President Museveni Kyankwanzi Key-Note speech today had deceit of NRM Economic policy and the similarities to Big-Men of old like Arap-Moi and Amin!

Kyankwanzi 26.07.2016

As the 10th Parliament of Uganda is starting and the vetting of Members of Parliament are touring the National Army Leadership Institute (NALI) at Kyankwanzi as they have the retreat to make sure the National Resistance Movement MPs and Cabinet are acting right. Especially the policies that is right for the Executive and his Elite. But other than that he had the Key speech today and said some questionable things again.

“Even to negotiate credible and durable trade deals with the USA, the EU, China, India, Japan, Russia, Brazil, etc., we need Pan-Africanism. It is only through the EAC (160 million people) and the whole of Africa (1.25 billion people) that the other foreign countries or trading blocs can listen to our voice in the long run. It is, however, not correct for the regulators not to take action against the Chinese and Indian retailers who unfairly compete against our retailers. Those foreigners should not operate at that terminal level. They should be re-directed to manufacturing in particular and other areas like construction. Retailing should be preserved for the Ugandans or, possibly, the other African immigrants as well” (Museveni, 2016).

Well, it got me thinking about another Ugandan president back in the day; that apparently President Museveni we’re proud to bring down together with the Tanzanian Army and Milton Obote, but that is forgotten saga in his head. As President Idi Amin said this:

“For instance, between 1962 and 1968, the government of Uganda sponsored as many as 417 Asians for training as engineers. Today, however, only 20 of the 417 Asians work for the government. Within the same period, the government sponsored 217 Asians to train as doctors, but to date not more than 15 doctors of these are working for the govt. Finally, within the same period, the government sponsored 96 Asians to undertake law courses, but of these only 18 are now serving in the government” (…) “I am further informed that some of these Asians who were sponsored to take courses abroad refused to return to Uganda after thy qualified, which means that thy have contributed absolutely nothing in return for the training benefits which they received from this government” (…) “it is painful in that about 70 years have elapsed since the first Asians came to Uganda, but despite that length of time the Asian community has continued to live in a world of its own” (Semuwemba, 2016).

Arap Moi Fronpage

Not only the former friendly Ugandan dictator had his say on the matter in the past, even the former Kenyan President Daniel Arap-Moi said this in 1982:

“Instead of Indians using their advanced knowledge in business to help Africans improve their profit margins” (…) “Asians in this country are ruining the country’s economy by smuggling currency out of this country and even hoarding essential goods and selling them through the backdoors” (…) “I am not discriminating against anybody, but I am against people who are out to enrich themselves through false means. From now on, anybody found hoarding or smuggling will be punished severely. If he is an Asian, he will be deported immediately regardless of whether he is a citizen or not, and if he is an African, he will have his licence canceled” (New York Times, 1982).

So now the Mzee is sounding in the same regard as Daniel Arap-Moi and Idi Amin Dada; with his new cabinet with Democratic Party MP, Uganda People’s Congress MP and Uganda Federal Alliance MP; the similarities to Democratic Republic of Congo former dictatorial President Mobutu Sese Seko comes to mind. He is really stealing from all the totalitarian leaders of East Africa. It is magnificent how he kept it up. While speaking progress and democratic values while contemplating that the Asian’s are the problem for doing their retail instead of Ugandan citizens, even if the Asian’s happen to be Ugandan; just another heritage than the Pan-African he speaks of.

M7 26.07.2016

Ironic that he said this a bit also today:

“We in the NRM, therefore, have never accepted the shallow social science of the Western countries that fetishized capitalism and elevated that useful social system, but one with limitations and weaknesses nevertheless, to the high pedestal of a deity (God-like). The position that capitalism was the only useful social system in the modern era, was wrong. The dramatic rise of the Chinese economy, in terms of GDP size, to the second biggest economy in the world today is proof of the correctness of our position. By mixing both the capitalist and socialist stimuli to the Chinese economy, the Chinese Communist Party has lifted hundreds of millions of Chinese out of poverty and registered gigantic steps for the growth and transformation of the economy” (Museveni, 2016).

Well, here is lie from the Executive as didn’t follow whole heartedly the Marxist or Communist paradigm or socio-economical structure as after the regime change by the rebellion of Museveni; he easily traded his ideal of the communist paradigm.

“Six years after Yoweri Museveni and his National Resistance Movement took power, Uganda has made remarkable strides in overcoming as grim a legacy as any African government has known. Improved security has been an important factor in allowing the country to rebuild. Economic policy has helped, too. The past six years has seen economic growth averaging more than 5 percent per year, as idled land and vacant factories were brought back into use. The economy has also achieved lower price inflation. Now, in 1992, Uganda is at a crossroads. Economic growth is slowing, and inflation is beginning to rise. Uganda is highly indebted to foreign lenders. Further increases in capacity utilization will be a costly means to grow and cannot represent a strategy for sustained economic growth. Infrastructure remains inadequate in transport and communications. The preferred road is clear: public and private investments are needed to continue the reconstruction” (Warnock & Conway, 1999).

SAP WB

Claimed impacts on liberating the Economy through IMF’s SAP:

“Two principal reforms mandated by the IMF arrangements were trade liberalization and the progressive reduction of export taxation. But as the external review points out, “Liberalization of cash crops had only limited beneficiaries.” This was the case because only a small number of rural households grow coffee. Liberalization had little impact on rural incomes over the period of adjustment- rural per capita private incomes increased just 4% over the period from 1988/89 to 1994/95” (…) “The IMF also mandated the privatization of state-owned industries, a process that has met particular criticism in Uganda. The Structural Adjustment Participatory Review International Network (SAPRIN), which was launched jointly with the World Bank, national governments, and Northern and Southern NGOs in 1997, has reported that the privatization process in Uganda has gone too fast and has been flawed from the start. A report by Ugandan NGOs who participated in SAPRIN found that “The privatization process in Uganda has benefitted the government and corporate interests more than the Ugandan people. . . The privatization process was rushed, and as a result, workers suffered. Some 350,000 people were retrenched and, with the private sector not expanding fast enough, unemployment sharply increased. Those laid off were not prepared for life in the private sector, with no training being provided.”(Naiman & Watkins, 1999).

So not only being anxious today about Asian retailers; today the Executive Museveni claimed there rewards of liberating the economy, which is not so very communist and even more capitalistic of NRM! Together with the liberation escalated the unemployed, which has happen to this day. And isn’t inspiring to read contemplating the recent numbers of unemployed and how this man still tries to ‘inspire’ MPs and Kyankwanzi. There is just something wrong with that picture.

M7 26.07.2016 P2

The thing that should be inspiring today, not only sound-bite of Amin and Moi, but the lie:

“We in the NRM, therefore, have never accepted the shallow social science of the Western countries that fetishized capitalism and elevated that useful social system, but one with limitations and weaknesses nevertheless, to the high pedestal of a deity (God-like)” (Museveni, 2016). When the IMF said this in 1999: “Two principal reforms mandated by the IMF arrangements were trade liberalization and the progressive reduction of export taxation” (…) “The privatization process in Uganda has benefitted the government and corporate interests more than the Ugandan people” (Naiman & Watkins, 1999).

So if you see this little detail, you see the deceit of Museveni to his own Elite and MPs. As he claims the mixed economy, but the IMF with their Structural Adjustment Program that Museveni accepted and agreed on. This was far from God-like more State-liberated economy through neo-liberal ideas that the IMF and World Bank wanted so that the Ugandan Government could get their donor-funded loans that the NRM needed.

So hope you learned something of the nature of Museveni today and his actions of the past or his nature of deception. There are certainly some who is not surprised, but as I have said before. President Museveni rewrites the history to his liking and today he did it again, just with a twist. Peace.  

Reference:

Museveni, Yoweri Kaguta – ‘Re-focusing on the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Ideological Orientation’ (26.07.2016) link: https://www.yowerikmuseveni.com/statements/keynote-address-joint-political-leadership-nrm-central-executive-committee-cabinet-and

Naiman, Robert & Watkins, Neil – ‘A Survey of the Impacts of IMF Structural Adjustment in Africa: Growth, Social Spending, and Debt Relief’ (April 1999).

New York Times – ‘KENYAN SAYS ASIAN MERCHANTS RUIN ECONOMY’ (07.02.1982) link: http://www.nytimes.com/1982/02/07/world/kenyan-says-asian-merchants-ruin-economy.html

Semuwemba – ‘AMIN’S SPEECH BEFORE HE EXPELLED THE ASIANS WAS AWESOME!’ (27.11.2014) link: https://semuwemba.com/2014/11/27/amins-speech-before-he-expelled-the-asians-was-awesome/

Warnock, Frank and Conway, Patrick – ‘Post-Conflict Recovery in Uganda’ (1999)

The ironies of Socialism versus Neo-Liberalism; why I believe in a Keynesian approach instead of the Socialism or the Neo-Liberalism

Socialism churchill

Well, it is about that time, I make mockery of two statues of civilization and ideas that rules the world while not hoping the blindly followers of either comes to attack my person, my thoughts or my widely allegation on the parts. Both of the political views and framework have made a difference and is the reason why we have societies like we have today.

The main parts of socialism is that there is policies and regulations that fit for social and bigger government who cares for the citizens, like subsidized health-care, schools, university, transport and local government. Through taxes and higher fees on produce as the socialism need funding for the ability to make the government organizations and government programs. The Government need more taxes to able to serve the public with what they expect through the socialistic view, while the taxes are set-up in a way that the ones with more income is generating more revenue is supposed to pay more tax; than the ones that are paid less.

So with the big-government and grander government policies comes the address of the public will and citizens loses power, but that for the price of cheaper health-care, schooling and other government institutions. That stops the higher prices and free-market pricing of health care that lets major parts of the society might even be able to pay for the needed operations. So the reasoning and hateful measurement against big-government is wrong in some parts as the people are stronger when we work together and divide the expenditure on the whole society; instead of billing the whole ordeals on the single individual.

free market

Neo-Liberalism is not as straight forward as this is supposed to be measurement to weaken the state, make it liberal and little. Give more power to person instead of the government and give more choices to the citizens of the given country. The issue is that Neo-Liberalism has come with certain ideas and prospects. For instance the New Public Management (NPM) is a Neo-Liberalistic idea. NPM have given the societies and the government who added these policies more watchmen and ombudsmen then before. They have given the power away from the departments and created institutions under the departments with specialist and experts that sets the standard and gives advice to the department. While the departments still need manpower, so need also the lower-expert-institutions. So you have two fronts with specialist working the same field and advising each other. So before NPM most of the experts and brains where at the Department and Local Government that worked with a given subject or the project that needed a specialist; thanks to NPM they have become self-serving and not cut down the amount of bureaucracies have become fluent. As much as the wish for the NPM as parts of the Neo-Liberalism idea, it hasn’t created less government, but more and longer away from the decision making.

