A Breakdown: Oil Exploitation, which is so taxing… why are the deals confidential?

Today, the Government of Tanzania have together with the Government of Uganda signed off to a Host Government Agreement (HGA), also together with Total, the supposed builder of the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP).

Today, all the years of waiting, stalling and finding measures of taxes pays-off. We can still wonder what is basic fee structure and what is the price of taxation of the extraction of oil exploitation in the Lake Albertine basin. In the same regard, we can wonder is the specific route for the pipeline and what consequences it will have to nature, reserves and national parks. Because, the drill itself is just in the near proximity of Murchinson Fall National Park. Before it will continue or pass through other untouched areas of both Uganda and Tanzania.

There is still not answers or openness about the deals in the regards to the Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC) and the Tanzania National Oil Company (TNOC), in combination to the ownership and licences of China National Offshore Oil Company (CNOOC) and Total. Therefore, there are plenty of stakeholders and everyone wants to profit on the resources.

With both Republics signing of the HGA agreement and preparing for the Final Investment Decision (FID). The building of the pipeline and the industry can start off. This has also been stopped by taxation and the questionable acquisitions of exploitation licences in Lake Albert. Therefore, the whole Heritage and Tullow taxation case and the costs it had for Total to pay off that. Is still not shown to the public or if the Government of Uganda has forgiven the past company to give way. While Tullow surely wanted profits for their time and the valuable licences they had gotten rights too in earlier rounds.

What is also worrying to me? Well, the deals are not public. The agreements between the Corporations and the Republics are practically unknown and only mere fragments is out. Just like the power-sharing of 60% to Tanzania and 40% to Uganda. Is still not saying much, considering this will be still carved up by Total and CNOOC too, also some sort of deal with UNOC and TNOC. These will not operate on charity, but as a benefactor of the Republic itself.

The public should know this, because it is public resources, state resources and oil exploitation on public land. The companies are using licences and also the same licenses to transport the crude oil in the pipeline from Lake Albert to Port Tanga. Therefore, it is needed to get this knowledge to show the price, the agreements and the possible perks. Because, we don’t if they even have strings or not.

We should wonder why its confidential and kept a secret. The companies should also be displeased, unless they like to exploit without any transparency. Because, these deals and arrangements haven’t been made transparent or with accountability. It has been done in the chambers of Entebbe and in Tanzania. The general public will only see a fraction and not know the full extent.

That is a deliberate action by Presidents and their handlers. The UNOC, TNOC, Total and CNOOC can operate without to much scrutiny and just enjoy the cheers. There is a need to know, but don’t expect it. Since, the GoU and GoT haven’t delivered this in past, neither has the GoU showed anything from the previous deals with Heritage/Tullow. Why should they suddenly change of heart?

I don’t think so… unless there is a sudden miracle. If not … if there is a shady deal and one company feels used and will take it to an international court. Then, we will see some evidence of what went down. However, until then… we only know the bits and pieces. Peace.

A Breakdown: Oil Exploitation, which is so taxing… can start if Tanzania signs a deal too..

Last year in September 2019, the Farm Down Agreement of Tullow Oil was supposed to be traded to Total E&P Uganda. This was a long and prolonged negotiations, as the British Tullow Oil has been in dispute of taxation and payments of fees the Government of Uganda, which was deemed as the “Presidential Handshake”.

What happen yesterday with the Financial Investment Decisions (FID) of Total, as it has taken over the stakes of Tullow Oil. While agreeing on added terms in combination with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) to drill after petroleum in various of blocks on Lake Albert, also build the petroleum pipeline from Hoima to Port Tanga, Tanzania.

The Port Tanga and Pipeline agreement was sealed in 2017 between the Government of Uganda (GoU) and Government of Tanzania (GoT). That after lots of meetings and consultations between the parties. There was some who even tried to get it Port Lamu in Kenya, but that was ditched. Also, causing a rift between Dodoma and Nairobi.

Now, the next step is that Total and CNOOC is able to get a Host Government Agreement (HGA) for the East Africa Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project. That was agreed by the parties in Entebbe for the territory of Uganda, but it is not sealed with Tanzania.

Though it should be in the interest to sign an agreement with President Magufuli and the CCM. Now, that they have fixed the first part and the licences to drill on Lake Albert. Total and CNOOC needs the HGA in Tanzania too. That will be beneficial for the Republic there too.

