M7: “As we wait for the arrival of Pope Francis this week, below is my welcome message” (23.11.2015)

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The people of Uganda, government and the National Resistance Movement warmly welcome His holiness Pope Francis, to Uganda. The NRM restored the dignity, intergrity and freedom of worship of the people of Uganda. We are, therefore, honoured to host Pope Francis at a time when our nation demonstrably shows the fruits of this liberation from tyranny of the 1970s and the 1980s that plunged our nation into conflicts and threatened to make our country ungovernable and our people the laughing stock of the world.

Today, almost all our children go to school, our people travel to every corner of the nation in safety and on modern roads and our nation contributes to the peace and stability of the greater East African region, thanks to the work of the Movement in the last 30 years. The NRM ended discrimination of women, youth, people with disabilities and built a firm foundation for unity of our people.

Pope Francis’ compassion for the poor and his frankness of spirit is an encouragement to all of us to live light and stand for the causes that matter to humanity. This is because all of us have one life to live on earth and it should, therefore, be lived purposefully. The Movement too fights to end poverty and fully establish our nation on an irreversible path to progress. We believe that a nation which stands on the core values of godliness and care for the weak, is one that empowers her people to claim their place in the world.

We believe that the blessing of the visit of the Holy father to our nation and the region affirms our commitment to fight for total peace and stability in our part of the world and to open the eyes of the faithful to the values of hard work, knowledge to deal with problems of poverty and to strengthen our resolve to build a better future for our children. May Pope Francis’ visit deepen our love for each other as Ugandans, the oneness of spirit and promote tolerance and unity across our country.

Welcome to Uganda, Your holiness Pope Francis

Professor Lumumba at PAV Ansah Foundation Forum – “On the Subject of Governance!”

PLO Lumumba interesting as always! Right?

Ask ourselves! We should Ask Ourselves!

Peace.

Press Release (AU): Annual High Level Dialogue on Democracy, Human Rights and Governance – 2015 DGTrends – Open Call for National Conversation (12.08.2015)

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2015/320/AFR: World Bank Boosts Fisheries in South West Indian Ocean African Countries

WASHINGTON, February 27, 2015 – The World Bank Group’s (WBG) Board of Executive Directors today approved a total of US$75.5 million to improve the management of fisheries and increase the economic benefits from fishing-related activities for families living in the coastal communities of the South West Indian Ocean region.

The First South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Project(SWIOFish1) will help improve regional cooperation for the nine African countries that border the waters of the South West Indian Ocean.

“Fisheries are a key contributor to food security, nutrition and job creation for rural coastal populations of the South West Indian Ocean, who are among the poorest and most vulnerable in the region,” said Colin Bruce, World Bank Director of Regional Integration for the Africa Region“Promoting sustainable use of fisheries, linking smaller operators to new value chains and improving regional cooperation over shared resources will boost shared prosperity in these countries and the entire region.”

The coastal populations of the South West Indian Ocean region suffer from challenges such as too little economic growth, hunger, poverty and exposure to climate change impacts. Fish stocks in the region are increasingly facing risks of overexploitation or depletion from overfishing by industrial vessels and artisanal fishers.

The project will initiate regional discussions and cooperation to develop a regional fisheries management program focusing on reducing pressure on the fishing ecosystems and helping countries address shared challenges. Safeguarding fish resource productivity and developing the value chain for fish production will expand the fishers’ livelihoods as a step towards reducing poverty.

Financed by $75.5 million from the International Development Association (IDA)*, the WBG’s fund for the poorest, and $15.5 in co-financing trust funds form the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the project will support regional coordination and cooperation to improve the management and sustainable development of fisheries in the South West Indian Ocean and will benefit the countries in the South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission: Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, Seychelles, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, South Africa, Yemen and Maldives.

Three countries in the region, Comoros, Mozambique, and Tanzania have already taken steps to develop strategies and institutions to improve fisheries management and marine health through other World Bank projects. To leverage these previous investments Comoros will receive $13 million, Mozambique will receive $37 million and Tanzania will receive $36 million to strengthen country-wide institutions and activities, improve fishers’ livelihoods, expand the regional business climate and increase private sector investment in the fishing industry.

“Overfishing, including from uncontrolled small-scale fishing, progressively undermines the resource base upon which coastal communities depend, said World Bank Task Team Leader Xavier F. P. Vincent. “The South West Indian Ocean marine fisheries are part of a larger marine ecosystem shared by all countries of the region. Today’s project will support regional coordination among the countries that border the South West Indian Ocean, improve the health and sustainability of the fisheries.”

Statements on the signed deal between European Union and the Republic of Uganda to fund the 11th National Indicative Programme(NIP)

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UK & U.S., CSO’s and Multilateral Organizations statements and press releases on the events in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

If you haven’t heard what has happen in Burkina Faso. If so, then these pieces will give you some notion on what has happen in Burkina Faso and also how it’s been and also what has happen in the last 48 hours.

Ban Ki-Moon statement:

“The Secretary-General is following with great concern the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso.  He calls on all parties to end the use of violence, exercise calm and restraint and use dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues”(…)”The Secretary-General is saddened over the loss of life resulting from recent events.  He has requested his Special Representative for West Africa, Mohammed ibn Chambas, to visit Burkina Faso tomorrow and welcomes that this mission will be undertaken jointly with the African Union and ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States]” (UN, 30.10.2014).

AU:

“Addis Ababa, 30 October 2014: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has expressed deep concern about the unfolding situation in Burkina Faso and is following its evolution very closely. She has called for calm and utmost restraint from all the parties concerned” (…)”has urgently dispatched a High-Level Team that will form part of a Joint Delegation comprising the AU, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations (UN) to Burkina Faso to consult with all the Burkinabe stakeholders. In this regard, the Chairperson appeals to the Burkinabe authorities to facilitate the visit of the Joint Delegation” (…)”assures the people of Burkina Faso of the unflinching support of the AU, as they look for political solutions to the current difficulties facing their country” (AU, 30.10.2014)

U.S:

“The United States welcomes President Compaore’s decision to withdraw a National Assembly bill which would have amended the constitution and allowed him to run for an additional term of office. We also welcome his decision to form a government of national unity to prepare for national elections and to transfer power to a democratically elected successor. We look forward to that transition taking place in 2015. We regret the violence and the loss of life today in Burkina Faso, and call on all parties to avoid further violence. We underscore our commitment to peaceful transitions of power through democratic elections and emphasize neither side should attempt to change the situation through extra-constitutional means” (Psaki, 30.10.2014).

