Uganda: Over Hundred CSOs Express Concern over Islamic Development Bank’s Financing of EACOP (22.09.2022)

National Unity Platform (NUP): Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine – Statement on the Resolution of the European Parliament on the Violation of Human Rights linked to Investments in the Oil Pipeline (21.09.2022)

Bank of Uganda (BoU): Government has not failed to pay Bank of Uganda (20.09.2022)

National Environment Management Authority (NEMA): Clarification on information concerning the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (EISA) Reports for Oil and Gas Projects in Uganda (19.09.2022)

Opinion: The EACOP is no bargain

This week there been new talks of the East African Crude Oil Pipe Line (EACOP). That comes after the European Union Parliament came with a Motion, which reflect dire concerns about it. The EACOP pipeline will go from the Lake Albert Basin down to Port of Tanga in Tanzania. It is a joint venture deal, but the one who has the most leverage is the French Company Total. While EACOP itself is a United Kingdom based corporation.

The others with smaller stakes are the Uganda National Oil Corporation (UNOC) and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC). Not to forget the even smaller ownership of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. So, it is not like the EACOP or the drilling of petroleum is done by solely Ugandan ownership either. Not like Tanzania has a huge stake in it either.

Yes, CNOOC and Total will pay taxes and transport fees of sorts, which is normal for a pipeline to the respective nations. However, they are still able and licenced to drill or exploit the oil fields in the Lake Albert Basin. They are doing that and then later transporting the petroleum from Bunyoro to the coast of Tanzania, which is a long pipeline over vast different environments, which could cause harm or endanger it even. That’s only one thing in this enterprise.

The drilling and exploitation of the petroleum in Lake Albert basin and parts of it is done in Murchison Falls National Park. Meaning the ones with the licence to drill will do so in areas, which has already been facilitated to reserve the nature and the habitats of the species living there. In beautiful surroundings and unique as well. Therefore, the whole petroleum industry could cast a spell on the area as a whole. Especially, if there was something going wrong or an “accident” would occur, which could cause massive damage to the areas.

The EU Parliament Motion has been called “colonial” and “Supremacist” also said to block industrial development in East Africa. They are calling it undermining and saying the Europeans should mine their own business. Which is very ironic, when Total, the French company is the main investor and company involved. The lions share of it run by Total and not by anyone else. Before that UK businesses Tullow and Heritage had vast control of the licences to drill in Lake Albert Basin. So, it’s very weird to call one thing “colonial” and yet allowing the same “colonial” enterprises to run business there.

The Ugandans speaking ill of it. Should first ask for Good Governance and proper due diligence over the projects. The development done and the deals should be looked into. Because, little to none is public. Only the diplomatic papers and some shareholding or ownership details are known. The licencing deals for drilling is “secret” and the transactional parts of also under wraps. The same with registration and practically ownership of the UNOC and TPDC. They are not entities who is very open or transparent about.

That’s why when the minority isn’t transparent, and the Total company isn’t either. The grand public cannot know what is at stake. Who is getting a cut and who is really earning on it. Not like the monies or the credible profits cannot be siphoned. It is not like it is in the domain of the public or it has a knowledge about that.

That’s the making of the President and his Office. They have kept it all hidden for a reason. It is his business and not the citizens one. It is his “oil” and he can do what he likes. He don’t like nosy people and don’t want to be bothered with real questions. That’s why its been kept secret… and it’s deliberately so. Peace.

The EACOP Pipeline might have a harder time getting funding after EU Parliament Motion condemning it…

The East African Crude Oil Export Pipeline (EACOP) could face a new hurdle and delays. As there is not only a collective of activists and organizations working to stifle the options of funding the EACOP. The EACOP needs funding to be able to be built. The EACOP has to get funding from either Corporate Banks or Multi-National Institutions. The World Bank said in 2019 that it wouldn’t support it and neither will International Monetary Fund (IMF). Therefore, the EACOP needs to get $5 billion elsewhere to fund the building of it.

Because of the Motion today made by the European Parliament. I had to go back and find more new information into the EACOP. The EACOP haven’t been a steady operation or a quick fix. No, this has been a slow train moving. There has been slowly getting things in order and the it was only last year both Uganda and Tanzania had settle their negotiations. This is why it haven’t gotten further. The slow approach is also a reason why the EACOP is lacking funding and not being operational. The deadlines of the production, the exports and a possibly a refinery in Uganda has also been on hold. Therefore, the EU motion could only get into existence because of the slow movements from the Government of Uganda.

