“In this regard, we need to learn and apply lessons from emerging economies such as India, whose total healthcare industry revenue is expected to increase from US$ 110 billion in 2016 to US$ 372 billion in 2022 in response to deliberate investments in telemedicine, manufacturing of medicines and health technologies, medical tourism, health workforce training and risk pooling/health insurance, among others. In order to achieve this, we need to plan in a harmonized way. In Uganda, for instance, we, indeed, have a nascent pharmaceutical industry producing Aids/HIV, Malaria, Hepatitis-B, pharmaceuticals, etc. drugs. These are, however, still using imported pharmaceutical grade starch and imported pharmaceutical grade sugar. The pharmaceutical grade starch and sugar are crucial for making tablets and syrups for children’s medicines. Yet, the starch is from maize and cassava and the pharmaceutical grade sugar is from sugar. I am told the drugs would be 20% cheaper. Moreover, apart from helping in the pharmaceutical industry, more refined sugar is also needed in the soft drinks industry. Uganda is squandering US$34 million per year importing refined sugar for the soft drinks, about US$ 20 million for importing the pharmaceutical grade starches not including the other raw materials, US$ 77million for taking patients to India etc. Africa is incredibly rich but wasteful” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE JOINT EAC HEADS OF STATE RETREAT ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND HEALTH FINANCING AND DEVELOPMENT, 22.02.2018).
Seems like the 1980s World Bank loans to restart Kakira Sugar Works hasn’t done enough, since the Ugandan state did right after the National Resistance Army takeover of the state. They went into an arrangement with the World Bank getting loans for the company, to restart. That deal was done 8th March 1988. As the documents said back in 198:
“Uganda currently imports US$15-20 million worth of sugar annually, which ranks second only to petroleum imports. Import substitution through restoration of domestic production capacity is therefore a high priority and eminently justified given the considerable comparative advantage Uganda enjoys as a result of its landlocked situation. Conditions for sugar production at Kakira are highly favorable. Cane growing benefits from excellent soils, good rainfall distribution (requiring only limited sunplementary irrigation) and relatively low levels of inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. The project brings back to the Kakira complex the original owners who have a demonstrated ability to manage sugar operations at Kakira and elsewhere” (SUGAR REHABILITATION PROJECT, 08.03.1988).
Therefore, what the President said today, the Sugar Rehabilitation Project, which was done to stop the heavy imports of sugar and for consumption, has clearly not worked as projected. Since his own state is squandering their resources and not even following the loans to make the project work. That is my take on it. The president of 32 years has clearly mismanaged this and not finished his job. Since he hasn’t been able to rehabilitate the industry.
When it comes to pharmaceutical industry there massive challenges, not just the sugar starch for medicine coverage of the pills. Nevertheless, the whole arrangement, since the technology to operate these machines are imported, as well is the parts. Not only the sugar starch, but also the ingredients are imported too, than you have few companies who has automated manufactures, which makes hard to make medicine on a larger scale. It is also high operation cost, because of use of back-up generators because of blackouts and shortfall of electricity. Because of this, it is expensive to have cold storage of the medicine and have a storage for the final products.
So the Idea from Museveni that it is simple, it is the whole system around it, that makes it more profitable to import ready made medicine, than actually produce it. Even if the added value of production would be there, but with the circumstances put by United Nations Industrial Development Organization, seemingly it is from 2009. However, the state of affairs hasn’t changed that much.
We can really estimate, that the adjustment and the needed organization to pull forward both industries during the years of NRM hasn’t been totally fruitful. If so, why would he complain about the imports of sugar and medicine, when he hasn’t been able to make it function with his 32 years of reign? Someone who has 3 decades, should have the ability and time to find the information, finalize plans and execute as seen fit. That is if he cared about the industries in question and their possible engines for growth and riches of Africa. Nevertheless, he hasn’t cared and haven’t used the time wisely. He has used the time bitching and not acting. That is just the way things is and it isn’t becoming better either.