EU:

“We are following very closely the ongoing events in Burkina Faso. The European Union is very concerned about the current situation, with reports on casualties following the violent demonstrations that took place today. Now that the law proposal on the revision of the

Constitution has been withdrawn, the European Union calls upon all parties to refrain from the use of violence and engage rapidly in a constructive dialogue. The European Union stands ready to step in to facilitate this process” (EU, 30.10.2014)

WANEP:

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Amnesty:

“Authorities in Burkina Faso must rein in security forces that have used excessive force to crack down on peaceful anti-government protests, Amnesty International said today” (…)”he use of excessive force to crack down on peaceful protesters is unacceptable and the transition authorities must act urgently to rein in security forces,” said Gaëtan Mootoo, Amnesty International’s Researcher for West Africa” (…)”It is crucial that those responsible for the killings and beatings of protesters, journalists and other civilians are identified and held accountable. Officials at the highest level should publicly make it clear that excessive use of force will not be tolerated,” said Gaëtan Mootoo” (…)”People took to the streets of Ouagadougou and other cities yesterday to protest against an attempt by President Blaise Compaore – who has since resigned – to amend the constitution to extend his long stay in power” (…)”They began beating them with cords, then they shot live bullets. I saw three protesters fall down in front of me. One protestor was shot dead. I was able to take a photo showing the bullets that killed him when he was shot in the chest,” he said” (…)”Protesters should not be detained and charged for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly, as guaranteed by the constitution and international and regional treaties ratified by Burkina Faso” (31.10.2014, Amnesty).

ACHPR:

“The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) is closely monitoring the political and human rights situation in Burkina Faso, in particular since the first demonstration that took place on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 to protest against the bill to amend the Constitution” (…)”is concerned about the worsening political crisis and its disastrous consequences for the stability of the country” (…)”is deeply concerned about the acts of violence and vandalism which led to the burning of the National Assembly building and destruction of the property of the national television station leading to an end to its broadcasting activities”(…)”is concerned about the death of several people during clashes between the population and security forces”(…)”is concerned that the violence is inconsistent with the ideals of democracy which is the goal of the demonstrations”(…)”The African Commission strongly condemns the violence and urgently appeals for a return to calm and a restoration of order. The African Commission reiterates the need for all the parties concerned to work towards restoring peace and security, and calls on the political stakeholders to engage in dialogue towards maintaining stability in the country. The African Commission seizes this opportunity to urge all the parties to comply with the principles of international humanitarian law and to respect and protect the human rights of all persons in Burkina Faso” (ACHPR, 31.10.2014).

ECOWAS:

“Has followed with grave attention the events unfolding in Burkina Faso and the tension around the process leading to the consideration of the draft bill on constitutional amendment” (…)”takes note of the decision by the government to withdraw the passing of this draft bill” (…)”To this end, it reiterates the need for compliance with the principle of democracy and constitutional governance as stipulated in the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance” (…)”ECOWAS calls on all the people to remain calm and law abiding, and the security forces to respect and act in accordance with the constitution of the Republic. It also calls on all the parties involved, notably the entire political class to embrace dialogue with a view to arriving at a political consensus that will lead to free, fair and credible election consistent with constitutional provisions. ECOWAS, in line with its principle, will not recognize any ascension to power through non-constitutional means” (…)”H.E. John Dramani Mahama, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS” (31.10.2014, ECOWAS).

UK:

Tobias Ellwood the Minister for Africa said: “We are deeply concerned by the violence which has taken place in Ouagadougou, seemingly as a result of government plans to amend the Constitution of Burkina Faso so that the incumbent President can seek another term after 27 years in office” (…)”The UK reiterates its support for the African Union Charter and for peaceful and democratic transfers of power. We urge all parties to exercise restraint, to adhere to non-violence and to return to dialogue to resolve this issue” (31.10.2014, UK).

Links:

ACHPR – ‘Press Release on the Deterioration of the Political and Human Rights Situation in Burkina Faso’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://www.achpr.org/press/2014/10/d232/

Amnesty – ‘Burkina Faso must end excessive use of force against protesters’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://reliefweb.int/report/burkina-faso/burkina-faso-must-end-excessive-use-force-against-protesters

AU – ‘AU deeply concerned by the unfolding situation in Burkina Faso’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://www.peaceau.org/en/article/au-deeply-concerned-by-the-unfolding-situation-in-burkina-faso#sthash.W4IGuW3n.Zo3a9RQY.dpuf

ECOWAS – ‘ECOWAS speaks on Burkina Faso’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://www.presidency.gov.gh/node/723

EU – ‘Statement by the Spokesperson on the situation in Burkina Faso’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://eeas.europa.eu/statements/docs/2014/141030_01_en.pdf

UN – Secretary-General: SG/SM/16298-AFR/3002 -‘Saddened by Recent Deaths in Burkina Faso, Secretary-General Calls for Restraint, End of Violence’ (30.10.2014) Link:  http://www.un.org/press/en/2014/sgsm16298.doc.htm

UK – ‘UK concerned by violence in Burkina Faso’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://www.wired-gov.net/wg/news.nsf/articles/UK+concerned+by+violence+in+Burkina+Faso+31102014141530?open

U.S – Jon Psaki: ‘Welcoming President Compaore’s Commitment to a Democratic Transition’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/10/233567.htm

WANEP – ‘PRESS RELEASE ON POLITICAL SITUATION IN BURKINA FASO’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://www.wanep.org/wanep/files/2014/oct/pr_2014_oct30_burkina_faso.pdf

Uganda: Private Sector Post Budget Concerns FY 2014/2015

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The main focus of the Private Sector for FY 2014/2015:

  1. Reducing the high cost of doing business to enhance Private Sector Competitiveness.
  2. Stimulate and cause increase in disposable income to help improve local demand so as to stimulate the creation of wealth.
  3. Monitoring and ensure that services are delivered in time and value with money. More importantly a well-coordinated system within Government itself, which can take advantage of supportive partners and resources of the private sector to spur growth.