Take a look here…

EACOP Ownership:

The Tilenga oilfield, to the north of Lake Albert, will include operations within the Murchison Falls National Park, and is operated and owned 56.67% by TotalEnergies. The Kingfisher oilfield, at the southern end of the lake, is being developed by CNOOC which owns 28.33%, and Uganda’s UNOC, which has a 15% stake. The two projects are expected to start producing oil in 2025 and reach a peak production of 230,000 barrels per day, which will rank the Lake Albert oil fields as one of Africa’s top 10 oil projects. The shareholders in the pipeline are TotalEnergies (62%), UNOC (15%), Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation TPDC (15%) and CNOOC (8%)” (Tonderayi Mukeredzi – ‘Controversial East Africa oil pipeline moves one step closer to construction’ 25.03.2022, ChinaDialogue,net).

EACOP Funding:

The East African Crude Oil Export Pipeline, which will have a daily capacity of 216,000 barrels a day, will be funded on a 40% to 60% equity-debt ratio, according to UNOC, a partner in the project. The link is designed to move land-locked Uganda’s oil to international markets. The Islamic Development Bank became the first lender to commit funding to the project when it approved $100 million for EACOP at the weekend. TotalEnergies SE is leading development of the project with a 62% stake in the cross-border pipeline. UNOC and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. each have a 15% interest, and the rest is owned by China’s Cnooc Ltd” (Fred Ojambo – ‘Uganda expects all pledged funding for oil pipeline by end of November’ 12.09.2022, WorldOil.com)

EU Parliament Motion:

Calls for the EU and the international community to exert maximum pressure on Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities, as well as the project promoters and stakeholders, to protect the environment and to put an end to the extractive activities in protected and sensitive ecosystems, including the shores of Lake Albert, and commit to using the best available means to preserve the culture, health, and future of the communities affected and to explore alternatives in line with international climate and biodiversity commitments; calls on the promoters of the EACOP project in Uganda and Tanzania to resolve all disputes that should have been resolved prior to the launch of the project, and to take into account all the above-mentioned risks, threatening this project; urges TotalEnergies to take one year before launching the project to study the feasibility of an alternative route to better safeguard protected and sensitive ecosystems and the water resources of Uganda and Tanzania, limiting the vulnerability of the watersheds in the African Great Lakes region, which is a critical resource for the region, and to explore alternative projects based on renewable energies for better economic development” (European Parliament – ‘JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on violations of human rights in Uganda and Tanzania linked to investments in fossil fuels projects’ 14.09.2022).

We know the EU Parliament Motion is causing a stir in Kampala and Dodoma. There will be words and possible ramifications of this. The EACOP is mostly owned and run by the Total Energie and that’s French. So, the French or France, which is a Member State in the EU could suddenly apply more pressure on the French Petroleum Company. That would further delay and possibly stop the EACOP pipeline. Since, the pipeline isn’t majority owned by the governments of Uganda or Tanzania. This is why the condemnation of the EU Parliament matters.

Just like the activists and NGOs who is working on overtime pressuring banks and lenders to the EACOP. That in combination of the new policies of greener technology or following climate change programs within the World Bank (WB) or International Monetary Fund (IMF). The EACOP certainly needs lots of funding and fiscal funds. That’s why the EU Parliament condemnation can alter a lot and add pressure, which is even stronger than the activists or NGOs who is already running a marathon with it.

This pipeline is contested, not only because of the parties involved and the respective republic’s. No, it is because of the environments that the oil is drilled and where the petroleum pipeline route goes as well. Peace.

The Government own 11 trillion shillings to the Bank of Uganda [and out of that 3 trillion shillings in advances from the last financial year!]

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) are ruining the economy. They have a deficit financing that is revealing to deplete all funds and all sources of revenue. That’s why in the Leader of Opposition statement published on the 13th September 2022. The Leader of Opposition Mathias Mpuuga MP in his statement is showing a staggering issue of fiscal nature.

The Government of Uganda (GoU) or the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are now owning 11 trillion shillings. Out of those 11 trillion shillings, there is 3,03 trillion shillings it got in outstanding advances in the Financial Year of 2021/2022. Because of this, the Government of Uganda lacks fiscal funds to repay their own National Bank, the Bank of Uganda. It has taken money from one post to cover other posts, in advance, but it has no plan of returning these advances.

The addition trouble with this is that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has stopped releasing funds or loans to the Government of Uganda until these advances are paid. That is again hurting the funding of the Government and the operational funds of the state. Since the IMF will not cover the deficits or the lack of funds in the GoU. The GoU is running so low that it’s not able to repay their own advances, which it created from the BoU.

This just shows how dire things are… this is only talk of 3,03 trillion shillings. The GoU budgeted itself with a 25,78 trillion shillings in domestic revenue in the budget of FY 2022/23, but we can wonder if the GoU has any of funds to recover or to spend on the advances in question.

