MinBane

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Archive for the tag “Kabale”

Opinion: What are they up to? Kuteesa and Kagame had a meeting in Kigali today.

There are reasons for why there is easy to speculate about the meetings and the secrecy of the ones involved. As there are only one official story. That Foreign Affairs Minister of Uganda, Sam Kuteesa brought a Special Message to Rwandan President Paul Kagame. We don’t more from this meeting, as it not recorded or transcribed. There are no record or no protocol. That is why we know so little about this. Just like we know little about the meeting last week between Kuteesa and Joseph Kabila in Kinshasa. 

The little we know from official Ugandan sources today is this: “Hon. Kutesa delivered a special message from President Yoweri Museveni to his counterpart. Mr. Kutesa had earlier met with Dr Richard Sezibera and congratulated him upon his recent appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community. They discussed issues of bilateral interest and pledged to work closely to broaden and deepen cooperation between Uganda and Rwanda” (Uganda Media Centre – ‘Hon. Kutesa delivers special message to President Kagame’ 25.10.2018).

We really don’t know what the cooperation or that Special Message was about, even if it was involving their mutual business and exports of minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Who knows right? Because there is no official communique, there are no minutes or protocol from this meeting. Even no statement of intent. The parties have been silent about it and the only message from Uganda is practically saying nothing.

Why I am thinking like this, it is only a week ago, this was the message from the meeting in Kinshasa between Kabila and Kuteesa:

Also, he reassured the military leaders of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda will use this meeting to solve the problems on Lake Albert to restore peace and security, and to allow the people of both countries to freely and peacefully conduct their fishing” (MediaCongo.net – ‘Un message spécial de Yoweri Museveni remis au Président Joseph Kabila Kabange’ 19.10.2018)

Whatever Kagame or Kuteesa was scheming isn’t easy to know, as the interests are there and they have all profited from the insecurity and the lack of building institutions and political stability in the region. Kuteesa could also ensure they are ready for action with Kabila.

We can wonder as the DRC are scheduled an election in December. That a new form of militia will appear “out-of-nowhere” from these nations to destabilize either in Ituri, South Kivu and North Kivu even more if they get lucky. That wouldn’t be surprising if there is coming weapons from Kisoro or Gisenyi in the coming future. If it would be familiar faces from FDLR/CNDP/M23 coming out of the wood-works too. That wouldn’t be shocking (!!). To create enough insecurity, so that the Democratic Republic of Congo has to postpone the elections again.

Because that would seem likely, as a major insecurity and use of militias to create troubles within the Kivu’s and Ituri. Would give Kabila a reason for even launching a “State of Emergency” and relinquish all power until it is over. Hence, stopping the need of the two year long postponement of election. As he is on overtime in his role the President. No one would complain if he had to fight a civil war to stay in power, especially not foreign sponsored ones from former allies. That he happen to meet just in mere weeks before they assembled on Kisangani, Bukavu and Goma. I wouldn’t be shocked if that is the next step.

At this moment, it is just my wild thoughts, which sadly enough isn’t far fetched. As there are enough of freed former militia men walking about and such. Right now this is just my mere speculations, as there are no official statement/communique/document from the meeting in Kigali today and nothing from the one in Kinshasa. But these gentlemen tries to keep thing low-key, but at a later date. It suddenly explodes. If there would be weird activity in Kabale, Rwenzori or in Gisenyi in the coming weeks. I wouldn’t be directly shocked. As the timing is perfect to secure a “valid” reason to postpone the election and ensure a new “process” for yet another election. Because Kabila feed of the insecurity and needs it. Since he has no legitimate power and kills of the activists and the sends the political operatives that matters into exile. Peace. 

BTW: I hope I am terrible wrong and out of line. That these meetings means they enjoyed some posho/ugali in each others company and served high quality tea afterwards. But there are often a reason for these meetings. I just start bugging when I don’t know why!

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The Sentry’s new report have been digging into the export of conflict Gold to the Gold Refinery in Entebbe!

