A look into Mzee’s 60th Independence Speech [a story about coffee and the pipeline]
For the 35th time or the 36th time that President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni has addressed the nation in the Independence Day. This year its the 60th year since Uganda got independent from the United Kingdom. That day should have been held with fanfare and celebration across the Republic. However, the most vital and important place to be was at Kololo in Kampala. Where Museveni together with foreign dignitaries was at a bash. Which lasted and lasted.
President Museveni knows how to hold lectures and long one too. So, I will only take a few paragraphs here and there. That’s the ones that stood out to me. Because there is a lot of flesh and bone in a two hour speech and nobody with a sane mind wants to fact-check that on a whim. Therefore, I am only looking at snippets and addressing them as I see fit.
Like this one: “These achievements, have been in spite of the stiff opposition we have been facing from the parasites and their foreign backers, such as the Monitor Newspaper. To take an example, this paper, on the 22nd of May, 2022,it said that: “Coffee deal stinks; but key culprit will not be punished”. In other words, Museveni is committing a crime by trying to add value to the Ugandan Coffee” (Museveni, 09.10.2022).
By saying this we know his the Hawk Limited, which wasn’t addressed in the Parliament report. As the Government of Uganda and Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited has made agreements, which is practically creating a coffee-bean monopoly to a company that isn’t really built yet. Neither is the coffee factory built or ready for the levels of production either. That’s why this whole deals stinks and could easily destroy the agricultural output with the marginalized agreements, which isn’t benefiting the free-market or the spirit of producing it either. This is not an incentive or an adjustment anyone asked for, but a problem and bottleneck, which the President himself has created.
While on the subject. This paragraph is just amazing:
“After that, I engaged the Nestle group in Davos. They made it clear that they already had their factory for coffee processing in the UK and would not build a new one. Hence, we had to remain as Raw-Material producers, getting only 5% of the value of the coffee we grow. They, moreover, try to muddy the water by claiming that “blending” of the different coffees can only take place in Europe etc. We told them that Uganda had all the varieties and the blending would be done here. That has been the war, I have been involved in until I got the Vinci Company to help me. You heard how some of the MPs were talking in that war. Mwalimu Julius Nyerere, had built a coffee processing factory in Bukoba, in Tanzania, near the border of Uganda. When I heard of that, I linked our people with that effort. They were producing an end product known as “Star Coffee”. Unknown to me, the officials of Uganda, allowed that effort to die out or get stunted. What blindness and betrayal this is!!” (Museveni, 09.10.2022).
It is interesting that Museveni mentions Nestle, which is only this year opening up a Coffee Processing Plant in Mexico. So, this means that Museveni is lying about the fact or that’s so long ago that the Nestle company has changed their perspective. Nevertheless, I don’t believe Coffee can only be processed in Europe. That is deliberately false and a lie. Just to malign Europe and direct his displeasure with Europeans in general. In this regard, there are already coffee processing plants in Uganda. Just to mention one other, which has been operating since 2015 is in Bushenyi district and run by APCU Union. This plant alone is sufficiently supporting 6,000 small-coffee growers in the Bushenyi district. So, the UVCC agreement with the monopoly is dismantling and destroying for instance that processing plant, which is already in operation since 2015. It just shows how his not interested in other visions than his own. His actually betraying the ones that already has started and is operating, which was also described earlier this in a Parliamentary Report. A report that the President don’t mention or even cares to assess. It’s his way or the highway…
On another note, he speaks of the petroleum pipeline:
“Recently, there was yet another manifestation of Imperialistic arrogance and hegemonism by elements in the European Union Parliament whereby they decreed from Brussels that the East African Crude Oil Pipeline should not be constructed, until those arrogant actors permit us to do so. Parasitic elements from that part of the World, have been causing problems for Africa and the World for the last 500 years” (Museveni, 09.10.2022).
It is really astonishing the ways that he puts this. That’s why you know this is “his oil” and he feels tampered with. He isn’t describing or explaining the grievances of the EU Parliament Motion. Only describing them the worst way possible and putting them in sinister political context. Instead, of trying to defend with proper arguments for the continuation of it. While again maligning his detractors with language that isn’t fitting for a grown man of his stature, but we know that is common practice from him.
Well, enough for this piece, will write one more about his speech. Since it was over 30 pages and there was one more tale that needs to be addressed. It’s coming on the page as soon as it is finished. Peace.
Opinion: Museveni’s deflection on the EACOP…
“I spent 12 years studying English and one of the words I picked up in those years is insufferable. Some of these people(EU MPs) are insufferable. You(EU MPs) need to control yourself not to explode.(They are) so shallow, so egocentric and so wrong that they think they know everything broadcasting their ignorance all over the place but they should calm down. This is a wrong battleground for them” (…) “We don’t take kindly to arrogance and that’s why we spent so many years sorting out issues with arrogant people. The plan will be implemented according to schedule. I hope our partners join us firmly and advise them. When you go to the European Union parliament these are just young girls. A young girl is lecturing me what to do in Uganda! I think somebody should counsel those young people” – President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (27.09.2022)
No one should expect that President Museveni would held himself accountable or be concerned with the grievances in the European Union Parliament Motion “JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on violations of human rights in Uganda and Tanzania linked to investments in fossil fuels projects” which has caused issues since 14th September 2022.
We know that the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and the exploiting of petroleum in the Lake Albertine basin is key for the President. This industrial enterprise and agreements are a life-line for his reign. The currency coming from this has to be a slush-fund and direct funds to ensure longevity at this point. Since, he has no direct support or direct donors who will fund him in the same of which they did in 1990s or early 2000s. That’s why the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the government have a debt deficit cycle, which is destroying the economy. Only Petro-Dollar can save it and possibly get enough revenue to stop the downward spiral created over the years.
However, no one should believe that the Petro-Dollars or the EACOP will be beneficial for the Republic. If it has been sincere and honestly operating, the whole enterprise, the businesses and the agreements would have been transparent. Secondly, the grievances which was reflected in the motion haven’t been discussed or addressed by the President. That’s the arrogance of Museveni himself showing.
President Museveni isn’t talking about the environmental damages or problems the EACOP is creating. Neither is he talking about the forced evictions or the human rights violations either. That doesn’t concern him. We know this all about “his oil” and the oil development to make his bank-account pregnant. The final heist and the biggest slush-fund ever to President for Life.
The ones believing President Museveni is building and developing the petroleum industry out of the kindness of his heart. I hate to tell you, but this is all for selfish reasons. His doing it to earn money himself and is indifferent about the citizens itself. He will have a buck-load of cash and the costs will be burdened on the next generation. Museveni isn’t in this to do good and he never was. That’s why other industries are depleted, privatized and destroyed over the years in his reign.
It is interesting that his pinning the blame on the EU Parliament. When he doesn’t even see what they said and what the Motion is stating. It’s like that doesn’t matter and like Museveni isn’t reading the room. There are already banks backing off and the IMF/World Bank isn’t interesting in it either. The timing of building the EACOP is wrong. He should have initiated this a decade earlier or so. However, he was busy with other schemes at the time…
President Museveni isn’t saving face here. His just deflecting and not taking into account the Motion itself. That’s apparently beneath him, but he should be concerned by this. They are just proving what sort of man he is and is not willing to see it. He rather rule with his ruthless acts and hope no one every tests him. However, the EU Parliament isn’t beholden to him or have to live by his words. They are independent that way and therefore, he just have to act this way. He can rebuke them… but that doesn’t help his case either. Total is European and French, so that company is bound by the laws and regulations in Europe. Therefore, Museveni cannot just deny the EU Parliament, because they are the ones that are the biggest developers in it too.
That’s why the next moves of Total will be important and if they will defy the EU Parliament itself. This will be followed and we don’t know how that one will go. What we do know… is that its harder for them and banks are not willing to loan development funds to it. In this regard, the Ugandan President should be more humble and be more friendly. However, he prefer being on the warpath, than being a person who reflects on the reality and adjust to it. Peace.
