Opinion: Onek and the bloated cabinet

That a minister is disgruntled and fell left behind is natural at some points of time. Governments and the Head of State has their missions, objectives and their pet-pees, which gets the blunt priority and usage of government resources. That’s why certain ministries, parastatals, government entities, commissions and such can all get lost in the whirlwind.

Now that Minister Hilary Onek is blaming Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja. That was inevitable. There are so many cooks and so few posts to do things. It is not like the President have made proper mandates or ministries. That’s why their so many who is Prime Minister’s and under the Office of the Prime Minister there are even more appointed ministers too. One of them just happens to be Onek who is a junior to the senior Nabbanja.

This squabble was about time. We could expect similar happening in the agricultural sector or educational sector for that matter. There are plenty of ministers in the same field. In combination of appointed permanent secretaries as well. The President have made this bed and only the ones eating of the plate and not complaining can be happy. This is the bridge to patronage and paying people for loyalty. Not because the state or the republic can afford to pay over 80 ministers, but it does…

Onek versus Nabbanja is just what that has to go down. Not because any of these are good bureaucrats or leaders of prestige. No, these are just sycophants who are hoping to get into the good graces with His Excellency. Just so they can have plum-jobs and get paid for the bare minimum. Not like they have to try or succeed. Unless, things falls apart and the President looks like a fool. Than you will be send packing and be made an example of. However, if you keep cool and eat the bread. The President will have you in his favours and that what most of them does.

Now we are at a place where Onek is disgruntled. He wants to be favourable and be respected. As he has a role and Nabbanja is playing within his field. While Nabbanja is also his boss in some manners. This is why this will be a loud fight. They will look stupid and possibly foolish. Some of their reasons might have validity, but this is the game that Museveni have given them.

There too many cooks in the kitchen and it just has to end up in disaster. The dish will taste like bland and lack of seasoning. There will be no clear direction and everyone will just encircle each other. This is why the state and the ministers are headless chickens running around trying to find their coop.

Onek might have something on Nabbanja, but in the grand scheme of things this doesn’t matter. They are both just running stooges of the President and not having the all powers invested in them. The President can just direct them on a whim and also decree their commission beneath them. So, it is not like their voices has power or massive ability. They should be happy to get paid and sleep in peace at night.

Nabbanja will be arrogant and not show any sort integrity. The current Prime Minister doesn’t have that in her. No, she’s the vocal voice of the government and she’s exposing her a lot. Because, she cannot govern and neither can she operate as an effective state official. It is not like she has the experience or skills of Mbabazi or Rugunda for that matter. No, she is just a figure-head and the majestic figurine on a sail-boat. That’s just her role and she can act like the governator.

Onek should just chill. Unless, he wants to be moved to another useless post or get appointed to become Special Envoy for Bolivia. We just know he has nothing to offer and should be grateful to even have a office to go to. Peace.

Minister Hilary Onek letter to Prime Minister Nabbanja (29.10.2021)

Uganda: Nationwide analysis finds Gulu, Jinja, Kasese worst affected by hunger during lockdown (07.10.2020)

For the rest of the year, Gulu and Kasese are expected to remain at Crisis levels even while their markets are supplied with harvests.

KAMPALA, Uganda, October 7, 2020 – Ugandans in nine urban areas were at Crisis levels of food insecurity or worse for months leading to August because of negative impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown. The worst affected of were Gulu, Jinja and Kasese where nearly one in three people struggled to find nutritious food on a regular basis.

For the rest of the year, Gulu and Kasese are expected to remain at Crisis levels even while their markets are supplied with harvests.

These were some of the findings of the most comprehensive Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis conducted in Uganda to date, covering Kampala and other urban areas, the Karamoja region and refugee settlements and host communities for the first time.

The analysis was carried out by the Government of Uganda and three UN agencies and measures food insecurity from June through August and projected from September to December. It was informed in part by real-time data gathered by remote telephone monitoring of households in 13 urban areas, refugee hosting districts and Karamoja region in the northeast. It is the first time, real-time data informed the IPC on urban areas.

The IPC attributed Crisis food insecurity to the loss of livelihoods in the informal sector, tourism, the travel and events industry and the education sector, reduced remittances and reduced commercial networks due to the closure of borders.

Releasing the results of the analysis, the Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Eng. Hillary Onek, said that the Government is committed to ensuring food and nutrition security and well-being for all people in Uganda, including those in urban areas.

Speaking while releasing the results of the analysis, the Minister for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Eng. Hillary Onek, said Government is committed to ensuring food and nutrition security and well-being for all people in the country, including those in urban areas.

