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Archive for the tag “Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala”

The SGR Trick: Which was all based on, if Beijing blessed Kampala!

The Standard Gauge Railway in the East African Community was all based on if the Chinese counterparts wanted to fund the infrastructure and the grand enterprise of rails in the region. Today, it was revealed, not shockingly that the SGR works in Uganda has been suspended. This after reports in the Daily Monitor revealed this:

Uganda’s first phase of SGR, the eastern line running from Malaba to Kampala, about 273km (338km rail length), is expected to cost $2.3bn. Mr Kasaija admitted that Uganda has currently taken a back seat on the SGR venture, but will resume “serious discussions once Kenya is about to reach” the Ugandan side. President Museveni, according to sources familiar with the venture, in recent months had been directly involved in discussions on the project, and had hoped to secure financing for the first section of the railway line during his visit to China last month when he attended the seventh Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) summit. But he returned empty-handed. However, Mr Kasaija revealed that during the discussions in Beijing, it was agreed that “Uganda and Kenya will embark on joint financing negotiations” after Kenya has completed the current Nairobi-Naivasha section” (Daily Monitor – ‘Uganda puts SGR on hold over unresolved issues with Kenya’ 30.10.2018, link: https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/news/ea/uganda/Uganda-puts-SGR-over-unresolved-issues-kenya/4003148-4828902-156c5upz/index.html).

I have doubts that it will help reaching more agreements with the Kenyan counterparts at this time. As they have had plenty of agreements, joint communiques and meetings with the Northern Corridor Integrated Project (NCIP), which is going back to 2015. Where there was back in October 2015 on the 11th NCIP Communique, where the document stated: “the summit noted progress made in the finalisation of bankable proposals for some sections and directed the Ministers of Finance, Infrastructure, Attorney Generals, coordinated by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, to undertake a joint visit to EXIM Bank in China to conclude Financing Agreements” (11th NCIP Summit – Joint Communique’ Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi, Kenya 17.10.2015).

If you follow it clearly, the progress of the 2015 have been stalled or rejected, but the parties still want to pursuit the goal of building the rails. Even as even the Chinese doesn’t believe in it or seeing the lack of fortunes in Kenya to maybe wishing to extend the tracks further at this given moment. What we are seeing is that the Ugandan government has persisted, but not gone through.

They even had the idea of the SGR Railway in the National Development Plan II of 3rd March 2015, which also holds the idea of the rails alive with this statement: “Joint formal agreements for plans to build a new Standard Gauge railway (SGR) have been signed by the EAC Countries. The SGR project starts in Mombasa through Nairobi, Kampala, Kigali and Juba. A cross section of the different routes of the SGR to the South Western, Northern, North Western and Eastern Uganda will aid the mining industry through transportation of equipment and raw materials. The overall objective of the SGR is to jointly develop and operate a modern, fast, reliable, efficient and high capacity regional railway transport system as a seamless single system and as a mechanism to stimulate overall economic development” (NDPII, 03.03.2015). By the way, the implementation of the NDPII is supposed to be between 2015/2016 to 2019/2020 to fulfill the Vision 2020. However, by the SGR failure, this shows the lack of progress and just the major agreements, but not the needed funding or possibility of partners to invest in the huge infrastructure projects the government has.

While on the 3rd of October, the Ministry of Works produced the 14th Joint Transport Sector Review Workshop presentation, where they by June 2018 stated: “The financing agreement for the SGR was not signed. However, negotiations to sign the financing agreement are in advanced stages” (Ministry of Works, 03.10.2018). So, you see, the government knows perfectly well, they cannot and doesn’t have finances for the building of it. It is soon November 2018 and getting closer to Vision 2020, but no sign of a working rails across the Republic. Especially not, when they are waiting for the Chinese to see it as a viable project in the first place.

What the government didn’t tell today or yesterday, is that the Chinese said no a little while ago:

For it to make business sense, the proposed line has to reach Uganda in order to take over a huge chunk of the haulage business in the landlocked country ahead of the Tanzania-Rwanda SGR line. Uganda is said to have decided to revamp its old metre-gauge railway when it became apparent that the Kenyan line could delay for up to three years. A regional weekly recently reported that the ministers for transport and finance of the two countries were supposed to have engagements with China Exim Bank on the sections of Kisumu to Kampala via Malaba” (…) “This, however, flopped and instead the executives from China Exim Bank flew to Kampala and later Nairobi last November to carry out due diligence on the Uganda project proposal and contract application” (Guguyu Otiato – ‘Worry as China puts SGR funding on hold’ 06.03.2018 link: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001294667/alarm-as-china-puts-sgr-funding-on-hold).