Uganda: Over Hundred CSOs Express Concern over Islamic Development Bank’s Financing of EACOP (22.09.2022)
National Unity Platform (NUP): Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine – Statement on the Resolution of the European Parliament on the Violation of Human Rights linked to Investments in the Oil Pipeline (21.09.2022)
National Environment Management Authority (NEMA): Clarification on information concerning the Environment and Social Impact Assessment (EISA) Reports for Oil and Gas Projects in Uganda (19.09.2022)
Opinion: The EACOP is no bargain
This week there been new talks of the East African Crude Oil Pipe Line (EACOP). That comes after the European Union Parliament came with a Motion, which reflect dire concerns about it. The EACOP pipeline will go from the Lake Albert Basin down to Port of Tanga in Tanzania. It is a joint venture deal, but the one who has the most leverage is the French Company Total. While EACOP itself is a United Kingdom based corporation.
The others with smaller stakes are the Uganda National Oil Corporation (UNOC) and the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC). Not to forget the even smaller ownership of the China National Offshore Oil Corporation. So, it is not like the EACOP or the drilling of petroleum is done by solely Ugandan ownership either. Not like Tanzania has a huge stake in it either.
Yes, CNOOC and Total will pay taxes and transport fees of sorts, which is normal for a pipeline to the respective nations. However, they are still able and licenced to drill or exploit the oil fields in the Lake Albert Basin. They are doing that and then later transporting the petroleum from Bunyoro to the coast of Tanzania, which is a long pipeline over vast different environments, which could cause harm or endanger it even. That’s only one thing in this enterprise.
The drilling and exploitation of the petroleum in Lake Albert basin and parts of it is done in Murchison Falls National Park. Meaning the ones with the licence to drill will do so in areas, which has already been facilitated to reserve the nature and the habitats of the species living there. In beautiful surroundings and unique as well. Therefore, the whole petroleum industry could cast a spell on the area as a whole. Especially, if there was something going wrong or an “accident” would occur, which could cause massive damage to the areas.
The EU Parliament Motion has been called “colonial” and “Supremacist” also said to block industrial development in East Africa. They are calling it undermining and saying the Europeans should mine their own business. Which is very ironic, when Total, the French company is the main investor and company involved. The lions share of it run by Total and not by anyone else. Before that UK businesses Tullow and Heritage had vast control of the licences to drill in Lake Albert Basin. So, it’s very weird to call one thing “colonial” and yet allowing the same “colonial” enterprises to run business there.
The Ugandans speaking ill of it. Should first ask for Good Governance and proper due diligence over the projects. The development done and the deals should be looked into. Because, little to none is public. Only the diplomatic papers and some shareholding or ownership details are known. The licencing deals for drilling is “secret” and the transactional parts of also under wraps. The same with registration and practically ownership of the UNOC and TPDC. They are not entities who is very open or transparent about.
That’s why when the minority isn’t transparent, and the Total company isn’t either. The grand public cannot know what is at stake. Who is getting a cut and who is really earning on it. Not like the monies or the credible profits cannot be siphoned. It is not like it is in the domain of the public or it has a knowledge about that.
That’s the making of the President and his Office. They have kept it all hidden for a reason. It is his business and not the citizens one. It is his “oil” and he can do what he likes. He don’t like nosy people and don’t want to be bothered with real questions. That’s why its been kept secret… and it’s deliberately so. Peace.
The EACOP Pipeline might have a harder time getting funding after EU Parliament Motion condemning it…
The East African Crude Oil Export Pipeline (EACOP) could face a new hurdle and delays. As there is not only a collective of activists and organizations working to stifle the options of funding the EACOP. The EACOP needs funding to be able to be built. The EACOP has to get funding from either Corporate Banks or Multi-National Institutions. The World Bank said in 2019 that it wouldn’t support it and neither will International Monetary Fund (IMF). Therefore, the EACOP needs to get $5 billion elsewhere to fund the building of it.
Because of the Motion today made by the European Parliament. I had to go back and find more new information into the EACOP. The EACOP haven’t been a steady operation or a quick fix. No, this has been a slow train moving. There has been slowly getting things in order and the it was only last year both Uganda and Tanzania had settle their negotiations. This is why it haven’t gotten further. The slow approach is also a reason why the EACOP is lacking funding and not being operational. The deadlines of the production, the exports and a possibly a refinery in Uganda has also been on hold. Therefore, the EU motion could only get into existence because of the slow movements from the Government of Uganda.
