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Archive for the tag “Gen. Salim Selah”

Hon. Otto Odonga: Notice of Motion to Censure Betty Amongin over abuse of Office (23.05.2018)

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The NRM Way is Corruption, so please don’t be shocked when they do it!

You should never be shocked if a National Resistance Movement (NRM) Members of Parliament (MP) or Historicals are caught eating of the public plate. No matter who it is, they are acting as they are entitled to this. They are entitled not pay rent, they are entitled to grab land and entitled to get kickbacks on government contracts. This is the system the NRM has built. To say otherwise is naive. This is the continuation of the “pay-to-play” system that Amama Mbabazi was known for. How do you think him and Gilbert Bukenya made their wealth?

They did not sell Nile Brew on the streets of Kampala, no these two used their positions to eat and therefore was synonymous with the word corruption, at one point they could have their face in the dictionary as they we’re always connected with some sham transaction. The same can be said the Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kuteesa, who always has some shady business deal or arrangement to make sure his pockets are fat. When the new generation of NRM MPs see how the old-guard did it. They want to be in on it. That is natural.

So when Betty Amongi does what she does, she has learned from her peers. Not that is right or by law, but by the activity of the party. The same can be said by Evelyn Anite, whose also has some shady deals now. Both of these are just the newest crop, in addition to the ones who has already played these games. I am just waiting for Frank Tumwebaze to have some sort deal with the Telecoms, so that he could earn something on the side with this Sim-Card Saga of his. That would have made sense and also within reason.

And we know the likes Jim Muhwezi and others has made enough fortunes, big enough homes, that is why the house of Gen. Elly Tumwine, whose trying to outshine the Gbadolite, the house of former Dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. Therefore, the NRM elite has money, while the government lacks it and borrows to keep the cash flow going. If not, they are begging for handouts to secure government projects. This is happening while the elite is finding all kinds of tricks to find new money.

These are MPs with a lavish pay, secured pay for cars and housing, these are MPs whose already getting well-fed on the government tab. So they shouldn’t need to do shady backroom deals, but still they do, because the ones with much, always wants a little bit more. The rich wants to get richer. That is also natural, but they are feeding themselves on a rotten root and hoping the tree will bear fruits next season. Which is impossible, as they are killing off the tree, instead of nurturing it and making sure it can last.

The NRM eating like there is no tomorrow, it isn’t only the President. The State House and the PM. They are the main beneficiaries, but the MPs want their part of the pot of gold. That is why we see Presidential Handshakes, bribes, kickbacks, graft, land-grabs and whatnot. They all want their slice, because they want to be like the previous NRM ministers who did the same. They are NRM and therefore entitled to eat. That is the system. Not a beautiful masterpiece, but when the predecessors did it, why can’t they?

I am not saying it is justified, but I understand why it happens, why they are acting like this. Because they want their loot and their fortunes. If not they wouldn’t run as MPs or part of the elites. This is the way to get it. Not by hard work or dedication, no by association and by office. That is how this system work. This is 32 years down the road, and nothing has changed…

So please don’t be shocked, its put into play long time ago. That is why even Mwenda was bitching about this a decade ago, before his “independent” magazine launch. Peace.

A man gone missing: Where is Vice-President Ssekandi?

Edward Ssekandi, the Vice-President since 24th May 2011. He has been in his role for 7 years now. Still, he is not a viable character, not of any significance. I cannot remember him doing or saying anything profound. I cannot see his spirit or his political be left behind. It is more like he is left behind and hope someone finds him.

The VP is a shadow, a ghost of government, the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has a more presence, has a bigger portfolio and a bigger budget under the Office of the Prime Minister. Surely, the PM inherited lots of tasks and projects that Mbabazi put forward. However, the Vice-President should have been more of leader. He is the second in command, but it doesn’t feel that way. At this point, I am sure Gen. Salim Selah or someone else has a more say, than the current VP.

That is how it seems, his lack of importance, his lack of policy and office. Therefore, thinking that other Cabinet Ministers could have more power, than the supposed second in command… that is saying something is wrong with the system. If not deliberate, because the President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni want it this way. Museveni, this is his way.

