Opinion: The PDM is set to destroy the parastatals supplying Coffee and Tea Seedlings…

Rt. Hon. Speaker, as you may be aware, up until FY 202l /2022, Government policy has been for Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) and National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS) to procure seedlings from certified Coffee and Tea Nursery Operators. However, Government has since decided to transfer funding previously appropriated for procurement of seedlings from UCDA and NAADS to the Parish Development Model (PDM) starting this FY2022/2023” (Statement to Parliament on the Supply of Coffee and Tea Seedlings, 22.09.2022).

The latest revelation of the Parish Development Model (PDM) will by this Financial Year takeover the powers to buy Coffee and Tea Seedlings, which has been done through the UCDA and NAADs. We know that similar activities was also in the past done through the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC). Though through those schemes wasn’t delivering the quality or the promised needs of seedlings at any given time.

When we have seen how the OWC and NAADs has failed in this. They are now putting this in the hands of the PDM and the Secretariat, which isn’t even prepared to do the basics of the PDM. The PDM is supposed through SACCOs and through the Local Government ensure Parish SACCOs get’s microfinance loans and funds, which is supposed to help development. However, the authorities, the local leadership and republic wasn’t prepared for it. As it was launched ahead of the polls, just like Emyooga, OWC and now the PDM. This is new minted schemes to be a “trick” to be the “silver bullet” to end poverty, but it ends up in nowhere.

Now in the middle of nowhere is the coffee and tea seedlings. Which are now transferred to an entity that cannot even do it’s core. Money is wasted, money isn’t received and we are certainly hearing about “missing funds” soon.

So, an organization that has been rushed, lacked funding and procedures is taking over something so vital for the supply of seedlings for the cash-crops of coffee and tea. That’s significant and shouldn’t be showed under the rug. This is a move to stop accountability and control of it. As we know the Republic is already under scrutiny with the Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited (UVCCL).

It’s just iffy that this happens now. That seems fishy to me and it seems coordinated too. This is clearly taking away power and making the UCDA meaningless. Only a place to put some loyal cadres and giving them a pay-check, but having little power or oversight since the PDM and UVCCL will have monopoly. The farmers just have to produce and the Republic will take care of the rest. This is from seedling to the refined product.

They are even taking away the little powers and ability the UCDA has and doing this is shady. That’s why they are giving it to the PDM, which they know have to much on its hands. This isn’t strengthening the agricultural development, but making another scheme within the scheme. To fit another scheme they have already made. The PDM is now becoming a part of the UVCCL. That’s really interesting move and just shows what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) does at this point.

No one should be shocked, but they should be worried about this move. This isn’t done to make the cash-crop more profitable or better. We know how the OWC failed with the procurement and logistics of seedlings. Do you really think the PDM will be any better? Who are they trying to fool here? Who is the ones who are losing and are the party they are crushing?

Because, there are parties, companies and co-ops that are hurt by this. Since the PDM is taking over and there should be outrage over this. Like the NRM and the Government didn’t learn from the failure of OWC. That’s what is striking… and just shows that it doesn’t care. While it could be a scheme to fit the UVCCL and that makes it even more disgusting. Peace.

A look into the Roko Minority report

Details on the ROKO bailout have emerged indicating that the planned purchase of shares by the government will also mean the government injecting operation capital as well as inheriting UGX 130 billion liability from the construction company. Experts advise government to audit ROKO Construction Ltd or risk going down with it” (NBS Television, 08.07.2022).

Decision on the proposal to buy preference shares in Roko is stayed. The Speaker says the minister will need to take into consideration the concerns of MPs and come back to the House with a position before a vote is put” (Parliament of Uganda, 20.07.2022).

The fall guy and the needed construction company Roko Construction Limited is having trouble financially and the Government of Uganda is intending to bail-out the company. That’s why things are questioned, because it is a private company and suddenly the government comes to its aide. This is happening, because we know the company is used as a contractor for prestigious development projects.

The Roko company is getting a helping hand for one reason, it serves a purpose and a need of the state. Not because no one can else do the same, but it’s a useful entity for the government. Just like other companies who are in fields are getting similar treatment. That’s why it’s just an example of how the system is rigged.

This is why I will take vital quotes from the Minority Report on the company from the Parliament. Since the Opposition has no stakes in the company or how its run. They are not earning funds or kickbacks from it. The deals between the state, company and developers are done outside their knowledge. That’s why Roko shows up in all sorts of scandals. Not only this bail-out, but elsewhere too.

