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Archive for the tag “Refugee”

Mzee complains today about waste, however he haven’t rehabilitated sugar industry or revamped pharmaceutical industry either!

“In this regard, we need to learn and apply lessons from emerging economies such as India, whose total healthcare industry revenue is expected to increase from US$ 110 billion in 2016 to US$ 372 billion in 2022 in response to deliberate investments in telemedicine, manufacturing of medicines and health technologies, medical tourism, health workforce training and risk pooling/health insurance, among others. In order to achieve this, we need to plan in a harmonized way. In Uganda, for instance, we, indeed, have a nascent pharmaceutical industry producing Aids/HIV, Malaria, Hepatitis-B, pharmaceuticals, etc. drugs. These are, however, still using imported pharmaceutical grade starch and imported pharmaceutical grade sugar. The pharmaceutical grade starch and sugar are crucial for making tablets and syrups for children’s medicines. Yet, the starch is from maize and cassava and the pharmaceutical grade sugar is from sugar. I am told the drugs would be 20% cheaper. Moreover, apart from helping in the pharmaceutical industry, more refined sugar is also needed in the soft drinks industry. Uganda is squandering US$34 million per year importing refined sugar for the soft drinks, about US$ 20 million for importing the pharmaceutical grade starches not including the other raw materials, US$ 77million for taking patients to India etc. Africa is incredibly rich but wasteful” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE JOINT EAC HEADS OF STATE RETREAT ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND HEALTH FINANCING AND DEVELOPMENT, 22.02.2018).

Seems like the 1980s World Bank loans to restart Kakira Sugar Works hasn’t done enough, since the Ugandan state did right after the National Resistance Army takeover of the state. They went into an arrangement with the World Bank getting loans for the company, to restart. That deal was done 8th March 1988. As the documents said back in 198:

“Uganda currently imports US$15-20 million worth of sugar annually, which ranks second only to petroleum imports. Import substitution through restoration of domestic production capacity is therefore a high priority and eminently justified given the considerable comparative advantage Uganda enjoys as a result of its landlocked situation. Conditions for sugar production at Kakira are highly favorable. Cane growing benefits from excellent soils, good rainfall distribution (requiring only limited sunplementary irrigation) and relatively low levels of inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. The project brings back to the Kakira complex the original owners who have a demonstrated ability to manage sugar operations at Kakira and elsewhere” (SUGAR REHABILITATION PROJECT, 08.03.1988).

Therefore, what the President said today, the Sugar Rehabilitation Project, which was done to stop the heavy imports of sugar and for consumption, has clearly not worked as projected. Since his own state is squandering their resources and not even following the loans to make the project work. That is my take on it. The president of 32 years has clearly mismanaged this and not finished his job. Since he hasn’t been able to rehabilitate the industry.

When it comes to pharmaceutical industry there massive challenges, not just the sugar starch for medicine coverage of the pills. Nevertheless, the whole arrangement, since the technology to operate these machines are imported, as well is the parts. Not only the sugar starch, but also the ingredients are imported too, than you have few companies who has automated manufactures, which makes hard to make medicine on a larger scale. It is also high operation cost, because of use of back-up generators because of blackouts and shortfall of electricity. Because of this, it is expensive to have cold storage of the medicine and have a storage for the final products.

So the Idea from Museveni that it is simple, it is the whole system around it, that makes it more profitable to import ready made medicine, than actually produce it. Even if the added value of production would be there, but with the circumstances put by United Nations Industrial Development Organization, seemingly it is from 2009. However, the state of affairs hasn’t changed that much.

We can really estimate, that the adjustment and the needed organization to pull forward both industries during the years of NRM hasn’t been totally fruitful. If so, why would he complain about the imports of sugar and medicine, when he hasn’t been able to make it function with his 32 years of reign? Someone who has 3 decades, should have the ability and time to find the information, finalize plans and execute as seen fit. That is if he cared about the industries in question and their possible engines for growth and riches of Africa. Nevertheless, he hasn’t cared and haven’t used the time wisely. He has used the time bitching and not acting. That is just the way things is and it isn’t becoming better either.

