 km)
Bunagana – Rutshuru – Goma (89 km)
They are building the roads in the North Kivu in a region, which the Ugandan state have both occupied between August 1998 to June 2003. As well, as the Ugandan involvement in toppling Mobutu and installing Laurent Kabila. Because, of the looting of the years and the loss of the compensation for it.
Is this the way the Ugandan government trying to bait- and switch the government of Kinshasa? Will President Tshisekedi and Kabila accept this?
This is about 223 kilometres of tarmacked roads within the North Kivu province. A place the para-military of the Uganda knows well. A region where the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) are familiar in. Who knows how they are planning to develop this and who will do the bidding?
Is this more Chinese Operators or in connection with the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA). One of the most corrupt institutions in Uganda, which is the reason why buildings roads in the Republic is so expensive.
That is why its weird that the Ugandan is doing this and made this decision in a Cabinet Meeting yesterday. Wonder, if the government and authorities within the DRC will accept this? Is this to patch the hurt or is this a gamble of the Presidency?
They are pursuing it for inter-connectivity, mobility and for security. That is what they are stating in the minutes from the Cabinet Meeting. However, in my opinion this isn’t about bilateral cooperation and further the ties of the Republic’s.
The Cabinet Meeting and the State of Uganda is gambling that this will be a sort of pay-off for their plundering. Do some good deeds, but that has to be accepted by Kinshasa. That is something we have to see and this can take forever before it starts. We can wonder who will deal with the tenders, the budgets and who will keep the governments accountable. This sort of building and development project is a corrupt man wet-dream. As there will be no clear oversight and will be raining funds. There will be ghosts, there will be goats and will be unallocated funds.
We can also wonder, if this will be an excuse to have the UPDF returning into the province of North Kivu, as they have to be security for the road-companies and the construction. That wouldn’t shock me at all.
That is all speculation, but this story is only starting. There will be devils in the details. We just have to see, if the states will write Memorandums of Understandings (MOUs) and Agreements to safeguard the deals. Therefore, the Cabinet Meeting yesterday is just a beginning. This is a saga that will continue… Peace.
We are living in a weird world and a bizarre timeline in 2020. Just the other day Prime Minister Boris Johnson wanted to prove his health with push-ups on the floor. At that point he was copying Ugandan President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. That was all over the front pages of a national newspaper and not a sketch.
Now Prime Minister Johnson is launching his: Build Build Build. He is launching his program of infrastructure spending like this: “ British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will set out plans to spend the economy out of its coronavirus-induced crisis with a speech on Tuesday promising to fast-track 5 billion pounds ($6.15 billion) of infrastructure investment” (News18 – ‘ ‘Build, Build, Build’: UK PM Johnson’s Answer to Covid-19 Downturn’ 30.06.2020).
Also explained by the government like this: “Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today (Tuesday 30th June) announce a “New Deal” which puts jobs and infrastructure at the centre of the government’s economic growth strategy. In a speech in the West Midlands, the Prime Minister will underline his commitment to ‘build, build, build’ in order to upgrade Britain’s infrastructure and skills to fuel economic recovery across the UK” (Gov.uk – ‘‘Build build build’: Prime Minister announces New Deal for Britain’ 30.06.2020).
If you feel you have heard the same before, then read this from the Philippines: “President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration will soon launch the biggest infrastructure push in Philippine history to propel economic growth in the next five-and-a-half years. Big-ticket infrastructure projects, specifically roads and bridges, mass urban transport and alternative green city solutions are among the key investments to be made by the Philippine government. These are aimed at solving the problems brought about by traffic congestion, inadequate mass transport facilities, air pollution, and the lack of healthy, green liveable community spaces. The development mantra is: build, build and build” (Bases Conversation and Development Authority (BCDA) – ‘BUILD, BUILD, BUILD’ 25.10.2017).
So yes, the Prime Minister’s Build Build Build is copying Duterte’s Build! Build! Build! Programme. They are actually doing the same. Boris is copying Rodrigo. It is just like he will steal the paperwork from Manilla and change a few of the places and road-names. Then call it a day and loaf around in his apartartment.
I am impressed that Boris is copying the exact words. Just like he did on the pages saying it was taken inspiration from Roosevelt’s New Deal. That is fine and dandy, but saying Build Build Build after the Philippines has had this program for three years or so now. It is impressive, that he couldn’t mention that too. Give some credit, where credit is due.
I’m sure Manila isn’t the first place coming to mind in London, but they should maybe see what are doing lately. The PM is copying both a Ugandan President and the Philippines. Who is up next? Will he take the Big Four from the Jubilee and Uhuru Kenyatta too?
Johnson should step up and give credit where it is due. Especially, when his copying this easily from Duterte. If you don’t know, now you know. Peace.