First: “The Executive Director of UDC informed the Committee that it did not undertake the required due diligence. This was attributed to failure to access funds amounting to UGX 800 million required to contract competent professional accounting firms to undertake the due diligence. It is therefore illogical for Government to fail to avail UGX 800 million for the due diligence exercise but instead proceed to seek approve from Parliament for UGX 207.13 billion” (Minority Report, 20.07.2022).

Second: “The President Directive referred to in the extract reaffirms the need to contract a profession competent firm to undertake due diligence of the Company. It should be noted that the Cabinet Extract was been drawn from a Minute of a Cabinet meeting held on 4th July 2022. Please note that this directive was given almost a month after the proposal was tabled in Parliament i.e. 6th June 2022” (Minority Report, 20.07.2022).

Third: “During the Committee meeting, the Ministry represented Roko Construction Ltd as a domestic investor. However, it was established that while the Company is registered in Uganda, based on its ordinary shareholders it is of foreign owned company. The 15,000 ordinary shareholders are owned by Swiss nationals who include. Jean Mann Francey Koehler (12,000), Friedhhelm Erwin Jost” (1,500) and Kurt Wolier Blaeter (l,500)” (Minority Report, 20.07.2022).

This Minority Report just proves how the state operates. The Roko Construction Ltd. is vouched for and one of them. That’s why it’s so easy to bail it out. There is a connection that is more important than reasons or even proper protocol. This is why the company is in favour and getting the good graces. It serves a purpose and therefore needs saving. Not because it is correct or done with the justified ways. No, the President and the cronies needs companies like this to work and entertain their prestige projects. In such a manner, that they all can profit and life moves on. That’s what the state hopes happens. Just like the scandals surrounding other companies like Dott Services etc.

One day it is a scandal, another day it’s totally forgotten. That’s what the state is hoping for and I think they will succeed. There is enough of other tragedies in the Republic. Which certainly make everyone forget about these billions of shillings spent on a construction company. Peace.

Opinion: ROKO is a sign of the times..

Details on the ROKO bailout have emerged indicating that the planned purchase of shares by the government will also mean the government injecting operation capital as well as inheriting UGX 130 billion liability from the construction company. Experts advise government to audit ROKO Construction Ltd or risk going down with it” (NBS Television, 08.07.2022).

You know the times are hard when the construction company and engineering company is failing. A company which is dealing with government projects. This company which has been running for generations and has a long history in the Republic. However, it doesn’t mean it’s all shiny.

That’s why the company has ended up to write to the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in 2020 asking for financial assistance. As even back then the creditors was suing to get money returned. There was even written a research report back in May 2018, which stipulated the needs for budget control and more oversight over the financials of the company. That could all be reasons for it’s downfall.

ROKO is part of the system and juiced up by deals, which involves high ranking officials. Just like the Dott Services is too. That’s why the company is prominent and is alive. The company is getting favoured and named in deals like the construction of Lubowa Hospital and other profiled construction sites. Therefore, the connections and the high ranking officials are endorsing this one.

That’s maybe why it’s kept alive. Even if the financials are horrific and the results of the company is bananas. There is maybe not much liquidity or assets to begin with. It could just be a mirage and a failing enterprise with a long history. That has happened before and now the deals comes back to haunt it.

What is striking is that the company is filled with scandals not only the hospital, but the likes of the upgrade of the Parliament. Than you have other construction sites that takes years to finish and never get done. If not you have built city markets, which isn’t fitting the traders or the costumers of the traders. There is also terminations of contracts because of shoddy and late work too. So, it is not the ROKO has a clean track-record or anything.

Still, the company is able to win and get huge contracts, which is significant. The sort of wet-dream for any company to get. The sort of constructions that would be sought after and be vital for years to come. However, they are still not able to keep things sustainable. Neither are they able to pay the sub-contractors and others for their supplies. That is why they were sued back in 2020.

Now, the company is struggling and its has a lot of work to do. Like what is really going on with Lubowa and Nakivubo War Memorial Stadium? Is there any movement or was that just some fraudulent paper-work to get some dimes in the coffers?

We know they lost Pearl Marina Estate to another company. In this regard we can wonder if anything is happening with Tourism and Training Institute (UHTTI), which is supposed to be built on Nalufenya road in Jinja.

There is also side stories from 2021 stating that one of the owners of the company is hiding millions of shillings in Switzerland. If that is the case. Then the company is just as corrupt as the State House, which makes sense why they are such good partners to begin with. This whole enterprise is questionable and bailing it out. Only means that their name and practices is needed by the government. Because, they trust each other. Even when the company isn’t delivering or doing what they are obliged to do.

