There been new reports on the gold smuggling to Uganda from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, it needs more reporting, as this illegal trading and looting of mineral resources from the Republic needs to be put a spotlight on. As this trade is feeding illegitimate government and militias whose using force against innocent civilians and citizens in general. This report that is reported in the report from the Group of Experts are expelling a deep, but also a volatile story of how they are transporting and getting the illegal gold into the market.
We can wonder if this gold enters the Gen. Salim Selah owned African Gold Refinery Limited in Entebbe, before flying away into the World Market through the brokers and traders there. We can question that, as the government on both sides of the border is accepting this. They are both earning on this and not registering it. Therefore, the location of extraction is kept secret, while the production and the paperwork is kept under the radar. That is why the consumer cannot know under what condition the gold came from and that is worrying. The smuggling, the lack of paperwork and forging of documents shows they are really pushing the boundaries to get into the global markets.
Also, this shows how blatant disregard for maladministration, they have done deliberately and not cared about the public.
“Smugglers used the road to Mahagi, where they travelled either by motorbike, taxi or even truck. At the border with Uganda, when they were eventually checked, they bribed customs officials on the Congolese side. All of the Group’s informants on this issue confirmed that, in Goli, on the Ugandan side of the border, they were not asked to present papers or explain the origin of gold that they carried. Mahagi is a long-established hub of the smuggling route” (P: 22)
“Two brokers told the Group that they mainly carried gold from mining sites in Kawa and Monbgwalu in Djugu territory. When they arrived in Goli, they would meet with a broker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who would accompany them to sell to Kampala-based dealers. One of the brokers told the Group that, until February 2018, he travelled to Kampala every two weeks with about 3 kilograms of gold (approximately $132,000) 20 per trip” (P: 22-23).
“The Group confirmed that, in Entebbe Airport, companies sell empty seats. As previously documented, empty seats are used by smugglers to transport gold concealed in hand luggage. Two individuals associated with the gold sector in Kampala, one Kampala-based gold broker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and one migration officer stationed at the airport in Entebbe told the Group that, despite the official claim that minerals cannot leave the country without proper paperwork, gold smugglers continue to travel either without documentation or with forged documents. The migration officer and the broker told the Group that the owners of gold being trafficked do not travel themselves but use couriers who fly to Dubai to deliver the gold to buyers there. The two sources added that couriers can operate easily because they bribe customs and security officers at Entebbe airport” (…) “Two Ugandan nationals working for two airlines operating from Entebbe informed the Group that they are not requested to check gold in hand luggage. In the course of its current mandate, the Group held discussions with senior officials of eight airlines operating in and out of the Great Lakes region, who said that their primary role in checking passengers was to make sure no one was carrying anything that could jeopardize the security of the plane, a policy focusing almost entirely on weapons and explosives. The Group is of the view that gold transported on commercial aeroplanes should not be banned as it represents a key form of export for responsible artisanal and small-scale mining activity that observes the requisite due diligence guidelines. However, there is a need to address the loopholes related to the illegal transportation of gold carried in hand luggage on commercial aeroplanes” (P: 24, 2018).
Clearly, the illegal trade of gold should be looked into and be a worry for the international community, as the is funding militias and illegal activity within the DRC. This should not be overlooked, the clear indication of smuggling gold and also not registering the conflict minerals. Therefore, this is sophisticated and using all means to bribe lower level civil servants on both sides, to secure the trade of this can go-on. Both republic’s can do something about this, if they cared or had incentive to do so. However, they seem pretty fine and dandy with this activity. As the state and the close connected activity with the elites who are sponging the funds made from it.
That is why even President Museveni was there for the opening of the Gold Refinery in Entebbe. That shows that the Republic have no trouble with illegal smuggling of gold from the DRC. Peace.
United Nations Security Council – ‘ Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo’ (04.06.2018).
The people of the Kalerwe, Kampala and people from Mpigi District should worry about their sanitary positions and their water quality, as the Cholera outbreak is because of simple mistakes by the Ministry of Water and Environment, also by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) that hasn’t done their job. Because when 7 people are caught with the disease and put in a hospital. The whole local government combined with the Ministry should be finding the sources for the mixing of feces and water in the pipes to people of a certain area.
“A person can get cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the cholera bacterium. In an epidemic, the source of the contamination is usually the feces of an infected person that contaminates water and/or food. The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water. The disease is not likely to spread directly from one person to another; therefore, casual contact with an infected person is not a risk for becoming ill” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – ‘Cholera’ 09.11.2016 link: https://www.cdc.gov/cholera/general/index.html).
