Teso Affairs: In the Teso Sub-Region they are eating termites to survive the famine!

Residents of the hunger stricken areas in Teso region are now forced to eat termites due the current hunger crisis caused by last year and this year’s prolonged drought. Florence Kulume a mother of nine and a resident of Atira sub county in Serere district goes early morning to look for grass, sort it straight before washing it with roots of a certain tree locally known as “Ekoboi” in Ateso which is sour and loved by termites” (Kampala Dispatch – ‘Starving families in Teso resort to eating termites, Karimojong flee to Kenya’ 13.06.2022).

The Teso Sub-Region is hit with food insecurity yet again. It seems like the Teso Affairs and the state haven’t followed previous recommendations or any sort of thing. As the problems of past is revisiting the area. An area where the state has invested in a fruit factory, the Soroti Fruit Factory, but not secured the farmers or the agricultural sector as a whole. Since, within a few years time and a new drought settles in. The same issue of hunger and starvations sets in.

I have to use the sentiment of a farmer from the last time in 2017. Because the situation hasn’t changed but its more of the same.

Still, a local farmer wrote a piece to the Chimp Reports that has some valuable assessments:

The current hunger in Teso has largely been attributed to drought, while this assertion may hold some truths; there is increasingly evidence that the Ministry of Teso Affairs has not done its part. Hunger in Teso is as a result of both internal and external factors. For many years, the region has been experiencing declining productivity and this was recently worsened by drought. For districts like Ngora, Bukedia and Kumi, land fragmentation has heavily affected productivity” (…) “Clearly besides drought, Teso food systems are in a crisis and our expectation was that the Ministry of Teso affairs working with other stakeholders would work to address this problem. Our view is that hunger should be among the ‘affairs’ that Ministry of Teso Affairs should be engaged in. Agriculture remains a major livelihood for our people in Teso and therefore we require urgent response from Ministry of Teso Affairs on its plans to help our people get out of the current hunger crisis” (Akorikin, 2017).

Minister of State for Teso Affairs, Hon. Christine Aporu Amongin has to accept her faults and lack of good governance. The state haven’t done their due diligence or tried to mitigate it. That’s why it’s happening again after 5 years. We know the state will come with excuses. Last time around another minister blamed the suffering communities for selling their crops and whatnot to get money to stay alive. Therefore, we shouldn’t expect much from the state or the ministries in question.

The Office of the Prime Minister and the Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness should together with the Teso Affairs make some mechanisms and help people out. Not only with the direct aid and need food right now. That what they should do and in such a manner that people can eat nutritious food.

Now that it has happen for the second time in 5 years. The state needs to do more than short-term relief. There is a need for more food security mechanisms that actually can help the farmers and the hit communities in the Teso sub-region. Peace.

Reference:

Akorikin, Francis – ‘OPINION: Government Should Review the Relevance of Ministry of Teso Affairs’ (05.05.2017) link: https://www.chimpreports.com/opinion-government-should-review-the-relevance-of-ministry-of-teso-affairs/

Teso Affairs: The failure of Soroti Fruit Factory

Soroti Fruits Limited was incorporated to add value to fruits that were abundantly underutilised; to address the high post-harvest losses, provide market for the farmers produce, and create employment opportunities along the value chain, thus increased and diversified household incomes within the greater Teso Sub-region” (February, 2022).

This is not a shocker, as the Auditor General of December 2021 already have proven that the investment under Uganda Development Corruption (UDC) proved that the Government of Uganda huge investments into these State Owned Enterprises isn’t only unsuccessful, but blatant cash-grabs and “white-elephants”.

The “Report on the Alleged Mismanagement of Soroti Fruits Limited” only furthers this, as the produced report of February 2022 is no difference from the AG Report from December 2021. Therefore, it is only showing it more direct and one case, which happens to be the Soroti Fruit Factory.

Just read here:

The Committee made the following observations,’The only mango varieties not taken by the factory are the traditional mangoes which are said to have a lot of fiber which requires several systems to clean. Mangoes are mainly sourced from outside Teso sub-region because the available mango varieties in Teso contain fiber that cannot easily be processed by the current mango line. Whereas oranges are predominantly grown fruits in Teso sub-region, the factory found it economically viable to invest in a mango line as opposed to an orange line because the mango juice is a fast moving product that can sustain the market thus this could be one of the reasons orange growing farmers are frustrated” (February 2022).