The Neo-Liberalism of free-market and starch corporate control have not given added freedom to the consumer. As the markets are controlled by less and less owners and stakeholders; the corporate power have become stronger, but more centralized in conglomerates that issues the policies and secure the profits. The riches of the corporations and the borderlines agreements are built for the corporations not for the welfare for the citizens. The original businesses we’re built for single projects or for fixed procurement that the state and citizens needed like building roads and bridges. Not gaining profits that sky-rocket and then moves away the tax-money into tax-havens. That is the Neo-liberalism ways of economies. In a way the movement of money should happen without government interference or taxation.

The Neo-Liberalism brought also an idea that was worse than the NPM. That was the Structural Adjustment Program (SAP) under the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF). SAP was made in the 1980s to liberate the subsidized agriculture, health-care and other public institutions as government got great loans through the funding of IMF and WB. So they released the governments and free-market ideas that killed the Co-Op’s in the countries that was already lots of them. They had commissions and centralized crop sales through Co-Ops that served the farmers, either they produces cocoa, coffee or tea. This was a standard of fixing training, production and prices to influx together a stronger unity. The ironies of this is that the IMF and WB gave this order through SAP to Low-Developed Countries while the countries that funded this had Co-Ops in agriculture themselves and still have to this day. So with the SAP they made the inside trading before the export more intricate and gave “supposed” more power to the farmer. Instead they became more reluctant and needed more to be careful to whom they offered their crops to. As the traders from capital who went up-country could fix prices and lie about the values to earn more on the trade to export. So the farmer would not get a given price on the world-market because there we’re less voices giving the farmer a hand in the trade of their cash-crops and their goods that they we’re not consuming themselves. So the SAP agreement stalled the government institutions and weakens them together with the trading experience on the ground. The structures we’re given big loans for building up trade-networks and export facilities while dismantling the structures that secured and fueled the industry and agriculture. As the Agriculture and Industry should not get subsidized, but get funding through free-market ideal and that killed the initial funding as the cheaper production came from abroad instead of making it locally. Therefore it is more normal to Chinese, Egypt and Brazilian products than own local products in the supermarkets of Uganda, for instance. Even meat, juice and toilet-paper are imported than produced in the country. That is because of the SAP and the Neo-Liberalism ideas.

zero-hour-contracts

Another important factor of the Neo-Liberalism idea is the abolishing ideas of Workers Unions and trying to ban them. As the Free-Market should fix the pay for the worker and the business it should fix it. That is why there been less strikes and less new Unions in our day. The reason why Unions in our time is important and the socialist idea of them is that the riches of the corporations; does not seem to trickle down to the citizens; it only left back to the stakeholders and owner, not to society or the workers that works for the rich corporations. Settling this is not easy. During the Reagan and Thatcher era tried to kill of the unions for their meddling and dissolve them so to actually centralize power. Instead this killing of mining-unions and other unions in the United Kingdom have weaken the industry and the ability of workers to fix pay while the corporations come with contracts that are good for business, but not good for steady income for proper work. The recent years of cover-ups in Sports Direct that is owned by Newcastle United Mike Ashley that offers their workforce lots of “Zero-Hour Contract”. Zero Hours Contracts work in the way that the employer has more people under their wings without paying extra for them. The Contract gives not benefits or sick-leave. As the Employee is paid by the hours and amount of time they work for the employer and nothing else. So all the benefits is added to the business and none for the worker, who has to fight and bend-over to add hours as the pool of willing workers are there. Even if the Zero-Contracts are bad, the non-Union and not-allowed to unionize work-force cannot go together and fight for their benefits and rights. As the Employer can continue to use and get new workers without having to stand-by them. Sports Direct is just an example of it, there are more business who uses this model and creates massive profits as they don’t have to offer needed benefits or health-care programs to the employees. As Wall-Mart have had low-hourly pay and no health-care benefit while letting their employees sign-up to government funded programs for health-care so that the Wall-Mart employees get little paid and at the same time uses food-stamps and Medicaid instead of Wall-Mart having health-Care benefits. So the business saves the money for salaries and also save the benefits of their employees; this is something you can thank the beautiful neo-liberal ideas.

The difference with the neo-liberalistic ideal of work is that the employee would give sufficient pay and have a contract that benefits the company and the workers. As they would have social responsibility for their workers as they have health benefits through the standard with standard payments of salaries together with state fueled community health care. The Neo-Liberal is that personal pay of the health-care instead of tax-payers money. So the health-care will be opened to the once who can have insurance or ability to pay for it. Instead of funded through the tax-payers pockets as solidarity between all citizens as in the socialist idea. That cannot be seen as a problem for a liberal person, to bring solidarity and also a structured health-care that everybody pays their fees into and when needed pay a small personal fee to get access, instead of footing the whole bill on their own.

Text ZHC SportDirect

Let me finish this up with the ideals that are ironic on the matter.

  • Smaller Government under NPM has actually made more Ombudsmen and Expert Organizations. Meaning that the Government didn’t become smaller, just longer away from the Department to the Experts and the Ombudsmen that the Government want to control
  • The SAP in Neo-Liberalistic method didn’t bring wealth to the countries it was applied to. The Farmers, the government institutions got weaken, while the loans got higher and less development as the Free-Market got the resources, but without control of the Co-Ops or other ways of maintaining support of citizens. The economies became more fragile as a result of the Neo-Liberal SAP then under the Co-Ops with the control of selling cash-crops and so on.
  • The Free-Market idea of Neo-Liberalism while destroying Labor-Unions to secure more government control of the market. While deteriorating the labors ability and therefore opening for the “Zero-Hour” Contracts that gives all the advantages to the corporations and none to the employee who only get security for the hourly work and nothing else for the employee. That would not happen with stronger unions and government who could enforce the rules for corporations.

All of these is ideals against each other I myself is not a clear socialist, even if I am raised on socialist country in a social-economic balance system. I myself is a clear Keyenist in the way that I believe in free-market and free-society to an extent. That extent is that the governments automatically bails out the necessary institutions and have a hand into the banks and other needed businesses of a society. That the workers are secured and fixed through strong barriers so that the market is made sure that the governments, and also facilitate the marker for the corporations. So that the market will have input from the government as the eruptions is inevitable and needs a structure to control it.

keynes

This three main components are basic:

  • Aggregate demand is influenced by many economic decisions—public and private.
  • Prices, and especially wages, respond slowly to changes in supply and demand, resulting in periodic shortages and surpluses, especially of labor.
  • Changes in aggregate demand, whether anticipated or unanticipated, have their greatest short-run effect on real output and employment, not on prices. Keynesians believe that, because prices are somewhat rigid, fluctuations in any component of spending—consumption, investment, or government expenditures—cause output to change. If government spending increases, for example, and all other spending components remain constant, then output will increase.

So with that in mind you understand why I am in between of the socialist and the free-market neo-liberalism as the Keynesian ideas that are more subtle and securing society as the mixed of government control and free-market gives sustainable societies. Not only full freedom without security for other than the corporations which is the main mantra of the Neo-Liberalism as the individual freedom usually get used by the legal person the corporations and not coined will by the persons themselves as the belief is under the ideology of liberal ideas. Instead of having total control of the state in the Communism, and strong big-government with socialism; but the Keynesian sees it in middle of that and have a free-market with control of the wages and workers by the government. That gives a steady economy and also a greater stability in the values of inflation and stronger value of the person instead of being a commodity as resources in the free-market thinking of the neo-liberalism that have deteriorated the markets and only winner is the corporations; not the fellow human beings. Peace.

ANC structures joint statement on Zuma-Nkandla matter (Youtube-Clip)

 

Professor Lumumba at PAV Ansah Foundation Forum – “On the Subject of Governance!”

PLO Lumumba interesting as always! Right?

Ask ourselves! We should Ask Ourselves!

Peace.

Kenyan reactions to the proposed Kenyan-Ugandan Sugar-Agreement: Is it a sweet cup of tea or is it something else?

UhuruandRuto

Kenyan opposition has reacted to the talks about importing sugar from Uganda to Kenya and recharging the trades over the borders. This is after the talks that been between Uhuru Kenyatta and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in Uganda recently. Here will go through the statements from CORD (Coalition of Reforms and Democracy), ODM (Orange Democratic Movement) and JUBILEE. Also other main actors in the Sugar industry in Kenya, also main numbers for one of the factories called Mumias Sugar Company, which has had issues in the recent year.

To put a little history into this and surely forgotten near history is:

“A public spat over when 200 000 tons of duty-free sugar should be imported from the Common Market for East and Southern African (Comesa) bloc to forestall a sugar shortage in Kenya has exposed potential economic sabotage by members of the ruling party” (…) “On February 9, the board’s chief executive, Andrew Otieno Oloo, wrote a letter to the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission and the National Security Intelligence Services accusing the ministers of attempting to execute fraudulent deals. Otieno said the sugar crisis had been orchestrated to trigger a price increase for the commodity” (…) “Two weeks ago, presidential aspirants Raila Odinga, William Ruto, Musalia Mudavadi, Najib Balala and Kalonzo Musyoka — all from the opposition — also took the government to task over the delayed sugar imports and said the scheme was intended to create an artificial scarcity aimed at raising prices” (…) “The imported Comesa sugar would have stabilised sugar prices, which have already increased by more than 100%, to $2 from less than $1 a kilogram in October last year. The issue boiled over last December when Kimunya declined to expedite the government gazette notice, making it impossible for the sugar board and the Kenya Revenue Authority to set a date for traders to start importing the sugar” (…) “The scandal has further tarnished Kibaki’s image as he struggles to recover from a series of similar scandals that cost the taxpayer more than $100million between 2003, when he came to power, and 2004, when the details of the theft of public resources began to emerge” (…) “Kenya’s sugar needs are 800Â 000 tons per annum. It produces 600Â 000 tons and the remaining 200 000-ton deficit is bridged with imports from Comesa” (Kwayera, 2007).