Ssekandi has the importance and stature of a statue in the Constitutional Square or somewhere else in Kampala. He could be on the mural on Speke Avenue, instead of actually living and breathing. That is because he isn’t doing anything substantial in a while.

It is hard to see his value, other than he is there, because of his loyalty and that he has no ambition. Because if you have ambition in the National Resistance Movement, sooner or later, your wings will be clipped. That has happen to many and might happen to more. If they dare to question or even trying to succeed Museveni. Because his rare glimpse brilliance, he is still able to hold a tight grip on the party. However, the cracks and the creeks might come. But that will not because of Ssekandi.

Ssekandi will be busy at funerals, at village levels opening government facilities and also at random government sponsored forums, where he can feel like he has a say and has an honorable position. The VP at this point, is an extra and just someone you call in when the ministers are busy cooking up policies. If they are not finding ways to get a Presidential Handshake or his praise, but they don’t need permission from the VP to do anything. Everything passes by the State House anyone. So the VP can practically be out of the loop.

Ssekandi could be on vacation, he could be like Cameroonian President Paul Biya, whose spending vast amount of time in Geneva, Switzerland. Instead, he is doing demeaning jobs and has no say. There hasn’t been anything he has done, that I can remember that meant anything. Ssekandi will go down in history as the stooge and Donky Kong VP. The VP who we don’t know what did or stand for. He is just a man serving the President, but not working or doing anything justified.

He is a lost VP, he is out here somewhere, breathing and eating, maybe even challenge someone in Poker or Chinese Chess. Who knows if he drink Waragin or just a splash. We have no idea, but what we do know. Is that his lack of ambition, his lack of courage and will, is a useful piece in the machinery of the President. However, he is useless from a political and a parliamentary place.

Ssekandi is there, but not really though. It is a mirage, we have to wait to see where he returns next. Peace.

Red Pepper Publication Limited: Charge Sheet from Buganda Road Court (27.11.2017)

Opinion: Mzee don’t want to bother foreign investors with taxes, just give him a Presidential Handshakes!

Well, I am biased, as the President are visiting Dubai for 4th Global Business Forum on Africa on the 2nd November 2017. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is trying to cater to foreign investors. People who he usually cater to at the State House, so he can get favors and Presidential Handshakes. That is why he isn’t bothered with taxes, because the tax-holidays and possible offerings will be huge for the investors who comes in. That is what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are doing, especially if it is for instance a nations offering the state loan, than the same state can come with state-companies to build infrastructure like Chinese companies coming in after offering loans to the same NRM government. Therefore, just look at what he was saying yesterday, which is weird, but fit a pattern.

Since you are business people, we must be talking about profits. When you talk of Uganda and Africa, you are talking about peace as an enabling environment; which we have. We have raw materials, and have a population of 40 million people that’s’ a market. And if we talk of integration we have a four tear market” (…) “In Africa, the demand is there and growing because we have been under-consuming while the rest of the world the demand is falling because they have been over consuming” (…) “There are plenty of raw materials, minerals, tourism and so on so when you invest there you have access to all these” (…) “I don’t have to bother investors with taxes, what I want is for them to invest, use our raw materials, create jobs, add value and promote exports” (State House Uganda, 2017).

Well, so the President trying to say to foreign investors, you don’t need to pay taxes for your output, just cater to me. The state you don’t have to bother about, just bother about catering to the State House and me. We will add value and promote exports, we will agreements and make sure you get the value on our resources and low-payed workers.

We know who is the biggest taxpayers in the republic, because of Uganda Revenue Authority own statement in the media on the 31st October 2017, which stated names like Mr. Alnasir Virani Gulam Hussein Habib, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, Mohammed Hussain, Nakayima Janat, Karia Minex, Karia Kunnal, Alykhan Hudani and Dayalijil Karan. Who are sounding like foreign investors and they are on the top 25 biggest taxpayers in Uganda. So the state has already connected families from abroad to invest there in various businesses. This shows there are already people who is not worried about taxes, but about the output of their companies.