The committee was concerned that Government has so far invested in Teso Fruits Limited a total of UGX 44.1 billion, in addition to the KOICA grant of USD.8million, however, this has not yet yielded any profits and this projects towards the fact that the factory may take a longer period to sustain itself” (February 2022).

What is really striking is that a Fruit Factory for the Teso region, has to “import” or get outside sourced Mangoes, which can work for the production line. As the type, which is mainly produced in the Teso region doesn’t work there. That shouldn’t be the case and shows that the Fruit Processing Plant isn’t scaled or made for the local fruit producers. This is just infuriating and insulting. Because, that is the purpose to value-add on the cash-crops, but in this case. It is instead for outside farmers who has a longer way to the factory, which isn’t the reason for the company to begin with.

On a second note, the Teso region is also producing more oranges, which isn’t even in the works. So, you can wonder what sort of planning that went into it and what sort of analysis of the region was to begin with. This is the Teso Region’s Fruit Factory, but it doesn’t serve the majority of the mango producers or the orange producers in the region. Meaning, they are outsourcing the fruit supply, because it isn’t produced in Teso. That is really impressive and foolish too. Who is this dumb?

Not only the spending, building and wastage of funds only, as it has been a money-pit and total loss from the on-set. This report isn’t painting a perfect picture. Yes, it was a report made because of an expensive road, but uncovers another bitter truth, which I find more interesting. As it is built a fruit factory, which isn’t made for the surrounding farmers of the region. That’s it. Peace.

Auditor General Report says that the government wasted over 200 billion shillings towards investment projects under the UDC

The Government of Uganda has committed over UGX.223.9Bn in various investment projects under Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) over the years 2016/17 to 2019/20. These investments which are highlighted as government priorities from National Development Plan (NDP I), through to NDP III, are meant to promote social and economic development and contribute to poverty eradication by increasing national and regional economic growth and development” (Auditor General, December 2021).

We know over the years that the National Resistance Movement and the Government of Uganda (GoU) knows all about writing fancy plans, but have no idea about to implement them. In this regard, the GoU have not failed us either. The same government have failed to use the investments and the spending Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) over the years. That is very obvious.

These investments has been questioned before and the lack of results from them has been in the public too. As the factories and companies haven’t delivered as promised. The companies in question is Soroti Fruit Factory, Kigezi Highlands, Mbale Tea Factor, Kayonza tea factory and Atiak Sugar factory. Especially, the Soroti and Atiak factories have caused a stir and headlines in the past. So, the Auditor General is validating what the public already knows, but it is friendly to see the state looking at their lack of results.

Just read this conclusion, it says a lot about the lack of good governance by the NRM:
“Government has invested over UGX.200Bn in various sectors of the economy with the objective of boosting value addition mainly in the agricultural sector. There has been a noted increase in both tea and sugar production. It should however be noted that the levels of outputs and other expected benefits are not commensurate with the investments due to challenges of budgeting and planning, lack of feasibility studies and criteria for allocation of funding, inadequate contractual arrangements to clarify roles and targets and limited oversight and monitoring of investments. There is a risk of failure to achieve the intended objectives. There is still potential for improvement by ensuring UDC staffing levels are increased to undertake the above-mentioned tasks. It is also necessary to enhance autonomy for UDC by providing capitalisation instead of project related financing, so that management is flexible in allocation and re-allocate resources where they are urgently required at the time” (Auditor General, December 2021).

When reading this… you can state this is “white elephants” and could have been produced by any sort of foreign development agency to sell good stories to their donors and well-wishers. The GoU is initially dropping money like a drunk sailor without plans or sufficiently study the needs for it. Secondly, they don’t have secured or checked the plans to ensure the value for money. Alas, they are just printing money and throwing it on strippers. Hoping the stripper will come with the man who is making it rain. It is possibly that the stripper will be picked up by someone else or has a man already. So, why should the enterprise succeed when it’s just mere luck, if you actually get a shot to kiss or spend time with the girl.