(Private Sector, 2014)

Private Sector concerns:

They see issues with Infrastructure development, transport, Energy, ICT. The concerns about improving business regulatory climate, also the increasing access to affordable business finance to the agribusiness. Find a new focus for National Growth strategy on export of niche products. Get a new tax regime that is predictable and encourages growth for both production and development processes. A good management model of public resources to follow planned actions and implementation (Private Sector, 2014).

Proposals according with the new Tax measures:

Income Tax: Initial Allowance on capital expenditure on eligible plant and machinery has been removed. With the termination of exemption on the interests income that is on agricultural loans (Private Sector, 2014).

Value Added Tax (VAT):  

The tax is now set on exemptions on certain levels of products. Like feeds for poultry and livestock. It’s also exemption for machinery for agricultural and dairy machinery. There is also lesser tax for packaging materials to both diary and milling industries. Then there is also special tax on specialized vehicles, plant, machinery, services and civil works that is on infrastructure construction, water, education and health (Private Sector, 2014).

They wish a termination of the Zero VAT rate supply:

The products that are not under ordinary VAT is Cereals (grown, milled or produced in Uganda), Processed Milk and Milk products, supply of machinery and tools for agriculture, seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and hoes. This is also for printing services for education materials. They are set VAT of 0 % but the Private Sector wish it to be 18 % (Private Sector, 2014).

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After thought to the concerns from the Private Sector on the FY 2014/2015:

To cook this all down, it’s basic Chicago-School of economics. It’s the liberalistic dreamland where everything is free and liberal. That’s where the government stops all subsidies of education and agriculture. It’s the place where the government is a little player on the market – the strong beat the little guy in every instance. It’s fearful that the Private Sector wish to get VAT on Fertilizer, Seeds, Processed Milk and Machinery to the agriculture, pesticides and hoes. This will lead to issues for the struggling farmers of the hinterland and far far away from the streets of the rich Kampala. So therefore when the issues from the Private sector is just to earn simple money and earn on the poor farmer in the districts who can’t pick or choose his tools, fertilizer and seeds. They also mark the difference in between Kenya and Uganda. Even though there similarities between the nations. Still Agricultural business is different. The export from Kenya is in another league. The export of Kenyan coffee is famous compared to the Ugandan beans. The same with the Tea, I say that and I still wished to Garden Tea.

So for me the suggestions from the Private Sector are too silent and will kill the agriculture driven business. The Tourism tax is wise, because that will be used for promotion and marketing. They have good ideas even if they fear for the exemption for the lodging outside of Kampala. When it comes to Education is the removable of exemption of income tax from private schools. Government believes that the exemption will help investments in schools in the greater Kampala areas and also the improvement of education upcountry. This means that the private sector wants to blow this off. It tells that the private sector cares more for profit then the education system. This is also making the state or governments smaller, which usually are the tools of the Chicago-School of economics.

The Government of Uganda should not follow this advice. It will weaken the state and marginalize the structure of it. The ideas from the Public Sector won’t benefit either the public or the state. Both parties might earn a coin of silver dollar in the beginning, but in the long run the crippling of the education and agricultural business will not drive it. The reason why I still publish the document and pieces of it is to show the Public Sector who must be driven the USAID and their powerful basket of money. Views of state and business: Where nothing is to collide between the state and public sector. The dreams of freedom and big business with no power to big government, except a strong police and military. The rest, that can the public can pay for or handle themselves on their own. That’s why they want taxation and VAT on all this items and cut the whole idea of Zero VAT exemptions. That’s totally against their belief system. It’s true I been beating on the government for their lack of payment of their civil servants and teachers. Still, it’s necessary to tax and get sufficient cover for the supposed running of the state and the civil service. Not only monies to the mighty UPDF and UPF. Also not forgetting NSFF.

Peace.

Interesting WikiLeaks about Uganda: Bunyoro, Lake Albert & Oil-deals

Here is WikiLeaks which shows quotes from 2007 to 2011 where Bunyoro, Rwenzuru and the security of the oil-rich Western-Uganda. Think that this should be interesting reading – also insights to the situation. Have an awesome time reading!

The Corruption story of Muhwezi and Mukula amd the NRM:

Many Ugandans were happy to see Muhwezi and Mukula, members of the so-called “mafia”, arrested for corrupt activities” (…)”oo Much or Inefficient Corruption. Kategaya and Musa Ecweru, Minister of State for Relief and Disaster Preparedness, told P/E Chief the core issue was that Muhwezi, Mukula, and Kamugisha took more money than they had been authorized and failed to account for it. Muhwezi had been found “not politically responsible” in a Cabinet white paper follow-up on the Global Fund Investigation report in March. According to the Kategaya and Ecweru, the debate within the Cabinet over Muhwezi’s fate was heated, but that ultimately a majority of ministers rallied behind Muhwezi because they themselves could be implicated for corrupt activities. The President accepted the Cabinet recommendation, but still wanted to find a way to “clip Muhwezi’s wings.” The President decided that the use of the immunization fund for personal gain would provide a strong case against Muhwezi” (…)”Succession Politics. Another possibility, and not excluded by other theories, was that the arrests were an attempt by President Museveni to remove potential successors. This includes both Jim Muhwezi and First Lady Janet Museveni. Both have presidential ambitions and both profited beyond Museveni’s expectations from the embezzlement. Muhwezi’s financial independence, alleged ties to the Forum for Democratic Change’s Kizza Besigye, and the perception that he was advancing his own political ambitions rather than the ruling party’s could have contributed to the decision to arrest him at this time. Several Cabinet members say that Muhwezi, the former Chief of Military Intelligence, has been allowed to get away with corrupt activities because he has files on key political players and the First Family and has threatened to use them” (…)”The NRM-dominated Parliament also selected Muhwezi to head the Parliamentary Group for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. One Cabinet member told PolChief that there are signs of other politicians rallying to Muhwezi’s side because they fear they could be next in line for an arrest warrant. Ecweru posted Mukula’s bond to demonstrate ethnic solidarity” (…)”The arrests are generating a significant amount of speculation regarding the future of the ruling party and implications for the war on corruption. Many political contacts and other Western diplomats are wondering if Museveni has a clear game plan, desired outcome, or defined roles for the IGG and public prosecutors” (WikiLeaks, 29.05.2007).