This has been a long time… the first reports of agreements and production licenses to blocks on Lake Albert in early 2000s. This was agreements being made between the government and the Tullow/Heritage and ENI as well. Which later has caused rift between the companies and the Republic, as the Oil Companies wasn’t willing to pay taxes and the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) needed to win a Court Case in 2014 to get taxes owned paid by Tullow, as they had to cover the loss of taxes from their acquisition of Heritage Oil.

So, the news today is big. Maybe, the President got another Presidential Handshake, as the Tullow Oil Taxes case brought a lot of kickbacks. The deals sealed between Museveni and Total is a secret. Therefore, only the agreement of what it does is in public, but not the costs, the tax-grade and the limitations of it. Total and CNOOC can have gotten it for cheap for all we know.

That is something for the time to tell. Now, the Lake Albert Basin, the Lake Albert Blocks for drilling is sealed, which has been in question and awaited a verdict for years. The same has the years of a agreement for a company to build the pipeline and pay the rates for having the operation going.

Now, there is one final agreement that needs to be sealed in Tanzania. By all means, the Republic’s needs also to settle the routes, the land-acquisitions and other arrangements too. While the other HGA is necessary to get started. As the process is now moving. The initial agreements are made, but the companies still needs goodwill elsewhere to make this pop-off. This will be years in the making. As the state of Uganda is scheduling a Oil Refinery in 2023, but that depends on everything else goes as planned at this point.

And in this business, at this point, everything that can be stalled and discontinued can happen. Even, if one of the companies stops seeing the financial viability and lack of profits. Than, they might suspend and try to sell the Producing Licenses Agreement to someone else again.

I wouldn’t be shocked, if Total bails out or something. There been so many companies involved and we are still not starting production. This being in the works since the early 2000s with the modern day deals and new arrangement for petroleum activity in the Lake Albert basin. That is why I am reluctant. Because, at any given moment, someone gives way and it sto

UN Report: 95% of Ugandan Gold Exports with other Origin [AGR registered in Seychelles]

gold is gold, and they simply need gold” – Gold Smugglers (UN, 2020, P: 19).

The newest UN Group of Experts Report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was just recently published. This article here will focus on the gold smuggling operation and the amount of smuggled gold to Uganda from the DRC. This report really states the amount and the way the Ugandan exporters are trading the gold from there. The direct connection between these Republics are clear. This has been stated before, but not to these levels.

If your thinking this sort of business is clean and done after protocol. Then this report will shatter and break the glass. This report is explaining and showing more intelligence on how its done. We can easily see that the Ugandan authorities and the Entebbe Gold Refinery are only having its ability to be trading and minting the gold on the basis of gold smuggling from the DRC.

Just look:

The Group estimated, using information published by the Ugandan authorities, that over 95 per cent of gold exports from Uganda were of non-Ugandan origin for 2019” (UN, 2020, P: 20).

The next part is a proof of a way of illegal export and gold smuggling. Where there is one company operating doing so and how they are registered. While other bodies are claiming they are fraud. This shows what sort of ways the traders, smugglers and exporters are doing to be able to deal with the gold. What is really striking is the way the supposed fraudulent corporation are using all sorts of means to operate. They are even using bank accounts for other companies, which in the end might be a sign of illegal activity. As they are keeping everything of the books.

Vaya Forex Bureau forgery:

The Group found however that during the reporting period, sanctioned entity Uganda Commercial Impex (UCI) Ltd (CDe.009) retained an active business registration according to publicly available Uganda Registration Service Bureau information. The Group also noted that, according to an official ICGLR gold export certificate, Vaya Forex Bureau in Uganda acted as an intermediary in an official gold export (see para. 87 of this report). Incorporated in 2007, the two shareholders of Vaya Forex Bureau were Vaya Kiran Rajendra and Vaya Vipal Kumar Maganlal, family members of Rajendra “Raju” Vaya, owner of sanctioned entity of Machanga Ltd (CDe.007) (see S/2015/19, annex 63). The Group wrote to Vaya Forex Bureau but did not receive a response by the time of writing this report. Finally, the Group noted that, according to publicly available Uganda Registration Service Bureau information, Sameer Bhimji was a signatory on the bank accounts of The Bullion Refinery Ltd (see S/2018/1133, para. 97) until 23 April 2019” (UN, 2020, P: 72).

