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Malawi: Government to distribute over 430,000 bags of maize to food-insecure households (22.09.2018)

The Government of Malawi, through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs (DoDMA), will from the month of September 2018, undertake a once-off maize distribution exercise targeting acute food-insecure households in 26 districts of the country, pending the final Malawi Vulnerability Assessment Committee (MVAC) report and development of the 2018/2019 Food Insecurity Response Plan.

Speaking in Blantyre when he presided over the launch of the once-off distribution, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development Joseph Mwanamvekha said a total of 432,729 bags of maize [21,636.5 tonnes] will be distributed to 432,729 food-insecure households in 26 districts of the country.

“Each food-insecure household will receive a 50kg bag of maize and this will be followed by the MVAC response,” said Mwanamvekha.

The once-off distribution comes after the country experienced prolonged dry spells and a severe outbreak of Fall Army Worms, which rendered many households food-insecure.

The relief maize will be distributed to households in Blantyre, Neno, Chiradzulu, Mulanje, Thyolo, Phalombe, Mwanza, Machinga, Mangochi, Balaka, Zomba, Chikwawa, Nsanje, Karonga, Mzimba, Rumphi, Chitipa, Dowa, Mchinji, Kasungu, Ntchisi, Dedza, Ntcheu, Lilongwe, Nkhotakota and Salima.

A brief look into how similar Museveni’s rule is de facto the same as Mobutu!

In a clear reference to the team effort to dethrone Mobutu, the 53-year-old Museveni asserts that “for the first time since independence {in the 1960s}, the African intelligentsia, in partnership with the peasants, are assuming leadership.” This is an era of “new independence in decision-making. We don’t decide on matters because foreigners want us to decide.” He suggests that African leaders must push their countries toward “modernization and industrialization,” with special emphasis on infrastructure, education and health care. “If that doesn’t take place, the new order will be as empty as the old one,” he says” (Buckley, 1998).

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was supposed to be a liberator, a reformer and Marxists leader who rose from a Bush-War in the 1980s to change the state of Uganda. However, with time he has shown his true character, maybe that was the reason why he went rogue from being a minister to become a rebel. Maybe it should have been a visible sign from day one, as the National Resistance Army/Movement (NRA/M) leaders of 1980s has gotten a vital space from then until now. None of them has given way and are entitled because of what they fought for, which is non-existence.

Mobutu was supported and had a coup against the leader who liberated the now Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). President Museveni had a coup and a war against the first Prime Minister and President Dr. Milton Obote. Even on that level, Museveni has actually copied Mobutu. I’ll show parts of other articles that was written int the time of his reign, Mobutu, as it shows how he did it and then. It can show the similarities, and it shows that we haven’t gotten further than this. Museveni has become Mobutu in the flesh, he has become the ones that he fought against and isn’t funny. It is a tragedy, that to many people are living through and that should be shed a light on. Because the silence and the continued support of this sort of leadership and administration should stop. It doesn’t make sense.

Growing loans in 1980s:

Although the details of possible corruption and massive personal profit have captured most attention, the major portion of the report deals with Zaire’s $4.1 billion international debt. On this subject, Blumenthal bluntly says: ‘‘There is no – I repeat no – chance on the horizon for Zaire’s numerous creditors to get their money back. . . . There has been and remains only one major obstacle to annihilate such prospects – the corruption of the team in power.” He concludes that ‘‘Mobutu and his government show no concern about the question of paying off loans and the public debt. They are counting on the generosity of their creditors and the indefinite renewal of the loans and their repayment.” (Fouquet, 1982). So as the news of growing debts to the Republic of Uganda, don’t expect him to be in a hurry to repay the debts to the international creditors or anyone. As he taking out debt, to repay debts and money gets lost along the way. Even the accountability and transparency is lacking, as there are many ghosts, projects without any signs of change or building the infrastructure as promised. The money just vanish. It is just like Mobutu, everyone expect handshakes, all business-deals and corrupt affairs has to get a thumbs-up from the State House. It is just made like a rewind of the Mobutu rule.

How the Political Elite is eating:

Mobutu and his inner circle sit atop a social ladder of corruption. Everyone is forced to take from those less powerful, both to survive and to meet the demands of more powerful people above. Almost all of Zaire’s wealth stays on the upper rungs, in the hands of powerful politicians and politically-connected businessmen. The enduring symbol of this social stratum is the Mercedes-Benz. Zaire reputedly imports more Mercedes than anywhere in Africa and Kinshasa’s Mercedes dealers prosper while all around them crumbles. The Mercedes-riding class have made smuggling and black-marketeering Zaire’s leading industries. By paying bribes to customs agents instead of taxes to the Government, they have elevated illegal gold exports to ‘several times the (official) national production,’ according to a confidential World Bank report. While discreetly avoiding identification of the culprits, the World Bank also notes that theft and smuggling of Zaire’s most vital strategic mineral, cobalt, ‘is primarily carried out by some of the most powerful individuals in the country’” (New Internationalist, 1990). The richest people in Uganda, are the ones connected with the political elite, that get funds from the state, get license to do business and also lands. The businesses are getting back-door agreements with the government to do business. Even all investors are connected somehow and their deals are done in favor the President and the State House. If not Ministers and others close connected with the family, as the Operation Wealth Creations are giving state funds to favorable companies that are accepted by the General Salim Selah, which happens to be a brother of the President. The same thing is that Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kuteesa are having business-deals with government and also all-over, while being in office and profiting on his position. That is just natural in the state of affairs. Just like during the times of Mobutu!

