“Do not act as if you had ten thousand years to throw away. Death stands at your elbow. Be good for something while you live and it is in your power.” – Marcus Aurelius
Today, Attorney General William Byaruhanga delivered his Interim Report on the indictment and the criminal charges of Patrick Ho in connection with Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kuteesa and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. This has been known now and if these was just mere charges, than the Chinese National wouldn’t get charged and sentenced in a United States Court.
This is because the Chinese National offered a bribe of 500,000 USD each for a possible Oil Deal for a Chinese Company in Uganda. Therefore, the Chinese National made it possible for the high-ranking officials in the Ugandan government to solicit half-a-million United States Dollars for it. That is why we are here today. This was signed off as a Campaign contribution, but by that time, the President had already been re-elected in 2016. We know this, but has to say all this before I quote the Interim Report. What is special about the case too, is that the government will claim the Foundation owned by Kuteesa, but has anyone seen it outside of a paper and a registered entity outside of Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB), which it was in 2015. That is why today is special, because a ghost entity got good money for a possible business transaction… that would favorable for the repentance, which happens to the Minister and President.
What is also important to state, which is already white-washed in the interim report, is the delivery of the bribe. That went through customs, which was mailed between the Chinese National and the Minister. Who both combined their efforts to send the money and deliver it in cash, in secrecy, as it was intended to a favorable transaction. Not something that was supposed to end up in Court Documents in the United States and incriminate one, while implicating the high-ranking officials in Uganda.
With that in mind.
“The Foundation received a sum of US$ 499,993 on 9’h May 2016 from a Hong Kong-based NGO known as China Energy Fund Committee. The money was a donation to the Food Security and Energy Sustainability Foundation which Hon. Kutes a and his wife started as a vehicle for enabling Hon. Kutesa to continue to champion some of the causes he had spearheaded during his tenure as the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations with respect to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals”.
While that quote is special and says a lot, it does trying to clear the implicated Minister in the Corruption Scandal that has rocked the man. That the Auditor General did this on direct order from the President. This was to ensure the President and his ally Kuteesa got off the hook. That is why the Foundation and the “donation” we’re the Chinese National had reasons to give there. Like we are naive.
The Foundation is just based on paper. There are no proof of their work or whatever their supposed to do. Certainly, they are servicing some special and unique unicorns, sorry, ghosts. Because, this money came by plane from the United States to Entebbe International Airport, as it entered the Customs as warned to the parties involved.
So, I have a hard time believing the AG in this matter, as he is trying to figure out a way to clear he Minister of his implication, per order as a loyal subject of the President. Who also got money in the transaction done by the Chinese National. They all know this.
Time for the AG get his act together, unless he is a blind soldier for the President. Peace.
Interim Report of the Auditor General on Allegations of Bribery against Hon. Sam Kuteesa, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in Connection with the Trial of One, Mr. Chi Ping Patrick Ho, A Chinese National, In the United States
“Our people must be taught to desist from accepting bribes. The ability to say NO, must become a core value of our nation” – Sunday Adelaja
It is such a convenience that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are planning an Anti-Corruption Drive and new measures on the 10th December 2018. As he was pledging that on the 4th December 2018. This case has been in the works, as it was revealed last year, that Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa and Museveni was bribed for $1m by a Chinese Associate Patrick C.P. Ho. This news is vital, as it proves how untouchable both of these leaders are. As the Foreign Minister and President can do whatever and get whatever deals behind closed doors.
That Museveni and Kuteesa are doing this is not surprising, but the value and what was at stake. Shows how illicit and unknown the deals with the petroleum industry are in the Republic. They are clearly signing off deals and paying off the State House in Entebbe. As this deal shows how Kuteesa and Museveni operates. This is one of plenty, but one that is uncovered by the U.S. Department of Justice.