“With these new findings, we now know, reliably, who the most food-insecure people are in Uganda, where they are and what we can do to save lives and preserve livelihoods. Such knowledge is critical before we take any decisions,” Mr Onek said.

“We thank our partners for working with us to come up with this very important analysis. We now must continue to work together to find solutions to the issues raised in the study,” Mr Onek added.

Currently, through a collaboration with the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the United Nations makes 10,000 calls a month to monitor food security in refugee areas, 12 urban areas and Karamoja region.

Using the real-time and other data, the IPC found that refugees in all 13 settlements in Uganda along with more than 1.3 million Ugandans in refugee-hosting districts and Karamoja region experienced Crisis or worse levels of hunger between June and August.

In Karamoja, all districts had worrying levels of malnutrition among young children and pregnant and nursing women, with malnutrition above emergency levels in Moroto and Napak.

The IPC attributed the high levels of food insecurity in refugee hosting districts and Karamoja to WFP’s ration cuts for refugees, the lockdown, floods and subsequent food losses, animal and human diseases, insecurity in some parts of Karamoja and reduced remittances as key contributors to the situation.

“Ration cuts for refugees will remain in place until we secure sufficient funding. To be able to provide full rations for refugees in the settlements until the end of 2020, WFP needs nearly US$15.3 million immediately,” said WFP Uganda Country Director, Mr El-Khidir Daloum.

FAO’s Deputy Representative, Ms Priya Gujadhur said “As part of the UN Uganda’s Emergency Appeal launched earlier this year, FAO has appealed for USD 7.8 million for food security, nutrition and livelihoods interventions. This will allow FAO to provide agricultural livelihood support and training in climate smart agricultural practices to help up to 10,000 of the most vulnerable households produce for their own consumption and diversify income sources through value chain development, thereby strengthening their resilience.”

Even with coming harvests this year, it is expected households will continue to struggle with food shortages partly because of lost incomes during the lockdown. All refugee settlements are expected to remain at Crisis level at best. Food security should improve in nine out of 12 worst-affected refugee-hosting districts. Malnutrition is expected to decline in two districts in Karamoja in the coming months.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, the Ministry for Disaster Preparedness and Refugees, Kampala Capital City Authority, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and WFP participated in the IPC analysis. The European Union, World Bank and UK Aid funded the exercise

“Scientific” Elections with 15 new counties: These MPs are touched by the changes

The second document released today on the matter

This is common at this day and age, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is carving out new districts and constituencies at a rate where the state functions are not in place. Neither the designated government services either. The only thing that get in place is the high ranking officials for the Parliament. The rest is left hanging and the district, sub-counties and parishes are left alone. Only the big-men eating in the capitol, while the province is starving.

This is the steady business model. Before every election this is happening. There is swift changes of constituencies and sub-counties. In a manner, where the electoral history of the area vanishes and the amount of voters gets squandered. It is all made to ensure possible rigging and tricking with the ballots.

What is interesting that the Cabinet are hitting certain areas. Where the MPs are less popular or where the President the constituency was erased from the map (Buhweju county). We have seen that in our day and now his carving that one out too. Just to secure a possible NRM MPs instead of opposition ones. That is just what he does.

MP Party Constituency
Keefa Kiwanuka NRM Kiboga East
Francis Mwijukye

Oliver Katwesigye Koyekyenga

FDC

Independent

Buhweju County
Hilary Obaloker Onek NRM Lamwo County
Baltazar Kasirivu Atwooki Kyamanywa

Onesimus Twinamasiko

NRM

Independent

Bugangaizi West

Bugangaizi East

Peter Lokeris Teko Aimat NRM Chekwi County
Jacob Oboth Marksons Independent West Budama County South (Mulanda Sub-County)
Nelson Lufafa NRM Buwekula South (Jinja Northern Division)
Tonny Ayoo NRM Kwania (Kwania North)
Moses Walyomu Muwanika NRM Kagoma County (Jinja district)
Matia Kasaija NRM Buyanja County (Buyanja East)
Peter Ogwang NRM Usuk County (Ngariam Sub-County)
Otto Edward Makmot NRM Agogo County (Agogo West)
Stephen Kangwagye Rwakanuma NRM Bukhanga County (Bukhanga North)
John Kamara Nizeyimana NRM Bukimbiri (Bufumbira North County, Kisoro District).