Not possible to get rid off:

“The one thing that everyone agrees on is that we’re a long way from getting rid of Mobutu,” an opposition leader said. “He’s incredibly tenacious, and appears determined to hold onto power at any cost.”” (Noble, 1992). Museveni are using all tactices, rewriting laws, making the constitution to fit his life. He is rigging elections, he is fixing the Parliament and also the institutions, all to go around him. He sends the Special Forces Command into Parliament to install fear and let know how important it is to him to get the law passed. There isn’t anything the President will not do, he will kill you if your becoming to close to him. If not he will house-arrest for just being a viable Presidential Candidate like Dr. Kizza Besigye. He will put your trial for treason, he will send you from court to court only malicious charges with no criminal intent.

Making political enemies into criminals, damaging their homes, charge them and hold them in contempt. Destroy and allege that Civil Society Organizations are using bad methods and disorganizing society in general, therefore, it has to stop. That is why the Army and the Government are used as tools to keep Museveni in power. Nothing else. Mobutu would be so proud!

Stalling Tactic:

Yet it is precisely these conditions that have made Mobutu’s tactics effective. Most Zaireans see a method in his seeming madness, a deliberate strategy of destabilization as a means of discrediting the movement toward democracy and undermining the capacity of the people to mobilize against him. “Mobutu tries to keep the population in fear,” a lawyer in Kolwezi told me. “The population is traumatized. Mobutu wants to keep them in this position for a long time. That’s how he maintains his position.” Foreigners living in Zaire often marvel at the “passivity” of the Zairean people; one I spoke to speculated about a version of the “battered-woman syndrome.” But Zaireans point out that Mobutu and his allies still have all the guns and all the money. Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Kinshasa, they reminded me, and more than thirty of them were shot dead. In any event, a clergyman said, “when the population is hungry and tired, it doesn’t have the energy to go into the streets.”” (Berkeley, 1993). It is not strange that Museveni does this, he has used the army all his life and his ego of being a General. His generals and his closest associates are usually connected with the army. He even shown up to Budget Speech with full army-fatigue. When the NRM shows up, he is either in a suit or army fatigue.

Museveni has used the army and spread fear, they are targeting people and arresting people. They are creating unknown militias, that comes and goes. The army is all out during elections and campaigns to install fear. Make people worry, as it was full-war, when it is really just dropping ballots into buckets. Seemingly, the army is used to do police work and everything else. The military are used in any sort of work, to prove the power of the army and capabilities.

So that the people knows, that if they are having trouble with the NRM, then they might meet the power of the Army. The army will kill and show no mercy, like they did in the recent time in Kasese against the Rwenzururu Kingdom. As this crime hasn’t been solved and neither has anything positive come out of it. As well as the rising levels of kidnappings, killings of woman in Entebbe and so on. The Police and Army are not able to contain the violence, as the corruption and lack of accountability has hit the security organizations. Which is like a wet-dream from the legacy of Mobutu, that lives-on with Museveni.

31 Years of Mobutu:

Once there, the strongman who, his opponents say, has beggared and brutalized Zaire for 31 years pledged that he was again ready to solve the country’s myriad problems. “The enemies of our country have chosen when I was sick to put a sword in my back,” Mobutu, 66, said in a nationally broadcast speech interrupted by applause, singing and the loud cawing of nearby peacocks. “I’m not going to disappoint you. I know your expectations and your hopes. I will act rapidly and positively.””(LA Times, 1996). Just like Museveni is saying anyone who questions his vision, his methods and policies are enemies of the state, so did Mobutu. Even after 30 decades of Mobutu, he did that and now we know that Museveni does the same. He says he will fix everything and he has the solutions, it is just that ones he orders to do it, doesn’t know how to do their job. That is just like a mantra he got from Mobutu.

We can see that Museveni has become a twin-soul of Mobutu. Everything Mobutu did, Museveni are doing. Both having amazing levels of cronyism, corporate politicians, bribes, corruption, spreading of fear and making people believe that Museveni cannot step down. The similarities are two alike. The same with the massive bank-accounts, while the state in rapid poverty, the lack of the accountability and transparency, all control from the State House and none in the institutions. Museveni and Mobutu are so the same.

Museveni forgot the peasants or he didn’t care about their participation, since he is the only man with a vision. That has he said all along. But that he has now become everything he was supposed to fight. Shows how bad it is for leadership to linger in power, because it evaporates and eat your soul. You loose everything in the hinges of staying in power. There is now nothing left for Museveni to do and that he hasn’t done. He can only eat, steal and spread fear, because he doesn’t have to deliver. He takes, he took and he continues to loot. There is no mercy, there is only thieving.

Museveni is now the Mobutu in the flesh, he is acting like Mobutu and talking like Mobutu. The difference is that is in Uganda and not the DRC. The DRC has the issue of Joseph Kabila, but Uganda has the issue of Museveni. Museveni, Museveni and Museveni is the problem.

This is just tragic and it should be known. Peace.

Reference:

Berkeley, Bill – ‘Zaire: An African Horror Story’ August 1993, The Atlantic

Buckley, Stephen – ‘AUTHORITY’S CHANGING FACE IN AFRICA’ (02.02.1998), Washington Post

Noble, Kenneth – ‘As the Nation’s Economy Collapses, Zairians Squirm Under Mobutu’s Heel’ 1992, New York Times

Fouquet, David – ‘Corruption charges swirl around Zaire’s President Mobutu’ (08.10.1982), The Christian Science Monitor

New Internationalist – ‘Zaire’s Den Of Thieves’ (05.07.1990)

Los Angels Times – ‘Mobutu returns to Zaire, but reveals no solutions Ailing strongman vows to fix myriad problems’ (18.12.1996)

Opinion: Have Kagame put a spell on the West?

