Uganda: Minister of Foreign Affairs meets Chinese Ambassador on situation of Ugandans in China (11.04.2020)

Opinion: Gen. Tumukunde should explain his role in that fatal trip to South Korea [the final trip of Gen. Aronda Nyakairima]

During a transit from South Korea back to Uganda passing through Dubai (United Arab Emirates) General Aronda Nyakairima, who has served several high ranking positions both in the army and in the cabinet until his demise. There been speculation in his fatality as he travelled from Asia and home. He died on the 12th September 2015. This happen while General Henry Tumukunde travelled in advance to South Korea and hasn’t since then explained his participation in the events happening before death of Gen. Aronda. This is what we need to know. Especially since his suddenly aspiring for the Presidency.

Gen. Aronda death was supposed to be investigated by Dr Crispus Kiyonga, however, other than the statement of a “heart attack”. There been no explanation and no documents from the investigation, he supposed to release and deliver answers to the public. That is why, when someone is connected and loyal to the cause like Gen. Aronda and Gen. Tumukunde is together abroad and one of them fall ill. Not only fall ill, but actually dies. Than, there is a need for answers. Now it been years. Even 4 years since the NRM Poor Youths asked for answers from Tumukunde. Which he haven’t answered either.

That is why things opens for speculations. There is even speculations of a intoxicated juice with juice served to Gen. Aronda by Mr. Chemical and in accordance with Muhoozi and Tumukunde. However, that is all speculation and not verified, as no one has taken responsibility, neither has any investigation delivered any specific results.

What is making it weird for me, the whole thing is that Gen. Aronda a man who didn’t smoke or drink. Because, usually these things tend to make someone have a heart attack. However, he didn’t do that. Ofwono Opondo claimed before the investigation finished died of a heart attack and he only became 57 years old.

That is why we need answers. Until things are verified, the reports and the conditions are up in the open. If it was toxins, if it was poison and who was involved. The reasons for questioning are even there. The reasons to ask is very simple, if this can happen to a high ranking general, what could happen to a stubborn commoner then?

We needs answers for what happen to Gen. Aronda. If there was some foul play involved and if it was Muhoozi doing it or even Tumukunde doing it. We need to know if Mr. Chemical and other players was involved too. Or if that is fabricated, as there are no written affidavit or statement, which are stated as evidence. Therefore, if Tumukunde is sincere in his campaign. He should answer for the trip to South Korea and what he did there. Unless, he got some skeletons to hide and that is why his been silent like a lamb. Peace.

President Musveni letter to Minister Matia Kasaija: “Delays in Clearing Imported Machinery By M/S Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group (U) Co. Ltd” (14.08.2018)

Mzee complains today about waste, however he haven’t rehabilitated sugar industry or revamped pharmaceutical industry either!

“In this regard, we need to learn and apply lessons from emerging economies such as India, whose total healthcare industry revenue is expected to increase from US$ 110 billion in 2016 to US$ 372 billion in 2022 in response to deliberate investments in telemedicine, manufacturing of medicines and health technologies, medical tourism, health workforce training and risk pooling/health insurance, among others. In order to achieve this, we need to plan in a harmonized way. In Uganda, for instance, we, indeed, have a nascent pharmaceutical industry producing Aids/HIV, Malaria, Hepatitis-B, pharmaceuticals, etc. drugs. These are, however, still using imported pharmaceutical grade starch and imported pharmaceutical grade sugar. The pharmaceutical grade starch and sugar are crucial for making tablets and syrups for children’s medicines. Yet, the starch is from maize and cassava and the pharmaceutical grade sugar is from sugar. I am told the drugs would be 20% cheaper. Moreover, apart from helping in the pharmaceutical industry, more refined sugar is also needed in the soft drinks industry. Uganda is squandering US$34 million per year importing refined sugar for the soft drinks, about US$ 20 million for importing the pharmaceutical grade starches not including the other raw materials, US$ 77million for taking patients to India etc. Africa is incredibly rich but wasteful” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE JOINT EAC HEADS OF STATE RETREAT ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND HEALTH FINANCING AND DEVELOPMENT, 22.02.2018).

Seems like the 1980s World Bank loans to restart Kakira Sugar Works hasn’t done enough, since the Ugandan state did right after the National Resistance Army takeover of the state. They went into an arrangement with the World Bank getting loans for the company, to restart. That deal was done 8th March 1988. As the documents said back in 198:

“Uganda currently imports US$15-20 million worth of sugar annually, which ranks second only to petroleum imports. Import substitution through restoration of domestic production capacity is therefore a high priority and eminently justified given the considerable comparative advantage Uganda enjoys as a result of its landlocked situation. Conditions for sugar production at Kakira are highly favorable. Cane growing benefits from excellent soils, good rainfall distribution (requiring only limited sunplementary irrigation) and relatively low levels of inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. The project brings back to the Kakira complex the original owners who have a demonstrated ability to manage sugar operations at Kakira and elsewhere” (SUGAR REHABILITATION PROJECT, 08.03.1988).