AGR told the Group that “a so called Vaya Forex Bureau” was unknown to the company and did not hold an account with AGR. The company further stated that they considered that the ICGLR document may be a “forgery” or “fraud” and that the company had already been the target of several such attacks. The company further committed to preventing forgery or fraud, and to reporting such activities to relevant Ugandan authorities and to relevant authorities abroad, as well as “instituting criminal and civil proceedings against the perpetrators”” (UN, 2020, P: 101).

What is more interesting is that the AGR in Entebbe has switched owners and is also registered in the Seychelles. What is known about the Seychelles in this manner is that they usually is confidential and tax-exempt to a degree. This means the AGR is run most likely in a tax-haven by its owners. While they are earning their profits. That is how I crack this one down. They wouldn’t have registered the company there after selling its stakes. If there wasn’t any benefits in doing so. Right?

Here is the information about AGR:

The Group established that, on 9 February 2018, African Gold Refinery Ltd sold its shares to AGR International Ltd, a company registered in the Seychelles at Global Gateway, 8 rue de la Perle, Providence, Mahe, Seychelles (see screenshot below). The Group wrote to the authorities of the Seychelles, who confirmed that AGR International Ltd was registered in the Seychelles at the address listed in the Uganda Registration Services Bureau documents” (UN, 2020, P: 107).

We already know the AGR has connections to the President and his family. Therefore, the move of liabilities to Seychelles is to safeguard the profits in a tax-haven. There is no other way to see it. This is so the future state will be in more trouble to follow the money and also get the accounts frozen by authorities.

This is it for today. Peace.

Opinion: Mzee wants it to BOP his way

You want another rap? Nah, didn’t think so. Even if President Museveni wants a BOP. Not a DaBaby track or anything. His just approved the US$500 million dollars to the Republic. This was reported earlier this month and he approved it on the 6th of May 2020, but stamped by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) on the 11th of May 2020.

What is unique here is that this loan is given on the idea of “Balance of Payments”. Economist would know that this to cover the deficit and the balance the budgets. This is to ensure the state has enough revenue to already cover the deficit it has. That is why grants and loans comes to ensure the levels of revenue covers the spending. This means that the state has spend a hundred dollars, but only had 50 dollars in liquidity. So, to ensure the accounts are balanced, the BOP comes in and fix the shortfall.

Museveni writes this in the letter:

The money that goes to the Bank of Uganda is for “balance of payments support”. “Balance of Payments supports” does not only mean helping the country to “import more” but must also mean helping the country to “import less” by manufacturing these products here. With this undertaking, I approve the loan” (Museveni, 06.05.2020).

Because what the support does in the instance of the hundred dollars budget with a shortfall of 50 dollars revenue. The BOP support is the missing 50 dollars and makes it zero. Meaning, the accounts and financial flows should turn into zero. That means with the budget with its expenditure and its revenue its should be a nil or zero sum game. Therefore, when the President claims this helps local industry and less imports. I don’t see it.

Especially, if this is a BOP. Because, a BOP is a fixated way of balancing the budgets, not secure more trade. Its to cover deficits between expenditure and revenue. This isn’t a magical sphere of happiness and joy. This is budgetary measure to cover the shortfalls and lack of domestic revenue. To cover expenses that appeared or was already budgeted. Therefore, the need of Balance of Payments from the IMF to cover those.

This can be seen as a Financial Inflow to cover the deficit.

Like this:

-100 dollars budget/Import

+50 dollars revenue/Export

+50 dollars Financial inflow (BOP Support)

= 0

That is why, when the man says like this. Its a game of balancing the budget. Not putting a wand on the thing and swiftly changing things. This is just a financial measure to cover a deficit. A short-term solution to a shortfall. That will not solve anything, but by time. Not cover debt, not create a market nor make a big difference. Its just covering expenditure. Nothing else.

The President can make it seem so, but that wouldn’t be a BOP. That would be another instrument and another measure. Where the funds was actually meant for investment. This is covering the basics.

Let me end with DaBaby: “I needed some shit with some bop in it (Let’s go)” (DaBaby – ‘BOP’ of KIRK, 2019). Peace.

Statement by the People Power Movement on the IMF Rapid Credit Facility Announced on 6th May 2020 (09.05.2020)

Opinion: Don’t let Mzee pimp a second round of debt relief

Back in the day, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in the end of the 1990s the World Bank let the Republic of Uganda the opportunity to join their Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to cut the debt of the Republic. However, even with the massive amount of debt relief done in 1998 and later never stopped him from taking up more debt.