You can wonder if the sins of old haunts the West, if the support and the strategies that worked back-in-the-day is now a lost tale. The hope for change and for a different outcome is gone. President Paul Kagame will run indefinitely and never step down. I don’t know if the West feel in debt for the crisis it didn’t prevent and didn’t manage properly in 1994. Where Kagame together with the rebel-militia supported by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni entered Rwanda. They had already been apart of the National Resistance Army (NRA) and the new government under National Resistance Movement (NRM). Kagame has done the same with the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) and made it into a party with the Rwandan Partriotic Front (RPF). Just after the model in Uganda.

Therefore, what you see in Rwanda is similar to what you have seen in Uganda. However, there are difference, that is why the chilling relationship between the neighbors. Kagame has worked closely with Uganda, they have sent armies together in the Democratic Republic of Congo, they have worked together to support the M-23 there too. They have been weapon brothers and brothers in arms. Still, the West let them both go. It is weird, but that is where we are. Both Museveni and Kagame can do whatever and get away it.

Kagame is either detaining or killing his enemies. He is doing it just like the Russian do. Rwandans has been poisoned in the United Kingdom, strange fatal accidents in South Africa, even in exile there are dangers if you have crossed Kagame. No-one is hidden from him and if they did him bad or even questioned him. He will find you and make sure you pay. Everyone can be touched and everyone can be taken.

Kagame has total control, nothing that he doesn’t have a stake in, there are clear that the state is part of all society. If there a dissidents or people questioning him, even if they are challenging him in public. They will be tarnished and detained, their family enterprises will be seized. There is no mercy and he never shows that to anyone.

That is maybe why the Western media, NGOs and States in general are walking on needles, they need the minerals he is thieving from the Kivu provinces and therefore, let him off the hook for the support of militias within the DRC. Let him of the hook for the human rights violations, for the killings of opposition and for the totalitarian activities. Where no one but his will matters. Kagame is the king and the sun first shines on him.

We should be worried, because he doesn’t lack use of violence and harassment, he hurts and kills. He might be successful to a certain extent, but we should be worried about the efforts and his involvement across the border. There are even claims of his use of spies and such in Burundi. Clearly, that could be the truth, since he has used all sort of manipulation and militias to get funding from abroad. Therefore, it is weird he is a donor friendly person, but also someone who has no issues with silencing his enemies. That should be worrying and that should cut him off the gravy-train, also sanction the companies that are importing his conflict minerals. Peace.

Opinion: You know that Kagame didn’t really win with 98,66% when he has to intimidate Rwigara!

I know I will shot-out of the gates and say that Paul Kagame, who won with 98,66 % in the Presidential Election in August 2017. Didn’t really win by that margin and have that sort of support. For some this might be controversial, others saying I’m hater. I will take that any part of the day and close my eyes in content. Kagame didn’t win by that margin and he didn’t have that massive support.

For the simple reason, ever since the election he has had to silence Diana Rwigara and her family. Latest stint was in Court this week. She has been arrested on unknown locations and been taken away from home. Why is Kagame so afraid of Rwigara? Well, he is afraid of being questioned and having real opposition. That is because Kagame does whatever he can to have none. The ones who has been is either in exile, detained or gotten the arrested for treason against the state. That means they don’t have loyalty to Kagame or his almighty Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

If the President was a legitimate executive and head of state, he wouldn’t have cared about the candidacy of Rwigara. She wouldn’t have the party-organization or even the structure to compete. It would be like Jill Steins Campaign in 2016 in the United States. She would be a part of the race, but all the eyes would be on Clinton and Trump. It’s not like Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has a size, neither independent Phillippe Mpayimana. If the playing-field between the candidates was fair, they would have gained more popularity, but they are just needed props into the sham of an election.

That Forces Democratiques Unifiees (FDU-Inkingi) is not involved and other parties are not in the elections. Proves my point, that the mere sacrifice of Kagame to run again. Is mere a sham and his own rule is not on popularity, but on fear and oppression. If he was democratic he wouldn’t fear Rwigara and throw phony charges her way. He wouldn’t make a mockery of her family and associates. But he has too, because his popularity isn’t as soaring as he tries to make believe.

President Kagame, don’t have stomach or the bravery to play fair, because he came with the guns and will be like many before him. Only leave by the gun. He is like Rwandan answer to Museveni. If you have real competition, they either end in exile or they are treasonous against the state. Just ask the Ugandan opposition about their toils and intimidation.

Rwigara case is proof that Kagame don’t have the popularity he subscribes. He don’t, if he did he would never step beneath his office and done this to his citizens. But he has too, because he don’t have their support. The only way he keeps the system intact is to spread fear and intimidation. That is why he is charging and shaming Rwigara for opposing him. Peace.

Malawi: Banned entry of Malema and Chishimba, because the DPP fears the TA Conference!

That the Transformation Alliance are planning to become a Political Party seems to stressful for the Republic of Malawi. This can be said, since the Ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Hon. Grace Obama Chiumia ordered that two foreign speakers to a TA Conference we’re banned from the Republic. This is the Zambian politician Saviour Chishimba and the South African politician Julius Malema. TA must really upset the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the President Peter Mutharika, who is struggling in with the Cash-Gate and the Maize-Scandal, that has run the Republic.

The Malawian ruling party and President Mutharika must fear the possible TA becoming a single political party instead of a political pressure group. Since the pressure group has enough power to get two foreign high-level politicians to its conference. They would question the corruption and the problematic institutions lacking procedures to secure food storage. Just take a look!

BLANTYRE – Transformation Alliance (TA), a political pressure group, has announced that it has invited South African and Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema, and controversial Zambian politician Saviour Chishimba, to its first national conference end of August ahead of the 2019 elections” (…) “Chishimba is a darling to Malawians for being a whistle blower of the controversial maize deal between state grain trader, Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc), Zambia Cooperative Federation (ZCF), a government agency, and private company Kaloswe Commuter and Courier Ltd” (Kamanga, 2017).