This here is my quick fix list of people hurt by the changes. This is the key MPs who will have changed constituencies or counties, which implicates their voter mass and their reach for ballot in the up-coming elections. Incumbents can struggle with the changes of carved districts. That has been proven before and could easily happen again in 2021. As the Parliament is ushering these in from next year. Just in time for the 2021 General Elections. Peace.

The first document released today…

Government and donors enable WFP to assist 1.2 million refugees and build local economies in Uganda (31.01.2020)

KAMPALA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) commends the Government of Uganda and all its donors for helping it to contribute to the basic food needs of 1.2 million refugees and their host communities across the country in 2019.

Donors and the Government of Uganda supported WFP to meet the basic dietary needs of refugees through monthly food or cash transfers. In addition, donors funded the treatment and prevention of malnutrition among refugees and Ugandans living around refugee settlements.

WFP was also able to support smallholder farmers to improve their yields and incomes while reducing food losses.

“The partnership between government, donors and WFP is vital to fight hunger and malnutrition in Uganda,” said El-Khidir Daloum, WFP Country Director. “The ability of donors to swiftly provide funding and entrust us to deliver assistance to those seeking refuge —often women and children fleeing unimaginable hardships—needs our heartfelt recognition.”

In 2019, WFP’s refugee operation received contributions from Uganda, Canada, the European Commission, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the United States of America.

Donors enabled WFP to help boost economies within Uganda by purchasing food locally. In addition, WFP strengthened its food and cash distribution procedures, including using biometrics to confirm identities in order to improve the accountability and integrity of the refugee response.

The government and donors helped WFP to expand cash-based transfers, reaching 35 percent of all refugees assisted. Cash allows refugees to choose what food they buy and stimulates economic growth in and around settlements. Cash also boosts government efforts to enhance financial inclusion.

Through cash-based transfers, WFP injected US$35 million into refugee settlements in 2019.

At the end of 2019, Uganda hosted 1.38 million refugees— the highest number of refugees in Africa. More than 67,300 refugees arrived from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan between July and December. Women and people under the age of 18 make up 83 percent of refugees.

They typically arrive in Uganda with little to no assets, leaving them heavily dependent on assistance. A WFP and government study in 2017 found that even while the government gives land and the UN and other organizations provide additional assistance, refugees remain vulnerable for years.

By meeting their basic food and nutrition needs, WFP and its partners enable refugees to begin a journey toward self-reliance and resilience in line with Uganda’s refugee policy.

Donors to WFP’s relief and development work in Uganda to support refugees and host communities in 2019 were: Canada (US$562,000), the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (US$16 million), Ireland (US$2.3 million), Japan (US$2 million), the Republic of Korea (US$7 million of oil and rice), Russia (US$1.5 million), Sweden (US$1.7 million), Uganda (US$2.7 million of rice), the United Kingdom (US$56 million), the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (US$3.5 million) and the United States of America (US$110.6 million).

Contributions also came from multilateral (US$2 million) and private donors (US$306,400).

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Opinion: Onek warns NRM supporters, but he should have warned the authorities!

Politics of violence will not take the country forward but back to the pre-colonial times and the country will be reminded of dictatorial regimes of past leaders. NRM government has done many good things for Ugandans and there should be no panic or worry about any Opposition politician because what the NRM government has done speaks volumes” – Hilary Onek

Let me be perfectly clear, the message of Hilary Onek MP and Minister is good in one way, but his target is the wrong people. The supporters of the National Resistance Movement (NRM) isn’t known for violence. It is the ones the NRM and the government hires to their bidding, which is violent.

The MP and minister should warn the Police Force, the Flying Squad, the CMI, ISO and the Army. The Special Force Command and everyone else involved in during the Election Road Map and the Campaigning of everyone. Those are the ones who attacks, use live-bullets, arbitrary arrests and tear-gas. This is known and is the Modus Operandi of the state.

Expect like during the 2016, the Local Defence Units (LDUs) will act like the Crime Preventers did back-then. They will intimidate and follow the opposition. The Police Force will monitor, close rallies and silence the opposition parties. They will hurt, damage, destroy and skirmish, in and around opposition rallies and consultation meetings. That is common practice. They will send police to raid party offices and confiscate electronic devices and documents. That is just what the government does.

So, Onek should have gone after the authorities, the law-enforcement and the ones ordering them around. They are the ones doing the election violence, the ones who uses brutal force against civilians. That is well known, but seemingly not addressed. Because, then he would challenge the State House and the “Orders from Above”. No one seriously inside the NRM would do that, then you end up like a rebel and get whipped out like some cold coffee.

