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Archive for the tag “OPM”

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.

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

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

OPM Refugee Scandal: Reloaded!

You would think that the Office of the Prime Minister, who is in-charge of the Refugees in Uganda, would trade the waters carefully, after the last year scandal of thousands upon thousands of ghost refugees. Which the OPM and the state was cashing in on. No, no, no, they are having yet another scheme, as the government are planning to misuse the refugee crisis in the neighbour countries to their advantage. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have no trouble doing so.

The Prime Minister Dr. Rugunda Ruhakana has clearly not lost the touch of deception or lying to the International Community for a buck. Here is yet another scheme made up to make the numbers sky-rocket!

More than 1000 Ugandans living in areas neighbouring Kyangwali refugee settlement were forced to attain refugee status in order to retain ‘ownership’ of their land. The scheme was reportedly crafted by Charles Bafaki, the principal resettlement officer in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Jolly Kebirungi, the camp commandant Kyangwali refugee settlement area, in the newly created Kikuube district and Lutaaya Vianney from ministry of Lands” (URN – ‘OPM forced Ugandans to register as refugees in Kyangwali’ 02.01.2019, link:https://observer.ug/news/headlines/59562-opm-officials-forced-ugandans-to-register-as-refugees-in-kyangwali).

With this in mind, the government are putting lives in jeopardy, making the citizens play as refugees, and not being citizens themselves. Supposed to seek refugee in a camp instead of living their ordinary life. This in a way to get higher numbers of refugees and more need of aid to take care of them. If this isn’t misusing resources and also reckless behaviour against own citizens. Nothing is. This is what Steady Progress means in the NRM land.

The OPM are already known for inflating numbers, but now they cheating also by making Ugandan citizens into refugees. That is really ensuring the UNHCR and all agencies for fools. As the GoU and OPM have no trouble risking their own citizens as pawns in a scheme to secure funding. While, also using this scheme to scare locals of losing their land, if they didn’t play along. That is how far they take it.

No mercy, no problems ensuring suffering for people, as long as the OPM secures more funds to itself. Peace.

Joint Local Statement on the Uganda refugees’ response (14.12.2018)

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

UNHCR statement on the refugee response programme in Uganda (30.11.2018)

The UN Office of Internal Oversight (OIOS) audit report into UNHCR’s Uganda operation, released this week, contains findings that show clear gaps and weaknesses in risk management in a number of areas during the period between July 2016 and December 2017. The audit followed the massive influx of refugees from South Sudan in 2016 – mid 2017, when UNHCR’s staffing capacity in key functions and in remote locations was very low, followed by a rapidly expanded operation in the second half of 2017 with many new staff and partners.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is in the business of saving lives and protecting people. Maintaining the trust and confidence of our donors and of the general public is of utmost importance to us. A number of internal reviews and technical oversight missions had identified risky areas in the operation during 2017. UNHCR worked closely with the OIOS auditors, who came to Uganda in February 2017, identifying issues and providing information that was used in the audit. We have accepted the recommendations of the OIOS auditors and have been working to address them well before this report was issued on 27 November, including in conjunction with Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister.

Underscoring the urgency with which UNHCR was seized with these issues, the High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, visited Kampala in January 2018 to assess the complex challenges being faced in the refugee response and meet with the government at the highest level. Amongst other measures introduced, he agreed with the Prime Minister to launch the verification exercise into refugee registration data just completed. He also upgraded the leadership of the UNHCR operation to manage these challenges. Various corrective measures have been put in place, supported by a plan for ongoing and future actions. There is continuous follow-up.

Measures we have taken to date include revising or redesigning and rolling out new Standard Operating Procedures for the reception of refugees, their registration, protection, assistance (food, non-food items – core relief supplies) and case management. The complaints and feedback mechanisms for refugees have been strengthened with a new inter-agency call-centre. We have also strengthened staffing in key operations functions, in particular with regard to reinforced capacities in oversight and management. These include the establishment of a senior post in risk management and compliance. Monitoring and reporting functions have additionally been reviewed, revised and enhanced.