Some of these investors has made big names, while others have worked more in silence. Still, this shows that the top earners even promoted by URA and Doris Akol. Proves how they are working, as there wasn’t that many own citizens on the list. That shows that the foreign investors must get a special advantage and special agreements at the state house for their dealings. Especially, considering how it has been done, just for tearing down markets in Kampala for own investors and financial agreements. This has been done and arranged from the State House without consultation with locals, neither KCCA or the renters of these markets. That is how the NRM and Museveni do deals in favor of him and if he get ill-gained funds, he will support the “development”. It is in similar fashion he exposes his intent in Dubai.

That the State doesn’t need taxes or need structures to facilitate for foreign investors, they just needs agreements with State House and then it is all fair-game. It is insane, but fits the Modus Operandi of the Musevenism and NRM regime. Give him a Presidential Handshake and you can operate as you want in the Republic. Peace.

Reference:

State House Uganda – ‘President Museveni woos Arab investors to Uganda “We have the raw materials, human resource and market”’ (02.11.2017) link: https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/president-museveni-woos-arab-investors-to-uganda-we-have-the-raw-materials-human-resource-and-market?lang=en

Opinion: It’s ironic that President Museveni is talking about disciplining the government!

The three arms of government and their sub-branches must have discipline. For example I have been involved in disciplining the army. We should do the same for other sub-branches of government. If the Judiciary is also disciplined in fighting corruption, citizens will lead a good life. – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 1st October 2017, State House Entebbe.

Its just one of these days that hearing the news and seeing the tweets of the President, makes me laugh and wonder if he listen to himself. He knows his system and has made his garden. The way the government steers and govern is because of his policies, his regulations and his support. It is not like there been other ruling for last 30 years in Uganda. The Republic has been under the control of Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM).

The NRM has suffocated all other free-will and control. Therefore, Ministers, Members of Parliament and others seek guidance and funds directly at the State House in Entebbe. Even foreign investors meet there to make agreements. Everything is nearly sanctioned out there. The Discipline now is more on the narrow-minded government that is run from there. The institutions and the procedures are not so important. Since most things happening is with the words from “above”, meaning the President and his close advisers.

It is not rocket science to know where the benefactor or the reason for lacking structures. That is because government waits for their go sign by the State House, they are waiting for funding of the projects and institutions from the State House. The projects and the works of the State House and under the Prime Ministers Offices are the key organizations within this government. They might say all of the massive cabinet has part to play, but that is the facade.

Therefore, it is ironic for a man so controlling and so disorganized that it gives sometimes way to the unthinkable. Just like the Presidential Handshake, that was sanctioned by the State House, but taken form the wrong account. That was the problem for the President, not that the corrupt behavior was occurring on his watch. Its like he talks against himself. Because he has no problem speaking anti-corruption, but if corruption benefit his cronies – its fine and dandy!

I am not surprised by him at this point of time, its fit his narrative. He says what he expects and wants out of others, but the next day he finds a way to benefit or use the loyalty of his cronies. Not like he would have excepted the UCC not to listen and stop the suspended MPs to hit the airways and be broadcast on TV. He rather being himself on radio and in the spotlight, but will accept anyone else sharing the same space.

President Museveni is the proof of someone saying something noble, but doing opposite. He might say something insane, but act rational. Therefore, you never know where you have him. I will never believe him actually disciplining the government, if doing so. It means they are all blindfolded and following his guidelines. It does not mean building proper governance and protocol, neither is institutionalize the departments and ministries, it is all about his will and his stature.

When it comes to Museveni, discipline is about following him. Not building transparent and proper government institutions. Peace.

Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development – “Statement on Illegal Mining Activities in Uganda” (02.08.2017)

Uganda: Major National Review Recommends Ways of Ending Hunger in Uganda (27.07.2017)

NRM Letter to President Museveni: “Re: Memorandum of Important Issues Affecting Our Party and The Running of Government under the National Resistance Movement” (03.03.2017)

In Uganda the President’s family directly involved in the Gold Industry and the export of conflict minerals!

Basically what we do is taking advantage that I’m in government, it’s not a conflict of interest, I don’t use my position for conflict of interest issues, but it’s an advantage in itself.”Jackson Mayanja, TMT Mining and DGSM employee, August 2016

When you thought the Mineral Industry in the Republic of Uganda couldn’t be questioned more. There is a Global Witness report on the subject. That clearly shows signs of common cronyism and National Resistance Movement (NRM) who uses their connections to get better licenses and deals. The NRM and President Museveni, together with family members are in the midst of the transactions surrounding the Mineral Industry. Especially considering also the well-known fact that Ugandan government are helping with exports from South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. This been done with shaky licensee deals.