Footage from KTN NEWS:

Footage from Kenya Citizen TV:

Amina Mohammed said today: “emphatically that the Uganda sugar deal has been blown out of proportion, with the main agenda of the visit totally forgotten” (…) ”That the only matter agreed upon was the establishment of an East Africa Sugar Board to protect Kenya’s sugar and ensure that what is being exported and imported is not from anywhere else apart from the region” (Kulundu, 2015).

The basic information quote on the sugar trade between Kenya and Uganda from the Joint Communique that came out the 10th of August from the Statehouse of Entebbe and the Republic of Uganda:

“President Museveni noted that Kenya exports to Uganda are estimated at $700 million compared to imports worth $180 million, and commended President Kenyatta for implementing initiatives that would contribute to bridging the trade gap. The two Heads of State observed that bilateral trade has potential to grow further and reaffirmed their commitment to the free movement of goods, Labour and services, including the elimination of all trade barriers” (Joint Communique, 2015)

Musailia Mudavadi has said the agreement has killed the goodwill of the 1sh billion bailout of Mumias Sugar Company. Statement on the 14th of August Mudavadi said: “Kenyans need to know what measures the government has taken to prevent unscrupulous importation of sugar from outside the Comesa protocol and channeling it through Uganda to circumvent the regulations under the Rules of Origin principles” (…) “There is a classic example of re-packaging Brazilian sugar and dumping it in the Kenyan market” (…) “The excuse of ‘balancing trade between our sister countries’ should not be used to enter into pacts that undermine local production” (…) “”It cannot be that his Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed says there is no agreement while the President defends the alleged agreement. Is there a pact or not? This contradiction needs correcting” (Ochieng, 2015).

TV-Deal Kenya-Uganda

What the ODM fear about the Sugar deal with Uganda:

“Kenya has arrived at that stage. There is clear evidence that we are dealing with a mafia regime in which individuals are pursuing personal interests in the name and the expense of the nation” (…) “The end game is to turn Kenyans into beggars who rely on the generosity of the thieves who will come to our aid through harambees and the other acts of alleged philanthropy” (…) “That is the story of Sugar. The same sugar, imported by government officials is, financing Al Shabaab who recently killed hundreds of university students in Garisssa, most of whom were from Western Kenya” (…) “In Western Kenya, they have attacked sugarcane in a double prolonged strategy. First, they will kill the factories. Next they will buy the factories” (…) “We have asked the president to explain to us how this deal helps the sugarcane farmers” (…) “We have asked the president to explain how this deal will help our industries prepare for the end of COMESA sugar protection period”(…) “Yes Kenyan Sugar is expensive. But it feeds the Kenyan farmers and it educated the children of sugarcane farmers. Yes Ugandan sugar is cheap. But it only feeds Uganda farmers and their children. No nation ever developed by abandoning its products” (…) “Buy Mumias Sugar, Sony Sugar, Nzoia Sugar, Chemelil and Muhoroni sugar and build the country” (Kulundu, 2015).

Cord Statement on sugar deal:

“Sugar production is vital to the economies of Bungoma, Homa Bay, Kakamega, Busia, Kisumu, Migori, Narok and Kwale. There are 11 sugar factories in Kenya. Allowing the dumping of sugar in Kenya will devastate the economies of a quarter of the Counties of Kenya and a huge section of the rural agricultural population. This is economic sabotage on a grand scale. Grand Economic Sabotage is a crime. It is treasonable” (…) “  TWO MAFIAS? ONE IN KENYA ANOTHER IN UGANDA: The matter is urgent because of the statistics that Uganda does not produce a sugar surplus to be exported to fill Kenya’s supposed deficit allegedly of 200,000 tonnes. The model we fear is going to be used was last seen in 2008. Back then Hon. Kahinda OTAFIRE a close ally of President Museveni and a former head of Uganda’s intelligence service who is currently Uganda’s Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, got embroiled in a civil suit involving KSh. 50,000,000 (fifty million) worth of sugar that came into Mombasa from Dubai already in packed in Mumias Sugar Factory packets! It was meant to be dumped in the Kenyan market. Mumias Sugar Factory got involved in the case and two years later the sugar consignment was destroyed. We are headed in the same direction! It seems that a Kenyan mafia has conspired with a Ugandan one to profit from corruption that will serve only to impoverish Kenyans” (Kenya-Today, 2015).

Jubilee Statement:

“All CORD and its leader, Raila Odinga have done so far is to point fingers, cast blame, misinform, and compound the despondency already weighing down the sugar growing community” (…) “Mr. Ruto was appointed Minister for Agriculture, farmers were being paid a paltery KES 2500 per tonne of cane delivered to the factories. Because of interventions under Mr. Ruto’s leadership, including the cancellation of sugar permits of know sugar cartels, barons and brokers” (…) “It is well-establish matter of public record that Mr. Ruto bravely confronted sugar importation and smuggling cartels which dumped cheap sugar in the market, short-changing hardworking farmers” (…) “It is a fact that this threat to the monopoly and liquidity of sugar barons affected Mr. Odinga’s personal interests, leading to the unfortunate removal of Mr. Ruto from the Ministry of Agriculture. It is also a fact that Mr. Odinga has been inert bystander at best, or a conspirator of sugar, cartels as the farmers of Western Kenya and Nyanza suffered” (…) “Mr. Odinga has finally confessed that he owes the poor sugar cane farmers of Mumias hundreds of millions of shillings which he casually terms a commercial loans” (…) “Why did Mr. Odinga obtain this so-called commercial loan from poor peasant farmers instead of a approaching a commercial bank whose business it is to lend money?” (…) “We demand from Mr. Odinga and companies associated with him full disclosure of how much they owe Chemlil, Nzoia, Muhoroni, South Nyanza and other millers” (…) “Mr. Odinga is proposing to visit the people of Western Kenya, whom he owes money, his rallies will essentially be a meeting with his creditors. We sincerely hope that aside from cheap politics and empty rethoric, Mr. Odinga will present to the people of Western Kenya a credible repayment plan, outlining how he and companies associated with him intend to repay the money owed, to enable the peasant farmers take their children to school” (InLiveNews, 2015).

mumiassugar

More to the story:

“William Ruto has called Raila Odinga “Lord of Poverty” while Odinga has fired back to Ruto calling him “High Priest of Corruption”. Majority leader Aden Duale says “All CORD and its leader, Raila have done is to point fingers, cast blame, misinform and compound the despondency already weighing down the sugar growing community” (…) Mr Duale also says “after the move, payment for sugarcane farmers shot from Sh2,500 to Sh3,800 a tonne and only went down after Mr. Ruto was sacked” (Jodie, 2015).

William Ruto has continued to say online: “Sugar cartels used PM’s office to orchestrate my removal because Gazette notice 3977 I signed cancelled their licences ending their schemes” (…) “While in western (essentially meeting with creditors) aside from rhetoric, I hope Cord presents a credible repayment plan of admitted debts” (…) “how that my friend Tinga (Raila) admits owing peasant cane farmers millions can he explain why he didn’t take this “commercial loan” from a bank?” (…)“Under what circumstances did Mr Odinga and companies associated with him contract a debt of such magnitude with poor innocent farmers?” (Jodie, 2015).

Kiprono Kittony commented to the media: “Importation is not meant to weaken the economy rather it serves to help bring development and collaboration between countries. Politics will not increase sugar” (…) “Most of the sugar companies in Uganda are private, that’s why they are able to produce more and better sugar than us. The Government should do the same and privatize our companies” (Mr. Kittony is the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry), (NairobiToday, 2015).

The former Presidential Campaign Manager for Raila Odinga, Mr. Eliud Owalo has said this about the Mumias scandal: “Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero has been accused of systematically running down Mumias Sugar Company during his tenure as the Managing Director of the giant Sugar Miller. He was not MD of Mumias by virtue of being the Governor of Nairobi, and he must therefore be ready to bear responsibility as to costs and consequences of the same without dragging the Party into it” (…) “It does not help the Party cause to continue clinging onto Kidero in the face of serious allegations of graft at Mumias Sugar Company to the detriment of the people of Western Kenya whose single largest source of livelihood is now at stake.The Party risks losing its crucial Western support base by being seen to be protective of Kidero who has crippled the economy of the Western region, yet he is equally known to be one of the most disloyal members of the Party. Embarasingly, the Nairobi County Governer is heavily implicated in wanton land grabbing reminiscent of the Nyayo era yet both ODM and the CORD Coalition has maintained a studious silence on the same simply because it’s our own Governor is at the engine and otho-centre of the land scams” (Nairobi Forum, 2015).

Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko also spoke his peace: “I wish to table some audio clips and unfortunately it will not go down well with some people who will lose some confidence in me but for the sake of development of Nairobi County, allow me to table them” (…) “Peposi Freight Kenya Ltd was registered on December 23, 2014 and the next day opened an account at Cooperative Bank, City Hall branch. Sh7.6 million was wired from the Nairobi County Government for services never delivered” (Nairobi Forum, 2015).

Claims of bribes to seal a nice report:

“Drama started when two MPs claimed 20 members who signed the final report complied after a probe on Mumias Sugar Company had received a total of Sh64 Million to expunge some names from the report. The debate comes as the committee is embroiled in an allegations taking bribes to doctor the report over importation of sugar that contributed to crippling of the Mumias Sugar Company” (…) “The allegation and counter-allegation came after Washiali and Fred Outa (Nyando) claimed the MPs, including Committee chair, had received sh4m bribe to shared among 22 members who signed the altered report. Noor is being accused of reiciving the money after Lugari MP Ayub Savula, at a past committee, claimed a cheque from a local bank had been deposited into the chairman’s account” (…) “Washiali said further: “We have a feeling the Sh4m affected the outcome of the report. I know money was deposited into your (Noor) account that made you alter the report. This is the matter of life or death. Tell us who also benefited from it. We will not allow you to take advantage of our people” (…) “Washiali also took on Kimei, claiming he had hinted to him that a further Sh100m was being prepared for members to ensure they come up with “good report” (IGNITEKE, 2015).

mumias2

Backdrop on Mumias fall and the numbers before the bailout:

It mentioned in the stories. I had started to write a few months ago on this. So this is just the backbone of a article. So here is a draft of numbers and information of the company that got bailed out during the year after terrible economic issues that it had. This here is a little basic and also far from digging through what I had at the time. But this is just a sidepiece to the quotes that are on the Kenyan-Uganda Sugar and trading deal between the countries after the state visit of Uhuru Kenyatta in Uganda around 10-11th of August 2015.

