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Month April 2011

”Police Have No Right to Stop Besigye or people from Demonstrating”, Nina Mbabazi


Dear Ugandans,
It is most unfortunate when police teargas into a school not once, but twice. I think you will not get a defence out of me. At this stage it would seem someone is smoking something.This amounted to unnecessary use of force and gross violation of the rights of the children. I watched NTV with my sons yesterday and we saw new born babies being evacuated from a health faculty that had been tear gassed. My sons have kept asking me since, what is going on? I am ashamed even to discuss it. Was this Kayihura’s doing? No and yes. No he could not be so stupid to want crimes against humanity charge levied on himself.

Yes, it is his responsibility to train police before giving them dangerous tools. I haven’t gotten over what I saw last night. I am positively feeling shame. Shame especially when Hon. Odongo Otto and Ekanya walked to parliament without any people walking with them and unlike the others, they were wearing branded T-shirts. Almost saying, here I am, yet nobody walked with them. It is more likely that people’s reaction and the huge crowds we saw on NTV last night walking with Dr Besigye were doing so because police was out of order not because they believed in him.

An NRM law that allows you to have processions, demonstrations as long as you inform the police. You do not need to seek permission? They have no right over your right to demonstrate, you just have to inform them. Why don’t you want to take the moral high ground? I see IGP saying you need to discuss routes with him but the understanding I have of the law, you simply present your routing and he safeguards your routing. Muwanga Kivumbi Vs Attorney General judgment in Constitutional court is clear. Police have NO RIGHT to deny a procession or demonstration. Police can advice under Police act Section 32(1) of alternate routes and how to have a procession that is safe but its right to deny Section 32(2) was quashed by court. So Police denying any procession is a gross violation of the law.

The issues being raised by the ‘walk to work ‘are very legitimate issues, let nobody tell you a lie. They are very legitimate. Food prices and fuel prices are high and they don’t require rocket science to fix them.

I wrote here and a foolish person tried to turn it into a Mbabazi vs the system topic in the Red pepper. I wrote and continue to write that escalating food prices is dangerous. In Wednesdays Monitor, there was a warning that because of China’s drought, World food prices are going to continue to rise by 30% by end of year. Reading the Farming diary, I realized, that we can solve the food and fuel problems.
Just to refresh your memory, people don’t buy matooke in bunches anymore. I went to the market on Monday and found that the business community in the market have adapted to hardship. They sell fingers of Matooke. Each finger is 500/=. Without this consideration on business side, we would have already had a problem with Matooke. I figured that it is divine intervention that has saved us so far. I am very proud of the human spirit of the Ugandans that I found in the market. Very thoughtful and considerate people even when they are doing business. It shows you that Ugandans are capable of corporate social responsibility in a big way.

China has already announced reforms because as soon as they realized their people were mobilizing for food demonstrations, they realized that if they don’t nip it in the bud, China Communist Party was going to face the worst threat to its existence since the maniac Chairman Mao Zedong’s Gang Of Four. As such, they announced immediately at the convening of their delegates conference that they were going to carry out reforms. Now everyone is quiet. They are hungry yes, but they have hope that help is on the way.

This by the way is the content of my Sunday thoughts. Our citizens want to live in dignity. They don’t want to hurt anybody, but they can’t live off one meal a day. They become angry and resentful and obviously, the growth of this Walk to work in a few days shows that the problem has no political borders.

I will not join the people who laugh at this or try to use this for politics. I think it is despicable that anyone would want to take advantage of vulnerable people. Their honesty about their situation as we saw on TV yesterday, (Yes some of them managed to describe their hardships) showed me that Uganda is most vulnerable now to wrong manipulations and that is a bad thing. Yes, we need a peaceful solution to this problem and we need to feel that there is hope at the end of the tunnel.

Food crisis

This food crisis has been going on for a long time and Kabakumba said that government is not responsible. How come nobody in Parliament has brought it up other than yesterday when Hon Lumumba intimated to the press that government MUST not sit back but come in to help the situation? Maybe it is not that people are not listening to ministers: One and Bumba, but their method of selling the message is not effective at reaching the people.
The issue now is that opposition has moved to a different level of thinking. They no longer wish to play in this playing field that some in the NRM describe as the “right fora”. Their “right fora” is not provided for by the constitution and they are “claiming” that they respect it more than others as we saw in Dr Besigye’s interview on NTV last night.

If we fail to understand this new shift, we will fail to find sensible solutions. It is okay for them to do what they are doing. The law provides for it. Those unsophisticated rather barbaric acts of law enforcers yesterday have left us hanging our heads in shame. Just to remind you what the constitution that you helped write says;

38. Civic rights and activities.
(1) Every Uganda citizen has the right to participate in the affairs of government, individually or through his or her representatives in accordance with law.

See this article gives our citizens many options and we should embrace all of them.

Adam Mugume

I saw Adam Mugume on TV last night too. He was talking a whole lot of rubbish. His economic principles of increasing interest rates will simply make it more difficult for Uganda businesses to prosper. See Bank of Uganda is taking advice from IMF and I guarantee you, they are only going to deepen this problem. Now let us go over what he said on TV last night;

Excess supply of Money
He said that there was excess supply of money causing inflation and that in order to correct this, banks were moving on increasing interest rates. This will mean you and me have to borrow at more than 25%. Now will this mop up excess liquidity? NO. Why? Because 75% of Ugandans do not bank in the formal sector. Go to the Bank of Uganda website and see. They wrote an article about it. Adam Mugume therefore is not being sincere.

There are many ways to mop up excess liquidity, that is getting people to form informal investment circles like ‘’nyiginya’’ and they start to invest their money (government intervention). They could invest it in agriculture or import for retail and this would mean that money gets mopped up mainly by buying dollars, investing in seed, investing in farming implements and driving the sale of such. These are just two examples. But the problem with thinking like Mugume is that this is the neoclassical approach which says the market self corrects. See I found Mr Mugume’s interview very interesting. See the IMF has believed for long in Keynesian Economics, and their policy have followed Keynesian school of thought. The problem with this is IMF knew that our economy would get to this stage and neoclassical principles can’t fix Keynesian principles. It only makes the situation worse. This stage in Keynesian economics is called Stagflation.

