Bahamas: The Free National Movement – Thompson says Opposition is seriously concerned with Content of Latest Bloomberg Report (24.06.2022)

What’s up doc? A brief look into Parliament Report on PRESIDE and the mismanagement of COVID-I9 funds in the Republic

I like the unfortunate phenomenon of western countries halting exportation of the COVID19 vaccine until all their citizens are fully vaccinated. This will enable Africans to wake up and manufacture their own medicines. I like the bad things because Africans sleep too much, I have never believed in dependency. This selfishness in the world is bad but it’s a shame that the whole of the African continent is asleep waiting to be saved by others… In the short run, we shall see who can sell COVID19 vaccines to us. As far as Uganda is concerned, I assure you, we will never again be in such a situation, we are making our own vaccine” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (27.06.2021).

Another day, another Parliament Report exposing the rot of the Government. A government that isn’t follow the laws, codes and protocols of the republic. Direct Presidential Directives which have no barring and to ambition to be achieved. Neither was there anywhere close to be legit research or able to fulfil it’s mission.

The State House and Ministries clearly miscalculated their abilities and the promise of the project. Neither did it have the scientists or the manpower to do it. There was not enough time or enough research spaces to make it happen. The budgets was to slim and there was also spending unaccounted for. A sort of troubling project, which is meant to fail. A spending spree without any accountability or transparency. A money pit without without any sort of proof of value for money. The PRESIDE and associated projects was bound to fail. The Parliamentary reports published today is called: “REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION ON COVID-19 RELATED RESEARCH FOR FY 2019/20 TO FY 202/22”.

This report is a story of how a President and the State House directs, implement and execute without proper planning or direction for that matter. It is just headache and shows what sort of enterprise the whole COVID-19 vaccine programme PRESIDE was and that’s why the quotes of this report is so explicit.

It is a total utter failure and the President is implicated it, as it is his directive and run directly from the State House. This wasn’t a Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MOFPED) or Ministry of Health. No, this was an affair out of the State House and shows how it goes. Done without being bound by law or done correctly. That’s why this was bound to fail, which it did.

Just read these quotes from the report to get the gist:

In his statement, he indicated that up to UGX. 20bn had been drawn from the consolidated fund for scientists under PRESIDE to manufacture a COVID-I9 vaccine and an additional UGX. 50bn was drawn on 2021 for PRESIDE, and yet supervising Ministry (Ministry of Science, Technolory and Innovation) had been disbanded. He further questioned the legality of the Presidential Scientific Initiative on Epidemics (PRESIDE), queried its staffing, operations and whether its premises in Ntinda that had no laboratories would be able to produce a vaccine” (May 2022 report).

Overall funding for COVID- 19 research was as follows:

– UGX. 5.3bn for PRESIDE FY 2019/20

– UGX. 31.03bn for projects under PRESIDE, UGX. 3.35bn for PRESIDE secretariat operations, and UGX. 2.74bn under NRIP in FY2020/2l

– UGX. 25bn for project operations, a supplementary request of UGX. 50.4bn for a manufacturing plant and UGX. 27bn for additional operational funds for PRESIDE projects in FY 2021/22” (May 2022 report).

A total of (seventeen) 17 projects (Project l-17) was presented before Parliament with a total budget of UGX. 25bn, for implementation in FY2021/22. When additional funds of UGX. 27bn became available through a supplementary budget, the total number of projects raised to 27, where 10 new projects (Projects 18-27) were introduced and two of the already approved projects i.e. (projects 6 (Immune Therapy – Convalescent plasma). and 14 (Herbal Products for Management of COVID-19) were dropped. The Committee found that the two projects should have been given funds for implementation whether there was a supplementary or not since their budgets had already been approved by Parliament in the Ministerial Policy Statement. No reasons were given for their exclusion” (May 2022 report).

The Committee while interacting with the petitioner was informed that PRESIDE was a company formed by Dr. Monica Musenero and some of her family members including her husband. These allegations were disputed by Hon. Musenero, who informed the Committee that PRESIDE is neither an organtzation nor a company but a project under State House” (…) However, the Committee noted that the establishment of PRESIDE violates governance rules, as it has no legal status. The initiative has not been incorporated in accordance with the laws of Uganda. Therefore it is not a legal entity. The Committee also observed from the concerned officials that no steps had been taken to have it legally established” (May 2022 report).