He could have made sure that the pharmaceutical industry had energy, had the sufficient organization behind it to make the medicine, not only import and assemble certain medicine, he could have made sure the sugar industry was profitable and had the equipment to make the refined sugar used in the pharmaceutical industry. However, both is a lost cause, because it takes money and time. Both, is something he doesn’t have, since the narrative isn’t making him wealthy.
Alas, he we are at the status quo, with a President running for life and complaining about waste. When he has wasted 32 years and not made effort to change it. It is all talk and no fire. Peace.
We know that the new World Health Organization Director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has already did some controversial assignments since become the Director there. Dr. Adhanom has a history as Ministry of Health in Ethiopia. You should think a man who represent his own nation and in cabinet cared about the Health Care there. However, he himself went for treatment abroad and billed the Ethiopian government for it.
Dr. Adhanom had an official meeting with officials from Singapore on the 9th September 2016. This was the story of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the 13th September 2016:
“Dr. Tedros Adhanom meets Dr Mohammed Maliki Bin Osman, Singapore’s Senior Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Defense Minister at his offices today (Sept. 9, 2016). Discussions focused on strengthening bilateral ties between Ethiopia and Singapore, in areas including industrial parks development, tourism, education sector and inter-parliamentary diplomacy” (The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, 13.09.2016).
Even if the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has deleted this on their web-page. Still, it is still online and can verify this. Therefore, that the billing of a hospital bill of Dr. Adhanom was billed with $986,50. It isn’t a big bill, but still instead of paying it himself. The Ethiopia-Beijing Embassy was asking the Consulate General of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to cover this. This was asked for by the Embassy of Ethiopia-Beijing, who covers Singapore and dozens of other Asian nations. We can just imagine what else he has gotten covered during his stay in Singapore in 2016 as a dignitary. Since, this is the one document leaked. This document asking for a payment directly to an account at United Overseas Bank Limited, Singapore on the 6th September 2016. This is just days in advance of the meeting with Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr. Maliki Bin Osman.
So seemingly the Minister of Health of Ethiopia did a routinely check-up or something. Since the bill isn’t big. But its the principal of making a good health care system back home and secondly, also putting this on the taxes of your citizens. When your the Minister of Health. That he is representing the whole Health Care in his Nation, but he still uses the state reserves and bills it on the public.
Dr. Adhanom misused it and got the Embassy of Ethiopia-Beijing to refund his visit at a Health Care facility days before having a meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. Seemingly, it could be a coincidence, but its a bit to good to be true. Though in the scheme of things, a grand of US Dollars are pocket change. However, it is the principal of good governance. If he has done with this small one, what has he done one the budget funding yearly as a minister from Addis Ababa. Would he care or is he careless, since he knows the state will takes his bills and he will eat?
We can just wonder if he has done similar stunt and misused bigger funds for personal profits, because this is just a proof of a minor incident. Where he used a 1000 USD for personal health. We don’t know what he has done with the budgeted funds for the Health Care Ministry, but if we cannot trust you in the minor things. How will you act when your supposed to control the bigger things?
Yesterday was supposed to be celebrated, but however, I can’t. Not honestly, not, no, not knowing that this process of procurement and knowledge of possible unnecessary demise of dozens of cancer patients, while waiting between March 2016 to January 2018 for possible treatment. It is insane.
Therefore, when I read crap like this yesterday, when the Machine was launched by Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, I don’t celebrate:
“The Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda has commissioned the new radotherapy machine at the Uganda Cancer Institute Mulago. This follows the purchase of a new radiotherapy machine after the old one crushed in April 2016. According to Dr Daniel Kanyike the head of the radiotherpay department at Mulago, 80 patients are attended to per day and they suspect the number will increase after the commissioning today” (Sudhir Byaruhanga, 19.01.2018)
Because, I have a letter dated back to IAEA from Dr. Byahagaba from 28th May 2013, where the funding of 325,297 Euros was deposited to the UniCredit Bank, Austria, Vienna on the 22nd May 2013. To start the procurement of a new Cobalt 60 Cancer Machine to Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago Hospital. However, this has been lost in the story, that suddenly NRM moved swiftly in 2017 and got it ready for 2018.