Take a look here…
“The Tilenga oilfield, to the north of Lake Albert, will include operations within the Murchison Falls National Park, and is operated and owned 56.67% by TotalEnergies. The Kingfisher oilfield, at the southern end of the lake, is being developed by CNOOC which owns 28.33%, and Uganda’s UNOC, which has a 15% stake. The two projects are expected to start producing oil in 2025 and reach a peak production of 230,000 barrels per day, which will rank the Lake Albert oil fields as one of Africa’s top 10 oil projects. The shareholders in the pipeline are TotalEnergies (62%), UNOC (15%), Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation TPDC (15%) and CNOOC (8%)” (Tonderayi Mukeredzi – ‘Controversial East Africa oil pipeline moves one step closer to construction’ 25.03.2022, ChinaDialogue,net).
“The East African Crude Oil Export Pipeline, which will have a daily capacity of 216,000 barrels a day, will be funded on a 40% to 60% equity-debt ratio, according to UNOC, a partner in the project. The link is designed to move land-locked Uganda’s oil to international markets. The Islamic Development Bank became the first lender to commit funding to the project when it approved $100 million for EACOP at the weekend. TotalEnergies SE is leading development of the project with a 62% stake in the cross-border pipeline. UNOC and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corp. each have a 15% interest, and the rest is owned by China’s Cnooc Ltd” (Fred Ojambo – ‘Uganda expects all pledged funding for oil pipeline by end of November’ 12.09.2022, WorldOil.com)
EU Parliament Motion:
“Calls for the EU and the international community to exert maximum pressure on Ugandan and Tanzanian authorities, as well as the project promoters and stakeholders, to protect the environment and to put an end to the extractive activities in protected and sensitive ecosystems, including the shores of Lake Albert, and commit to using the best available means to preserve the culture, health, and future of the communities affected and to explore alternatives in line with international climate and biodiversity commitments; calls on the promoters of the EACOP project in Uganda and Tanzania to resolve all disputes that should have been resolved prior to the launch of the project, and to take into account all the above-mentioned risks, threatening this project; urges TotalEnergies to take one year before launching the project to study the feasibility of an alternative route to better safeguard protected and sensitive ecosystems and the water resources of Uganda and Tanzania, limiting the vulnerability of the watersheds in the African Great Lakes region, which is a critical resource for the region, and to explore alternative projects based on renewable energies for better economic development” (European Parliament – ‘JOINT MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on violations of human rights in Uganda and Tanzania linked to investments in fossil fuels projects’ 14.09.2022).
We know the EU Parliament Motion is causing a stir in Kampala and Dodoma. There will be words and possible ramifications of this. The EACOP is mostly owned and run by the Total Energie and that’s French. So, the French or France, which is a Member State in the EU could suddenly apply more pressure on the French Petroleum Company. That would further delay and possibly stop the EACOP pipeline. Since, the pipeline isn’t majority owned by the governments of Uganda or Tanzania. This is why the condemnation of the EU Parliament matters.
Just like the activists and NGOs who is working on overtime pressuring banks and lenders to the EACOP. That in combination of the new policies of greener technology or following climate change programs within the World Bank (WB) or International Monetary Fund (IMF). The EACOP certainly needs lots of funding and fiscal funds. That’s why the EU Parliament condemnation can alter a lot and add pressure, which is even stronger than the activists or NGOs who is already running a marathon with it.
This pipeline is contested, not only because of the parties involved and the respective republic’s. No, it is because of the environments that the oil is drilled and where the petroleum pipeline route goes as well. Peace.
Joint Communique on the Occassion of the State Visit to Uganda by Her Excellency Samia Suluhu Hassan, President of the United Republic of Tanzania, 10th – 11th May 2022 (10.05.2022)
Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas (CSCO) – Civil Society Statement on the Announcement of the Final Investment decision for Uganda’s Oil and Gas Sector (07.02.2022)