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Opinion: President Museveni praises Equatorial Guinea for it’s rampant Oil-Corruption; wants to learn his tricks!

In these days the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda are on a state visit in Malabo, visiting and learning tricks from the Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Nguema Obiang, who has used the oil to enrich himself and his loyal subjects. Not build a welfare state, but make sure the family of Obiang get wealthy. Certainly, Uganda is preparing for their own oil production in the Lake Albertine basin, as the pipeline building from the production to the Port Tanga in Tanzania.

This is why President Museveni are visiting Equatorial Guinea to learn the tricks of the trade, as the state of Uganda are still in the dark of the oil-deals between the international companies and the state. We can wonder how the funds will be spoiled and how Museveni plans to use the oil funds for personal gains. If so, he wouldn’t praise President Obiang, who has his whole career to spend the oil profits from his republic. This is what Museveni wants to learn, since his career has been tricking out all sorts of play from Ugandan republic. The petroleum profits can be misspent and hidden just like in the republic of Obiang. Take a look!

President Museveni’s praise:

We are therefore in Equatorial Guinea for two things: looking at how to support prosperity of one another and how to push for our strategic security. I also congratulate Equatorial Guinea for using it’s oil and gas very well. When I was last here for the AU Summit, I noticed gaps between the airport and the city centre. Today, all these gaps were gone. In their place are new, well-planned buildings. And I see the city is refurbished. Some people say oil is a curse but in Equatorial Guinea it is a blessing” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 26.08.2017)

Business in Equatorial Guinea:

Since the discovery of the offshore oil deposits, many investors have shown great interest in the country. Foreign direct investment inflows into the country had thus been consistently high for the past years. Nevertheless, in 2016 the FDI inflow amounted to USD 54 million, a sharp decrease from USD 233 million recorded the previous year (and the historical peak of USD 2.73 billion in 2010) . The total stock of FDI in the country is currently at USD 13.4 billion” (…) “Corruption in particular is problematic. In addition, the business climate of the country remains rather unfavourable for investment. Cumbersome procedures and high compliance costs slow licensing and make starting a business more difficult. Weak regulatory and judicial systems may discourage foreign investment as well, along with high credit costs and limited access to financing. The government controls long-term lending through the state-owned development bank. Equatorial Guinea ranked 178th out of 190 countries in the 2017 Doing Business report published by the World Bank, losing three spots compared to the previous year” (Santander Trade, 2017).

Son of the President on trial:

The corruption trial of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, ended in Paris on 6 July with the prosecution calling for a three-year jail term, a €30 million (US$34 million) fine and the confiscation of assets. The Tribunal will return a verdict on 27 October. The 48-year-old vice-president of Equatorial Guinea was not in court to hear the prosecution’s claim that he used money stolen from his country’s treasury and laundered through a shell company to fund a lavish lifestyle in France” (Transparency International, 2017).

This was what that is well-known of the Equatorial Guinea corruption and the son of President has also had challenging cases in the United States. Now the son is also having alleged fraud and criminal charges in France. Clearly, the Ugandan President has already known for corruption behavior. Therefore, even a state agency of PPDA has some words, that the government needs strict regulations before procurement and infrastructure development. This will be clearly important when it comes to petroleum industry. Take a look!

PPDA strict regulation on public procurement:

Public procurement is a key pillar of the public financial management system. The country’s budget and plans are translated into actual services to our people through the public procurement system. It is also the link between the public sector and the private sector as it is the medium through which the private sector does business with Government. Public procurement therefore involves large sums of money and as our budget grows with the priorities of Government remaining infrastructure development, the proportion of the budget earmarked for public procurement remains significant and therefore calls for strict regulation” (PPDA, 2017).

Audits and investigations by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets indicate that corruption in the procurement process manifests more in the evaluation of bids, reported to be at 58%. PPDA’s Manager Capacity Building Ronald Tumuhairwe says such corrupt practices lead to awarding of contracts to incompetent individuals hence shoddy works in several government projects” (…) “He adds that the second process where corruption manifests is awarding of contracts at 12.5%, followed by receipt and opening of bids, reviewing evaluation of bids, advertising and signing of contracts” (Sebunya, 2017).