It is just a mess, but a mess that the State House and the NRM is proud off. It is their product and they are vouching for it. That’s why they are bailing it out. Peace.

The Rise of the Cassava Republic: Low-Income turned into Middle-Income out-of-nowhere..

Remember, the locusts, the rising waters of the Lakes, the floating islands, the landslides, the terrorist bombs, the covid-19 and now the rising commodity prices artificially caused by the Ukrainian war. In spite of all these, the Ugandan economy, by the budget time in the next few days, will be standing at US$ 45.7billion by the exchange rate method and at USD 131.6 billion by the method. This means that the GDP per capita is now $1046. You remember, the entrance points for the lower middle-income status, is USD 1036. We have now passed that figure. Congratulations. However, to be declared a middle-income country, you need to sustain this for two to three consecutive years. I am confident, we shall over perform, in achieving that” (Museveni, 07.06.2022).

The President yesterday surely said a lot of things yesterday. I thought this one would be one of the myths and legends of old. That no one would take seriously… because the delusion is real. The powers of the State House and all of his Presidential Advisors should have told him “no”. Even the son who prefers to party and throw birthday parties should have advised him to say otherwise. Because, this is useless…

Museveni isn’t close to Middle-Income Country. Not by stretch, a mile or such. That’s because of the financial policies, the lack of financial integration and all the other means of which is a proper open economy. Alas, if it had been open and tradable, he wouldn’t have his hand in every cookie-jar. That’s why his butt-hurt that his coffee deal with Vinci is under fire. Because, no one see it as a viable enterprise or idea to begin with.

We know in a nation of hand-to-mouth, in a nation of gig-economy and 1 out of 5 is living in direct poverty. It’s hard to believe that nation is a middle-income. Heck, there isn’t even a growing middle-class either. If it had been a growing middle-class, there would be more stores and other sorts of outlets for people to buy luxurious goods. However, there hasn’t been a growth of that either.

The growing inflations, the deficit financing and the running debts of nation is proving otherwise. The state isn’t growing with domestic financing, but the budgets are bloated and covered by expensive loans. Which the next generation or the next President has to clear. Since, Museveni is possible dead when the maturity of these loans has hit peak. There is already trillions of shillings going out of the economy just to finance old loans, as the state is hiking up new one. That’s all to keep the upkeep of a huge entourage and cronies surrounding the President. With a mushroomed cabinet and gerrymandering of epic proportions, that is all costing and the amount 555 MPs says it all. They are all paid and has perks. So, the state is coving these expenses without adding any new revenue or such.

That’s why hearing a man like this saying… they have hit Middle-Income is nonsense. It is pure A QUALIFIED BS. It is utterly ridiculous. It would be funny, if it was a punchline or a joke, but he said this and meant it. Like it was fact. When the World Bank state the nation as a “Low-Income” and the budgets, the domestic revenue and everything else proves it. Maybe the lack of Governor of Bank of Uganda is haunting him. Since, he can now make things up on the spot and make it legit. There will be no push-back from the professionals… We know the MoFPED doesn’t read the papers or look over the numbers before voting on the supplementary budgets. So, the Minister of Finance is far from professional. His just eating and hoping his Permanent Secretary can save his behind.

Well… this is garbage. This is trash. We hope for betterment, but under the self-styled President for Life. I wouldn’t count on it. I would only count on cassava. Peace.

A brief look into Mzee’s State of the Nation Address of 2022…

When you have speaking as much as President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni… there is little wiggle-room or ability to “invent the wheel”. He has said most things and is repeating himself. He is trying to forge narratives and sound epic. I will not look into smaller details, but just outright straight nonsense, which is plenty of. A man who has over 130 Presidential Advisors should have the corrections and the staff to secure the facts. Nevertheless, there is “only one man with a vision” and his always “correct”.

The “correct is a running feature in his speech too. About the “Correct Ideology”, “Correct Pan-Africanist Ideology”, “Correct NRM Policy”, “Correct Strategy” and “Correct Ways” which is just typical of Museveni. Where his always correct and cannot be wrong. He has all the remedies, but ironically never really fixed things or been able to elevate the Republic since 1986.

Here is quotes and breaking down each piece by piece:

Some myopic people, thought that this was sandy ground where the NRM had constructed the house of Uganda. However, the onslaughts to which Uganda has been subjected in the last 2 or 3 years, have proven that the Uganda house the NRM has constructed in the last 60 years, including the preparatory years before 1986, has been built on hard ground, indeed” (Museveni, 07.06.2022).