Onek is right, but also wrong. Violence is no good. But, this regime is known for it. It is known for ordering violence and arrests on the opposition. It is known for using illegal means of silencing the opposition, while charging the opposition for any kind of crime in the book. That is just what it does to stay in power.

If Onek was right, he would have warned the authorities, but he doesn’t, he warns the civilians standing behind the banner of the party. The ones that has joined the bus. That they have to act careful and kindly, as they have done so much since 1986. So, they got nothing to worry about. Alas, that is not the case, but the ones we should worry about is the authorities and the law-enforcement. They are the one coming with the violence. Especially in a election season. Peace.

FEWS NET warns of worrying levels of possible malnutrition in Kaabong and Kotido districts!

The Famine Early Warning Systems Network published their March Update on Uganda on the 29th March 2019. What is says is very troublesome. Especially the main message. They not yet declaring famine in the region of Karamoja, but however, they are stating the warning signs as the lean season is hitting the region. Especially two districts are in troubling times.

This I will show with the statement from FEWS NET themselves and their classification. Even if it is only on level IPC 3, the famine is IPC 5 and IPC 4 is a Crisis. So, the region is close to danger and should get quick attention. To ensure, that the districts in question have the needs. The Ministry for Disaster Preparedness, Management and Refugees, should together with other agencies ensure the needs are met for the rising food prices. The FEWS NET is worried about the March to May, as they are thinking it could terrible levels. Even if forecast seems better between June to September 2019.

Here is the warning from FEWS NET. Take a look.

IPC 3:

Households either:

– Have food consumption gaps which are reflected by high or above-usual acute malnutrition;

OR

– Are marginally able to meet minimum food needs but only by depleting essential livelihood assets or through crisis-coping strategies” (FEWSNET – ‘ Integrated Phase Classification’).

In Karamoja, household food gaps continue to widen as the lean season progresses, driven by limited income earning opportunities and rising food prices. Sorghum retail prices in Karamoja reference markets remained above the 2018 average in February, but below the five-year average. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes prevail, mostly in Kotido and Kaabong. In bimodal areas, favorable staple food prices continue to sustain household food access despite below-average income from agricultural labor and seasonal declines in household food stocks, maintaining Minimal (IPC Phase 1) outcomes. Although prices are seasonally increasing, they remain below the 2018 average and near to below the five-year average” (FEWSNET – ‘Uganda Key Message Update, March 2019’ 29.03.2019).

This here should a warning, because the FEWS Net are usually right on the money. They have been in other instances elsewhere. Where their projections and their forecast has hit right on the money. The State House, the Ministry as mentioned and other agencies should start working in the region. Especially in Kotido and Kaabong district. As there it will be the most dire. That is if they even care about the possible heartache and lack of resources that is there. They need to shelter and supply with needed goods to secure the food security.

Surely, they will await it to come to levels of IPC 4 or IPC 5, when the districts are already in a crisis or in a famine. Because, acting before the first warning sign is to much to ask. To patch the hurt early, should be a main focus. But don’t count on it. Especially with the handlers and the politicians eagerly eating in Kampala, but forgetting the life up-country. Peace.

OPM Refugee Scandal: Reloaded!

You would think that the Office of the Prime Minister, who is in-charge of the Refugees in Uganda, would trade the waters carefully, after the last year scandal of thousands upon thousands of ghost refugees. Which the OPM and the state was cashing in on. No, no, no, they are having yet another scheme, as the government are planning to misuse the refugee crisis in the neighbour countries to their advantage. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have no trouble doing so.

The Prime Minister Dr. Rugunda Ruhakana has clearly not lost the touch of deception or lying to the International Community for a buck. Here is yet another scheme made up to make the numbers sky-rocket!

More than 1000 Ugandans living in areas neighbouring Kyangwali refugee settlement were forced to attain refugee status in order to retain ‘ownership’ of their land. The scheme was reportedly crafted by Charles Bafaki, the principal resettlement officer in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Jolly Kebirungi, the camp commandant Kyangwali refugee settlement area, in the newly created Kikuube district and Lutaaya Vianney from ministry of Lands” (URN – ‘OPM forced Ugandans to register as refugees in Kyangwali’ 02.01.2019, link:https://observer.ug/news/headlines/59562-opm-officials-forced-ugandans-to-register-as-refugees-in-kyangwali).