The conflict gold trade sustains ruthless armed groups such as the FDLR and Congolese army units that commit mass atrocities, sexual violence, and other human rights abuses against the population of eastern Congo. It is critical that actors in the international community, especially global banks that trade gold and the consumers of gold, know the origins of the precious metal they are buying. More importantly, governments and companies need to take action against the corporate networks that traffic conflict gold and move it into the global economy” (The Sentry, P: 20, 2018)

Just as the Global Witness Report of June 2017 named “Under Mined” and United Nations Security Council Report from June 2018 named “Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo”. Today, the Sentry launched today the report named “The Golden Laundromat”. They are all digging into the illegal and sinister gold trade of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the possible money laundering scheme of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his brother Gen. Salim Selah. Who is both invested in this operation.

This report is again stating the fact and the reality with this trade. As the Sentry is proving new perspective to the matter. These being their analysis of the documentation of the operation and more into the Goetz business practices, which are vital for the export of these conflict minerals. They are showing the trail from the fields and mines in the DRC to the World Market.

Here is some quotes, which I think was worth taking a minute to digest:

According to interviews conducted and documents obtained by The Sentry, there is a significant risk that AGR sources conflict gold from eastern Congo, and that it imports illegally exported artisanal gold mined in eastern Congo. In 2017, according to documents reviewed by The Sentry, AGR refined and exported 9.3 tons of gold, although the company says it exported 7.7 tons. Several people involved in the trade of Congolese gold with direct knowledge of AGR’s operations told The Sentry that the company sources gold from conflict-affected parts of eastern Congo. Two prominent gold smugglers in eastern Congo acknowledged they sold illegally mined and trafficked gold to AGR from 2016-18, which two South Kivu-based traders confirmed” (The Sentry, P: 8, 2018).

Furthermore, there is at least reason to suspect that AGR buys gold. Trade insiders told The Sentry that AGR buys gold, and Goetz reportedly decides on the price paid to traders, as well as arranging terms and scheduling of payment. Ugandan export records indicate that AGR exports gold: it exported 9.3 tons of gold in 2017, although AGR says it exported 7.7 tons. Goetz’s original AGR project proposal sent to President Museveni in 2014 calls into question the company’s commitment to due diligence. In the document, Goetz, on behalf of Tony Goetz NV, states that AGR should attract gold from the region and that any gold traders who do not have official documents should be allowed to sell gold to AGR but pay a $500 penalty” (…) “From Uganda, AGR’s gold flows to other Goetz-controlled companies in Dubai. The DMCC was scheduled to audit another company in the Goetz network, Tony Goetz NV, in 2017, but no new audit report has been published. Despite the lack of an updated audit, Tony Goetz NV remains a Dubai Good Delivery (DGD) member today. It had passed the DMCC’s audit on responsible practices in 2015 based on its 2014 activities – before AGR was launched” (The Sentry, P: 13, 2018).

According to documents reviewed by The Sentry, Goetz sought the intercession of President Museveni in 2014 in order to gain a 10-year tax break for AGR. Three years later, that became a reality when President Museveni announced a pending zero percent tax rate essentially benefitting only AGR. This, in turn, potentially relates to a fourth FATF AML red flag that is applicable to the Goetz network: registration of a trading company in a tax haven even though its business relates to another jurisdiction. While Uganda is not a traditional tax haven, as a practical matter, it presently serves as one for gold refining since Uganda changed its tax structures on gold to attract gold companies” (The Sentry, P: 17, 2018).

What we are seeing as some would be shocked, other would see the deliberate action of the President to support and earn of the illegal gold trade, also ensure the business in Uganda. That the DRC can be used and illegally export the gold, where the business-partner are acting on behalf of the President that has made the arrangement for the refinery in Uganda. This has been done, while also giving AGR a tax-holiday, so that the production will not be taxed and neither able to follow ordinary customs. That means the President and brother together with Goetz knows perfectly well what happens from the DRC to the World Market. They are earning fortunes on the illegal gold trade and is single-handed securing the profits because of it.

The Sentry has done great work collecting the documentation for this and proving their allegations. As others has done to of late. They have extended their work and shown more meat to the bones. Making it a juicy stake. That is showing the acts of violence and killings in the DRC are benefiting the Ugandan President to this day. He is earning wealth on the misery of the Kivu’s, as they by doing this trade keeping up the in-security there. So, that the illegal gold trade can persist… and linger on.

President Museveni knows this and blames the MONUSCO still for being there to long. But his reach and his hands are in the cookie jar. As it has been since he supported Laurent Kabila to overthrow Mobutu. Peace.