It is really magical how Museveni rewrites history. The NRM wasn’t established in 1962, which is 60 years from today. The NRA was born out of rebellion in 1980. The Uganda Patriotic Movement (UPM) was born earlier than that and the failure of a campaign in the election. Was a reason for the rebellion and creation of the mentioned NRA. The earliest known body, which people know of and part of was Front for National Salvation (FRONASA). Which dates back to 1971. Therefore, that is far from the vision of NRM back in the day. That’s why I have trouble to see how NRM worked for a better Uganda in 1962 or the 1960s. That’s rewriting history, which should be rebuked.

The NRM was entity, which came into light in 1980 as a rebellious outfit and resulting the prolonged bush-war that lasted to 1986. So, saying that the NRM has constructed a house on a hard ground is foolish. That is a delusion and not legit. That is making historical facts, which cannot be proven and is only a political fiction of the President.

Moreover, the wise man’s house is currently full of surpluses, without too much use of irrigation or the use of fertilizers. In the coming financial years, we are going to intensify the modest efforts we have already started on, in connection with irrigation. With irrigation, we have worked with the private sector to produce solar-powered water pumps that the rich farmers can buy and engage in mini-irrigation, farm by farm. Once the solar powered irrigation pumps are on the market, the Government will buy them for some of the co-operatives or farming villages, where one pump can be shared by a number of small farmers” (Museveni, 07.06.2022).

This here will never happen… remember the Village TVs and the other pledges during the two-year lockdowns? Well, non of that has happened. Neither has plenty of the other pledges either. It took decades to ensure local councillors could get bikes or even able to give away garden-hoes to the villages. Therefore, when these things has been impossible and taking decades. This will happen the earliest 2030 or 2040. Museveni will not have the funds, the ability or the manpower to make it happen. That’s why he has praised water-bottle irrigation and other means to develop the agricultural sector. I have a hard time believing that this will happen. It needs a miracle or a generous donor who can foot the bill. Because, the NRM will never do this. Nedda ssevo.

When I met Madame Pinetti, she had no idea about coffee. I, however, could see that she had a wide network of contacts. I asked her to look into coffee. After sometime, she came back with a positive report that it was doable. Therefore, those attacking that project, are supporters of okukenenula, (ekyejwiiso) of Africa – perpetual bleeding. If they were not, they would have responded to our call of 1986 and after, to come forward and add value to coffee and seek government assistance. Instead of attacking the saviour (oyo anataasa), if you are genuine, join the liberation effort. It is criminal for anybody to continue arguing for the continued export of raw-materials in Africa when there is 90% more value in that product that you are giving to outsiders” (Museveni, 07.06.2022).

The President thinks his smarter than anyone. Is his the owner of Hawk Limited or what? Why does he cares so much about the company and the coffee processing in the Republic? It makes sense that his invested and is the shadow owner of the company. When he cares so much about it. Because, the deals written between the state and the UVCC is creating a monopoly and taking over the trading of coffee beans. That’s why people wants to block it. The company has no knowledge or any sort of experience in the business either. While others are already working and processing coffee beans. Therefore, the deal in question is made with wrong intentions and illegal too.

It is striking that his so angry and bad tempered like someone stole a candy from a kid. As an old man he should understand this deal or agreements isn’t righteous. That is if he cares about the industry. Instead he thinks he can trick the public and the farmers. However, people can google and thinks leaks. So, the truths are coming out. The Vinci Coffee deal is a disaster… and Museveni should reconsider, but trust me. His greedy, so his trying to soften the blow and ensure he gets the best deal for himself. Which is what an ageing “revolutionary” does…

Another danger to our rapid social-economic transformation is the corruption of political actors and Public servants who do not only steal government money, thereby denying the population the services that money would have provided, but they also parasite on our business people. Business people and investors, do not feel beholden to these parasites. Expose both their requests for bribes and their schemes for frustrating those that do not pay bribes. Action will be taken for the benefit of the business atmosphere in the country” (Museveni, 07.06.2022).