With this in mind, the government are putting lives in jeopardy, making the citizens play as refugees, and not being citizens themselves. Supposed to seek refugee in a camp instead of living their ordinary life. This in a way to get higher numbers of refugees and more need of aid to take care of them. If this isn’t misusing resources and also reckless behaviour against own citizens. Nothing is. This is what Steady Progress means in the NRM land.

The OPM are already known for inflating numbers, but now they cheating also by making Ugandan citizens into refugees. That is really ensuring the UNHCR and all agencies for fools. As the GoU and OPM have no trouble risking their own citizens as pawns in a scheme to secure funding. While, also using this scheme to scare locals of losing their land, if they didn’t play along. That is how far they take it.

No mercy, no problems ensuring suffering for people, as long as the OPM secures more funds to itself. Peace.

Joint Local Statement on the Uganda refugees’ response (14.12.2018)

UNHCR statement on the refugee response programme in Uganda (30.11.2018)

The UN Office of Internal Oversight (OIOS) audit report into UNHCR’s Uganda operation, released this week, contains findings that show clear gaps and weaknesses in risk management in a number of areas during the period between July 2016 and December 2017. The audit followed the massive influx of refugees from South Sudan in 2016 – mid 2017, when UNHCR’s staffing capacity in key functions and in remote locations was very low, followed by a rapidly expanded operation in the second half of 2017 with many new staff and partners.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is in the business of saving lives and protecting people. Maintaining the trust and confidence of our donors and of the general public is of utmost importance to us. A number of internal reviews and technical oversight missions had identified risky areas in the operation during 2017. UNHCR worked closely with the OIOS auditors, who came to Uganda in February 2017, identifying issues and providing information that was used in the audit. We have accepted the recommendations of the OIOS auditors and have been working to address them well before this report was issued on 27 November, including in conjunction with Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister.

Underscoring the urgency with which UNHCR was seized with these issues, the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, visited Kampala in January 2018 to assess the complex challenges being faced in the refugee response and meet with the government at the highest level. Amongst other measures introduced, he agreed with the Prime Minister to launch the verification exercise into refugee registration data just completed. He also upgraded the leadership of the UNHCR operation to manage these challenges. Various corrective measures have been put in place, supported by a plan for ongoing and future actions. There is continuous follow-up.

Measures we have taken to date include revising or redesigning and rolling out new Standard Operating Procedures for the reception of refugees, their registration, protection, assistance (food, non-food items – core relief supplies) and case management. The complaints and feedback mechanisms for refugees have been strengthened with a new inter-agency call-centre. We have also strengthened staffing in key operations functions, in particular with regard to reinforced capacities in oversight and management. These include the establishment of a senior post in risk management and compliance. Monitoring and reporting functions have additionally been reviewed, revised and enhanced.

In regard to road construction, an investigation is ongoing and we are pursuing a full recovery of funds from any project partners of concern. Allowances paid to civil servants are verified through attendance records and payment to individual bank accounts with overall responsibility lying with the government.

To address concerns about the accuracy of registration data, a countrywide biometric verification exercise of the refugee and asylum-seeker population was conducted between March and October 2018. The Government of Uganda is now committed to using the appropriate tools for continuous registration, which is their responsibility, and to ensuring the integrity of the registration process. The strengthened registration and case management systems will improve service and assistance delivery, including distribution of food. UNHCR is working closely with the Office of the Prime Minister in the roll-out of these new systems and jointly addressing obstacles that emerge in their practical application at field level.

UNHCR has also closely reviewed its monitoring of water delivery trucking in remote refugee settlements. We are doing top-to-bottom reviews of contracts, invoices and delivery verification before proceeding with any payments. Significant progress has been made in reducing water trucking, which is expensive, from 37 per cent in May 2017 to 7 per cent over the course of the year, following completion of several water schemes in Rhino, Imvepi and Palorinya refugee settlements in northern Uganda. With the new measures in place, we expect a further reduction to 5 per cent in December 2018.

The audit recommendations vis-à-vis partnership management, performance monitoring, procurement procedures, non-food item distribution and warehouse management are being addressed and toughened measures have been put in place, including with partner organizations and the Office of the Prime Minister, where these activities are jointly implemented. Progress will be reviewed regularly.

UNHCR has additionally established a high-level dialogue with the Office of the Prime Minister and other government authorities on the audit findings, including regarding recovery of funds as may be needed. Fuel cards and vehicle tracking have been introduced for implementation in 2019. A task force has been set up to review projects implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister. A preliminary report is due in mid-December.

UNHCR is determined to ensure the full integrity of the refugee response in Uganda and is addressing all issues identified in the audit report.

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