Reference:

The Sentry – ‘The Golden Laundromat – The Conflict Gold Trade from Eastern Congo to the United States and Europe’ October 2018

DFCU Bank Attorney’s to Rajiv Ruparelia: “Re: Notice Before Legal Action” (05.10.2018)

Museveni’s tea math in Bushenyi doesn’t add up: Is Swazi Highland Tea as big as Mukwano?

We should be grateful that the Western Uganda and District of Bushenyi get some of the promised factories, that the President has pledged over the years. The promises of Tea-Factories goes back to campaigns in 2004 and I am sure if you dig more back. You could find President Yoweri Kaguta Musveni promising that while it was a British enclave. However, the propaganda from National Resistance Movement (NRM) doesn’t make sense today. Because the numbers game isn’t their strong-suit, that is why they are known for rigging elections, not winning them. Honestly, these numbers doesn’t add up.

I also toured Swazi Highland Tea Company Limited in Kisingo village, Kyamuhunga Sub-county owned by Africano Bakahwenkyi. The factory produces 50,000kgs of tea daily and employs about 350 staff. I then commissioned Global Village Tea of Hassan Bassajabala. The factory employs 620 workers and produces 20,000kgs of tea per day in a peak season. 60% of the production is got from the out growers while 40% is from the factory’s tea estate. I thank Bakahwenkyi and Bassajabala for understanding and implementing the gospel of wealth creation. Tea production has gone up. From one factory, you can now get the total tonnage of the amount of tea Uganda used to produce when the NRM had just come into power” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 26.08.2018)

Credible numbers:

In 1988, the government attempted to control tea prices, by doubling producers’ prices to Ush.20 (US$ 0.12) per kilogram, as an incentive to boost production. However, production remained below expectation. 13 ECONOMIC POLICY RESEARCH CENTRE – EPRC Uganda’s Tea Sub-sector: A comparative Review of Trends, Challenges and Coordination Failures For example, the 1989 output of 4,620 tonnes was below 1986 which was 5600 tonnes (NPA, 2007” Economic Policy Research Centre (EPRC) – ‘UGANDA’S TEA SUB-SECTOR: A COMPARATIVE REVIEW OF TRENDS, CHALLENGES AND COORDINATION FAILURES’, P: 12-13, September 2014).

Why I am doing this, is that these factories on top days are production in total 70 tons of tea. That is the words of the President. The total production in 1986 of tea in the whole of the Republic was 5600 tonnes.

If the numbers was peak season and all year from the one factory, that means they would be able to produce 50 tons times 365, which means 17,800 tons. That is more than, well, in 1986. But that is the top production. Which would be a staggering amount, as the numbers of production in total from the Uganda Tea Association was the total production 39,298,960 tons in 2017, that is all over the republic. Not only in Bushenyi district. As the top producing districts aren’t in Bushenyi, but in Kabale and Kanungu districts. Therefore, that Bushenyi would be able from one factory to produce 17000 tons of the total 39,000 tons is a bit of stretch, especially knowing that this isn’t the top producing area. That would mean the top producing areas only stands for 22,000 metric tons of tea, while Bushenyi on the one factory produces about 17,000 metric tons of it. Doesn’t that sound weird?

Why I find these numbers all weird is because on the Mukwano Group Company Profile of 2018, the well established tea producer, which is familiar and has produced tea at an established rate. Have these numbers:

Buzirasagama, Hiima, Munobwa and Kigumba Tea factories were built with a capacity of 220,000 Green Leaf or 53,000kg Made Tea per day. At Hiima and Kigumba there are two lines of Orthodox Tea manufacturing units with a production capacity of 20,000Kg Green leaf or 4,000 Made Tea per day. Green Tea, which contains high levels of anti-oxidants, is Rwenzori Commodities’ new product produced at the Kigumba factory with a production capacity of 1000Kg green leaf or 250 kg Made Tea per day” (Mukwano Company Group Corporate Profile of 2018).

With that in mind, Mukwano Group and with the amount of made tea when calculating is 53 tons per day times 356 days is equal to 18,868 tons of tea. When taking in account the numbers from Swazi Highland tea, which are 17,800 tons, means those two producers are making 36,668 tons in a year. That means these two companies are having most of the market and no one else. As the Uganda Tea Association numbers cannot have changed that rapidly. Unless, there been a rate of production that the East African or other media houses haven’t captured.

