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Archive for the tag “Sam Kuteesa”

Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Uganda’s Position on the Situation in Hong Kong (03.10.2019)

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Opinion: Is the 64th CPC another car scandal in the making?

When Ofwono Opondo today said the Parliament bought 80 cars for the upcoming 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC). I could help to recall the previous similar event at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2007. As with that time the sudden need for buying car for a short time period comes up.

Not only the reckless spending on visitors coming for a conference, but also the lack of tenders and procurement protocol. Just like last time, when the CHOGM taskforce just enforced a bid through a company owned by Minister of Foreign Affairs Sam Kuteesa. Who knows what happen this time around. Who owns the company that was procured from and by what protocol was it made?

Because, now the amount of cars is much more. We can wonder if they will be is idle and left behind, as the 30 BMWs left at the Ministry of Works and Transport post 2007. As the CHOGM cars was already not the newest model, but a two year old. Whose tender was questionable at best. Even the President questioned it in a letter back-in-the-day.

Therefore, when the Press Conference today, says the “Parliament” aka the state bought 80 cars or vans for the event. So, let it be clear, the Value for Money is peanuts and the usage minimal. The state would have been better off, renting all rentals and not buying. Which means they have to find ways of using them. Unless, they plan to store them of site at MoTW.

Surely, the VIPs could have used the old ones and leased cars. They don’t newly minted cars fresh from the factory or unused even. They surely just want to arrive and on-time to the conference itself. But, the government want to splash out money like no tomorrow.

We remember the procurement scandal surrounding the CHOGM. The state should be more careful with their ways of buying these cars. There is no proof of value of money, neither the way the tenders nor the budget was for it. Lastly, not plan for usage or whose need for these post-CPC.

That seems like a mismatch of work and also questionable spending at best. When the same government has done the same stunt a decade ago. It should be obvious, that they could have the capacity to do this again.

So, be warned… it is a scandal in the making, unless Ofwono knows something we doesn’t as it is not like the documents, the proof and purchase methods are proven at this point. Unless, a Parliamentary PAC is looking into it or the Auditor General looks through the paperwork. Which we only will know in the next budget year or something. Peace.

Uganda-Rwanda Tensions Part XII: Communique (16.09.2019)

Uganda-Rwanda Tensions XI: Deportation in Respect of 32 Rwandans INV/357/19 (12.09.2019)

Uganda-Rwanda Tensions Part X: Meeting of the Ad Hoc Commisson for the Implementation of Memorandum of Understanding of Luanda between Republic of Uganda and Republic of Rwanda (12.09.2019)

Uganda-Rwanda Tension Part VIII: A look into the Parliament Report on the closure of Uganda-Rwanda Border

On the 23rd August 2019, the Minister of State for East African Community Julius Wandera Maganda sent the report on the Closure of Uganda-Rwanda Border. This report has been made to update the EAC Committee. Still, the public deserves to get the numbers and the gist of the closure. What it really means in the hard numbers and with the cross-border trade.

Clearly, the closure has had an affect on both republics. As the Report states are that:

Following the closure of Cyanika, Katuna and Mirama Hills Border Posts on the 27th Feb 2019 by the Republic of Rwanda, as part of their mandate, the Ministry of East African Community (MEACA) has undertaken a number of steps as indicated below”.

There has been certainly new rules for entry between Uganda-Rwanda:

i. There is still free movement of persons (Ugandan Nationals and other Nationalities) to and from Rwanda save for the Rwandan citizens who are only allowed entry and no ex;.t from Rwanda.

ii. The only Rwandan nationals allowed exit from Rwanda from the borders above are the drivers on transit to Kenya and not to Uganda.

iii. It was also noted that the Ugandans who cross to Rwanda only go there mostly to attend Parties or Funerals, and not business as the environment for Ugandan goods and products is hostile.

iv. Whereas Ugandan nationals are allowed to enter Rwanda, it is unfortunate that Ugandan goods/products arc not allowed entry. These are rejected with no reasons given, no rejection notes/documents are provided. Many drivers have suffered the disappointment of being told to turn back to Uganda”

All of this has consequences. Just as the financial implications by this alone. The Ministry can show that in FY 2017/18 value the imports from Rwanda at 160,293,270,436 UGX and in FY 2018/19 it has gone down to 123,338,816,439 UGX. This is downfall of imports of 23.05 % from the last year.