Now one person might have been affect and transmitted this to his nearby kin or neighbors, however, this disease comes from practically bad sanitary areas and water quality. Where the lack of control over the water pipes and the sanitary efforts of the city in general. There are even speculations that the emptying of the sewage tanks costs 200,000 shillings at a time and people cannot afford it. So they let it all out in the midst of rain. Therefore, the mix and the conditions where Cholera could breakout and clearly it has succeeded.
This here is a lack of government control and reason of change of dynamics so that people can live in healthier conditions and not fear to get into bad cycles of more illness and capability of income. Due to sickness and shows the lack of good living conditions. If society and the state wanted, they would have a decent sewage system and securing that it didn’t mix in the streets. So that the sickness of cholera would be avoided, it isn’t that hectic. It do cost in urban areas to lay the pipes and set up a well-functioning sewage system, but when you do have that combined with a decent water-pipes, the waterborne sicknesses that can be fought and avoided. That should be a priority, especially for a republic striving to reach middle-income very soon.
The Republic has choices and should plan ahead to secure the citizens, so they can avoid getting ill, by waterborne diseases like Cholera. That should be a priority by any of the Ministries that are involved, if it is the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Kampala, Ministry of Water and Environment, Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and others should strive to succeed, that is if they care about the well-being and are serious in the part of society. If not they are their to pocket their salaries and live lavish, while others are catching diseases that can be combat by very simple means and also serious constructions of sewage systems. This would secure the health and well-being of the citizens. It wouldn’t be an issue at-large, if the state did offer this.
There are happening like this with that too, when pipes goes old or technical malfunctions, but its easier to become a major issue and spreading alerts, when the society doesn’t have the systems in place. It is more sufficient and healthy to actually install and build this. All of this isn’t revolutionary, even citizens around the world is paying levies on it to the state and counties to secure the water is clean and sewage system is functioning to satisfaction. Where the public can contact the directorate or county body to complain if it malfunctioning. That should be possible in the Republic too, unless the state and the leadership see this all as unreasonable. Please tell me, because then your blaming the public for your lack of oversight and control of basic functions in society. Peace.
“Buganda Kingdom reviews documents of proposals on the expansion of Kampala, there’s still uncertainty on how the largest Kingdom in Uganda is likely to react to the plans. Former Buganda Premier Dan Muliika talks to Canary Mugume on the on-going debate about the proposed expansion of Kampala city to integrate fast-growing suburbs of Wakiso, Mpigi and Mukono” (NBS Television, 01.04.2018)
“Museveni changes Beti Kamya’s portfoil ahead of extending Kampal boundaries, this means that Mukono,Wakiso and Mpigi are nolonger under Ministry of Local Government as they now form part of the Kampala Metropolitan area. Mukama otuwonya ddi Kitange?” (Betty Nambooze, 22.03.2018).
This can be said after a letter sent to the Chairman of Kampala District Land Board Yusuf Nsibambi, the Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority Dr. Jennifer Musisi and the Commandant of Kampala Metropolitan Police Office Frank Mwesigwa got a letter from Secretary Office of the President Samuel Emiku, the letter named: “Name of Ministry in-charge of Kampala”.
The new name the people get to know is the Ministry for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Area. That means the Ministry will get a bigger slice and more control. That meaning the Presidency has big faith in the acts of Beti Kamya, as her portefolio are now extending and also taking away from others. What you can also take from the Secretary, is that he didn’t notify neither districts mentioned by the Members of Parliament or the Lord Mayor of Kampala Erias Lukwago. There was other who should have been informed like the 5 district mayors and the Wardens, the councilors of the capital should feel punished too. Also, the extended branch of the Presidential Advisor Singh Katongole. But what has said or done recently, other than cashing-in a paycheck.
This here is really an extension and rare, since the paradigm under President Museveni is to make things smaller and hire more cronies. Not extending and giving more power to individuals. This is tampering with the modus operandi of late. Kamya must have given a lot of incentive and promise over the recent time to be offered a higher stake. If not, he want the Residential District Commanders and the others in the near-by districts to be under the command. As it is a fitting way for the State House to control it even more directly, because Kamya will work on direct orders and not flinch.