If you wonder what mismanagement and how destructive a debt-cycle is… it is becoming very eminent that the NRM and the GoU has stretched it out. They are not able to get or find sources for fresh funds. The state is not able to get enough domestic revenue to even cover the basics. That’s why they are even shortfall on 3 trillion shillings to the Bank of Uganda.

This should be depressing and be worrying, but it is just another day in the Republic. The Value of Money is gone. The money and funds are just missing. Loans for development projects, day-to-day activities are just gone in thin air and they have no plans to repay them. If the NRM and GoU does this to its own Bank. What is it doing to the Multi-National Banks and Monetary Instruments it loans from on the regular?

That should put shiver down your spine. This is a sign of a financial downturn, a sort of financial self-destruction and possibly re-structuring of old debt. Because, the state cannot even carry the advances it took out in FY 2021/22. Peace.

A look into Gen. Sejusa’s retirement speech

Today I will talk about and address a recent speech by someone who has stood tall, who has been in trouble and been attacked the by system. This is General David Sejusa aka Tinye aka Tinyefuza. A man who has warned the nation about “Project Muhoozi” and went to exile about it. This week after over two decades waiting for his official retirement. It finally happened and he even held a speech like Nobel. He could have walked out in spite or in anger. The General would have all the reasons to do so. His been violated, cascaded and been maliciously treated for his rebellion.

On the 31st August 2022, the day was finally there for Gen. Sejusa and he held a powerful speech. I will not look into all of it, but only a few titbits of it. He really spells things out, but in a manner of which is to be expected of a man who is held in high regard.

The first paragraphs that caught my eyes was these:

As it is normally the case many may wonder, the Gen Sejusa who has had runs in with the system and so on, how does he now represent these gallant officers? The answer is simple ; It’s because he belongs to the family and the family never breaks no matter the disagreements. There are four types of family which maybe summarised; The human family; The one of Adam and Eve and I, and the African Family, the Ugandan family and then the biological family under which all of us fall. The UPDF/NRA family falls under the Uganda family. The essence of family as a unit is for the survival of a species or that subject or object and for that family to survive, it must have the capacity to manage and withstand the disagreements and the contradictions within no-matter how fundamental they maybe or they may appear to be” (Sejusa, 31.08.2022).

Here the General is stating a vital point, but it’s like he haven’t seen what has happened to other dissidents. The General of the ages, a man I admire and aspire to his finesse of rebelling from inside. He surely have seen how costly it has been to disagree wit the NRA/NRM over the years. Gen. Sejusa must have seen that… and he must known the practices from the inside too. That’s why the ideals his speaking of is valid and sincere. However, we know damn well the practices towards outsiders and popular dissidents. It was for a reason why he only felt safe going into exile too after deciding to leak “Project Muhoozi”. The General didn’t do that out of nowhere, but because he knew what was waiting him…

Gen. Sejusa continues:

Freedom fighting is not a simple smooth enterprise where the lion may lie with the lamb as the bible says. It is a terrain that can be bumpy, thorny, deadly, meandering and dangerous. That’s why leaders who take on the role of fighting for freedom of the African peoples need ideological grounding to navigate this difficult terrain. Mr President, I thank you for the years we have been in these wars and nation building to see the strives which have been made. The African survival will depend on the leadership who acquire capacities to manage the difficult bottlenecks and contradictions” (Sejusa, 31.08.2022).

The words here is really compelling too. Gen. Sejusa says this with all of his heart. We know that he has challenged Museveni and his credentials. That’s why he stood by the side of Dr. Kizza Besigye at one point too. Gen. Sejusa knows what cause he fought for and what sort of state the Republic is in now. It is also obvious that he says the freedom fighting isn’t over and has to be fought for to this day. Because, he says there are bottlenecks and possible contradictions. Therefore, Gen. Sejusa states the mission isn’t over and to say that is an assessment of how the President has failed.

He further says:

I wish to thank the leadership who have since held this country together. It’s not easy for African countries to remain peaceful for 40years. It’s not easy. So it shouldn’t be lost anywhere despite our disagreements. As times change and political differences crop up, we get many revisionists. History must never be altered or rewritten and absolutely I am no revisionist my self. The NRA leadership, the chairman of the high command, Yoweri Museveni who led that war and the commanders who served under him achieved the un-imaginable. It was not easy” (Sejusa, 31.08.2022).

This here statement can be questioned, what sort of peace has there been since 1986? The North was burning for ages after the NRA took-over Kampala. Further, there been several of conflicts and usage of the army in civilian manner ever since. That’s why the peace that has been created is fragile and not really sustainable. The centre only holds because of the army and not only defending the nation against invaders. It is there to attack and intimidate the citizens. That is not revising history, but assessing the realities. The NRM cannot hold without the UPDF. That is a truth and this is why the President invest most into the UPDF. This is his bread-and-butter.

