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News analysis Health Business

Torture chambers Drug resistant Total Oil E&P frustrated but


or safe houses? bacteria in DR Congo willing to go on with project

Issue No. 592 Oct. 04 - 10 2019 Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

Hoima and 2021


election battles
Different ways opposition plans
to force Museveni out of power

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Oct. 04 - 10 2019 1
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Issue No. 592 Oct. 04 - 10 2019

News analysis Business Health Arts Motoring

Cover story
Hoima and 2021 election battles
Different ways opposition plans to force Museveni out of power

5 The Week
30 Comments
Ugandan investigative journalist Solomon
Serwanjja wins BBC Dumor Award False climate solutions:
How hyping misleading
promises allows the rich
9 The Last Word
to continue profiting from
Lesson from Hoima by-election:Why climate crisis they created
NRM should be worried and why
the opposition needs to rethink their
32 Health
political strategy
Drug resistant bacteria
14 Analysis in DR Congo: It’s fueled
by HIV prevalence and
Torture chambers or safe houses?: multidrug resistance (MDR)
ISO boss, Security minister face
tough questions
35 Arts & Culture
27 Business
Oil brushes that conserve
Global brands scramble for African birds: Artist turns
market: Growing middle class, economy childhood affection into a
attracts investments in the hotel industry challenge for me and you

STRATEGY & EDITORIAL DIRECTOR: Andrew M. Mwenda WRITERS:Ronald Musoke, Ian Katusiime,
MANAGING EDITOR: Joseph Were Patricia Akankwatsa, Julius Businge.
INVESTIGATIONS EDITOR: Haggai Matsiko DESIGN/LAYOUT: Sarah Ngororano
BUSINESS EDITOR: Isaac Khisa CARTOONIST: Harriet Jamwa

PUBLISHER: Independent Publications Limited, Plot 82/84, Kanjokya Street, P. O. Box 3304, Kampala, Uganda
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2 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
inbox

‘‘I get surprised to hear that the


opposition is asking you for votes.
What have they done? Nothing!’’
A person who has never done anything
comes to ask for votes from you?
Museveni
L-R; Minister for Finance, Matia Kaisaja, Prof Mondo Kagonyera Chancellor of Kampala University and
Prof Badru Kateregga, Vice- Chancellor of Kampala University officiate the 4th graduation of Kampala
University School of Nursing and Health Sciences with 493 graduands in a ceremony held on Sept 26 in
Mutundwe.   INDEPENDENT /ALFRED OCHWO

Ministry of Water and


Environment director
wetland, Colin Oloya
addresses volunteers
who participated in
Masese Landing Site
cleaning exercise ‘‘Do not allow anyone to discriminate
organised to mark
the International you on the basis of gender or to
Coastal Clean-up Day underrate you in terms of managing
held on Sept 27. The
EU Ambassador to a newsroom.’’Ask for what is rightfully
Uganda, Attilio Pacifici yours without fear or favour. Mary Karooro
(L) said plastic pollution Okurut
in water bodies is
becoming a problem
globally.   INDEPENDENT /
ALFRED OCHWO

The Ministry of Health


Permanent secretary, Dr
Diana Atwine (R) speaks
during the monthly media
breakfast meeting in
addressing eye health
and the disease burden in
the country. She said the
public must seek for early ‘‘A man like me cannot open an offshore
eye check-up, held on Sept account because I have to buy sugar,
30 at Lourdel Towers in crates and vehicles for my beverage
Kampala.   INDEPENDENT /
ALFRED OCHWO business. If Ugandans have a lot of
money, yes, they need to keep it safe’’
Amos Nzeeyi on Ugandans owning offshore
accounts

Estimated amount of money that the Number of jobs Total investment


Shs. 58.4b Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference
delegates pumped into Ugandan economy
3million E-commerce can
create by 2025
Shs. 2.2tn worth of China
in Uganda

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 3
week

NRM Wins Hoima, Kabong Woman Mp By-elections


The ruling National Resistance Movement According to Douglas Matsiko, the
(NRM) candidates won both Hoima and Returning Officer Hoima Electoral district,
Kaabong Woman Member Of Parliament the total number of valid votes was 62,090
seats against the Forum Democratic Change and invalid votes 1,690. In Kaabong district,
(FDC) opposition. Ms Christine Tubo Nakwang of NRM won
Hoima elected Harriet Businge with with 22,532 votes while her contender Ms
33,301 votes beating FDC contestant Judith Nalibe Adyaka of FDC got 1,692 out
Ms Asinasi Nyakato with 28,789 votes. of 26,189 total votes in the area.

Uganda Cranes names new coach


Northern Irishman Jonathan ‘Johnny’ was generated by a panel of experts that
McKinstry was on Monday named the new included African legend Kalusha Bwalya,
Uganda Cranes head coach. FUFA CEO Edgar Watson, Stone Kyambad-
McKinstry, 34, replaces Frenchman Sebas- de.
tien Desabre who resigned after the AFCON He is of late been head coach at Bangla-
2019 finals in Egypt in July 2019. desh entity Saif Sporting Club having previ-
He was officially unveiled by the FUFA ously handled the Sierra Leone and Rwanda
CEO Edgar Watson who was flanked by the national teams.
acting FUFA President Justus Mugisha and McKinstry’s immediate task at hand will
Communications Director, Ahmed Hussein. be to handle the return leg of the CHAN
The tactician was the successful choice 2020 qualifier as Uganda Cranes host Burun-
Ugandan investigative from the 137 coaches that applied for the job. di in Kampala.
The final three-man shortlist that had Uganda triumphed 3-0 during the open-
journalist Solomon Serwanjja McKinstry, Hugo Broos and Luc Eymael ing leg played a fortnight ago in Bujumbura.
wins BBC Dumor Award
Ugandan investigative journalist Solomon
Serwanjja won the Komla Dumor Award
sponsored by BBC.
Serwanjja who reports for NBS television
becomes the second Ugandan to win the
award in its five years history after Nancy
Kacungira, ex KTN news presenter.
He bagged the prestigious award after
starring with his documentary ‘stealing from
the sick’ that unmasked drug theft in Ugan-
da made him hit the headlines worldwide. 
 “Komla brought so much to the African
narrative – his perspective was a breath of
fresh air, as he believed Africa was rising and
that the world needed to see the continent
from a different angle,” Serwanjja told BBC
after he was named the award winner.
 As part of the prize, Serwanjja now earns
a three months development contract in Uganda set to host organisation
which he will spend at the BBC in London
gaining skills and experience before traveling of Islamic cooperation meeting
back to Africa to report on a story.
 Other journalists who have won the After successfully Kadaga revealed that
award are Waihiga Mwaura from Kenya, hosting the over 400 dignitaries from
Amina Yuguda and Didi Akinyelure both Commonwealth 57 member countries
from Nigeria. Parliamentary of the organisation of
 The face of Africa award that aims at Conference, Uganda Islamic cooperation are
celebrating African Journalism was incepted is set to host the expected for the meeting
to honor Komla Dumor, an exceptional 42 nd meeting of the that will be held at Sky’s
Ghanaian broadcaster and presenter for BBC parliamentary Union of Hotel in Kampala.
World News. He died suddenly aged 41 in Islamic cooperation on The meeting will be
2014. the 1 st and 2nd October of parliament Rebecca graced by legislators,
 According to BBC, the award goes this year. Kadaga and Kawempe speakers from the likes
annually to outstanding African journalists This was announced North MP Hajji Abdul of Mauritania, Malaysia,
with an exceptional talent in telling African at a press conference Latif Ssengendo Iraq, Lebanon, among
stories. addressed by the speaker Ssebaggala on Monday. others.