President Museveni clearly has own agencies saying it is important with strict regulations on procurement and infrastructure developments like the ones needed for oil industry in the republic. The regulation of oil industry is lax, to make sure the state isn’t transparent with its profits and taxation of the industry. This is what Museveni wants, that the state and the public doesn’t know the contracts or the agreements between the parties involved. That is something President Obiang surely have the capacity to teach Museveni. And how to make sure his family is earning from the state resource, instead of the public and the state itself. Peace.

Reference:

Transparency International – ‘ON TRIAL FOR CORRUPTION: FRENCH PROSECUTORS DEMAND JAIL TERM AND €30 MILLION FINE FOR OBIANG’ (11.07.2017) link: https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/on_trial_for_corruption_french_prosecutors_demand_jail_term_and_30_million

Santander Trade – ‘EQUATORIAL GUINEA: FOREIGN INVESTMENT’ (August 2017) link: https://en.portal.santandertrade.com/establish-overseas/equatorial-guinea/investing-3

Sebunya, Wycliffe – ‘Corruption manifests most in the procurement process – IG’ (25.08.2017) link:http://radioonefm90.com/corruption-manifests-most-in-the-procurement-process-ig/

PPDA – ‘EVALUATING INNOVATIVE ANTI CORRUPTION POLICIES IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT IN UGANDA’ (02.08.2017) link: https://www.ppda.go.ug/evaluating-innovative-anti-corruption-policies-in-public-procurement-in-uganda/

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OAG Muwanga explains in two reports problems and errors within the Petroleum Industry!

The Auditor General has two reports on the Petroleum Industry and the issues of Petroleum Data and the Petroleum Fund. The errors of the state, the PAYE of the tax to URA. Proves that the monies earmarked for the Petroleum Fund, ends up in the Consolidation Fund. This is proof of the problematic use of the added taxes before the oil adventure really takes off and the drilling of the explored blocks in the Lake Albertine Basin. Where already different international companies have come to drill and the state is making a petroleum pipeline to Port Tanga in Tanzania. Therefore, these vast resources and possible taxes created by the industry and within the Republic. Still, the default problems that the Auditor General address can be fixed. It is just a matter of morals and actually following guidelines. Some are even set in the Public Finance and Management Act of 2015, so if for instance URA follows it, the problems of transactions into wrong fund can create payment arrears and also future problem of spending by the state. Since the misuse of funds and taxes can be allocated to other than what they was expected, as the Consolidation Fund has other uses than the Petroleum Fund. Just take a look!

Petroleum Fund:

For the six months ending December 31, 2016, the Fund received non tax revenue worth UGX 922,348,854 (USD270,900) as surface rental fees from Tullow Uganda Operations Pty and Total E & P Uganda” (OAG, P: 7, 2017).

It was however noted that monies collected by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) under the income tax on income derived from petroleum operations such as PAYE, VAT and WHT is not being remitted to the Uganda Petroleum Fund. This contravenes the Public Finance and Management Act 2015” (…) “In their opinion PAYE is not tax charged on income derived from petroleum operations but paid by the employees and as such it had been excluded from the definitions of petroleum revenues. Arising out of the above it was established that UGX.l1,390,530,053 collected through the commercial banks and remitted to the consolidated fund should have instead been transferred to the Petroleum Fund. Management has promised to remit it to the Petroleum Fund before closure of the financial year 2016/17” (OAG, P: 10, 2017).

During the period under review, the fund received USD 270,900 (Two hundred seventy thousand, nine hundred dollars) in respect of surface area rentals consisting of USD 113,400 (One hundred thirteen thousand, four hundred dollars) paid by Total E& P Uganda for the development areas of Ngiri, Jobi-Rii and Gunya and USD 157,500 was paid by Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Ltd for development areas of soga, gege, Kasemene, Wahrindi, Nzizi-Mputa & Waraga, and Kigogole- Ngara Unrealised foreign exchange gains worth UGX 15,093,435,449 have been recognised in the Statement of Changes in Equity. These arose from translating the USD opening balances and revenue collected during the period into UGX at the closing rate for reporting purposes” (OAG, P: 14, 2017).

Petroleum Data:

The oil companies did not fully comply with submission of reports relating to their drilling, exploration activities and operations as required. Delays and non-submission of reports results in an incomplete database which may reduce the effective use of the database in petroleum resource management” (OAG, P: vi, 2016). “The shortcomings in the management of petroleum data by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development may affect the completeness of the data on the existing petroleum potential, extent of reserves, and amount recoverable thus reducing Uganda’s ability to maximally exploit and benefit from its oil and gas resource potential. A thorough understanding of the resource base and its geographical distribution informs key decisions on the rate of exploitation and potential future revenues” (OAG, P: viii, 2016).

