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.

Bahamas: The Bahamas National Reparations Committee’s Response to the Official Visit of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (22.03.2022)

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Opinion: Is the PM promoting defiance?

“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.

Opinion: Onek and the bloated cabinet

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.

Minister Hilary Onek letter to Prime Minister Nabbanja (29.10.2021)

Bahamas: Office of the Prime Minister on Recommended Press Guidelines (09.10.2021)

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.

The new cabinet isn’t that sharp [Museveni’s most intriguing Minister’s for 2021-26] Part I

When you have 80 Members of Parliament or the ability to appoint 80 people for various of Ministers. You should have a field day in appointing the geniuses and the wise to any of these ministries. There should be a capacity and ability to hand-pick the ones who are fitted to various of ministries. However in 2021 that’s a saga long forgotten.

President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni have now released the whole cabinet yesterday. I looked into to the two high profiled roles last night. However, I had a series last term, but doesn’t see it fitting this time to continue with the “Royal Court” series.

It is clear with this Cabinet that the loyalists, the ones who sought and fought for the Age Limit is still getting appointed. The ones who are close and abide the principals of the State House. They are getting rewarded and getting retained. That is clear here and it is visible.

Clearly, Gen. Moses Ali can never do anything wrong. He is just a forever presence. The agreement he made with the National Resistance Movement in 1986 must give Museveni reasons to retaining him. That agreement must give him a office and be viable character in government. In the year of 2021 and beyond.

The former Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga was demoted, but still got an office. She is the First Deputy Prime Minister and will still have some power. Also, be the Minister for East African Community Affairs.

Wife(y) Janet Museveni retains her control of the Ministry of Education and Sports. We know it is buy peace in the Middle East. Oh wait, it is to give her a Gucci bag and call it a day. This is her slush-fund and we are not seeing teachers or lectures getting a better life in their profession.

Then we have the return of Jim Muhwezi. His a forever stagnate fellow within the NRM. His gotten the Minister, Office of the President of Security. A man who was sacked several of time. The ex-Spy have gotten into scandals and been part of grand corruptions cases. This man is as corrupt as it gets and he will eat this term.

The former Secretary General of NRM, Justine Kasule Lumumba have now gotten appointed as Minister in Charge of General Duties/ Office of the Prime Minister. This is a smaller role and sort of unofficial “spokesperson” for the government and will not handle anything serious. Not like the previous person there had a lot of things to do.

Then you have Thomas Tayebwa, who has been an MP since 2016. Other roles than in Parliament is the Director of Cholmat Investments. His appointed as the Government Chief Whip. Last year he got known on social media for beating a UMEME staffer. Who happened to work on a line or transmission, which was illegally connected to the MPs house. Therefore, Tayebwa MP have some answers to give and not only ask forgiveness after. Especially, if the praise of Don Wanyama is true. That Thomas is a Christian and being generous. He should have shown that generosity towards the contracted worker of the UMEME. Not only show up at public functions and showing his giving hands.

Frank Tumwebaze MP had to be retained. He has had several of Ministries and he gets another one now. His a loyal man and was elected without any polls. As he was a unopposed MP in the General Election of 2021. This man is the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries. He will have three Minister of State underneath him. This is giving him vast power…

In no surprise Matia Kasaija is retained as the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED). He surely must have a strong grip on the Ministry and the President trust him blindly on this. Since he has had this for years and continues to stay in office.

For some strange reason, which I cannot phantom. Gen. Jeje Odongo is becoming the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Somewhere is Sam Kuteesa laughing and wonder what happened to him. That the sanctions on his corrupt ass finally hit home and took away one pay-check from all the others his getting. Gen. Odongo is the most defensive minister that’s appointed. His so defensive and willing to defend the indefensible. That this man will blame the pen, but not the ones shooting the bullets. He will dismiss the ones writing about extra-judicial killings, but defend the ones shooting the innocent civilian. That is the sort of man Odongo is and expect that in his work this term.

This is enough for now. There will be a follow up. There is enough characters to make your mind implode on the spot. The Cabinet of 2021-26 will not generate greatness …. It is there to serve Museveni and that’s it. These folks are there because of their loyalty and they will follow him until he pushes them overboard. That’s why people get used and dropped like nothing. Expect someone to cry havoc in the coming days. It is inevitable. Peace.

PS: Part II is on its way, but will dig for every soul mentioned … just like always.

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