Although PRESIDE was established with a visionary mandate, to be a vehicle to spear the pathogen economy, it has been mired with mismanagement, poor accountability practices and overall poor planning. At its inception, Government failed to define its legality, failed to analyze and optimize the structures that were already in place and build on these as a way of driving the pathogen economy forward. This went against the current government policy on rationalization and improvement of efficiencies within MDAs. The role of UNHRO, MoSTI, UNCST as regulators was usurped and replaced with PRESIDE which had a temporary supervisory framework in form of a MoU. With the expiry of the MoU, PRESIDE as a project remained operational yet not supervised because its Chairperson is the Minister responsible for the docket of STI and also the Special Presidential Advisor on Epidemics” (May 2022 report).

Reading a report like this is shattering. It just shows how the state is mismanaging funds and how the State House isn’t preparing things ahead. The whole PRESIDE shows how a Presidential Directive is put into life, but never able to implement, because the state doesn’t have the funds, manpower or the facilities to do it. The PRESIDE is an utter failure…

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) was all talk, but no business. They can start-up organizations and projects, but they have no plans of the implementation or protocols to ensure it is successful. PRESIDE is a proof on how not to run a project… as it has had no plan or any sort of proof that it would actually manage the mission from the on-set.

The ones that believes the NRM would be able to produce a COVID-19 vaccine was day-dreaming, because the whole PRESIDE can be seen as a nightmare. The ones running it should be ashamed and it was a waste of government funding. Nothing to show for it and only a name-tag, which runs back to the State House and the Presidential Directive. A

All of it is a waste … the President should be held to account as he ushered it in and it did nothing. They will fault everyone, but if it wasn’t for him… this mess wouldn’t exist and the report wouldn’t have been published either.

The PRESIDE should be lectured at Makerere University or something in how not to run things and be a case-study in bad-governance. This is a proof of how not to govern and nothing was done correctly. That’s why it deserve to be acknowledged and used as a learning experience. Since, the next government could do another properly and actually achieve something worthwhile. Peace.

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Opinion: The NRM Shields their own [and the COVID-19 Lockdown scandal of 2020 is now water under the bridge]

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) is very forgiving to their own crooks. The Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) and Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda office was in-charge of the procurement for relief food during the first lockdown in 2020 for the urban areas.

What is striking is that the officials secured deals, which ended in a loss of USD $528,000 in inflated in the prices of food. The ones implicated and arrested for these schemes was the Permanent Secretary Christine Guwatudde Kintu, accounting officer Joel Wanjala, assistant procurement commissioner Fred Lutimba and Martin Owor, the head of COVID-19 relief management.

Today, the Director of Public Prosecution has discontinued the case against them. Even when it is evident they acted fraudulent and massively public wastage of funds. The OPM Food Relief last year was a giant scheme of embezzlement and misuse of office. That’s why there was no tenders and no procurement protocol for in the food relief. It was all brotherly conduct and already using connects. That was the initial drive and this is why they inflated the prices on it.

This is why we know the state isn’t interested in fighting corruption or graft, when people like these are off the hook. The state is not going against the OPM and the ones involved. In the end… and they are able to walk.

That is the story here… and that should what the world needs to know. This isn’t the first or the last time people who is connected gets away from scandals. There been several who been in office and high ranking officials who can steal, embezzle and grand corruption. Still, they can walk to the Parliament, State House and now in the OPM without any consequences. The ones charged and detained on corruption is small-fishes. That’s why the ones sentenced in the Courts is teachers and headmasters eating of funds for ghost-workers and students.

The DPP is now giving way and letting them off the hook. The NRM has done this to others and this is Modus Operandi (M.O) by now. The President and the ones who is in the inner-circle can get away with murder and we know this. It just happened to be with COVID-19 Funds and Relief Food. The OPM wasn’t long time ago inflate refugee numbers to get more donor funds. Therefore, this is what they do to eat and does it deliberately. Therefore, the OPM needs to scheme to run it’s operation.