Stagflation is where Economic development is lower than inflation as we are experiencing. All economists who work in serious institutions in countries that have experienced this all warn of one thing. That when you correct inflation which is what Mugume was talking about, you cause a recession because even the slow growth that you have will become slower and turn to negative growth. I find it baffling that BOU has taken the approach to widen the problem.

Food Prices set to self correct since rains have come

He also stated that food prices will self correct since the rains have come. First of all this shows that government has no plan for food security. It shows government has no plan to even attempt to understand the depth of food insecurity which is an insecurity of its own. The truth is, food prices are not going to self correct. Government has neglected indigenous farmers. Let us not even discuss NAADS failings now. Those with 10-50 acres who were planting maize for example. They have left them to the forces of demand and supply and some of them for example said, the investment they made in maize compared to what they earned did not make it profitable. They chose instead to plant trees some of them. Others chose to leave their land empty. Food prices only self correct with a targetted program. Government should come out and tell us what their program is going to be. If you think it is impossible, you need only look at India under Nehru to see how successful he was at bringing down food prices.Bring back Produce Marketing board. If you must look for Larbi Siaw who started URA and put him in charge.

Income from Abroad
Ugandans never stopped sending money. They always sent it and it is what has kept the real estate industry very buoyant. however, they are sending less because they are earning less. They have their problems to take care of and those Economies like Britain are hovering over recession and US are just getting out of it. It is unlikely that the incomes will grow. If Mr. Mugume is wishing then he can continue to wish.

With regards to repatriation of forex, now two things are happening. April is the month for dividend pay-off in all the multinational companies here. I can see Bank of Uganda has done a fantastic job at stabilizing the dollar, but right now companies will buy dollars to repatriate to their countries. As a liberalized economy, people are free to send as much as they wish and we don’t stop it. So this will hurt us but we shall start to feel the effects end May-June.

With regard to investors who are gittery about the elections and sent their money abroad, it is true, they did but this election was a lot more peaceful than the last and considering that he left the issue in abstract, makes me suspect that he knows the movement of money outside Uganda was not significant compared to 2006 election. Also UIA is showing that I am probably more right because they registered higher investor interest in Uganda than they were expecting, so for all intents and purposes, I doubt this election scared investors much.

The Middle East

The Middle East is very interesting. First of all, Libya produces only 1.8M barrels a day which is only 2% of the world oil production. It therefore has very little impact on World oil prices. What you are seeing now is hoarding and speculation of oil especially with Saudi Arabia crazy neighbours and people afraid that Saudi might become the new Bahrain. Saudi Arabia is the Second largest producer of oil in the world after Russia and followed by US. They are producing 9.8M barrels a day. They were producing 10.8M barrels in 2004 but because of the world recession and need to protect their economy from collapse, they dropped production so that they could ask for more money per barrel. This week, New York light I think is trading at $111 and Brent crude hit $125. In January it was at $80.

Oil prices are set to keep increasing because of China and US economic recovery and this is the spring/summer season where these countries spend more money in fuel. In UK for example, government suggested to increase fuel prices by 1 pence recently and the country almost went into riots because for petrol they are already paying 1.6 pounds a litre which is 5,100 per litre. So if we (Uganda) do not cushion ourselves against fuel price increases (they are expected to increase by 26% this summer), the gains we have of the rain will be eroded by the fuel price.

So what should government do about fuel? Many things, soooo many things that they can do. They can ground all government fleet of cars. They can privatize all cars like they have done in Rwanda. Let all Ministers buy their cars and maintain them themselves. The Ministers and civil service should be given fuel on mileage (As Uhuru Kenyatta did), and not just any mileage because this thing of getting mileage for sending your government car to your farm, that is out of order. We private people handle our own costs. If Ministers started to handle their own costs they would not be so selfish and would feel the pain. I have been told that Richard Byaruhanga new MD NSSF has already done it because the costs of maintenance of the fleet was too much.

We can cancel all government travel abroad, all workshops, seminars, etc. We can move towards running an austere government budget. These are the things that shall show Ugandans goodwill.

Also we can tell Ugandans, do not turn away from your responsibility because you are having fun (some have resorted to drinking and not taking care of their families because of stress, etc). If you were drinking 4 beers, drink 2 now. We do not want to destroy our tax revenue at the brewery and we want people to live within their means and be happy. We teach them that it is only temporary; things will get better. And we plan to make sure things get better.

Quite frankly, I don’t understand why people are so thick they can’t see this? Are they thick or they are being proud for nothing? Some people talk about government strategic intervention. Of course it is allowed. Look at Americans, they are asking Obama to touch their strategic oil reserves. Is that not intervention? If the US economy was as open as Uganda and laissez faire as IMF has turned you into, how comes they built strategic fuel reserves and you have nothing? They tell you to private your government fuel reserves and we do it like a bunch of fools. Now if we had strategic fuel reserves we would not have had such a high price.

Don’t forget that part of our fuel rise is caused by delays in delivery of fuel from Mombasa and Dar es Salaam. For me Kenya really peeves me. I want us to break their monopoly and we take back our wagons, we route fuel through Tanzania etc.

And while government is sitting thinking about what to do. I suggest you get yourselves thinking and start screaming solutions on rooftops because at this rate, we are going to need trumpets to get through to some part time thinkers. So use all trumpets. Show people that it is their right to ask government for help. It is their right to demand solutions; it is their right to participate in providing the solutions.

Whatever you do, just do it. Do not allow this problem to be turned into a political problem for nothing. You know we should not be guilty of doing “too little, too late” As for corruption, I will need a whole other day to talk about it because it has become so prevalent that now I term the worst disease as grassroots corruption. The corruption on LC1 level, we really need a serious overhaul of the system, including overhauling this nonsense of duplication, undermining of departments, etc. It has caused the worst corruption imaginable.

Besigye

There was no need for Besigye to inform the police if he was walking alone but he(Besigye ) is as popular as a rock star as you no doubt saw on TV especially in the urban area. Yesterday I saw Beatrice Anywar walking alone, Odongo Otto and Ekanya walking alone. Those are NOT demonstrations or processions. I saw Besigye walking with about 10 people at first. This amounts to a procession and a public figure like Besigye would of course pull crowds so my opinion is, he should understand that he is a very popular person and as such is a crowd puller and his popularity should humble him and he says, what the heck, let me send these useless guys a mere letter (NOT NOTICE) stating that I intend to walk so that they can prepare for my rock star status.