4 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
week
Uganda heads to Kenya for tourism showcase China celebrates 70th
Team Uganda comprising of 18 tour oper- from Kenya and across the world. We shall founding anniversary
ators led by Uganda Tourism Board (UTB) is
set to showcase Uganda’ tourism offerings at
have the opportunity to showcase to varied
group trade buyers and ensure that our tour in Uganda
the 8th edition of the Magical Kenya Travel operators get business as they sell Uganda.
Expo (MKTE) to be held from the 2nd -4th She added; “UTB will conduct destination The People’s Republic of China
October 2019, at Kenyatta International Con- training for 50 key expatriate communities celebrated its 70th founding
vention Centre (KICC) in Nairobi, Kenya. living in Kenya, government officials and anniversary at a dinner held at Serena
The annual expo will attract over 170 Kenya Tour Operators. As part of our strat- hotel. The ceremony was graced by the
exhibitors and 180 hosted buyers registered egy to work with foreign missions, we shall president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
from 20 countries around the World; offer- also train embassy officials at the Uganda Other Several diplomats, ministers,
ing an attractive platform for Uganda to High Commission in Nairobi on how to and heads of institutions attended the
showcase. market Uganda’s tourism at their various dinner which featured performances
Uganda will this year showcase Adven- platforms.” by a cast of Ugandan and Chinese
ture, Golf Tourism and Nightlife under the Kenya remains Uganda’s biggest source performers.
theme; “Uganda: The adventure capital of market for tourists in the region accounting The event celebrates the ascension
East Africa.” for 29% of total tourism arrivals registered to power by communists led by Mao
Commenting Uganda’s participation, UTB in 2018. African land markets (regional and Zedong on October 1, 1949, four years
Chief Executive Officer, Lilly Ajarova said, neighboring countries) that entered Uganda after the end of World War II.
“This is a very good opportunity for Uganda by road makeup 69% of Uganda’s interna- It marked the birth of modern China
to tap into various operators and visitors tional arrivals, and grew by 6.1% in 2018. under the leadership of the Communist
Party of China (CPC), which has
overseen the country’s transformation
into a global power.
Former UPC vice president Joseph Bbosa passes on China’s ambassador to Uganda,
Zheng Zhuqiang said the 70th
Former Uganda occurred in The Hague, anniversary was a reflection of the
People’s Congress (UPC) Netherlands”, read country’s journey to the top, fraught
Party Vice President Muyita’s message. with challenges including aggression
Joseph Bbosa passed on Bbosa assumed the from western powers.
last week in The Hague, UPC party presidency
Netherlands. when Dr Olara Otunnu
Solomon Muyita, the bowed out in May 2016
Judiciary Spokesperson, to pave way for elections,
in a statement said which led to a protracted
Bbosa, who is also court battles.
the husband to the The development saw
International Criminal the party splitting in two
Court-ICC Judge, Salome rival factions allied to
Balungi Bbosa breathed Akena and Bbosa.
his last at a hospital He is a lawyer
in Netherlands where by profession and
he had been receiving Bbosa, the husband to he was Otunnu’s
treatment. the Hon. Lady Justice guild government as
“We regret to Salome Balungi Bbosa minister for justice and
announce the sudden of the International constitutional affairs.
passing of Joseph Criminal Court, which

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Oct. 04 - 10 2019 5
week
EU cleans up Jinja’s Lake Victoria shores
world’s oceans, seas, lakes and rivers are
increasingly being clogged with fast food
wrappers, juice containers, bubble wands
and housing insulation materials. Attilio
Pacifici, the EU Ambassador to Uganda
who led the delegation said this is the third
year the EU has participated internationally,
campaigning for the Ocean Governance
agenda. “We share a love for our planet and
we all hold responsibility for making and
keeping it healthy through avoiding single
use plastic as well as ensuring that our waste
does not become anyone else’s problem,”
Pacifici said, “I am also overwhelmed with
the number of partners who joined us for
this action which show us that when we
act together, we can bring change.” Majid
Batambuze, the Jinja Municipality Mayor
said plastic waste disposal in his area is
alarming and is a matter that affects all
walks of life, no matter how old one is. “We
Masese residents and EU staff cleaned Masese Landing Site pledge to continue contributing to keep our
lake cleaner and healthier,” he said. Colin
Hundreds of residents of Masese with the International Coastal Clean- Oloya, director wetland in the Ministry of
Landing Site in Jinja town on Sept. 27 joined up Day, a day commemorated around Water and Environment said communities
members of the EU diplomatic missions the world to create awareness about the living within the landing sites have bad
in Uganda, civil society and the Ministry dangers of plastic pollution in water bodies. waste management habits. He urged
of Agriculture in a clean-up exercise of the Plastic materials litter has become a global residents to act responsibly.
Lake Victoria shores. The clean-up coincided concern affecting the blue environment. The

6 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
Humour Did you know?
Dreams help brain forget
useless memories

Rapid Eye Movement (REM) is one


of several sleep stages the body cycles
through every night. It first occurs about
90 minutes after falling asleep and is
characterised by darting eyes, raised
heart rates, paralysed limbs, awakened
Parliament spent shs18bn on procuring 64 vehicles for commonwealth parliamentary conference brain waves - and dreaming.
Now, says a new study, it’s during
REM when our brains clear out the
memories we’ve made while we’re
awake, deciding what to keep and
what to discard. In a study published
in the journal `Science’, the scientists
say “forgetting is an active process”.
They explain that during REM the brain
cells work to actively forget useless
memories. But less is known about this
process during the different phases of
sleep.
The team found that during the rapid
eye movement (REM) sleep phase—or
active sleep when we are thought to
dream—special nerve cells appear to
actively contribute to forgetting. What
are known as melanin-concentrating
hormone-producing (MCH) neurons sit
in the hypothalamus, a part of the brain
that helps with a range of functions
Science teachers have broken away to form their own body called Uganda National Science Teacher’s union (UNASTU) such as sleep, appetite, and emotions.
Past research has suggested these cells
help to control REM sleep patterns:
activating the MCH neurons increasing
time spent in this phase, while
inhibiting them reducing transitions
into this phase.
When the team looked at MCH cells
in mice, they found 52.8 percent were
active during REM sleep, compared
with 35 percent when the mice were
awake. The study was funded by the
National Institute of Neurological
Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), part
of the National Institutes of Health.
“Our results suggest that the firing of
a particular group of neurons during
REM sleep controls whether the brain
remembers new information after
a good night’s sleep,” said Thomas
Kilduff, Ph.D., director of the Center
for Neuroscience at SRI International,
Menlo Park, California, and a senior
President met with Pentecostal evangelical pastors over wealth creation among their flock author of the study.