This should all be worrying that the State and the Industry isn’t sufficiently ready for the activity, as the URA cannot even allocate funds correctly. This is even before the Petroleum Data is taken care of and made sure that the exploitation and drilling happens where the best well is within the block. Secondly, the real value of the reports and the licenses that the state would offer to the companies. That because the flow of data and the status of it wouldn’t be where it could be. This is losses created by maladministration and lacking will of institutionalize the knowledge. Instead, the Petroleum Industry is controlled and has just a few handshakes away from the State House. That is why the URA might have delivered the funds to the Consolidation Fund instead of the Petroleum Fund. All of the potential might be wasted in the lack of protocol and care of resources management that is needed in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MoEMD).

The recommendations and the looks into the issues should be taken serious by the Petroleum Industry and the MoEMD. So the state could both earn more on the industry and also create more positive growth through the provisions that is already made in Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2015. So time will tell if they will be more reckless, if they will listen to the OAG or if the Presidential Handshakes will steal it all for keeping the NRM cronyism at bay. Peace.

Reference:

Office of the Auditor General Uganda – ‘REPORT OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL ON THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS OF THE PETROLEUM FUND FOR THE SIX MONTH PERIOD ENDED 31sT DECEMBER 2016’ (07.06.2017) – John F.S. Muwanga

Office of the Auditor General Uganda – ‘Management of Petroleum Data by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development’ (December 2016) – John F.S. Muwanga

USA: Durbin Calls On Illinois to Refuse Request to Release Illinois Voter Files To Trump Commisson on Voter Fraud (03.07.2017)

USA: Attorney General Frosh Statement on Request for Personal Information of Maryland Voters (03.07.2017)

UPDF: Military Police has not taken over Police Powers and Resources (21.06.2017)

Uganda: UPF Circular – “Individual Responsibility for Court Awards Arising out of Police Action” (13.06.2017)

Uganda: UPF Circular – “Arresting People for the Offence of Idle and Disorderly” (13.06.2017)

#SOTNUG17: A look into the Policing the NRM Way!

He was at it again for the 31st time or 30th since he didn’t do this in first year after the coup d’etat. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. That being the old-man-with-the-hat having his first State of the Union in 1987. Times are changing but he is still not caring about facts or using his tricks to make himself look like a genius and savior. Even if there are far from it and makes sure the others are to blame. That is what President Museveni do. Therefore, I am just looking at parts of his speech, since there are many details and many things you could put a finger on and discuss. As it could be as simple as explaining the roads funds and research the pledged roads, which he said today was all paid by Government of Uganda (GoU), while if you look over the previous funding of the roads you would see the money might be foreign. Instead, I will look the security issues, the torture and the Policing. Because it is so important and the man trust IGP Kale Kayihura so much, who has made the Police a long-arm of the ruling regime. With that in mind, I had to focus on this and not on all the other subjects that the President spoke about. Take a look!

The Police do not have to wait for the crime to be committed. Through good intelligence, most crimes can be prevented. Most of the suspects arrested after the murder of Kawesi and others, even if they were not involved in the killing of Kawesi, they had committed other capital offences, many of which carry death sentences or life imprisonment. Why, then, were they still in circulation? That means somebody was not doing his or her work” (Museveni, 2017).

Mr. President, why wasn’t these men caught for the other cases, than the murder case of the AIGP Andrew Kaweesi. This case has been public and there been an awesome amount of possible suspects. These has been hundreds and even the kids of suspects has been detained. Therefore, that all of these might have other crimes on their hands, that might be true, but still they all could be innocent. So the President has decided their fate without trial, which is a rare, but common practice by the President.

The other day, I was in Kalerwe and the youth there were complaining of the Police arresting them for being “idle and disorderly”. This must stop completely. Some of the youth are idle because they do not have jobs. Why arrest them for that? The revolutionary should be like “fish in water”. A revolutionary should never be “fish in no water”” (Museveni, 2017).

As seen how the Police are working there are reports and studies on the subject, as the Police are the long-hand of the regime under the President. This can be quoted by: “One sub-county official explained that the activities of crime preventers are handled at the village level and news of them doesn’t reach his office, while another said they are too informal to discuss in a semi-structured interview with me. What happens in the village is not of concern, so long as it is not organized violent crime or resistance to the government. Although security groups are framed as local responses to local problems, the government retains the right to intervene and police their activities, frequently making arrests in relation to groups’ night patrols, the degree of force they employ and the appropriateness of their involvement in interpersonal conflicts” (Tapscott, 2017). So the are local policing that are framing the locals. These seems like the ones the President are talking about. Just similar stories even made the Police themselves in April 2017: “Tools like pangas, hammers and pick axes were provided to carry out their missions. The suspects also said that, the many youths were collected from parts of Kawempe Kalerwe Namugoona among others areas specifically to break into houses and once you were in the gang there was no way out. The IGP said criminals have used crime to be a business venture, and after the tension caused by these goons the police has taken action, and over 100 arrested and 50 appeared before court. Since then areas of Masaka are secure” (Uganda Police Force, 2017). So there apparently gangs, that are idle and unemployed as well. Certainly, there could be incidents where the police detain and arrest youths as a way of extorting them, since the payment for being a Police Officer in Uganda isn’t that splendid. This has been reported a lot of times and stories been told on the social media from all parts of Uganda.

The issue of alleged torture by the Police, was addressed by myself in the usual NRM/NRA way. We always combine educational methods (sensitization) and administrative methods (punishments, demotions, etc,). When these reports came up, I carried out analysis of torture and how it, actually, impedes successful investigations. That is a very powerful message because it addresses the whys and the why-nots of an issue. It addresses the “Policeman of the mind” rather than just the “Policeman of the body”. I saw some NGOs and allied persons pouring scorn on my methods and recommending only fascist methods of arrests and imprisonment without education. Could these “experts in-everything” tell us why the UPDF is able to operate in Somalia, Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan, etc. without complaining? Is it because of high pay or fear of imprisonment? Do these “know-it-alls” remember that our Army is a volunteer Army? Do they know that one can make much more money in the private sector than in the army? it, actually, impedes successful investigations. That is a very powerful message because it addresses the whys and the why-nots of an issue. It addresses the “Policeman of the mind” rather than just the “Policeman of the body”. I saw some NGOs and allied persons pouring scorn on my methods and recommending only fascist methods of arrests and imprisonment without education. Could these “experts in-everything” tell us why the UPDF is able to operate in Somalia, Central African Republic, Congo, South Sudan, etc. without complaining? Is it because of high pay or fear of imprisonment? Do these “know-it-alls” remember that our Army is a volunteer Army? Do they know that one can make much more money in the private sector than in the army? Let the “know-it-alls” be informed that the UPDF does what it does because of conviction. Okunyonyora (to explain, to sensitize) has been the life and blood of Fronasa, of the NRA, of the UPDF. To end this point, be informed that Uganda is free of war and it will remain so and the spike in lawlessness is being defeated even before we fill all the gaps and will be totally defeated when the gaps are filled” (Musveni, 2017).

The NRM Way are clearly not a healthy one, even if this is reported through the wits of NGO’s who know’s to much and cannot be trusted. This is what the President himself said. Because the UPDF are such wiseguys, since they are there voluntarily, But here is some quick reports of the torture, that has been also rampant part of the security organizations at places like Nalufenya. So this has been a discussed theme, but show’s the part of how the State in Uganda uses the Police Force and also other organizations in oppressive behavior.

Like these two reports: 

In similar fashion, presently, there is the recruitment of persons, undergoing rigorous training for purported legal purposes. Under the auspices of the Uganda Police, ‘crime preventers’ are being recruited and trained, ofcially, to fght crime.14 However, a critical assessment of this group reveals that it is a band of civilian vigilantes recruited by the government aimed at intimidating or reducing support for the political opposition through illegal means, including torture” (Chapter Four, P: 13, 2016).

Various reports indicate the following as some of the patterns of torture in Uganda.

i) Being held incommunicado – where a person is arrested, detained and no access is allowed and no opportunity to communicate with other people.

ii) Extra-judicial executions – where suspects are executed without going through the due process of law and in most cases where they lack sufficient evidence on a case.

iii) Threats and intimidation through text messages and phone calls.

iv) Enforced disappearance – where a person is arrested in context of terrorism and treason suspects then disappears with trace and explanation.

v) Cases of rape by government and rebel forces during the conflict in Northern Uganda” (ACTV, P: 21, 2015).

This is just the sensitization and the NRM way of torture, that is well-known, so when the President speaks so found of his army. I have a hard time believing him or trusting his words. Seems more like promising words and praising of UPDF. Since it solves everything, the Operation Wealth Creation are even parts of the UPDF. That should make you think and also consider the places of the army. Since the army and police force aren’t only there for security reasons, but also for political reasons. That is why the President has to praise the army.

I think this is enough for now! Peace.

Reference:

African Centre for Treatment and Rehabilitation of Torture Victims (ACTV) – ‘THE SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS ON THE PREVALENCE OF TORTURE IN UGANDA’ (November 2015)

Chapter Four – ‘Free Expression and Assembly in Peril ahead of 2016 Polls’ (2016)

Tapscott, Rebecca – ‘The Government Has Long Hands: Institutionalized Arbitrariness and Local Security Initiatives in Northern Uganda’ (06.03.2017) link: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/dech.12294/full

Uganda Police Force – ‘MASAKA, KAMPALA CRIMINALS GANGS HAVE CONFESSED’ (24.04.2017) link: http://www.upf.go.ug/masaka-kampala-criminals-gangs-confessed/

Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘State of The Nation Address’ – Republic of Uganda, Kampala (06.06.2017)

USA: EPA Acting Deputy Adminstrator E-Mail – “Agency’s Workforce Shaping through Voluntary Early Retirement and Separation Incentive Payment Authorities (VERA/VSIP) – (01.06.2017)

Deliberately without thinking, Mwenda ‘spilled the beans’ of the NRM Police State!

It takes to two to tango, and it takes many hands to destroy a community, but it does not take many to usher in policies. Therefore, in the mix of Ugandan politics and with time the Police has added significance, as the IGP Kale Kayihura has many times told how to hold consultant meetings and even been teaching journalist how to do their jobs. This is in the effort to stifle the opposition and their mission to prove their viable candidates over the only man with a vision. Mr. President, His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, he who Kayihura is so loyal too. So certainly, the Independent and Mwenda without thinking in his praise of the political police sessions and the use of the Police Force to either create an unlawful arrest, harass them and even obstruct political dissidents in their rallies. Let’s take the words of Mwenda himself for a minute.

“Hence, Kayihura’s most critical role has been to transform the police into an arm of the NRM. He secured for Museveni the loyalty of a major security institution that had been independent of NRM politics, hence reducing the role of the army in quelling protests. Kayihura did for Museveni what Central Bank governor, Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile did for IMF. Mutebile converted Museveni into a free market ideologue, thereby turning a Marxist revolutionary into an agent of imperialism” (…) “This masterstroke significantly shrunk the role of ISO and CMI in the soft game of consolidating Museveni’s power. Kayihura’s success here has come at the price of reduced emphasis on criminal investigations, hence negatively impacting the rate of its professional development in the force. However, overall Kayihura’s strategy has bolstered the position of the Uganda police politically, making it a powerful centre of power” (Mwenda, 2017).

The thing that strikes me and should strike anyone who cares about justice or free and fair policing. Is that he is saying it is a good thing, that the Police Force is embedded with the ruling regime. The development under IGP Kayihura is so that the Police get better control because they work directly for the NRM. Not that Police works for the Ugandans or after its supposed constitutions and laws, but for the mercy of the NRM. That is unique and shows how oppressive the mind of Mwenda has become. If not he has become subdued by the NRM and is now the grand apologist.

This sentence should boggle anyone with a sound mind: “Kayihura’s success here has come at the price of reduced emphasis on criminal investigations”, well Mr. Mwenda is not the Police Force supposed to catch criminals and do criminal investigations. Certainly, if it was an arm of a Political Party it would have other functions, but the UPF or Police Force are supposed to solve criminal activity and monitor that. They should not need to look and see, if Olara Otunnu are buying cassava, Norbert Mao feeding his chickens or be part of the convoy of Jennifer Musisi. That is just me though. Peace

Reference:

Mwenda, Andrew – ‘THE LAST WORD: Why Kayihura remains IGP’ (22.05.2017) link: https://www.independent.co.ug/last-word-kayihura-remains-igp/2/

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