“In or about February 2016 – after Kutesa had returned to Uganda and resumed his role as Foreign Minister, and Yoweri Museveni (Kutesa’s relative) had been reelected as the President of Uganda – Kutesa solicited a payment from Ho, purportedly for a charitable foundation that Kutesa wished to launch. Ho agreed to provide the requested payment, but simultaneously requested, on behalf of CEFC China, an invitation to Museveni’s inauguration, business meetings with President Museveni and other high-level Ugandan officials, and a list of specific business projects in Uganda that CEFC China could participate in. In May 2016, Ho and CEFC China executives traveled to Uganda. Prior to departing, Ho caused the CEFC NGO to wire $500,000 to the account provided by Kutesa in the name of the so-called “foundation,” which wire was transmitted through banks in New York, New York. Ho also advised his boss, the Chairman of CEFC China, to provide $500,000 in cash to President Museveni, ostensibly as a campaign donation, even though Museveni had already been reelected. Ho intended these payments as bribes to influence Kutesa and Museveni to use their official power to steer business advantages to CEFC China” (Department of Justice – ‘Former Head of Organization Backed by Chinese Energy Conglomerate Convicted of International Bribery, Money Laundering Offenses’ 05.12.2018, link: https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/former-head-organization-backed-chinese-energy-conglomerate-convicted-international-bribery).
The Ugandans should be horrified how little the President and Foreign Minister cost, as they were selling off the petroleum licenses for the Lake Albertine Graben and Region. Where there are already dozens of Companies in. Even CNOOC! That is why this would be the second company who got a Petroleum Licenses in the Republic.
The Ugandans should also be terrified that the President only cost $500k and $500k for the Foreign Minister. They only cost A Milli, which is close to nothing. Especially considering what was at stake. These gentlemen are supposed to be there for the public and serve them. But showing only self-interest.
Now, the Chinese National Ho is found guilty in New York yesterday. Therefore, the evidence and the case was solid enough. That proves the reality of how he solicited bribes with the Foreign Minister and President. Clearly succeeded until the US Authorities caught a wind of it. Also, shows how the State House and the President is corrupted. Peace.
“The educated ones leave, the ones with the potential to right the wrongs. They leave the weak behind. The tyrants continue to reign because the weak cannot resist. Do you not see that it is a cycle? Who will break that cycle?” – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
There is something about a man who has run the Republic since 1986. The Republic which is now made in image and with his institutions, with his appointed men and woman. Where his cronies, businesses, lobbyist and friendly voices are living close connected. It is in a Republic with various of bodies working on Corruption and ensuring a legal remedy against it. However, none of them is able, none of them has capacity to follow the Ministries, the Cabinet, the Members of Parliament, the Government Organizations or the Bank of Uganda for that matter. They are all falling short, as the corruption scandals are in all corners of the state and still, the President says he has new remedies to ancient problem of eating on people’s dime without a recite.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has had the opportunity since 1986 to fix this. That is if he really cared about it . Mzee would have done with already, but he doesn’t. Because, he knows the eating of his cronies and himself is rampant. That is why he even sanctioned, the Presidential Handshake and other deals behind the scenes at the State House. That is the way to do business, that is why the Attorney General, Inspector General of Governor, PPDA or the Police Force for that matter. Cannot touch the corrupt souls, because they can walk. Abraham Byandala walking free after ripping away money from UNRA like M&Ms wutg the Mukono-Katosi Road Scam. While the Courts couldn’t find significant evidence and had let him go. Therefore, believing that the President cares about fighting corruption isfar fetch. If he cares he has to capture himself first and we know that is a fish he doesn’t want to fry.
“On Monday December 10th, I will announce new measures and the direction we shall take in our renewed fight against corruption. That said, there is corruption in Uganda. It stems from the colonial times. However, when we undertook the liberation struggle of this country, there were more pressing problems than corruption” (…) “However, corruption will now be defeated. The corrupt civil servants have exposed themselves. The population is angry with them. Also, we now have more educated young people. The pool from which to pick their replacements has grown. The problem now is the law manipulated by corrupt civil servants. We now need quicker methods of accountability to deal with the corrupt. I have the political will but I do not want to deal with them outside the law. There must also be a reflection on the morals of our young people. When setting up the Uganda Revenue Authority, we carefully identified young people to work there. But now, URA has kawunkumi (weevils). We need to deal with it” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 04.12.2018).
To believe the President now is naive, as the deals and arrangement that matters are done behind closed doors. The same is done with the Oil Refinery, Petroleum Pipeline, the licensing for oil exploitation and so on. These are major deals and been postponed. It is already a tax case concerning the oil industry that unleashed the Presidential Handshake. There are already other major donor scandals, not only the recent UNHCR and OPM, who has messed up the allocated aid money, there been the GAVI-FUNDS and CHOGM Funds. There are so many corruption scandals, that the National Resistance Movement, has always found a short-cut to eat of the public plate.