So, when the government are saying it wasn’t signed, is that the Exim Chinese Bank rejected it and hasn’t accepted the infrastructure project at this point. Certainly, they don’t see it viable or even possible for profits. They have already started in Kenya, but has to finish that part, before they extend to the other Republics in the EAC. Therefore, the SGR is still a dream elsewhere in the Northern Corridor, as they seemed more ready in 2015, than the donors or the development partners ever where. Because the GoU are not ready to finance it self and not have the ability to do so. Without getting funding from the outside. They have to beg for loans and grants to get it. Peace.

Opinion: Why does the NRM have the need to create a war-zone over a by-election?

You can wonder, what sort of lack of talent, integrity and trust in your own population, when you have enforce the crowds, when you have to hire and order the army, military police and the police to a district where a by-election is appearing. You just know that the ruling regime suck at electioneering and also coming with solutions, as their final nail in coffin is to send guns, ammunition and a doze of fear. Because that is the way to sway the public a day ahead of the polls.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have no legitimacy and not transparent activity, they only have the methods of fear and bribes, and there is no policy or no person who’s trustworthy enough to not use the military to intimidate. Because this party has to use guns and ammunition to prove a point. Not try to come with reason or common sense, now you come like an invader and ready for warfare.

You could wonder if there was an election or if the place was under siege, if the NRM and the government was awaiting unknown militias or ghosts of the LRA at Rukungiri. They have done similar things in other by-elections. So they are at it again.

This isn’t breaking news, it is not shocking, it is the only way these fellows and this party can handle affairs. They can only order and hire guns, not talk or do business in other ways. It is special that a by-elections for one MPs to a Parliament is that important, that you have to use all parts of the Security Organizations and beat the message of insecurity to these levels. That the By-Elections looks like Mogadishu, because that is favourite scenery of the President.

There is no common sense in this by-election, only that the NRM are trying to grab a whole of something by any means without any proper justification and reason. It is like they have to grab the people with fear, because they know by this point, they have no solid reason for their existence. There isn’t any progress, anything visible or viable approach for them. It is only empty suits and presidential handshakes.

That is not a good look, when your been running the republic for over three decades. That you have to send the military to install fear to sway voters. That is just sinister, but also show the lack of respect from the rulers, that they are instead of being tolerable and understanding, they are coming with the big-guns and expect submission.

By doing so, the NRM are showing they have already lost. The plot doesn’t’ thickens, it is just weak mediocre soup with very little or no meat, just boiled water on stones added some spices to funk the soup up. When everyone knows it is paper-thin and not really tasty. That is the reality in this mess. Every party knows this. However, they try to act differently.

It is not working, how weak is your message and faith in your programs, that your sending the army to get people into submission? How little policies and little benefits have you given the public over the years, which you have to send guns to get them over to your side.

It is insulting, but that is the M.O. of the NRM. They are insulting people’s intelligence and their goodwill, they are insulting the barriers of trust and accountability, they are just eating and hoping no-one cares, but apparently they do. If not, they wouldn’t need to invade the Rukungiri district ahead of the polls tomorrow. Peace.

Museveni: If your are against tribalism in the UPDF; Why do you appoint mostly from Western then?

It is weird, but when it comes to President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his words today. Has he checked his appointments and the people around him. He has a hankering for getting people from the Western Uganda, especially the ones in and around Rukungiri, where your are doling monies these days, as your trying to capture a By-Election for Woman’s MP slot. Museveni, is really trying to show his integrity. However, his actions are talking louder, than his words. First his wanted message from the rallies today, then his real aspirations.

M7 in Rukungiri:

I have heard some people using sectarian sentiments to campaign in Rukungiri. These should be rejected. The NRM decided long ago that tribalism does not build institutions. For example, you cannot recruit an army based on tribalism. It is on the basis of building a national army devoid of tribalism that we have the peace we enjoy today. This peace has resultantly led to sustainable development in terms of roads, electricity, schools and hospitals” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 28.05.2018).