He could have made sure that the pharmaceutical industry had energy, had the sufficient organization behind it to make the medicine, not only import and assemble certain medicine, he could have made sure the sugar industry was profitable and had the equipment to make the refined sugar used in the pharmaceutical industry. However, both is a lost cause, because it takes money and time. Both, is something he doesn’t have, since the narrative isn’t making him wealthy.

Alas, he we are at the status quo, with a President running for life and complaining about waste. When he has wasted 32 years and not made effort to change it. It is all talk and no fire. Peace.

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USA: Congressional Black Caucus letter to President Trump on the elimination of the Diversity Immigration Visa (DV) – (12.02.2018)

Opinion: USA needs to pull-out troops world-wide since they pulling out of UN Global Compact on Migration!

Now the that United States of America, the US Government officially pulled out of the United National Global Compact on Migration. This happens as the Phase 1 of negotiations are going on and the 24 elements was agreed upon in the New York Declaration. Which are elements that are vital for working of security, stability and human rights for the migrants, as stated as this: “improving cooperation in this regard between countries of origin and destination.” (Global Compact on Migration, 13.03.2017).

So now that the International Community at large are going into Phase II: “Phase 2, Stock-taking. After the consultations, there will be an intergovernmental stock-taking conference in Guadalajara, Mexico, in early December, where inputs from the consultations will be presented and discussed, then consolidated as the basis for a draft. The co-facilitators– the Swiss and Mexican governments– will produce a first draft of the Global Compact on Safe, Regular and Orderly Migration by February 2018 which will be the basis for the intergovernmental negotiations culminating in the compact (Phase 3). Negotiations should be concluded by the end of July ahead of the September conference” (Global Compact on Migration, 13.03.2017).

This meaning that the elements and pillars of rights for migration and co-operations between states will be set by the paradigm made by the consultations and previous declarations. Clearly, the United States don’t want to participate or even set agenda for positive change. They want to become a pariah state. The United States under President Donald J. Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are planning to become hated worldwide, to a level even President George W. Bush didn’t even achieve. By the way, that is impressive.

Why I dislike the pulling out of the United States in the UN Global Compact, is for the simple reason. They are involved in so many conflicts, they are trading so much arms and weapons worldwide. That the ones that are a warlord, are a supporter of conflicts and is initiating it too. Should take responsibility and actually make sure the refugees and the migrants from crisis are getting a new home. That should make sense for all. The US Army has troops in Somalia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Poland, Ukraine, Niger, Japan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Spain, South Sudan, Estonia, Norway, South Korea, Israel and Bahrain.

So the US Army and Navy are stationed everywhere and has bases all over the globe. They are even involved and has Guam, who has been in the spotlight in the fist-fight between North Korean President Kim Yung-Un and President Trump. What is also worrying and hard to know is the estimates of trade of arms and weapons to all parts of the world. This also small-arms, fighter-planes and equipment that used to keep both allies and undemocratic regimes in power. Either for internal conflicts or for loyalty to the US. Therefore, the creation of UN Compact is so important to put migration and refugees in center, as they are fleeing conflicts in their homes and nations to get to safety. That is why the world has to make sure they have provisions and plans to shelter these individuals. They deserve better, especially from the United States.

The world cannot trust the Trump Administration, neither their actions. They should stop dropping drone attacks world-wide. They should stop supporting the Saudi Arabia’s attacks in Yemen. Their bombings in Somalia. Their initial warfare in Afganistan, they shouldn’t be involved around the Lake Chad and Nigeria, Cameroon and Sahel Region. They are just creating more refugees and migrants. While they have no honor and no pride, to actually shelter them and make sure there is international laws to cover their hurt. We know that now, Nikki Haley and the US Government has decided so.

The bravery and the proud American state is failing. The next Banana Republic with huge debt and deficit. Cannot take of their own poor and now want to make sure they are not friendly with the international community and taking responsibility for their actions. We know that now, the US is irresponsible and irrational. The Trump Administration can screw themselves in the oval office in Washington. We cannot trust the Americans anymore, they are just thinking about themselves and not about the greater good. United States is a selfish state who don’t take responsibility and that should be sanctioned, like they sanctions others. Peace.