Not only when building road, building buildings, but everywhere. Ghosts of all kinds, expenditure that cannot be found or plans that are only made in the thin air, but would never ever exist. That is the manner of how the NRM and the President are eating on people’s dime. They are not accountable, neither really transparent. That is why there are leaks and documents surfacing proving the ills of society and the misuse of money. Which again and again show the Top Officials and ordered from High Above, who steer the money in their way. They are securing their cut and then the businesses can set-up shop or get the land for a factory, hunting ground or some sort of project. While the people are becoming landless and Internally displaced People in some NGOs Camp. That is how the government have fixed the matters and it happens, again and again.
That is why I have little or no faith in the President and his battle against corruption. If he was serious, he would hurt himself, even go after the likes of Amama Mbabazi, Jim Muhwezi, Salim Selah or Sam Kuteesa, but they are untouchables. Just like the Master himself. Peace.
You would think certain scandals and certain ways of thieving the public funds would be died down. The stories would end and the beneficiary of these scandals want it to go away, as it taints their legacy and remaining words about their time as Public Officials, as Clerics and Civil Servants within the State. However, in the matter of the Presidential Handshake, this whole thing just getting more legs and doesn’t die. It is like the President is proud of his bribing ways and proving a point today.
As the NBS TV reports:
“The High Court in Kampala has issued an interim order stopping the Inspector General of Government (IGG) from investigating and forcing beneficiaries of the 6 billion shillings presidential handshake to refund the money” (…) “The public officials had received the money as a token for their role in the 400-million-dollar Heritage Oil arbitration case which Uganda won” (NBS Television, 13.07.2018).
It is like the whole charade was mocked by the legendary report calling it an ‘error’ but not a crime. To give away public funds to civil servants and public officials, as a handshake after winning a court case. It is like the state doesn’t care about their lack of transparency, as long as the cronies are funded.
My favourite quotes from the report published in May 2017 says:
“This “handshake” expenditure was not budgeted URA activity and therefore, a diversion of the UGX 6 Billion without lawful authority was contrary to the PFMA” (…) “H.E. The President’s approval of this “handshake” was bonafide. However, it was an error of judgement” (…) “That all funds paid out of URA account to the beneficiaries of the “handshake” should be refunded” (…) “The Executive should come up with a Bill within 90 days to regulate and streamline the Presidential Donations Budget” (COSASE, P: 45, 2017).
After my calculation were all well beyong 90 days and nothing fruitful has happen, except now the High Court are saying the non-budgeted and the error of judgement by the President is “okay”. They don’t even have to refund, while there is no bill to regulate or streamline any Presidential Donations Budget, because who would dare to cross the authority of the State House and President at this point of time. No one with a clear mind, who will not end up in prison or lose his or her livelihood.
This is a proof of how little power the Parliament have in the current state, as they cannot even look into or question the Presidential Handshake. They cannot even check into the sudden gifts and donations made by the President. Which is a substantial part of the State House yearly budget.
This isn’t funny, this is a mockery of all the ones paying added taxes and paying for state services, as they are being hold in contempt, where a certain amount of big-men and cronies within the state can eat directly of it, without any consequence. Who knows what else the President misuse funds on, right now? Peace.
The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and the State Enterprises (Cosase) – ‘Report of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and the State Enterprises (COSASE) on the Investigations into the Circumstances under which the reward of UGX 6 BN was given to 42 Public Officers who participated in the Heritage Oil and Gas Arbitration Case’ (May, 2017)
I wonder how many types of government institutions does President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni needs to investigate, report and check-upon one the White Collar Crime called Corruption. I am boggled if this has even passed his mind. Because you have the Uganda Police Force, Public Procurement And Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), Office of Attorney General (OAG) and Inspectorate of Government (IGG). All of these institutions should be capable of battling this issue.
Therefore, I know the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are out of touch and not in order. When he is extending and mushrooming the state even more. The President has clearly lost his touch. How many agencies does the President needs to combat corruption?
“President Museveni made the announcement during his 2018 State of the Nation address to parliament in Kampala today. The unit will be led by Mr. James Tweheyo, Ms. Martha Asiimwe and Sister Akiror. President Museveni said the members of the unit have been directed to provide their phone numbers to the public. The public will be encouraged to report any corruption cases that come to their attention to the unit. While making the announcement, President Museveni turned on the office of the IGG and accused it of incompetence” (Agaba, 2018)
That this new Unit, the Corruption Committee will be another one. Even as the PPDA has mandate concerning procurement of the state and review it. The IGG are reporting and looking into the state resources and use of funds. The Attorney General are also overlooking and another branch who is fixated on usage of state resources and funds. The Police Force against indict, prosecute and make sure the prosecution of the people caught up in corruption. Therefore, to extend into a Corruption Committee is obnoxious. This is in the same regard as last years proposal of Presidential Handshake Committee, this is just make provisions to legalize it and clean-the-slate as you may.
That this Unit is cronies and other people close to the President. This is handpicked personnel and not hardliners. They will follow the lead of the President. I doubt they will dig any deeper, than any of the organizations that is there. If you already have the UPF, PPDA, IGG and OAG, what is the need for a separate committee? Except for adding a few more paychecks to some lovable cronies. It is amazing and foolish.
If the President thinks he is fooling anyone. That is just mere ignorant people who are already far up his leopards anus. Because we all know, this is just fooling the public. If you already have all the other government bodies, why are you extending yet another hand? Are you trying to make the state like Octopuses and have dozens of legs on a giant head. The head being the President and the rest being his loyal minions, which is the legs. That is how it is perceived.
I do not buy it that the Republic needs another body to fight corruption. If the will for fighting it was there. Then the state would have used one of the several bodies it already has. Now it is just extending another branch and another leg on the octopus. Thinking no one will mind.
Here ye, here ye, yo you fool, you are just a tool and this is not cool. I thought Mr. President that you learned this school. Peace.
Agaba, Tabitha – ‘Museveni Names New Anti-Corruption Unit, Bashes IGG for Incompetence’ (06.06.2018) link: http://nilepost.co.ug/2018/06/06/museveni-names-new-anti-corruption-unit-bashes-igg-for-incompetence/
The Budget Framework Paper for Financial Year of 2018/2019 for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is really revealing how the financing of the sector is and how the state is involved with the manner. Also, how low-key the main factors are and lacking transparency is hitting the Energy Sector of Uganda. Not that is surprising, since the agreements, the licenses and the tenders are usually kept behind closed doors.
However, the main part of the Framework Paper is evident of the issues at hand:
“The indicative budget ceilings for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development have been rationalised in line with the sector priorities and national priorities as communicated in the Budget Call Circular and in the Presidential Directives. The ceilings for Vote 017 for the FY 2018/19 are as follows: Wage Recurrent is UGX 4.23Bn; Non-Wage Recurrent is UGX 74,04Bn; GoU Development is UGX 307,84Bn and the Development Partner contribution is UGX 1,608.41Bn. Under Vote 123 ceiling is UGX 81.98Bn is for the GoU Domestic Development and UGX594.00Bn is from external financing” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018).
The building of vital infrastructure, the refinery, the pipelines and energy production facilities are all dependent on funding from abroad. If it is grants, loans or paid-in-full agreements done in secrecy. Because, there are more than the shadows of this budget framework paper. It is saying a lot and the votes for the future is showing the future too. That the Ugandan economy is prospering, as the budget are needing all funding from afar to be able to build needed infrastructure. Also, needs the grants for the Rural Electrification, the ones who the state has even borrowed to do.
Therefore, this Budget Framework Paper is showing the troubles ahead. This isn’t voting for better economy, know this is dependency and also proving how much the donors and partners are involved in making sure the economy gets addicted to it.
When it comes to the refinery, the details are clearly still in the wind: “The process of selecting of the Lead Investor is still progressing and the negotiations are ongoing between Government and the selected investor. The process is expected to be completed in FY 2017/2018. There after FEED and ESIA for refinery development will be undertaken with the Lead Investor on board” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018). So the selecting of it is not finalized, well, for some thought Russians had secured agreement and the reason for Museveni to visit Moscow. Clearly, that ship has sailed, we can wonder if Total or any other company would do this. As Total has the biggest chairs of licenses in the Lake Albertine Basin. Time will tell, but another proof of lack of transparency, when the Ministry has to write this.