The President is right about the possible production in the factory, that it is larger than when he took power in 1986. But the total production and calculations doesn’t make sense to anyone. Unless, he has given Swazi Highland Tea, the same level of production as the Mukwano Group has already. Would that be true?

I just beg to differ, unless there been an unreported surge in tea production at levels that is beyond me and that last year was fluke. If so, kudos, if not, the 50 tons production at Swazi Highland Tea is a big as Mukwano. Would Mukwano be happy about that?

Peace.

Museveni: Tries to lecture the public on the supposed massive victory at the LC1 Elections, but he misses the mark!

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is insecure these days, since he is writing and typing like there is no tomorrow. Long time since he has written this much, could think he was running a president another term. Well, this is in defence of the Local Council Elections, which was recently held for the first time since 2001. That is showing how little it really matter, when the state cannot afford or care for the elections to be held for every term. They are hold whenever the state feels like it and the keepers of the LC1 can keep it until next scheduled election, which means over decades and close to two if they are very lucky.

So, President Museveni is lecturing, I am just taking my favourite passages, I don’t want to waste our time with bottlenecks and empty promises. Just so the pure venom of his words against his own people. While defending the so-called victory!

This massive win by the NRM is in spite of very active and sustained media demonization of the NRM by the social media users, the enemy paper, the Monitor, some Radio and TV stations, not to forget some elements in the opposition Parties. Some of the elements have even gone to the extent of murdering Ugandans – Sheikhs, women, children, State officials like Kagezi and Kaweesi as well as ordinary villagers like the ones murdered on the New Year. All those liars, charlatans and criminals thought that by these methods, they would make the People hate the NRM or fear to associate with it. These liars, charlatans and criminals forget two things. One thing they forget is that Ugandans, especially the village people, are not fools and they are honest. They are not easy to deceive. When you go to Acholibur, just South of Kitgum, where a new long tarmac road, all the way from near Packwach, passes and you say the NRM Govt has done nothing, the villagers can easily tell who the liar is. That is the same story all over the country. Secondly, these liars, charlatans and criminals forget that there is God who sees everything” (…) “Politically and ideologically, the parasitic groups use sectarianism of religion or tribes or promote gender chauvinism (looking down upon women, neglecting the youth). The pro- national groups counter with the four principles: nationalism, Pan-Africanism, social- economic transformation and real democracy of the masses like we saw recently in the Women and LCI elections. The venom of the unfair media and social- media attacks on the NRM exposes the intentions of some of these groups” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘Local Council election victories prove correctness of NRM ideology’ 16.07.2018).

You know that this is a bitch mode of Museveni, as he is blaming and calling media houses out. It is so common that he picks on the Daily Monitor, that if it wasn’t a big Foreign Investor who owned it, it would have been closed or raided. He speaks the power of his “democracy”, but blames certain parts of the opposition parties. That is not how it works, but in the mind of Museveni it does, because they are not loyal to his every whim. Everyone cannot kiss as Mwenda or even Opondo.

That he defends these victories in the villages and the securing the LC1 shows how weak the NRM is at this point, when they couldn’t have ballots or secret voting, but on the court yards of the villages, like it was peer pressure and the use of military was apparent in and around the country. The villagers aren’t fools, but Museveni still acts a fool. He thinks they are not tired of his ways and his attitude. Museveni uses these villagers as pawns of his power and his party, while forgetting, that the Electoral Commission didn’t field opposition candidates and neither are there a level playing-field, as the elections has been postponed and the meetings of opposition have been closed outlawed by the Public Order Management Act (POMA). So, when Mr. President speaks his heart of about democracy, maybe, just maybe, think of the grounds that the FDC, DP or UPC has to jump through, while the NRM can do as they want. Even ride in the Police Cars to rallies to stop FDC from doing it in the same village. That is how the “democracy” are in Uganda at this point and time.

That he calls them liars, have he forgotten how he had to use a Personal Armoured Carrier in Alebtong in November 2015. Surely, the roads standards have magically become better in these districts since he took power yet again in 2016. He can forget, he is already advanced age and should rare his cows, not be in politics anyway.