This here is the most bogus statement within the National Address… this year and that says a lot. We know that Gilbert Bukenya has no issues, Amama Mbabazi, Jim Muhwezi, Hentry Tumukunde and the list goes on. Corruption and greed is a vital part of the commercialization of politics under Museveni. The kickbacks, envelopes and misuse of power is well known. The President himself vouched for a “Presidential Handshake” not too long ago. So, the President is really caring about this. His earning on corruption himself and his directives is promoting companies that his either getting greased or profiting from. If not, why is Dott Services is so well-known…

Therefore, let all the NRM MPs and other positive elements, rally around the patriotic programme of the NRM that has transformed Uganda from the failed state of 1986, with the economy expanding in size 30 times plus in 30 years, in spite of the endless betrayals by certain elements. Those who cause frictions among the NRM fraternity, should be carefully examined. Why can’t you discuss any matter in non -antagonistic ways. Antagonistic ways only work for the enemy” (Museveni, 07.06.2022).

Here the President is speaking about possible “NRM Rebels” which is the most endearing thing that is… because a rebel himself isn’t accepting any rebels. That is the truth about the President and his close associates. They are just supposed to listen and give way. The NRM MPs are just there to sign off and do what the President says. That’s what is “patriotic” and the “correct NRM way” just so you know. That’s why he says this and speaks like this. It is a betrayal to stand-up or even question the “high above”. The ones who don’t know that after all these years have clearly not listened. That is obvious by now. If you dares to challenge or go against him from within… than you are an enemy. Therefore, know what you do and never ever consider that.

This was my takes from the National Address of 2022. Peace.

A bitter cup of coffee: A brief look into the Parliament Report on the agreement with Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited

Today the Plenary Session spoke about the “Report of the Sectoral Committee on Tourism, Trade and Industry on the Investigation of the alleged unfair terms in the MoU between Government of Uganda and Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited” published on the 29th April 2022. This is unravelling as the public and media is surrounding it. As the UVCCL company would get tax-wavers, coffee beans monopoly and other parts of the agreement, which is favourable to a company, which isn’t operational or fair for the farmers or coffee industry as a whole.

The UVCCL agreement is already questioned. The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) and other high ranking officials adamant defence of it. Only shows how the faulty and unfair, partly illegal agreement was put into play. While this agreement would also endanger and certainly become a real hurdle for a growing coffee industry. A cash-crop turned into a monopoly.

I will not discuss the free-land, the lease or any of those sorts. That is interesting on it’s own, but there are several of other quotes, which just shows how bad this deal was and how in the wrong the authorities are to authorize it. Secondly, the UVCCL was supposed to do magic and get huge funds out of nowhere. While not being operational to build a big coffee processing plant. It just shows how this deal was the rig the economy and the whole coffee sector towards on entity. That’s really despicable…

Here are some quotes from the Parliament Report:

6.1.7.5 MOU is not sincere on the quantity of premium grades According to the MOU, UWCL’s coffee supply requirement for the start of the project is estimated to be 27,000 metric tonnes and 60,000 metrics tonnes at full capacity. The committee was informed by Uganda Coffee Private Sector that the conversion rate of Green coffee to soluble coffee is 3:1 and this means that UVCCL requires about 180,000 metric tonnes of green coffee. The committee however observes that Uganda’s average annual export for the past 5 years is about 5.2 million bags which is equivalent to about 309,000 metric tonnes. This implies that WCCL at full capacity will take 58.2% (180,000 metric tonnes) of Uganda’s coffee production. The committee notes that the stated reason for UVCCL’s desire to “ring-fence” is to ensure uninterrupted supply of high quality soluble beans” (P 23, 2022).

The Committee observes that whereas UVCCL has share capital of USD 10 Million, the money required to construct such a factory envisaged in the agreement is estimated by UCDA to cost about USD 44OM in the first year alone. The committee is convinced that UVCCL given its limited share capital cannot be in position to borrow a sum which is 44 times the value of the company” (P: 28, 2022).

The Committee observes that UVCCL was not eligible to benefit from the 49- year lease extension since it had not complied with the building covenants under the initial Lease agreement. This means that the lease was irregularly extended” (P: 30, 2022).

The Committee further observes that the UVCCL has not, even after the extension of the lease to a full 49-year, done any construction works on site to-date” (P: 30, 2022).