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have threatened to take action to force the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) pay back the money it received from councils and parastatals during the blue night fundraising dinner held at Kamuzu Palace. According to reports, DPP solicited money from Blantyre City Council (BCC), Mzuzu City Council (MCC) and Lilongwe Water Board (LWB) totalling K13.5 million. Gift Trapence: The reports sparked anger among CSOs who demanded that DPP must pay back the money it got from the institutions” (…) “As Civil Society Organizations we are not going to allow having that impunity and we are warning the ruling party it will return that money come rain come sunshine,” said Trapence. He further urged President Peter Mutharika not to allow party members to be “insulting” the citizenry when they demand answers on issues of national interest” (Bisani, 2017).

Chakwera will join Julius Malema a well -known politician in South Africa, a firebrand agitator who is revered and disliked in equal measure as another speaker will be Zambia’s leader of United Party (UP), Saviour Chishimba and that he has already confirmed his attendance. TA spokesman, Leonard Chimbanga could not confirm or deny about Chakwera attending the conference late alone making a keynote address, but confirmed that the leader of opposition has been invited to attend the conference. “He has been invited since we share similar views on matters of national interests,” he said. Meanwhile, some officials within the alliance have told Nyasa Times that the pressure group is working on turning into a political party ahead of 2019 elections apart from working underground to forge an alliance with other political groupings including Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and Peoples Party (PP)” (Malawi Voice Reporter, 2017).

Clearly, the Malawian government are afraid of the TA. They fear what the opposition pressure group TA can gain from this conference. That is why they have banned the Zambian politician UP Chishimba and South African EFF Malema is barred from entering the country. This proves the problems Malawi government has with it’s opposition. Peace.

Reference:

Bisani, Luke – ‘CSOs threaten demos over blue night donations’ (16.08.2017) link: https://malawi24.com/2017/08/16/csos-threaten-demos-blue-night-donations/

Kamanga, Penelope Paliani – ‘Malawi’s pressure group invites Malema and Zambia’s Chishimba’ (14.08.2017) link: https://southernafrican.news/2017/08/14/malawis-pressure-group-invites-malema-and-zambias-chishimba/

Malawi Voice Reporter – ‘Kunkuyu’s Transformation Alliance Party Teams-Up With MCP Ahead Of 2019 Polls’ (16.08.2017) link: http://www.malawivoice.com/kunkuyus-transformation-alliance-party-teams-up-with-mcp-ahead-of-2019-polls/

Opinion: President Kagame won with 98.66%, just like his predecessors Kayibanda and Habyarimana!

Its been 17 years of RPF rule and will be 7 more years with President Paul Kagame. The ones that thought differently has lived under a rock and thought the whole world would stop spinning. The world stop and the hearts would stop pumping if there was a different result at this point. This was massaged and made ready for the world. The whole campaign and the race to the polls. You don’t manage a race of significance and get 98% by coincidence, that is measured and made sure off. Just like the Presidents before him.

Incumbent President Paul Kagame took a major early lead in Friday’s presidential polls with 5,433,890 votes (98.66 per cent) of the total votes counted by 12:30am. By press time (around 1am), the National Electoral Commission had managed to count about 80 per cent of the votes cast (5,498,414 votes) from 1,732 polling stations. There were 2,340 polling stations across the country. Independent candidate Phillippe Mpayimana was in a distant second having just garnered 39,620 votes (about 0.72 per cent). Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, trailed with a measly 24,904 votes, which is 0.45 per cent of the votes counted” (Mwai, 2017).

Because if looks into the Rwandan election history, it is not like the history isn’t telling of similar elections like the one seen this week. Not like the Republic of Rwanda has different results. If you go back to voting on the monarchy in September 25th 1961, if the Kingdom should be preserved it got 78,5%. So the people abolished it 1961 and the other ballot if the King Kigeri V to remain king or had to abdicate, the result that day was 79,60 % who voted him to become a civilian. So even in the 1960s the now Republic voted in high numbers for one thing.

The President George Kayibanda was voted for in 1965 election and he was elected unopposed with 100% support. The same happen in 1969. When Kayibanda was reelected. Then again it took sometime before the next election.

In an unopposed election of President Juvenal Habyarimana in the 24th December 1978, where he got 98,99 %. Again on the 19th December 1983 he got reelected and was unopposed who got 99,97%. The third election with President Habyarimana, again went unopposed on the 19th December 1988, that time he got 99,98%.

After that, there been lots of issues and the civil war, that ended in genocide in 1994. When the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), who became the leading party Rwanda Patriotic Front. In the first Presidential election after the genocide, it was in 2003, when President Paul Kagame got 95,05%. So 7 years later in 2010, the incumbent President got 93,08%.

Now in 2017 and unleashing yet another term for the Rwandan President, who follows his predecessors. The ones that was overthrown and killed. These took so much control that they created a violent legacy. Certainly, President Kagame doesn’t want that, but he is following the footsteps of the leaders in the past. Nothing with is different from them, just another name and another time, but with the same controlling state and dark secrets. Kagame got this year 98,66% in the Presidential Election in 2017. Which, is very much alike like Habyarimana, who was shot down while flying in the 1990s. While the death of Kayibanda is still unknown. Therefore, if Kagame follows his predecessors it will end in genocide and a horrible assassination.

Not that we wish that, but the history repeats itself, as seen with the election and state control of society. As well, as internal affairs are controlled from the state. To way that even banished the World Bank from studying the poverty and analyze it to create programs to fight it. This was because the Rwandan state wanted to control the numbers and make sure the propaganda was fitting the vision of Kagame. Therefore, nothing is surprising.

