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Interesting WikiLeaks about Uganda: Bunyoro, Lake Albert & Oil-deals

Here is WikiLeaks which shows quotes from 2007 to 2011 where Bunyoro, Rwenzuru and the security of the oil-rich Western-Uganda. Think that this should be interesting reading – also insights to the situation. Have an awesome time reading!

The Corruption story of Muhwezi and Mukula amd the NRM:

Many Ugandans were happy to see Muhwezi and Mukula, members of the so-called “mafia”, arrested for corrupt activities” (…)”oo Much or Inefficient Corruption. Kategaya and Musa Ecweru, Minister of State for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, told P/E Chief the core issue was that Muhwezi, Mukula, and Kamugisha took more money than they had been authorized and failed to account for it. Muhwezi had been found “not politically responsible” in a Cabinet white paper follow-up on the Global Fund Investigation report in March. According to the Kategaya and Ecweru, the debate within the Cabinet over Muhwezi’s fate was heated, but that ultimately a majority of ministers rallied behind Muhwezi because they themselves could be implicated for corrupt activities. The President accepted the Cabinet recommendation, but still wanted to find a way to “clip Muhwezi’s wings.” The President decided that the use of the immunization fund for personal gain would provide a strong case against Muhwezi” (…)”Succession Politics. Another possibility, and not excluded by other theories, was that the arrests were an attempt by President Museveni to remove potential successors. This includes both Jim Muhwezi and First Lady Janet Museveni. Both have presidential ambitions and both profited beyond Museveni’s expectations from the embezzlement. Muhwezi’s financial independence, alleged ties to the Forum for Democratic Change’s Kizza Besigye, and the perception that he was advancing his own political ambitions rather than the ruling party’s could have contributed to the decision to arrest him at this time. Several Cabinet members say that Muhwezi, the former Chief of Military Intelligence, has been allowed to get away with corrupt activities because he has files on key political players and the First Family and has threatened to use them” (…)”The NRM-dominated Parliament also selected Muhwezi to head the Parliamentary Group for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. One Cabinet member told PolChief that there are signs of other politicians rallying to Muhwezi’s side because they fear they could be next in line for an arrest warrant. Ecweru posted Mukula’s bond to demonstrate ethnic solidarity” (…)”The arrests are generating a significant amount of speculation regarding the future of the ruling party and implications for the war on corruption. Many political contacts and other Western diplomats are wondering if Museveni has a clear game plan, desired outcome, or defined roles for the IGG and public prosecutors” (WikiLeaks, 29.05.2007).

Ugandan Boarder Tension:

“Museveni and his Congolese counterpart Joseph Kabila met in Tanzania to discuss border issues after Congolese military units moved a border demarcation four kilometers into an agreed-upon no-man’s zone on the Ugandan border” (…)”Lt. Gen. David Tinyefuza, Museveni’s security czar, reported to Museveni that Congolese units allegedly erected a border crossing four kilometers on the Ugandan side of the border. However, a team of security officials led by Deputy Director of the External Security Service Emmy Allio, who is from West Nile, determined that the Congolese had not moved the demarcation posts into Uganda, only into the agreed-upon no-man’s zone. In his report to President Museveni and the Minister of Security Amama Mbabazi, Allio argued that the GOU should not “make a big deal” out of the incident. He found that the powerful Governor of Ituri ordered the move, with backing from some elements in Kinshasa, but that Kabila was likely unaware” (WikiLeaks, 21.05.2008).

”According to a joint statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Museveni and Kabila “noted with satisfaction” that progress had been made in the border demarcation process. They pointed to the Fifth Session of the Joint Permanent Commission in Kampala December 12-15, 2007, the Joint Border Remarking Committee in Bunia and Entebbe, and other bilateral engagement on the issue as evidence that efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the border question were ongoing” (…)”Museveni and Kabila agreed to accelerate the co-administration of the Rukawanzi Island as the demarcation process takes place. Situated on Lake Albert, Rukawanzi Island was at the center of the August 2007 border flare-up that led to the Ngurdoto-Tanzania Agreement. (Note: Congolese soldiers killed a British Heritage Oil worker in August 2007 claiming that the oil barge had strayed into Congolese waters (ref A). End note.) The prospect of oil exploration on Lake Albert, which is dissected by the Ugandan-Congolese border, has further complicated the demarcation process” (WikiLeaks, 21.05.2008).

The Oil-deals and Boarder Tension:

“The most recent border tensions comes in the wake of Kinshasa’s decision to revoke an oil exploration concession to a neighboring block in eastern Congo’s oil-rich region that it had granted to Tullow Oil and Heritage, two of four oil companies operating in western Uganda. The Congolese government awarded the tender to South Africa’s state oil company PetroSA, claiming that Tullow and Heritage violated Congolese territorial waters on Lake Albert (refs A and B), (WikiLeaks, 21.05.2008).