Nilepost reported in December 2017:

Armed Forces. Four-star generals: On analyzing of the 9 highest-ranking UPDF personnel it was established that Western region has 6 (67%) trailed by Central, Eastern and Northern with 1 each, constituting 11%. Lieutenant Generals: Of the 6 examined, 2 were from Eastern Uganda with the other regions sharing one apiece. Major Generals: In examination of the 16 major generals, it was revealed that Western region had 11 (69%), Eastern and northern stood at 2 (13%) and Central with 1 (6%). Brigadiers: In terms of regional distribution, Western region stands higher with 27 (53%), followed by Central 10 (20%), Northern 8 (16%) and Eastern which has 6 (12%)” (Nilepost – ‘Report: Western region dominates jobs in army, police, foreign missions’ 14.12.2017).

Let me just say, again Museveni is all talk, but not acting. Its his twisted tongue and his words that doesn’t make sense. If he was against tribalism, he wouldn’t favor the Western in the armed forces. That is insane to say, as the same stats are in the rest of the government, the appointed and hired are from the region. In dozens compared to the rest of Uganda. It happens to be from the area and the districts around Rukungiri.

So Museveni, maybe you should come with a better sentiment, something that would mirror reality. Like the actual truth for ones. That would be fine. Because this sort of article or blog, is to damn easy to write these days.

Museveni, Mr. President if your campaigning and not thinking the bribing, the sudden need to give to Rukungiri, because of the popularity of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) candidate in the area. Then, you should actually come with speeches where the facts and reality are fitting as a glove. Right now your sending out doves and instead of feeding them, your taking out your shot-gun and blowing them to smithereens, it is like he doesn’t understand the reality.

The reality is that his government is directly a tribal affair, which he has sanctioned and done all this decades. There is only the paid-off and the loyally bribed cronies from the other parts, but the key allies are all Western Ugandan based people. Therefore, him saying NRM decided long ago to counter that, he hasn’t really done so. Its still clear that the key figures and the ones highest up the food-chain are from Western Uganda.

You might lie to the blind sheep, but not to my kind.

Tribalism is rampant in the UPDF and the NRM hasn’t really fought this. Except with a twisted tongue and an excuse of a mind, which happens to be the President.

Peace.

Burundi: “Imminent retrait et retour Immediat au Burundi des hommes et du materiel militaire de la Somalia”

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African Union letter on the Burundian posistion from December 2016:

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Uganda Chief of Defence Forces urges speedy security sector reforms in Somalia (02.01.2017)

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MOGADISHU, 02 JANUARY 2017 – Visiting Chief of Defence Forces of Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF), General Edward Katumba Wamala wants Somali leaders to fast-track implementation of security sector reforms and the rebuilding of the national army, to enable them effectively take over the country’s security from African Union troops.

The Uganda Chief of Defence Forces arrived in Mogadishu today for a three-day official visit to Somalia. “As you interact politically with whoever will take the chair, this should be among their priority area; to make sure that they address the issue of building their security apparatus,” he told a meeting of senior officials from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).

The Somali security sector reforms which are in line with AMISOM’s revised Concept of Operations (CONOPs) and its exit strategy, are aimed at building the capacity of Somali National Security Forces to take over the security of the country, when AMISOM troops begin drawing down in 2018.

Gen. Wamala praised the implementation of the quick-impact projects (QUIPs) by AMISOM, describing it is a big asset for the mission in its efforts to provide essential services to populations liberated from Al-Shabaab rule.

During the meeting, Hon. Lydia Wanyoto, the Deputy Special Representative of the of the African Union Commission (DSRCC) updated Gen. Wamala on the ongoing electoral process in the country and the security arrangements in place to ensure a smooth transition of power. “We are doing everything it takes to ensure that we give the support and that our offices are open 24/7 for supporting the troops for which your country contributes,” Hon. Wanyoto stated.

Earlier, military officers from AMISOM Sector One, briefed Gen. Wamala on the security situation in Lower Shabelle and Banaadir regions, which fall under the AMISOM Ugandan contingent’s area of responsibility . Lt. Gen. Osman Noor Soubagleh, the AMISOM Force Commander said AMISOM troops continue to jointly conduct offensive and defensive operations aimed at improving the security situation in Somalia.

“The security situation in Mogadishu city has improved significantly, the city being a strategic value for the seat of power, with a high population density, good infrastructure and good for political and economic activities. Therefore the center of gravity plays an important role for the stabilisation of Somalia,” Lt. Gen. Soubagleh said. Gen. Wamala also held a meeting with the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Somalia, Michael Keating.

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