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Archive for the tag “Karamoja”

NITA Uganda: Press Statement – Internet extended to the Karamoja Region (03.10.2019)

Karamoja is running into a possible food crisis, but Mzee says its green!

Greetings. These pictures were taken at Kobebe dam, in Karamoja, as I waited for H.E Uhuru Kenyatta. I was at Latitude 2° North & 48 minutes (2°48 N). You can see how green it is!! The temperature, at that moment, was 22° celsius, very pleasant. The myth that Karamoja is dry is only perpetuated by those that do not know the opportunities available. Yes, Karamoja gets rain for fewer months than in the South of Uganda” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 12.09.2019).

Well, its one of those days. The President shouldn’t demystify the area, but govern it properly. As there are already warning signs in concern of the food security in the region of Karamoja in August 2019. Therefore, the President should have warned about this and worked with the right authorities to secure the public. Instead, his busy with a photo-op and spreading his good news before yet another high ranking meeting with foreign dignitaries.

Let me show first, what IPC 3 means and also what the FAO warns about. Let’s take a look.

FEWS Net IPC 3 meaning:

PHASE 3 Crisis. Households either:

– Have food consumption gaps that 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” (FEWS NET – ‘Integrated Phase Classification’).

FAO Food Security Outlook:

In Karamoja, a typically high sorghum prices and below-average firewood-to sorghum terms of trade continue to significantly limit household food access and maintain above-average acute malnutrition prevalence. Due to a poor start of the rainfall season and reduced area planted, delayed harvests will gradually begin in September and sorghum production is expected to range from 20 to 40 percent below average on the district level. Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes are likely to persist through September and into October. As harvesting progresses, food security will gradually improve to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through January” (FAO, 30.08.2019).

So, when the President speaks of the green land of Karamoja, his not concerned or thinking about the public. As they suffer malnutrition and lacking production of sorghum in the region. This should worry a President and he should think of the public there. Instead, his blowing praises on green fields and putting up tents to meet another head of state.

This shows that the President isn’t there to act upon the warned trouble ahead. The state should act upon the problematic food security. It should create and make arrangement to secure the public get enough food, the rising malnutrition shows signs of maladministration.

Certainly, the President doesn’t want to hear that, as his all about Steady Progress, but this problem in Karamoja is prevalent and repetitive. Its not like this haven’t happen in the region before, it has and is something the NRM and President could have acted upon. That is if he cares, alas, he don’t. His had 33 years to do something and ensure food security.

This is because of the reduced area planted with crops/cereals in the region and also the delayed harvest, also a poor rainfall in the season. All of these things should worry anyone, but the President is praising green grass. So we better let him be and praise his wisdom. Because, people is starving since they believe in myths. Peace.

Uganda Peoples Congress: Caution on Coffee Bill (17.07.2019)

Operation Wealth Creation Handles No Procurement, No Money (26.03.2019)

IGAD: Communique – Cooperation for the Implementation of IDDRSI in Cross-border Areas in the Karamoja Cluster shared by Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan and Uganda (27.07.2018)

Museveni pledges roads contstuction again for Kotido: Done so since 1998!

Well, someone has to, because it is not like Chimp Reports or Soft Power going to question his word, neither New Vision, maybe the Observer or Daily Monitor. But a very selective group of media will question President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as quickly as he deserves. Because he speaks filthy and lack of truth at a pace it is hard to follow. Especially with the steady phase of By-Elections and new district elections that is happening these days. He is being their to boost the National Resistance Movement (NRM) hand-picked candidates, but in the midst of that, some of the common lies are coming.

Here is small piece of what he said in Kotido:

The government has tarmacked the road to Moroto town. We have begun discussions with some companies on the possibility of constructing a road from Karamoja to Ethiopia. We shall continue studying the idea to see its viability” (…) “When I come to these rallies, it is because I want you to understand that the NRM is the party with a concrete plan for Uganda and we have a history of proof that we deliver on what we promise. It is therefore important that you support a tried and tested party. About cohesion in the party, I want you to know that we are like a football team. While some players are on the pitch, others are on the reserve bench. If the ones on the pitch don’t play well, we shall get the substitutes at the next match. We must have this discipline” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in Kotido Muncipality on the 22nd July 2018).

It is special that Museveni speaks about keeping its promises, every season it is recycling promises and pledges. He did it here too, making new roads and new development projects. Surely, he has promised the Karamoja everything between the Sun and the dusty dirt itself. The NRM have come with empty promises since 1986. The 10 point program is a forgotten tale, but not much of that is kept.