Ugandan Boarder Tension:

“Museveni and his Congolese counterpart Joseph Kabila met in Tanzania to discuss border issues after Congolese military units moved a border demarcation four kilometers into an agreed-upon no-man’s zone on the Ugandan border” (…)”Lt. Gen. David Tinyefuza, Museveni’s security czar, reported to Museveni that Congolese units allegedly erected a border crossing four kilometers on the Ugandan side of the border. However, a team of security officials led by Deputy Director of the External Security Service Emmy Allio, who is from West Nile, determined that the Congolese had not moved the demarcation posts into Uganda, only into the agreed-upon no-man’s zone. In his report to President Museveni and the Minister of Security Amama Mbabazi, Allio argued that the GOU should not “make a big deal” out of the incident. He found that the powerful Governor of Ituri ordered the move, with backing from some elements in Kinshasa, but that Kabila was likely unaware” (WikiLeaks, 21.05.2008).

”According to a joint statement released by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Museveni and Kabila “noted with satisfaction” that progress had been made in the border demarcation process. They pointed to the Fifth Session of the Joint Permanent Commission in Kampala December 12-15, 2007, the Joint Border Remarking Committee in Bunia and Entebbe, and other bilateral engagement on the issue as evidence that efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the border question were ongoing” (…)”Museveni and Kabila agreed to accelerate the co-administration of the Rukawanzi Island as the demarcation process takes place. Situated on Lake Albert, Rukawanzi Island was at the center of the August 2007 border flare-up that led to the Ngurdoto-Tanzania Agreement. (Note: Congolese soldiers killed a British Heritage Oil worker in August 2007 claiming that the oil barge had strayed into Congolese waters (ref A). End note.) The prospect of oil exploration on Lake Albert, which is dissected by the Ugandan-Congolese border, has further complicated the demarcation process” (WikiLeaks, 21.05.2008).

The Oil-deals and Boarder Tension:

“The most recent border tensions comes in the wake of Kinshasa’s decision to revoke an oil exploration concession to a neighboring block in eastern Congo’s oil-rich region that it had granted to Tullow Oil and Heritage, two of four oil companies operating in western Uganda. The Congolese government awarded the tender to South Africa’s state oil company PetroSA, claiming that Tullow and Heritage violated Congolese territorial waters on Lake Albert (refs A and B), (WikiLeaks, 21.05.2008).

Museveni’s Plan to “Ring-Fence” Bunyoro:

“An internal July 15 memo from Ugandan President Museveni has deepened the ethnic divide between groups living atop newfound oil reserves in Uganda’s Western Region.  The memo, which was leaked to the press on August 2, instructs the Minister for Presidential Affairs to consider restricting key elected offices – including parliamentary seats – in what was once the Bunyoro Kingdom in Western Uganda to ethnic Banyoro only.  The memo also recommends preferential land ownership rights for ethnic Banyoro for the next twenty years.  Museveni’s memo may have been designed to appease, or perhaps distract, Banyoro leaders angered by long-standing land disputes and the government’s continued refusal to reveal plans for oil revenue sharing (reftel)” (…)”Museveni has not backed away from the idea of investing specific ethnic groups with special electoral privileges in Western Uganda, and several members of his Cabinet who hail from Bunyoro have ratcheted up pressure on Museveni to move forward with his proposal. Museveni’s apparent willingness to consider rewarding one ethnic constituency by disenfranchising many others reinforces concerns about his re-election strategy for 2011 and Uganda’s commitment to the transparent management of impending oil revenues” Sampson/WikiLeaks, 19.08.2009).

”Two other individuals of note reportedly also spoke at the August 15 Bunyoro Symposium: the Bunyoro Kingdom’s spokesman Henry Ford Miriima and Presidential Advisor on Land Issues Kasirivu Atwooki. In recent days Miriima has advocated for taking President Museveni’s “ring-fencing” idea even further, arguing that non-Banyoro living in Bunyoro should assimilate into Banyoro culture and adopt the Banyoro language of Runyoro” (Sampson/WikiLeaks, 19.08. 2009).

Tension because of Museveni’s plan to “Ring-Fence” Bunyoro:

“Tensions between the Banyoro and “immigrant” populations in Bunyoro have been simmering for some time. President Museveni’s memo significantly heightened these tensions by elevating them to national prominence. Explanations of why Museveni seized on the Bunyoro question now, after more than two decades in power, focus on two topics: elections and oil. Using Uganda’s 2002 census as a guide, one local news magazine noted that the Banyoro are in fact not marginalized and that ethnic Banyoro hold 10 of the 14 parliamentary seats from the four districts that make up the Bunyoro Kingdom. Although Banyoro appear to be the largest ethnic group in these districts, they do not hold a majority. Restricting elected offices to only ethnic Banyoro would therefore disenfranchise a majority of the population resident in these districts” (Sampson/WikiLeaks, 19.08. 2009)

