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…

EACOP Ownership:

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).

EACOP Funding:

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.

Tanzania: Loliondo land-grab – Hon. Masauni claims it is Kenyan migrants fault…

Engineer Masauni challenged immigration officers at all exit and entry points, to be extra vigilant in curbing such illegal entries into Tanzania. “The immigration department should come up with effective strategies to control such an increasing trend, which is likely to jeopardise our peace and security,” directed Masauni, shortly before inspecting the ongoing exercise of demarcating the 1,500 square kilometers of the Loliondo Game Controlled Area (LGCA)” (…) “The Minister’s directive comes in the wake of reports of immigrants from neighboring countries who take advantage of long porous borders to enter and operate illegally in Tanzania. Engineer Masauni said that there have been reports of illegal immigrants entering the country, singling out the Loliondo area as a worst case scenario, where hundreds herds of cattle have been found grazing within the LGCA, threatening the Serengeti-Ngorongoro ecosystem” (Edward Qorro – ‘Tanzania: Immigration Tasked to Intensify Border Security’ 15.06.2022, Tanzania Daily News).

Let’s be perfectly clear… this is excuses. The main culprit is the Tanzanian state and the authorities who has sold land to a foreign company, which wants to use that for trophy hunting and game-drives. That is the Tanzanian government trading away ancestral territories for a Middle Eastern Company. This is what is happening to the Masaai land and the Loliondo areas.

Where the state has brutally displaced people and used violent means to do so. People are arrested and taken away for defending their rights to live on the land. Now, the authorities and the Minister blaming immigration and making up a false problem. Where the Tanzanian government claims the Kenyan government is allowing illegal migration and undocumented people from their bordering territories. That is really saying something…

The Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) should self-reflect on their own actions and what they are really doing. It is their interests over a historical and indigenous land, which is their responsibility to protect. Instead they are serving the interests of the tourism industry and one company. That is really compelling and telling. The interest is the common good, but a quick buck on selling out traditions and exploiting that.

The Tanzanian government cannot come with excuses like this. That should get pushback from Nairobi and the Jubilee Party. There is a need for President Uhuru Kenyatta to call President Samia Suluhu. Especially, when the Hon. Hamad Masauni, the Minister of Home Office has been saying this to the media. He is coming with allegations, which is blaming Kenya for the trouble in the border region of Tanzania.

However, everyone with some common sense. It is the land-grabbing and the internal conflicts, which is the reason. If the Tanzanian government had respected the indigenous land and not sold it. That’s the reason for the aftermath and all the pushback. This is very easy, but the CCM is making it very hard.

Hon. Masauni is speaking out of line. Since their actions is actually causing migrations from Tanzania to Maasai territory on the other side of border into Kenya. Therefore, it would be fair for Kenya to speak of the refugees and fleeing Maasai brothers who fled the brutal eviction in the Loliondo area. That’s saying something and the Tanzanian government isn’t the victim.

The Maasai people of the Loliondo area are the victims and the hurt ones here. The CCM is the one who profits on the misery of the Maasai people. Just so a Middle Eastern company can get territories to show the beauty of Tanzania. A beauty that was destroyed for the ones who actually resided there… Peace.

Tanzania: Loliondo land-grab – When tourism beats the ownership of indigenous land…

The Tanzanian government is intending to resume the eviction of about 70,000 Maasai community in Loliondo to make room for trophy hunting and elite tourism. The move, which will involve dispossessing over 70,000 Maasai pastoralists of 1500sq km of their ancestral land. This is aimed at creating room for Ortello Business Company, a hunting firm owned by the United Arab Emirates’ royal family, as part of investment for the government” (Western Nyota TV, 13.06.2022).

The Chama Cha Mapundzi (CCM) don’t care and isn’t concerned with the rule of law. As the commercial interests of the tourism industry and a foreign investors involvement matters more. That’s why Maasai territories are now possibly evicted for the sole purpose of an investor making a game-drive. So, that the animals can be seen by foreigners visiting and ensuring profits to the state coffers.

That’s done without the consent of the Masaai people or their ancestral rights to territories in question. This is why they have been demonstrating, because the state is violently and brutally evicting them from their homeland. Just so one investor can have a safari company and game-drive in the area. That’s really not developing, but ceasing territory for man’s pleasure and his company.