Neither can be said about the promises given during the campaign before the General Election 2016 or 2011. There are so many promises given by this party, it is hard to follow. In 2015 he promised to build the same road as today, but extend it to Ethiopia. Just to pitch it an inch different than in the past. Proving his selfish self I suppose. When he traveled here in 1998 even on a national tour, the people were preparing for road construction promises, that meaning he has been doing it 20 years. Promising the same old roads to the Karamoja people. That is so rich of him.

So, he is promising and saying he is keeping his promises. However, if you test those promises. You can see they are not holding water. That is why it is tiring to prove it. But someone has too. Peace.

Museveni’s Mixed Messages in Mityana district!

People should not claim they are waiting for government programmes in order to develop themselves. A pig will not resist to be taken to the market for sale or slaughter just because the road is not tarmacked” Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 22nd July 2018.

There are some ironies with today, especially the mixed messages from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. As he was saying that the public should not expect the government to deliver programs for their development, while he is supporting and his government through the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) and the State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda who was starting Kisboka SACCO in Mityana District. So, it is weird that he is donating money to a project for development, while saying people shouldn’t expect the state to contribute funds. Is he dumb? Just take a look!

Our Commander in Chief H.E President Museveni officially launched and accepted to be the Patron of the poverty eradication drive called Kisoboka (It is possible) in Mityana North. The drive, that was initiated by State Minister for Tourism Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda aims to bring about positive mindset change towards poverty eradication, job creation and wealth creation mainly though agriculture; It is already very popular in North Mityana Constituency with over 250 households joining the bid to earn at least 21.5 million shillings per annum” (Operation Wealth Creation, 22.08.2018).

I gladly accept the request that I be the patron of Kisoboka SACCO and I will make a Shs50 million contribution towards its activities” (Museveni, 22.08.2018).

It is really not much to say, but if this works, the SACCO might do something positive to the public and citizens of North Mityana Constituency, however the OWC is not known for good seedlings and neither well-organized model of development. Therefore, this might fall flat and be empty promises to the district and constituency. We can hope for something else, but it might change for a very selective few.

This might just be another PR Stunt and a way for Kiwanda just to pocket money from the taxpayers or even shield his funds he is earning as a State Minister and MP. What is more ironic, is that the President talks of not waiting for the state to deliver development, while his state is launching possible development projects through the OWC. It is should be obvious. If he was a sincere man, he would see that.

He talks of not getting promises of development, while delivering a development projects… It doesn’t make sense.

That is just me though… I cannot be alone, but when you just have empty suits and yes men around you. You turn into this creature, this bloated arrogant prick who doesn’t see poverty; while living in lavish luxury on the state. Peace.

#SOTNU18: Importing too much and Exporting too little; What could be the reason?

“Yet, as our Baganda people say, “Omugo oguli ku murirano, tegugoba engo” ─ (the stick in your neighbour’s house cannot help you to fight off a leopard)” Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the State of the Nation, 2018 (06.06.2018).

I have stopped after a years to look and breakdown the whole speech of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Because no one should waste that amount of time, unless your Don Wanyama, Tamale Mirundi or Andrew Mwenda. The rest of the random average Joe’s just shouldn’t waste our time with that. After 32 years, what new thing can he re-up and said, what sort of pledge haven’t he pulled out off his ass. Everything has been said, its just rewind of the previous years. There might something amazing, but you should doubt it.

That is why I will focus the passages on the growth to become a Middle-Income Country:

I hear so many people talk about the attainment of the middle-income status by Uganda. The main problem here is, actually, the problem of Uganda importing too much and exporting little. The GDP per capita today is US$776. To become a middle income country, you need, at least, US$1,006 per capita. This money is calculated in Dollars. Too much importing and too little exporting undermines the progress to a middle-income status. Therefore, Ugandans, please, buy Ugandan; travel Ugandan; health-wise, be treated in Uganda. The government will facilitate its part as outlines in this speech. All I have said above is about the economy that is being developed to create wealth and jobs for the Ugandans as well as widening the tax base for the State of Uganda. At the same time, this bigger economy provides more goods and services for Uganda’s domestic consumption and for exports. Your NRM, always looking ahead, has already negotiated and arranged with our brother and sister Africans to ensure the market integration of Africa (EAC, COMESA, CFTA), so as to provide capacity for the absorption of the greater supply of goods and services produced by the Ugandans awakened to realize their potential as we also buy from our brothers and sisters in Africa, as we all take advantage of the huge collective market of Africa. Besides the huge continental market we are creating with our African brothers, the NRM always never missing in action when it comes to African issues, we have also negotiated for third party market access to the USA, EU, Chinese, Japanese and Indian markets, in varying degrees. Hence, ladies and gentlemen, the NRM has addressed or is addressing all the factors that are necessary to open the gates to the Ugandans engaged in wealth and jobs creation. Let everybody, then, play his or her own part” (Yoweri Museveni – State of the Nation, 2018, 06.06.3028).