Therefore, what the President said today, the Sugar Rehabilitation Project, which was done to stop the heavy imports of sugar and for consumption, has clearly not worked as projected. Since his own state is squandering their resources and not even following the loans to make the project work. That is my take on it. The president of 32 years has clearly mismanaged this and not finished his job. Since he hasn’t been able to rehabilitate the industry.

When it comes to pharmaceutical industry there massive challenges, not just the sugar starch for medicine coverage of the pills. Nevertheless, the whole arrangement, since the technology to operate these machines are imported, as well is the parts. Not only the sugar starch, but also the ingredients are imported too, than you have few companies who has automated manufactures, which makes hard to make medicine on a larger scale. It is also high operation cost, because of use of back-up generators because of blackouts and shortfall of electricity. Because of this, it is expensive to have cold storage of the medicine and have a storage for the final products.

So the Idea from Museveni that it is simple, it is the whole system around it, that makes it more profitable to import ready made medicine, than actually produce it. Even if the added value of production would be there, but with the circumstances put by United Nations Industrial Development Organization, seemingly it is from 2009. However, the state of affairs hasn’t changed that much.

We can really estimate, that the adjustment and the needed organization to pull forward both industries during the years of NRM hasn’t been totally fruitful. If so, why would he complain about the imports of sugar and medicine, when he hasn’t been able to make it function with his 32 years of reign? Someone who has 3 decades, should have the ability and time to find the information, finalize plans and execute as seen fit. That is if he cared about the industries in question and their possible engines for growth and riches of Africa. Nevertheless, he hasn’t cared and haven’t used the time wisely. He has used the time bitching and not acting. That is just the way things is and it isn’t becoming better either.

He could have made sure that the pharmaceutical industry had energy, had the sufficient organization behind it to make the medicine, not only import and assemble certain medicine, he could have made sure the sugar industry was profitable and had the equipment to make the refined sugar used in the pharmaceutical industry. However, both is a lost cause, because it takes money and time. Both, is something he doesn’t have, since the narrative isn’t making him wealthy.

Alas, he we are at the status quo, with a President running for life and complaining about waste. When he has wasted 32 years and not made effort to change it. It is all talk and no fire. Peace.

Possible problems with carving out Budama district out of the Tororo County!

There are again new allegations and old pledges from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and its local problems it create. The political patronage and possible benefits of certain creations of districts seems harder by the day, as the share numbers of district is sky-high. Not to think about the already carved out counties and sub-counties inside each district. Therefore, the vast patronage already created through these sort of arrangements cannot be easier when carving out more districts.

It seems like a hard bargain to make a Budama District in the Tororo County, as the Adhola Community meeting today in Kampala spells out. There does not seem to be reachable, unless there is significant plans whey they sufficiently think of the new boundaries, considering there have not come the other planned in Mukujju district back in 2005. So it is not like pledges from the President before has become reality for the Adhola community. They have been left behind in the past. Therefore it should be important for the state to listen to one part of the meeting resolution, which stated: “2. The Japadholas never asked for the district, so no district shall be accepted by the Jopadholas” (Adhola Community, 12.07.2017).

Therefore, when you read the Annex of the meeting, you will see the sentiment and the no-need for a provision of a carved out district. Unless, there political patronage and promises not kept from President Museveni. Someone from the area shielded him during a battle in the 1980s and he has to pay it off now. Since he still can pay him!

New Vision reported back in 2009: “The Iteso, on the other hand, do not see why the name Tororo should not be dropped. Etyang states that the people of Tororo county have been agitating for this for the last 10 or so years. “This decision leaves West Budama alone whether or not the Jopadhola have asked for a district,” he argues. He says it is virtually impossible for Tororo municipality to remain with West Budama because it was part of Tororo county before the municipality was created. For this reason, the new Mukuju county has the right to have its headquarters in Tororo town. War over wealth: If the split finally goes ahead, West Budama will lose the most in terms of property. It will lose the key industrial town of Tororo, which has become a hot cake following the discovery of huge phosphate deposits, the revival of Tororo Cement factory and the planned construction of an inland port” (New Vision, 2009).

So the promises and thinking of the carving this area into more districts has alreay been into the minds of people for a long time. Paul Etyang is also clear of the lines and the values in doing so. Also, the ramifications that we’re in 2009, which would be similar today. There we’re talk of West Budama and not East Budama, which it we’re in the meeting today. But still proof of the sentiments that was already there.

Enough talk, but if you want to understand it more. Read the annex. Peace.

Annex Meeting Protocol:

MEETING OF ADHOLA COMMUNITY IN KAMPALA HELD TODAY 12TH JULY, 2017 AT NATIONAL THEATRE.

AGENDA

  1. Prayer
  2. Remarks based on the President’s Proposal
  3. Reactions to the Proposal.
  4. Resolution.

MINUTES

  1. Prayer by Tefro Ochieng Brian
  2. Opening Remarks from Lazarus Oketch.

CREATING BUDAMA DISTRICT ON PRESIDENT MUSEVENI’S PROPOSAL FOR JOPADHOLA AND GIVING TORORO DISTRICT TO ITESOS:-

Concerns raised:-

  1. We Jopadhola ask Mr. Museveni, what happened to previous reports from Dr. Kiyonga’s commission, Byabakama’s commission and other commission that was instituted under Presidential directives?

2.Why change from the previous positions where Mukujju district was granted to the people of Tororo County (Itesos).

  1. Jopadhola are a Mother tribe in Tororo – why would you give away the District Headquarters to Itesots now? After ignoring all the reports for 11 years??.
  2. We are aware of influence peddling from Teso Parliamentary Caucus. Where the game of numbers has caused all these sudden change of mind and opting for illegalities.
  3. The integrity of the Surveyors, who appointed them, their names and who supervised them? Boundary opening must be supervised by leaders.

RESOLUTIONS

  1. Contrary to what we expect, we shall go a long Journey to defend our Mother land and the greater Teso people will never hold that District unless when we are all dead.
  2. The Japadholas never asked for the district, so no district shall be accepted by the Jopadholas.
  3. We tasked Mr. President to tell the Jopadholas what he is going to do with the Mukujju district he granted to in 2005.
  4. If Mr. Museveni is talking of creating Budama district, then we demand for the old Boundary with East Budama (Tororo County) inclusive – Bordering Kenya, Bugishu and Busoga in its original form.
  5. Since Teso Parliamentary Caucus resolved to back/support the East budama (Tororo County) People, we the Jopadholas call upon the greater Luo people to come and stand with us especially Members of Parliament from Lango, Acholi and West Nile.
  6. We are aware that Mr Museveni tried to extinguish the Acholis – Part of Luo – He even said that we Luos are mad people and for that matter, we are ready for war.
  7. We need to know how Mr. Museveni grants disputes, based on requests?, tribe? reward for support to NRM? or through Defiance?
  8. We are aware that Mr. Museveni has been planning genocide in Padhola for long because of his hate for Luo people but we want to assure him that we are ready for anything.
  9. Going forward, no Japadhola shall be allowed to meet Mr. Museveni anymore, or else that person shall be burnt alive. On the same note, Mr. Museveni should not step in Padhola for any activity any more.

It is a well known fact that we Jopadholas, are scattered all over the Country, we have MPs representing different groups in many Constituencies, but we have never claimed ownership of those constituencies or districts, like is the case in Buikwe, Mayuge, Bugiri, Namayingo and Kayunga.

We also warn our Members of Parliament that should they fail to defend this, we are recalling all of them from Parliament by invoking the Constitution.

Reference:

New Vision – ‘Is it time up for Tororo?’ (26.06.2009) link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1210608/tororo

Looking into the inflation of 1987 as the Sugar prices are rising in today’s Uganda!

We have had a wonderful collaboration with IMF since 1987. We have managed to control inflation. By controlling inflation, we have succeeded in preserving the people’s earnings” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (State House, 2017).

Well, there been many who has set similarities with the inflation and price shocks of the year 1987. The Republic of Uganda has been through their mess before. The government of Uganda and the National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A) had just taken power in 1986. This was a year after the coup d‘etat, which brought the NRA into power. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in collaboration with International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had agreements and Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), which promoted deregulation and less state control of the economy. This was also put forward to settle inflation and the deficit that the state had.

So, because some has put similarities between 1987 and 2017, as the prices has gone from about 3,000 Uganda Shillings (UGX) in 2016 and 7,000 Uganda Shillings (UGX) in 2017. There is clearly that there was problems in 1987, but whole another level. The Sugar Industry wasn’t established, the economy of Uganda needed export of coffee and this was the sole benefit of foreign currency into the economy.

Inflation in Uganda is running as high as 200 percent, and low prices to farmers serve as a disincentive to agricultural production in a country of rich soil and mild equatorial climate” (…) “At the center of the debate is the issue of devaluation. In its first year in office, the Government revalued the currency from 5,000 to 1,400 shillings to the dollar, saying that the move would make imports cheaper. But exports have become increasingly expensive. Devaluation Debated. Some hard-line nationalists in Government insist that the cost of devaluation would be devastating. The cost of such imports as sugar, cooking oil and soap would increase significantly, they say, making the average Ugandan even worse off than he is now” (Rule, 1987).