Did you see NTV? Did you see how well his walk was after it resumed? Did you see how Police was doing the right thing and walking by the sides to keep the peace until those vagabond Military police came along and all hell broke loose? See a mere letter to inform would have given Besigye the moral high ground. Civil disobedience is the script he is following. It says that people must refuse to follow unlawful orders or what they perceive as unlawful laws. This means that Kayihura saying don’t walk is unlawful and he MUST walk if he wants, But Section 32(1) says as law abiding citizens we should just allow police to do their job and this is not an unreasonable request is it? I saw Ekanya on TV saying police let them walk freely and some police told him that they are also suffering from the fuel and food prices.

See yesterday made me go back to read the constitution and this is what I found;

(2) Every Ugandan shall have the right—
(a) to move freely throughout Uganda and to reside and settle in any part of Uganda;
(b) to enter, leave and return to, Uganda; and
(c) to a passport or other travel document.
38. Civic rights and activities.
(1) Every Uganda citizen has the right to participate in the affairs of government, individually or through his or her representatives in accordance with law.
(2) Every Ugandan has a right to participate in peaceful activities to influence the policies of government through civic organisations.

Besigye is already empowered by the Constitution of Uganda. He says he wants to return Uganda to the rule of law. Why does he not stand above it then and just send Kale an information note. The constitution does not specify how to inform but it says we should inform the Police otherwise we would turn into lumpens.

Nina Mbabazi Rukikaire

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BRIEF ON PETROLEUM SUPPLY ISSUES – HON ONEK’S STATEMENT


I was asking for this out of curiosity to understand the problem. Thought I would post it here too so that you can understand what the Minister said;

PETROLEUM SUPPLY DEPT / MINISTRY OF ENERGY AND MINERAL DEVT
BRIEF ON CURRENT PETROLEUM SUPPLY ISSUES

A: BACKGROUND

The Ugandan market consumes on average 110,000 cubic metres per month of products with an annual growth rate of 7% and it could be higher if there were no supply interruptions. Last year, the interruptions became rampant in September when we had inadequate Petrol for 3 weeks and the public was persistently seeking explanations from Government. These supply interruptions in addition to stifling business, become an opportunity for some unscrupulous individuals to cheat the desperate customers through overcharging them, which is not a good practice in a liberalized market whose core objective is to promote fair competition and security of supply.

The majority oil marketing companies operating in Uganda import their products through Mombasa and would ideally truck the product from Western Kenya whose pumping capacity is too low to satisfy the demand. This situation will remain so until the expansion of line 4 terminating at both Eldoret and Kisumu is complete most likely towards the end of this year. OMC’s are now forced to alternatively load from Mombasa and Nairobi.

Mombasa port has remained too busy to serve the region and some delays in discharge are always experienced, the reason why private unscheduled imports were discouraged.

Last year, the Government of Kenya communicated to all Oil Marketing companies that 70% of the available ullage in the Kenya Pipeline Company (KPC) systems would be for domestic consumption and the remaining 30% would be available for transit customers where Uganda, which takes close to 85% of the total transit cargo, would benefit. In further communication, all private imports into Kipevu Oil Storage Facility (KOSF) were discouraged as they were found to be contributing to congestion at Mombasa port and such private importers were advised to have their imports aggregated for all transit marketers and processed through the ullage allocation committee and accordingly the Open Tender System was recommended to only companies that had import Licenses and trading in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Democratic Republic of Congo. In September 2010, bids were invited for Kenya Open Tender System (OTS) but did not take off.

It is expected to start this quarter and the guidelines have already been drafted.

B: EFFORTS BY GOVERNMENT OF UGANDA TO STABILIZE SUPPLY:

Consultations:
Efforts to address supply problems have always been in place but following the September 2010 supply crisis, the Permanent Secretary led a delegation to Kenya and met with the Government of Kenya officials including the Ministry of Energy, Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA), and CEOs of Oil Marketing Companies based in Kenya and Kenya Pipelines Company (KPC). The delegation equally moved to Mombasa, Nairobi, and Western Kenya terminals on the KPC line to find out causes of supply interruptions and come out with a way forward to address them. All discussions were fruitful and demonstrated joint effort to address supply problems to Uganda.

Following the visit, Government invited all Oil Marketing Companies in Uganda for a meeting on 12th October 2010. During discussions, the PS appointed an Interim Supply Coordination Committee to jointly advise Government in addressing supply problems to Uganda.

The Interim Supply Coordination committee comprises of a representative from Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, Uganda Revenue Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards and representatives of the Oil Marketing Companies comprising of the following members:

1. Mr. Ivan Kyayonka – Country Chairman Shell Uganda Ltd (Chairman)
2. Mr. Mamadou Ngom – Managing Director Total Uganda Ltd
3. Mr. Isaac Mariera – Country Manager Petro Uganda
4. Mr. Harish Asodia – Managing Director Petrocity
5. Mr. Geoffrey Rugazoora – Chief Executive Officer Mogas Uganda
6. Mr. Eric Karambasaizi – Managing Director Delta (Secretary)
7. Mr. Abdinoor Farah – Managing Director Hass Petroleum
8. Mr.Aloke Kumar – Managing Director Gapco Uganda

The terms of reference for this committee were as follows:

1. Review the southern route and advise on:
a. the appropriate incentive structure(tax rebate) and transit time
b. the impact of regulatory requirement to use the route
2. Review and recommend ullage allocation, rules for the Open Tender System with its implementation modalities and lifting of product from Western Kenya
3. Review and advise on easing the lifting of Petroleum Products from Nairobi.

The interim Petroleum Supply Coordination Committee met twice and made a brief to the Ministry with the following recommendations:

Southern Corridor Route (Dar)

i. Transit time
It was recommended that the MEMD requests the Tanzania Government for 60 days instead of the present 30 days.
ii. Incentive/ Rebate
It was observed that this rebate is a result of the difference in transport costs via the Southern Corridor from Dar as compared with the Northern Corridor through Kenya. It was recommended that the benchmark should be Dar compared with Nairobi loading by trucks. The quantum of the incentive came to $60 per cubic metre. This incentive would apply on Diesel and Petrol only since Kerosene has no major supply problems given the low consumption.