The Committee notes further that, the VAT Act does not grant any person, not even the Minister, the right to waive a tax. In that regard therefore, the Minister acted irregularly and illegally in granting the VAT exemptions to UVCCL” (P: 38, 2022)

The Committee observes that clause 4.2 creates a monopoly in favor of UVCCL to the purchase of superior quality coffee beans from Uganda by restricting Government from registering any contract or acknowledging any arrangement for the export of coffee beans. The Committee observes that this means that no export of super quality coffee beans shall be allowed by Government until the quantity required by UVCCL is attained. Further still, a monopoly is created in favor of UVCCL since it controls the prices it pays for the coffee beans supplied to it” (…) “The committee also observes that this monopoly is a threat to the already existing 47 licensed processors of coffee with possibilities of causing unemployment, loss of tax and in the worst long term scenario, shut down of operations” (…) “This means the farmer has the right to determine how and to whom he or she sells his or her coffee to. The Agreement therefore interferes with the exclusive rights granted to farmers over their coffee by article 26 of the Constitution by pledging the coffee to a single entity without the consent of farmers. The farmer’s proprietary rights have been affected by the Agreement, irreversibly” (…) “The Committee also observes that whereas farmers are being promised premium prices, the agreement is silent on the method of supply of coffee beans to the factory. This therefore, this opens a window for possible contracted brokers by UVCCL since the factory will need constant supply from different regions of the country. Thus reducing the margin on the farm gate price. The Committee is concerned that designating UVCCL as a price determinant will distort coffee prices in Uganda by disregarding the forces of demand and supply, both locally and internationally, in determining coffee prices” (P: 47-49 + 51, 2022).

It is really interesting the whole agreement, as the inept or the gravity of the whole situation was never there. If not, the MOFPED and other agencies involved never studied or thought of the implications of the arrangement. That a company with lacking funds was to build a big coffee processing plant. Secondly, the plant in question wouldn’t be able to fulfil its mission or planned monopoly itself. As the scale of production only will not meet the targets or the available beans for the plant in question. The farmers are producing to much beans for it process. Therefore, the monopoly is faulty from the outset. Thirdly, the agreement is done without thinking or considering the ones processing coffee-beans already, which is 47 companies and their livelihoods are in danger because of this agreement.

The agreement further has irregularly given a lease of land and it has done any construction work on the site. Meaning the company has some funds on paper and exists, but the operational and plant itself is far ahead of time. The UVCCL gotten dozens of advantages, but has nothing to prove for it. Neither does it has anything materialized.

The state has furthered breached several of tax-wavers to the company and given incentives, which is breaching with laws and regulations. It is like a whole enterprise of inept, incompetent and ill-advised high ranking officials inside the MOFPED. It just like all procedures, all protocols and all safeguards of the state has been thrown out of the window in a haste to sign a deal or amend it in favour of the paper-tiger called UVCCL. A brief-case company which is getting monopoly on the coffee-industry.

The company would further undermine the whole industry from the farmer to the exporters. This company would have all the rights and the positive outcomes. The farmers would be locked into selling to it and that after the price it would set. The UVCCL would practically be a state owned enterprise and be the only one allowed to operate. This giving no incentives and no rights to either farmers or former coffee processors of the Republic. Because, the UVCCL would have the monopoly of the industry for years. That is really bitter and shows how destructive this agreement is.

The MOFPED has served some “high above” or “interests” which we don’t know today. Because, we still don’t know who is behind Hawk Limited, which is the biggest shareholder of the company. However, sooner or later that information will trickle out as well. Because, that is the main benefactor of this agreement and a company like that is owned by somebody with influence and power to get such favours from the state. Peace.

Opinion: Time to smell the coffee… [Veni, vidi, vici]

The last few days the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) has defended it’s agreements with Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited. This stems from the agreements, addenda’s and whatnot.

This is the same investor that is building the Lubowa Specialized Hospital. When seeing the results of that and lack of progress. The sort of deals and agreements with UVCC is only beneficial for the owners and the ones arranging it in the state.

The coffee-farmers had no say in this and the monopoly of trading beans will possibly destroy the exports of coffee. Especially, when the company has been working on the factory since the investor with a delegation held a meeting at the State House in January 2014. This means it has gone 8 years and little to nothing has been moving. Just like there Hospital that been in the works since 2015. It is not like any of these has seen the lights of day and it isn’t getting any better.

The UVCC is getting tax-holidays and monopoly on coffee beans. Uganda Coffee Development Authority (UCDA) should have a say in this and you can wonder why the Minister of Agriculture doesn’t want to have any play in it. That just shows the shoddiness, since one of their own and loyal cadres in Frank Tumwebaze is downplaying his role.

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and Permanent Secretary Ramathan Ggoobi is both busy defending and selling the agreement in concern to UVCC. The company is given 10 years with monopoly and a tax-holiday, which is respectfully a terrible agreement. Especially, when there is no proof of the profitability or even if it is able to trade in this market. Secondly, the company has used years on end without any movements. The last proven change of the plot has been a field investigation in March 2020. Therefore, giving them a ten year monopoly two years later. Make you wonder why? What is so special and unique about UVCC? What leverage does this company has on the paper and makes it reasonable for the state to give away everything to it?

