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Opinion: The EU is too late to the Party, when they are now asking for Electoral Reforms in Uganda!

It feels deliberate, that Eduardo Kukan dropped a statement on the 8th March 2018 as the General Election in Uganda was in February 2016. That is two years after, this is the Follow-Up Mission to the Electoral Observation Mission, that is long finished and didn’t deliver anything of significance. The whole thing ended up being a charade and mockery of the principals the EU is supposed to stand for. The rigging, the spending and buying votes, the inside deals and pre-ticked ballots should all say that the re-election to a fifth official term and unofficially 7th shouldn’t be legitimized by any entity. This is the same fellas that left Kololo, because the President’s stance on the ICC. Like they didn’t know?

So, we are in March 2018 and its two years and a month since the entered the port and all of the containers are left, all produce is eaten, all parts of the products is sold, stolen or gone. Therefore, there is very little to regard about the process. Very little the EU can do, because they are beholden to the man they validated. They validated the Supreme Court ruling, they validated the Mbabazi petition, they accepted the stolen votes from Besigye and the obvious lies of the Kiggundu Electoral Commission in favor of Museveni.

The EU should have pushed for the reforms in 1995-1996 if they we’re serious. While the President still looked like he cared a little bit and was a donor-friendly guy, now he despise anyone questioning him and his authority. He is always right, and the rest of you is wrong or can be bought. That is President Museveni now. They could have had a short in 2000-2001, even 2005-2006. Even as the term-limits was deposed at the time. When the true reality was that Museveni had no place of really retiring and spend time with his cows. The EU could have pushed for reforms in 2010-2011, even as the Walk to Work demonstrations (W2W) and the Activists 4 Change (A4C) who both challenged the Presidency. Clearly, the EU could have done more as an outside entity, if they cared about the Electoral Reforms.

So now, that the last election went through, the syncopates, the technocrats and cronies of Museveni is elected, appointed as advisors and whatnot. The EU is asking and begging for changes, since suddenly now is the time. Like Museveni would care about the plight of the Follow-Up Mission in 2018, when he just gotten his carrot in December 2017, the Life Presidency. Did the EU miss that charade? Did they sleep in Brussels and eating Belgian waffles? That is how it seems to me.

That the President that has centralized most of the power around him and his State House would now care about the EU, is to say bluntly naive. That the EU comes with recommendations now will not be listened too. Unless, they are dropping bunch of external funds and juicing the rabbit a little bit. Because Museveni is eating, his cronies is too and there is nothing you can tell him.

So when the EU stated this on the 8th of March 2018, its not hard to understand, why it is like this: “ The EU EFM has been heartened to find that the recommendations of the EU EOM have been disseminated across several institutions of State and that many interlocutors were familiar with the content of the recommendations. While there has been virtually no progress on implementation of the recommendations to date, awareness of proposals, and the grounds thereof, is a crucial first step in the achievement of the recommendations. Similarly, there is widespread awareness of the directives of the Supreme Court” (Eduardo Kukan – ‘EU Election Follow-up Mission to Uganda urges Authorities to take positive steps to improve electoral process’ 08.03.2018).

Like did you think the man, that has been running since a coup in 1986 would give in and change to a more democratic structure, the one who house-arrest his biggest threat without any jurisdiction or right by laws? Do you think the man who has all the state coffers, has all the bidders at his feet, will finally give way to your advice? Do you think the man who has used the guns to silence opposition and does it will kind of acronyms too.

I hate to say it to you Kukan, but your late to the party. The party-goers have left, they have their whiskey, their Waragin, their vodka and their Nile Brew, but are not interested in your anecdotes. They would have mattered some time ago, when the fire was burning, when Usher and Radio & Weasel was banging on the stereo. But now, the party has died down, the only left is the straws and the memories of the late night charade.

Kukan, you should have acted swiftly, you should have cared about the implications, but your entity and others validated Museveni. Just like you have done in the past. You let him of the hook and this here, will be a stain, but not something that covers the obvious. The theft of February 2016. That you accepted and did for selfish reasons beyond me.