“Captain” Mike Mukula, disgraced former Ugandan Health Minister and current National Resistance Movement (NRM) vice-chairman for eastern Uganda, warned that the 2011 presidential elections will be worse than the deeply flawed 2006 presidential contest. Mukula, whose political reputation was battered by the 2006 Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) scandal, said the September 10-12 riots provided a brief preview of one potential election scenario. He also said President Museveni’s popularity was decreasing within the NRM, and speculated that Museveni may be interested in setting up his son, Muhoozi, as dauphin. Mukula said Museveni ultimately listens to only two countries – the U.S. and the U.K. – and urged the U.S. to pressure Museveni to reinstate presidential term limits. Mukula himself, however, hopes to run for president in 2016″ (…)”Mukula lost his Cabinet post in 2006 and was briefly imprisoned in 2007 after being accused of diverting USD 1.5 million from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) program to NRM coffers. Describing himself as Museveni’s “fall guy,” Mukula blamed his involvement in the GAVI scandal on Museveni’s need to placate international donors concerned about corruption, and his own rising popularity as evidenced by a newspaper poll that listed Mukula as more popular with the NRM faithful than the President” (…)”Now the NRM’s vice-chairman for eastern Uganda and a key member of Museveni’s re-election campaign, Mukula complained that there is no separation between the NRM and Ugandan state institutions. He called the military Uganda’s “fourth estate” and said Museveni regards the army as his personal political party. Mukula highlighted the complete dominance of Museveni’s Banyankole ethnic group throughout the government, military, and business community, and asserted that the NRM now serves as nothing more than platform for the President, springing to life only during election campaigns” (…)”Bukenya, an ethnic Baganda, as the NRM’s most popular leader. He said Museveni kept Bukenya on as his Vice President to keep tabs on Bukenya’s potential presidential ambitions” (…)”Mukula said the recent political moves made by Museveni – from pandering to ethnic Banyoro along Lake Albert (ref. A), to the recognition of the Rwenzururu Kingdom in southwestern Uganda and the decision to support the minority Banyala’s quest for autonomy from the Buganda Kingdom (ref. B) – were all designed to obtain the two percentage points needed to push Museveni from 49 to 51 percent during the first round of voting in 2011” (…)”Mukula said Museveni was increasingly patterning himself after Robert Mugabe and wants to position his son, Lieutenant Colonel Muhoozi Kainerugaba Museveni, as his eventual successor. Muhoozi returned from the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College in mid-2008 to assume command of the new Special Forces, a still-murky component – or potentially entirely separate unit – of the praetorian Presidential Guard Brigade comprised of all the PGB’s elite, technical, and specialized non-infantry capabilities. Noting that Muhoozi may still be too young to mount a credible presidential bid in 2016, Mukula again volunteered that he had presidential ambitions of his own for 2016” (Sampson/WikiLeaks, 23.09.2009).

The Oil-deals between ExxonMobile/ENI/Tullow/Heritage Oil Company with corruption and deals made with the Ugandan Government:

“A December 17 report by the External Security Organization (ESO), which Intelligence Coordinator General David Tinyefuza allegedly forwarded to President Museveni, says Security Minister Amama Mbabazi is “eyeing” a $200 million commission for securing a deal between Heritage Oil and the Italian firm ENI” (…)”confidential Ugandan intelligence report on negotiations between Heritage Oil and the Italian oil giant ENI (see attached document and reftel). Tullow has previously expressed concern that ENI is using illicit payments to Ugandan officials to obtain government authorization for purchasing Heritage and depriving Tullow of oil holdings in Lake Albert” (…)”The report says western governments – including the U.S., U.K., Sweden, and France – oppose the opaque ENI deal, that Tullow hopes to sell 50% of its Ugandan holdings to ExxonMobil, and that ENI offered Ugandan officials facilitating an ENI-Heritage agreement a $200 million “commission” (…)”The report claims that Mbabazi is using a front company belonging to the European owner of Asante Oil, and that ENI representatives distributed “fat envelopes” to a number of visitors – including Energy Ministry officials, representatives from the Office of the President, journalists, and Bunyoro Kingdom officers – while installed at a safari lodge in Murchison Falls National Park close to where drilling has occurred. NOTE: EconOff witnessed ENI’s presence at this lodge during a trip to Murchison in early December. END NOTE. Much of the report highlights ENI’s Libyan ties and accuses Qadhafi of funneling money to the Bunyoro and Buganda Kingdoms to destabilize the Museveni regime. The final two sections of the report purport to “show how ENI corrupts a country’s leadership and forces them to take unpopular selfish policies,” and the “dangers” of an ENI/Libya deal” (Sampson/WikiLeaks, 13.01.2010).

Continuation of Mbabazi and Government involvement in Oil-Deals:

“We believe Mbabazi is positioning himself for a significant payoff, but the security report is undermined somewhat by Tullow’s apparent involvement in its drafting. In December, ExxonMobil said it lacked concrete evidence that its Ugandan interests have been harmed, but noted that ENI’s involvement has had a negative impact. If the Heritage-ENI sale proceeds unchanged, it will significantly reduce the value of Tullow’s Uganda holdings, zap ExxonMobil’s interest, and put Uganda on the road to rampant oil sector corruption” (Samson(WikiLeaks, 13.01.2010)

“President Yoweri Museveni has ordered the freeze in order to protect the rights of locals, whose tenure continues to be threatened by the influx of business people interested in the oil-rich land, Stephen Birahwa, a lawmaker representing Bulisa told Dow Jones Newswires” (WikiLeaks, 29.05.2011).

Peace!

Links:

Richards/WikiLeaks – [OS] UGANDA/ENERGY – Uganda imposes oil land ban – FRANCE/UK/CHINA (06.06.2011), WikiLeaks, Link: https://wikileaks.org/gifiles/docs/31/3161601_-os-uganda-energy-uganda-imposes-oil-land-ban-france-uk.html

 

Sampson, Aaron & WikiLeaks – MUSEVENI MIXES TOXIC BREW OF ETHNICITY AND OIL IN WESTERN UGANDA (19.08.2009), WikiLeaks, Link:

https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA946_a.html

 

Sampson, Aaron & WikiLeaks – UGANDA: NATIONAL RESISTANCE MOVEMENT INSIDER SEES TROUBLE AHEAD (23.09.2009), WikiLeaks, Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09KAMPALA1096_a.html

 

Sampson, Aaron & WikiLeaks – UGANDA: SECURITY REPORT DETAILS OIL SECTOR CORRUPTION (13.01.2010), WikiLeaks, Link: https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/10KAMPALA19_a.html

 

WikiLeaks – UGANDA: MUSEVENI AND KABILA DEFUSE BORDER TENSION (21.05.2008), Link:https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/08KAMPALA674_a.html

 

WikiLeaks – UGANDA: CORRUPTION SCANDAL’S POLITICAL RAMIFICATIONS (29.05.2007) Link:https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/07KAMPALA909_a.html

Teachers pay of June – inadequate yet again

I have address yet again inadequate salaries for civil servants in Uganda. This is become a norm and fashion. Once in a while I address this and use different sources to validate the madness of little pay that this loyal subjects and workers in getting measly pay, and sometimes waiting for months on end. So today after seeing yet another NTV Uganda clip. I had to research a bit and here is how the situation looks like. Beginning with the teacher Norbert Agola Opira and his story!