That Kagame got 98% in the election was waited, just like the generations in the past expected Habyarimana and Kayibanda to win with overwhelming numbers. It is all repeating itself and going in circles. To overlook that is to be blind and trying to overshadow the history, which is the propaganda of the state. But that is to be expected. Peace.

Reference:

African Elections – ‘Elections in Rwanda’ link: http://africanelections.tripod.com/rw.html

Mwai, Collins – ‘Kagame wins presidential poll’ (05.08.2017) link: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/read/217433/

FAO issues alert over third consecutive failed rainy season, worsening hunger in East Africa (14.07.2017)

Number of people needing humanitarian assistance on the rise.

ROME, Italy, July 14, 2017 – Poor rains across East Africa have worsened hunger and left crops scorched, pastures dry and thousands of livestock dead – according to an alert released today by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
The most affected areas, which received less than half of their normal seasonal rainfall, are central and southern Somalia, southeastern Ethiopia, northern and eastern Kenya, northern Tanzania and northeastern and southwestern Uganda.

The alert issued by FAO’s Global Information and Early Warning System (GIEWS) warns that the third consecutive failed rainy season has seriously eroded families’ resilience, and urgent and effective livelihood support is required.

“This is the third season in a row that families have had to endure failed rains – they are simply running out of ways to cope,” said FAO’s Director of Emergencies Dominique Burgeon. “Support is needed now before the situation rapidly deteriorates further.”

Increasing humanitarian need

The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the five aforementioned countries, currently estimated at about 16 million, has increased by about 30 percent since late 2016. In Somalia, almost half of the total population is food insecure. Timely humanitarian assistance has averted famine so far but must be sustained. Conditions across the region are expected to further deteriorate in the coming months with the onset of the dry season and an anticipated early start of the lean season.

The food security situation for pastoralists is of particular concern, in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia, where animal mortality rates are high and milk production from the surviving animals has declined sharply with negative consequences on food security and nutrition.

“When we know how critical milk is for the healthy development of children aged under five, and the irreversible damage its lack can create, it is evident that supporting pastoralists going through this drought is essential,” said Burgeon.

Livestock prices have plummeted because of poor animal body conditions and this, coupled with soaring cereal prices, has severely constrained pastoralists’ access to food.  Rangeland and livestock conditions are expected to further deteriorate at least until the next rainy season starts in October.

Poor crop prospects

In several cropping areas across the region, poor rains have caused sharp reductions in planting, and wilting of crops currently being harvested. Despite some late rainfall in May, damage to crops is irreversible.

In addition, fall armyworm, which has caused extensive damage to maize crops in southern Africa, has spread to the east and has worsened the situation. In Kenya, the pest has so far affected about 200 000 hectares of crops, and in Uganda more than half the country’s 111 districts are affected.

In Somalia there are unfavourable prospects for this year’s main gu crops, after the gu rains were late with poor rainfall and erratic distribution over most areas of the country. In the Lower Shabelle region, the main maize producing area, seasonal rainfall was about 50 percent below- average and drought conditions are currently affecting up to 85 percent of the cropland.

In Ethiopia, unfavourable belg rains in southern cropping areas are likely to result in localized cereal production shortfalls. Drought is also affecting yields in Kenya’s central, southeastern and coastal areas. In Tanzania, unfavourable rains are likely to result in localized cereal production shortfalls in northern and central areas, while in Uganda there are unfavourable production prospects are unfavourable for first season crops in the southwestern and northern districts.

Cereal prices are surging, driven by reduced supplies and concerns over the performance of current-season crops. Prices in May were at record to near-record levels in most markets and up to double their year-earlier levels.

What do Mobutu and Museveni have in common after thirty years in power? Massive looting of their state reserves!

Museveni: My critics always forget to mention that I was democratically elected, the others were not. Everyone in Uganda can challenge me, everyone can vote, the elections are free. Not many countries have achieved what we did. One third of the seats in parliament are reserved for women, five seats for youth, five for workers, five for the disabled and 10 for the army. How many democracies with such a record do you know?” (Koelbl & Puhl, 2016).

Just as the knowledge of the all the state businesses and properties of President Museveni that he has amassed over the 31 years in power in Uganda. It reminds more and more of the state of affairs under President Mobutu. Mobutu Sese Seko was a dictator that President Museveni was proud to ouster and reinstate President Laurent Kabila in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). So that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni knows about Mobutu’s fatal fall, is certainly known.

President Museveni has gotten rid of other dictators before the fall of Mobutu, he even knew or had knowledge of the death of the plane of Juvenal Habyarimana, the plane who got shot down in April 1994, as his fellow comrade General Paul Kagame of Rwandan Patriotic Front was on the way to overthrow the current regime there. Also that the President Museveni together with President Milton Obote overthrew President Idi Amin in the late 1970s. So the current President Museveni has been involved in lots of armed change of power, he is even rumored and not verified if he had knowledge of the death of John Garang of SPLA and the South Sudan.

Still, the man who has used force and taken weapons to change history and his own fate, again and again, also to get puppets in states around. Have certainly thought of the demise of the men he got rid off. So when the stories of the last year of Mobutu sounds like this:

Mobutu’s Wealth:

For 32 years President Mobutu has treated Zaire like a toy and used its rich mineral reserves like his own private bank account. He plundered its mines, insisting their entire annual profits be transferred to personal accounts overseas” (…) ““We had to be close to the regime to do business,” admitted Mohammed Abdul, a Lebanese businessman yesterday as he fortified his shop for an expected pre-Kabila pillage by Zaire’s ruthless and brutal army. The Lebanese are hated by Zaireans who believe they colluded with President Mobutu to plunder the country’s diamonds” (Kinshasa, 1997).