United States Ends Participation in Global Compact on Migration (02.12.2017)

Opinion: You know that Kagame didn’t really win with 98,66% when he has to intimidate Rwigara!

I know I will shot-out of the gates and say that Paul Kagame, who won with 98,66 % in the Presidential Election in August 2017. Didn’t really win by that margin and have that sort of support. For some this might be controversial, others saying I’m hater. I will take that any part of the day and close my eyes in content. Kagame didn’t win by that margin and he didn’t have that massive support.

For the simple reason, ever since the election he has had to silence Diana Rwigara and her family. Latest stint was in Court this week. She has been arrested on unknown locations and been taken away from home. Why is Kagame so afraid of Rwigara? Well, he is afraid of being questioned and having real opposition. That is because Kagame does whatever he can to have none. The ones who has been is either in exile, detained or gotten the arrested for treason against the state. That means they don’t have loyalty to Kagame or his almighty Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

If the President was a legitimate executive and head of state, he wouldn’t have cared about the candidacy of Rwigara. She wouldn’t have the party-organization or even the structure to compete. It would be like Jill Steins Campaign in 2016 in the United States. She would be a part of the race, but all the eyes would be on Clinton and Trump. It’s not like Frank Habineza of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda has a size, neither independent Phillippe Mpayimana. If the playing-field between the candidates was fair, they would have gained more popularity, but they are just needed props into the sham of an election.

That Forces Democratiques Unifiees (FDU-Inkingi) is not involved and other parties are not in the elections. Proves my point, that the mere sacrifice of Kagame to run again. Is mere a sham and his own rule is not on popularity, but on fear and oppression. If he was democratic he wouldn’t fear Rwigara and throw phony charges her way. He wouldn’t make a mockery of her family and associates. But he has too, because his popularity isn’t as soaring as he tries to make believe.

President Kagame, don’t have stomach or the bravery to play fair, because he came with the guns and will be like many before him. Only leave by the gun. He is like Rwandan answer to Museveni. If you have real competition, they either end in exile or they are treasonous against the state. Just ask the Ugandan opposition about their toils and intimidation.

Rwigara case is proof that Kagame don’t have the popularity he subscribes. He don’t, if he did he would never step beneath his office and done this to his citizens. But he has too, because he don’t have their support. The only way he keeps the system intact is to spread fear and intimidation. That is why he is charging and shaming Rwigara for opposing him. Peace.

Trump Administration planned from July 2017 to build a migrant tent-camp at Guantanamo, Cuba!

On the 7th July 2017 the United States Navy published a Modification Notice on the U.S. land on Cuba, the famous Guantanamo. Again, a new administration has plans to use this land and the parts of island to good use. Seemingly for other purposes than keeping non-trialed terrorist suspects. They are planning to immigrants and asylum seekers put on the Cuban. People who are fleeing camps and war-zones already to be transported to another facility under United States jurisdiction.

The Navy is planning this:

The Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southeast (NAVFAC SE) has been tasked to develop, solicit, and award a single-award, firm fixed-price (FFP), design-bid-build (DBB) contract for the construction of a contingency mass migration complex (Leeward South) for 13,000 migrants and 5,000 support forces, at Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The estimated price range for the entire project is between $25,000,000.00 and $100,000,000.00” (…) “The scope of this project is for the construction of a contingency mass migration complex (Leeward South) for 13,000 migrants and 5,000 support forces. Provide site shaping for tents, concrete pads for camp headquarters, galleys and dumpsters, perimeter and service roads, and Mass Notification System. Supporting facilities include utility systems (electrical, water, and sanitary sewer), exterior lighting, information systems to include fiber optic cable service, expansion of the waste, vehicle parking area, storm drainage, and removal of two family housing trailer units. Measures in accordance with the Department of Defense (DoD) Minimum Antiterrorism for Buildings standards will be provided. Facilities will be designed to a minimum life of 50 years in accordance with DoDs Unified Facilities Code (UFC 1-200-02) including energy efficiencies, building envelope and integrated building systems performance. Sustainability/Energy measures will be provided” (NECO Synopsis Database – ‘Subject: Y–Contingency Mass Migration Complex, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba’ – 07.07.2017).