In 1987 the Uganda shilling was demonetizated during the currency reform and a currency conversion tax at a rate of 30% was imposed to further reduce excessive liquidity in the economy. There was an immediate drop in average inflation from 360.7% in May to about 200% cent in June. However, with the possible fears of complex and drastic currency reform, the premium shot up, representing essentially a portfolio shift to foreign currency, and possible capital flight, and suppressed inflation. The intended aim of the conversion tax, apart from reducing excessive liquidity, was to lend money raised through this tax to the government. This was to finance the budget deficit over a short period, rather than financing it through printing more money. Nonetheless, inflation shot up again within three months mainly due to renewed monetary financing of increased government expenditure, domestic credit expansion by commercial banks to meet coffee financing requirements and financing of the newly launched rural farmers scheme” (Barungi, P: 10-11, 1997)

Prices for sugar and vegetable oil (both imported goods) increased rapidly in the early part of the year, falling between May and August — replicating the pattern of the premium between the parallel and the official exchange rate. The subsequent fall in sugar prices and stability of cooking oil prices were due to greater official imports. Inflationary pressures on food prices have been aggravated by supply shortages on account of severe transportation problems” (World Bank; P: 36, 1988).

In October 1986, Mulema was replaced by Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, who has a medical background Kiyonga has a difficult task. The government’s finances are shaky at best. In an attempt to enable Ugandan citizens to purchase imported consumer goods, the government fixes their prices below world prices. This, of course, puts considerable pressure on the government’s finances: for example, in July 1986 the government imported $4.8 million worth of sugar to sell at subsidized prices” (Warnock & Conway, 1999).

Perspective from Kakensa: “Today sugar costs 7000/- per kilo. When Museveni came to power in 1986 each kilo was at 4/-(four shillings). Immediately he came to power he said Ugandan shilling had lost value, in 1987 all money was changed, not only changed but two zeros were cut off to give it value on addition to the 30% levied on each shilling. This means on every 100 shillings, you got 70cents. Those who had 100,000/- got 700/-” (Kakensa Media, 12.05.2017).

We can see there was certain aspects, but the sugar industry now is different. The Sugar factories are now real and the business are now in full affect. While, in 1987 the state needed coffee exports to get funding and foreign currency. The sugar was imported and was put on fixed prices. The inflation back then was because of the crashing economy after the bush-war and the effects of it. The Sugar prices now are rising for different reasons. These reasons are the yields of sugar-cane, the hoarding of sugar and the export of surplus sugar. Also, the production of ethanol and bio-fuel. That was not the situation and context in the past.

Still, history is repeating itself, since the NRM, let the prices run as crazy in the past. The price has gone up a 100% in a years time. Which, means the prices who doubled from 3000 to 7000 Uganda Shillings. This is not a stable and the ones who get hurt is the consumer and Ugandan citizens. Peace.

Reference:

Barungi, Barbara Mbire – ‘EXCHANGE RATE POLICY AND INFLATION: THE CASE OF UGANDA’ (March 1997).

Rule, Sheila – ‘UGANDA, AT PEACE, IS FACING ECONOMIC BATTLES’ (28.01.2017) link:http://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/28/world/uganda-at-peace-is-facing-economic-battles.html

State House Uganda – ‘President commends Uganda – IMF collaboration since 1987’ (27.01.2017) link: http://statehouse.go.ug/media/news/2017/01/27/president-commends-uganda-%E2%80%93-imf-collaboration-1987

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

World Bank – ‘Report No. 7439-UG: Uganda – Towards Stabilization and Economic Recovery’ (29.09.1988)

Uganda People’s Defense Force training with help of US Marines (Youtube-Clip)

“Uganda People’s Defense Force soldiers conducted explosive breaching and demolition familiarization range training with help of US Marines. The Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), previously the National Resistance Army, is the armed forces of Uganda. From 2007 to 2011, the International Institute for Strategic Studies has estimated the UPDF has a total strength of 40,000–45,000, and consists of Land Forces and an Air Wing.[5]” (…)”After Uganda achieved independence in October 1962, British officers retained most high-level military commands. Ugandans in the rank and file claimed this policy blocked promotions and kept their salaries disproportionately low. These complaints eventually destabilized the armed forces, already weakened by ethnic divisions. Each post-independence regime expanded the size of the army, usually by recruiting from among people of one region or ethnic group, and each government employed military force to subdue political unrest” (Military Zone, 2016).

Museveni: Burundi government can’t set conditions (Youtube-Clip)

Charles Rwomushana Speaks Out on Burundi Unrests (Youtube-Clip)

“Rwomushana says there is still a long way to resolve the problem of Burundi” (NBS TV Uganda, 2015).