The ironies are staggering as the economic policies, the industrial policies and agricultural outputs of the Republic is all in the hands of Museveni. If the NRM wanted to have trade surplus, they would have put in work and made sure the industries, the agricultural output and the end-product that they wanted to put into the world market. That is if the NRM had actually cared, because most policies seems to be short-term and for the short-con, not even the long-con. The projects and projections are for short term gains, not building things.

The specialized boards for the promotion of Ugandan produce and products has been lacking. Also maybe that they haven’t configured to the standards of the world-wide markets. That is why the coffee is sold as beans and not locally branded robusta. It is blended into random blends of foreign corporations instead of being locally grinded and packed ready for the big multi-national supermarket chains. Instead they are sold with least profits as the produce and not as the product. That is what is wrong with the ideas of Ugandan business. They have not thought of how to get value for the produce. This is all because the business is fixated on quick profits, but not going the extra mile.

That is because the NRM have no incentive to this or to try to do it. If they had incentive and any ideas of this. They would have figured it out and industrialized the agricultural output. Neither is put in the cash and the investment to build juice-factories as promised in Amuru, That has been promised for so long, as people are giving up in Katakwi District. This is the reality.

Therefore, listening to the President bitch about the lack of modernization and industrialization of the Republic. Is his fault, as he has put in the work and the ability to change the business models. That is because the way the state does with investors and designate cronyism. Where the businessmen have to political connected and make sure to grease the wheels to get it running.

It is a nice idea to get Ugandans to buy Ugandan products. But then you have to deliver good Ugandan products to fair price, also make sure it is competitive. There are lacking issues and basic need to make sure the possible produce could create added-value. Instead the quick profit and direct exports is the reason for lack of more currency. That would help the republic and make more money without to heavy investments, while using what they already produce plenty off.

While the state has to figure out if they want this, because this could help them to gain another monetary gain. But they doubt they will, because right now, it is the short-con and the quick-fix instead of actually building something for the future. Peace.

The National Coffee Act of 2018: A sour cup of Coffee or just another Robusta?

It is hard to see any significant change of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, as the law of 1994 is planned to be repealed, as the Cabinet accepted a new bill yesterday at the State House. Let me explain, It would seem more reasonable, if someone leaked the text of the law, but the short tide bottlenecks of information leaked. That information is showing, that it is more of the same. Just some new buzz-words, to keep the donors buzzing.

Since the UCDA are already in charge of monitoring, pricing and promoting coffee, both internally and externally. They are supposed to help raise the quality of the coffee and educate farmers, both in production of better coffee, but also raise the yields for the cash-crop. The UCDA is rally a state organized body in both education, trade and promoting of coffee. Where all parts of the transaction from the seedlings to the trade of the ready beans has been in connection with the government body.

That is why the Cabinet decision that is released to the public, the one page dossier, as the law and the new provisions aren’t out, but if these footnotes are the realization of the changes from 1994 to become the new law in 2018. There are really just putting in the word sustainable and harmonize the roles of all the roles. Which is fancy lingo, for making sure everyone along the line is taxed and made sure they pay for the government services. Since they are already having the mandate by the law of 1994.

As sub-section 4 in the UCDA Act of 1994 states:

The functions of the authority shall be— to issue certificates in respect of the grade and quantity of coffee; to register in accordance with guidelines issued by the Minister, from time to time, on the advice of the board, all organisations and bodies applying to market coffee; to liaise with the Bank of Uganda in respect of repatriation of foreign exchange obtained from the sale of coffee; to set the quality control standards under which coffee is sold; to certify all coffee exports; to collect, maintain and disseminate statistical data in respect of all aspects of the coffee industry; to advise the Government on the mechanism for determining the minimum price for the sale of coffee; (h) to monitor world market price changes and adjust the minimum price on a day-to-day basis to reflect the changes; (i) to research and make extension arrangements through the Ministry responsible for agriculture or any other organisation established in the country for the purpose; (j) to reconcile coffee subsector policies with the macroeconomic policies of the Government; (k) to liaise with the International Coffee Organisation and be responsible for the administration of the stamps of the organisation; (l) to liaise with other international organisations and promote Uganda’s coffee on the world market; (m) to be responsible for the overall supervision of the coffee subsector, including related industries, and advise the Government on coffee subsector policies; (n) to organise training for technicians, coffee processors and quality controllers” (CHAPTER 325 THE UGANDA COFFEE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY ACT, 1994).