Norbert Agola Opira is a teacher and also a representative at the Uganda National Teachers Union or UNATU. He was credited for his work as a teacher in Uganda with the amount of 10.000 UGX (NTV Footage). His colleges wondered if he had answers since he was their representative. Here is what Norbert Agola Opira says: “They ask me, what are you doing?” (…)”For you are not doing anything, your cutting our money and you’re not helping us” (…)”How can somebody get 15.000? How can we survive? We would never and should never get that money” (NTV Footage). He continues: “This school we’re about 10 teachers close to 15 and another two goats 20/20” (NTV Footage).

Dorothy Baluka who is the Co-Ordinator in Uganda Natonal Teacher Union says: “We have Kabale District, We have Kasese District, we have Serere District, all this districts are being affected with underpayment of salary, no payment of salaries” (…)”We are going to follow up with accounting officers of KCCA to find out what could have been the route cause” (NTV Footage).

This footage came on the 7. July, but the Samuel Eitu the Head of Human Resource in the Ministry of Civil Service on an meeting in Gulu on 30. June 2014 offered this:

“ I though the system had a little problem at the beginning, it should not be an excuse for the teachers and health workers’ salary to be delaying. He says that the accounting officers will have to play their role well to ensure every single individual is paid.” (…) “that with the decentralized payroll system, the chief administrative officers and town clerks will have to ensure that they correct all irregularities that come in regards to payment” (…) ” that even though one person is not paid, the accounting officers should not rest but seek to clarify the matter” (Ugandaradionetwork.com, 2014).

Isaac Newton Ojok the Vice Chairperson of Gulu District: “hat he hopes the ministry keeps to their work of paying the teachers and other civil servants. He noted that it is very unfair for someone who stays in a hard-to-reach area and is teaching genuinely to miss salary for over 5 months”(Ugandaradionetwork, 2014).

Patrick Ojok a tutor at Christ the King Teachers College in Gulu: “he has never got his salary since he was transferred early this year from Lira” (…)”he has been suffering with loans and has failed to meet his bills even though he has been working”(Ugandaradionetwork, 2014).

This report from the meeting found out that in Gulu 146 teachers was not getting their salarys and in Arua there were 350 teachers who we’re yet to get their salary in from different months since January (Ugandaradionetwork, 2014).

While this is happening the Finance Ministry spokesman Jim Mugunga that civil servants would now have to use public institutions to loan money. He is also quoting a letter from the ministry: “The Government has stopped making monthly loan deductions on salaries of public servants, effective July 1. It has withdrawn loan codes from its payroll”. Also saying: “ some financial institutions even made deductions on accounts of public officers who did not have loan obligations,” the document read, without naming the institutions involved” (…)”The ministry does not want to be associated with this fraud.” (Masaba, 2014).

James Tweheyo the spokesman of UNATU saying “their members would have to rely on the mercy of chief administrative officers (CAOs) to recommend them for salary loans” (…)”noted that the assistance of the CAOs would not be effective for teachers because they often get transferred from one district to another, without consultation“ (Masaba, 2014).

Joseph Sewungu the Kalungu West MP says of the matter: “A teacher’s salary is the only security he has to secure a loan. But if they are denied this security, it will be bad for them” (Masaba, 2014).

Daniel Nsibambi the former Stanbic bank spokesperson says: “If the rate of getting loans reduces, economic activities slow down and the economy suffers. The Government is the leading employer. I hope bankers find a way to continue giving out salary loans” (…)” They will find it hard to secure loans since they have to produce evidence and assurance that they will be able to pay back the money” (Masaba, 2014).

I wonder how the tale continues, but for sure, the civil servants and their salaries are sure a hot topic and also something that has to be addressed. Since it’s the livelihood of so many people and I have already had some post in this year. This doesn’t look like its stopping. Time will tell.

NTV Footage:

Links:

Semakula, Joan and Masaba, John – ‘The finance ministry has stopped undertaking salary loan guarantees for public servants’ (05.07.2014), New Vision Uganda – Link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/657223-gov-t-stops-guaranteeing-bank-loans.html

UgandaRadioNetwork.com:  Govt To Pay Teachers Salary Arrears On June 30th Link: http://ugandaradionetwork.com/a/story.php?s=64626

By David Sejusa – Letter: LOOMING WAR AND GOVERNMENT COVER UP: Government agents target civilians to scare population

Fellow Ugandans

I greet you all.

RECENT HISTORY

Sometime back, I warned the country about Uganda reverting back to a catastrophic war. I did this far back in 2012, following the rampant murders in villages which were being stage managed by criminal state agents in order to frame some political leaders. Those who have short memories, however, tend to gain nothing from the lessons of history.

As many of you have noticed, serious instability is creeping back into the country. I see government trying to spin and down play these attacks going on around the country. In 1980s, the UPC government spent precious time trying to spin itself out of the NRA war. As they say, the rest is history. The spinnng did not stop NRA from winning that war.
CREEPING INSURGENCY
This threat is real and we all need to take it seriously. Indeed, this time round, Ugandans have a choice to stop this creeping war. Those in government need to heed the call of the opposition groups and immediately introduce the desired changes, for example:

1. Mr Museveni Ruling himself out of the coming 2016 elections

2. Retiring his family clique from the Uganda military and other security services.

3. Creating a transitional arrangement to work on credible reforms which can lead to a free and fair election

4. Release all political prisoners incarcerated in various prisons, both civil, military and safe houses

5. He must enter into talks with all groups in the country to see how this creeping instability can be avoided and get a way forward on serious engagement with all groups, political, religious, cultural, farmers, investors, civil society and other stake holders. This means a national conference beyond politicians, for Uganda belongs to all.