It is like the state owns the UVCC and the Italian investor for something. Even if there is no proof of profits or even able to carry it out. The reason why this can be said, because neither projects is anywhere close lights of day. At least the Soroti Fruit Factory actually exists, even if it is producing for the wrong fruit and isn’t profitable. Neither the hospital or the coffee factory is existing.

The Vinci Company is selling dreams… and the state is catching nightmares. The MoFPED is busy selling stories and fairytales. Since, the coffee processing plant is far from being built. There is no movement and proof of such. Neither is the Hospital getting into a stage of being operational. It is all on paper and agreements made by trading ghosts. The government is giving away a lot to a business, which is not even operational or has the proven ability of trading the commodities on the world market.

That’s why this whole deal is a mess. The naive will believe the numbers and the charts that Ggoobi was shelling out today and yesterday. The coffee market worldwide is huge, but how will a paper-tiger compete with the international companies and the ones that has been up and running for generations? Aha… that he will not answer too. Because, the trade and the business is already in motion. The state has already signed off it’s rights to a non-existent coffee factory and a company, which isn’t operational. That’s why the state has to patch the hurt, but the ones in-charge should smell the coffee, because this will get bitter very soon. Peace.

Opinion: Ggoobi is selling a bitter cup of coffee…

The ones that is believing the greatness and the proper means of the Vinci coffee deal signed by the Government of Uganda. They are naive and not seeing what has happened before. This agreement and deals between the investor and the GoU is bad at best. There is no denying in that. This is agreeing with the same investor and company, which was supposed to build the sophisticated Lubowa Specialized Hospital. That is yet to happen and is hard to believe that the same government would trade with the same person in another deal.

That’s why it’s interesting that Frank Tumwebaze was back-tracking. When he was in the room with one of the agreements was signed. While we know that the different ministries and government entities has participated in this.

This follows Parliament’s move to investigate the deal that the government through the Ministry of Finance signed with the company. The agreement in question was signed in February 10, 2022, amending an earlier agreement signed on April 29, 2015, and the accompanying addenda signed on December 21, 2015 and 17 October 2017. The amendment gives Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited a monopoly over the purchase and export of coffee from Ugandan farmers” (Mary Karubaga – ‘Agriculture minister says not a party to Vinci coffee deal’ 13.04.2022, New Vision).

Commenting about the matter on Thursday, Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary, Ramathan Ggoobi defended the deal as one of the best the country can ever get. “The agreement was signed with Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited to assist in the development of an 80million dollar plant, add value to coffee and export it globally. The agreement was therefore signed following a protracted process of due diligence and feasibility studies,”Ggoobi said. To further defend the agreement, the Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary said the deal was cleared by the Attorney General and was subsequently signed within laws governing the country and that none was broken. Explaining about the agreement, Ggoobi explained that the agreement will support government in the realization of its coffee production target from the current 7 million bags per year to 20 million bags by 2030” (Kenneth Kazibwe – ‘Uganda: “It Is the Best Deal Ever” – Finance Ministry Defends Controversial Coffee Agreement’ 14.04.2022, Nilepost/AllAfrica).

After reading this. You would think everything was clear and things was moving. The last piece of information about the movement on the matter. Was that there was a field investigation in March 2020 on the site of the Coffee factory. Alas, there has been little to no movement, except for huge promises and big dreams of achievements.

The Vinci Company have worked with this since they we’re visiting the State House back in January 2014. That is over 8 years of little to no progress. Only more agreements and furthering a paper-trail of it. It is so slow… that it’s hard to believe it’s the best deal a government could have. Neither can the company be so great… when the movements are so slow. The promises of vast production and jobs seems far-fetched. When there is no proof on site and neither in general.

The Vinci Company and it’s Coffee Processing Factory seems to be a dream that won’t come into reality. The Government or the Company doesn’t have the ability to pull it off. This would make sense and be adding value to the coffee beans, which is growing in Uganda. The idea is positive and the amount of bags would make good profits. However, if it is sustainable or have the funds to do so.