So when I read from the spreadsheet from the Cabinet meeting at the State House, where the gist is to replace the 325, because they want to development of competitive, equitable and sustainable coffee, promote Coffee research, good Coffee farming practices, domestic coffee consumption and add value to the Coffee. Also, provide the Authority regulate all on-farm and off-farm activities in the Coffee Value Chain, streamline and harmonize the institution in the development of the Coffee Sector and to promote the Coffee sub-sector.

As what I see, the UCDA Act of 1994, not only hold the grabbing hands on all of this, but the mandate of the Authority is already, just not managed well, apparently. If the state cared about the Authority, they wouldn’t lack needed staff, as the Auditor General Report of December 2016, said the staff had 29 open positions, I don’t know if its as bad today, but wouldn’t be shocked if there was openings that the UCDA couldn’t fill, because of lack of funds.

What is striking to me, is that what the Cabinet Meeting of 21st May 2018, is what is in the statute of 1994. It just using a few different words, but if they cared about the UCDA, they would fund it properly and also actually have proper oversight of the operations. As the UCDA has often given away bad seedlings to Coffee farmers, in the same fashion as the Operation Wealth Creations has to its SACCO’s around the Republic. Like the Auditor General report of December 2016 says: “ Failure to plant and maintain coffee seedlings that were distributed and received by the farmers is wastage of Government Funds and eventually leads to failure to achieve planned coffee outputs at national level. Further, beneficiary lists withfarmers that never received inputs may be an indicator of irregular dealings on the part of seedling suppliers” (AG Report on UCDA December 2016, P: 19).

Therefore, the changing of words within the law is not fixing the remedy of the goodwill to generate more coffee and better yields. It is actually giving the king, what the king needs. That is not more fancy lingo, but actually actions and funds, also accountability, so that the farmers and the other part of the coffee production chain. Can all benefit from the Authority. On December 2017, the MoFPED delivered the National Budget Framework, which said this: “Continued implementation of the Coffee 2020 road map aimed at achieving 20million bags of 60Kg each per annum, including supporting research interventions at the National Agricultural Coffee Research Institute (NACORI) to produce high yielding coffee varieties and disease resistant tissue culture plants for coffee as well as development of a National Coffee Bill, 2017 that focuses on developing the entire coffee value chain and enable the country consolidate its dominant position in export earnings and employment” (MoFPED, P: 18, December 2017).

Therefore, the Cabinet meeting has initially decided to follow the guidelines of the National Budget Framework, as it was in December 2017. That is not surprising, but what is weird is the wording and how little change it is from the original law, that they are repealing. Unless, they have some magical formula sprinkled over it, making it a beautiful cake, instead of a boring bun with a little whipped cream. Because that is what it seems.

If you read the objectives of 1994, it doesn’t seem so far away from 2018, does it?

The objectives of the authority shall be— to promote, improve and monitor marketing of coffee with a view to optimising foreign exchange earnings and payments to the farmers; to control the quality of coffee in order to ensure that all coffee exported meets the standards stipulated by the contract between the seller and the buyer; to monitor the price of coffee in order to ensure that no export contract for the sale of coffee is concluded at a price below the minimum price; to develop and promote the coffee and other related industries through research and extension arrangements; to promote the marketing of coffee as a final product; (f) to promote domestic consumption of coffee” (UCDA Act of 1994).

That seems a lot like the spreadsheet of the Cabinet from yesterday, right?

Its only the value chain and add value on the coffee that is very new, but the rest more of the same. I am baffled or even shocked by this. It is like the Cabinet haven’t read the old bill or cared about the provisions there and thought. Maybe we should have better oversight of the Authority, instead they are changing wording and thinking that is magic wand to change the current predicament. If they wanted real change, they would have reformed the organization internally and used the provisions already there. But it is easier to make a leaflet, than change people’s mind and allocate funds.

