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President Yoweri Museveni has urged African leaders to stop what he described as ideological meandering and thoroughly discuss and distill positions which can help their people transform and develop using their natural resources.
Speaking at a discussion on “Managing Natural Resources In Africa: Challenges and Prospects,” at the ongoing 6th High Level Forum on security in Africa at Blue Nile Hotel, Bahir Dar in Ethiopia, President Museveni said while Africa is at a structural disadvantage in that great ideas do not apply to the whole of Africa, the Tana Forum can still spread the ideas throu ‘osmosis’.
“Africa has a structural disadvantage. We are not like China. In China when there is one good thinker…the whole of China follows them. Here, you may have good ideas in Ethiopia but they are localized and do not apply to the whole of Africa. This forum can help ideas spread by osmosis,” he said.
Museveni who disagreed with some of the presenters who said education was the solution to solving Africa’s problems said policy mistakes by both technocrats and political leaders have led to various problems in Africa.
“That if you educate your people, everything will be okay? This was part of mistakes in 1960. This fragmented thinking, fragmented vision is incorrect. If you educate people but you don’t have infrastructure including electricity, where will they work? How will they work”? Museveni said.
He used the example of the Philippines which he said has its citizens working all over the world because they don’t have jobs in their own country while South Korea has its citizens working home.
“We in Uganda have identified 10 strategic bottlenecks and our view is that they all must be handled together. These include ideology, state formation, infrastructure development, market integration. If I produce but do not have enough buyers, how will I benefit?” he asked.
Museveni urged the forum to focus on who owns the natural resources on the continent.
“On issue of mineral resources, my question is who owns the minerals. With petroleum we have production sharing agreements (PSA) where the company which has exploration licenses agrees with government to pay so much to regain what they invested and the rest is for government,” he said, adding that, it is not clear what the case is with other minerals including where companies own minerals but governments have loyalties.
“In Uganda, am not bothered with minerals because Uganda has been developing at a good rate depending on agriculture and industry. We discovered petroleum about 12 years ago but up to now we have not exploited it because I could not agree with those companies.
They wanted to cheat us. I said no, the petroleum has been in the ground for the last many years it can stay there until we agree. That is because in my view, minerals should belong to the country,” he said.
Museveni also emphasized locally based value addition for countries to fully exploit their natural resources for the benefit of their people.
“We have got huge reserves of iron ore in Uganda. Indians came and said they want to export soil to India and process it there. If they take as soil, they would pay US$38 per ton. Our iron ore is 70% pure, one of the best in the world, only second to Peru. When steel prices are high instead of US$38 per ton, you get US$900. I said nobody will take an ounce of iron ore from Uganda until we agree. Up to now it’s still in the ground,” he said.
The President said the government agreed with the Chinese to process locally the lover version magnetite which they are using to produce steel.
On Petroleum, Museveni said various companies tried to convince Uganda to export its petroleum from abroad and where discouraging the country from building an oil refinery saying it was not economically productive.
“I was told Uganda does not need a refinery because it was not productive and not economic that means those with refineries are Mother Theresas working for nothing. I went to Iran and asked how many refineries they have and they said they got 9 and building another 6. I said no refinery no oil. It is still in the ground until we agree,” he said.
President Museveni who spoke passionately about processing Africa’s minerals from Africa to create jobs and get more value from their resources said it was foolish to give your neighbor firewood when you don’t have firewood in your house.
“We have a lot of Uranium. Canadians came and said they wanted to take to Canada to process it from there and I said it will stay in the ground until we build own nuclear power station because am not a fool to give firewood to my neighbor when I don’t have firewood in my house,” he said.
The President said it takes good ideas to spread on the continent to consolidate its gains and urged all Africans to come together and achieve this.
“I love Trump. I love that man Trump because that man has told you that he is not your uncle. And I think it is good. For those Africans who feel orphaned, am sorry for them. Let’s come back to our continent and mind our own affairs,” he said.
- See more at: http://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1451762/museveni-pushes-home-...
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kale Kayihura has transferred seventy senior officers who have just completed a six-month intermediate command course at the Police Senior Staff College, Bwebajja.
The officers transferred through a message released this morning signed by the Director Human Resource Management Moses Balimwoyo are between the rank of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) and Senor Commissioner of Police (SCP).
IGP Kale Kayihura
According to the message, Lodovick Awita, the former head of security at Entebbe International Airport replaces suspended Elias Kasirabo as the Commandant Very Important Person Protection Unit (VIPPU). Awita is replaced by James Ruhweza who has been the head of operations at Kampala Metropolitan Police (KMP).