It is time to pack his bags and leave, he forgets and cannot even keep his lies straight, while blaming other parties like always. It has grew really old on me. The art of peer pressure isn’t how elections should be, if the EC and the NRM was serious about LC1 Elections, they would have spent time on ballots, on training of officials and also shown tact to have observers from CCEDU at it. However, since of none of that was appearing, we know this was school-yard pick a captain for the football stuff, not a serious election. Even if the master Teacher spent his time writing his piece.

God Forgive him, he knows what he does. Peace.

Local Councilor 1 Elections: The Art of Peer Pressure!

a feeling that one must do the same things as other people of one’s age and social group in order to be liked or respected by them. ‘She started drinking in high school because of peer pressure’” (Merriam-Webster – Definition: Peer Pressure)

It is special, that an election that haven’t been held in 17 years. That hasn’t been held since 2001. This election is held in such contempt of the voters. Where there are ghost districts, where the opposition and independent parties are not involved or even able to field candidates. The Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) are now allowed to participate or monitor the events. You just know the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the Electoral Commission are not that professional considering these local elections.

Why I say that? Well, the candidates are placed on the polling stations in the villages. Where the candidates are staying one by one. Where people are lining themselves up and where the voter are going behind the candidate they prefer. However, with this sort of election, there are no secret what you vote for and who you pass as a better local councilor or a LC1.

No matter who they vote for, the whole village or neighborhood would know. If you voted NRM, Independent or the looney-bin who should never run in the first place. These elections haven’t been much about the candidates, more the lack of resources, the postponement that has lasted for close to two decades.

The Electoral Commission should have especially after the last postponement, been able to find the ghost-villages and the ghost-voters, made sure the local polling agents could verify the voters and the voter-rolls. Even as the voters even wasn’t there or they just counted heads. In some districts even talks of ferrying voters to the polling stations.

There where 60,800 villages to hold elections in and field candidates, and in that sense, the NRM would conquer most. Precisely, because they have the advantage, the misuse of government funds and the massive spending from the ruling regime. They have spent billions on these elections to make way for these Local Councilors. In over 600 villages there was no elections, in some regions the voters defied the authorities as they had voters slips for the election made in 2017 and not gotten new for 2018. There we’re people sent away, even with National ID Cards. So the EC have a long walk to justice and to secure these sorts of polls.

All of what happen today can be seen as peer pressure, village wise, because nothing was hidden. If they just had a tick or ink on their finger for voting. It would be fine, because no one could talk or discuss what you really voted for. It could be anyone, the looney-bin or the actual good councilor of the village. However, when everyone walks behind a person and says this is the man/woman I want. Than, your telling the whole village and putting yourself on display.

This was a mockery of an election, if this would be picking the school-yard captain or even the captain of the local football team; it would have been fine and dandy, but this was seriously contested elections, where the Electoral Commission decided who could stand in the village.

Therefore, the EC and the NRM should have gotten the buckets out and the ballots, made it a secret vote for the people. Especially when the Councilor will be the local representative for God knows who long. Because it is not like these elections been steady, that is because they really doesn’t matter that much. That is why the EC haven’t spent funds on slips, ballots or voting material in general for these election.

That is why the art of Peer Pressure was used. It isn’t a soft or silky way of electing people. It is schoolyard or even teenage way of doing it. That an election made by 32 year old regime done as pupil, says how far from progress there is. Well, well, the NRM haven’t really cared since they moved from the Movement System to the Multi-Party Democratic Elections. They still want to act as the kings and the One-Party rules all. Therefore, the reality on the ground becomes a lot like that.

This election was mocking the intelligence of the people, but also name of an “election”. When your standing in line behind the one you choose. You just know that it will be talk if you go to the other one next time you meet or greet. The neighbor will wonder: “Why did you go behind Abe and not vote for Ben?”.

You just know that will happen, why did you go independent and not voted NRM? Do you want this village ill?

The Art of Peer Pressure is what this was. Nothing else. Nothing different. Nothing brilliant, nothing genius. Just child-games done the public, hoping it sticks. Peace.

CCEDU: Suspension of Accreditation for Election Related Activities (09.07.2018)

Opinion: A Pointless Exercise called the Local Councilor Elections!