The report is spelling how Gen. Salim Selah or President Yoweri Museveni are parts of the inside the mineral trading and export from Uganda. The other NRM cronies and the brown envelopes that pays for the licenses and the insider knowledge of DGSM gives an edge. Instead of being ethical and protocol through the laws, instead it is more of the personal connections the owners of licenses has. Take a look!

Gen. Salim Selah and Ragga Dee connected with minerals:

Senior political figures appear ultimately to call the shots. Their patronage facilitates access to the sector and allows investors, including political elites, to flaunt the law. In one example, a small group of Belgian and Ugandan businessmen, with close ties to the President, were found to be shipping out hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold, apparently paying barely any taxes and failing to disclose the origins of the gold. Their exports may include gold which could be fuelling conflict in neighbouring DRC and South Sudan. In the absence of government data and evidence of rigorous supply chain checks it is not possible to tell” (…) “In one example, an Australian home loans broker with no evident experience of mining, was able to secure licences for over 6000km2 of land (more than any other company or individual Global Witness has seen) by making payments to DGSM officials, and later teamed up with pop star turned businessman, Ragga Dee, who has close ties to the president’s brother Salim Saleh” (Global Witness, P: 7, 2017).

Bwindi National Park:

One licensee is NRM MP Elizabeth Karungi, whose story is emblematic of how well placed individuals claim to be able to use their political connections for personal gain. The woman representative for Kanungu District told Global Witness that she was able to carry out mining activities in Bwindi because the former tourist minister Maria Mutagamba was a “good good friend.” It is remarkable that the DGSM saw fit to issue her with a licence in this area despite the obvious threat to the wildlife there. In a letter to Global Witness dated January 2017, Mutagamba claimed that she did not know who Elizabeth Karungi MP was, however Karungi was on the Committee of Tourism, Trade and Industry which held meetings with the Minister during her period in office. The DGSM Commissioner told Global Witness that mining activities in national parks require the permission of the Uganda Wildlife Authority”. (Global Witness, P:10, 2017)

Kilembe National Park:

One of these is the Tibet Hima Mining Company, which won a multi-million dollar contract to re-open the former colonial Kilembe Copper Mines on the border of Rwenzori in 2013. Two DGSM staff told Global Witness that the President instructed the government to partner with Tibet Hima. Global Witness wrote to President Museveni in December 2016 but has not received a response. As part of the deal, Tibet Hima also received two mining exploration licences that run deep into the national park and right up to the DRC border. The DGSM Commissioner told Global Witness that Tibet Hima had been awarded the concession through a competitive bidding process” (…) “As well as obtaining exploration licences inside a World Heritage site, Tibet Hima appears to have been carrying out operations at Kilembe – one of the largest mines in the country – without an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), which is required by law. The company produced an environmental ‘project brief’ in February 2015, but this did not cover the activities witnessed by Global Witness staff at the site in November 2015” (Global Witness, P: 11-15, 2017).

Africa Gold Refinery:

African Gold Refinery is run by a small group of Belgian and Ugandan businessmen, including former government minister Richard Kaijuka, who are managing to ship hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of gold out of Uganda without disclosing its origin and paying very little tax in the process. They are the owners and managers of a newly built gold refinery on the shores of Lake Edward near Entebbe airport. Remarkably, Barnabas Taremwa: brother-in-law to Salim Saleh, Museveni’s most famous brother and Uganda’s de facto number two, told Global Witness that he had helped negotiate the company’s huge tax breaks with the government (corroborated by documents seen by Global Witness) and set up supply routes for the refinery” (Global Witness, P: 27, 2017).