Oct. 04 - 10 2019
News analysis Health Business
Kayihura sanctions Is that supplement Experts on NSSF’s
in perspective safe to take? Shs402billion loss

Issue No. 591 Sept. 27 - Oct. 03, 2019


Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

Inbox
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‘Total Oil
http://twitter.com/#!/ugandatalks boss ready
to teach
Museveni
Follow us on Facebook @ a lesson’
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www.independent.co.ug

Letters are Why ban People Power red berets?


welcome ! Refer to: “Uganda People’s Defence Forc- have to surrender to Ugandans. We have
The Editor welcomes short and es dress code gazetted, warns about head had enough of suffering caused by dictator-
concise letters from our esteemed gear” (The Independent online). This is all ship governments so this is the time we have
readers on topical issues. Please intimidation and signs of fear of the opposi- decided to show our emotionally tough feel-
send them to:
The Editor, The Independent tion People Power but you cannot fight the ing that we have been holding for long time.
Publications Ltd, people’s will. Soon or later you, NRM, will Asuman
P.O Box 3304,
Plot 82/84 Kanjokya St,
Kamwokya.
Kampala,Uganda.
Does Museveni fear Bobi Wine?
Email: editor@independent.co.ug Refer to: “America’s human rights impe- the case, then why does Mwenda write that
rialism 2: Why we should be suspicious of Americans are using Bobi Wine as a Trojan
America’s attempts to insert itself in our horse? To what end of they are not interest-
national politics” (The Independent Sept.27). ed in us anymore? Second, do the last three
Advice for Museveni There is contradiction on part of Mwenda paragraphs of article also seem to suggest
here. He states that the U.S. is now not that Museveni is afraid of Bobi Wine and
on Americans interested in Africa and there is no Assistant free elections in general?
Secretary of State for Africa Affairs. If this is Paul Muwanga
Refer to: “America’s human rights
imperialism 2: Why we should be
suspicious of America’s attempts to Embrace independence involve parents, learners in
insert itself in our national politics” (The
Independent Sept.27). Andrew Mwenda milestones national curriculum review
I love the fact that you’re finally realising
that President Yoweri Museveni’s Uganda is rich in most of the mineral The National Curriculum Review; espe-
relationship with the U.S. and the resources and on top of that possesses the cially for the O’Level section, is undergoing
European Union has fallen. Try reaching most favorable climate and environment, review with those in charge saying it is for
out to the President and tell him to hang and I guess it is why they called it the the good of our education. The curriculum
is key to the educational needs of our chil-
his boots before the Americans eject him pearl of Africa. The World Bank analysis
dren and nation. There have been proposals
out in a very inhuman way. Tell him to showed Uganda is one of the fast growing
made by the National Curriculum Devel-
ask the likes of former Kenyan President economies. In order to enjoy harmony we
opment Centre and I am not aware of any
Daniel arap Moi who is now enjoying a are having as of today, we had to first gain
deliberate consultations of parents and the
peaceful retirement in his Kabarak home independence from our colonial masters.
learners. There can be nothing for us without
or go down in history just like his friend So we should embrace the coming inde- us. As such, there cannot be a curriculum
Robert Mugabe, Hussein Mubarak and pendence celebrations. review without the input of those it is being
Muamar Gadhafi. It’s an honor to see it that in this year’s reviewed for. We have had several proposals
I personally have a problem with the celebrations, we are hosting Emmerson coming from different corridors concerning
likes of Bobi Wine but blame all this on Mnangagwa, the president of Zimbabwe as what kind of education our children are
Museveni who failed to nurture a leader the chief guest. This year’s theme, consoli- getting and the strongest argument has been
to succeed him. He has been running the dation of national unity, security, freedom to design a curriculum that suits our context
country like a one man show. Let me be and prosperity, is worth the celebrations and needs rather than importing certain
very categorical and advise Museveni not because most of the content in the theme systems. How many students or student
to run for office come 2021 because the have been achieved. Many milestones bodies have been consulted on this process?
G7 countries will deal with him and leave have been achieved ever since Uganda How many parents have participated in
the whole country bleeding. The G7 are attained her independence although agi- this review? We should not take this review
not bothered about our welfare so long us tation for more and more achievements is lightly as it has adverse effects on the future
their interest is being well taken care of. rising. Many Ugandans now have equal of children and hence the entire country.
Ask your neighbours, Kenya. Museveni opportunity to be what they want to be in Let us consult widely as possible and not
might think that he has a strong army but life which wasn’t the case before indepen- rush the process and we need to have core
it will come down crumbling. Museveni dence. We had no peace in our Country subjects that will be useful to our children
has done allot for this country but it and on top of it we had no sovereignty. and the future of this country. Parents and
is time he called it a day before he is Today we do have such things in our coun- students should take this matter seriously
humiliated before his bazukulu. try, so why not go to Sironko District to and demand that they are consulted for the
celebrate the Independence that we got? outcome is as good as the process.
Erick Eling Kevin Seguya Michael Aboneka

8 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
The Last Word opinion

Lesson from Hoima by-election


By Andrew M. Mwenda
Why NRM should be worried and why the opposition
needs to rethink their political strategy

L
ast week, the NRM narrowly won the with Museveni does not mean they military coups and civil wars, thereby giving
elections for women MP in Hoima would automatically support anyone who Uganda a prolonged period of stability. He
district. According to results, NRM’s opposes him. The fact that a given woman has buttressed this by putting the economy
Harriet Businge got 33,000 votes is angry with her abusive husband does on a long-term growth trajectory thereby
(54%) against FDC’s Asinansi Nyakato with not necessarily mean she wants to quit her guaranteeing economic prosperity for a
29,000 votes (46%). This is a major setback marriage. Even if she quit, it does not mean sizeable section of the population. He has
for NRM, which has historically won she is necessarily willing to marry the next tolerated a decent level of freedom and
Hoima with huge margins. In 2006, the FDC suitor who comes telling her love stories. individual liberty, both political but most
candidate for Women MP in Hoima got only Let us assume, just for argument’s sake, especially economic.
15% of the votes the NRM candidate got, in that NRM stole votes in Hoima. How does Yet in spite of this, and also largely
2011 only 10% and in 2016 25%. In this by one explain 82,000 (57%) of registered because of it, middleclass Ugandans are
election, the FDC candidate got 86% of the voters keeping away? Is the opposition angry and frustrated. This is even the more
votes the NRM candidate got. saying NRM blocked these people from the ironic because Museveni is in the most
Yet before the opposition can celebrate, polling stations or are they ghost voters? The developmental phase of his presidency –
they should first look at voter turnout. Only reason is simple: the opposition in Uganda witness the investments in infrastructure
62,000 (43%) out of 144,000 registered voters is consumed by its own misguided sense of for roads, electricity, water, air transport,
showed up. One can say by-elections have moral righteousness and its deluded sense of hospitals, schools etc. Any government
low turnout. Yet the opposition deployed a destiny that is has forgotten the interests of would be reaping windfalls of political
large number of its best and most renowned the people in whose name it claims to fight. support from such massive investments.
politicians and activists in the district for This is because the opposition in Uganda Yet the Museveni government seems to be
weeks. Even the popular Kyadondo East is driven only by the desire for power and reaping the opposite – increasing popular
MP, Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine, nothing more. anger and frustration. Why?
was there. This should have bolstered voter The opposition in Uganda believes that NRM abandoned siasa (strategic
enthusiasm but it didn’t. Why? power is everything. They believe one communication and political mobilisation)
While NRM’s political fortunes are does not need better policies backed by long ago. Today it believes in crass bribery,
declining, the opposition is not inspiring the appropriate social forces – only a good dolling out envelopes of cash to supporters
much confidence. The growth in the heart. That once in power the rest will work and critics alike backed by a sizeable doze
opposition’s is far below the growth and out with “iron necessity” to a desirable of repression. The contradiction is that the
spread of disaffection with NRM and end. Yet it is difficult to rally people whose NRM were most effective at communicating
President Yoweri Museveni. The radical actual interests you do not understand. For when they were doing very little and
extremism of the two most popular cults of then, you cannot organise them around abandoned it when they are doing so much.
the opposition – Defiance and its bastard what they want (bottom-up). Instead you Perhaps they have also deluded themselves
child, People Power – has led to levels of promise what you think they want (top- into the belief that the investments they are
intolerance of divergent views that most down welfare/charity) This is the reason the making are self-evident. Yet making such
Ugandans have decided to keep away from opposition has no plan to address the real investments without communication is like
electoral politics. challenges of Uganda’s economy: to create winking at someone in the dark: you know
NRM continues to win elections in spite better jobs and opportunities for trade etc. what you are doing, they don’t.
of declining support. The opposition claims Consequently, the opposition has pitched More critically, economic transformation
this is because NRM steals their votes but its message on dolling out more welfare. has greater potential to generate mass
fails to explain why they won Kyadondo Where Museveni has offered free education discontent than economic stagnation. This is
East, Bugiri and Arua. NRM wins because and free health, the opposition promises to because as people are more educated, come
of low voter turnout. In this by election the make it better i.e. “we want to be a better to urban areas and are exposed to the world,
NRM candidate’s got only 23% of registered version of Museveni”. Bobi Wine went they become more aspirational. The rate of
voters, 77% didn’t vote her. even further when asked about his policy growth in expectations outstrips the rate
Uganda’s opposition is deluded. They proposals. He said he intends to implement of growth in opportunities. The mismatch
believe they occupy such a superior moral NRM’s Ten Point Program because between expectations and available
ground, that they are so awesome and cool, Museveni has been poor at doing exactly opportunities lead to social frustrations.
their position is so self-evidently righteous; that. This hogwash can win over the angriest This is why strategic communication and
so they do not need to win over people. sections of the population and nothing more. political mobilisation are absolutely vital
They believe everyone should support them For the NRM, its electoral performance for a rapidly transforming society. This is
as of right because they are “liberators.” is a tragedy not of poor performance but the logic Museveni and NRM have failed
They believe, and I think correctly, that most of contradiction. Museveni has actually to register.
Ugandans are frustrated with Museveni and been a very successful president by both
his NRM. However, they mistake this to historical and contemporary records. He amwenda@independent.co.ug
mean most Ugandans love them. has stabilised the political dispensation in
The fact that most people are frustrated a country that had once been plagued by