Museveni’s Plan to “Ring-Fence” Bunyoro:

“An internal July 15 memo from Ugandan President Museveni has deepened the ethnic divide between groups living atop newfound oil reserves in Uganda’s Western Region.  The memo, which was leaked to the press on August 2, instructs the Minister for Presidential Affairs to consider restricting key elected offices – including parliamentary seats – in what was once the Bunyoro Kingdom in Western Uganda to ethnic Banyoro only.  The memo also recommends preferential land ownership rights for ethnic Banyoro for the next twenty years.  Museveni’s memo may have been designed to appease, or perhaps distract, Banyoro leaders angered by long-standing land disputes and the government’s continued refusal to reveal plans for oil revenue sharing (reftel)” (…)”Museveni has not backed away from the idea of investing specific ethnic groups with special electoral privileges in Western Uganda, and several members of his Cabinet who hail from Bunyoro have ratcheted up pressure on Museveni to move forward with his proposal. Museveni’s apparent willingness to consider rewarding one ethnic constituency by disenfranchising many others reinforces concerns about his re-election strategy for 2011 and Uganda’s commitment to the transparent management of impending oil revenues” Sampson/WikiLeaks, 19.08.2009).

”Two other individuals of note reportedly also spoke at the August 15 Bunyoro Symposium: the Bunyoro Kingdom’s spokesman Henry Ford Miriima and Presidential Advisor on Land Issues Kasirivu Atwooki. In recent days Miriima has advocated for taking President Museveni’s “ring-fencing” idea even further, arguing that non-Banyoro living in Bunyoro should assimilate into Banyoro culture and adopt the Banyoro language of Runyoro” (Sampson/WikiLeaks, 19.08. 2009).

Tension because of Museveni’s plan to “Ring-Fence” Bunyoro:

“Tensions between the Banyoro and “immigrant” populations in Bunyoro have been simmering for some time. President Museveni’s memo significantly heightened these tensions by elevating them to national prominence. Explanations of why Museveni seized on the Bunyoro question now, after more than two decades in power, focus on two topics: elections and oil. Using Uganda’s 2002 census as a guide, one local news magazine noted that the Banyoro are in fact not marginalized and that ethnic Banyoro hold 10 of the 14 parliamentary seats from the four districts that make up the Bunyoro Kingdom. Although Banyoro appear to be the largest ethnic group in these districts, they do not hold a majority. Restricting elected offices to only ethnic Banyoro would therefore disenfranchise a majority of the population resident in these districts” (Sampson/WikiLeaks, 19.08. 2009)

“Captain” Mike Mukula, disgraced former Ugandan Health Minister and current National Resistance Movement (NRM) vice-chairman for eastern Uganda, warned that the 2011 presidential elections will be worse than the deeply flawed 2006 presidential contest. Mukula, whose political reputation was battered by the 2006 Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) scandal, said the September 10-12 riots provided a brief preview of one potential election scenario. He also said President Museveni’s popularity was decreasing within the NRM, and speculated that Museveni may be interested in setting up his son, Muhoozi, as dauphin. Mukula said Museveni ultimately listens to only two countries – the U.S. and the U.K. – and urged the U.S. to pressure Museveni to reinstate presidential term limits. Mukula himself, however, hopes to run for president in 2016″ (…)”Mukula lost his Cabinet post in 2006 and was briefly imprisoned in 2007 after being accused of diverting USD 1.5 million from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) program to NRM coffers. Describing himself as Museveni’s “fall guy,” Mukula blamed his involvement in the GAVI scandal on Museveni’s need to placate international donors concerned about corruption, and his own rising popularity as evidenced by a newspaper poll that listed Mukula as more popular with the NRM faithful than the President” (…)”Now the NRM’s vice-chairman for eastern Uganda and a key member of Museveni’s re-election campaign, Mukula complained that there is no separation between the NRM and Ugandan state institutions. He called the military Uganda’s “fourth estate” and said Museveni regards the army as his personal political party. Mukula highlighted the complete dominance of Museveni’s Banyankole ethnic group throughout the government, military, and business community, and asserted that the NRM now serves as nothing more than platform for the President, springing to life only during election campaigns” (…)”Bukenya, an ethnic Baganda, as the NRM’s most popular leader. He said Museveni kept Bukenya on as his Vice President to keep tabs on Bukenya’s potential presidential ambitions” (…)”Mukula said the recent political moves made by Museveni – from pandering to ethnic Banyoro along Lake Albert (ref. A), to the recognition of the Rwenzururu Kingdom in southwestern Uganda and the decision to support the minority Banyala’s quest for autonomy from the Buganda Kingdom (ref. B) – were all designed to obtain the two percentage points needed to push Museveni from 49 to 51 percent during the first round of voting in 2011” (…)”Mukula said Museveni was increasingly patterning himself after Robert Mugabe and wants to position his son, Lieutenant Colonel Muhoozi Kainerugaba Museveni, as his eventual successor. Muhoozi returned from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in mid-2008 to assume command of the new Special Forces, a still-murky component – or potentially entirely separate unit – of the praetorian Presidential Guard Brigade comprised of all the PGB’s elite, technical, and specialized non-infantry capabilities. Noting that Muhoozi may still be too young to mount a credible presidential bid in 2016, Mukula again volunteered that he had presidential ambitions of his own for 2016” (Sampson/WikiLeaks, 23.09.2009).