That is why the amount of interests paid on every single budget is debt burden, which is created by the President himself and his extensive cronyism. The President has ensured that the state owns so much money, while he stills continues the drill by financing half of it by more debt. Which has been method the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Mzee has used in the recent years.

That is why such a big amount of funds is going into interest payments. Also, why the Republic are going in a negative spiral, while the lack of domestic revenue isn’t following the projections of growth that the state always promises.

With the knowledge of this, as the President is asking for a debt relief now. His using the Coronavirus or COVID-19. The whole world are into a recession because of this. It is the perfect smokescreen. The President had the 2000s and 2010s to fix issues, but instead the plunge the economy anyway. He just need an excuse for a bailout.

Last time it was Universal Primary Education, a empty campaign promise and now there are plenty of dilapidated schools. They played and tried to focus on it, but gave it up along the way. Because, doing this properly would actually cost time and effort. The President and his big convoy would actually have invested more, than they wanted too. More promising spending on proxy-wars, than on proper education for everyone.

So, knowing that the Multi-National Organizations, Bretton-Woods Organizations and donors gave way to the Uganda in between the late 1990s and early 2000s. They offered billions in various of schemes, not only HPIC and Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP). This has been done already and still the state is bound by loans and grants to function its government. Therefore, the bullet of debt relief has been wasted.

The amount of US Dollars spent on the debt relief earlier in the reign of Museveni. The Head of State has misused this in the past. Not like he will change now. He has used the system to pimp his budgets and his wealth. His enriched himself and his cronies. While the Republic is still poor and the revenue isn’t growing like the economic recovery of the 1990s said it should have done. If the cure of the past would have worked, than the need for debt relief now would be unnecessary.

In 2020, the Republic shouldn’t get debt relief. It will be only spoils for the elites and the cronies around the President. It will be used buying tear-gas and SUVs. The WaBenzi will eat the spoils and only give away beans to the ones in need.

That Museveni says the continent needs debt relief. He means that himself needs it now. Even if his a wealthy guy in an impoverished republic. A republic he has run for three decades. Which already got special treatment and had a controlled Consultative Group. So, its not like this man hasn’t pimped the system already. He has tricked it and promised to juice up vehicle, but instead continue to run it to the ground. Hoping he could trick some new leaders to do the same mistake. Trusting him and his “high above” leadership.

They already spent millions of dollars to cut of the debt of the Republic under his control. The leadership is the same and they will misuse this if they get it again. When he had the opportunity to use it the last time. He instead wasted it and has ensured the state is more addicted to loans. That is why he hopes someone else can bail him out. While his paying ghosts, fake tenders and whatnot.

So, the IMF and World Bank should know this, but they are maybe more afraid of their image, than the result of letting go of some funds. These funds will not help anyone directly out. Only ensure the President longer life in office. This will not help the ones in need. Than he would have already ensured that. Instead his continuing this ballad and serenading the international community. While he hopes that no one knows history.

He has failed the last debt-relief and misused his chance. That is why his continued to grow the debt, addicted to grants and not created a space for more development. Unless, they give the President some handshakes at the State House. This is the way it goes.

The President of the Republic has had all the time since 1986 and we are still here. There are still opposition Members of Parliament who are tortured, there are still lack of free space and militarization of politics. That has never changed, but he hopes nobody notice. That is why he hopes he can pimp the International Community another time. He already did the trick and hope he can get them buzzed by a few buzzwords.

I know for some this is a moment of nostalgia, but for some its deja vu’. We have been here before and we shouldn’t need to repeat the same bad tune, again and again. However, I expect nobody to listen to me. Peace.

Bank of Uganda: Measures to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 (20.03.2020)

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for February 2020 (13.02.2020)

Government and donors enable WFP to assist 1.2 million refugees and build local economies in Uganda (31.01.2020)

KAMPALA – The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) commends the Government of Uganda and all its donors for helping it to contribute to the basic food needs of 1.2 million refugees and their host communities across the country in 2019.

Donors and the Government of Uganda supported WFP to meet the basic dietary needs of refugees through monthly food or cash transfers. In addition, donors funded the treatment and prevention of malnutrition among refugees and Ugandans living around refugee settlements.