According to reliable information received by IWGIA, the Tanzanian state is currently moving ahead to grab 1,500 km2 of ancestral and legally registered village land belonging to the Maasai Indigenous people in the Loliondo division of Ngorongoro District in northern Tanzania. This land grab will forcefully evict the Maasai from their land. This is happening despite the fact that the East African Court of Justice is expected to issue a ruling on this matter on 22 June 2022. On 7 June 2022, a paramilitary group of around 700 people (mainly police, park rangers, military and other security forces) arrived in Loliondo to demarcate the 1,500 km2 area of land as a Game Reserve1. This land is the ancestral land of the Maasai people who have formalized land tenure rights to this land as per the Village Land Act No.5 of 1999. The demarcation of this land as a Game Reserve will effectively dispossess the Maasai people of their ancestral land since people and livestock will not be allowed to live in a Game Reserve” (International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA) – ‘Urgent Alert: New serious threats towards the Maasai people of Loliondo in Tanzania’ 13.06.2022).

Over 100,000 Maasai are facing a forcefully eviction from their ancestral land in Loliondo and Ngorongoro, Tanzania Maasai have been living in Lolondo and Ngorongoro before Tanzania gained independence. The eviction is purely to making way for Trophy Hunting” (Tanzania Leaks, 13.06.2022).

This here shouldn’t be accepted and people should speak out on the matter. It isn’t righteous and fair. Clearly it is injustice, pure and simple. Tanzanian authorities and state is doing practically a land-grab and with violent means to get their way. This eviction isn’t done with measures of fairness or compensation. No, these are people who is violently removed and evicted from their territories, which have been theirs for generations.

That the Tanzanian authorities are doing this and using all sorts of violent ways. Just shows the world how unjust this is. The CCM and the President knows this as they are just serving a Middle Eastern company “prime-real-estate” for safari and a game-drive. That’s why they are doing this and showing the lack of care or concern for the people who belongs in this territory.

If CCM and the President wanted a favourable look. This wasn’t it. They are just displaying brutality and what they do for some cheap coins. Peace.

Tanzania: ACT Wazalendo – Attention to the Public and Media: Ongoing crisis in Loliondo (12.06.2022)

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)

Tanzania: President Hassan appoints a Task-Force to guide public rallies for political parties…

““The task force which consists of 24 members, which is directly answerable to the President, presented the resolutions at the State House in Dodoma. The resolutions are divided into three implementation timelines,” reads the statement said. The statement said the short-term resolution was the drafting of regulations that would guide how to conduct public rallies for political parties. “Some of the med-term resolutions include corruption and ethics during elections, subsidies, civic education, while issues pertaining to the new constitution are in the long-term plan.”” (The Citizen – ‘New Regulations now to guide political rallies’ 12.03.2022).

The Chama Cha Mapundzi (CCM) are the majority party and the laws that has been passed and implemented. During the years of the late President Joseph Magufuli the laws for the media, political parties and others was severely changed to block and monitor them. The state are now allowed to monitor most of the political parties and their every move. They cannot issue certain political material, conferences or even gatherings without the consent of the authorities.

That’s why today’s statement and announcement of a Task-Force to look into this is significant. It is a right step into the possible positive direction. While we all know what the CCM is capable of and there will be loyalist of the cause in the Task-Force. There are also opposition members and members from the Law Societies of Tanzania. Therefore, it is a huge deal.

I reckon this as a positive step though I am taking it with a grain of salt. As there are opportunities and ways to make the changes stall. Heck, there might be made aware of technicalities or hurdles, which states it impossible to change things. We know the laws amended in the previous term and by joint legislations. That was how several of laws made more hostile and impossible for the political parties to operate.

That Samia Suhulu Hassan does this could bring changes, which is needed. Especially, if she is willing and the CCM to make it a level playing-field for all the political parties. As of today, the CCM has massive powers and can use the authorities to strangle the other parties. They can stipulate and block the other political parties from operating. Since, their actions can be deemed illegal or a “danger” to society. Therefore, the CCM can change this, but then it’s up the Parliament and President to make it happen.

This Task-Force can deliver reports and amendments, which can be implemented. However, that is up to the majority rule and the President. I don’t know… if that will happen or if this is a publicity stunt. That’s how it can look from the outside, but we can be hopeful that something substantial will happen now.

The CCM can do the right thing here. President Hassan is on the right path here, but that is living on hope. A Task-Force can deliver a product and it can easily be dismissed or never implemented. There are several reports and such planned legislation that can easily be buried by the Head of State. Therefore… the President has a final say and CCM has now an opportunity to make a difference. Where they are actually … make it possible and open the space for the political parties in the United Republic. That’s what we can hope for and now we have to wait and see. Peace.

%d bloggers like this: