In the newest report of Oil Roads, which is expected to borrow funds for. The China Exim Bank is supposed to be provider of 85 % of the cost of the operation and building of the roads in these projects. I will only look into one of them, as I have previously looked at this significant one.
This is the Hoima-Butiaba-Wasenko Road. A project that was supposed to start in 2015 and was clocking in funds from the state budgets in 2017. Back in 2015, the road was estimated to cost $126m USD. Today, with the recent report, the same road is costing $179,538m USD. That is jump of nearly $50m in a five years time. In addition, of these bloated funds, 85 % of it will be loaned from China and the rest 15% covered by the Government of Uganda (GoU).
In 2017, this project was designated the China Communications Construction Company (CCCC), which signed a deal in January 2016. However, by the time of the report 2019, it is another Chinese Company who has the contract. This is Chongqing International Construction Corporation (CRC) Ltd. With the recent contract, the loans are clearly getting direct back to the Chinese, as their corporations are the ones with the contracts to build. A clever way of borrowing and then getting returns.
With this mind, we can see the changes, see over the years how the price has changed. If Members of Parliament was afraid of the price per kilometre in the past. They should be now. As the changes of price on the same project has changed significantly. There is no doubt, that the Chinese government are getting added loans on each of the packages in this deal. As this is just one of the roads in question.
This is 111km is now costing 659,921,964,460.17UGX in Ugandan terms or 659bn shillings and that equals to about 5,9bn shillings. Therefore, the prices has sky-rocketed and the price per kilometre is abnormal and extremely costly. The overpriced asphalt and the consultation is in absurd levels. The previosly estimated price for this road was about 444bn shillings. Therefore, we can see rising price between the years in both currencies. About 200bn shillings growth in 5 years.
To many cooks and too few ingredients. They are boiling soup on nails on this one. Wonder how this will end. As I felt in 2017, that the pricing of this particular road was a bit too much, but now they have just escalated it.
We can wonder whose eating, but someone is. We just don’t know who, because there been designated funds to build this one in the past and it has still not commenced. Surely, this road will be built, but at what point. However, with the added loans, the pressure should be on. Also, to secure the oil so it makes financial sense too. That the added value is there. It got to be. Because this project is over the top. This is the real OTT service, paid for by the Chinese and the tab is all taken by the Ugandans. Peace.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is insecure these days, since he is writing and typing like there is no tomorrow. Long time since he has written this much, could think he was running a president another term. Well, this is in defence of the Local Council Elections, which was recently held for the first time since 2001. That is showing how little it really matter, when the state cannot afford or care for the elections to be held for every term. They are hold whenever the state feels like it and the keepers of the LC1 can keep it until next scheduled election, which means over decades and close to two if they are very lucky.
So, President Museveni is lecturing, I am just taking my favourite passages, I don’t want to waste our time with bottlenecks and empty promises. Just so the pure venom of his words against his own people. While defending the so-called victory!
“This massive win by the NRM is in spite of very active and sustained media demonization of the NRM by the social media users, the enemy paper, the Monitor, some Radio and TV stations, not to forget some elements in the opposition Parties. Some of the elements have even gone to the extent of murdering Ugandans – Sheikhs, women, children, State officials like Kagezi and Kaweesi as well as ordinary villagers like the ones murdered on the New Year. All those liars, charlatans and criminals thought that by these methods, they would make the People hate the NRM or fear to associate with it. These liars, charlatans and criminals forget two things. One thing they forget is that Ugandans, especially the village people, are not fools and they are honest. They are not easy to deceive. When you go to Acholibur, just South of Kitgum, where a new long tarmac road, all the way from near Packwach, passes and you say the NRM Govt has done nothing, the villagers can easily tell who the liar is. That is the same story all over the country. Secondly, these liars, charlatans and criminals forget that there is God who sees everything” (…) “Politically and ideologically, the parasitic groups use sectarianism of religion or tribes or promote gender chauvinism (looking down upon women, neglecting the youth). The pro- national groups counter with the four principles: nationalism, Pan-Africanism, social- economic transformation and real democracy of the masses like we saw recently in the Women and LCI elections. The venom of the unfair media and social- media attacks on the NRM exposes the intentions of some of these groups” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘Local Council election victories prove correctness of NRM ideology’ 16.07.2018).
You know that this is a bitch mode of Museveni, as he is blaming and calling media houses out. It is so common that he picks on the Daily Monitor, that if it wasn’t a big Foreign Investor who owned it, it would have been closed or raided. He speaks the power of his “democracy”, but blames certain parts of the opposition parties. That is not how it works, but in the mind of Museveni it does, because they are not loyal to his every whim. Everyone cannot kiss as Mwenda or even Opondo.
That he defends these victories in the villages and the securing the LC1 shows how weak the NRM is at this point, when they couldn’t have ballots or secret voting, but on the court yards of the villages, like it was peer pressure and the use of military was apparent in and around the country. The villagers aren’t fools, but Museveni still acts a fool. He thinks they are not tired of his ways and his attitude. Museveni uses these villagers as pawns of his power and his party, while forgetting, that the Electoral Commission didn’t field opposition candidates and neither are there a level playing-field, as the elections has been postponed and the meetings of opposition have been closed outlawed by the Public Order Management Act (POMA). So, when Mr. President speaks his heart of about democracy, maybe, just maybe, think of the grounds that the FDC, DP or UPC has to jump through, while the NRM can do as they want. Even ride in the Police Cars to rallies to stop FDC from doing it in the same village. That is how the “democracy” are in Uganda at this point and time.
That he calls them liars, have he forgotten how he had to use a Personal Armoured Carrier in Alebtong in November 2015. Surely, the roads standards have magically become better in these districts since he took power yet again in 2016. He can forget, he is already advanced age and should rare his cows, not be in politics anyway.
It is time to pack his bags and leave, he forgets and cannot even keep his lies straight, while blaming other parties like always. It has grew really old on me. The art of peer pressure isn’t how elections should be, if the EC and the NRM was serious about LC1 Elections, they would have spent time on ballots, on training of officials and also shown tact to have observers from CCEDU at it. However, since of none of that was appearing, we know this was school-yard pick a captain for the football stuff, not a serious election. Even if the master Teacher spent his time writing his piece.
God Forgive him, he knows what he does. Peace.
“a feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age and social group in order to be liked or respected by them. ‘She started drinking in high school because of peer pressure’” (Merriam-Webster – Definition: Peer Pressure)
It is special, that an election that haven’t been held in 17 years. That hasn’t been held since 2001. This election is held in such contempt of the voters. Where there are ghost districts, where the opposition and independent parties are not involved or even able to field candidates. The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) are now allowed to participate or monitor the events. You just know the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the Electoral Commission are not that professional considering these local elections.
Why I say that? Well, the candidates are placed on the polling stations in the villages. Where the candidates are staying one by one. Where people are lining themselves up and where the voter are going behind the candidate they prefer. However, with this sort of election, there are no secret what you vote for and who you pass as a better local councilor or a LC1.
No matter who they vote for, the whole village or neighborhood would know. If you voted NRM, Independent or the looney-bin who should never run in the first place. These elections haven’t been much about the candidates, more the lack of resources, the postponement that has lasted for close to two decades.
The Electoral Commission should have especially after the last postponement, been able to find the ghost-villages and the ghost-voters, made sure the local polling agents could verify the voters and the voter-rolls. Even as the voters even wasn’t there or they just counted heads. In some districts even talks of ferrying voters to the polling stations.
There where 60,800 villages to hold elections in and field candidates, and in that sense, the NRM would conquer most. Precisely, because they have the advantage, the misuse of government funds and the massive spending from the ruling regime. They have spent billions on these elections to make way for these Local Councilors. In over 600 villages there was no elections, in some regions the voters defied the authorities as they had voters slips for the election made in 2017 and not gotten new for 2018. There we’re people sent away, even with National ID Cards. So the EC have a long walk to justice and to secure these sorts of polls.
All of what happen today can be seen as peer pressure, village wise, because nothing was hidden. If they just had a tick or ink on their finger for voting. It would be fine, because no one could talk or discuss what you really voted for. It could be anyone, the looney-bin or the actual good councilor of the village. However, when everyone walks behind a person and says this is the man/woman I want. Than, your telling the whole village and putting yourself on display.
This was a mockery of an election, if this would be picking the school-yard captain or even the captain of the local football team; it would have been fine and dandy, but this was seriously contested elections, where the Electoral Commission decided who could stand in the village.
Therefore, the EC and the NRM should have gotten the buckets out and the ballots, made it a secret vote for the people. Especially when the Councilor will be the local representative for God knows who long. Because it is not like these elections been steady, that is because they really doesn’t matter that much. That is why the EC haven’t spent funds on slips, ballots or voting material in general for these election.
That is why the art of Peer Pressure was used. It isn’t a soft or silky way of electing people. It is schoolyard or even teenage way of doing it. That an election made by 32 year old regime done as pupil, says how far from progress there is. Well, well, the NRM haven’t really cared since they moved from the Movement System to the Multi-Party Democratic Elections. They still want to act as the kings and the One-Party rules all. Therefore, the reality on the ground becomes a lot like that.
This election was mocking the intelligence of the people, but also name of an “election”. When your standing in line behind the one you choose. You just know that it will be talk if you go to the other one next time you meet or greet. The neighbor will wonder: “Why did you go behind Abe and not vote for Ben?”.
You just know that will happen, why did you go independent and not voted NRM? Do you want this village ill?
The Art of Peer Pressure is what this was. Nothing else. Nothing different. Nothing brilliant, nothing genius. Just child-games done the public, hoping it sticks. Peace.
Why? Simple reason, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and their prepared victory of most councils. They are not even given the opposition the chance to field candidates in every village. Not strange as the ruling regime is banning political rallies and without connection to the Election Road Maps, the Police will track them down and arrest them. The level playing-field is non existing. Therefore, I am not looking forward to the 10th July 2018.
It is the first time since 2001, that the Local Councilor Elections are appearing, but it is mere facade of local elections. Where the big-men passing through villages in SUVs and the state will later deliver bicycles. Also, where the NRM are doling out 900 million shillings to the candidates, as they are preparing to rig and pay the villagers for their votes. Some reports that the NRM are spending 11.8 Billion Shillings on this election. While the number of 900m has come up, some more reasonable number is the 100k shillings for each flag-bearer. That is more,mere shillings for the opportunity to have the local cronies on their side. So that there will be no shock, that the NRM are the winner and no one else can topple them. That is because no else has the opportunity or the time to field candidates.
Just to top this off, just as the madness is like this, there are 3,800 villages without elections for some reason. Maybe the Electoral Commission couldn’t calculate them. Maybe the NRM couldn’t handpick the candidates there. Who knows why, but that says something about the importance of this election. When your nearly losing 4,000 villages. You know it is kind of pointless exercise.
There are reasons for why it isn’t hold for 17 years, it has always been economy, even as the NRM has gone broke for any Presidential and Parliamentary Elections since the start of the millennium.
If this was real sincere from the regime, they would have opened it more up and not just suddenly said: “there are elections”. It is just last week: “10th July 2018” become a public holiday, so that people can go to vote and not work. However, if they are even interested as there are so many uncontested constituencies.
These Local Councilor Elections are already managed, people doesn’t really need to care. Why should they? Not like the NRM really wanted this to happen or have been concerned about this. This is really not important at this stage, when it has taken 17 years to happen. Not like the Movement System matters or even the modernization of that.
That is why I haven’t addressed this before, they are pointless and the NRM has proven that themselves. It is a play for facade, a mere mirage in the desert. There are nothing else, the NRM knows that, the people knows that.
When 10th July hits the clock, sleep longer, drink a cup of tea and take it easy. No need to go to vote. There are no need, the NRM are winning anyway. Stay home, even just visit friends and relatives.
This is pointless exercise. Take it easy and forget about it. When the residents around ask you, why your not going to the polling station, just answer: “the NRM doesn’t really care about this, why should I? Why should you? The NRM are winning anyway. Let’s take another cup of tea and enjoy the day”.
There is certain movements that will strike as more expensive for the East African Community (EAC). This being for the Government of Uganda (GoU) and the Government of Kenya (GoK), who has big plans of petroleum pipelines from their oil-fields and to the coast. That being from Turkana to Lamu Port. While the Ugandan oil goes from Hoima to Tanga Port in Tanzania. Both development and industrial projects will have issues with the funding. The World Bank has supported massive infrastructure projects in both countries.