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 9
cover story

Hoima and 2021


election battles
Different ways opposition plans
to force Museveni out of power

By Julius Businge

10 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
cover story

E
ven after the Electoral ticked ballot papers that were in favour Power umbrella.
Commission announced that of the NRM candidate and read out the All opposition forces united and
their candidate had lost the number plate of the vehicle that was worked together from August 29 when
recent by-election for Hoima used to transport the ballots. He also campaigns started to polling day on
District Woman MP, the displayed pictures of a UPDF official Sept.26.
opposition insists they won. who he said helped in vote rigging. Popular names – Dr. Kizza Besigye,
Unlike in the past when the opposition He said one of their own; Michael the former FDC Presidential Candidate,
rushed to court to attempt to nullify such Kabaziguruka (the MP for Nakawa Robert Kyagulanyi (Bobi Wine), the
results, by press time they were yet to constituency) fought with the NRM Kyadondo East Member of Parliament
decide on that. Instead most of them told rigging machinery and confiscated 51 and People Power head, Patrick Amuriat
The Independent that they are focusing pre-ticked ballot papers which he later Oboi, the FDC President, Gen. Mugisha
on 2021. on handed over to the IEC officials. Muntu from the Alliance for National
Kyadondo East MP Robert Ssentamu Semujju said the party would officially Transformation party and other
Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine who led the write to the EC about the observed opposition leaders were on the ground to
opposition campaign was reflective. electoral malpractices. canvass support for Nyakato Kabanda.
He said that the victory of the Hoima The Hoima seat fell vacant after the They faced off with President
people was stolen by President Yoweri former district woman MP Tophace Museveni and a number of his cadres
Museveni and his rigging machinery. Byagira Kaahwa decided to cross and campaigned for the NRM candidate
“While I understand their represent the newly created Kikuube Harriet Businge aka ‘baby face’.
disappointment and sadness, I am district.
encouraging them to hold fort-this is Asanansi Nyakato Kabanda ran on the Rigging allegations
only temporary,” he said, “Our role is to Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Museveni campaigned for Businge
reflect, reorganise, and do everything we ticket but she was backed by almost basing on the NRM programmes in
need to do while trusting God…remain all opposition parties under the People Hoima which is the new oil hinterland
strong while believing in yourself.” of Uganda. Museveni said in Hoima,
Expert election watchers hearing this Facts and numbers the government has reduced poverty
are saying that based on the Hoima levels and boosted economic activities.
experience and results, the 2021 is not   Following the voters’ register He pointed at about 300km of new road
going to be an easy election for either update exercise held from Aug.12- networks that the government has built
the opposition or President Yoweri 16, 2019, Hoima registered and electricity lines and social services
Museveni. 143,2732voters. in health and education that have been
“What happened in Hoima is what   There was a reduction of 5,398 extended to Hoima.
awaits the country in 2021,” said Ibrahim voters removed from the register He said the opposition claim that the
Semujju Nganda, the FDC spokesperson for several reasons including NRM government has done nothing is “a
at the Party’s weekly press conference on transfers and deletions big shame but it is good for the NRM”.
Sept.30 in Kampala.   According to the National “You cannot dissolve a road, a power
Semujju told journalists that the NRM Population and Housing Census line or a school by lies,” he said, “You
used state resources – vehicles, money, 2014, Hoima District has a only dissolve yourself politically by
security agencies (UPDF) and public population of 572,986 of which lies and that is what will happen to the
servants, which is illegal under election 287,906 are males and 285,080 are so-called opposition, working for foreign
laws. females interests that we know well and will
Semujju displayed photocopies of pre- expose at the right time.”

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 11
cover story
When the EC announced the results should not lie – at his age. The President county councilor positions; 35 out of 47.
at 03:30am on Friday Sept. 27, the NRM is 75 years old. The NRM swept the higher offices of
candidate Businge had won with 33, As the accusations and counter- LC-5 councillors; 11 out of 12.
301 votes (53.63%). According to the accusations raged, election observers Compare that with the outcome of
EC results Nyakato polled 28, 789 votes such as Crispin Kaheru, the coordinator another election that was held the same
(46.37%). of Citizens’ Coalition for Electoral day in Kaabong District, northeast
The opposition immediately dismissed Democracy in Uganda (CCEDU) issued Uganda. In Kaabong the NRM won
the EC results. They alleged there verbose statements. the District Woman MP seat, all six
were election malpractices which CCEDU said that whereas the LC-3 chairpersons positions, all 8 LC-5
compromised the legitimacy of the opposition parties and formations Councilors positions, and all 27 sub-
results and the entire exercise. benefited a great deal from uniting county councilors.
“There is every indicator to show that behind a single candidate, the NRM The numbers show that the opposition
Nyakato won but the regime machinery leveraged its access to (and use of) is gaining more political ground in
affected the result,” Alice Alaso, the state resources including government Hoima as its vote tally has increased
national coordinator in charge of finance vehicles, and public officers to campaign while that of NRM has slipped– even
and administration at the Alliance for for, and get the NRM candidate after considering that the district has
National Transformation (ANT), a announced as winner in the Hoima been chopped into two.
newly formed political party, told The District Woman MP By-election. For instance, in the 2016 general
Independent. He said there is a likelihood that elections, the NRM candidate who won
But Museveni shot back, alleging allegations and realities of occurrences the Hoima district woman representative
that it is the opposition that rigged. In a such as circulation of pre-ticked ballot seat (Tophace Byagira Kaahwa) garnered
public statement in the media, Museveni papers in favour of the NRM candidate 96, 277 votes beating the FDC candidate
said he doubted the number of votes the (on polling day), arrests of agents from (Rehemah Nabisere) with a very big