WFP was also able to support smallholder farmers to improve their yields and incomes while reducing food losses.

“The partnership between government, donors and WFP is vital to fight hunger and malnutrition in Uganda,” said El-Khidir Daloum, WFP Country Director. “The ability of donors to swiftly provide funding and entrust us to deliver assistance to those seeking refuge —often women and children fleeing unimaginable hardships—needs our heartfelt recognition.”

In 2019, WFP’s refugee operation received contributions from Uganda, Canada, the European Commission, Ireland, Japan, Sweden, the Republic of Korea, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the United States of America.

Donors enabled WFP to help boost economies within Uganda by purchasing food locally. In addition, WFP strengthened its food and cash distribution procedures, including using biometrics to confirm identities in order to improve the accountability and integrity of the refugee response.

The government and donors helped WFP to expand cash-based transfers, reaching 35 percent of all refugees assisted. Cash allows refugees to choose what food they buy and stimulates economic growth in and around settlements. Cash also boosts government efforts to enhance financial inclusion.

Through cash-based transfers, WFP injected US$35 million into refugee settlements in 2019.

At the end of 2019, Uganda hosted 1.38 million refugees— the highest number of refugees in Africa. More than 67,300 refugees arrived from the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan between July and December. Women and people under the age of 18 make up 83 percent of refugees.

They typically arrive in Uganda with little to no assets, leaving them heavily dependent on assistance. A WFP and government study in 2017 found that even while the government gives land and the UN and other organizations provide additional assistance, refugees remain vulnerable for years.

By meeting their basic food and nutrition needs, WFP and its partners enable refugees to begin a journey toward self-reliance and resilience in line with Uganda’s refugee policy.

Donors to WFP’s relief and development work in Uganda to support refugees and host communities in 2019 were: Canada (US$562,000), the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department (US$16 million), Ireland (US$2.3 million), Japan (US$2 million), the Republic of Korea (US$7 million of oil and rice), Russia (US$1.5 million), Sweden (US$1.7 million), Uganda (US$2.7 million of rice), the United Kingdom (US$56 million), the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (US$3.5 million) and the United States of America (US$110.6 million).

Contributions also came from multilateral (US$2 million) and private donors (US$306,400).

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The United Nations World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization, saving lives in emergencies, building prosperity and supporting a sustainable future for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

Opinion: Museveni ask his new ministers to desist from himself…

I call upon all ministers and public servants to desist from engaging in any form of corruption. Corruption by any government officials is a great betrayal to Ugandans who are desperately yearning for service delivery. I implore the general public to embrace this fight and report the crooked officials with evidence, as opposed to rumours and we will take action” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 13.01.2020).

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the President since 1986, whose now richer than God, but came into power with little or nothing. Therefore, he knows what he did to get there. He knows the implicated scandals, the grand corruption and often noticed missing funds in the headlines in the Republic.

That is why these sorts of desisting from corruption Telling the Ministers and the Public from stopping it. Meaning it should stop and get all evidence on plenty of high ranking officials in this government. Get the evidence of state owned enterprises and authorities. There are plenty of officials who would easily be implicated and connected with government tenders and whatnot.

There is enough ghosts, over-inflated state contracts and some-what. Therefore, days like today. Feels futile. The state has created a lot of mechanisms, a lot of organizations fighting corruption. Still, the big-men, the men sanctioned by the State House and the secretive investment deals are overshadowing the supposed battle against corruption.

When there is lack of transparency from the top. There will be less from the bottom too. There is no reason for changes, when everyone is eating and the ones with influence of the State House. They got an ability to get kickbacks, suits, graft and so-on. This is not news, but a reality.

The NRA historicals can steal land, take property and easily, therefore have other perks too. The NRM knows this and let them go. If your big enough and has the blessing, you can eat UNRA funds, eat NSSF funds and GAVI Funds with no costs or damages. You get to build a mansion and own business, on stolen funds.

That is why statements like today is worthless. Not believable. He has the Public Procurement And Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Inspectorate of Government (IGG) and Auditor General (AG). Nevertheless, the big-fish is not getting caught. You have the Police Force and the Judiciary too. Still, all of these cooks cannot make a decent meal. Its a bland mix of watery soup, not even a good broth.

That is why President Museveni. We have to see you fight yourself. Not walk, not talk, but battle your own shadow and that’s not happening. Because, your not a cartoon character, but a self-styled President for Life. Peace.