In the same fashion the GoU has invested in the UDC. They have thrown money at the wall and hoping that something will stick. This is just running wild… and not putting any real efforts in. As they are just spending money and investing them without any precautions. That should be a worry anyone and the AG couldn’t be any clearer in this instance. Peace.

Operation Wealth Creation Handles No Procurement, No Money (26.03.2019)

Opinion: The State Minister for Teso Affairs have forgotten her role as a Minister by getting people arrested over nothing!

Until you put these things to right, you’re not entitled to boast of the justice meted out to thieves, for it’s a justice more specious than real or social desirable. You allow these people to be brought up in the worst possible way, and systematically corrupted from their earliest years. Finally, when they grow up and commit the crimes that they were obviously destined to commit, ever since they were children, you start punishing them. In other words, you create thieves, and then punish them for stealing.”Thomas More

We have this week been really introduced to the State Minister for Teso, Honourable Agnes Akiror Egunyu, who has made headlines for not having patience to wait in a queue inside a bank in Soroti. She is supposed to be busy help the Internally displaced in Teso, following up Presidential Pledges in the Region and other matters. However, for her it was more important to get people detained for making her stand in a tiny queue.

I will, first show the six key activities, that the State Minister is supposed to focus on, but she has apparently other motives in her work. As the quote of the Daily Monitor first and than New Vision follow-up. Seriously, it is a real mess, because the Teso Affairs isn’t that important to her.

Minister of Teso Affairs is supposed to do this: “1, Monitoring and coordinating the implementation of PRDP and other Government Programmes. 2, Coordinating/liaising and collaborating with other Government MDAs delivery of services. 3, Following up on the fulfilment of Presidential pledges. 4, Resettling former IDPs. 5, Promoting peace building and resolving conflicts. 6. Implementing special and specific affirmative interventions” (OPM – ‘Teso Affairs’).

A bank teller, who spoke to Daily Monitor on condition of anonymity, said Ms Akiror entered the bank and wanted to go past other clients straight to the teller. When the queueing clients complained, she got angry and called Mr Ogwal. Mr Ogwal told Daily Monitor that he was contacted by the minister for help on allegations that she had been attacked at the branch by two men as she made her transactions. “She called me like any other person for help. It is the reason I ordered the district police commander to rush to the bank where the arrests were made,” he said” (Muron & Emwamu, 2019).

Two customers of dfcu Bank’s Soroti branch who were arrested for allegedly disturbing the peace of the state minister for Teso affairs, Agnes Akiror Egunyu, in the bank hall have been charged and released on Police bond” (…) “In an interview with the New Vision, Akiror accused the duo for abusing her while she was making a transaction. “I found clients queuing in the bank without a teller in the counter to serve them. One teller accepted to help me after I pleaded for help, but those men started abusing me seriously,” Akiror said” (Opio, 2019).

She is really acting entitled with this action this week. Seemingly, the State Minister has forgotten her work, he play in society and that she is not above the ordinary people. The State Minister should have no issues waiting in a queue. That she got the two people arrested inside the Bank. Really shows her ways and how she has gotten corrupted by the Public Office she has. Instead of working for any of the key activities, because that is not to get people arrested for being customers inside a bank. Because that is what she did.

If she had been serious as a State Minister, we would have read reports where she took charge in the plenty of Presidential Pledges made in the Teso Regions. State Minister Akiror Egunyu did this to the citizens, which happened to be in the bank at the same time. Just so utter disgrace for her role in society and her natural entitlement.

She thinks she is that special now, that she can force herself first, as she is a Minister. That shows what is wrong in society, when the Police is called upon for this and detains them. Just because, they didn’t let her first in the queue. Peace.

Reference:

Emmanuel Opio – ‘Two arrested over insulting minister in bank hall’ 17.01.2019, link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1492780/arrested-insulting-minister-bank-hall

George Muron & Simon Peter Emwamu – ‘Bank clients arrested for ‘disturbing’ Teso minister’ 16.01.2019, link: https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Bank-clients-arrested-for–disturbing–Teso-minister/688334-4936798-mklyiiz/index.html

Teso Sub-Region Famers continues to be forgotten by the Regime!