You could have, you should have, but you never did. Peace.


Is the UAE using DP World Ports Deals to get diplomatic leverage now?

The Dubai based port and container company, that has catched a lot of flack within this week. Both with their devious deal, that the Federal Republic of Somalia dismissed, after Somaliland, Ethiopia and DP World went into a co-venture over the Berbera Port. If that isn’t enough internal and diplomatic squabble, nothing is. As the United Arab Emirates are even trying influence more politicians over deal on the Horn of Africa. As they have already had the power to get a 30 year deal in Somaliland.

However, that deal has been under fire and people have wondered if the Mogadishu government has accepted it or done so with a favor. Since, this is still a government facility and important hub. That other nations like Ethiopia would like to have their stake in. Secondly, DP World has already another agreement on the horn in the port of Doraleh Container Terminal (DCT). That deal was done in 2006 and got binned by the government of Djibouti late February. So, the 30 year deal in Djibouti has already gone south and if the UAE government business want to interfere on the horn, they still have leverage in Somaliland. Where similar deal was made and the same concession of the port. Therefore, in the similar time-span and leadership, you can wonder if the Somaliland leadership signed similar agreement as the Djibouti counterparts, who has now canceled it there.

As that is happening, there is news of building and operating a Banana Port in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where the agreements and the plans between Kabila’s government and DP World is appearing. Where the state will generate development and roads into the interior from the port, so the state can ensure the port that gets the containers and exports into the DRC. This is a big deal with amazing amount of funds going both to the Kabila cronies and the spending from DP World to upgrade the port there.

Since the writings notes of the 21st February 2018 Council of Ministers said about it:

The 5 texts on the Construction of the Banana Deep Water Port (the Proclamation of Harmonization of Views on the Contract Clauses of the Collaboration Agreement and the Shareholders’ Pact) and the Collective Agreement on Delegation of Service Public: the draft decree approving the Banana Deep Water Port Construction Agreement, the Muanda-Banana Estate Industrial Estate Decree and the Shareholder Corporation’s Shareholder Agreement. Banana Deep Water Port), the Council decided to visualize the project at its next meeting prior to any final decision on it” (COMPTE RENDU DE LA 8 ème REUNION ORDINAIRE DU CONSEIL DES MINISTRES, 21.02.2018).

Therefore, the DRC Government is planning to finalize an agreement with DP World, who has already had questionable agreements in Somaliland and Djibouti. This is not also to extend the arm of the company, but also give the UAE more involvement on the continent. As they have already ports agreement in Senegal and Somaliland, as they lost the one in Djibouti. Therefore, this would be possible now in the DRC.

We can now, see the diplomatic arm and business goes hand in hand, this through the port and UAE are using means of giant sums of infrastructure building, to get the government happy and ready to sign over their port control to the company, who happens to be state-run. This gives Dubai more power and also more control over the container business and handling of goods in these countries. As well, as the questionable dealings, are gaining the political elites, but not giving back to the community as a whole.

We can just wonder if this is a useful tool for Dubai and UAE to gain more political leverage in and around on the African continent, clearly it is working and getting reactions. We have to see if the Federal Government of Somalia, will do more than just canceling and dismissing the tripart agreement between Somaliland, Ethiopia and DP World. Just have to see how this can affect the relationship between FSG, Somaliland and DP World. Also, if the DP World really making itself ready to takeover the Banana Port. They are clearly, making influences and throwing money around to gain important infrastructures, like the ports. So, they can have leverage when concerning political games like in the Qatar Crisis. Peace.

Botswana: “Refusal by Some Leaders to Hand Over Power” (26.02.2018)

RDC: Communique du Comite Laic De Coordination (25.02.2018)

RDC: Moise Katumbi – “Declaration de soutien a l’appel du Comite laic pour la marche du 25 fevier 2018” (23.02.2018)

RDC: G7 Communique (22.02.2018)

DRC: A Report published today says Getler’s Mineral Royalties daily is the double of Messi’s salary!