So, just like the way Kamya has stripped the elected leadership in Kampala, she is set to control Wakio, Mukono and Mpigi. This is really to secure the will of Museveni even further and more detailed, as she has followed his instruction on every market and every decree. She has praised him and he now repays her. While taking away powers and limits the scope of the Ministry of Local Government, who will loose these areas.
The letter from the Secretary of the President is really showing this and proving how he wants to tangle even more elected officials, with the appointed minister Kamya. It is really a way of controlling mayors and district officials. Peace.
This had to come at some point, especially by the one that inherited the Minister Post from Frank Tumwebaze, this being Uganda Federal Alliance and best friend with the man in the Entebbe State House Beti Kamya. She is now taking the place of Tumwebaze and doing exactly like he did back-in-the-day. He stifled the powers of the elected Local Councilors and Divisions Mayors. By all means going against the opposition leader and Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago. This is deja vu. We have been here a few years ago. We can just wait to KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi to jump behind Kamya and say Lukwago is all wrong in his acts. That is what we can anticipate. I just wonder when Presidential Advisor Singh Katongole will advise Musisi and Kamya. This will just start a fire, where usually the elected leaders get into the burning flames and not the selected people of Museveni. That is what history has learned us.
Therefore the news coming from Kampala today, wasn’t surprising:
“City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has suspended the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) council meetings indefinitely following a stalemate between the technical and political wings. KCCA directors have so far boycotted three consecutive council meetings. The impasse started on January 25 when the directors refused to participate in a council meeting that had been described as “null and void” by the Kampala minister, Beti Kamya. Kamya argued that argued that there is nothing called “resumed meeting” in the KCCA Act. The resumed meeting is a continuation of previous meeting’s agenda. Councillors blocked the directors for over an hour when they decided to walk out of the “resumed meeting”, saying they are only answerable to the minister” (URN, 2018).
We clearly knew this would happen at some point. That it took this long time was rare. Since Hon. Tumbewaze went in after the General Election in 2011. So he got the Lord Mayor impeached and removed in 2013. So he had grievances before entering his chair as Lord Mayor as incumbent in 2016. When he tried to get the lost salary between 2013 and 2016 returned. However, the new Minister Kamya dismissed that early in a letter. Therefore, the relationship between Kamya and Lukwago was settled from the start.
We know that Kamya is a wild-card, most likely why she was appointed this position. Since she can run fire and she is power-hungry. So we will not respect any Ward Mayor, Division Mayor or Lord Mayor. Even the Executive Director Musisi seemingly seems more distance and having less of appeal after the appointment of Kamya. Musisi had more say during the years of Tumbewaze. That is not so for now. She is more ceremonial and galleon figure in the spot-light, but not the real power. Kamya has all of that and shown that with directives and decisions within the City. This without consultation in the other boards, other than directives from the State House and such. That is why traders and hawkers has kicked out of important trading places for development projects. This is proven during 2017. It is now becoming now hostile. It is now lit between them .
Musisi seems happy that Kamya are attacking and making life harder for Lukwago. Seemingly, that will be next step. Since Lukwago has suspended meetings, which Kamya hasn’t honored. She is supposed to follow and write yearly reports to the Parliament, also she could veto if she disagrees. However, she has decided not to show up. While the other mayors of Kampala has done so.
This here is the proof of the tangled deliberate attempt of not only undermining Lukwago, but all sort of opposition to NRM in Kampala. That is why the Minister is trying to take control and that is why the KCCA came into function. So that the Lord Mayor whoever opposition candidate to NRM would be caught under fire and could be dismissed to the dogs. So that one of the appointed leaders could takeover and take credit for the development of Kampala. If that isn’t visible, why are even the Division Mayors and Directors of Kampala undermining Lukwago? Who just most like trying to make sure there are checks- and balances. The only thing mattering to Minister is her loyalty to NRM and State House. That is why this is good news for the State House.
If this is the first step for the second trial and taking hostage of the Lord Mayor. I wouldn’t be surprised. The whole build-up of political framework and organizations are built to destroy and deplete the Lord Mayor. The City Hall are supposed to be controlled directly by the Minister and KCCA. Not by the political committees or others. Who are just there because the President needs someone there, but they are not his cronies. Peace.