The seeds of the past bear fruit in the present.”Patrick Rothfuss

You know there is plenty of issues, when the Member of Parliament David Abala from Ngora County are together with 51 farmers written a petition concerning the Fruit Industry in the Teso Sub-Region. This being a petition from the orange and citrus fruit farmers of Kobwin, Ngora, Kapir, Mukura and Ngora Town Council ClO Ngora District.

What is special is that I have covered this before. As the National Resistance Movement (NRM) have promised for over a decade to build the Soroti Fruit Factory, however, that hasn’t been materialized. This being President Museveni having rallies in the districts or nearby areas. Alas, the public has waited and started to produce this cash-crops as the factory was supposed to come. But with time they have seen it has appeared. This hurting the profitability of the produce and also the lack of progress for the farmers themselves.

We know the state sucks, when the petitioners are writing this:

This particularly arises from current government policy to encourage farmers in the Teso sub-region to take to Citrus fruit farming on the basis that a fruit processing factory will be built in the sub-region for value addition on their fruits as a means for poverty alleviation and invariably wealth creation”.

Therefore, they have to even petition for it, this after they even demonstrated earlier in the year. When the Teso farmers in the Katakwi District put their produce on the streets paving ways of mangoes, instead of selling it. That happen this May 2018.

Now months after, the Ngora District are reacting to, as they are losing money and being tricked by middle men. As they are asking the Parliament for compensation, streamline the value chain for the farmers and the challenges they are having.

The NRM have now proven twice within a year, that they are not meeting the needs of the Teso Farmers, as the Ngora District are following the Katakwi District, which are both addressing the lack of following up pledges and promises of the past. It is all directed to the pledge of the Fruit Factory in Soroti. Seemingly never happen, except on paper and within the policy documents, but doesn’t get funding from the regime.

The saga continues and it will be fruity ride. Peace.

President Musveni letter to Minister Matia Kasaija: “Delays in Clearing Imported Machinery By M/S Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group (U) Co. Ltd” (14.08.2018)

Museveni’s Mixed Messages in Mityana district!

People should not claim they are waiting for government programmes in order to develop themselves. A pig will not resist to be taken to the market for sale or slaughter just because the road is not tarmacked” Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 22nd July 2018.

There are some ironies with today, especially the mixed messages from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. As he was saying that the public should not expect the government to deliver programs for their development, while he is supporting and his government through the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) and the State Minister for Tourism Godfrey Kiwanda who was starting Kisboka SACCO in Mityana District. So, it is weird that he is donating money to a project for development, while saying people shouldn’t expect the state to contribute funds. Is he dumb? Just take a look!

Our Commander in Chief H.E President Museveni officially launched and accepted to be the Patron of the poverty eradication drive called Kisoboka (It is possible) in Mityana North. The drive, that was initiated by State Minister for Tourism Hon. Godfrey Kiwanda aims to bring about positive mindset change towards poverty eradication, job creation and wealth creation mainly though agriculture; It is already very popular in North Mityana Constituency with over 250 households joining the bid to earn at least 21.5 million shillings per annum” (Operation Wealth Creation, 22.08.2018).

I gladly accept the request that I be the patron of Kisoboka SACCO and I will make a Shs50 million contribution towards its activities” (Museveni, 22.08.2018).

It is really not much to say, but if this works, the SACCO might do something positive to the public and citizens of North Mityana Constituency, however the OWC is not known for good seedlings and neither well-organized model of development. Therefore, this might fall flat and be empty promises to the district and constituency. We can hope for something else, but it might change for a very selective few.

This might just be another PR Stunt and a way for Kiwanda just to pocket money from the taxpayers or even shield his funds he is earning as a State Minister and MP. What is more ironic, is that the President talks of not waiting for the state to deliver development, while his state is launching possible development projects through the OWC. It is should be obvious. If he was a sincere man, he would see that.

He talks of not getting promises of development, while delivering a development projects… It doesn’t make sense.

That is just me though… I cannot be alone, but when you just have empty suits and yes men around you. You turn into this creature, this bloated arrogant prick who doesn’t see poverty; while living in lavish luxury on the state. Peace.