The consequences for the export to Rwanda is also hit. In FY 2017/18 was 585,436,037,282 UGX and in FY 2018/19 is 426,884,832,406 UGX. This is a downfall of export in the amount of 27,08 %. from the last year.

The results of the closure of the border at Katuna has ensured that there was no trucks passing this pass, between March 2019 to the June 2019. When the trucks started to crossover again. Still in a fraction of what was done in the past. Before February 2019, the average inflow and outflow of trucks was above 3000. However, in the months of March to June 2019, there was less than 500 every month. Even ZERO in the months of April and May 2019. Before, the numbers has started to rise, but not more than 300 in June 2019. Surely, One-Tenth is a major change and has affect.

This has resulted in more traffic, within the inflow and outflow at the Mirama Hill. Until February 2019, there was usually about 300 passing in both directions. However after this it was around 2000 trucks passing through every month between March to June 2019. Which is showing that there are blocking of trucks and also the total numbers of trucks passing on both passes is less than 3000 in both directions. That is really hurting the cross-border trade between the Republic’s. It is easy to see.

The closure has had an affect and the new measures on both sides. Has hit the trading, but also general movement. That is visible and surely, would be nice to see what the Rwandan Parliament would write as a counter to the Ugandan side. To see if their have another explanation for this. Peace.

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Rwanda and Uganda (23.08.2019)

The Secretary-General recognizes the important role of Presidents João Lourenço of Angola and Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in facilitating the signing of the Memorandum.

NEW YORK, United States of America, August 23, 2019 – The Secretary-General welcomes the signing on 21 August 2019 in Luanda, Angola, of a Memorandum of Understanding between Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda and Paul Kagame of Rwanda, with the aim of normalising bilateral relations between the two countries.

He encourages the parties to implement the agreement in good faith, with a view to restoring friendly relations and cooperation between the two neighbouring states, in the interest of peace, stability and sustainable development in the region.

The Secretary-General recognizes the important role of Presidents João Lourenço of Angola and Felix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of the Congo in facilitating the signing of the Memorandum.

The Secretary-General stands ready to support the momentum generated through this and other initiatives to advance peace, cooperation and integration in the region.

Uganda-Rwanda Tensions Part VII: Memorandum of Understanding of Luanda between the Republic of Uganda and the Republic of Rwanda (21.08.2019)

Opinion: Will the 64th CPC have a similar aftermath as the CHOGM in 2007?

Now that there is a month or so away from the 64th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference (CPC) in Kampala. When the 500 delegates from all the Commonwealth member states are coming to the Republic of Uganda. To be part of conference and work for a week.

By all means, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and its handlers see this a opportunity to spread the good news, to show the grand side of the Republic and its nation. However, why I am writing is that I fear this will be another Commonwealth scandal.

Last time was the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM) held in Kampala a few days in November 2007. Which in retrospect was a graft-party for the Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi and Vice-President Gilbert Bukenya, also Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa. Who all were implicated in millions of dollars gone missing on tenders and spending on the CHOGM conference that year.

As we know that the same people and organizers were around. The same people running the ministries and having vital roles. We know, that the NRM and its high ranking officials might see a new opportunity to eat. Don’t be shocked if the CPC becomes a modern day CHOGM. It is 12 years apart, but the same President and his party at the helm.

I would not be shocked if the Office of the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa, Gen. Salim Selah and someone implicated in the State House would suddenly misuse allocated funds, which Keith Muhakanizi can explain nor anyone else. They will vanish in a tender, fake tent or even some VIP cars whose never gotten imported through a shell-company owned by high ranking officials. The IGG, Auditor General or Attorney General can implicate any of them, as they cannot find the paperwork, which also happen to go missing. As the state prosecutors doesn’t have enough evidence to produce a case against them. Don’t be shocked, it is just business as usual.

This is just me thinking loud. I wouldn’t be shocked or surprised if the CHOGM scandal in a new version for the CPC would happen. If it appear for us in late 2019 or in 2020 as the revision of budgets, the value of money reports and whatnot. They will reveal that some company, which happens to be in connection with high ranking officials, suddenly have vanished government funds.

Let’s wait and see. I hope I am wrong, but don’t be surprised if suddenly we have modern day version of CHOGM scandal. Don’t be amazed if the 46th CPC suddenly turned into a goldmine for the big-men at the NRM. Peace.

Uganda-Rwanda Tensions Part VI: Press Statement on a Public Interest Litigation Case on the Closure of Uganda-Rwanda Border (01.07.2019)

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