opposition candidate got were genuine. the opposition parties (for whichever margin of 86, 498. Nabisere, who only
“We are auditing the voting to reason) and the partisan involvement got 9, 779 votes, was not even in the
discover the cheating which is of some security agents to the point of second position.
characteristic of the opposition (Jinja, attempting to subvert the will of the Based on such results and others
Bugiri, Arua, etc),” Museveni said. people in some areas within Hoima, across the country where they have won
The alleged rigging by opposition, affected the election and how it later elections, the opposition says they are
he said, is partly due to the weaknesses turned out to be. ready to defeat Museveni and his NRM
of the NRM in terms of organisation “It is possible that these issues could party in 2021.
, inspecting the registers of voters to in future be brought up to query the That sets the stage for what many
discover the imported voters, using credibility of the Hoima District Woman say will be a contest requiring sweat,
exercise books to record people that MP By-election,” Kaheru said in a notice. organization - and guarding the vote.
come to vote and comparing the list to Many members of the opposition who
the votes in the box among others. NRM losing Hoima participated in the Hoima election and
He said that the opposition rigging What is not in dispute is that, despite had been involved elsewhere told The
machinery was aided by a police force the win, the numbers are the worst Independent that guarding the vote in
that had been infiltrated by, Kawukumi result for NRM in Hoima. It is the worst Hoima was difficult because the district
(pests). historical performance. is big. They said it was easy to guard the
Asked to comment on allegations that The opposition also won a majority; vote and win in Bugiri and Arua because
the opposition engaged in cheating as four out seven LC-3 chairperson position they are small municipalities with about
Museveni put it, Semujju said Museveni in Hoima and swept the grassroots sub- 40 polling stations compared to Hoima

12 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
cover story
district which has 266 polling stations. Ahead of 2021, Siranda said, the Ndebesa said, “they know that they may
opposition is pushing for electoral law have won the votes in terms of the ballot
Tough times ahead reforms. They want an independent but in terms of political support it has
But Museveni is equally determined to Electoral Commission, clear been eroded.”
defeat the opposition. understanding of the role of the UPDF He said there are clear examples in
Opposition leaders that have spoken in the electioneering process, a special Egypt and Tunisia that winning at the
to The Independent since the Hoima police for the electoral process, and ballot may not be sustainable for a party
results have pointed to working as one allowing devices like mobile phones that has lost political support of the
unit, with one common agenda – to oust at polling areas. They also want people.
Museveni. presidential election results declared “If you win at the ballot yet the
Alaso said that key lesson learned at polling station level and then tallied political support at heart is with other
from Hoima is that whenever the at constituency level like is done in the people, there can be an accident of
opposition come together and pool neighboring Kenya. history and you will see real support
resources; they win. coming up.
She says come 2021 all efforts should Accident of history “This winning of the ballot business is
be put on a joint candidate to ensure Mwambutsya Ndebesa, a renowned not the will of the people that is echoed
Museveni leaves. pundit on elections and democracy and in the ballot box, it is the money that
“I am convinced Museveni’s time is lecturer at Makerere University told The the state has; it is political influence and
up,” she said, “God has a plan….as a Independent that the key lesson from intimidation they have that is echoed in
party we continue to mobilise ahead of Hoima is that winning is not about the the ballot paper,” he explained further.
2021.” numbers one gets at the ballot but is
Gerald Siranda, the Democratic Party about demonstrating political support Museveni can’t be defeated
Secretary General agrees with Alaso. for the fight. As the opposition continues to

“For us, that was a referendum and we First he said, winning is determined mobilise for 2021, Ndebesa says it
believe…this is a reflection that nobody by many factors – political and some is impossible to defeat Museveni at
can defeat Museveni without a joint organisational. That opposition could the ballot and “you get the Electoral
effort,” he told The Independent. have lost because they did not have Commission declaring you the winner.”
He said the NRM’s narrow win in money, had limited access to radio He said this has happened in Zimbabwe
Hoima; amidst their state machinery, and other media, had organisational under the late Robert Mugabe.
“shows that people have woken up”. challenges, no state machinery. The The solution, Ndebesa said is for the
He said “the regime did whatever it NRM had all these factors in their favor opposition to just continue mobilising
takes to win and use this as an insulator including the Electoral Commission, the people and create a political climate
to show that they are still in control”. Ndebesa said. where NRM knows that in terms of
“The country must worry because the But he said that by looking at the positive support it has declined.
base that Museveni has now is the gun figures, one could easily say the Once that is achieved, he said NRM
and the money,” he said. opposition is gaining ground in the and Museveni would be forced to
He said it is going to be tough in 2021 hearts of the people. negotiate on the political issues of the
because Museveni is going to be the “It does not matter whether you win land. “Negotiations in one case can
candidate himself. an election in Africa. What matters is a actually force the NRM regime to opt for
“If he has sampled us on an election demonstration or a feeling out there that a national dialogue and force Museveni
where he is not a candidate we expect there is political support for a side in a to step down,” Ndebesa said.
more than that when he is a candidate,” particular region,” he added.
he said. “The NRM people are not fools,”

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 13
news analysis

The Hoima election


How Museveni escaped being bitten by Bobi Wine
By Independent Team ensure Hoima remained pure yellow. attempted to raise local issues but

T
In the end, the opposition lost. they were quickly quashed. President
he loose coalition of opposi- According to many election observers Museveni took charge. Hoima even got
tion politicians, activists, and and politicians that The Independent a new police boss to oversee the elec-
campaign strategists under the spoke to, the opposition loss in Hoima tion.
People Power umbrella entered was largely down to some well-known And in the other camp, the FDC
Hoima district early to canvass support campaign issues; including that a char- which was fielding a candidate played
for the Forum for Deomcratic Change ismatic campaign amounts to nothing second-fiddle to music star turned
(FDC) candidate. They appeared in if it cannot get voters into the voting Kyadondo East MP Robert Sentamu
force and determined even as they lit- booth. And it does not matter what Kyagulanyi aka Bobi who was the de
erally walked into their opponent, the blocks the voter’s path. facto leader of the opposition campaign
ruling NRM’s killing field. It was an During the campaign, it had become in Hoima because he is believed to have
ambitious mission. clear that although Harriet Businge; a winning talisman.
Hoima has for years been a 100% the flag-bearer of the ruling NRM and But the opposition strategists must
yellow region, the colour of the ruling Asanansi Nyakato of the Forum for have realised that they were losing
NRM party with five out of five area Democratic Change (FDC) were the even before the official results were
MPs belonging to the ruling party. candidates in Hoima, they were incon- announced. Many of them, perhaps
The FDC winning the Hoima District sequential. The contest was clearly fully aware that low voter turnout usu-
Woman seat would have blotched they between the red of People Power and ally shows that voters believe their vote
yellow with unwanted red (the colour yellow of NRM. The main prize would does not matter tried to rally voters to
of the People Power group). It was not not be winning the Hoima race. The the booth.
surprising that the local politicians and race was about winning the right to Many opposition politicians and
government officials led by President claim national popularity. election observers asked why the mili-
Yoweri Museveni came out in force to In the NRM camp, local politicians tary and police in anti-riot gear, riding