The Oil-deals between ExxonMobile/ENI/Tullow/Heritage Oil Company with corruption and deals made with the Ugandan Government:

“A December 17 report by the External Security Organization (ESO), which Intelligence Coordinator General David Tinyefuza allegedly forwarded to President Museveni, says Security Minister Amama Mbabazi is “eyeing” a $200 million commission for securing a deal between Heritage Oil and the Italian firm ENI” (…)”confidential Ugandan intelligence report on negotiations between Heritage Oil and the Italian oil giant ENI (see attached document and reftel). Tullow has previously expressed concern that ENI is using illicit payments to Ugandan officials to obtain government authorization for purchasing Heritage and depriving Tullow of oil holdings in Lake Albert” (…)”The report says western governments – including the U.S., U.K., Sweden, and France – oppose the opaque ENI deal, that Tullow hopes to sell 50% of its Ugandan holdings to ExxonMobil, and that ENI offered Ugandan officials facilitating an ENI-Heritage agreement a $200 million “commission” (…)”The report claims that Mbabazi is using a front company belonging to the European owner of Asante Oil, and that ENI representatives distributed “fat envelopes” to a number of visitors – including Energy Ministry officials, representatives from the Office of the President, journalists, and Bunyoro Kingdom officers – while installed at a safari lodge in Murchison Falls National Park close to where drilling has occurred. NOTE: EconOff witnessed ENI’s presence at this lodge during a trip to Murchison in early December. END NOTE. Much of the report highlights ENI’s Libyan ties and accuses Qadhafi of funneling money to the Bunyoro and Buganda Kingdoms to destabilize the Museveni regime. The final two sections of the report purport to “show how ENI corrupts a country’s leadership and forces them to take unpopular selfish policies,” and the “dangers” of an ENI/Libya deal” (Sampson/WikiLeaks, 13.01.2010).

Continuation of Mbabazi and Government involvement in Oil-Deals:

“We believe Mbabazi is positioning himself for a significant payoff, but the security report is undermined somewhat by Tullow’s apparent involvement in its drafting. In December, ExxonMobil said it lacked concrete evidence that its Ugandan interests have been harmed, but noted that ENI’s involvement has had a negative impact. If the Heritage-ENI sale proceeds unchanged, it will significantly reduce the value of Tullow’s Uganda holdings, zap ExxonMobil’s interest, and put Uganda on the road to rampant oil sector corruption” (Samson(WikiLeaks, 13.01.2010)

“President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the freeze in order to protect the rights of locals, whose tenure continues to be threatened by the influx of business people interested in the oil-rich land, Stephen Birahwa, a lawmaker representing Bulisa told Dow Jones Newswires” (WikiLeaks, 29.05.2011).

Peace!

Links:

Richards/WikiLeaks – [OS] UGANDA/ENERGY – Uganda imposes oil land ban – FRANCE/UK/CHINA (06.06.2011), WikiLeaks, Link: https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/31/3161601_-os-uganda-energy-uganda-imposes-oil-land-ban-france-uk.html

 

Sampson, Aaron & WikiLeaks – MUSEVENI MIXES TOXIC BREW OF ETHNICITY AND OIL IN WESTERN UGANDA (19.08.2009), WikiLeaks, Link:

https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA946_a.html

 

Sampson, Aaron & WikiLeaks – UGANDA: NATIONAL RESISTANCE MOVEMENT INSIDER SEES TROUBLE AHEAD (23.09.2009), WikiLeaks, Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA1096_a.html

 

Sampson, Aaron & WikiLeaks – UGANDA: SECURITY REPORT DETAILS OIL SECTOR CORRUPTION (13.01.2010), WikiLeaks, Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10KAMPALA19_a.html

 

WikiLeaks – UGANDA: MUSEVENI AND KABILA DEFUSE BORDER TENSION (21.05.2008), Link:https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08KAMPALA674_a.html

 

WikiLeaks – UGANDA: CORRUPTION SCANDAL’S POLITICAL RAMIFICATIONS (29.05.2007) Link:https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07KAMPALA909_a.html

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