Stephen Tanui who has been the deputy commandant KMP has been appointed deputy commandant of the Field Force Police Unit (FFU).
Sam Omala has been appointed director of welfare and production for special assignments. Omala came into the limelight when he was assigned to handle opposition politician, Dr Kizza Besigye during the Walk to Work protests between 2011 and 2015.
In just five years, government has spent more than Shs 21.7 billion on vehicles for President Museveni and State House staff, budget documents indicate.
After thoroughly analysing the 2017/2018 Ministerial Policy Statement for State House, which breakdowns the entity’s budget allocations and expenditure priorities, The Observer has found that between 2010 and 2015, government bought 192 vehicles, including buses and lorries, for use by the president’s residence.
The State House budget for vehicles is particularly for the president and staff of his residence. It is separate from that of the Office of the President, which has a separate budget and buys its own fleet of cars.
A deeper scrutiny of State House’s inventory found that most cars were bought during the years leading to a general election, an indication that the president bolsters his fleet ahead of election campaigns.
On the campaign trail, Museveni often uses a helicopter to get to various rallies in a single day, and he finds a presidential convoy waiting at each of these venues.
For instance, in the run-up to the 2011 elections, more than Shs 9.2bn was spent on 108 vehicles. This is representative of 42.7 percent of the total sum, which was spent on vehicles over the five-year period.
Of the amount spent ahead of 2011, State House spent more than Shs 2.7bn on nine vehicles for the presidential convoy. The most expensive of the nine vehicles purchased in that period, the records say, were two station wagons costing Shs 200m each.
This figure is more than double the vehicle budget for 2007, the year Uganda hosted the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGM). In that year, State House spent Shs 1.37bn to add 14 vehicles to its fleet, seven of which were for the presidential convoy.
President Museveni takes a phone call as his convoy waits. Budget papers indicate that State House buys more cars towards elections
In 2011, Shs 1.2bn was spent to buy 13 vehicles, half of which were bought on January 13; exactly 35 days to that year’s presidential election. This followed an earlier procurement of a press stage truck at Shs 200m on January 3.
The opposition chief whip, Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, who is also the opposition Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) spokesperson, told The Observer that the contents of the ministerial statement give credence to a long-held claim by opposition politicians that the president hides some of his campaign budget in the national budget.
“Taxpayers always fund his [Museveni] campaigns. Every single thing that he needs [for] campaigns is funded from the national treasury because his NRM is a state party,” said the Kira municipality MP.
“The pickups he uses as podiums at his campaign rallies are procured using the money allocated to State House,” he said.
In 2012, with the presidential elections out of the way, the government didn’t purchase a single vehicle for State House. The only motorable items procured were two motorcycles, which cost Shs 16m.
In 2013, Shs 1.78bn was spent on 13 vehicles. However, the expenditure shot up dramatically again in 2014, when more than Shs 8.3bn was spent to buy 54 vehicles.
According to the shadow attorney general, Wilfred Niwagaba (Ndorwa East), the budget could have shot up because of the heightened political activity that year.
It is then that Museveni fell out with his longtime confidant Amama Mbabazi, leading to NRM MPs passing a resolution at Kyankwanzi to cushion Museveni against any internal NRM challenge.
They were later to traverse the country popularizing the resolution that eventually led to the amending of the NRM constitution, giving Museveni more powers, and the subsequent dropping of Mbabazi as the ruling party’s secretary general.
“Uganda’s biggest challenge is the fusion of the person of Museveni, the so-called NRM party and the state of Uganda. Because of the fusion of the three, Museveni and his NRM don’t see the state operating independently from them, that is why they use state resources to finance their activities,” Niwagaba said.
MOST EXPENSIVE VEHICLES
In 2015, the policy statement indicates, State House spent Shs 1.1bn to buy just three vehicles and a tank (for storing either water or fuel). In the entire five years under review, the single most expensive vehicle procured was a pickup truck, which was bought on May 13, 2014 at Shs 1.5bn.
The other item was a station wagon costing Shs 1.4bn, which was bought on October 14, 2010. The policy statement, which is currently before MPs, however, shows some mismatches in the price quotations of some vehicles. For instance, on July 6, 2010, three station wagons were bought but the price variation between them is ten times.
One was purchased at Shs 39.1m while the other two were procured at Shs 3.9m each. On February 7, 2014, the presidency bought four omni-buses, three of which cost Shs 110m each, while another cost Shs 11m.