14 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
news analysis
Armoured Personel Carriers and backed Many observers told The Indepen- is partly, due to the weaknesses of the
by water canon trucks were patrolling dent that whether by design or not, the NRM.”
the few Hoima town streets and the heavy military appears to have scared Museveni said the NRM in Hoima
many village paths. voters away from the polling booths. was divided, especially in Hoima town.
As the soldiers mounted road blocks According to many observers, the He is right but the NRM divisions
along major roads and frisked travellers other reason for the low voter turnout are nothing new. In 2010 the NRM in
in and out of Hoima, the Chairperson was that although this election hap- Hoima was split during the party pri-
of the Electoral Commission, Mugenyi pened because Hoima district had been mary contests that saw Kaahwa Tophas
Byabakama defended them saying they chopped into two almost equal halves, Byagiira defeat Beatrice Byenkya Nya-
were there to protect the voters. the district that retained the old name kaisiki who was the incumbent woman
To counter the heavy deployment, remains big and rural. It is bigger than MP. Byenkya threatened to tear up the
at campaign rally, after rally, clad in most districts such as Jinja, Masaka or NRM card and accused then Prime
red berets, head-kerchiefs and scarfs, Tororo. Although this area retained the Minister Henry Kajura who is also the
opposition politician lured the voters more urban areas, it is still more rural district NRM chairperson of unleashing
with music, star studded speakers on than most of Uganda, with very poor ineligible voters to defeat her. Similar
the podium, and fiery speeches. They infrastructure. It is here that voters were fights were seen within NRM in Hoima
emphasized the importance of each vot- expected to trek to 266 polling stations in 2005. The new thing is the emergence
er coming out to vote. spread in 69 parishes over 17 sub-coun- of the opposition.
Opposition stalwarts Kizza Besigye ties. In the last Hoima District Woman MP
and Amuriat of FDC, and Mugisha This is also Uganda’s oil territory and election, the winner and NRM candi-
Muntu of the Alliance for National in some cases, the voting areas were date Tophace Byagira Kaahwa gathered
Transformation (ANT), jostled for space
on the podium ruled by musicians, Jose
Chameleone, Ronald Mayinja.
Bobi Wine led them as they pleaded
with the voters to defy the heavy secu-
rity deployment and turnout to vote.
They attempted to bring to Hoima the
tricks they had deployed elsewhere,
including heavy reliance on youthful
and excitable boda boda riders.
“How will you guard the vote?”
Bobi Wine challenged the crowds that
thronged the rallies. His advice was for
the boda boda youth to deploy at each
polling station to guard the vote.
“That is how we did it in Kyadondo
East, Jinja Municipality East, Bugiri
Municipality and Arua Municipality,”
he told them. But Hoima does not have
as many boda boda as Jinja, Bugiri, or
Arua.
Then videos circulated of a few vot-
ers who dared go out to protect the new as voters had been moved to make 96,277 votes compared to a paltry 9,779
vote being beaten up and bundled onto way for oil production infrastructure votes for the FDC candidate Rehema
police cars to be detained, especially in such as roads. Now many of them were Nabisere. But there is more to the story
Kabaale sub-county. The FDC Deputy expected to walk long distances from because Harriet Businge, who has won
Secretary General, Harold Kaija, was polling stations. In Mparo, Kyabigam- this time, ran as an independent in 2016
among those arrested and beaten up. bire, and Kitoba sub-counties, many following squabbles within her party;
His boss, Patrick Oboi Amuriat, was villages were at least 2kms away from a the NRM. In a sign of how deep the
equally roughed up. polling station. divisions were in NRM, Businge got
In one of the videos, an assistant RDC Then there was the politics of oil 43,038 votes. There was also another
Richard Tabaro was captured whipping money and jobs, and shifting alliances. independent candidate, Ruth Akorae
a woman who later was identified as According to many commentators, this birungi who got just 1343 votes. That
a sister to the opposition candidate, is a new Hoima, and the narrow vote means that the two candidates allied
Asanansi Nyakato. margin between Businge and her chal- to NRM in 2016, Kaahwa and Businge,
lenger, Asanansi Nyakato is a sign of scooped 93% of the vote in 2016.
Fights within NRM its new face. The opposition is gaining One of the biggest misses of the
From that point, it became a wait and a foothold. The opposition candidate Hoima election is that Businge and Nya-
see affairs as voters stayed away from got 28,789 votes against the NRM candi- kato were not had enough. The podi-
voting in the morning. Momentum date’s 33,301 votes. That is a difference ums at their rallies were jammed with
appeared to increase as the day pro- of 4512 votes. President Museveni was many speakers – mainly men and from
gressed but by the time voting closed at unimpressed. In a statement after the faraway Kampala.
4pm; it was a relief because most poll- election, he said he doubts the opposi-
ing officials had been waiting without tion actually got those votes. The lost candidates
voters coming in. “We are auditing the voting to discov- That was unfortunate because
In the end voter turnout was just 43% er the cheating which is characteristic Businge and Nyakato are formidable
despite the high stakes campaign. of the opposition,” he wrote, “all this politicians who pursue their passions