Swiss assets:

The decision by the Swiss Federal Council came a day after judicial and police authorities seized his luxurious villa at Savigny near the lakeside resort of Lausanne. The 30-room mansion is estimated to have a market value of more than $5 million” (…) “After three decades of plundering the mineral wealth of his country, Mobutu is believed to have accumulated an enormous fortune. There have been persistent reports that he has stashed as much as $4 billion in Switzerland, but a government review of the country’s 400 banks last week said that none reported having accounts in his name” (Drozdiak, 1997).

Just as you think the dictator of Democratic Republic of Congo would be different than the current one in Uganda, your terribly wrong and President Museveni tries to keep it hidden, the way he is using the state reserves on himself and build his wealth. Just like President Mobutu was trying to move the money to the Swiss accounts, President Museveni has his own way.

A look into Museveni:

The way the Museveni family is paid royalties, or rent, by escrow accounts for their ownership of the title deeds of the Stanbic Bank business name in Uganda (what was once the Uganda Commercial Bank, Uganda’s largest banking group) is the way it is paid for their ownership of other apparently South African or foreign-owned businesses in Uganda” (…) “These sources say that it is Stanbic Bank that is used to finance businesses like Roofings Ltd, Speke Resort Munyonyo, the J&M Hotel along the Kampala-Entebbe highway, businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba’s hotel and Kampala International University, all of which actually belong to the Museveni family” (The London Evening Post, 2012).

This is just the business side of it, it could be worse by now and they could own more pieces of all the businesses that are bailed out or even getting tax breaks by the government, because who knows the true deeds or royalties going to accounts owned by the royal Ugandan Museveni family. So the next says more about the value of the Museveni family and their estates.

Museveni’s wealth includes ranches in Rwakitura and Kisozi Uganda which accommodates over 2,000 healthy cows which produce thousands of liters of milk daily. The Uganda president makes at least Ush 100 million per month from his farm” (…) “Apart from livestock farming, Museveni has interests in real estate, hotel industry as well as transport industry. He has also invested heavily in the banking industry” (…) “The longest serving president of Uganda is estimated to be worth $ 700 million” (Venasnews, 2016).

So when you see how the Museveni family has become as wealth and rich as President Mobutu did. Mobutu had after his 30 years of dictatorship stashed away US$ 4 Billion into Swiss Bank Accounts, what is more uncertain is the total value of the 30 years President Museveni rule in Uganda. What is right now and known is the businesses that the President is involved in or having ownership in. Secondly is the knowledge of estates, as well as ranches in Uganda with livestock that the President owns. Therefore, the extended wealth of secret bank accounts and not revealed businesses could show the true value of the Museveni family.

With the knowledge of this and the sudden departure that President Museveni together with President Kagame, as they forced the dictator away in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). I don’t think there will be an intervention on President Museveni from one of the neighbors. Still, the world can see the dictator protocol is kept by Museveni as he himself have crafted ways of emptying the state coffers. Therefore, that the riches, the estates and the value of Museveni have risen over the three decades in power isn’t strange. What is more worrying is how he has been able to keep is wealth and ownership.

That President Museveni wishes to look like a hardworking rancher and that he works for his fortune. The yields are coming from hard-work and dedication. At the same time the ownership in banking industry and in other parts of the economy shows how much control the family and the President does have. The private industries and companies are run or ordered directly from the State House.

So that President Museveni said this in 1997 as he overthrew Mobutu is now insane:

Mr. Museveni’s ideology is simple. For too long, he says, African politicians have hoodwinked the common people, manipulating tribal sentiments to stay in power and steal millions of dollars in foreign aid and taxes. A former Marxist, he sees the true struggle on the continent as one between corrupt leaders and the dirt-poor people they exploit” (McKinley Jr., 1997).

So he said for to long African Politician played the commoners, using the sentiments of tribe on their populations and using this tools to stay in power, while doing so taking an emptying the state reserves and donor funding to themselves. Therefore, 20 years since he stood for this and said these words, he has now done the same.

President Museveni of today would assassinate himself or overthrow himself… since he is now the Mobutu of Uganda, he has the character of the men he overthrew in past. He should be worried, because the ghosts of the past and the reckless leadership will follow him and that is why he trust the guns more than people. Since his own insincere political game might catch up with him.

On some levels now, there aren’t much difference between President Mobutu and President Museveni. Peace.

Reference:

Drozdiak, William – ‘Swiss Freeze Mobutu’s Assets; Reports Put Worth at $4 Billion’ (18.05.1997) link: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/africa/zaire/swiss.htm

McKinley Jr., James – ‘Uganda Leader Stands Tall in New African Order’ (15.06.1997) link:http://www.nytimes.com/1997/06/15/world/uganda-leader-stands-tall-in-new-african-order.html

Kinshasa, Mary Braid – ‘Mobutu takes the money and runs to a safe haven’ (16.05.1997) link: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/mobutu-takes-the-money-and-runs-to-a-safe-haven-1261945.html

Koelbl, Susanne & Puhl, Jan – ‘’This Is Our Continent, Not Yours’ (10.06.2016) link: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-with-ugandan-president-yoweri-museveni-a-1096932.html

The London Evening Post – ‘Revealed: How the Museveni family owns Uganda’ (03.01.2012) link: http://www.thelondoneveningpost.com/comments/revealed-how-the-museveni-family-owns-uganda/2/

Venasnews – ‘Yoweri Museveni Salary and Wealth’ (27.06.2016) link: https://venasnews.com/yoweri-museveni-salary-and-wealth/

Mogadishu Declaration on Regional Cooperation on the Current Drought (22.02.2017)

East-Africa

Mogadishu – Wednesday, 22 February 2016The following joint declaration was made in Mogadishu by H.E. Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti, H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Uhuru Kenyatta, President of the Republic of Kenya, and H.E. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, President of the Federal Republic of Somalia.