Why? Simple reason, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and their prepared victory of most councils. They are not even given the opposition the chance to field candidates in every village. Not strange as the ruling regime is banning political rallies and without connection to the Election Road Maps, the Police will track them down and arrest them. The level playing-field is non existing. Therefore, I am not looking forward to the 10th July 2018.

It is the first time since 2001, that the Local Councilor Elections are appearing, but it is mere facade of local elections. Where the big-men passing through villages in SUVs and the state will later deliver bicycles. Also, where the NRM are doling out 900 million shillings to the candidates, as they are preparing to rig and pay the villagers for their votes. Some reports that the NRM are spending 11.8 Billion Shillings on this election. While the number of 900m has come up, some more reasonable number is the 100k shillings for each flag-bearer. That is more,mere shillings for the opportunity to have the local cronies on their side. So that there will be no shock, that the NRM are the winner and no one else can topple them. That is because no else has the opportunity or the time to field candidates.

Just to top this off, just as the madness is like this, there are 3,800 villages without elections for some reason. Maybe the Electoral Commission couldn’t calculate them. Maybe the NRM couldn’t handpick the candidates there. Who knows why, but that says something about the importance of this election. When your nearly losing 4,000 villages. You know it is kind of pointless exercise.

There are reasons for why it isn’t hold for 17 years, it has always been economy, even as the NRM has gone broke for any Presidential and Parliamentary Elections since the start of the millennium.

If this was real sincere from the regime, they would have opened it more up and not just suddenly said: “there are elections”. It is just last week: “10th July 2018” become a public holiday, so that people can go to vote and not work. However, if they are even interested as there are so many uncontested constituencies.

These Local Councilor Elections are already managed, people doesn’t really need to care. Why should they? Not like the NRM really wanted this to happen or have been concerned about this. This is really not important at this stage, when it has taken 17 years to happen. Not like the Movement System matters or even the modernization of that.

That is why I haven’t addressed this before, they are pointless and the NRM has proven that themselves. It is a play for facade, a mere mirage in the desert. There are nothing else, the NRM knows that, the people knows that.

When 10th July hits the clock, sleep longer, drink a cup of tea and take it easy. No need to go to vote. There are no need, the NRM are winning anyway. Stay home, even just visit friends and relatives.

This is pointless exercise. Take it easy and forget about it. When the residents around ask you, why your not going to the polling station, just answer: “the NRM doesn’t really care about this, why should I? Why should you? The NRM are winning anyway. Let’s take another cup of tea and enjoy the day”.

Peace.

Fresh UN Report: Illigal Gold Smuggling from the DRC to Uganda!

There been new reports on the gold smuggling to Uganda from Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, it needs more reporting, as this illegal trading and looting of mineral resources from the Republic needs to be put a spotlight on. As this trade is feeding illegitimate government and militias whose using force against innocent civilians and citizens in general. This report that is reported in the report from the Group of Experts are expelling a deep, but also a volatile story of how they are transporting and getting the illegal gold into the market.

We can wonder if this gold enters the Gen. Salim Selah owned African Gold Refinery Limited in Entebbe, before flying away into the World Market through the brokers and traders there. We can question that, as the government on both sides of the border is accepting this. They are both earning on this and not registering it. Therefore, the location of extraction is kept secret, while the production and the paperwork is kept under the radar. That is why the consumer cannot know under what condition the gold came from and that is worrying. The smuggling, the lack of paperwork and forging of documents shows they are really pushing the boundaries to get into the global markets.

Also, this shows how blatant disregard for maladministration, they have done deliberately and not cared about the public.

Smugglers used the road to Mahagi, where they travelled either by motorbike, taxi or even truck. At the border with Uganda, when they were eventually checked, they bribed customs officials on the Congolese side. All of the Group’s informants on this issue confirmed that, in Goli, on the Ugandan side of the border, they were not asked to present papers or explain the origin of gold that they carried. Mahagi is a long-established hub of the smuggling route” (P: 22)

Two brokers told the Group that they mainly carried gold from mining sites in Kawa and Monbgwalu in Djugu territory. When they arrived in Goli, they would meet with a broker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who would accompany them to sell to Kampala-based dealers. One of the brokers told the Group that, until February 2018, he travelled to Kampala every two weeks with about 3 kilograms of gold (approximately $132,000) 20 per trip” (P: 22-23).

