“It’s morning in Baltimore, Lester. Wake up and smell the coffee” – Lt. Cedric Daniels (The Wire S4E11, 2006).
“Government is under the spotlight for allocating Shs37 billion to the Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development, an agency headed by the president’s son-in-law. Mr Odrek Rwabwogo is supposed to spend this money on ‘coffee value chain, export, and industrial development promotion’, but the manner of the allocation raised suspicions in Parliament last week.” (Franklin Draku – ‘MPs query Shs37b allocation to Rwabwogo-led committee’ 23.05.2023, Daily Monitor).
Who knew? Well, in the Republic everything is possible. Especially if you are well connected or have ties with His Excellency. That’s why the Son-In-Law Odrek Rwabwogo even is getting a budget post and a fancy agency to run.
While it is striking, just like the Coffee Agreement with Pinetti. The whole saga of the Coffee Processing Plant and the Monopoly of it. This is now pushed further within the realm of the family and the President. It is like they are seeking all the profits from the cash-crop and commodity.
The republic already have an institution doing what Odrek is supposed to do. This was started early in the reigns of the National Resistance Movement (NRM). That was enacted back in 1991 just mere years into the “transitional” period of the regime. This is the Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) with the mandate: “To increase quality coffee production, productivity, value addition, marketing and consumption”. If you feel it similar to the memo to the son-in-law, because it is a copy. Just more modern lingo with the “coffee value chain, export, and industrial development promotion”. The rest is the gist of it and more of the same.
The Presidential Advisory Committee on Exports and Industrial Development will now compete with the UCDA. Which is already in competition with the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA). There are so many players and duplications in the Republic it is hard to keep up. Now the PACEID is competing directly with the UCDA and partly with the UIA too.
The Vinci Agreement just shows how the state plays and does its own bidding. Now the son-in-law is getting a slice of the pie too. That’s how it looks like. It feels a like a new day and we are smelling the fruits of others people’s labour.
This is making the son-in-law doing something someone is already doing. It isn’t enhancing or bettering the industry. No, this is a pay-day and a small heist. Because, he will not take the place of the UCDA or UIA. No, the son-in-law is just an extension and a useless addition. A bountiful receiver from the public coffers, but it won’t matter in the grand scheme of things.
It doesn’t matter that the son-in-law has no skill-set, education or proof that his experienced to do this. Well, it should, but in this case it don’t. The only thing that did matter was his close proximity to the President and that was it.
We are smelling the bitter coffee. A man that couldn’t easily differentiate between robusta or arabica is now becoming a Coffee Tsar. That’s the reality here. The head honcho of coffee beans and he knows squat about it.
This is how the President runs the nation and it shows how little he actually cares. Peace.