1. We have come together as the heads of government of four countries in a region facing significant stress as a result of the current drought. Multiple seasons of failed rains and global weather patterns have, yet again, negatively affected the resilience mechanisms of millions of our people. This is evident in the immediate humanitarian crisis facing us today and will show up in longer term socio-economic vulnerability in communities that today are selling all their assets and uprooting their families for survival.

2. This situation, which may worsen in Somalia and result in a renewed famine over the coming months, could also have security and political implications in our region and beyond, as coping mechanisms are eroded and tensions over dwindling resources risks sparking conflict. Scores of people are moving both within countries and across borders in the hope of increasing their chances of survival. This upheaval is taking a particularly heavy toll on children and women, and makes people vulnerable to exploitation, human rights abuses and to criminal and terrorist networks. Drought-related disease outbreaks and inter-communal conflict are already on the rise.

3. While each of our governments is mobilising to respond, the dire situation calls for international collaboration and regional partnership between governments, civil society, aid organisations, business and international donors.

4. We commit ourselves to regional cooperation to facilitate a more comprehensive response and strong partnership.

5. We commit to strengthening our cross-border collaboration and our efforts to establish security and stability in Somalia to ensure an effective response to the drought and to enable further progress in peace building and state building in Somalia. We further commit to the provision of appropriate protection and assistance to those compelled to leave their areas of origin as a consequence of the drought, including those who have fled to neighbouring countries.

6. We will be consulting on a regular basis to review progress on these issues, and to agree upon any necessary collective action that will help our countries and region respond to this emergency. Furthermore, we have instructed our respective foreign ministers and drought response teams to work together and keep us briefed.

7. In the longer term, we commit to working together bilaterally and through existing regional bodies such as IGAD, the African Union as well as the United Nations to address the underlying structural issues that commonly affect our economies, environments and communities, including cross-border rangeland and water resource management.

END

FAO reports on the souring food prices in the East African Countries!

eldoret-cereal-warehouse

“In pastoral areas of Kenya, Somalia and southeastern Ethiopia, the widespread drought had a severe impact on pasture and water availability, and prices of livestock sharply decreased in recent months to very low levels, as livestock body conditions dramatically deteriorated. In these areas, the resulting sharp decline of terms of trade for pastoralists is severely constraining food access for large numbers of households” (FAO, P: 10, 2017).

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has this month released a report that assessed the prices and the issues concerning food prices in the nations around the world. This is the droughts, lack of rain and the problems occurring after the El Nino that hit the African continent. Therefore, the sad reality with the influx of issues and variables, the food markets in different nations has hit a snag and they have gone up. At levels that are worrying, as the markets they haven’t had the same rise in added income compared to the prices of staple foods. This hits the poorest the most and gives them a harder day to day, as their added prices makes the cost of living even more turbulent and hazardous than it already is.

Like the Maize and Beans prices in Kenya:

“Maize prices increased in January by 9-14 percent in most monitored markets, as the output of the short rains harvest, currently underway in eastern and coastal lowlands, was sharply reduced due to insufficient rainfall. Prices of maize in January were 20-30 percent higher than 12 months earlier in several markets, also as a result of a below-average long rains harvest, recently completed in high potential western areas of the Rift Valley. Sustained imports from neighbouring Uganda contained the increased in maize prices. In drought affected coastal counties, sharper year-on-year price increases are recorded, and in December 2016 prices of maize in Kwale, Kilifi, Lamu, Taraka Nithi and Embu counties were up to 40 percent higher than a year earlier. Prices of beans are also at high levels and in January they were up to 40 percent higher than their year-earlier levels. Most pastoral areas were affected by drought, and prices of livestock declined in recent months as animal body conditions deteriorated. For instance, in Marsabit, Mandera, Garissa and Tana River counties, prices of goats in December 2016 were 15-30 percent lower than 12 months earlier” (FAO, P: 3, 2017).

That the prices of maize had added about 20-30 percent in a year time is worrying for the region, as the Kenyan market and the current state before the elections. The Kenyan state is borrowing at a steady haste for bigger infrastructure investments, but isn’t using funds to secure the agricultural output. This is lacking initiative or use of government subsidises to secure enough production, as much as there are droughts that has hit areas, where the prices has risen as a cause of lacking output or none as the climate has deteriorating the soil. That not only Maize has risen on higher prices, also the hiking of prices of beans shows the incapacity of agricultural output in general and also securing cheap government imports.

Like the prices of Maize and Sorghum in Somalia:

“Prices of locally-produced maize and sorghum continued to soar in January as the output of the 2016/17 secondary deyr harvest was affected by a severe drought and is estimated at 25 percent of last five-year average. In Mogadishu, prices of coarse grains increased up to 35 percent. In most markets of key maize producing region of Lower Shabelle, maize prices surged in January by 32-41 percent. Overall, prices of coarse grains in January in key markets of central and southern Somalia were up to twice their levels of 12 months earlier. Prices are likely to further escalate in the coming months, as an earlier than usual stock depletion will be compounded by concerns over the performance of the 2017 gu harvest. In pastoral areas, drought caused shortages of grazing resources, with deterioration of livestock body conditions. Livestock prices sharply declined in recent months, especially in the south, and are at very low levels, up to 60 percent lower than 12 months earlier. As a result of declining livestock prices and increasing cereal prices, terms of trade for pastoralists sharply deteriorated over the last 12 months. The equivalent in maize of a medium size goat declined in Buale market from 114 kg January 2016 to just 30 kg in January 2017. The severe drought has also caused a sharp decline in milk production and surge in milk prices” (FAO, P: 5, 2017).