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 15
news analysis
secretary despite her known loyalty to
FDC. She was once Secretary for Envi-
ronment in the FDC Youth League and
is currently the FDC’s Secretary for
Health Services and member of the FDC
national executive.
Meanwhile, the MP-elect, Businge, is
a woman with an imposing presence,
soft-spoken eloquence, and determined
spirit. She ran for the position in the
2016 and lost to Bagyira. President
Museveni gave her a consolation job as
RDC in 2018 and she rejected it.
Back then she was new in politics,
having revealed her ambition a year
before in 2015. So she possibly preferred
to continue running her Good Samari-
tan Community School in Hoima Town
while waiting for an opportunity to try
again in 2021. It came earlier than she
with zest. It would have been interest- expected.
ing to see how Banyoro choose between She was this time the perfect NRM
two establishment candidates who candidate in Hoima as she has high
happen to be for and against President
Museveni’s government. Many observers credentials in three critical areas; the
powerful Bunyoro kingdom, the ruling
Nyakato was the perfect anti-Museve- say it was a tense NRM party, and the business commu-
ni candidate and appeared to be a god-
send in a hostile region for the youthful election with nity.
A charismatic former teacher, Businge
wave of opposition led by Kyadondo many potential is an educationist at heart. Her school is
East MP Robert Sentamu Kyagulanyi;
the music superstar turned politician of flash points but known for giving bright children from
disadvantaged backgrounds opportuni-
People Power fame. general apathy. ty to study free. When she was minister
A graduate with a degree in social of education in the Bunyoro kingdom
work, Nyakato has worked as a pol- There were government, she was central to initi-
icy analyst in parliament and quit to allegations of ating the Bunyoro Kitara Royal Uni-
become a fighter for the rights of her versity. She was in this job for 10 years
kingdom and community affected by oil stuffing pre-ticked and chaired the kingdom’s Education
and gas developments. ballots into ballot Fund. But all this did not matter in the
She ran for the Hoima Woman par- end as the contest proved to be between
liamentary seat in 2011 and lost to Bya- boxes the red of People Power and yellow of
gira. Many expected her to try again in NRM.
2016 but she did not. The by-election Many observers say it was a tense
possibly looked like too good a chance election with many potential flash
to miss. points but general apathy. There were
She is a princess in the Bunyoro king- allegations of stuffing pre-ticked ballots
dom and she nurses grudges against into ballot boxes. One of the NGOs that
the NRM government that are shared in the municipality. had a visible Election Observer Mission
by many Banyoro. A true firebrand, Banyoro are also unhappy that they (EOM) in the election, the Citizens’
Nyakato wants Bunyoro to get special no longer have powerful area politicians Coalition for Electoral Democracy in
allocations from oil money and has led in Museveni’s government. They recall Uganda (CCEDU), said in a statement
protests and written petitions to parlia- the time when Bunyoro boasted former that throughout the polling day, it had
ment on these issues. prime minister and long-serving elderly noted numerous allegations and count-
The grudges are deep and, according politician, Muganwa Kajura and former er allegations of voter bribery as well as
to some observers, led Museveni to this powerful permanent secretary in the claims and counter claims of pre-ticked
year to snub the Empango celebrations Energy Ministry, Kabagambe Kaliisa. ballots by both FDC and NRM political
that mark the restoration of the king- On the campaign trail, Nyakato fed parties. CCEDU said, however, it was
dom. The Empango marked this year on into this anger. She vowed that if elect- unable to verify the allegations.
June 11 was doubly significant because ed she would speak up against prob- Note that CCEDU’s views or those
it marked the silver jubilee of Bunyoro lems of compensations over land the of any other observers would have
king, Solomon Gafabusa Iguru’s corona- government has taken from the Banyoro mattered. The main outcome was that
tion. Banyoro royal enthusiasts were not to develop oil production infrastructure, when the final results were announced
impressed that just two-weeks earlier the grievances of displaced people, and at 3am on Sept.27, President Museveni’s
in May, Museveni had spent days in the plight of Banyoro who remain poor candidate, Harriet Businge had won.
Hoima town at an NRM zonal leaders’ in spite of having the oil wealth. And Bobi Wine’s talisman had failed.
conference. Museveni and NRM leaders Nyakato is a smart politician who has
from eight districts that constitute Bun- previously negotiated the NRM-dom-
yoro Sub-region were at Kontiki Hotel inated Hoima election to become the
not far from the king’s Karuzika palace Hoima Municipality Council general

16 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
news analysis

People walk along a plaza at United Nations Headquarters Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. (Craig Ruttle/Associated Press)

African presidents at the UN


They dance delicately between painting a bleak a picture to
get help but not spark queries about money from last year
By Sarah Dilorenzo ment to divert money to security that had When asked why he hadn’t used his speech

A
been meant for education, health and other to talk about his country’s problems — that
t the modernist U.N. building on social programs. is, to do what we expect of a leader from a
New York’s East Side, “United Na- This is very different from the material poor country beset by violence — Bukele
tions” means the trappings of pro- that the big-ticket speakers bring to the said he had already spoken about them else-
tocol, the gravitas and pettiness of podium. For the leaders of the world’s most where. Doing so here, he said, would add
diplomatic relations, the grandiose speeches powerful nations, the General Assembly is a nothing.
and agendas of heads of state. But out in the chance to meet one another, often in swank “What should I have done? Tell fairy tales,
world — the place where the nations that New York hotels outside the vast riverside as other presidents who have presented
unite here actually are — the words evoke compound. For countries locked in pro- a version of El Salvador that didn’t exist?
something different. tracted conflicts, it’s an opportunity to face ‘We’ve fought poverty, inequality, we’ve
In the field, sure, there is still bureaucracy off against rivals and argue their case on a grown, people are fine, as well as health
and its maddening assault on language, but world stage. and education,’” he told reporters after his
there is less showmanship. In the field, to The dance the African leaders must per- speech. He might have been talking about an
many, the “United Nations” means water form each year is delicate. Paint too bleak a African nation.
wells and mosquito nets and vaccination picture, and rich countries, global funds and On Sept.27, Sierra Leonean protesters
drives. It means busloads of peacekeepers the U.N. system itself might wonder: What gathered outside the U.N. building while
and truckloads of cooking oil and rice. happened to the money we gave last year? their president spoke inside. They accused
One by one this week, African leaders But fail to lay out the very real challenges him of propagating that kind of fiction.
brought the field to the headquarters as they of people living through drought and rebel “We see the U.N. week as a hypocritical
spoke in front of a green marble backdrop attacks and crop failure and malaria, and stage for African leaders to set out their
and told stories of illiteracy and malnutri- they will fail to ignite the urgency needed to agenda to the international community,”
tion, about people living with HIV and with- solve those problems. said Joseph Kalokoh, who was among the
out electricity. President Idriss Deby of Chad lamented protesters. “Falsely!” a fellow protester add-
“As I speak, poverty thrives in the on Sept.25 that the “excitement in the air” ed. Inside, their president, Julius Maada Bio,
least-developed countries,” President Peter when countries adopted the “Agenda 2030” touted his country’s investment in educa-
Mutharika said on sept.26. And sub-Saharan plan to eradicate poverty four years ago tion, especially for girls, its provision of skills
Africa “has more people trapped in poverty “was not followed by far-reaching results training for young people, and its adoption
than any other part the world.” compared to the commitments that were of progressive sex-crimes legislation.
Guinean President Alpha Condé told made.” But he was careful to note, too, that But, he warned: “The threat of inequality,
world leaders that two-thirds of Africans the country had continued to invest in edu- lack of opportunity and exclusion of our
do not have access to electricity. Zambian cation despite an economic crisis. youth still persist.” In other words, it’s get-
President Edgar Lungu reminded them that The dance is not limited to African ting better, but we’re not there yet. And the
1 billion people still live in extreme poverty. nations. El Salvador’s President Nayib dance goes on.
And Burkina Faso’s president, Roch Marc Bukele addressed it with reporters after a
Christian Kaboré, warned that attacks by speech in which he urged the U.N. to over- Sarah DiLorenzo covers global affairs for The
Islamic extremists had forced his govern- haul how it holds the General Assembly. Associated Press.