So the Trump Administration together with the Navy, the other agencies really has a plan of moving immigrants and asylum-seekers to Guantanamo. To make sure their stay in the United States will be in tents, instead of trying to get them integrated into society. The ones who are worried about the public business into building of the camp and the price of installation.

That the United States can plan to move and create a temporary space for people in camps on the outside of their territory, to scare more from not coming and also making it worse for their moral obligations to facilitate for their refugees. Just like Americans has said it is problematic with the state of camps in Italy, Greece and Turkey. This one will not make it better, especially when it is a created affair and professional enterprises creating it. As the tenders and government procurement of the camp are clearly planned affairs on how the refugees will leave.

That the United States are planning a tent-camp not far from the U.S. state of Florida and on leased land on Cuba, is extremely bad and offensive. Especially, since many of the refugees are leaving from places that the Americans has attacked with military operations, where the United States has supported drones, where U.S. Soldiers has killed and created turmoil in the nations. Therefore, as moral obligations to where they sent troops and made a fuzz, they should accept that people are fleeing these wars and conflicts for a safe-haven in the Untied States.

Therefore, that the Navy and the United States government plans a tent-camp on territory of Guantanamo, Cuba for 13,000 migrants and 5,000 support personnel. This means they planning a small-town size of tents and needed necessities for them. Instead of taking care of them through more friendly neighborhood, they are now planning to drop them off in tents. Hope they get tired of the meager lifestyle to go home. Even if it means leaving peace and going back into war-zones and dictatorships.

The moral fall of the United States is clearly there. They could have used other means, used other types of facilitation for migrants. Instead of making provisions without creating a permanent tent-camp for them. Usually, they are put-up because the need for it.

Why I find it strange that UNHCR from 2007 says: “Family tents may be useful and appropriate, for example, when local materials are either not available at all or are only seasonally available or for refugees of nomadic background. The life-span of an erected canvas tent depends on the manufacturing, length of storage before deployment, as well as the climate and the care given by its occupants. Where tents are used for long durations, provisions for repair materials should be considered. Larger or communal tents may serve as transit accommodation while more appropriate shelter is constructed” (…) “In general, tents are difficult to heat as walls and roof do not provide sufficient insulation. Therefore, tents are not suitable as cold climate shelters, but if there is no choice, they can save lives and bridge the time until more suitable shelters are established” (UNHCR P: 221-222 – ‘ Handbook for Emergencies – Third Edition’ February 2007).

So, when the U.S. Government puts up a tents, that is not suitable for long-term solution. Because even the UNHCR says it is temporary, since the tents are not insulated. Therefore, Guantanamo tent-camp for the migrants coming to the US. Clearly, the US state will not build a proper place for the migrants, but the people fleeing should get proper shelter. Not be put in tents, but build more suitable shelters. Especially, when the US can build proper housing for the migrants. Since they are moving them from main-land US to the area controlled by US on Cuba. Peace.

Opinion: President Kagame won with 98.66%, just like his predecessors Kayibanda and Habyarimana!

Its been 17 years of RPF rule and will be 7 more years with President Paul Kagame. The ones that thought differently has lived under a rock and thought the whole world would stop spinning. The world stop and the hearts would stop pumping if there was a different result at this point. This was massaged and made ready for the world. The whole campaign and the race to the polls. You don’t manage a race of significance and get 98% by coincidence, that is measured and made sure off. Just like the Presidents before him.

Incumbent President Paul Kagame took a major early lead in Friday’s presidential polls with 5,433,890 votes (98.66 per cent) of the total votes counted by 12:30am. By press time (around 1am), the National Electoral Commission had managed to count about 80 per cent of the votes cast (5,498,414 votes) from 1,732 polling stations. There were 2,340 polling stations across the country. Independent candidate Phillippe Mpayimana was in a distant second having just garnered 39,620 votes (about 0.72 per cent). Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, trailed with a measly 24,904 votes, which is 0.45 per cent of the votes counted” (Mwai, 2017).

Because if looks into the Rwandan election history, it is not like the history isn’t telling of similar elections like the one seen this week. Not like the Republic of Rwanda has different results. If you go back to voting on the monarchy in September 25th 1961, if the Kingdom should be preserved it got 78,5%. So the people abolished it 1961 and the other ballot if the King Kigeri V to remain king or had to abdicate, the result that day was 79,60 % who voted him to become a civilian. So even in the 1960s the now Republic voted in high numbers for one thing.

The President George Kayibanda was voted for in 1965 election and he was elected unopposed with 100% support. The same happen in 1969. When Kayibanda was reelected. Then again it took sometime before the next election.

In an unopposed election of President Juvenal Habyarimana in the 24th December 1978, where he got 98,99 %. Again on the 19th December 1983 he got reelected and was unopposed who got 99,97%. The third election with President Habyarimana, again went unopposed on the 19th December 1988, that time he got 99,98%.

After that, there been lots of issues and the civil war, that ended in genocide in 1994. When the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), who became the leading party Rwanda Patriotic Front. In the first Presidential election after the genocide, it was in 2003, when President Paul Kagame got 95,05%. So 7 years later in 2010, the incumbent President got 93,08%.

Now in 2017 and unleashing yet another term for the Rwandan President, who follows his predecessors. The ones that was overthrown and killed. These took so much control that they created a violent legacy. Certainly, President Kagame doesn’t want that, but he is following the footsteps of the leaders in the past. Nothing with is different from them, just another name and another time, but with the same controlling state and dark secrets. Kagame got this year 98,66% in the Presidential Election in 2017. Which, is very much alike like Habyarimana, who was shot down while flying in the 1990s. While the death of Kayibanda is still unknown. Therefore, if Kagame follows his predecessors it will end in genocide and a horrible assassination.

Not that we wish that, but the history repeats itself, as seen with the election and state control of society. As well, as internal affairs are controlled from the state. To way that even banished the World Bank from studying the poverty and analyze it to create programs to fight it. This was because the Rwandan state wanted to control the numbers and make sure the propaganda was fitting the vision of Kagame. Therefore, nothing is surprising.

That Kagame got 98% in the election was waited, just like the generations in the past expected Habyarimana and Kayibanda to win with overwhelming numbers. It is all repeating itself and going in circles. To overlook that is to be blind and trying to overshadow the history, which is the propaganda of the state. But that is to be expected. Peace.

Reference:

African Elections – ‘Elections in Rwanda’ link: http://africanelections.tripod.com/rw.html

Mwai, Collins – ‘Kagame wins presidential poll’ (05.08.2017) link: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/read/217433/

USA: DHS Announces Implementation of Travel Restriction Provisions (29.06.2017)

Looking into the inflation of 1987 as the Sugar prices are rising in today’s Uganda!

We have had a wonderful collaboration with IMF since 1987. We have managed to control inflation. By controlling inflation, we have succeeded in preserving the people’s earnings” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (State House, 2017).

Well, there been many who has set similarities with the inflation and price shocks of the year 1987. The Republic of Uganda has been through their mess before. The government of Uganda and the National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A) had just taken power in 1986. This was a year after the coup d‘etat, which brought the NRA into power. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in collaboration with International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had agreements and Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), which promoted deregulation and less state control of the economy. This was also put forward to settle inflation and the deficit that the state had.

So, because some has put similarities between 1987 and 2017, as the prices has gone from about 3,000 Uganda Shillings (UGX) in 2016 and 7,000 Uganda Shillings (UGX) in 2017. There is clearly that there was problems in 1987, but whole another level. The Sugar Industry wasn’t established, the economy of Uganda needed export of coffee and this was the sole benefit of foreign currency into the economy.

Inflation in Uganda is running as high as 200 percent, and low prices to farmers serve as a disincentive to agricultural production in a country of rich soil and mild equatorial climate” (…) “At the center of the debate is the issue of devaluation. In its first year in office, the Government revalued the currency from 5,000 to 1,400 shillings to the dollar, saying that the move would make imports cheaper. But exports have become increasingly expensive. Devaluation Debated. Some hard-line nationalists in Government insist that the cost of devaluation would be devastating. The cost of such imports as sugar, cooking oil and soap would increase significantly, they say, making the average Ugandan even worse off than he is now” (Rule, 1987).

In 1987 the Uganda shilling was demonetizated during the currency reform and a currency conversion tax at a rate of 30% was imposed to further reduce excessive liquidity in the economy. There was an immediate drop in average inflation from 360.7% in May to about 200% cent in June. However, with the possible fears of complex and drastic currency reform, the premium shot up, representing essentially a portfolio shift to foreign currency, and possible capital flight, and suppressed inflation. The intended aim of the conversion tax, apart from reducing excessive liquidity, was to lend money raised through this tax to the government. This was to finance the budget deficit over a short period, rather than financing it through printing more money. Nonetheless, inflation shot up again within three months mainly due to renewed monetary financing of increased government expenditure, domestic credit expansion by commercial banks to meet coffee financing requirements and financing of the newly launched rural farmers scheme” (Barungi, P: 10-11, 1997)

Prices for sugar and vegetable oil (both imported goods) increased rapidly in the early part of the year, falling between May and August — replicating the pattern of the premium between the parallel and the official exchange rate. The subsequent fall in sugar prices and stability of cooking oil prices were due to greater official imports. Inflationary pressures on food prices have been aggravated by supply shortages on account of severe transportation problems” (World Bank; P: 36, 1988).

In October 1986, Mulema was replaced by Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, who has a medical background Kiyonga has a difficult task. The government’s finances are shaky at best. In an attempt to enable Ugandan citizens to purchase imported consumer goods, the government fixes their prices below world prices. This, of course, puts considerable pressure on the government’s finances: for example, in July 1986 the government imported $4.8 million worth of sugar to sell at subsidized prices” (Warnock & Conway, 1999).

Perspective from Kakensa: “Today sugar costs 7000/- per kilo. When Museveni came to power in 1986 each kilo was at 4/-(four shillings). Immediately he came to power he said Ugandan shilling had lost value, in 1987 all money was changed, not only changed but two zeros were cut off to give it value on addition to the 30% levied on each shilling. This means on every 100 shillings, you got 70cents. Those who had 100,000/- got 700/-” (Kakensa Media, 12.05.2017).

We can see there was certain aspects, but the sugar industry now is different. The Sugar factories are now real and the business are now in full affect. While, in 1987 the state needed coffee exports to get funding and foreign currency. The sugar was imported and was put on fixed prices. The inflation back then was because of the crashing economy after the bush-war and the effects of it. The Sugar prices now are rising for different reasons. These reasons are the yields of sugar-cane, the hoarding of sugar and the export of surplus sugar. Also, the production of ethanol and bio-fuel. That was not the situation and context in the past.

Still, history is repeating itself, since the NRM, let the prices run as crazy in the past. The price has gone up a 100% in a years time. Which, means the prices who doubled from 3000 to 7000 Uganda Shillings. This is not a stable and the ones who get hurt is the consumer and Ugandan citizens. Peace.

Reference:

Barungi, Barbara Mbire – ‘EXCHANGE RATE POLICY AND INFLATION: THE CASE OF UGANDA’ (March 1997).

Rule, Sheila – ‘UGANDA, AT PEACE, IS FACING ECONOMIC BATTLES’ (28.01.2017) link:http://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/28/world/uganda-at-peace-is-facing-economic-battles.html

State House Uganda – ‘President commends Uganda – IMF collaboration since 1987’ (27.01.2017) link: http://statehouse.go.ug/media/news/2017/01/27/president-commends-uganda-%E2%80%93-imf-collaboration-1987

Warnock, Frank & Conway, Patrick – ‘Post-Conflict Recovery in Uganda’ (1999)

World Bank – ‘Report No. 7439-UG: Uganda – Towards Stabilization and Economic Recovery’ (29.09.1988)

A look into the rising Sugar prices in Uganda!

I commissioned a state-of-the-art ethanol distillery at Kakira Sugar Factory in Jinja today (Museveni, 23rd January 2017)

There are various of reasons for the rising prices of Sugar and processed sugar in Uganda. This isn’t the first time or last cycle of inflation on the prices of this common commodity. Sugar is common in Uganda for concept of having in it in the chai or the milk tea. To sweeten the milk and the black tea the Ugandans drink. Therefore, the Ugandans are needing and using lots of it on daily basis. It isn’t a luxurious goods, but a daily usage, for ordinary use. It has become staple and is staple together with matooke, cassava, rice and maize flour. This is all seemed as basic for the Ugandan people. Sugar is something very important. Therefore, the rising prices says something is out balance.