So Somalia who has just gone through an election, has had a heavy affected by the drought, as the grains and food production has been hit by it. As proven with the rising food prices in Mogadishu and the prices has doubled in Central and Southern Somalia, in only a year! That proves the dire food situation, as the fierce internal fighting, the federation food production combined with the military fighting together with a drought has the food markets and food productions. Therefore the citizens and farmers are the losers, as they cannot have peaceful production, lacking rains and also insecurity of their own safety. All these things combined with the uncertainty of the electorate and the new administration. The steady rise of food prices has surely hit a population that did not need another crisis.

Rising prices in South Sudan:

“In the capital, Juba, prices of sorghum and maize declined in January by 6 and 10 percent, respectively, partly as a result of the harvesting of 2016 second season crops in southern bi-modal rainfall areas, which improved the domestic supply situation. Prices of other staples, wheat flour, cassava and groundnuts, followed similar patterns. In markets located in central and northern uni-modal rainfall areas, prices of sorghum increased by 15-20 percent in December 2016 and January 2017, after having declined in previous months with the harvesting of 2016 crops. In January, food prices in nominal terms were between 2 and 4 times above their levels in January last year, due to insecurity, a tight supply situation, hyperinflation and a significant depreciation of the local currency” (FAO, P: 5, 2017).

In South Sudan the new crisis of internal battles hit, even after the long term peace-agreement was fresh and the battles that started in July 2016. The continued escalation has hit the country. South Sudan administration has been busy fighting the SPLM-IO. The SPLM-IO has also been busier fighting the SPLA/M. Therefore the engagement with trying to get people to live in peace and fresh produce to happen in the country has stopped. That together with the civil war the agricultural output has been lost with the fleeing civilians and burning villages. Therefore in this current state, the food prices rise as the lacking food stocks of internal produced are dwindling, as the state needs more import of foreign food. Not only the inflation rates of the currency, the food production has been unstable. Therefore the rising prices and the armed situation create the rise of food prices. So the stability of the nation will also secure the currency and also the agricultural output, as of now is more or less in need of food aid because of the current in-fighting and lack of government oversight. This is unhealthy and makes even the security of food into a limbo.

Rising prices of Maize in Uganda:

“Prices of maize followed a sustained upward trend in recent months, increasing in all monitored markets by 33-58 percent between August and December 2016. Subsequently, prices followed mixed trends in January, declining in the capital, Kampala, as the second season harvest increased supplies, remaining firm in Lira market, located in a major cereal producing area, and continuing to increase in Busia, a key cross-border hub with Kenya. Overall, maize prices in January were up to 75 percent higher than a year earlier and at near-record to record levels, as the upward pressure exerted on prices by a reduced second season harvest, affected by poor rainfall in southeastern parts bordering lake Victoria, was compounded by a reduced first season harvest gathered last June/July and by sustained export demand from neighbouring countries, mainly Kenya and South Sudan. In Kampala, prices of beans and cassava flour, important staples, are also at high levels, and in January they were about 25 percent higher than 12 months earlier” (FAO, P: 6, 2017).

Ugandan government has already showed lacking instruments to the current drought and the lesser output during the election and campaigning of the current leadership. This is proven now with the monetary issues that are in dire straight in republic. The proof of the rising prices as the export of maize and others to South Sudan, as the added refugees who also needs foods and are also supported aided food. The government needs to secure added food production and development of bigger yields of the staple foods. That the food prices have sky-rocketed as the region has all been hit in corridors and districts where the dried lands have killed of livestock and others. Government has showed lacking oversight and mechanism from the government has not helped the dry-lands and the aftermath. Because of this with the added strains of a cash-strapped government after a heavy-burden state after elections, has not stagnated or had initiatives to stop the growing prices of food.

Maize prices are rising also in Tanzania:

“Prices of maize continued to increase in January in all monitored markets, as production prospects for the vuli harvest, currently underway in northern and eastern bi-modal rainfall areas, are unfavourable due to poor and erratic rainfall. Further support to prices was provided by concerns over the performance of the msimu harvest, to be gathered from May in central and southern uni-modal rainfall areas, as early-season dryness affected planting operations and crop establishment. Prices of maize in January were almost twice their year-earlier levels in Arusha, located in the northeast, while they were about 25 percent higher than in January 2016 in Dar Es Salaam, the largest urban centre” (FAO, P: 6, 2017).

That President Magufuli and his party like to be the example of the East Africa. Here the Tanzanian government are delivering the same sort of levels of rising prices. The maize prices are affected by drought and the Tanzanian government also have had to take in the refugees from other nations of late. This together with the less rainfall has pushed the prices on maize in Tanzania. Certainly the prices that doubled shows signs of lacking agricultural output and less yields as the rains and drought has happen during the last 12 month.

The numbers of rising food prices together with the lacking yields shows the worrying signs of lesser rain and longer dry seasons. This all hurt the citizens and the customers in the central regions or in urban areas who buys the foods from the agricultural districts, as much as the violence and the crisis in South Sudan and long term effects of the civil war in Somalia. This happens after the drought and other political issues, together with little efforts to add the yields, shows in the rising prices of staple foods. So now the people have to pay more for the same food they would have bought last year, in some places not only 20% added, but up to double or tripled. This is certainly added strains on the personal economy of the citizens in these nations. Peace.

Reference:

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) – ‘Food Price Monitoring and Analysis – Bulletin’ (14.02.2017)

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