Having spent Shs 1.5bn to buy a pickup, the presidency claims it purchased another pickup truck on October 14, 2010 for a paltry Shs 32,240. The Observer was unable to speak to any State House official to explain these discrepancies.
Most of the vehicles purchased for the Office of the President are used by the president’s auxiliary staff such as resident district commissioners, presidential advisers, patriotism unit, manifesto implementation unit, and Uganda Media Centre.
According to the Office of the President’s vehicle monitoring report, over the five-year period, government bought 158 cars for RDCs and 60 cars for other units attached to the office.
State House comptroller Lucy Nakyobe did not answer our repeated phone calls while ICT and Information minister, Frank Tumwebaze, who was minister of the presidency at the time, declined to comment.
“Ask the people in charge, please,” Tumwebaze said in an email.
Ssemujju argued that the expenditures point to the fact that Museveni has turned the country into his project.
“It is not clear whether the vehicles we are buying are for Museveni the president, his relatives or NRM because State House has become the headquarters of NRM,” Ssemujju said.
“You are only looking at what was spent on buying vehicles but you need to look at what we spend on his fuel for inland travels and servicing those vehicles. The budget for fuel alone could be at an average of Shs 36bn annually, which shows that Museveni no longer cares about this country,” Ssemujju added.
The executive director of Anti-Corruption Coalition Uganda (ACCU), Cissy Kagaba, said the vehicles budget is an indication that the leadership misses the country’s priorities.
“It shows the wastage and lack of priority we have because right now the health and agricultural budgets are being cut. Ideal thing would be, other than buying expensive vehicles, money should be used to finance the agricultural, education and health sectors, which benefit a bigger percentage of ordinary Ugandans,” Kagaba said.
“It is ironical that the same government that fails to plan for its people is the same government that is buying expensive vehicles,” she wondered. “How do the vehicles benefit the ordinary Ugandans?”
But Sabiiti Makara, a senior lecture at the department of political science in Makerere University, argued that as a president, Museveni is constitutionally entitled to a well-maintained fleet of vehicles.
“The president has to be secure and that requires him to have brand new vehicles, which are more expensive than the ordinary second-hand ones,” Makara concluded. “That explains the higher figure.”
President Museveni travels in a long convoy that sometimes comprises as many as 20 vehicles, including a water tank and a convenience truck.
MASAKA- Police in Masaka District have blocked a meeting which had been convened by Democratic Party leaders in Masaka Municipality.
The meeting was scheduled to take place at Tropic Inn Hotel from 9 am. However, by 8am police under the command of Masaka district police commander, John Chrysestom Mwaule had already sealed off the hotel gate denying DP members access to the premises. Attempts by angry DP members to enter the hotel by force were futile.
Ms Rose Nanziri, the manager Tropic Inn Hotel told the DP supporters that police had instructed her not to allow them in unless they present a clearance letter from police as required by the law.
“The DPC wrote ordering me not to allow your meeting here,” she said.
The area MP Mathias Mpuuga, one of the conveners of the meeting, insisted he had written to police informing them of the indoor meeting and later a rally in Masaka Town.
“The police received our letter and stopped us from organising a rally, but okayed the indoor meeting, which we agreed. Why are they blocking us now?” Mr Mpuuga asked.
Police later arrested Mr Joseph Kasirye, the political assistant of Mr Mpuuga. He was released minutes later.
DP vice chairperson for Buganda Region and Mukono Municipality MP Betty Nambooze was expected to attend the meeting.
Running battles between police and some members of DP who had come for the foiled meeting ensued near the venue.
Mr Mpuuga who travelled to Lukaya town to receive Ms Nambooze’s entourage which also included Busiro East MP Medard Sseggona , was intercepted by police and held at Lukaya Police Station together with three journalists (Edward Bindhe(URN) ,Hanipher Namuwonge(New Vision) and Robert Nsubuga (BBS TV).
However, the journalists were released.
Both Ms Nambooze and Mr Sseggona used a village route through Kalungu Town to connect to Masaka. On arrival, the duo was arrested and whisked to Masaka Central Police Station.
Riot police used tear gas and live bullets to disperse a group of DP supporters who attempted to storm the station.
Ms Nambooze is at loggerheads with top leaders in DP who accuse her of disorganising party structures. On the other hand, Ms Nambooze accuses DP president, Mr Norbert Mao and his vice, Mr Fred Mukasa Mbidde of “bringing down Uganda’s oldest party and hobnobbing with ruling National Resistance Movement leaders.”
The continued disagreement culminated in the suspension of Ms Nambooze’s who was accused of disrespecting the party leadership.