In regard to road construction, an investigation is ongoing and we are pursuing a full recovery of funds from any project partners of concern. Allowances paid to civil servants are verified through attendance records and payment to individual bank accounts with overall responsibility lying with the government.

To address concerns about the accuracy of registration data, a countrywide biometric verification exercise of the refugee and asylum-seeker population was conducted between March and October 2018. The Government of Uganda is now committed to using the appropriate tools for continuous registration, which is their responsibility, and to ensuring the integrity of the registration process. The strengthened registration and case management systems will improve service and assistance delivery, including distribution of food. UNHCR is working closely with the Office of the Prime Minister in the roll-out of these new systems and jointly addressing obstacles that emerge in their practical application at field level.

UNHCR has also closely reviewed its monitoring of water delivery trucking in remote refugee settlements. We are doing top-to-bottom reviews of contracts, invoices and delivery verification before proceeding with any payments. Significant progress has been made in reducing water trucking, which is expensive, from 37 per cent in May 2017 to 7 per cent over the course of the year, following completion of several water schemes in Rhino, Imvepi and Palorinya refugee settlements in northern Uganda. With the new measures in place, we expect a further reduction to 5 per cent in December 2018.

The audit recommendations vis-à-vis partnership management, performance monitoring, procurement procedures, non-food item distribution and warehouse management are being addressed and toughened measures have been put in place, including with partner organizations and the Office of the Prime Minister, where these activities are jointly implemented. Progress will be reviewed regularly.

UNHCR has additionally established a high-level dialogue with the Office of the Prime Minister and other government authorities on the audit findings, including regarding recovery of funds as may be needed. Fuel cards and vehicle tracking have been introduced for implementation in 2019. A task force has been set up to review projects implemented by the Office of the Prime Minister. A preliminary report is due in mid-December.

UNHCR is determined to ensure the full integrity of the refugee response in Uganda and is addressing all issues identified in the audit report.

Opinion: The sad realities of the Ugandan involvement in South Sudan!

Today, it was two vital reports that came out on the subject. Both was how the National Resistance Movement, the NRM and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his government have been involved in the South Sudan civil war. For me this wasn’t shocking or really news. The reports locally has been there.

That the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) have supported the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) with arms, guns and weapons training. Even in the midst of an United Nations Embargo. Which wasn’t long ago, that the Uganda President promised to continue to supply the South Sudanese counterparts. However, none of that has gotten as a MEMO to the Western partners of Ugandan war-machine. Who has continued to supply them with arms and later on been traded to third parties in South Sudan.

While the guns and arms been flowing, the refugees has seek shelter and relief in Northern Uganda. As the same Western partners has donated funds as the massive refugee flow from across the border. As they are fleeing the conflict and civil war. The same Ugandan government, to trick the numbers and schemes to fund various operations of the state, even buy an expensive plot for a parking lot for the Office of the Prime Minister, has used them. This is the sort of activity happens from the government, who supply arms to the conflict, they are asking the same foreign donors to help with trouble it creates.

The UNCHR has spent a total of $129,9m in 2016 and $210m in 2017 on the Refugee operation in Uganda. This while the Ugandan authorities has ballooned the numbers and added over 300,000 refugees, which was ghosts. Therefore, the UNHCR and OPM had to after the scandal have a registration and verification drive, which also cost the UN Agency money. For instance, the OPM claimed to pay for 72 civil servants working on UNHCR projects and paying them salaries, but there was no clear documentation if they really existed or had a job. There was also procurement done without prior authorization or documents going up to about $34,4m, which was not approved off or cleared by the UNHCR.

When you combine these reports, show how blatant disregard the Ugandan government have, how they are both the mediator, the arms supplier and the refugee relief. While getting both the value for money for the arms, they are getting benefit on the refugees and they are supplying high-ranking government officials because of it. You can clearly get the gist of the operation.