This isn’t shocking, but it’s a part of a pattern. 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.

Opinion: The State Minister for Teso Affairs have forgotten her role as a Minister by getting people arrested over nothing!

Until you put these things to right, you’re not entitled to boast of the justice meted out to thieves, for it’s a justice more specious than real or social desirable. You allow these people to be brought up in the worst possible way, and systematically corrupted from their earliest years. Finally, when they grow up and commit the crimes that they were obviously destined to commit, ever since they were children, you start punishing them. In other words, you create thieves, and then punish them for stealing.”Thomas More

We have this week been really introduced to the State Minister for Teso, Honourable Agnes Akiror Egunyu, who has made headlines for not having patience to wait in a queue inside a bank in Soroti. She is supposed to be busy help the Internally displaced in Teso, following up Presidential Pledges in the Region and other matters. However, for her it was more important to get people detained for making her stand in a tiny queue.

I will, first show the six key activities, that the State Minister is supposed to focus on, but she has apparently other motives in her work. As the quote of the Daily Monitor first and than New Vision follow-up. Seriously, it is a real mess, because the Teso Affairs isn’t that important to her.

Minister of Teso Affairs is supposed to do this: “1, Monitoring and coordinating the implementation of PRDP and other Government Programmes. 2, Coordinating/liaising and collaborating with other Government MDAs delivery of services. 3, Following up on the fulfilment of Presidential pledges. 4, Resettling former IDPs. 5, Promoting peace building and resolving conflicts. 6. Implementing special and specific affirmative interventions” (OPM – ‘Teso Affairs’).

A bank teller, who spoke to Daily Monitor on condition of anonymity, said Ms Akiror entered the bank and wanted to go past other clients straight to the teller. When the queueing clients complained, she got angry and called Mr Ogwal. Mr Ogwal told Daily Monitor that he was contacted by the minister for help on allegations that she had been attacked at the branch by two men as she made her transactions. “She called me like any other person for help. It is the reason I ordered the district police commander to rush to the bank where the arrests were made,” he said” (Muron & Emwamu, 2019).

Two customers of dfcu Bank’s Soroti branch who were arrested for allegedly disturbing the peace of the state minister for Teso affairs, Agnes Akiror Egunyu, in the bank hall have been charged and released on Police bond” (…) “In an interview with the New Vision, Akiror accused the duo for abusing her while she was making a transaction. “I found clients queuing in the bank without a teller in the counter to serve them. One teller accepted to help me after I pleaded for help, but those men started abusing me seriously,” Akiror said” (Opio, 2019).

She is really acting entitled with this action this week. Seemingly, the State Minister has forgotten her work, he play in society and that she is not above the ordinary people. The State Minister should have no issues waiting in a queue. That she got the two people arrested inside the Bank. Really shows her ways and how she has gotten corrupted by the Public Office she has. Instead of working for any of the key activities, because that is not to get people arrested for being customers inside a bank. Because that is what she did.

If she had been serious as a State Minister, we would have read reports where she took charge in the plenty of Presidential Pledges made in the Teso Regions. State Minister Akiror Egunyu did this to the citizens, which happened to be in the bank at the same time. Just so utter disgrace for her role in society and her natural entitlement.

She thinks she is that special now, that she can force herself first, as she is a Minister. That shows what is wrong in society, when the Police is called upon for this and detains them. Just because, they didn’t let her first in the queue. Peace.

Reference:

Emmanuel Opio – ‘Two arrested over insulting minister in bank hall’ 17.01.2019, link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1492780/arrested-insulting-minister-bank-hall

George Muron & Simon Peter Emwamu – ‘Bank clients arrested for ‘disturbing’ Teso minister’ 16.01.2019, link: https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Bank-clients-arrested-for–disturbing–Teso-minister/688334-4936798-mklyiiz/index.html

Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda letter to Parliamentary Committee on Presidential Affairs – “Meeting With the Prime Minister on the Bulambuli Resettlement Project” (05.12.2018)

MoFPED Matia Kasaija letter to All Development Partners: “Re: Clarification on the Decision of Cabinet of the Republic of Uganda Concerning the Reorganization of Government Institutions” (26.09.2018)

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