“Procurement Bottlenecks including lengthy bidding processes that require no-objections from the external financiers at each stage of execution. There is need for PPDA to revise guidelines for procurements relating to flagship projects. In addition, the following measures need to be considered: financing agreements are signed, project is almost ready to kick off. PPDA should reduce the administrative review timelines that sometimes stall progress” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018).
This here is initially following the guidelines of the First Amendment of the 1995 Constitution of 2017, the Land Amendment that the National Resistance Movement put forward before the Age Limit. That would fit the narrative of the Ministry and their wishes. It is like reading the same idea, to give more power to the state and able to land issues quickly.
What we can learn, also and which is important, these developments, these infrastructures projects couldn’t have been built if it wasn’t for external loans, externals grants or direct aid, if not on the license fees and the parts that is taxed. However, the grand amount and the majority of the projects needs the external funding.
This is not surprising, it is to be expected because Museveni doesn’t want to use his money. He want to spend other people’s money and also the money of the future. To benefit him today, that is why the deals are done in the secrecy…. We don’t know the reasons and the value of the licenses, the ones who is to build the refinery, even the grand agreement between the Corporations who will build the Pipeline. We know that certain companies has failed to build the dams and used bad material, but that is because of the Chinese Contractors has saved money, while being paid-in-full.
President Museveni blessed that deal and got scraps back. Time will tell, but this isn’t a good look. Not because I want it to be bad, but because the money says so. Peace.
There been many voices saying the same thing as Deputy Secretary of National Resistance Movement Richard Todwong. Not that they have been listen to or neither acted upon. Because the state sanction the nepotism, the family affairs of Museveni and his elite. That Todwong is still a part of, as he is a crony within the system. It is splendid that he says these things, but that the NRM and Museveni is most unlikely, the rampant corruption and ghosts, are evident even with the refugees and the other beneficiary structures surrounding this administration. Therefore, it is nice to hear in the ears, but has a hard time believe that the NRM will change, when Museveni is still the Kingpin on top!
“However, Todwong shocked the house when he turned guns on his own party, lamenting that they are responsible for a litany of issues that have gone wrong. “We also need to manage greed, during the debate of a transition, those in leadership position may want to collect as much as possible because they don’t see themselves coming back to power. That kind of greed, insensitivity to national issues makes people disgusted to those in government,” Todwong commenced his speech. “Corruption, greed nepotism are things that are making Ugandans more disgusted in the leadership of our party in government. I have to be honest because my church told me to, I have told this to the president,” he added” (…) “The former member of parliament lashed out at government officials for what he termed as “theft with impunity” and misuse of public resources, saying they are the reason the NRM will soon be pushed out to the streets. “If we can’t restrain or control our greed in how we use public resource, how we steal with impunity, then Ugandans will push us out of power. The hills of Kampala are expanding with buildings but schools and hospitals are shrinking, so where do people get this money from?” Toswong posed. “And the owners of these structures are commissioners, permanent secretaries, ministers and directors, people are disgusted,” he added” (Nelson Bwire Kapo – ‘We are stealing the country’s resources with impunity, people are disgusted- NRM’s Todwong’ 06.04.2018, NilePost.Co.Ug).
It is refreshing to hear it, but the state has made their ways, but they are not significant. Whatever regulations the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED), Bank of Uganda (BoU), Attorney General (AG), Inspectorate General of Government (IGG) and The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) is clearly not sufficient. They are still able to get away with murder and see the paychecks go into thin air. Therefore, when you have all of these and nothing happens. You can wonder why they are going to work everyday and if they are really doing anything.
There are so many busy bodies and such, that the rampant corruption should be impossible, as well as the Uganda Police Force and the Courts, should sanction investigations and have cases that logs the corruption cases in the state. However, that seems like a far-fetched scenario where the beneficiary are the ones on top. While all the institutions and the government bodies are fleeing their responsibilities, because if they act upon their mandate. They will naturally hurt allies and friendly cronies of the Kingpin. Because a state with that many different bodies involved, should have capacity to stop. Unless they are all there to collect salaries, smile and move-on.
The Presidential Handshake and the tokens of gifts for the vote to abolish the Age Limit, shows how open the corruption is and how little it matters. Since the big-men are eating and the President wants it this way. Therefore, a nice gathering of thoughts of Todwong, but will the NRM act upon it? Nah, they have already dozens of institutions and mandates to hunt them down. Nevertheless, they don’t, because that might implicate the Kingpin and they don’t want to do that! Peace.