Lest We Forget: The Mukura Massacre in Teso Region on the 11th July 1989

Mukura is in Kumi District which is in Teso and Teso is in the North-East which Museveni told the diplomats as having been pacified. Why was it that some three hundred young men were imprisoned and locked by the NRA in Railway wagons at Mukura, a pacified area, and then MASSACRED by setting fire under the wagons! The answer can only be that the destruction of the foodstuff of millions of people, the destruction of their homes, the MASSACRES of some three million people and at Mukura were all a deliberate policy to depopulate Uganda so as to provide land for foreigners to farm” (Dr. Milton Obote – ‘THE MUKURA MASSACRE’ 07.07.1999).

This here is a sad story of something that happen early in the National Resistance Movement regime, this was just three years into the NRM regime and after the coup of 1986. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his rebels was “new” in office. Still, this crimes shall not be forgotten, as the innocent lives taken. Should always be a stain on the legacy of the regime. Which never really have taken account or responsibility. The President shows up with military fatigue after the NRA have killed the locals. It is just wrong and doesn’t show any redeeming factor, but showing force instead of humility and willingness to lead.

Even at this point, he had to spring out fear, instead of building the republic. The same he does to this day, as he can have a budget speech in the military fatigue. It is not to long ago since the killings and massacres of Kasese, this here is just an older tale of the murders that is rightfully pinned on Museveni. As he and his Bush-War Generals haven’t taken accountability for.

The Preparation for the Massacre:

After setting up their detach at Okungulo Railway Station, soldiers of the Pili-Pili battalion embarked on an operation to round up suspected rebels and rebel collaborators. The operation was planned to cover villages and parishes in the sub counties of Kapir, Mukura and Ngora (all located in Ngora county) in which rebels were believed to be hiding. The date chosen for the main operation was July 8, 1989. According to survivors and other eyewitnesses, the operation by the Pili-Pili battalion of the NRA started a few days prior to the massacre with the arrival of many soldiers to back up those already stationed at Okungulo Railway Station in Mukura trading centre. The soldiers were then divided up into several units and sent to different locations to begin rounding up suspected rebel collaborators” (JRP Field Note XII, March 2011 – ‘The Mukura Massacre of 1989’ P: 7-8).

The Massacre itself:

This paradox of double standard was captured by a reader in a recent letter to the New Vision comparing the action taken against the Inspector General of the Police and his deputy on account of a shooting incident at the Makerere University campus and the notorious “Mukura Massacre” where over 60 innocent and defenseless people were suffocated to death in a train cabin by officers and men of the NRA. We quote from the letter in extenso:” Even more seriously, 69 youths were suffocated to death in train wagons by some NRA solders in Kumi in 1989. More recently some civilians were reportedly burnt to death in a hut in Serere, while others were clubbed to death near Soroti, allegedly by some NRA soldiers. These naked atrocities have practically been swept under the carpet by the authorities. But the Army Chief of Staff did not lose his job because of what his soldiers, who were miles away from him at the time, did. Are these not double standards?” (New Vision, January 3, 1991 :5). It is also useful to remember that none of the soldiers involved in the Mukura incident were arrested, as were those at Makerere. This then is the concrete reality of Uganda today” (OLOKA-ONYANGO, Joe – ‘Governance, Democracy and Development in Uganda Today: A Socio-Legal Examination’ 1992, P: 102-103, Kyoto University).

President Museveni false apologies:

President Yoweri Museveni visited Mukura a few months after the massacre. Eyewitnesses testified that he addressed the crowd in full military fatigues. He apologized for what had happened and promised a decent burial for the dead plus compensation for the families of the people who had died. He also promised to construct a secondary school in memory of the victims and promised accountability for the soldiers who perpetrated the massacre. According to respondents: He addressed the people at a rally. He was dressed in his military attire. He apologised and said the Government was prepared and ready to give the dead a decent burial. … then he said action would be taken against those who [committed the massacre] and that decent burials for the dead would be organized. He promised compensation for the families [of the dead] and asked our MP [for Kumi], Fiona Egunyu, to follow up the issue” (…) “It appears, however, that the President’s apologies, on both occasions, were not well received by the people. As one of the survivors remarked: The President’s apology was just to appease us, but it was not from the bottom of his heart. This is a man who came with armoured vehicles, a full uniform [of army fatigues] and started talking to us civilians. What could a civilian say in return? We kept quiet throughout. He came in that military attire with his [bodyguards]. So psychologically the civilians kept quiet, and then he started talking and said that “I am sorry for this.” But people just kept quiet. And when he promised compensation for the victims some people faintly clapped, but nobody knew what was going on in the civilians’ hearts and whether they had really accepted that apology. And then he drove off. That was when people began to murmur among each other and that meant there was already a discontent” (JRP Field Note XII, March 2011 – ‘The Mukura Massacre of 1989’, P: 13, 17).

All of these words is signs that this massacre should not be forgotten, as the people who was killed innocently deserves justice. They don’t deserve to be pawns used by Museveni in Campaign Rallies. They deserve that the relatives and the people of Teso/Kumi get what is righteous.

This actions will not be forgotten, the people will remember what Museveni’s troops did in 1989. How they rounded up civilians, claiming to be rebels and killing them in rail-wagons. This shall not be forgotten, also that the President visiting the area came as General and not as a man of Peace. He came for battle and not to damage the hurt. Just came because he had to, but not because he wanted to. Museveni knew what his soldiers did on his command. They did act with impunity and killed the innocent. The President should answer for the battalion attack in 1989 in Kumi District of Teso Region.

These actions done by the NRA deserves to be remembered. Not because it is an event of grandeur or betterment of the Republic. But because it shows the ill-intent of the NRM. This here show the ills of this government and how it will not be accountable for its crimes against humanity.

The ones ordering it, the ones who has been apart of it should answer for it and the leadership today. Should also answer for it, as they are repeating it. They did it recently in Kasese, who knows if they will do it again. Just to answer the public, because they can and the people will not have the power or will to answer back. Peace.

Katakwi district farmers protest as they are tired of a decade old unfulfilled promise!

If you don’t eat mangos that fall on the ground, be sure to be strong enough to pick ones on the tree” – Proverb

Yesterday, a reaction to the disarray of the state of the Republic, as the state of promises going back in time. Over a decade of promises of a Soroti Fruit Factory, a factory where the farmers in Katakwi District could deliver their fruits. This would be a massive investment for the Teso Region. However, it has not seen light of day, but for three campaigns in the region, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Have continued to promise roads, development and factory for their produce. To make juice and generate more added-value on their produce. However, that hasn’t happen, because the National Resistance Movement and the President doesn’t really care about it.

This factory has been talked about being finished many times, many times talk of funds set-up for it, but really not materialized. It has happen every time the President visits. Kinda like a slogan and empty promise. He could for all the farmers care, promise heaven and all the pleasures existing to man. However, they know he will not deliver on it. Museveni doesn’t care about Soroti or the struggle of the farmers in Katakwi.

The MP since 2012, Proscovia Alengot Oromait, who was elected at the age of 19 years old. Who is now 25 years old. For being the MP of the area, she has really not made an impact on the issue. Therefore, the public shouldn’t trust her motivation, as this has been the giant promise in the Teso Region and the NRM has not delivered.

It is 2018, the first big pledge of the Soroti Fruit Factory was in 2008. That is a decade of empty promises, saying there are money for building and planning the factory. In 2017, when in the area, President said together with his team, that its nearly done. This is a district that has fallen behind and that has been through a lot of issues over the years. As the drought and lack of food hit the region last year.

This is just Katakwi District promise, which also entails Soroti District itself, where the factory was supposed to be set-up. Therefore, he has had empty promises in both districts. Katakwi farmers are tired, that is why they just left the mangoes on the street. Instead of taking it to the market, they couldn’t get transport to sell it, even as the state has promised factories to produce juice. Which never appears. It is a government ghost, a government mirage.

Yet, another empty promise from Mzee and the NRM. The farmers are tired of empty, pathetic lies and deception. Big eloquent words from a life president who doesn’t care and has no interest of keeping promises.

No Remedy Mentioned aka NRM or Not Reassured by Museveni aka NRM. Peace.

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