It might be true that old one from 1995 – finally gave way and broke down in April 2016 before the General Election, the same fall. However, that doesn’t mean, they started procurement and facilitating the funds for a new one. They used longer time and awaited the destruction of the old one, before getting a newer model that actually worked.
They didn’t act quickly or swiftly in this affair. They moshed it together in a stew and hope to get gold, instead they are boiling bones and hope to taste the real deal. It is a mess and was a mess.
Because I still remember this:
“Cancer patients receiving radiotherapy treatment at Mulago hospital may have to wait until next year when the new cobalt 60 radiation machine will be installed, after the old one broke down three weeks ago. According to Dr Jackson Orem, the director of Cancer Institute at Mulago hospital, it may be difficult to repair the radiotherapy machine, procured in 1995, to render efficient results” (EA BIZ INFO, 08.04.2016).
Secondly, when NRM says April 2016, well, Dr. Orem speaks about three weeks before April, that means it broke down in March 2016. So the NRM cannot hold one piece of the story correct. Not even when it breaks down!
Therefore, the promise waited on results because of hardships to make a new space and have a new machine in where the old one was. The Uganda Cancer Institute had to wait and secure funding for a new one, even if they had already started procurement in 2013. Something they should have focused one, before making sure the old one crashed. This has clearly cost lives, since the Cancer patients have not been sent in drones in Kenya. They got some promises to Aga Khan in Kenya, but that was only for a few lucky ones. We can imagine how many cancer patients lost their ability for treatment between March 2016 and January 2018. It is insane, but also the structure and carelessness the National Resistance Movement (NRM) is known for.
So this has been a long await, which could have fixed before and was already in the making. Who knows why the authorities and the NRM didn’t fix it in advance, when they already paid partial payment in 2013. Years before it broke down. It is foolish and nonsense, when this is the only type of this machine in the whole Republic. Then, not being able to for-see its demise.
Well, NRM can think of this a propaganda victory, since no-one is questioning much and just is happy. The public shouldn’t be, because why didn’t they fix it earlier and made sure for a transition from one machine to another? Peace.
Well, I am biased, as the President are visiting Dubai for 4th Global Business Forum on Africa on the 2nd November 2017. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is trying to cater to foreign investors. People who he usually cater to at the State House, so he can get favors and Presidential Handshakes. That is why he isn’t bothered with taxes, because the tax-holidays and possible offerings will be huge for the investors who comes in. That is what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are doing, especially if it is for instance a nations offering the state loan, than the same state can come with state-companies to build infrastructure like Chinese companies coming in after offering loans to the same NRM government. Therefore, just look at what he was saying yesterday, which is weird, but fit a pattern.
“Since you are business people, we must be talking about profits. When you talk of Uganda and Africa, you are talking about peace as an enabling environment; which we have. We have raw materials, and have a population of 40 million people that’s’ a market. And if we talk of integration we have a four tear market” (…) “In Africa, the demand is there and growing because we have been under-consuming while the rest of the world the demand is falling because they have been over consuming” (…) “There are plenty of raw materials, minerals, tourism and so on so when you invest there you have access to all these” (…) “I don’t have to bother investors with taxes, what I want is for them to invest, use our raw materials, create jobs, add value and promote exports” (State House Uganda, 2017).
Well, so the President trying to say to foreign investors, you don’t need to pay taxes for your output, just cater to me. The state you don’t have to bother about, just bother about catering to the State House and me. We will add value and promote exports, we will agreements and make sure you get the value on our resources and low-payed workers.