The last part I will quote is this:

Those still serving the UPDF, the mission to liberate Africa has never been greater and more urgent. So much has been achieved and a lot is yet to be achieved. We have like it is a case everywhere, new challenges, some are existancial; I pray that the leadership God gives it wisdom to navigate these hardships. Therefore continue training, use the opportunities being provided. Make sure that you deepen your ideological horizons. But above all love your Nation and always honour the people of Uganda. They are special people” (Sejusa, 31.08.2022).

Well, the mission of UPDF is this: ”To defend and protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Uganda, and the Constitution that encapsulates people’s sovereignty through popular will”. That’s why the liberation of Africa isn’t UPDF mission or the NRA in general. This is just the wording, which comes to play when you want to galvanize and make the causes more vital. While the UPDF is the national army and the army of nation, which makes the purpose to defend the integrity and the borders of the Republic from invaders. The UPDF isn’t there as tool or a means to salvage others. No, that is what leaders and envision other purposes for it.

The latest part of the paragraph is something that all in the UPDF should listen to, because it’s the other reason why they are there in the first place. The UPDF has to serve and love the nation, as they are defending it. That is just obvious, but a very nice sentiment.

Secondly, honour the people, meaning don’t extra judicial kill, torture or be part of the oppressive agenda, which we know the UPDF have been. If the soldiers and the ones serving is listening to Gen. Sejusa than they should actually stop doing this things, because there is no honour in injustice or impunity. Neither is it serving the people, if they are violating their rights and liberties. Therefore, the words matters and the UPDF should really honour the special people of Uganda.

Gen. Sejusa deserve praise and honour for his service. Also, for his defiance and his open rebellion against the state. That’s why the state punished him and didn’t let him retire for so long. This is why I have a soft spot for him. Even if he spoke in such manner towards Museveni yesterday. While I understand why he did it… Peace.

National Resistance Movement (NRM): The 4th Central Executive Commitee of the National Resistance Movement at its 10th Meeting (08.07.2022)

Opinion: Honourable Minister, 10.6 Billion shillings isn’t wired by an error…

Finance Minister Matia Kasaijja has admitted to irregularly paying out 10.6 billion shillings through a supplementary budget to six people as compensation for land that was taken over by the central government. However, the Minister told Members of Parliament that the then Lands Minister who is now the Inspector General of Government Beti Kamya did not have the powers to initiate the supplementary budget on behalf of the Uganda Land Commission” (NTV Uganda, 31.05.2022).

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija has admitted that the UGX 10.5 billion that was released to compensate land claimants was done in error” (NBS Television, 31.05.2022).

This is how not to run a government and wasting public funds. The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) are in-charge of the budgets and financing of the state. That’s why there should the grown-ups and technocrats who ensure the safety of every single transaction, also that the designation of votes on spending is correct and finally properly financed by domestic revenue. However, asking for that… is too much to ask.

This is not a direct error or a mistake, but a calculated risk to pay-off either someone or somebody. Because, nobody gets billions of shillings on their account by a mistake. Unless, the Minister and the MoFPED are so inept and so scrupulous that it has done this. Now his just claiming an error…

That is troublesome affair. Elsewhere, this would make an inquiry, committee report and the Minister would be suspended. Since he cannot function, act within protocols or the due diligence before processing the transactions in question. Because, there should be safety-nets, vouching for the payments or transactions before they are going out. So, that more than one person is checking if the accounts, the people receiving is correct and within the means of Ministry or Government institution in question. However, that is clearly too much to ask.

Minister Kasaija has failed in his duties, the same has the Permanent Secretaries and anyone allowing the transactions to go. The receivers are not at fault. That is the MoFPED and the ones who allowed it. There was people signing it up on it and allowing it. Therefore, the losses and the expenditure happened.

This is 10 billion shillings spent wrongly and dubious transactions, which should be a warning sign of how not to operate. However, this is just the ice-berg of what is happening. Since, if they can do this with 10 billion shillings and they are in-charge of trillions upon trillions of shillings. That’s why people should be worried what else is happening behind closed doors.

The Minister shouldn’t just call it an error, but it is a systemic default. It is a system and protocols which isn’t mattering at this point. If due diligence or procedures was followed. This shouldn’t have occurred in the first place. However, they didn’t care and could get away with it….

That’s why this is just a reflection of how the MoFPED and the NRM values money. There is no value of money, but only reckless spending without no thought about tomorrow. Peace.

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