Therefore, for the two counties big development and oil industry, this is giant set-back, since they have to find funding and loans for the pipelines on the open market. Even with higher interests and making the profits of it lesser, than it would have been with a World Bank loan. It would not hurt the pocket as much as it does on the open market. The banks wants more profits themselves and also make sure they are paid-in-full.
With all this in mind. There are speculations, but first. Parts of the self-answering service. Before we look at the reactions in Kenya and Uganda. All of are important, as the state is involved in the licensing and building the pipelines. They are directly into the development and procurement of the pipelines. That is why this is big blow for the administrations and their possible tax-profits on it.
Word Bank Q&A:
“Q. How is “upstream” oil and gas defined?
Upstream is an industry term that refers to exploration of oil and natural gas fields, as well as drilling and operating wells to produce oil and natural gas” (World Bank, 2017).
“Current projects in our portfolio would continue as planned. However, no new investments in upstream oil and gas would be undertaken after 2019, unless under exceptional circumstances as noted in the decision” (World Bank, 2017).
“The announcement by the bank, which has significant interests in Kenya’s oil prospecting sector, does not bode well for the country’s anticipated entry into the club of oil producing nations beginning next year. Analysts said they do not expect an immediate reaction to the announcement even as they acknowledged that it takes the shine from oil in the long term” (…) “Locally, the World Bank is offering technical support to the Kenyan government, through the Kenya Petroleum Technical Assistance Project, to prime all stakeholders for commercial oil production and sale. The six-year programme is scheduled to run until February 2021 and involves the World Bank managing a Sh5.2 billion fund set up by investors from Germany, Norway and Britain. The World Bank’s private lending arm, International Finance Corporation, is however directly involved in Kenya’s oil fields, having a 6.83 per cent stake in Africa Oil, the Canadian exploration firm with interests in northern Kenya oil blocks” (Mutegi, 2017)
“The pipeline, is expected to be completed by the year 2020, when the country is scheduled to start oil production. In fact, Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni and his Tanzanian counterpart recently commissioned the construction of the East African Crude Oil Pipeline. The two leaders laid mark stones for the crude oil pipeline in Mutukula, Kyotera district and Kabaale in Hoima district. Total E&P Uganda, a subsidiary of French oil giant, Total S.A, is spearheading the construction of the crude oil pipeline on behalf of the joint venture partners. Adewale Fayemi, the general manager, Total E&P Uganda says discussions are ongoing to discuss on the formalities of how the pipeline will be run. Already, an agreement has been reached that the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) will be run and managed by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) – private pipeline company. This means that a private company will be incorporated with joint venture partners – Tullow Uganda, Cnooc Uganda Ltd and Total E&P Uganda, and the governments of Uganda and Tanzania as shareholders in the company” (Ssekika, 2017)
Certainly, this will put a strain on the projects. They have to deliver another type of arrangement to make sure they get funding and have the funds to pay the added interests the banks wants. The added points on the dollar and the interest-rates will hit state-owned firms and the state itself. Since the pipelines most likely becomes more expensive and will be less profitable.
That the World Bank is pulling out of these projects is all within line of the Paris Accord, as they have professed is the reason. Still, this will make these projects more expensive and make sure they are earning less on it. Unless, the crude-oil prices are going up to a level that makes these investments even more profitable. That is only for time to tell. Since it is costly projects and also sophisticated to build. There is needed lots of expertise combined state planning to achieve the development plans.
This is just the beginning, but the pipelines and these investments are vital for both Kenya and Uganda. As the governments are already borrowing state funds on the possible earnings from the oil reserves in their basins. Therefore, they need to drill and need the petrodollar as quickly as possible. Peace.
Mutegi, Mugambi – ‘World Bank dims Turkana oil hopes’ (14.12.2017) link: http://www.nation.co.ke/business/World-Bank-dims-Turkana-oil-hopes/996-4227848-u02v8n/index.html
Ssekika, Edward – ‘East African Crude Oil Pipeline: The Inside Story’ (11.12.2017) link: http://www.oilinuganda.org/features/economy/east-african-crude-oil-pipeline-the-inside-story-details-emerge-of-how-the-crude-oil-pipeline-will-be-financed-managed.html
World Bank – ‘Q&A: The World Bank Group and Upstream Oil and Gas’ (12.12.2017) link: http://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/climatechange/brief/qa-the-world-bank-group-and-upstream-oil-and-gas