Northern Corridor Route (Mombasa).

Ø Proposal to share ullage.
It was pointed out that the main limiting factor in Kenya is the capacity of the Kenya Pipeline Company to evacuate product from the import terminal at Kipevu (KOSF).
Under this item, members were looking for a basis for sharing the import ullage in Mombasa.
The following criteria were proposed for companies to share the Uganda ullage:
1. The participant must be a company in Uganda with retail facilities
2. The company or their Group must be a regular importer into Mombasa with product destined to Uganda and warehoused in their name.
3. The sharing of ullage should be linked to market share.
§ It was proposed that until reliable inland market share data becomes available, import share as compiled by URA / Customs be used as a basis.
§ The Oil Companies that buy from other companies (trading volume) would however have opportunity to propose adjustment of share by mutual agreement of the concerned parties.
§ It was further agreed that for the start the import figures should be for the period January to August 2010 and subsequently monthly basing on 3 months moving average.
§ URA was requested and it provided the import data per company.

Ø Loading out of Western Kenya

a) The Uganda Government was requested to negotiate with the Kenya Government to scrap the VAT charged on services when Ugandan companies load in Nairobi. All Ugandan Oil companies requested to be freed to load in Nairobi and Mombasa in view of the continuing low capacity in Western Kenya.
b) The companies with facilities in Nairobi / Mombasa agreed to extending loading facilities to the small companies (offer hospitality).
c) Companies with rail facilities were encouraged to assist those without by offering temporary hospitality to offload the wagons or accept wagons in exchange of trucks to those who do not have rail siding.
After considering the above, it was proposed that loadings out of Western Kenya also be based on import figures as compiled by Uganda Revenue Authority. The sharing will be on a 3 months moving average.
Open Tender System (OTS) –

§ Try OTS on all products starting with November 2010 tender for the December 2010 import.
§ Uganda OTS to be run together with Kenya and using Kenya rules and terms. In this respect, Kenya Companies would include their sister Uganda company requirement in their bid but basing on the Uganda published share of ullage as advised by Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

C: RESPONSE BY GOVERNMENT:

On 5th November 2010, the Government of Uganda wrote to Government of Kenya requesting that:
a. Beginning with December 2010 delivery, the Ugandan Oil Marketing Companies be facilitated to use the Open Tender System through their sister companies in Kenya using the Kenya terms and conditions.
b. The monthly dedicated ullage to Uganda of 32,800 cubic metres of PMS, 10,000 cubic metres of JET A1, 7,000cubic metres of BIK and 60,000 cubic metres of AGO be confirmed and communicated
c. All Uganda Oil Marketing Companies be freed to load from Mombasa and Nairobi in view of the continuing low capacity in Western Kenya.
d. Loading in Western Kenya for transit petroleum products to Uganda be done according to the inland market share figures that will be provided by the Ministry based on each company’s performance in Uganda.

Due to urgency of the matter, the Government of Uganda sent another reminder to Government of Kenya on 31st December 2010 which was replied in affirmative in February 2011 that:
i. The Open Tender System (OTS) Committee has already drafted transit tender terms and conditions which are expected to apply to Uganda and other transit markets when they are finalized.
ii. Allocated dedicated ullage to Uganda out of western Kenya for AGO, PMS and DPK in respective quantities of 41,500; 30,000; 20,500 cubic metres excluding Uganda’s IPP which has automatic ullage allocation. The balance of the volumes can still be trucked from Mombasa and Nairobi till line 4 is complete.
iii. All Ugandan Oil Marketing Companies will apply to Kenya Revenue authority (KRA) to load from Mombasa and Nairobi pending completion of line 4 pipeline construction.

Supply to Uganda since then has been stable because of continuous effort by Ministry staff and individual Oil Marketing Companies where we have engaged Kenya on daily basis to allow discharge of transit vessels.

Promotion of the Central Corridor has been taken to full discussions by the concerned Government departments and will soon yield results.

D: CONCLUSION:
We shall continue to work together to stabilize supply to Uganda and we call upon Oil Marketing Companies to freely share information with Government so that we can ably provide the necessary support.

We do commend the collaboration that was exhibited during the election time when supply remained uninterrupted and we do recognize the zeal exhibited by everybody in the sub sector.

Nina Mbabazi Rukikaire

Museveni Should not speak at Tahir Square in Egypt


The news that president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni(YKM) has been invited to speak at Tahir Square iluminates the claim I made here a week or so ago. YKM is one of the best on the continent when it comes to practising what Byarat has called extraversion. The language YKM speaks fools alot of people. YKM can morph depending on the circumstances. He appeals to the West because he speaks the language they like to hear: gender equality (he created women seats and money poured. Dictator Kagame copied YKM and went even further with women representations); UPE/USE and money pours in. To be sure some of the opposition parties and NGOs too have now embraced extraversion. That is bad news for Uganda.

The big question is this: why was YKM invited to speak at the square and not say Mr Raala Odinga, the leading puppet of imperialism in African today? Or the more democratic leaders such as Jacob Zuma or the chap from Botswana or even Ghana and Tanzania. Why YKM? Because he is the master of extraversion. You folks read Bayart (2000).

I would also like to know what exactly is wrong with people walking to work? Is it not good for your enviromental rocked city with DMC? Why is walking to work such a big deal to attract tear gas? What are those police folks smoking? Oh yes, i think they smoke bhang which they seize.

We are baffled that police would bar Ugandans walking to walk or wherever. Physical exercise is good. Plus Kampala is already over polluted, so if folks walk to walk, it means less pollution from the numerous DMC, ok, your cars, plying the roads. If anything the government should be encouraging Ugandans to walk more.

But seriously, I saw clip involving Hon Nandaala, MP Elect Wafula-Oguttu and Ms Mugisha. The police with three stones kept on interfering. Who is that chap? Then it seems the police could not keep up with the walkers-unfit. The walkers even sat down. What crime are Ugandans who walking committing?