The Ugandan government have been earning and using the conflict to gain monetary gains, in each side of the bargain. By circumventing the arms-embargo, while being a mediator and official “peace-maker” and hosting the refugees from the same conflict. That is really staggering, when your combining all the efforts and tricks done, to get another buck. Earning fortunes on others misfortune. Peace.

Jajja’s Traditional Blame Game: Instead of consoling the Republic after yesterday’s tragedy on Lake Victoria!

Yesterday, there was a bad accident on Lake Victoria as a party boat had an accident. This marine tragedy are showing the dire need for laws and regulations to be followed. Instead, the President are showing his magnitude of blame game. Which has been his Modus Operandi (M.O). The President could have used his position for something good. As the reflection of his non-caring and lax attitude is clearly showing.

The President and his regime isn’t really hands-on it. The President will not act upon this, expect for some PR exercises like being in a boat on Lake Victoria without a life-vest the day after the tragedy. Because, that is just showing his prime example of ignorance and care. As there are still plenty that the authorities are looking for, as the helicopters and police-boats have been looking for missing people.

That the President lacks care for his people is clear. That is evident with his statement, he comes with a message of condolences in the beginning paragraph, but from there. It is more blame-game, than anything else. That is proven by the quotes I have taken from his message. Because reading more, than that at this point. Is utterly pointless, as he recklessly before any proper investigation throws the owner of the boat overboard. Also, the mechanical status of the vessel too. Even if both is true, it is early to assume and assess that.

It seems the boat was overloaded because whereas it had capacity for 50 people only, it had about 120 passengers on board. The passengers also seemed to be partying with a lot of music. They might not have heard the emergency commands of the captain, who is still unaccounted for” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 25.11.2018).

This is why, apart from the anti-bad fishing campaign which the UPDF has been carrying out for some months now on the lakes, the government has also ordered the electronic registration and monitoring of all the boats so that we can know who is where on the lake and why. The five times I crossed in small boats or canoes some of the lakes of East Africa (thrice Lake Victoria and two times Lake Tanganyika), I found them very dangerous to cross when you are not fully prepared; no overloading, standby engines, life jackets, reliable navigation etc etc. Let everybody take the warning from this tragedy” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 25.11.2018).

So that President Museveni comes with a stern warning to everyone to be prepared in a written statement, to show up with no life-vest himself in his vessel on Lake Victoria. Will forever be imprinted on my mind, as people are waiting for the remains of people drowning in the Lake yesterday. These are family, friends and loved-ones who are gone. They are all missing because the laws and the regulatory affairs for marine vessels are not followed.

That the company didn’t follow the regulations with the Ministry, might not even follow protocol on the amount of people on the vessel, might all be true. But that isn’t the point after the tragedy. It is more the lack of control and the of real consequence of breaking the laws. If they are already in place, the business could still move-on, without consequence if the vessel had gone as usual. However, the tragedy hit and lives have been lost. This because the state, the marine units of the Police and the Ministry of Works and Transport. Even other authorities that didn’t have the ability to fulfill their mission, that is because the President haven’t cared or seen the need.

The President should have consoled the Republic, the President should have shown care and asked to wait for the Police and Army to investigate. As the families and friends are mourning their loved-ones, who died in the accident yesterday. The President didn’t do so, he came with arrogance and guns to shores of Lake Victoria. Showing his attitude and his vision. Blaming anyone in sight.

Even promising new ways of registration of vessels. However, this methods will not stop boats from running with to many in the crew or on-board. Just as long as there are no Fika Salama on the roads, the drivers of special and taxis are filled to capacity and far over the reach of seats with passengers. People knows this and the President does too. There are even bodas with dozens of people, and these are only supposed to have two persons on-board.

Therefore, the President has laws and regulations, but his authorities are not able to comply or even care for the public. That is a disgrace and shows how little other than self interest for being there. That is why he warns others, but doesn’t use it himself. He could even have a life-vest on, while being on the Lake. That is the kind of man he is. Peace.

Statement from the Prime Minister of the Republic of Uganda regarding the Boat Accident on Lake Victoria (25.11.2018)

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