We know who is the biggest taxpayers in the republic, because of Uganda Revenue Authority own statement in the media on the 31st October 2017, which stated names like Mr. Alnasir Virani Gulam Hussein Habib, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, Mohammed Hussain, Nakayima Janat, Karia Minex, Karia Kunnal, Alykhan Hudani and Dayalijil Karan. Who are sounding like foreign investors and they are on the top 25 biggest taxpayers in Uganda. So the state has already connected families from abroad to invest there in various businesses. This shows there are already people who is not worried about taxes, but about the output of their companies.
Some of these investors has made big names, while others have worked more in silence. Still, this shows that the top earners even promoted by URA and Doris Akol. Proves how they are working, as there wasn’t that many own citizens on the list. That shows that the foreign investors must get a special advantage and special agreements at the state house for their dealings. Especially, considering how it has been done, just for tearing down markets in Kampala for own investors and financial agreements. This has been done and arranged from the State House without consultation with locals, neither KCCA or the renters of these markets. That is how the NRM and Museveni do deals in favor of him and if he get ill-gained funds, he will support the “development”. It is in similar fashion he exposes his intent in Dubai.
That the State doesn’t need taxes or need structures to facilitate for foreign investors, they just needs agreements with State House and then it is all fair-game. It is insane, but fits the Modus Operandi of the Musevenism and NRM regime. Give him a Presidential Handshake and you can operate as you want in the Republic. Peace.
State House Uganda – ‘President Museveni woos Arab investors to Uganda “We have the raw materials, human resource and market”’ (02.11.2017) link: https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/president-museveni-woos-arab-investors-to-uganda-we-have-the-raw-materials-human-resource-and-market?lang=en
“The three arms of government and their sub-branches must have discipline. For example I have been involved in disciplining the army. We should do the same for other sub-branches of government. If the Judiciary is also disciplined in fighting corruption, citizens will lead a good life.” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 1st October 2017, State House Entebbe.
Its just one of these days that hearing the news and seeing the tweets of the President, makes me laugh and wonder if he listen to himself. He knows his system and has made his garden. The way the government steers and govern is because of his policies, his regulations and his support. It is not like there been other ruling for last 30 years in Uganda. The Republic has been under the control of Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM).
The NRM has suffocated all other free-will and control. Therefore, Ministers, Members of Parliament and others seek guidance and funds directly at the State House in Entebbe. Even foreign investors meet there to make agreements. Everything is nearly sanctioned out there. The Discipline now is more on the narrow-minded government that is run from there. The institutions and the procedures are not so important. Since most things happening is with the words from “above”, meaning the President and his close advisers.
It is not rocket science to know where the benefactor or the reason for lacking structures. That is because government waits for their go sign by the State House, they are waiting for funding of the projects and institutions from the State House. The projects and the works of the State House and under the Prime Ministers Offices are the key organizations within this government. They might say all of the massive cabinet has part to play, but that is the facade.
Therefore, it is ironic for a man so controlling and so disorganized that it gives sometimes way to the unthinkable. Just like the Presidential Handshake, that was sanctioned by the State House, but taken form the wrong account. That was the problem for the President, not that the corrupt behavior was occurring on his watch. Its like he talks against himself. Because he has no problem speaking anti-corruption, but if corruption benefit his cronies – its fine and dandy!
I am not surprised by him at this point of time, its fit his narrative. He says what he expects and wants out of others, but the next day he finds a way to benefit or use the loyalty of his cronies. Not like he would have excepted the UCC not to listen and stop the suspended MPs to hit the airways and be broadcast on TV. He rather being himself on radio and in the spotlight, but will accept anyone else sharing the same space.
President Museveni is the proof of someone saying something noble, but doing opposite. He might say something insane, but act rational. Therefore, you never know where you have him. I will never believe him actually disciplining the government, if doing so. It means they are all blindfolded and following his guidelines. It does not mean building proper governance and protocol, neither is institutionalize the departments and ministries, it is all about his will and his stature.
When it comes to Museveni, discipline is about following him. Not building transparent and proper government institutions. Peace.