I do not know how much sway NRM publicists have, but they shoud tell the idiots at police Hqs or someone should them that they are making your PR job difficult. I call them idiots because the walking is peaceful yet they go out to create a scene. That indicates that they are smoking police exhibits aka Bhang-to steal exhibits is a crime- and should have their blood randomly checked. I bet you, it will reveal traces of Bhang in their blood level.

So tell them to re-think. Why can’t they police learn? It is an insult to those Ugandans who walk to work everyday. Come back and tell us whether walking on Ugandan roads is now outlawed.

But hopefully someone with senses not that chap from Nyakasura who serves as sijui coordinator of intelligence. He is the real problem and of course the weakling who is the IGP. Whatever the Nyakasura chaps says, the IGP or acts without thinking. Incidentally both are LLM holders! Talk of education. Wowe. They are sadists and a total disgrace to the country.

But like I said YKM the master at extraversion is watching and listening to what Human Rights Watch says and he will not hesitate to morph and make some changes. The police are poorly led. Their PR sucks. Yet I hear they are better educated? Really? Their behavior is kifufu type.

WB Kyijomanyi
USA and DP elder

Ugandans At Heart Is Not a threat to National Security As the Uganda Police Claims


A police commissioner, Andrew Kaweesi, wrote in the Newvsion on 7th April 2011 on the link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/459/751433 asking government to regulate Ugandans At Heart(UAH) forum. He says that the forum is a threat to national security but cleary this is not true. UAH has got a membership of over 8000 people and some of these are NRM members, members of parliament, representatives of traditional leaders, the army and police itself. The forum has also extended invitations to president himself and his family because whatever it is debated, it is for the benefit of all Ugandans.The forum has also got rules and regulations that guide new members on how to conduct themselves during discussions. Basically, the forum welcomes all Ugandans of different levels

One forum member called Kassimu Kiberu questioned:”Why has the Newvision increased its attacks on UAH recently? They have been calling it a ‘gossip’ forum, so why should a gossip forum be a threat to anybody?These are the people now telling Museveni to arrest the UAH moderator, Abbey Semuwemba. Just wait and see where this end- they will ask security to call some of the Ugandans abroad – rebels and some insane charges will be prepared very soon against them.”

According to Mr.Robert Ssenkindu, another forum member from Sweden: ‘this fora pose no national security whatsoever as they are trying to insinuate. It is rather a shadow parliament working much better than the rubber stamp parliament which is of no use but waste tax payers money. These guys do think that they can go further and stretch their brutal arms across the border and intimidate peaceful folks. What is being discussed here reflect genuine problems which are affecting the nation yet they are being overlooked by the men and women who call themselves representatives of folk.

Ssenkindu went on to say:’’ if these folks are in the full know that they are violating the rights of others by going against both the constitutional and legal provisions of the land, they should bear in mind that with high tech, cyber warfare is the best substitute of what would otherwise have been daily demonstrations which now seem to be outlawed in the land. No amount of intimidation is likely to yield anything unless the circumstances dictate otherwise.

My simple opinion to bwana Abbey is to not let himself be remote-controlled by the gangsters dwelling in Kampala, but rather continue to let Ugandans globally express their views freely without being turned into prisoners of conscience like those one in K’la. Perhaps they should start to deploy kiboko squad here and teargas canisters to disperse us??’’

Another forum member based in the USA, John Kigs said:’’ There should not even be any worry about Abbey being arrested for he is not in Uganda and therefore that’s fine and secondly there is what is called freedom of speech just because we are doing the unthinkable in Uganda does not give them any right to threaten us.

There is no way they will stop the waves of UAH given that it’s not controlled by them and instead they need to wake up for its coming hard but it will only be us to destroy the wave given our ill twisted minds that makes us think on narrow angles than the broad way.’’

Rehema from Kampala also added:’’ The internet is a painful pill for those that seek to regulate thought. Too much freedom is a very bad thing in the eyes of a dictator like M7! Something must be done to end this level of freedom! That is why they hate UAH. Im surprised that the police have gone down to this level of threatening peaceful Ugandans holding debates on national and international issues. Who the hell does this Kaweesa Police man think he is? Do they think they own Uganda and love it more than the rest of Ugandans? Why do they think they know more about what Ugandans want than Ugandans themselves?

Practically and legally speaking, combating online political extremism is enormously difficult. All parties involved recognize that it is difficult to regulate the flow of information on the Internet. They may kill or arrest or punish Brother Abby semuwemba when he is in Uganda but the effect for people to use the internet to oppose government may become enormous. If the govt blocks UAH, then they may send more 30 Ugandans to open up something like UAH.’’

Peter Simon also had no kind words for Andrew Kaweesa:’’ I think it is people like Andrew Kaweesi who may pose security risk to their countries when they try to suffocate other people; whereas in Ugandan for example, the Constitution espouses freedom of expression, assembly and associations, our Police has found it offensive if people discuss local, national and international issues that help to shape the entire world. Take the current issues in North Africa for example where members of the forum are engaged in discussing the merits and demerits of the West’s intervention, what security risk is meted on Libya? How does such a discussion pose threats to national security? Keep suffocating people and reap the consequences when the tyres/balloons burst, the pressure released can deflect the police teargas.

Well, some police officers will remind Andrew Kaweesa that there have been earlier police officers before him, and some of them sadly left the police force against their will, so he might find himself in foreign lands then he will feel the pinch of suffocation.

I think Andrew Kaweesa should get a team of well informed personnel to counter arguments presented or alternatively get members of the force who participate to explain to the forum members or other interested parties what is going on in the country and the region so that we share and exchange ideas on how we can build our country. If we are going to keep quiet, then there will be loss of developmental ideas. Just recently Dr. Kayongo put a proposal on how health services could be rebuilt in Uganda and has asked members to give their views on the way forward, so how does that pose a threat to Uganda’s national security? I am at a loss unless my ignorance security issues is to blame.’’

NRM supporter and daughter of NRM secretary General, Nina Mbabazi also blamed Kaweesa for saying that internet should be regulated:”But who wrote such a foolish article? Cyber weapons target vulnerable educated youth, “the dot com generation” who are mobilised into cyber addicts with a radical zeal of causing a generation change irrespective of the means it takes. The activist tends to be lost in their own world completely detached from their cultural heritage.