When an undercover Global Witness staff member spoke to Kamuntu in November 2016, he claimed that he continued to export 10,000 tonnes of iron ore a month out of Uganda under the waiver he received from the President. He told us he ships out minerals as “samples” in order to avoid taxes. He explained that he was the only person in Uganda able to export iron ore. He also told Global Witness that he deals in minerals originating from the DRC, labelling them as Ugandan to get around regulations. Kamuntu said that he exports tantalite from the DRC, labelling it as iron ore to pay less tax. If this is true then conflict minerals from Eastern DRC could be entering the international supply chain via Kamuntu’s shipments. Perhaps most remarkable of all is the fact that Kamuntu told us that “as a local person” he had paid US$10,000 to a third party to get a meeting with the President, in order to seek the permission he needed to continue with his business. (The price for foreign investors is US$15,000, according to Kamuntu.) A letter from the President to the Mining Minister explains that the two met at a private Chamber of Mines and Petroleum event. Global Witness wrote to President Museveni and Mr Kamuntu in December 2016 but never received a response” (Global Witness, P: 42, 2017).

AGR ownership:

Alain Goetz, who is also the CEO of the company, a Belgian national, is one of the most famous dealers of Congolese gold in recent history. During the 90s the Alain and his father Tony, who died in 2005, were reported as dominating gold exports from the Congo through their networks to Belgium and later Dubai” (…) “Mr Barnabas Taremwa, who previously worked for AGR is the brother in law of Salim Saleh, the President’s brother. AGR told Global Witness in a letter dated January 2017 that Taremwa’s sister and Salim Saleh had divorced three years ago, seemingly in an attempt to distance themselves from the General. However, Salim Saleh told Global Witness that “Barnabas Taremwa is still my brother in law and it is false and an insult to me for you to state that I divorced his sister.” (…) “Richard Henry Kaijuka is the Chairman of AGR.160 According to an article in Africa Energy in June 2011, Mr Kaijuka is “a childhood friend of President Yoweri Museveni, who fell out with the regime after he opposed a controversial constitutional amendment in 2005 that removed presidential term limits.” (Global Witness, P: 73, 2017).

Infinity Minerals:

Ragga Dee, whose real name is Daniel Kyeyune Kazibwe, is a popstar turned businessman, famous as much for being the first musician in Uganda to own a Hummer as he is for his music. Ragga Dee does not appear on any of the company documents relating to Ellie’s companies, however while discussing his business interests in an interview with Uganda’s Observer newspaper in 2015 Ragga Dee said, “I also mine for gold under my other company, Infinity Minerals” (…) “Global Witness has identified two sales of Infinity’s rights to other investors after Ellie left Uganda. In the first instance a company called Afrisam Cement Uganda Limited paid US$75,000 for prospecting access to licence number EL1083 which was held by Infinity” (…) “The whole episode raises serious questions about the way that licences are awarded, the licence transfer process, and the accuracy of the mining cadastre. If the information on the cadastre is inaccurate or wilfully misrepresented this has serious impacts for the governance of the sector. While AfriSam appears to have received its licence through the proper channels at the DGSM questions remain about the way that Sunbird acquired its licence. In a letter dated January 2017, Salim Saleh told Global Witness that the Big Picture Corporation, a company which is part owned by his wife, is “one of the companies which duly applied for, and inherited, the expired Licences previously held by Infinity Minerals Limited, under TN 2370.” According to the Cadastre, however, this application, which was made after the licence had expired, was rejected” (Global Witness, P: 48 – 51, 2017).

Special Export:

The latest OAG report noted that during the financial year 2015/16, the DGSM assessed royalty and awarded export permits for only 93kgs of gold worth just over US$3 million. However, reports from the Customs and Excise Department of Uganda Revenue Authority indicated that 5,316 kgs of gold had been exported with a total value of US$195 million. Accordingly, Government should have collected between US$2 million and US$9.7 million in royalties depending on the applicable rates of 1% and 5% for the imported or locally mined gold respectively” (Global Witness, P: 74, 2017).

If you didn’t think there was anything fishy in the trades, in the Mineral Ministry and the Mineral Resources Exports in Uganda. This here reports proves the amounts of gold exported combined with the gold extracted. That these numbers doesn’t add-up. This together with the NRM leadership and the closest partners in and around the President. Therefore, it is even his own family involved in the mineral industry. This reports is saying what people and rumors has been, therefore, the implications of the government, the president in the business, and also they are involved in exporting and cleaning conflict minerals for the exporters of South Sudan and Democratic Republic of Congo. This is not surprising for the ones following the situation. Peace.

Reference:

Global Witness – Under-Mined (June 2017)

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