Bahamas: Leader of Opposition – Michael C. Pintard – Pintard Challenges PM Davis to Provide the Facts (26.08.2022)
I write what I like.
“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.
““I want to advise Ugandans to go to petrol stations that have not hiked the prices. Two companies have not hiked their prices. Go and buy from those ones. These others will also follow suit because it’s now not necessary for any company to hike the price above Shs5,000” – Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja (Job Bwire – ‘Ugandans should boycott fuel stations that keep prices high- PM Nabbanja’ Daily Monitor, 20.01.2022).
We remember just mere years ago when the National Resistance Movement (NRM) government was going after “defiance”. Everyone was targeted for supporting defiance and planned corporate boycotts of businesses connected to the regime and it’s high ranking officials. There was an outrage and disgust.
The regime apologists defended going against defiance and civil disobedience. Now, the Prime Minister of the 11th Parliament and this term is speaking well of boycott. As the fuel-crisis is deepening and the state isn’t doing anything directly to help it out.
Another minister has challenged the need for arresting the fuel-station operators who is sky-rocketing the prices. As it is not a cause-and-effect scenario, as the needs for petrol is bigger than the imports of it. That’s why the prices is going up and the stations are struggling to serve the nation. Therefore, the crisis is a border issue and a supply issue.
Its not the petrol stations fault… it is the whole supply-chain from importers to the producer. As the landlock nation has made it hectic on the border and the border-post has stifled the imports. Even with the temporary stop of testing for COVID-19 on the Ugandan side of border. The Republic haven’t directly patched the hurt. No, it continues to damage the Republic and everyone in need for petrol.
The PM is showing her character her, instead of acting and finding solutions… the PM is speaking of boycotting and avoiding the petrol stations, which has to high prices. The PM should address the rises prices and the reason for it. It isn’t the companies or the stations itself, which is directly at fault. As they are based on the imports of petrol and the possibility of getting steady supplies as well. Because, if it goes empty and such … just proves the reason for the rising prices, as the needs are bigger than the current supply.
The PM should address that and the words of defiance is what an opposition leader should do. The opposition should act in defiance and ask for civil disobedience. Ask the public to boycott and stop using certain services. As that is even possible elsewhere… and when your low on fuel, your low on fuel. Then you need to buy and get more to be able to drive…
So, the PM knows this, as she has 4 wheel-drive and an SUV. She drives around and enjoys the perks of her office. Her office and her title covers for everything. There is no worries and it’s all paid for. The fuel-crisis doesn’t hit home and neither does it damage any of the elites in the government either. They are living lavish and don’t have to worry about pricing or inflation for that matter.
That’s why the defiant and defiance against certain fuel-stations is a foolish move, as it is a populist selection or trick. The state should secure the supply-chain and proper reserves to stifle the prices. Instead, the state is asking for civil disobedience, which isn’t a vibe your supposed to get from high ranking officials. Good luck doing that on the road from up-country to anywhere. So, the PM should reconsider, but don’t expect so. She’s high and mighty, which means she will not face any real consequences for this. Except for writings like mine… Peace.
That a minister is disgruntled and fell left behind is natural at some points of time. Governments and the Head of State has their missions, objectives and their pet-pees, which gets the blunt priority and usage of government resources. That’s why certain ministries, parastatals, government entities, commissions and such can all get lost in the whirlwind.
Now that Minister Hilary Onek is blaming Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja. That was inevitable. There are so many cooks and so few posts to do things. It is not like the President have made proper mandates or ministries. That’s why their so many who is Prime Minister’s and under the Office of the Prime Minister there are even more appointed ministers too. One of them just happens to be Onek who is a junior to the senior Nabbanja.
This squabble was about time. We could expect similar happening in the agricultural sector or educational sector for that matter. There are plenty of ministers in the same field. In combination of appointed permanent secretaries as well. The President have made this bed and only the ones eating of the plate and not complaining can be happy. This is the bridge to patronage and paying people for loyalty. Not because the state or the republic can afford to pay over 80 ministers, but it does…
Onek versus Nabbanja is just what that has to go down. Not because any of these are good bureaucrats or leaders of prestige. No, these are just sycophants who are hoping to get into the good graces with His Excellency. Just so they can have plum-jobs and get paid for the bare minimum. Not like they have to try or succeed. Unless, things falls apart and the President looks like a fool. Than you will be send packing and be made an example of. However, if you keep cool and eat the bread. The President will have you in his favours and that what most of them does.
Now we are at a place where Onek is disgruntled. He wants to be favourable and be respected. As he has a role and Nabbanja is playing within his field. While Nabbanja is also his boss in some manners. This is why this will be a loud fight. They will look stupid and possibly foolish. Some of their reasons might have validity, but this is the game that Museveni have given them.
There too many cooks in the kitchen and it just has to end up in disaster. The dish will taste like bland and lack of seasoning. There will be no clear direction and everyone will just encircle each other. This is why the state and the ministers are headless chickens running around trying to find their coop.
Onek might have something on Nabbanja, but in the grand scheme of things this doesn’t matter. They are both just running stooges of the President and not having the all powers invested in them. The President can just direct them on a whim and also decree their commission beneath them. So, it is not like their voices has power or massive ability. They should be happy to get paid and sleep in peace at night.
Nabbanja will be arrogant and not show any sort integrity. The current Prime Minister doesn’t have that in her. No, she’s the vocal voice of the government and she’s exposing her a lot. Because, she cannot govern and neither can she operate as an effective state official. It is not like she has the experience or skills of Mbabazi or Rugunda for that matter. No, she is just a figure-head and the majestic figurine on a sail-boat. That’s just her role and she can act like the governator.
Onek should just chill. Unless, he wants to be moved to another useless post or get appointed to become Special Envoy for Bolivia. We just know he has nothing to offer and should be grateful to even have a office to go to. Peace.