Google is going to outdo themselves trying to ensure free speech. This guy doesn’t know what he is saying. In China now, facebook is accessible despite the blocking by goverment. And google has developed a new tool allowing you to call in and your conversation turns into text on twitter.Just saw twitter and Ugandans posting the picture of the kids who were teargassed yesterday. That is what I mean by unstoppable internet. They should just get with the program.”

Besigye Shot in the hand as he continues to play ‘Chess’ with Police and army


Countrymen, I regret to inform you that the FDC President, Col Kizza Besigye, has been shot in the right hand by Police. His Personal Assistant has confirmed that he is in an ambulance, being rushed from Kasangati to Kitante Medical Centre by the Red Cross. It is the height of irony that a freedom fighter who spent almost four years fighting for liberation in Luwero and came out of the war uninjured, has been shot in Kampala for trying to walk to work! This is an absolute outrage.

Woman shot dead in Kajansi

Besigye is good at chess, Museveni has 3 moves.The issue of inflation and fuel prices is a very contentious issue to and appeals to all Ugandans. From a strategic perspective it has left the movement in a very precarious situation with very few options.

In chess the opposition has played a fork, one of two pieces will have to be lost. But the game can still be won.

FIRST PIECE- Museveni could have left the opposition to continue their walk to work which could have had a snowball effect as we have seen, with the public gradually joining the walk which would have given Besigye the leverage of Ghandi’s walk Salt Satyagraha, of March 12, 1930 in opposition to the British salt monopoly.

SECOND PIECE- Movement could continue attacking the opposition and allowing them to commit ‘sucide’ at the hands of the Ugandan police which has very little public sympathy because of their bad record of brutality and corruption and risk creating a Mohamed Bouazizi effect.(Bouazizi committed suicide in Tunisia after the Police spit on himand insulted his dead father because of his failure to pay a fine of 7USD for selling vegetables illegally, leading to the Jasmine
revolution on December 07, 2010.)

Either way Museveni has to lose one piece it is up to him to choose which of the pieces to loose, but he will have to lose one, a move which he has big problems with because he lacks humility and can not concede losing anything to Besigye. Besigye knew this from the get go.

His third move would be to attack a bigger piece, remembering that the REAL stake holders in this game are the Ugandan voters, who are watching now, Mr. Museveni. It would not be a bad idea for you (Mr. President) to come out now when it is still early and announce cuts in on another contentious issue on the budget and divert the Ugandan public from this issue. Or attack the issue itself and reduce taxes on fuel prices and concede defeat to the opposition losing the battle but not the war.

Denis mutabazi

Charges against Ugandan opposition leaders must be dropped- Amnesty International


AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL PRESS RELEASE

AI Index: PRE 01/201/2011
11 April 2011

Charges against Ugandan opposition leaders must be dropped

The Ugandan authorities must drop all criminal charges against several leading opposition figures temporarily detained today for taking part in protests in the capital Kampala, Amnesty International said today.

The opposition politicians, activists and their supporters were arrested during demonstrations calling for people to walk to work in protest at fuel price rises.
Most of the politicians were later released on bail but still face criminal charges.

“The stifling of this protest and the force used against the protesters is an outrageous affront to freedom of expression, made possible by Uganda’s unjust ban on public rallies,” said Amnesty’s researcher on Uganda, Dr. Godfrey Odongo.

“The Ugandan government must not use criminal charges against people engaged in peaceful protests, and all those still in custody must be released.”

Among those arrested were Kizza Besigye, leader of the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Democratic Party leader Norbert Mao and four newly elected opposition members of parliament affiliated to the FDC party.

After hours of detention, the leaders were released on bail and face a range of charges including ‘inciting violence’ and ‘holding unlawful assemblies’.

Police used teargas to disperse the protesters, whom they said were throwing stones.
Eyewitnesses told Amnesty International that demonstrators started throwing stones after the police moved to disrupt the initially peaceful protest.

Since the conclusion of the February 2011 general elections, the Ugandan police have maintained a blanket ban against all forms of public assemblies and demonstrations, on grounds of ensuring public security.

This ban typically affects public demonstrations and rallies that appear to express dissent against the electoral process and current government policies.

“The disruption of peaceful protests and demonstrations and the ban on public rallies violates the right to freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly provided for under Uganda’s Constitution and international law -including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – to which Uganda is party,” said Godfrey Odongo.

Besigye Arrested as Henry Ford Mirima Hails Journalists


Besigye at the police station this morning-John Nsubuga

Dear Ugandan Pressmen,

The press in Uganda must be congratulated for their showing of maturity, and extraordinary courage, in instantly covering of the, WALK TO WORK, programme which began early this morning.

The whole world watched as events took place instantly in remote corners of Uganda showing how Gen. Kale Kayihura’s Police dealt with the demonstrators.

But, pity to Gen.Kale Kaihura for obeying orders whose objectives he does not believe in. But, duty is duty. However, he stands to be questioned in future.

FDC spokesman Wafula Oguttu was arrested Monday for attempting to lead a walk to work protest. Photo by Joseph Kiggunddu from Daily Monitor


Former Ugandan Presidential Candidate Dr. Kiiza Besigye being lifted to a Police Double Cabin Pick up after being arrested by Police while walking from his home at Kasangati to Kampala (about 15Kms) on Monday.

The electronic journalists must be given extra praise for not fearing to risk their lives, doing exactly what professional journalists should be. You are doing what I began twenty years ago for which I, Henry Ford Miirima, was voted by the Journalists Association, THE MOST COURAGEOUS JOURNALIST IN UGANDA

Now, Ugandans have joined the international community in instantly watching world events from their bedrooms on all news channels.

Hail Ugandan Journalists,

Henry Ford Miirima
Veteran Journalist

Rebuilding Ugandas Healthcare system Bottom up – PART 2


AN ABANDONED AMBULANCE AT KAGADI HOSPITAL in western Uganda

AN ABANDONED AMBULANCE AT KAGADI HOSPITAL in western Uganda

Newton was not the first man to see an apple fall, but he was the first to see what that implied. What you may read below might not be the first time you have seen it, but I hope it will be the first time you have seen it as a story. If you visit a manufacturing center you will see an assembly line, this will most likely have a convey belt that brings together all the necessary parts, robots and humans that put together these parts as you go up the line inspecting each stage and at the final end they do get the same perfect product at any given day. At anytime if there is a mistake or malfunction they can know exactly what went wrong, how many parts they need, what changes they have to make and they can change the outcome as needed. It is a flawless system. It is constantly being watched, reassessed, and updated. That’s what I am proposing. I would like you to follow two people, a mother (Mother Uganda) and her Child (Citizen) in this new system.