Good morning and smell the coffee, well, I smell it, but more of the same. Just attached “sustainable” on the package, but taste is the same as yesterday. Peace.

The Spreadsheet of the aka National Coffee Bill of 2018!

Opinion: NRM, It is hard to see Middle-Income Status coming quickly!

He explained that the NRM manifesto is anchored in Vision 2040 and the second National Development Plan. It commits to deliver Ugandans into middle income status and to ensure sustainable development” (Mubiru, 2018).

Well, it is that time of the year. To prove the National Resistance Movement (NRM), that their empty promises. Because when you collect the news together. It is easy to see how things doesn’t add up. If the NRM was on their way to sustainable development, like Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda talked about earlier last week. Then all of the news coming wouldn’t fit. The narrative cannot be growth and development, when all of these issues are happening at the same time. It doesn’t fit. The glove has to fit the hand. The three things that doesn’t add up is the missing funds for the Presidents own Village Poverty Program, relief food for Karamoja and also a missing sugar factory.

Village Poverty Program:

State House has said it needs at least Shs 5bn to roll out the model village poverty alleviation initiative by President Yoweri Museveni. In the request contained in the Ministry of Presidency’s policy statement and budget estimates for 2018/2019, State House said the existing Shs 1bn budget for the project is too little and therefore a 500 percent increase is vital. The current Shs 1bn has only managed to establish small scale commercial agricultural farms in 21 model villages. The country, according to Electoral Commission of 2016 data, has 59,700 villages” (Okello, 2018).

Donate relief food:

The government of China has donated food aid worth $5 million (about Shs 18bn) to the World Food Programme (WFP) to support a feeding programme for vulnerable groups threatened by malnutrition in the Karamoja sub-region. More than 2000,000 people mostly school going children, infants and mothers are threatened by malnutrition in Karamoja according to official figures” (Lyatuu, 2018).

No existent Sugar Factory:

It is five years, since Atiak Sugar Factory under Haryal investment Holdings Limited was rolled out in Amuru District, to commence sugar production, but has since stalled, leaving a number of sugar cane farmers stranded. “The people shifted from food crops with hope to earn from sugar cane. Out growers are now worried that the factory will not take off in time to fully untilise the 4,000 acres planted,” reads part of their petition. Kilak North MP, Anthonu Akol who read out the petition to the Speaker said that the farmers are stuck with no factory to sell their sugarcane and questioning why the minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija, sold to them hot air” (Kyeyune, 2018).

All of these issues shouldn’t be at this state, if the state was seriously developing and on the way to Middle-Income status. There are so many issues that is missing, not only the ghosts and the added debt ratio in the budgets. This is all minor measures in the bigger picture, but it proves the lack of governance and accountability, when the state can grab land in Amuru district, but never deliver the promised the factory. As this been going on for years.

That the middle income cannot be fulfilled when the village poverty is so prevalent, that the scale is not fitting the needs. You know that the state lacks resources and well-funded plans to even achieve this. The President should have made sure and ensured the progress and at the planning stages, it this is his program, to be sure about the right amount and needed facilitation to deliver to the needed villages. That is apparently a mixed bag wooh-ha and nonsense.

Last but not least, is the donating of food to Karamoja, which in it self a sign of lack of progress. When your not able to meet the needs of your population and have good enough agricultural policies and output to feed yourself and your own kind. You know that the Middle Income Status is far-fetched, when this is still an issue. You know there are miles afar from the promise land. That the NRM and the President is clearly not delivering. There is no excuse in the book, that can fix the grandest issues of not being able to feed all communities and districts of Uganda. You know they are far from Middle Income, when China has to donate food to you….

Enough of the nonsense. Peace.

Reference:

Kyeyune, Moses – ‘Acholi sugarcane growers seek Parliament help over stalled factory’ (16.05.2018) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Acholi-sugarcane-growers-seek-Parliament-help-stalled-factory/688334-4565238-ueostj/index.html

Lyatuu, Justus – ‘China donates relief food to Karamoja’ (19.05.2018) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/57707-china-donates-relief-food-to-karamoja.html

Mubiru, Apollo – ‘NRM Manifesto: The road to modernity’ (18.05.2018) link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1477948/road-modernity

Okello, Dickens H. – ‘Shs5Bn Needed for Museveni’s Village Poverty Alleviation Program’ (21.05.2018) link: http://chimpreports.com/shs5bn-needed-for-musevenis-village-poverty-alleviation-program/

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