URN – ‘Lukwago suspends KCCA Council indefinitely’ (05.02.2018) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/56822-lukwago-suspends-kcca-council-indefinitely.html
The Bus Rapid Transport system together with a Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (MATA), in the midst of the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), Kampala City Hall and Ministry of Kampala. This are having different heads combined with the mastermind on the top President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Doesn’t matter what the ones in the parishes are considering, the Division Mayors, Lord Mayor Lukwago, KCCA Director Musisi or even State Minister Kamya. The one rubber-stamping the initiatives is and will be the President. Since he has his finger into everything.
That is why I have no faith in BRT. Even if it is stop the congestion, the lack of public transport in Kampala and problems of control of the Boda-Boda’s, the authority of the Taxi’s and the Specials. There are still significant issues to be reached. It doesn’t matter if they are banning or stopping certain transport options. As long as the ones working, are the taxis and boda-boda’s. These are the ones who has designated routes and travels with licensing for their routes. The Taxis are usually used Toyota Hiace imported from Japan, second-hand ones who was former bread-trucks, who are rebuilt to fit as many people as possible.
While a BRT means there will be heavy investments in stages, in divisions and in congested areas to fit the paradigm of buses. It isn’t barely putting buses on the road and assume the population will start taking it. The need for steady implementation of road structure, of bus-companies, of driving schools and of time-tables has to be put on order to make sense for the citizens to use it. Since it needs to be better than the transportation options that are today, like the taxis, boda-boda’s and specials. At this stage the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) in their feasibility study estimates the needed funds to get it going at this point to be the staggering $612.06 Million. With today’s value of the Uganda Shillings it is about Shs. 2,193,883,999,999 UGX, in other terms over 2.1 trillion shillings. Which means one tenth of the Financial Year budget of 21 Trillion Shillings in FY 2017/2018. Just to put in perspective.
This infrastructure project of this size and ramification better make the roads of Kampala into bricks out of gold. Clear every single pothole and make sure the gravel grade more than standard. This project has been going on for ages without any movement or significant progress. Why I am writing about it, well there suddenly if it is true, some Chinese Investors who wants to touch the erratic transport system of Kampala. This are together with the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, at the State House discussing investments into it. Therefore, the sudden move of actual fueled money into it. As the 2.1 Trillion shillings doesn’t grow on trees.
President Museveni stated this today:
“The Kampala Metropolitan Rapid Bus Transport project is a necessity. We should not continue to have so many cars with limited capacity” (…) “The investor will construct 26 rapid bus stations, 420 stage shelters and an initial 400 buses with a carting capacity of 74 passengers” (Museveni, 18.06.2017).
With this unknown Chinese Investor, they are clearly indicating some infrastructure and some buses to put up. If this will see the light of day and will be honestly implemented, than there are start, but it takes time to find routes and needed ways to make it profitable, as there will also be lost oppertunities for the ones who used taxis, specials and boda-boda’s on these roads. That is if this isn’t a scheme and plot of manufacturing more monies through the state-house. Which wouldn’t be surprising knowing how the President often operate.
The BRT would be a bonus and strengthen the congestive traffic of Kampala, a needed one for more time working and less time stuck in traffic jams. It would be important for the citizens leaving the divisions and traveling across town to work. But the state haven’t been able in the recent years to pull it off. Maybe Chinese investments would help it and their involvement in it would see it moving. But it shouldn’t just be the President’s blessings over the investments. The KCCA, Ministry of Kampala and City Hall should all have a say and make reports on how to build it properly. As the UIA even states there have only been a feasibility-study. That is preparation for the solution, but not the white paper or even framework for the Divisions or Central Business District of Kampala to make the BRT a success. Right now it is dream, which most likely could turn into a nightmare before its shuttle.
NAMA Proposals in 2013 are even more costly: “The capital costs budgeted over the 15 year period were estimated to total some US$ 1.181 Billion”. That is the double of the estimates from UIA in 2017. Therefore, something has either been scaled down or the NAMA was considering more aspects in their plans, than the UIA has. But is not like the President today has delivered any paperwork or reveled any sort of information what sort of possible deal he done with the “the Investor”. He could be scapegoat or even a mirage for all we know. Because none is on the up and up.
Especially considering he had a meeting with them at the State House in Entebbe with none of the leadership of Kampala. The ones in Kampala will just later get the news of the building and investments, therefore has to figure out how to implement it and work-out the perks. Parts of me wonder if the President even has looked into the documentation and considered the needed partners in play. But that is just how the President operates. He just can build Rome on his own or Kampala for that matter. He has all the skills and the brown envelopes at his disposal. Peace.