The system begins at a village level, the moment Mother Uganda got pregnant a midwife and a nurse at the local community center started following her. They knew she was pregnant because they work closely with the population in this village. She was already registered in the National Health System computer, so as she started getting her immunizations and treatments all these records were kept. She was followed closely because even when she forgot her appointments the nurse and midwife were reminded by the pop ups on the laptops they carried for their usual home visits and they promptly reminded her.

Unlike her first baby they noticed some complication, the Physician assistant (Used to be called the medical assistant) at the local Center who was working closely with the Nursing practitioner ( from the new advanced nursing training center) noticed from their local Ultra sound that something was wrong with this baby. They immediately referred her to the district hospital using the ambulance they bought from funds collected locally in the Village health insurance pool which also received more funds from the national health system as needed and from donations all over the world. This team is well trained, they also have oversight from the doctors at the district hospital who periodically review the charts of the village members and visit the center for hands on management as needed. This team like all other medical personnel in the system is also closely watched by the newly funded Quality medical management branch. This branch drops in at the center for quality assessment, equipment supervision, and infection control assessment and also keeps a tab on the completion of the continual medical education hours needed to recertify the members of the medical team at every center in the country.

The center has its medication and orders made automatically because as they prescribe each medication it is logged into the new pharmacy program. The prescription has to correspond with a diagnosis which is coded as the software dictates and it can easily be audited to see if it corresponds with the patient who was logged in the medical records system. As the supply goes low those at the main supply center miles away will be notified and they will immediately send more medical supplies to the center as needed. They can even move medication from one center to another especially if they realize that the expiration dates are getting closer and the medication is not used at that center so it can be channeled to another center that can use it as quickly so that it doesn’t expire. This system can do more than you think; it keeps a watch on all the medications 24/7.

Mother Uganda went to the district hospital. This is a busy place. You just don’t walk in this place; you must be referred or brought in by ambulance. It has a big Emergency room. Fully equipped to handle all emergencies and has the capacity to deal with all medical cases. It has specialists from all fields; medical students spend a lot of time in this place. It gets part of its funding from those patients who don’t want to go to the village community center but have private insurance. It’s also subsidized by the government. Most admissions are made at this level. The computers at this center are connected with the lower community village center and the national referral centers. They are only three levels of health centers.

Mother Uganda could not be handled at this center due to the seriousness of her case there was a need to transfer her to the closest referral center as soon as possible. The national medical airlifting service was called on; she was then airlifted to the national referral center.

This center has the topmost specialist services. There a couple of these centers and they each have special specialties in which they are equipped more than the other referral centers. For example one referral center specializes in Kidney problems, the other one is a Cardiac referral center the other one is a Neurology center and there is also a Gastrointestinal center. Other minor specialties are equally distributed in these centers and also some centers like the one she went to share major specialties. She was handled well and she delivered a baby she named Uganda Citizen.

From his birth Uganda citizen was in the National health care system, he was followed closely, received all his vaccinations on time because he was scheduled at the village center and the nurses at this center made sure he came for his appointment because they actually knew where he lived. He had an annual physical every year again reminded by the local medical center. If there was any need for further care he was referred to the district hospital and just like mother Uganda the path was clearly marked. As he started working he also started contributing to the local healthcare fund. The money from this fund was used at this center to pay for medications, renovations and medical care as needed. If this center had anymore needs requests were sent to the ministry and they were addressed accordingly. The villagers had a say in what expansions to make, how many ambulances to buy and much more.

The Health ministry gave guidelines and policies which had to be followed but according to available funds at the local level including donations from outside agencies community centers were different village to village. Some centers in urban villages had better centers because of the higher income from the local population. The National referral hospitals only handled patients referred by the district center.

This story displays the skeleton of the system; individual components will be described in details in the parts that follow. Your responses will help us fine tune the Skelton.

Let me know what you think.

Dr.Kayondo Eddie, M.D
USA

Rebuilding Uganda’s Healthcare system Bottoms Up. Part 1


healthThese ideas can be improved by intensive scrutiny. Full participation of all Ugandans is needed. Feel free to print it and discuss it with any reasonable person that you find, hopefully we can come up with a good plan for the future of our country.

I will start by listing what I think is wrong with our current system:

It doesn’t promote good health. Primary health care has fallen short of its goal mainly because it was an addition to the system but not a foundation. The population is primed to go to the doctor when they feel sick and many times it’s too late and the cost of treating these chronic illnesses is very high.

It is a disorganized system that lacks proper follow up procedures. Partial treatment is some times worse than no treatment. There is no continuity in patient care.

It lacks proper referral procedures. This has led to over crowding of the National referral hospital, misuse of our specialists and has affected the teaching of medical students. Not enough time is dedicated to continuing medical Education for the specialists and the medical students don’t get enough time to manage chronic patients that are admitted on the wards.

Pharmaceutical services lack a proper auditing system and this has led to misuse and diversion of medication and sometimes expirations of medications in storage.

It is not geared towards provision of quality Health services. Proper monitoring and licensure of health units, equipment calibrations are not enforced as they should as quick examples.

It does not encourage or enforce continuing medical education for all healthcare personnel’s and their associates.
It discourages patient participation. Doctors and nurses are not questionable and they rarely take time to educate their patients about their illnesses or side effects of their medication. It is not easy to communicate with your provider after the fact.

It has no control of private practices. These are not effectively monitored. It has no proper channels of handling patient complaints. It lacks a national health insurance system.
health2

A new system should include the following:

National Electronic Medical Records Center. Every citizen should have his/her medical history ready to be reviewed as needed at any center within the system. It doesn’t matter where you were treated before, your medical information should be accessible to the next provider who is caring for you. This off course is under the umbrella of total confidentiality like everything else in the healthcare system.