The balance have now been lost a year after the election. The prices of goods and food was also rising in 2011, therefore, the Republic had the Walk 2 Work demonstrations. These was demonstrations against the rising food prices, which also meant the sugar at that time went up. The same is happening now. With also on alternative exception, that the producers are not only creating sugar for consumption anymore, but ethanol and bio-fuel. Therefore, the produce and profits are going to export bio-fuel and other products, instead of the sugar that the consumers in Uganda uses. This also is an explanation for the rising prices, as well the added exports to Kenya, where the producers gain more selling it there. Than in Uganda, take a look!

In April 2017 USMA commented:

Uganda Sugar Manufacturers Association (USMA) says the increase in sugar prices has been prompted by the increase in cost of production and the deprecating shillings against major currencies. The Association’s Chairperson, Jim Kabeho says sugar millers were forced to announce what he called a paltry 4 percent increase on each 50-kilogram bag on ex-factory price. The increase according to Kabeho saw a 50-kilogram bag of sugar trading at one hundred and eighty five thousand shillings up from one hundred and seventy thousand shillings” (…) “Meanwhile a source at the Ministry of Trade Industry and Cooperatives who asked for anonymity says the Ministry suspects that the big players like Kakira could have decided not sell its sugar to the market so as to increase production at the ethanol its ethanol plant. The sources says sugar mills with ethanol plants are finally making money on sugar through on co-generation of power, alcohol and ethanol” (URN, 2017).

In April in Masindi:

Masindi district leaders have risen up against the Masindi district Resident Commissioner, Godfrey Nyakahuma over stopping sugar cane buyers from buying cane from Masindi district. Last week, Nyakahuma launched an operation of impounding trucks of all sugar cane buyers who buy sugar cane from Kinyara sugar limited out growers and over five trucks loaded with cane were impounded by police” (…) “Byaruhanga added that that is a sign indicating that Kinyara sugar Factory has no capacity to crush the available sugar cane adding that since Uganda has a liberalized economy let everyone come and buy the abundant cane available instead of leaving the farmers suffer with the monopoly of Kinyara sugar factory. Amanyire Joshua the former mayor Masindi municipality said that if Kinyara is saying that sugar cane buyers are poachers, Kinyara sugar factory is a smuggler because it is also doing the same. Mary Mujumura the deputy speaker Masindi district blamed Byaruhanga Moses the presidential advisor on political affairs for failing to advise the president on political issues saying that he is not supposed to enter into business matters” (Gucwaki, 2017).

In May 2017:

From last year’s average of Shs 3,000 per kilo of sugar, the price shot to Shs 4,000 early this year and is now hovering over Shs 5,500. A kilo of Kinyara sugar is the cheapest at Shs 5000, while Kakira sugar is selling at 6,000 a kilo. On the shelves, Kakira sugar and Lugazi sugar are scarce compared to Kinyara sugar, which is in plenty. Many dealers have now started hoarding sugar in order to benefit from anticipated price hike in the short term” (URN, 2017).

In May 2017 – Stanbic Statement:

The only category to buck that trend was wholesale & retail, where staff costs rose and employment fell. Average purchasing costs also rose in April, reflecting increased prices for animal feed, food stuffs, raw materials and sugar. Higher cost burdens were passed on to clients, leading to a further increase in output charges” (Stanbic Bank, 2017).

President Museveni praises Kakira Millers:

I would like to thank the Madhvani Group, despite the disappointment by Idi Amin. The family pioneered the production of sugar in Uganda. By 1972 they were producing 70,000 tons but today they have almost tripled the production to 180,000 tons,” he said. The President was today commissioning a state of the art ethanol distillery at Kakira Sugar Limited in Jinja district. The US$36 million facility, which is the largest in the East African Region, will be producing 20 million litres of ethanol annually” (…) “President Museveni pledged to address the issues to regulate the sugar industry but urged the Madhvanis to partner with farmers with large chunks of land for production of sugar-cane, as the cane is not a high value crop. He said people with small land holdings should be left to do intensive farming like the growing of fruits that give high returns. Turning to the issue of prices payable to sugar-cane out-growers, President Museveni advised the buyers and out-growers to sit together and agree on the prices taking into consideration the market prices globally” (Uganda Media Centre, 2017).