So enjoy the little information on Mumias Sugar Company: 

Emis they described Mumias Sugar Company Ltd as this:”Mumias Sugar Company Limited is a Kenya-based company engaged in the manufacturing and distribution of sugar and the production of electricity. It manufactures molasses for industrial users, traders, farmers and individual purchasers” (…) “The Company also produces power through burning of baggasse, a waste product from sugarcane processing” (EMIS – Securities).

The important tales from the annual report of 2014 tells dangerous story. First with Mr. Ameyo describe the matter of the company and sugar industry got hit because of that. This starts with the unexpected low yield of sugarcane from the sugar-belt in Western-Kenya. Part of the operation issues was getting good quality cane.  Year of 2014 was the production of Sugar went up by 14%. The Ethanol production from last fiscal year went up 210%. Molasses production went down because quality of the sugar-cane the downturn in production was total of 21%. This resulted in less export of electricity. All of this with also the higher price on production cost went up 18% (Ameyo, 2014).

COTU press release on the Mumias:

“Mumias Sugar Company limited is facing imminent closure soon if the kshs.1Billion promised to the Sugar Company by the government is not effected immediately and the closure will result into the eventual collapse of the Sugar Firm” (…) “he Western Region requesting government offices to intervene and ensure that Mumias Sugar firm does not collapse because such action will lead to over 500,000 families across the country losing their source of livelihood besides the millions of people that depend on the firm both directly and indirectly in the Western Kenya and outside” (…) “At the same time, COTU (K)’s concerns are informed by similar promises by the government that lead to the collapse of Pan Paper Mills in Webuye and we are sure that soon after the collapse of Mumias Sugar firm, Nzoia Sugar Company will be on live and this will no doubt be the worst raw deal that the Kenyan people would have received from its government and it will be an uphill tasks for anybody to revive these plants” (…) “Thousands of workers now at Mumias Sugar Company are at risk of losing their jobs as do other workers within the production and distribution chain and the Kenyan economy will be worst hit at the closure of Mumias Sugar Company” (COTU, 2015).

Certain people owning Mumias money by June of 2015: 

“Otifier Logistics is the highest debtor owing Mumias Sugar Company 36.6 million shillings followed by Spectre International Limited which is associated with the Odinga family that has a debt of 33.9 million shillings” (…) “Otifier Logistics that owes Mumias Sugar Company 36.6 million shillings. Second is Spectre International Limited, a company associated with the Odinga family which owes Mumias Sugar 33.9 million shillings for molasses bought from the miller” (…) “Uchumi Supermarkets also features on the list owing the sugar miller 6.6 million shillings for sugar” (…) “Ukwala Supermarket, Nairobi with a debt of 2.8 million and Yatin Supermarket that owes the miller 319,320 shillings” (…) “Unilever Kenya is also listed as having a debt of 2.2 million shillings” (…) “Mumias Sugar says it is owed a total of 241 million shillings by several companies and individuals” (The Uchaguzi, 2015).

Youth from the Mumias Sugar Belt have alleged that the driving force in “reconciliation” of Senator Bonny Khalwale and Governor Evans Kidero is a 50 million prize money being dangled to abort justice:

“All of us victims of the plunder of Mumias Sugar Company, by a powerful politically connected Cartel, are very alarmed at emerging information that corrupt, evil underground maneuvers are underway to kill off the ongoing clamor, for justice and retribution, by elected leaders and wananchi in the Mumias Sugar belt and Western Kenya in General” (…) “the main target is Kakamega Senator Dr. Bonny Khalwale alongside dozens of other vocal leaders both on the ground in Western and here in Nairobi. We are alarmed that a section of top political leaders, are the chief architects of this heinous betrayal of poor sugarcane farmers and are hiding behind what they call “RECONCILING Dr. Khalwale and Nairobi Governor Dr. Evans Kidero” (…) “Governor Oparanya’s loud silence, his ruthless attacks against Kakamega County Assembly Majority leader Cleophas Malala and others whenever they publicly condemn the looting of Mumias and his recent fraudulent dolling out of Sh. 200 million to Mumias instead of calling for the thieves who fleeced the Company to return the loot, confirms our worst fears that the ODM top leadership is complicit in the Mumias Scandal and hence their efforts to intervene are a cover up, which we reject” (…) “Apart from Governor Oparanya, CORD Principal Raila Odinga has been admitting on several Vernacular FM stations that his Company is one of the many debtors who  owe Mumias Sugar Company a lot of money. Initially he blamed it on the bank that gave his firm  some credit facility to buy Molasses from Mumias. Then when the people are expecting him to lead by example by promptly paying the debt, he popped up in a funeral mass in Kakamega last weekend and denied owing Mumias. That double speak tells a lot. He thinks people have short memories such that he can just play around with their problems” (…) “Dr. Khalwale and other targeted Luhyia leaders should know that accepting to back down from the campaign for the punishment of those who destroyed Mumias and accepting to be given financial inducement will be the biggest betrayal of our farmers and the entire Luhyia Community. The only compromise we can agree is a total refund to Mumias Sugar, full payment for farmers’ cane deliveries that are in arrears for the past several years and  key suspects in the looting to organize a public repentance and apology by all the thieves” (The Gazette Daily, 2015).

And the final numbers from the End of Year and Financial Statement from the Mumias Sugar Company:

Year: 2012 2013 2014
Total Assets

(shs ‘000)

27,400,113 27,281,993 23,563,086
Total Equity and liability (shs ‘000) 27,400,113 27,281,993 23,563,086
Cash & Cash Equivalents at the end of Year (940,281) (1,356,124)
Total Loss (1,455,096) (2,740,685)

(Ameyo, 2014)

TV Kenyatta Odinga

Afterthought:

This has been a long enough blog/article for the internet. But its sure sweet with details and sure Raila Odinga doesn’t come out of this well. Because the table is turned on him since he went after Uhuru Kenyatta and he has borrowed money from the company that recently got saved by the government. An because of the scandal of Mumias Sugar Company I had already a lot of documentation before the Uganda-Kenya import deal that was supposed to happen and be ready after the 10th August 2015. Since that Raila Odinga, the CORD and ODM went bananas and wanted to have a upraising in the Western Kenya where the Sugarcane famers that supply the Mumias Sugar Company reside and where the farmers earn their living deliver the cane to the factory with mills it. Though the economy and corruption of the company has come to the surface and tells that something is not right. And if there are personal connections for Odinga and need extra the sugar mills, as it seems there are reasons to doubt the real political plan of Odinga. As Ruto and Kenyatta has bailed out Mumias and might have signed or gotten to a level of planning to open the borders for sugar and commodities as the ‘Joint Communique’ tells. There is certainties that of  “President Museveni noted that Kenya exports to Uganda are estimated at $700 million compared to imports worth $180 million, and commended President Kenyatta for implementing initiatives that would contribute to bridging the trade gap” (Joint Communique, 2015). Which tells the story in general that there will be more trading from Uganda to Kenya, and at the same time will also open the borders more from the Kenyan side.

This has sure not been the cup of tea that the Kenyan Government and the President Uhuru Kenyatta wished to see after being for a visit in Uganda earlier this month. Secondly after bailing out of Mumias Sugar Company should seem like the trading agreement with Uganda shouldn’t spoil that, even if they can import Ugandan Sugar, for the simple sense, the Kenyan community might get more easily sell products in Uganda as well. I doubt that the deal and agreement will be a one-way traffic train between the nations. Then its Raila Odinga who isn’t drinking, but the coastal drink of Mnazi. And with the information I get, I miss a lot of leads and structures. I wish I had more rough numbers and actual facts then hearsay and statements from the parties. With the scandals and probes proves that their certainties of some conspiracy, but where it might lead is scary in Kenya, therefore we haven’t been to bottom of it, or that the Mumias Sugar Company and Sugar Cartel has the hold of politicians so they won’t speak, because they getting behind keeping their mouth shut. An Raila Odinga is in debt to the Sugar Company together with other big shots! While the Government and Jubilee want support in Western Kenya so they support Mumias Sugar Company because of the farmers it feed. While this Sugar agreement and import option set it at risk, but that will also be for all the other millers that grind sugar in the Country! But if you want to be good neighbors and trade, you got to import and export produce between them. Which I think is something Uhuru Kenyatta understands and might think in his mind that is a possibility to continue to grow the Kenyan economy. In the end might not be wrong and give an edge to both countries. Not just sugar in the tea that there is in the talks for now, but everything else as well in time after there been an issue with the chickens and Migingo Island in Lake Victoria, and the fisheries and fishing industry for both countries!

Peace!

Reference:

Ameyo, Dan – ‘Mumias Sugar Company Limited – Annual Report and Financial Statements’ (30.06.2014)

COTU – ‘imminent closure of Mumias Sugar Company’ (06.06.2015) link:

http://cotu-kenya.org/imminent-closure-of-mumias-sugar-company/

IGNITEKE – ‘MPs in a bitter row over Sh60m sugar bribe’ (18.03.2015) link: http://ignitekenya.com/mps-in-bitter-row-over-sh60m-sugar-bribe/

Joint Communique Issued During the State Visit by H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya (10.08.2015) – 10th August, Entebbe, Uganda, Released by the Republic of Uganda

Jodie, Vanessa – ‘Raila fired me because I cancelled sugar barons’ licences, claims Ruto’ (19.08.2015) link: http://www.hero.co.ke/raila-fired-cancelled-sugar-barons-licences-claims-ruto/

Kenya Forum – ‘ELIUD OWALO CALLS FOR KIDERO AND ABABU TO BE KICKED OUT OF ODM’ (10.03.2015) link: http://www.kenyaforum.net/2015/03/10/eliud-owalo-calls-for-kidero-and-ababu-to-be-kicked-out-of-odm/

Kenya Today – ‘Raila takes Uhuru SUGAR ‘WAR’ to Ground Zero, CORD to hold RALLIES in the SUGAR BELT’ (18.08.2015) link: http://www.kenya-today.com/politics/raila-takes-uhuru-sugar-war-ground-zero-cord-to-hold-rallies-in-the-sugar-belt

Kulundu, Mary – ‘Amina Mohammed: Let Me Put This Matter To Rest’ (19.08.2015) link: http://www.kenyans.co.ke/news/amina-mohammed-let-me-put-matter-rest

Kwayera, Juma – ‘Sugar scam stirs slush fund fears’ (05.03.2007) link: http://mg.co.za/article/2007-03-05-sugar-scam-stirs-slush-fund-fears

Mumias Sugar Company Limited (Kenya) – link: http://www.securities.com/php/company-profile/KE/Mumias_Sugar_Company_Limited_en_2129630.html

NairobiToday – ‘Shock As Experts Now Abandon Raila Odinga Over His Selfish Political Gains & Uganda Sugar Deal Rhetoric’ (20.08.2015) link: http://www.nairobitoday.co.ke/2015/08/20/shock-as-experts-now-abandon-raila-odinga-over-his-selfish-political-gains-uganda-sugar-deal-rhetoric/

Ochieng, Justus – ‘Kenya: Sugar Deal Ruins Mumias Goodwill, Says Mudavadi’ (15.08.2015) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201508150312.html

Statement by the Orange Democratic Movement – KENYANS TO FIGHT FOR THEIR LIVELIHOOD (18.08.2015) link: http://www.kenyan-post.com/2015/08/odm-exposes-ruto-and-uhurus-brookside.html

The Gazette Weekly – ‘Youth allege 50m in Senator Bonny Khalwale and Governor Evans Kidero truce talks’ (02.08.2015) link: http://kakamega411.com/5434/youth-allege-50m-in-senator-bonny-khalwale-and-governor-evans-kidero-truce-talks/

The Uchaguzi – ‘Mumias Sugar says it’s owed shs.241m by several companies and individuals’ (25.06.2015) link: http://uchaguzi.co.ke/mumias-sugar-says-its-owed-shs-241m-by-several-companies-and-individuals/

InLiveNews – Statement from Jubilee – ‘Statement in the interest of the truth for the sake of sugar farmer’ (18.08.2015) link: http://www.inlivenews.com/188807/a-statement-from-uhuru-rutos-jubilee-exposes-raila-odinga-badly-read-it-here/

Ranking of Peace in the East Africa Countries in 2015

East-Africa

First and foremost I will address what the trending and ranking means. What kind of things that the Global Peace Index does and what kind of attributes and recent history means for individual countries. All of this makes violence, homicides, social security, militarization which is part of the evaluation of the scores which makes the Index. The countries that will take on is Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda. Which have different histories, though they are close to each other? Why are the numbers so far apart? What makes this? We can wonder. But look through what been said in the report and the numbers.

Last years trend:

“Over the past eight years the average country score deteriorated 2.4 percent, highlighting that on average the world has become slightly less peaceful. However, this decrease in peacefulness has not been evenly spread, with 86 counties deteriorating while 76 improved. MENA has suffered the largest decline of any region in the world, deteriorating 11 per cent over the past eight years (GPI, P: 2).

Economic price of violence:

“The economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2014 was substantial and is estimated at US$14.3 trillion or 13.4 per cent of world GDP. This is equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. Since 2008, the total economic impact on global GDP has increased by 15.3 per cent, from US$12.4 trillion to US$14.3 trillion” (GPI, P: 3).

“Societal safety and security:

This section analyses the effects of urbanisation on violence, and finds that peace generally increases with higher levels of urbanisation. This is a by-product of higher levels of development. However, countries that have weak rule of law, high levels of intergroup grievances and high levels of inequality are more likely to experience deteriorations in peace as urbanisation increases” (GPI, P: 3).

“Militarisation:

Since 1990, there has been a slow and steady decrease in measures of global militarisation, with large changes in militarisation occurring rarely and usually associated with larger, globally driven geopolitical and economic shifts” (GPI, P: 3).

Important evaluation that makes the GPI:

  • Ongoing domestic and international conflict
  • Societal safety and security
  • Millitarisation
  • Indirect cost of violence: Accounts for costs that are not directly related to an act of violence and accrue over the long run. This can include losses of income due to injury or pain or grievance of others who were not directly involved in the crime.
  • Internal Peace: A set of indicators that measures how peaceful a country is inside its
  • national borders
  • Negative Peace: The absence of violence or fear of violence.
  • Positive Peace: The attitudes, institutions and structures which create and sustain peaceful societies. These same factors also lead to many other positive outcomes that support the optimum environment for human potential to flourish.
  • Positive Peace Index (PPI): A composite measurement of Positive Peace based on 24 indicators grouped into eight domains.
  • Resilience: The ability of a country to absorb and recover from shocks, for example natural disasters or fluctuations in commodity prices.
  • Violence containment: Economic activity related to the consequences or prevention of violence where the violence is directed against people or property.

(GPI, P: 4).

Listings of Peaceful ratings:

World Rank: Country: Score: State of the Peace: Change in Score: Regional Rank:
130 Burundi 2,323 Low +,0,009 34
155 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 3,085 Very Low -0,033 41
119 Ethiopia 2,234 Low -0,143 27
133 Kenya 2,323 Low -0,086 35
139 Rwanda 2,420 Low -0,027 38
157 Somalia 3,307 Very Low -0,079 42
159 South Sudan 3,383 Very Low +0,107 44
64 Tanzania 1,903 Medium -0,024 10
111 Uganda 2,197 Medium +0,013 24

(GPI P: 8-9, P: 13)

The Regional Rank is set for the region of Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore the regional rank is different from the World Rank. In the World rank it goes from 64 of Tanzania and 159 of South Sudan. That is 100 countries in between in the World, when we talk about peaceful environment and the fear should be one South Sudan (159), Somalia (157) and DRC (155).  Tanzania which is on top is the 64. Next place is for Uganda was ranked on 111, the third and fourth country in the region which was near each other was Kenya (133) and Rwanda (139). And the fifth place is Burundi (130) – which I am certain will fall on the rank after the elections in 2015. But for the GPI 2015 there is still high level for the region.

On Armed Conflicts and War in Sub-Saharan Africa: “Although sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of conflicts, these conflicts tend not to last as long as in other regions. There were only three conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013 which started more than three years ago, two of which are long-standing conflicts in Ethiopia” (GPI, P: 51).

On Peacefulness in the region: “In 2008, MENA had the same level of peacefulness as sub-Saharan Africa, and was the 6th most peaceful region in the world. By 2015 it has become the least peaceful region in the world, deteriorating by 11 per cent over the period” (GPI, P: 55).

On South Sudan: “South Sudan’s ranking declined by only three places, but this was on top of by far the sharpest fall in the 2014 GPI. It remains embroiled in the civil conflict that broke out in December 2013, and which has thus far proved immune to numerous peace efforts” (…) “South Sudan also fell for its third consecutive year, slipping a further 3 places to 159. (GPI, P: 13, 16).

On Somalia: Somalia is on the highest cost of violence percentage of GDP which was 22%. “The majority of” (…) “Somalia’s costs stem from IDPs and refugees and homicides” (…) “The same category represents 54 per cent of Somalia’s total costs. (GPI, P: 77).

The difference is staggering from Somalia and South Sudan to the best state of peace in Tanzania. The other countries in between is ranked so close and with scores that could easily point them further down for next year if the militarization and violence inside the countries continue. Like I have a grand feeling that Burundi will fall on the ranking next year, also Uganda with the recent attacks and continuously going against opposition to the Presidential elections in 2016. Rwanda will sure shut down anybody who goes against the third term of Paul Kagame. There are also issues that are meeting Joseph Kabila’s planed third term in Democratic Republic of Congo. Ethiopia is in a stalemate of totalitarian regime that keeps the borders clear and with the resistance that comes from Somalia or the Omoro Liberation Front (OLF). Kenya has issues with building the border to Somalia where they has also taken districts in Somalia. And Kenya has the fear of Al-Shabab after the terrorist attack in Nairobi (2013) and that has happen also in Kampala (2010) in Uganda.

Therefore these rankings are important to look at because you can see what the state of ease is at, this is about the peace and impact of the authoritarian and totalitarian regimes in these countries. And will be good to follow and see how it really turns out in the next year rankings from the same place the Institute for Economic and Peace.

Hope it’s been a drop of enlightenment for you as well. Peace.

Reference:

Institute for Economics and Peace: “Global Peace Index – 2015 – Measuring Peace, its causes and its economic value”

Corruption is always relevant – Shine a light on a few cases from this week.

the-file-is-corrupt-and-cannot-be-opened

“It’s interesting that these themes of crime and political corruption are always relevant” – Martin Scorsese

In this last week there been big corruption cases that have unfolded in the media. The biggest ones are FIFA officials and that former PM of Italy has been sentenced to jail for three years. Both of those cases are well addressed by all major media. So I don’t need to blast them. This here is more or less known. Therefore I write my peace quickly because well, corruption has to be put a lid on. If not you have to address it in the sunshine and let those who steal money from the common man get time to send them to the law and get a just verdict. The pursuit for quick money will not stop. But as long as there are money and an opportunity for some to earn an extra shilling for very little work and make some money or get kickbacks for buying something while working for the government. Well, we as a public can’t accept that. So here are cases all from the mountains of Norway to the delta of Nigeria unto the public perception on road building in Peru. Enjoy!

Earlier this week in Norway a four former executives of the fertilizer company Yara was sentenced and judged in a corruption case. The time they will spend in jail is from 6 months to 3 years depending on how involved the executive was. This case is involving the corruption accusations that the company bribed officials in India and Libya (Økokrim, 2015).

In the U.S. on the 10th of July the former Governor of Virgina Robert F. McDonnell stood trial in court for his a weird connection with a Richmond business man. That the former governor helped the businessman while getting paid to clear his own monies issues. He was already gotten to court in September last year and sentenced to 2 years in jail (Zapotosky, 2015).

In China the Communist Party continues to charge people on corruption. The latest man who has allegedly been corrupt is Patrick Liu a senior executive in the internet company of AliBaba. He isn’t charged for the actions he has done as an executive at AliBaba, but where he used to when he worked at the Social Network site Tencent (SkyNews, 2015).

In the Netherlands there been indicted six civil servants from the police department and defense ministry for taking bribes while purchasing vehicles and trucks for the representative ministry and department. The bribes came as kickbacks and foreign trips on the supplier’s paycheck. The whole total of suspects in this case is 47. So there will be more information to come during the next months (DutchNews, 2015).

In Malawi the President Mutharika and his personal aide Ben Phiri are central in a huge corruption case. This case involves the statehouse deals between Central Medical Stores Trust and the contract valued at MK1.4 Billion to Malawi Pharmacy Limited (Kangwele, 2015).

In Nigeria the former leader of the Head of Service of the Federation (HOS) Mr. Steven Oronsaye was recently charged for involvement in an N2.1bn graft case while being the head of the civil service. A part of the money (N1.2bn) that was siphoned away from the civil service was sent through the company of Global Services Limited and 2 persons connected to the company were also in court. It is also alleged that that Oronsaye siphoned N6.2bn from the pension fund through fake contracts and supplies that never got delivered to the civil service. They will again go to court on Monday the 13th of July in the meanwhile they are detained (Ejike-Abuja, 2015).

In Peru meanwhile the government heads are expected to have been corrupted while building the highway between Peru and Brasil. 71% of people believe corruption was involved while building the Interoceanic highway. The three involved officials are Alejandro Toledo and Alan Garcia. Even President Ollanta Humala is expected to corrupt as well over the building of the road (Ojeda, 2015).

Hope you got something out of it. It’s a worldwide phenomenon. Greed doesn’t sleep it just has many forms. And a quick buck is also something a person wishes. Peace.

Reference:

DutchNews – ‘Civil servants accused of corruption in vehicle purchase case’ (10.07.2015) link: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2015/07/civil-servants-accused-of-corruption-in-vehicle-purchase-case/

Eijke-Abuja, Sunday – ‘EFCC files 24-count corruption charges against ex-Head of Service, Steve Oronsaye, 2 others’ (07.10.2015) link: http://tribuneonlineng.com/efcc-files-24-count-corruption-charges-against-ex-head-service-steve-oronsaye-2-others

Kangwele, Mike J. – ‘Mutharika, Ben Phiri in a 1.4bn. corruption scandal’ (10.07.2015) link: http://malawi24.com/2015/07/10/mutharika-ben-phiri-in-a-k1-4bn-corruption-scandal/

Ojeda, Hillary – ‘Pulso Perú: 71% believe Interoceanic Highway construction was corrupt’ (10.07.2015) link: http://www.peruthisweek.com/news-pulso-peru-survey-71-believe-construction-of-interoceanic-highway-was-corrupt-106983

SkyNews – ‘Alibaba Executive Held Over Corruption Claims’ (10.07.2015) link: http://news.sky.com/story/1516748/alibaba-executive-held-over-corruption-claims

Økokrim – ‘  Fire tidligere toppledere dømt i Yara-saken’ (07.07.2015) link: http://www.okokrim.no/fire-tidligere-toppledere-doemt-i-yara-saken

 

Zapotosky, Matt – ‘Ex-Va. governor McDonnell loses appeal of corruption convictions’ (10.07.2015) link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/appeals-court-affirms-bob-mcdonnells-convictions/2015/07/10/144da937-66de-4644-816c-0bcea4803401_story.html

A look into the Coke’s BioPET-PlantBottle™ 1.0 – Is it really Green or is it Greenwashing?

cokeadwall

We live in a time where big multinational companies who do what they can do their business. Buy for one, sell for two. That is capitalism and the dream of getting wealth and generating it. We live in a day and age where multinational companies have vast powers and can use it whatever way they like. They can if wanting to make as much of wealth to circus of companies and hide the earnings in a tax-haven in the Caribbean or in Lichtenstein. But this article or blog will be about that. It’s about another possibility that they can do.

greenwash-noun

Milking a special type of cow:

Something that isn’t right. Companies can if they feel tell stories and express themselves as they please. Until a certain extent they can if they want to make them look extra good, but if so they shouldn’t play in-between reality and fiction. Especially not portraying stories about their products – they can make their milk being squeezed out a most beautiful cow ever. Even if wasn’t most purebred highland cattle from the western islands of Scotland. Instead it’s made with some lame ass country cow. If a Milk producing company said their entire product was made from Highland Cattle, we as consumer expect the product to be that, right? So if the pieces of production and process is made with fractions of other milking cow it want be pure Highland. It will be milk, but not as promised. Some people would be devastated. Some people would call it fraud. And partly it is, even if pieces of it made with the milk. This piece here will be about similar way of acting one way, and acting another. While telling the public something else. This here is a kind of way to make something greener then it really is. It isn’t really green, but said so. In a way that mislead the public. Some people calls that way of acting for Greenwashing. It’s a nice way to express them in similar incidence. First certain words will be translated like PEF, PET, PTA and LRB. So that people will know what they are. After that I will show what a certain company called the Coca-Cola Company makes which a famous Bottle the famous PlantBottle™.

Words to know:

  • polyethylene furanoate (PEF)
  • polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  • purified terephthalic acid (PTA).
  • liquid refreshment beverages (LRB)

PETPlantbottleProcess2PETPlantbottleProcess2

Bio-Plastic information:

The first information is that it’s renewable made from Sugercane-polyethylene which has the ability to replace 30% of the petroleum that would have been used for making certain type of plastic. The other good piece of using bio-plastic will be lower-carbon footprint (Sugercane.org).

Hitachi company explains what PTA is: “Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) is made by causing a reaction between the secondary petroleum product paraxylene (PX) and acetic acid”. When Hitachi describes PET its like this: “Polyethylene terephthalate(PET) is a general-purpose plastic made through polycondensation of PTA with ethylene glycol (EG). This material has many outstanding properties: resistance to both heat and cold, transparency, electrical qualities, chemical proof and abrasion proof” (Hitachi).

infographicplastic

How Coca-Cola endeavors to make the PlantBottle™:

Here is how it has gone from 2011, when Gevo made an agreement with the Coca-Cola Company to make the second generation plant-bottle with Isobutanol.  Further commenting on the important factor between Coca-Cola and GEVO: “The global market for PET is approximately 50 million metric tons and has a value of $100 billion, with approximately 30 percent used for plastic bottles. In this next generation of PlantBottle™ packaging, Coca-Cola plans to produce plastic beverage bottles made entirely from renewable raw materials” (Gevo, 2011).

PlantBottle-productline

In the same year (2011) Coca-Cola Company made already a deal with Virent: “signing multi-year, multi-million dollar Joint Development and Supply Agreements to scale-up Virent’s plant-based Paraxylene (PX), trademarked BioFormPX, as a route to commercially viable, 100% renewable, 100% recyclable PlantBottle PET resin. In the past, Coca Cola’s PlantBottles have included only 30% plant-based plastic. Virent’s chemical allows the remaining 70% of the bottle to be plant-based” (…) “Virent is one of three companies working with Coca-Cola on PlantBottle technology. The others are Colorado-based Gevo and Avantium, which is based in the Netherlands” (Lane, 2014).

In South Africa in Wadeville outside of Johannesburg, South Africa there is coming a new bottle-plant. This is Africa’s first: “Coca-Cola approved technology for carbonated soft drink bottles thus enabling the closure of the loop in the biggest sector in the beverage market. The 3000m2 Phoenix PET plant, equipped with Starlinger technology, will supply an additional 14 000 tonnes of PET resin per year to the PET packaging industry. It will eventually divert an additional 22 000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles from landfills each year, reducing resource consumption, creating jobs and assisting industry in meeting its target of a 50% recycling rate for 2015” (Parkes, 2015).

Later JBF Industries and Coca-Cola went into a partnership in 2012 to produce bio-glycol that will be used in the new plant-bottle. This will end up with a deal and an agreement that will do this: “Construction on the new facility is expected to begin at the end of this year and will last 24 months. At full capacity, it is estimated the facility will produce 500,000 metric tons of material per year. By using plant-based materials instead of nonrenewable materials, the facility will remove the equivalent of 690,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of consuming more than 1.5 million barrels of oil each year” (Mohan, 2012).

corn to plastics poster

The Dreams of Coca-Cola Company and their PlantBottle™ 2.0:

A spokesman for Coke Scott Vitters commented in 2014 this: “Coca-Cola introduced the world to PlantBottle in 2009. The technology uses natural sugars found in plants to make ingredients identical to the fossil based ones traditionally used in polyester fiber and resins. PlantBottle packaging looks, functions and importantly recycles just like traditional polyester (or PET) plastic, but with a lower dependence on fossil fuels and a lighter environmental footprint on the planet” (…) “Today our first generation PlantBottle technology replaces one of the two ingredients that make PET plastic. Our long-term target is to realize a 100% renewable, fully recyclable plastic bottle. To realize this goal, Coca-Cola is investing millions in local technology companies – companies like Virent in Madison, Wisconsin; Gevo in Englewood, Colorado and Avantium in Amsterdam, the Netherlands” (Vitters, 2014).

“Continuing in rigid high-barrier packaging, polyethylene furanoate (PEF) bottle development remains on track. Avantium has entered into an agreement with ALPLA for development of PEF bottles, with the first bottles targeted to reach market by 2016. Avantium has also partnered with Coca-Cola and Danone in the development of PEF bottles”. (…) ”PEF is a next-generation, bio-based, recyclable polyester developed by Avantium on the basis of furanics technology. According to Avantium, PEF has 50-60 percent lower carbon footprint compared to petroleum-based PET” (Rosato, 2014).

Right now the Coca-Cola Company together with other industry packaging companies as Virent, Gevo and Avantium has made this possible: “The PlantBottle 2.0 represents an upgrade to the existing bio-based PlantBottle the beverage company already uses for some of its drinks. This substitute for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles has a 30% bio-based content, principally derived from Brazilian sugar cane supplied by Braskem”. In the future the same companies hope for “The 100% bioplastic bottle is the result of collaboration between Coca-Cola, Geno and Virent to perfect bio-purified terephthalic acid (PTA). Commercial rollout of PlantBottle 2.0 will take place over the next five years, culminating in a full replacement in 2020” (SustPack).

Ringier Plastics commented this: “From traditional PET to recyclable (also known as R-PET) to bio-based PET, technology and environmental properties have come a long way. PET generally consists of 70% terephthalic acid and 30% monoethylene glycol (MEG). But now it is quite possible to produce bio-based MEG from renewable raw materials instead of fossils. Coca-Cola is a pioneer is adopting bio-PET packaging with its PlantBottle™, producing the first ever fully-recyclable PET plastic beverage bottle using 30% of non-fossil material and resulting in less carbon footprint. Coca-Cola aims to convert all its plastic packaging to PlantBottle by 2020 and entered into a partnership with H.J. Heinz Co. to produce ketchup bottles using PlantBottle material” (Ringier Plastics, 2015).