For the above EMR to be effective, they must be some form of national identification system for all citizens.
All citizens should contribute to the healthcare system via a national health insurance; the fees can be accessed depending on the income. This should be enforced. Management of these fees will be discussed later. The government should be the largest contributor to the system.

Every citizen should have an Annual physical, this is necessary not only to control the cost of care but also to encourage good health. They should be some kind of enforcement on this issue.

There should be a central pharmacy control system linked to the EMR, this can be used to monitor prescriptions in real time, at the same time it can be used to easily audit any prescribed medication as it should be corresponding to a particular diagnosis. This system can also used to prevent expiration of medications as the can easily be moved to needed areas and orders can be made as per the prevailing need as represented in the national EMR system.

health3

The presence of national internet access.
Proper coding of diseases should be instituted. This will not only be important for insurance reasons but it is needed for proper functioning of EMR system and also can be used to quickly asses the public health of any given area.

Referral system should be streamlined. No walk-ins should be allowed at National referral hospitals. All medical care should be initiated at village level, and referrals are then made up the system. This off course depends on the severity of the presentation. Those with private health care insurance who want to jump any level should be charged a high price accordingly.

Trained personnel in the Diaspora should be given incentives including but not limited to tax breaks, recognitions to encourage them to periodically return to treat fellow citizens and train our medical personnel.

The medical school should have a plan to fund student training outside the country after which they have to come back and serve the nation for a given period. This should include agreements with any country they are sent for training. Students should also be encouraged too take standardized external exams like the United States Medical Licensure Examination while they are attending medical school. This will encourage them to get further education outside the country and will also keep them at level with the current medical practice.
health4

We should have strong and very well funded Quality assurance and Continuing Medical education board.

In Part Two I will propose how we can put all of this in one package, how we can build anew foundation for our health system bottoms up. Mean while please feel free to respond to this post as you wish. Your feed back can only make it better.

For God And My Country.

Dr. Kayondo Eddie, M.D

Uganda’s Population Must be Controlled because it’s Likely to Bring us Problems


Hello People,

Uganda is among the ‘time bombs’ that are gonna cause us problems if the current population growth is not checked. Population explosion, in my view, is going to be one of our biggest problems in the next century, but it’s never discussed in the media which is very unfortunate.

Uganda’s population now grows at an average annual rate of 3.5 percent – the highest ever, despite the war in the north which was going on there for almost 20 years and claimed a lot of lives or the tragedy at Bududa(Mbale) last year. The main questions we should ask ourselves without even going into numbers that may confuse the lay people are: Do you think the world is facing an over-population crisis? Do you think Uganda is/will contribute to this crisis? And do you think Uganda will be so much negatively affected if it does nothing about its population growth?

Clearly there are a lot of Ugandans that live in extreme poverty, and to some degree, poverty is both a cause and an effect of over-population. A cause, in the sense that our country is involved in little industrialization and underutilization of resources which makes most people to work hard on land for food. That, combined with high levels of disease and infant mortality, tends to favor an increased birth rate. For instance, I have interacted with some couples in Uganda who argue that a man should have at least 6 kids such that when on loses 2-3, at least one has got some remaining ones to fall back on, but what if all of them do not die?

Poverty can be considered also as an effect, since in highly populated areas with little wealth being created, each new birth means that the available wealth is distributed among one more person, thus further impoverishing the population as a whole- One more mouth to feed. That is why I argue that men with no enough money or wealth should have less kids with one wife , but if they want to marry or have extramarital affairs, they should go for either women who are branded ‘KKD’ or those who are not at all interested in having children or forget about women altogether. There is no point having kids you are not in position to look after.

On the other hand, in developed nations where mechanized and scientific farming has reduced the need for farm labor, and where medicine has improved the health of the people (and made possible artificial contraception), the birth rate is comparatively low, and the demographics of the population shift towards a longer life. The increased opportunities made possible by affluence also cause many women to delay starting their families, and prompt some to choose career over motherhood.

There are 650 acres in a square mile. Each person deserves an entire acre of land unto their very own lonesome but this is not usually the case. The world population is now approximately 7 billion. Hmmmm…. gotchy’all smiling wide now as you break out those calculators, but i’m not gonna do any serious maths because i’m not good at it.But we gonna do some figure analysis.

Uganda is a country covering 236,040 square kilometers (91,136 square miles) with a population estimated to be at 34 million this year. 15.39 % of the total area of the country is water. The population per square kilometer was only 241 in 1999 (93 per square mile) but this has been increased tremendously, a reason why land is becoming the most valuable asset in the country.

A certain % of our national land is also allocated to forestry, like for instance, Bwindi National Park which covers over 128 square miles in size; Kibale national park which is about 475 square miles; Queen Elizabeth National Park which is 770 square miles; Lake Mburo National Park- 230 square miles. Basically, because of the rise in the population, all these wetlands and forestry are being targeted by both the government and the landless.They wrongly see them as ‘idle’ land. As a result, the people themselves are creating another big problem called CLIMATE CHANGE.

One could argue that 11.6 million square miles in Africa could fit almost everybody on the continent but the reality is because India and China have already messed up their countries with over population, their citizens are now targeting the less populated regions in the world including Africa. Like, for instance, the last time I was in Busoga and Wobulenzi, I saw a lot of Indians now owning land and they are a threat to the locals. Before you know it, the Chinese will follow them, and there are seriously buying a lot of land in the villages on the cheap because they know what is happening back in their own countries. Their respective governments are sponsoring them financially in their endeavors abroad because they want create space. Attempts to reduce the population have also spawned things like China’s One Child Policy. They are going to be staking claims to our resources more and more as their population grows.

The population explosion is adding approximately 1billion people to this planet every decade. That’s nearly the entire population of China. So what will happen to Ugandans in the next 20 years if our own population keeps growing the way it is now? Where will we go?

So it is both logical and workable to conclude that to make our lives better, we must control the population of our country. Obviously, this has to be done hand in hand with an increase in the spread of technology, information, and education in our country, and to work hard to raise the standard of living there in partnership with the local population. Because just handing out and extolling the virtues of birth control while people are still pulling pillows by hand and cooking over firewood is not addressing the underlying problem.

Nze bwendaba banange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

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