Government statement on the 11th May:

Speaking to 256BN on condition of anonymity a government official monitoring the situation said the manufacturers have not increased the factory price, but he conceded that the situation is worrying. “At the factory prices are stable. Why is it that the prices at the retail gate are high. This means that there are some distributors who are using the hiding strategy in order to rob Ugandans. As Government we shall continue monitoring the situation until we come up with the solution” the official said. Affordability of sugar is considered a key barometer of an ordinary person’s well-being and its pricing can take on political dimensions when people cannot have sugar with their tea” (256BusinessNews, 2017).

Putting the price in pespective:

Kakensa Media reported this today: “Today sugar costs 7000/- per kilo. When Museveni came to power in 1986 each kilo was at 4/-(four shillings). Immediately he came to power he said Ugandan shilling had lost value, in 1987 all money was changed, not only changed but two zeros were cut off to give it value on addition to the 30% levied on each shilling. This means on every 100 shillings, you got 70cents. Those who had 100,000/- got 700/-” (Kakensa Media, 12.05.2017).

This is all proof of a systemic malpractice, where both export, together with lacking yields because of drought and also the production of ethanol and bio-fuel. All of this collected together are reasons for the rising prices of sugar. The sugar price goes up because the use of cane for other things than millers producers sugar for consumption, but for other export products. This is all making sure even as the Republic of Uganda has in the past produces to much, it now doesn’t. Since it elaborately uses the sugarcane for other products.

That has made the Madhvani Group rich and their exports of sugarcane products are clearly selling. Now even their basic milled sugar are sold more expensive on the Ugandan market. There are also proven problems by other millers, who either has to much cane like Kinyara Sugar Factor in Masindi. Which is ironical problem, as the Kakira and Lugazi sugar is empty on the shelves, while the sugarcane hoarding Kinyara are still in the shops. But Kakira which is produced by Madhvani Group, we can now understand, since they have bigger operation and is blessed by the President for their industrial production of ethanol and bio-fuel.

Therefore, the are more reasons than just shopkeepers not getting enough stocks. That the rising prices are not only that there is lacking production. It is the system of export and production. Where the cane isn’t only becoming milled sugar for consumption, but for all the expensive industrial exports like bio-fuel and ethanol. This is all good business, but also bad for consumers and citizens who are accustom with decent prices for their sugar. That is not the fact anymore, as the business and millers has found new profitable ways. So that the surplus sugarcane and also the other gains massive profits. This is all good business for the owners of the sugar-millers and sugar industry. The one who feels the pitch is the consumer and the citizens. Who see scarcity of sugar inside the shops and also the inflation of prices on the sugar. Peace.

Reference:

256BusinessNews – ‘Government to issue statement on sugar’ (11.05.2017) link:http://256businessnews.com/government-to-issue-statement-on-sugar/

Gucwaki, Yosam – ‘MASINDI RDC IN TROUBLE OVER STOPPING SUGAR CANE BUYERS’ (28.04.2017) link: http://mknewslink.com/2017/04/28/masindi-rdc-trouble-stopping-sugar-cane-buyers/

Stanbic Bank Uganda – ‘Ugandan economic growth continues at start of second quarter’ (04.05.2017) link: https://www.markiteconomics.com/Survey/PressRelease.mvc/143ca2b8e3d84c79b96aed4885b7337e

URN – ‘Sugar manufacturer’s association explains price hikes’ (14.04.2017) link: https://dispatch.ug/2017/04/14/sugar-manufacturers-association-explains-price-hikes/

URN – ‘Uganda: Sugar Crisis On for Another 2 Years – Manufacturers’ (09.05.2017) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201705100129.html

Uganda Media Centre – ‘President Praises Madhvani Group’ (05.05.2017) link: https://mediacentre.go.ug/news/president-praises-madhvani-group

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