SuccessPBCokeSuccessPBCoke2SuccessPBCoke.CriteriaJPG

The Marketing Companies making PlantBottle™ what it is:

“Fahrenheit 212 worked with Coca-Cola’s global packaging team to translate a complex and contentious advance in polymer production into a clear and compelling consumer proposition.  The PlantBottle brand name evolved from the concept development and strategic positioning work undertaken by Fahrenheit 212 and the PlantBottle icon, which has been now been featured on over 10 billion packages since its launch in 2010, was conceived and created by our in-house design team” (…) “In its first year, PlantBottle was launched in nine global markets, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Sweden and the United States across brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Dasani and vitaminwater”  (Fahrenheit 212). The other marketing plan of Coca-Cola company was merged with another agency they did this: “Ogilvy & Mather’s campaign uses Coca-Cola’s iconic red and white color scheme and optical illusions to create intriguing images for the new bottle. The print ads all emphasize a way that plants make us happy, followed by the message that Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle is “Up to 30% made from plants” and “100% recyclable.”“ (Oster, 2014). One of Ogilvy & Mather’s ads just below.

plantbottle_posters_Page_4

It all sound beautiful doesn’t it. Mixing PEF and PET like its nothing? Plastic turned fantastic from petroleum based sort of bottle into plant heaven, right? Is there a reason why it just sounds so magnificent! If so, why does it for the last five years show up a dirty dozens of similar quotes from Scott Vitters in all kind of outlets from the Guardian to the New Zealand Scumbag post? That makes a brother like me curious. Especially when they been cooking this for so long.

ethics-sda

Well, there isn’t everybody who has a piece of pay from Coca-Cola Company. This reports I come with now haven’t a clear connection or are in business with the Company. They are separated from it and are on their own. So you should see what their saying and be fascinated.

There many ways of telling how it really is: “Coke invented the Plant Bottle.  The Plant Bottle is made from sugarcane, a food source.  The Plant Bottle is a PET plastic bottle.  The Plant bottle is 100% PET, 70% made from oil and 30% from sugarcane.  The Plant Bottle is not biodegradable and lasts as long as the petroleum-based PET however a large segment of the population believes that the Plant Bottle is, in fact, biodegradable” (…) “Coke has invested heavily in rPET bottle-to-bottle recycling.  Coke is a large buyer of rPET pellets in China and reputedly is putting rPET in small” (…) “The largest producer of rPET pellets in China is tripling its capacity in 2011” (…) “Krones, one of the world’s largest developers and supplies of machinery to the bottling industry is introducing a series of super efficient PET washing and flaking recycling equipment.  rPET flakes and pellets can be manufactured at prices less than virgin PET” (N.Michaels).

Another example of renewable resources usage are PET bottles – called Plant Bottle. Those bottles are composed of PET, produced from terephthalic acid (70 % of mass) and ethylene glycol (30 % of mass). Terephthalic acid comes from oil, whereas glycol is produced from ethanol (deriving from fermentation of vegetable feedstock). Such bottles can be easily recycled, and they can be collected with other (classical) PET bottles. This partially bio-based PET saves global fossil resources and also reduces CO2 emissions. Plant Bottle is 20 % biobased (20 % of the carbon present in the material comes from renewable resources) and 30 % bio-massed (30 % of the mass of the material comes from renewable resources) and a simple scheme on figure 12 shows how the Plant Bottle is made (Plastice).

beyond-greenwash-the-state-of-play-2-638
Gendell said in 2012 this about the PlantBottle: “The first complexity is that only a portion is plant-based, so the PET is also composed of some things that ought to stay within a technological closed loop” (…) “The other complexity is that there must be a mechanism by which the plant-based material may return to nature and participate in the biological cycle. Even if the first complexity were resolved by making PET entirely from plant-based materials (which is not truly possible today, considering all the catalysts and polymer chemistry whatsits that are not made from plants), the PET would still be an inherently non-biodegradable material” (Gendell, 2012).

In Denmark a Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe is a Danish Consumer Ombudsman says this: “criticized Coke’s use of several marketing ploys, including the use of the word “plant,” excessive green colors and a circular-arrow logo inspired by the familiar symbol for recyclability. The ombudsman also noted a lack of documentation to support Coke’s claim that PlantBottle is “environmentally friendly” or has a “reduced carbon footprint.”” (…) “the bottle contains only a maximum of 15 percent plant material — a percentage he said hardly justifies the designation “PlantBottle.”” (…) “The Consumer Ombudsman requested the trader to indicate the minimum percentage of plant material in the bottle or to explain more clearly why the plant material proportion of the bottle was specified as ‘up to 15 percent” (Zara, 2013).

PETPlantbottleProcess

The issue with getting a 100% Bio-PET bottle is a big issue for Coca-Cola Company. Ordinary PET or 30% Bio-PET bottle has Petroleum-based component considering the bio-based in PEF. The Plastic Packaging Expert Gordon Bockner: “PEF molecule is a contaminant in the existing PET stream. A very small amount of PEF will (a) reduce the performance characteristic of the resulting PET/PEF blend and (b) neither will the blend be crystal clear and glossy, which are two of the key (marketing) attributes OPET. It is, therefore, not realistic to suggest that the two resins might be successfully blended to make a commodity LRB packaging resin” (Pierce, 2014).

Liz Baird the Environmental Consultant has said this about the PlantBottle:”When a company uses their marketing to appeal to the eco-conscious consumer, but they are spending more money marketing than they spend on being green, it’s called greenwashing” (…) “For example, there are some companies who tout their products as green, but if you look at the list of ingredients, palm oil is one of them. Harvesting palm oil is extremely dangerous to the orangutans” (EcoDaily, 2015).

GPC Cycle

After thought:

This here story here is about the 30% Bio Sugarcane based PET Resin and the rest of the bottle 70%. Not the newly released bottle that is supposable 100% BioBased Plant bottle. It hasn’t been addressed yet because I don’t see how it’s made possible and there aren’t reports or scientific how the whole PET resin is made. Therefore I won’t address it today. This here is just a full case on how Coca-Cola Company has described the infamous Plantbottle™. So since this original Plantbottle™ 1.0 is 30%. And call all natural you get the feel of a greenwash perception scheme. That isn’t fair for the consumer or society. It even got a Danish Ombudsman on the tail, but the same scenario and drop hasn’t made a fuzz where else it has been released, this is something about the leniency towards the Coca-Cola Company in these countries that has this specific bottle. That you have many companies on all sides of the globe focusing on how to make a Sugarcane bottle instead of a petroleum-based one, the first step was using 30% of the Bio PET resin. If they will fix it and make it, also make sure that it can contain the material that it’s talking about. It can’t be either or. Has to been made for a certain type of PET-Resin to make it hard enough to be a bottle for production-line and to contain the sugar-caffeine-carbonated-liquid called Coke from Coca-Cola Company.

Wonder how it will be 100% compared to the 1.0 type of bottle. That will be another story. Would be another story to see how the produce and production of Plantbottle 2.0 who supposed to be 100% made of sugarcane. And I might go into detail about that if I get the hold of that information. I can’t write it out of the thin air. Got to taste the carbonated sugar-water and then get the feel of the flavors and ways. Peace.

Reference:

EcoDaily – ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green – Labeling Can Be A Guise’ (01.07.2015) Link: http://ecodaily.org/its-not-easy-being-green-labeling-can-be-a-guise/

Parkes, Lisa – ‘Africa’s first Bottle-2-Bottle Plastic Recycling Plant Opens its Doors in Wadeville’ (13.05.2015) Link: http://www.petco.co.za/ag3nt/system/about_petco_dynamic_blog.php

Oster, Erik – ‘Ogilvy & Mather NY Introduces PlantBottle for Coca-Cola’ (09.06.2015) Link: http://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/ogilvy-mather-ny-launches-plants-make-us-happy-for-coca-cola/67789

Mohan, Anne Marie – ‘Coca-Cola enters partnership to expand PlantBottle production’ (27.09.2012) Link: http://www.greenerpackage.com/bioplastics/coca-cola_enters_partnership_expand_plantbottle_production

Fahrenheit 212 – ‘Coca-Cola PlantBottle – Defining the Consumer Proposition for Bio-PET’ Link: http://www.fahrenheit-212.com/coca-cola-plantbottle/

Rosato, Don – ‘Green plastic barrier packaging material and process advances’ (28.07.2014) Link: http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/green-plastic-barrier-packaging-material-and-process-advances/food-beverage

Pierce, Lisa McTigue – ‘PEF will not oust PET for beverage bottles anytime soon’ (25.07.2014) Link: http://www.packagingdigest.com/resins/pef-will-not-oust-pet-for-beverage-bottles-anytime-soon140724

N.Michaels: ‘Why and When will Bottle-to-Bottle rPET Technology Dominate?’ (03.12.2010) Link: http://theplanetbottle.net/news/2010/12/why-and-when-will-bottle-to-bottle-rpet-technology-dominate/#sthash.QksuvCPg.dpuf

Lane, Isabel – ‘Coke invests further in scaling Virent’s paraxylene production for PlantBottle’ (09.09.2014) link: http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2014/09/09/coke-invests-further-in-scaling-virents-paraxylene-production-for-plantbottle/

Gendell, Adam – ‘The catch behind Coca-Cola’s switch to plant-based bottles’ (10.10.2012) Link: http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2012/10/10/catch-behind-coca-colas-switch-plant-based-bottles

Ringier Plastics – ‘Bio-based PET shows the way forward’ (07.05.2015) Link: http://www.industrysourcing.com/article/bio-based-pet-shows-way-forward

Vitters, Scott – ‘Statement of Scott Vitters General Manager, PlantBottle Innovation Platform The Coca-Cola Company United States Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry United States Senate June 17, 2014’

PTA – ‘Production process for purified terephthalic acid (PTA)’ Link: http://www.hitachi.com/businesses/infrastructure/product_site/ip/process/pta.html

PET – ‘Production process for polyethylene terephthalate (PET)’ Link: http://www.hitachi.com/businesses/infrastructure/product_site/ip/process/pet.html

Sugarcane.org – ‘Bioplastics’ Link: http://sugarcane.org/sugarcane-products/bioplastics

SustPack – ‘Coca-Cola Gives Expo Debut To 100% Bio-Based PlantBottle’ Link: http://www.sustainability-in-packaging.com/news/coca-cola-gives-expo-debut-to-100-bio-based-plantb

Gevo – ‘Bio-based Isobutanol to Enable Coca-Cola to Develop Second Generation PlantBottle™ Packaging’ link: http://www.gevo.com/?casestudy=bio-based-isobutanol-to-enable-coca-cola-to-develop-second-generation-plantbottle-packaging