6. Allow free movement and activities of political leaders from all parties in the country without delay

7. Withdraw UPDF from South Sudan to avoid serious destabilisation of Uganda and the region in general.
These demands have been put forward many times by the opposition and other leaders in the country, only to be met by arrogant ridicule from Mr Museveni.

THE PEOPLE ARE SACROSANCT AND ALL POWERFUL.

Country men and country women, we need to understand that if issues of governance are not handled well, they will lead to unnecessary bloodshed. No one should deceive you that Mr Museveni is too strong to be defeated. No government can defeat a popular resistance. It is easy to make Uganda ungovernable and quite unappetizing to those deceiving themselves. Once people are denied their rights and loose hope of possible peaceful means, they tend to revert to despsrate means.
Even this question of thinking that every political group resisting oppression is terrorist or Islamic and therefore a fundamentalist outfit is a mistake. To think that every group that tries to oppose misrule and rampant corruption in these near failed states is terrorist is self defeating. In 1940 and 50s, after the second world war, when Europe had become a savage continent, many liberation forces in the former colonies allied themselves to communist Russia and China and other socialist contries in the world like Yugoslavia. This was quite interesting. For, few of these groups really understood Karl Max’s Communist Manifesto, Das Kapital or Friedrich Engles Dialectical Materialism etc. In anycase, i doubt they would have understood them. So why did these new liberation movements go to communist countries even when they didn’t aspire to communism? Actually many in these new movements were forced to declare that communism wasnt fit for Africa and adopted the so called “African Socialism”. So why? Mainly for two main reasons; the first in my view was the question of MEANS. The Revolutionary means of these communist countries resonated more with new revolutionary liberation movements ideology than the colonial Western Europe.
The second was the easy supply of means to wage war. ARMS. Perhaps, are we seeing many groups allying themeslves to radcal Islam just like it happened then. If this be the case, we need to seriously study the implications.
The question I am raising here is the usual mistake of always recruiting for the enemy Are the people in charge of the current state of imperialism and inequality in the world inadvertently pushing decent and genuine liberation struggles into the fold of extremists? We need to study this because at the current rate, even a school strike for better food at a university is called terrorism by these African dictators and the Western governments buy into that. This needs to be reassessed. Allowing dictators to use fake terrorism songs will complicate matters. It merely radicalises decent political dissent and makes the world more insecure.
Faced with this choice of means and confusion as to the identity of these groups, the groups need to help themselves by not targeting civilians in their struggles for emancipation. These forces which aspire for genuine change must clearly know THAT THE RESISTANCE FORCES MUST ALWAYS SAFEGUARD THE LIVES OF THE PEOPLE AND THEIR PROPERTY. THIS IS A SACRED AND INVIOLABLE CORNER STONE FOR ALL PEOPLES STRUGGLES.

GOVERNMENT UNDERHAND METHODS,
I understand government agents are starting to kill civilians and turning round to claim that these killings are being done by groups they claim to be terrorists, tribal militias or other incredible, and even laughable labels that they are manufacturing by the day. This is intended to scare the population so that it can be mobilised against the rebellion now mushrooming around the country. This is not only diversionary, but also criminal. Simply put, the problem won’t go away. This is just the beginning. And, things will only get worse, unless those in charge put aside their arrogance and heed our call for urgent reforms. They need to do this before it is too late.

I wonder if Mr Museveni really knows what is going on in his own security institutions, or has he been rendered powerless by the very monster he created, i.e., personalised rule? It is because the officers who give him intelligence are the same arch criminals who need to cover their tracks. With no functioning systems, you wonder what information the head of state depends on to rule the country. Otherwise, how can he not see the danger he is putting the country into and himself? Not that it matters much though, because either way, he, Museveni, is personally responsible.

THE BOTTOM LINE FOR US IS THAT attacks against civilians ARE NOT permissible under any circumstances. And Ugandans must start taking government to task to come clean on these murders. In 2011, 2012 and 2013, the state sponsored machete wielding killers in many villages in Buganda. The intention was to frame Prof Gibert Bukenya and a few others at the time. These included some senior Baganda army officers. Some of us came out then and warned the country as you remember. Though the government retreated a little at the time, the same leaders are still in charge and their treacherous games continue.

WAYS AND MEANS

With the new situation quickly developing in the country, the opposition need now to seriously start discussing the question of ’Means to propel ther war of libearion’. This debate cannot be put off any longer. We need a consensus on this singular issue.

The key issues to discuss here are the following:

USE OF VIOLENCE AS A MEANS

Under this, there are those who oppose violent means as a principle. These fall under the category of pacifists. These say, they are willing to fold their hands when their liberties are being trampled on. These believe in the notion of “turning the other cheek”.
For these, the question of means is a moral issue.

The other category is of the people are who are opposed to violence, not because it is evil, but because the objective conditions for it are still lacking. These look at violence as a means to an end. To them, it is permissible to use violent means if they will end the suffering of a nation. These are exponents of nonviolence as pragmatists, not moralists. To them violence is means of last resort.

The third category is of “anarchists”. This is not in the classical sense of anarchism as a political ideology, but rather people who do not adequately weight the options available to them before reverting to violent means.

The other category is of idealists. These hope for God’s intervention, like he did for Moses when he crossed the Red Sea. And we have many of these. They have forgotten the old truism that “God helps those who help themselves.”

The last category is of those who are mentally and morally weak. They know the right thing to do, but they lack the guts. They dare not face hot iron, especially the one aimed in anger! To these, I have no quarrel, for I have no mirror to look into men’s hearts.

I therefore request Ugandans to fully engage in this debate because the country is already at the crossroads.
The urgent question to answer is – what should be done when a government stops all peaceful means for those who do not agree with it to organise? What options are left?