You can wonder, if there was any feasibility study or anything else. As there are little to nothing to show for it. Only huge hubris from the government and now from the Ministry of Finance. Which has to 8 years later say it is a grand deal. While nothing can be proven. If it was the best deal ever. Why haven’t Vince Company set up shop long time ago and even built anything? This is going glacier slow and isn’t promising. Neither is the possible stipulations or articles of the hidden agreement. Which should be public. Because, a monopoly of all coffee beans is a bad deal and would possibly stifle the farmers who is selling their coffee-beans. Peace.

Opinion: Pinetti who cannot finish the “Lubowa Project” is now building a Coffee Processing Plant

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija today on behalf of Government of Uganda signed a project implementation agreement with the Board Chairman of Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited Ms Enrica Pinetti to establish a Coffee processing plant at Kampala Industrial and Business Park,Namanve” (10.02.2022).

There must be a secret connection between Italian investor Enrica Pinetti and the National Resistance Movement (NRM). Since this isn’t the first time any ministry or government entity has an agreement to build a structure and invest into the Republic.

Pinetti and Finasi Roko Construction made first agreements to build “Lubowa Project” or the International Specialized Hospital of Uganda (ISHU) back in 2015 with Project Works Investment Agreement, by 2018 a Direct Agreement and a Note Purchase Agreement in 2019.

We know that the “Lubowa Project” haven’t been successful or fulfilled it promises of a working hospital on time. Neither Finasi Roko SPV Limited, which engaged Power China Guizhou Engineering Co. Limited as the sub-contractor to do the work.

The state had agreements and paid out advances for the building of the hospital, which is still to be achieved. As the advances and the budget posts over the years has gone to the project, but the hospital isn’t built or become a unit, which is working within the Ministry of Health. Instead it has been a money-pit and a legal battleground between the company and various of ministries.

By April 2021 URN Alex Otto could report this about “Project Lubowa”:

In 2019, Parliament guaranteed a 1.4 trillion Shillings loan to Finasi/ROKO led by Italian investor Enrica Pinetti for the construction of the 264-bed Specialized health care project. However soon after the approval, news emerged that the joint venture between Finasi and Roko had collapsed amidst reports that up to 240 billion Shillings had gone missing before the project kicked off. While the Ministry of Health handed over the site on June 10, 2019, it hoped that the construction would be completed by June 2021. However, the project remains at the foundation level and, according to Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, it has been extended for now 15 more months” (Alex Otto – ‘Two years later, Lubowa Hospital Remains at Foundation Level’ 28.04.2021, Uganda Radio Network).

So, we have to wait even longer time for ISHU or finishing “Project Lubowa” because they have spent funds and it just becoming more expensive. A project that been a fault-line from the on-set and it has not created anything substantial … and its been a waste and continues to be a wreck of this regime.

With that knowledge the Pinetti project of Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited have been registered since January 2014 and a delegation from it held a meeting with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the State House in July 2014. So, the company has been alive since then and now finalizing agreements with the Ministry of Finance in 2022.

What is striking is that the same government made agreement with the same business person back in 2015 and continued that project and even last year it was postponed until supposed completion. Therefore, the government should have more foresight than putting their money and hopes on the same people. As they haven’t done their proper due diligence… because these sorts of things shouldn’t have happened, but clearly its happening right in-front of our eyes.

The field investigation of the site that was planned for the Coffee Processing Plant was done in March 2020 by Alpha Geo – Engineering Limited. It has taken close two years to get an agreement with the Ministry of Finance. Therefore, we are seeing how slow and how the state doesn’t fact-check or questions the investor. As they have already a questionable reputation by what it has done with the funds for the “Project Lubowa”.

Now, the same business person who did that is now building a Coffee Processing Plant. I have a hard time believing the success of it. We should expect years of process, several more agreements and legal arguments, as well as postponed target deadlines. Since, the company and involved parties will make it long affair. We can expect court cases, ministries writing letters and directions of fresh funds, as it suddenly runs out of funds to contractors. That wouldn’t be shocking in the case of the Coffee Processing Plant, as the “Project Lubowa” should be a lesson for the government. However, they clearly have faith in the same persons to suddenly make things swiftly.

It is hard to believe that they would this but clearly they know they will get away with it. The state funds can be used for projects like these without any promise of fulfilment. The state shouldn’t go into agreement like these, but we know they work closely with Dott Services. Therefore, we know their friends and allies. It isn’t the supposed delivery or value of money that matters. It is the connection to the State House, which the Italian investor has had since 2014.

Nevertheless, the loser in this case is the taxpayer and citizens of the Republic. As the state throws money away on businesses like these without proper work ahead of it or concern of the possible spending on it. Peace.

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