Zara, Christopher – ‘Coca-Cola Company (KO) Busted For ‘Greenwashing’: PlantBottle Marketing Exaggerated Environmental Benefits, Says Consumer Report’ (03.09.2013) Link: http://www.ibtimes.com/coca-cola-company-ko-busted-greenwashing-plantbottle-marketing-exaggerated-environmental-benefits

Patent – ‘Method of making a bottle made of fdca and diol monomers and apparatus for implementing such method’ (31.08.2012): http://www.google.com/patents/WO2014032731A1?cl=en

Plastice – ‘Bioplastics – Opportunity for the Future’ (2013) Link: http://www.central2013.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/outputlib/Plastice_Bioplastics_Opportunity_for_the_Future_web.pdf

Guyana-Norway Cooperation on the deforestation, the Low-Carbon Development-Strategy(LCDS) and REDD+ Program in Guyana

Virgin Forest Resource

Today is the day after we have celebrated our Constitutional Day here in Norway. This is the day after the giant national party. Last week it just happened to be an election in the small South-American state Guyana which is in-between Surinam and Venezuela. As the Corruption Perception Index shows the magnificent position that Guyana in the world that there in the place of number 124 of 175 countries. Here is the chart from Transparency International:

Guyana Transparency

 

To follow the story, I have looked for sources and how it has gone. This I had to do after reading Chris Lang’s report ‘Why did Norway agree to pay US$40 million just before Guyana’s election?’. That he published on the internet page red-monitor.org. As a Norwegian I haven’t really heard anything about the election or the funding of the rainforest projects in Guyana. We have seen our development minister Erik Solheim travelling to Brazil and looking at the crazy animals and green trees in the rainforest. So I had to check what has been said. Here is what I have found. And hope it’s worth five minutes of your day.

The now former president of the Republic of Guyana H. E. Donald Ramotar on the 5th payment on the 7th of May 2015 stated this: “Fellow Guyanese, I am pleased to announce today that Guyana has received a payment of $8 billion (Guyana) from the Government of Norway. This is a billion more than last year’s payment, and brings the total received from Norway to $38 billion” (…) ”All Guyanese should feel proud of the vote in confidence expressed by Norway in announcing that they are willing to pursue a second agreement up to 2020, a policy that only the PPP/C supports in Guyana. And all Guyanese should feel proud that we have earned the most money from a forest partnership in the world, after Brazil. Money that is being directly spent on the people” (…) ”the LCDS has done a lot. Guyana has now deployed US$120 million into projects, which are enabling the rehabilitation of Cunha canal that will protect Georgetown, and the communities and farms along the Mahaica River from floods like we saw back in 2005” (…) ”First, the opposition tried to stop Norway from paying Guyana the money that we earned from keeping our forests standing. When the opposition failed to achieve this, they tried to stop us from spending this hard earned money on the Guyanese people by cutting the entire LCDS budget!” (…) ”we have always been fighting to protect our nature so that we can leave an even more beautiful Guyana as a legacy to our children – and today we are leading the world in showing how finances can flow to forest countries. Guyana was once known for rigged elections and economic decay – today we are known for global environmental leadership. The benefits are for all our people, and we must not throw them away”.

On the 8th May “The Government of Guyana this morning announced the receipt of US$40 million from the Government of Norway for maintaining low deforestation rates and improving forest governance” (PRNewswire).

To the Antigua Observerer President Ramotar is quoted on the agreement with Norway: “(This is) a policy that only the PPP/C (People’s Progressive Party/Civic) supports in Guyana. And all Guyanese should feel proud that we have earned the most money from a forest partnership in the world, after Brazil, money that is being directly spent on the people.” (…) “believe that not a single Guyanese living on the coast should need to worry when there’s heavy rainfall that their community will flood. And not a single Guyanese in the hinterland should need to worry about not having water during droughts. Nor should any Amerindian community need to worry about having enough economic opportunities to support their development.” (…) “Today, Guyana is one of the leading countries in the world in managing natural resources sustainably. And every Guyanese is benefitting from this. Our most recent deforestation rate was even lower than the previous year.” (…) “All Guyanese should feel proud of the vote in confidence expressed by Norway.” (…) ““I urge every Guyanese to think hard about what is at stake and to make the best decision next Monday to continue down a path of development and progress,” (Antigua Observerer).

On the 12th May reports was saying: “Guyana has received $40 million for climate services and intends to use part of the money for a transformational hydroelectric project in order to reduce the cost of electricity” (…) “The payment was made by the Government of Norway and represents earnings from the Guyana-Norway partnership which in total now amount s to $190 million out of a potential $250 million” (Caribbean News Service).

On the 16th May this new has arrived: “HIS Excellency, Brigadier (rtd) David Arthur Granger, is Guyana’s duly elected and sworn 8th Executive President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces and Head of State of the Cooperative Republic of Guyana. President Granger was administered the Oath of Office yesterday at the Public Buildings by Chancellor of the Judiciary, Carl Singh, in the presence of the thousands that converged to witness history. The Oath was administered following the reading of the Official Proclamation by Chairman of the Guyana Elections Commission (GECOM), Dr. Steve Surujbally” (…) “The official Inauguration Ceremony for the new Government is slated for May 26, at the Guyana National Stadium, and as had been promised by then coalition presidential candidate, Brigadier (rtd) Granger, Guyanese will celebrate the nation’s 50th Independence Anniversary from its colonial masters, under an APNU+AFC Government of National Unity” (Eleazar).

Newly elected David Arthur Granger said on the inauguration: “I extend the arm of friendship to former president, Donald Ramotar, and the members of the PPP to join this great movement of national unity.” (…) ”let us embrace each other regardless of religion, regardless of race, regardless of class, regardless of occupation…as fellow Guyanese let us work together to realise our inspiring national motto, One People, One Nation, One Destiny” (…) ”Guyanese, the elections are over, the people have chosen their representatives, the Constitution has been respected, our democracy has been fortified, let us now put past rivalries behind us and work in unity to banish poverty, ignorance, fear and hatred” (Eleazar).

Tweedie of the Morning Star tells the story of how close the election in Guyana really was: “GUYANA’S ruling party has alleged fraud in the general election, with just 43 votes separating the two main presidential candidate” (…) “It claimed that the opposition Partnership for National Unity and the Alliance For Change (APNU+AFC) received almost twice as many votes as there were voters in some regions” (…) “The PPP also expressed concern over the “extremely high” number of rejected ballots and accused the APNU of intimidating its representatives and chasing them away from polling stations” (…) “And the APNU declared victory for its candidate David Granger on Tuesday, long before the vote was complete” (Tweedie).

Former Speaker of the National Assembly, Ralph Ramkarran has commented: “No longer motivated by his high ideals, it (the PPP/C) allowed one-man rule, arrogance, crime, corruption, nepotism and high living to flourish and become dominant features of its governance” (…) “Ramkarran said that the PPP/C ignored the fact that it lost a significant percent of its support at elections held in 2011. “It deluded itself by a self-serving analysis that apathy caused its supporters to stay away from the polls in 2011. This prompted an expectation that elections with a divisive political strategy will restore its majority. Thus it rejected any idea of a coalition government.”(Rockecliffe).

Guyana timelines_0

Afterthought:

If this isn’t getting your minds to think and I understand the thoughts of Chris Lang and Redd Monitor. I am just thinking. What is the real measure of the money spent into the saving of the rainforest? How will this sizeable funding scheme really be governed? We now can read reports of possible election frauds in Guyana, also considering the number and place of the country considering their position as the 124 of 175. There are expected that the former President will be happy for the agreement between Norway and Guyana. This is the 6th Payment and also building a Hydroelectric plant in Guyana for 40$B. If this doesn’t make your mind boggle a bit and how this doesn’t seem right. I get worried when the politicians and campaign talks about this funding of deforestation. If you don’t mind I will snip out the most questionable quotes from the ‘Joint Concept Note’ that both government agreed on 6th May 2015. Also the letter from Guyana Forestry Commission from 13. Januar 2015. Hope you enjoy! Peace.

GuyanaJCNGuyanaJCN2 GuyanaJCN3GuyanaJCN4GuyanaJCN5GuyanaJCN6GuyanaJCN7

GuyanaJCN8GuyanaJCN9

 

GuyanaJCN10GuyanaJCN11

The letter from Guyana Forestry Commission:

GFCP1GFCP2GFCP3

PS: If  that wasn’t cool enough for you. Peace!

Reference:

Antigua Observer – ‘Norway pays over $8B to Guyana – signals willingness to partner with Gov’t until 2020’ (08.05.2015) Link: http://antiguaobserver.com/norway-pays-over-8b-to-guyana-signals-willingness-to-partner-with-govt-until-2020/

Caribbean News Service – ‘Guyana $40 Million Fund to Help Develop Hydroelectric Project’ (12.05.2015) Link: http://caribbeannewsservice.com/now/guyana-40-million-fund-to-help-develop-hydroelectric-project/

Eleazar, Gary –  Guyana Chronicle Online – ‘David Arthur Granger sworn in as Guyana’s 8th Executive President …extends ‘Olive Branch’ to ousted PPP/C administration …says let us put past rivalries behind us and work in unity’ (16.05.2015) Link: http://guyanachronicle.com/david-arthur-granger-sworn-in-as-guyanas-8th-executive-president-extends-olive-branch-to-ousted-pppc-administration-says-let-us-put-past-rivalries-behind/

Rockcliffe, Abena – Kaieteur News – ‘A Guyana void of poverty, corruption and nepotism awaits – Ramkarran’ (18.05.2015) Link: http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2015/05/18/a-guyana-void-of-poverty-corruption-and-nepotism-awaits-ramkarran/

Tweedie, James – Morning Star – ‘Guyana Election: Ruling Party Alleges Fraud as Candidates Lie 43 Votes Apart’ (15.05.2015) Links: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-81e1-Guyana-elections-Ruling-party-alleges-fraud-as-candidates-lie-43-votes-apart

PRNewswire – ‘Guyana receives US$40 million payment from Norway for climate services and continued low deforestation’ (08.05.2015) Link: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/guyana-receives-us40-million-payment-from-norway-for-climate-services-and-continued-low-deforestation-300080282.html#

#OpenToSyria – Amnesty International’s Chart of World Action towards the refugees of the conflict in Syria

Amnesty