What should be done when a regime resorts to violent means to quell peaceful political actions?TREASON FOR DOING NOTHING

Is doing nothing not treason itself? 
President Theodore Roosevelt, the 26th president of Untied States once said “…to announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public”

Therefore, to all those who advocate that we fold our hands and do nothing, I ask of you – how can we do nothing, while the president of Uganda is abrogating the constitution for which millions sacrificed their lives to put it in place? How can we do nothing, when a president is looting the country and, in effect, enslaving all our children and grandchildren to the yoke of debt repayment, when a president is destroying all the systems and structures of the state which will inevitably lead to instability and loss of life, when a president commits a country to endless wars with no accountability whatsoever to lives of the soldiers being killed and the money being spent on these megalomaniacal enterprises, when poverty and hunger overwhelm an over taxed population, when a president turns a country into a family enterprise, when a president starts using a national army as herdsmen on his numerous cattle farms, when a president orders the introduction of “pass laws”, like was in apartheid South Africa, for political leaders who are peaceful citizens, when extrajudicial killings become rampant? (Note for example, that Mr. Kalungi was found innocent and released. So who killed Hon. Nebanda? Similar?)
Then doing nothing is not only “morally treasonable but is criminally culpable”.

Therefore, some of us refuse to do nothing. It is now the choice of each one of you to take a stand and save your country, or watch it as it slides into war.

MR MUSEVENI’S REGIME IS WEAK, WHY?

ECONOMY

1. When he liberalised the economy, he destroyed the source of public income on which dictators would normally rely. Hence, Museveni’s current economy cannot sustain a prolonged war. Because his foreign backers cannot sustain it, nor can his private army of looters.

2. By nature of the Museveni dictatorship, which is family based, also based on nepotism and patronage, it is not resilient in the face of a determined opposition. Simply put, he has no one to die for him. Such a system does not rely on merit but on blind loyalty. And when you put it to test, it will crumble, like the army of Idi Amin n 1979.

3. Mr Museveni’s dictatorship has been helped by a deceptive peace which has allowed foreign investment to thrive, the fact that its benefits don’t benefit the ordinary person notwithstanding. With determined, well commanded resistance, there would be no economy even to feed his few thieves. Foreign investment would end. It is worth noting that the Ugandan economy is not resilient in any fundamental way, because of lack of a viable middle class, but most especially because it is cushioned on purely speculative political rewards of the ruling class and with no production linkages. For example, production levels in the country is back to the levels of 1970s when Idi Amin was president. Mr Museveni cannot sustain a prolonged conflict.

4. The army, which Mr Museveni relies on, is fed up. It is a captive militia force garrisoned by a small clique of carefully chosen soldiers under his son and brother. For instance,in very single month , not lesss that 152 soildiers desert in each Division. There is ofcourse no urge to report because the questions you will face are too dangerous as the poor senior fellows are falling over each other to have access to that Ghost money.
Such a force cannot be able to guard every inch of Uganda, every junction, every bridge, every police station, every inch of the road in the country to avoid ambushes etc.Armies move of morale and stomaches, in UPDF both are in deficit.
5. Intrugue, treachery and injstice in the forces and other state organs.
6. The population: This should perhaps be put at no 1 for it is key to holding power by any regime. And the population is no longer with Mr Museveni.

EARLIER REBELLIONS:

Mr Museveni has fought insurgencies since 28th August 1986 when 28 battalion under comrade Jet Mwebaze (RIP) was attacked at Bibia by UNLA forces who had retreated to South Sudan. Since that time, 27 groups have fought against Mr Museveni’s government at one time or another So why did all these rebellions not succeed?

This was due to three main reasons;

IDEOLOGICAL
The first reason was lack of ideological clarity. Many lacked a national character, became tribal and targeted the population instead of protecting the people, they fought the very people. A popular resistance cannot afford to be anti-people.

LOCALISED,
The other reason also related to the first of ideology was the fact that all of them were localised in their TRIBAL areas. For example when the people in the north were fighting, the south was peaceful. So was the east. When the people of Kasese and western Uganda were fighting, Buganda was peaceful. Etc. They failed to generate a national consensus based on generally agreed positions which would cut across their parochial interests. They failed to realise that they needed a well-coordinated resistance in all parts of Uganda. From Moroto to Kabale. From Oraba to Bundibugyo., in the centre, north, south, west, east. If they had done this, there was no way Mr Museveni would have survived.

STILL POPULAR

The third reason was the fact that, although NRM had short comings at the time, it was not yet an outright dictatorship like now. People were ready to give it the benefit of the doubt. This now is no more.

OTHER REASONS
There are three other major reasons why Mr Museveni cannot win this new war simmering over the horizon. But to this, I intend to return in my next communication. Things like the overstretched UPDF, the regional and international imperatives, a weak economy, a hungry and angry population..

Therefore, even to those who are still close to Mr Museveni, especially those who have investments and other interests, it is your duty to save him and yourselves.
HUBRIS,as a mental condition is real. It is scientifically proven. That is why dictators play god and consider themselves infallible and immortal. Yet they are mere paper tigers.

APPEAL
My last word on this goes to my brothers and sisters in UPDF, UGANDA POLICE FORCE and other SECURITY AGENCIES. What side will you be on? Are you going to side with those who are desecrating the memory of those who perished in the struggles to free Uganda? The struggles of your own fathers and mothers, who fought for this liberation? Where are you going to stand in this contest? The side of the people who sheltered us, housed us, protected us and died in millions for the noble cause of a FREE TOMORROW or those bent on a treachereous unconstitutional road of turning Uganda into a POLITICAL MORNARCY?. The choice is yours. But remember, to those that much is given, much will be asked. The people of Uganda trusted you with their lives. To them you will be required to account.
MORE! . I hope and trust that when that hour arrives, you will not be found wanting at this critical time in our history. Uganda calls upon you again to stand on its side as your gallant and noble founders envisioned. There are many ways of struggle. See where you fit according to your station.

The struggle continues

Gen David Sejusa

FREEDOM AND UNITY FRONT