Again, the investor and mineral licensing powerhouse in the Democratic Republic Congo, Dan Gertler is even more under fire after the revelations of his illicit trade during the recent years. Now, the formula and the amount of cash he gets from the foreign mineral extraction companies are paying for their passage to him. This as the deals between Getler and Kinshasa authorities are left in the dark. Whatever deal they have, certainly Getler is earning fortunes without doing more, than being connected to the Joseph Kabila government.

This report shows important facts and also bring certainties of the assumed fortunes made by Gertler, even as he is sanctioned and his corporations. Clearly, the mineral extraction is profitable in the midst of insecurity and civilian despair in the republic. While the businesses and the affiliates are eating, the public are fleeing militias and the army itself. The state is not serving the public, but the companies and the persons who has secret deals with the government. It is vicious and the international community let them, even as it is sanctioned, the acts are still appearing and has the ability to earn on it.

Based on a number of assumptions, Resource Matters estimates the royalties to the Gertler-affiliated companies can be expected to amount to about $110 million for 2018 and nearly $100 million for 2019. This means that Gertler risks losing about $270,000 in revenue from Glencore’s operations per day. That is nearly twice as much as the world’s best paid soccer player, Lionel Messi, makes at Barcelona” (Resource Matters, P: 6, 2018).

Glencore therefore has to balance the risk of increased pressure in Congo versus the risk of ending up on the U.S. sanctions list. This means that the royalty payments constitute a significant risk, whether they stop or continue. Investors should be able to know how Glencore will deal with this going forward. U.K anti-corruption organization Global Witness has repeatedly lamented the opacity of Glencore’s royalty payments to Gertler’s companies and called for better disclosure” (Resource Matters, P: 8, 2018).

This conclusion was somewhat hasty. Gertler’s gold companies do not explicitly feature on the sanctions list, but that in itself does not matter. Under the U.S. Treasury’s so-called 50%-rule, any company owned at least 50% by a sanctioned entity is considered, per se, sanctioned because it is deemed to be “blocked property” of the sanctioned person. Both Moku Goldmines and Société Minière de Moku-Beverendi are at least 50% owned by Fleurette, a sanctioned entity, and should be considered sanctioned, too. In addition, the fact that no payments are made to Gertler does not shield Randgold from the risk of being sanctioned. The U.S. Treasury could qualify Randgold’s exploration activities at Moku-Beverendi as ‘material support’ to a sanctioned entity and impose sanctions on Randgold” (Resource Matters, P: 9, 2018).

Gertler might be in hot-water and the Kabila government might have decisions to make concerning their alliance. Still, the trades and contracts has been made, if the Kabila government suspend and revoke it, they might have to pay a settlement. While wait for a new company or middle-man to secure a grand deal for the licensing. We can question if the loyalty will be there, as long as the sanctions might hit the companies who works with Gertler. Because, they do not want to lose the profitable and secure delivery of the cobalt and other minerals in the Republic.

Surely, Getler don’t want to miss his winning ways and his double earnings of Messi. He want it and doesn’t care about how. Getler just continue to score and get contracts, which makes his giant fortune. It is by the blessing of his connections in Kinshasa. Peace.


Resource Matters – ‘The Global Magnitsky – Effect How will U.S. sanctions against Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler affect the DR Congo’s extractive sector?” (February 2018).

RDC: Lucha – “Mise au point au sujet des allegations de soutien a la CENI et sur les manifestations de ces 23 et 25 fevier 2018” (21.02.2018)

RDC: Communique de la Coordonnatrice Humanitaire en Republique Democratique du Congo suite a la Mort de Deux Travailleurs Humanitaires au Nord-Kivu (19.02.2018)

RDC – CENCO: “Declaration de la Conference Episcopale Nationale du Congo – A l’issue de l’Assemblee Pleniere Extraordinaire du 15 au 17 Fevier 2018” (17.02.2018)

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