The Group confirmed that, in Entebbe Airport, companies sell empty seats. As previously documented, empty seats are used by smugglers to transport gold concealed in hand luggage. Two individuals associated with the gold sector in Kampala, one Kampala-based gold broker from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and one migration officer stationed at the airport in Entebbe told the Group that, despite the official claim that minerals cannot leave the country without proper paperwork, gold smugglers continue to travel either without documentation or with forged documents. The migration officer and the broker told the Group that the owners of gold being trafficked do not travel themselves but use couriers who fly to Dubai to deliver the gold to buyers there. The two sources added that couriers can operate easily because they bribe customs and security officers at Entebbe airport” (…) “Two Ugandan nationals working for two airlines operating from Entebbe informed the Group that they are not requested to check gold in hand luggage. In the course of its current mandate, the Group held discussions with senior officials of eight airlines operating in and out of the Great Lakes region, who said that their primary role in checking passengers was to make sure no one was carrying anything that could jeopardize the security of the plane, a policy focusing almost entirely on weapons and explosives. The Group is of the view that gold transported on commercial aeroplanes should not be banned as it represents a key form of export for responsible artisanal and small-scale mining activity that observes the requisite due diligence guidelines. However, there is a need to address the loopholes related to the illegal transportation of gold carried in hand luggage on commercial aeroplanes” (P: 24, 2018).

Clearly, the illegal trade of gold should be looked into and be a worry for the international community, as the is funding militias and illegal activity within the DRC. This should not be overlooked, the clear indication of smuggling gold and also not registering the conflict minerals. Therefore, this is sophisticated and using all means to bribe lower level civil servants on both sides, to secure the trade of this can go-on. Both republic’s can do something about this, if they cared or had incentive to do so. However, they seem pretty fine and dandy with this activity. As the state and the close connected activity with the elites who are sponging the funds made from it.

That is why even President Museveni was there for the opening of the Gold Refinery in Entebbe. That shows that the Republic have no trouble with illegal smuggling of gold from the DRC. Peace.

Reference:

United Nations Security Council – ‘ Final report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo’ (04.06.2018).

Joint Communique on the occasion of the Official Visit to Uganda by His Excellency Paul Kagame, the President of Republic of Rwanda (25.03.2018)

1. At the invitation of His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, paid a one-day Official Visit to Uganda on March 25, 2018. His Excellency President Paul Kagame was accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community and other Senior Government Officials.

2. The two Heads of State held Official Talks at State House, Entebbe in a cordial and friendly atmosphere on a wide range of bilateral, regional and international issues.

3. Their Excellencies noted the existing bonds of friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries and reiterated their commitment to strengthen them further. In this regard, they reviewed cooperation particularly in the sectors of railway and air transport as well as electricity interconnection.

4. The two Heads of States observed that the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) between the two countries provides a good mechanism for discussing matters of mutual interest and strengthening cooperation. They therefore directed their Ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs to convene the next JPC within three months.

5. His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni congratulated His Excellency President Paul Kagame, the Government and people of Rwanda on the successful hosting of the historic African Union Extra Ordinary Summit in Kigali on March 21, 2018 during which the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area as well as the Protocol on Free Movement of Persons were signed.

6. The two Heads of State reiterated their commitment to the economic integration of Africa, accelerating industrialization, development of regional and continental infrastructure to improve the livelihoods of the peoples of Africa. His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni commended His Excellency President Paul Kagame, in his capacity as current Chair of the African Union, for his leadership.

7. His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni expressed his appreciation to His Excellency President Paul Kagame for honouring his invitation and for the fruitful discussions they held. His Excellency President Paul Kagame, on his part, expressed his appreciation to His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the Government and people of the Republic of Uganda for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation during the visit.

8. His Excellency President Paul Kagame extended an invitation to His Excellency President Yoweri Museveni to pay a State Visit to the Republic of Rwanda. The invitation was gladly accepted and the dates will be agreed upon through diplomatic channels.

Done on March 25, 2018, in Entebbe.

FOR THE GOVERNMENT
OF THE REPUBLIC
OF UGANDA

_____________________________
HON. SAM K. KUTESA
Minister of Foreign Affairs
FOR THE GOVERNMENT
OF THE REPUBLIC
OF RWANDA

_____________________________
HON. LOUISE MUSHIKIWABO
Minister of Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and East African Community.

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