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 17
news analysis

MP Robert Ssentamu Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine was tortured to near death by security operatives following the Arua Municipality by-election in September, 2018

Torture chambers
or safe houses?
ISO boss, Security minister face tough questions
By Ronald Musoke Elly Tumwine, to explain the continued However, an unknown number of

U
existence of safe houses where Ugandans suspects is said to be languishing in illegal
gandan human rights activists are allegedly being tortured by security detention facilities around the country.
say as much as they support the operatives. On Sept. 4, Gen. Tumwine confirmed
government in cracking down on “We human rights defenders are of the that there are several safe houses but could
criminals, the security agencies view that the government needs to be not reveal how many they are, where
must act within the confines of the law very tough on crime but it does not mean they are and how many people are being
while performing their duties. deprivation of due process of the law,” held there. Tumwine, however, noted that
While speaking at a recent engagement Sewanyana said, “You cannot subject although safe houses exist around the
with the Uganda Police, Prisons, the people to detention in ungazetted places country, they are not detention torture
Uganda Human Rights Commission because the minimum standards cannot be centres.
and several civil society organisations guaranteed there.” “They are designed to provide space
on experiences of existing initiatives to “Safe houses have no room in Uganda’s for the country to coordinate covert
address pre-trial detention in Uganda, criminal justice system,” he said, “If you intelligence operations, de-brief and
Dr. Livingstone Sewanyana, the executive want to detain anyone in a place other re-brief intelligence, as well as secure
director of the Foundation for Human than prison or police stations, issue and protect witnesses in danger,
Rights Initiative (FHRI) said unlawful pre- a statutory instrument declaring that especially criminals who have turned into
trial detention remains a big challenge in these places have been designated for witnesses,” he said.
Uganda. detention.” “Safe houses are places used to secure
MPs who sit on the human rights Sewanyana noted that out of 59, 723 persons who seek to be protected by
committee in Parliament recently put inmates across Uganda prisons, 28,324 the state for various security reasons; to
to task the Minister for Security, Gen. are persons held in pre-trial detention. manage hardcore criminals who require

18 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
news analysis
a long time to reform, especially those positions on these groups and started detention.
who have rescinded to criminality after harvesting the cream or hardcore criminals Dr. Livingstone Sewanyana of the
serving long prison sentences, and need but at the same time had to protect our Foundation for Human Rights Initiative
observation and surveillance,” he said. assets who gave us information about the (FHRI) insists that unlawful pre-trial
Tumwine said as government, they do criminals.” detention exposes suspects to human
not condone torture of anybody in any Kaka said it is at this time that safe rights violations such as torture,
place, but wants people to know that for houses became more prominent but noted deprivation of personal liberty, right
the sake of security, the government keeps that they are used to protect suspects to the health and adequate standard of
people who are afraid of harm. whose life is in danger or their assets are living.
But when members of the Parliamentary threatened.” Sewanyana said the causes of unlawful
Committee on Human Rights insisted on But Nicholas Opio, the executive pre-trial detention include but are not
visiting these illegal detention facilities, director of Chapter Four, Kampala- limited to arrest before investigation,
Tumwine said no legislator would be based civil liberties non-profit told The poor implementation of the mandatory
given access to the facilities. Independent that the Internal Security bail and lack of investigative capacity.
Tumwine told the committee that Organisation (ISO), the Chieftaincy of Sewanyana told The Independentthat in
Parliament needs to trust the government Military Intelligence (CMI) and the Joint the coming months FHRI will work with
because “the people in safe houses are Anti-Terrorism Task Force do not have the security agencies including the UPDF,
in good condition,” adding that they are legal mandate to run gazetted places of CMI, ISO to make them understand “that
also preferred places to live by some of detention. much as we are asking them to act tough
them including reformed criminals such as on crime, we also need to ensure that
Sobi(Paddy Serunjogi) who are reportedly there are measures that uphold the rights
helping ISO in fighting crime. of offenders.”
In yet another interview carried by Dr. Fred Sekindi, the head of research,
the government-owned Sunday Vision advocacy and lobbying at FHRI told The
on Sept. 22, Col. Kaka Bagyenda, the Independentthat when the writers of the
Internal Security Organization (ISO)
Director General denied claims by MPs Nobody allows 1995 Constitution insisted on protecting
the right to personal liberty, they had
Latif Ssebagala (Kawempe North, DP), you access to Uganda’s ‘horrible’ history in mind.
Kassiano Wadri (Arua Municipality) “The framers of our Constitution had
and Muhammad Muwanga Kivumbi safe houses so our history in mind in trying to fasten the
(Butambala County) that ISO runs safe the stories we right to personal liberty, in saying that
houses from which it tortures suspects. it would be violated if you are not kept
Kaka said some of the alleged victims get are normally in a place authorized by law, in saying
of torture who appeared before the from people who that you must have access to a lawyer, in
parliamentary Committee on Human saying that you must be told the reason
Rights and narrated harrowing tales “were have survived why you are being detained and in saying
paraded by some political elements who
want to achieve their own selfish motives
detention that you must not be detained longer than
48 hours; they thought of where we came
and that this would not derail him from from and wanted us not to go back.”
ensuring the security of the country.” “There is no other right in the
The ISO director admitted that ISO Constitution that attracts compensation
operates some safe houses but noted that when breached other than the right
they are for keeping suspects safe but not to personal liberty,” Sekindi told The
torturing them. Kaka said the politicians Independent, “ That is quite unique and
and lawyers were out of touch with reality I think they looked at where we came
and that time will be the best judge. from.”
“Those that are criticizing are out of Opio told The Independent on Sept. “They looked at the thousands of
touch with reality; some of them have been 26 that since safe houses are opaque by Ugandans under President Idi Amin who
part and parcel of the mess that was going nature, it is difficult to know how many were picked off the streets and thrown into
on,” he said, “When they hear the names are in operation. Still, he said, Chapter detention facilities without committing
Sobi they start getting worried.” Four has recorded up to 12 safe houses any offence.”
Bagyenda says safe houses have been scattered around Kampala, Wakiso and Sekindi says Uganda’s Constitution
around for many years adding that they Mpigi. clearly defines the places where Ugandans
are used for other purposes and not “Nobody allows you access to them or anybody within Uganda can be
torturing suspects. He said between 2017 so the stories you get are normally from detained. It is in a gazetted place and it is
and 2018, they initiated an operation code- people who have survived detention,” he up to the government to declare a place a
named “Dumisha Usalaama,” in which says. gazetted place for detention.
hundreds of criminals were arrested but “We know for example that ‘Block C’ Sekindi told The Independent that the
noted that six months later, 80% of these at the CMI headquarters in Mbuya, a purpose of gazetting places of detention
people (criminals) had returned to the Kampala suburb has an underground is important for the suspects and their
streets to terrorize the public. detention facility where close associates families.
Kaka said their investigations found of Kale Kayihura are being detained.” “If you are my relative, I know where to
out that the criminals were part of a well “We know this because somebody find you, if you are my lawyer, you know
networked syndicate including lawyers, came out of there.” where to find me or if the detained person
the judiciary and police officers noting that Opio told The Independent that Chapter needs a doctor, then they know where to
these had helped the criminals released. Four intends to sue the directors of the find them.”
“I said we could not sit like clowns and security institutions for running safe
watch this happen. We built intelligence houses or places that are not gazetted for

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 19
news analysis

Decongesting
Kampala-Entebbe road
Why the Expressway has not really eased the traffic
By Julian E. Sabiiti According to its designers, the Kampa- supposed to fly out and realised he did not

O
la-Entebbe Expressway conceived as a way have the two hours he needed to be at the
n the face of it, the Kampala-En- of reducing the bumper to bumper traffic airport in time to catch his flight.
tebbe Expressway has not lived up that is typical on the old Entebbe Road; a “I immediately knew driving was out
to its purpose – so far. Since Pres- narrow two partly dual carriage road that of the question with the traffic on Entebbe
ident Yoweri Museveni officially was first constructed in the 1960s colonial road. I simply got onto a bike,” he told The
launched it for public use it has attracted period. Despite numerous expansions, it has Independent.
very little traffic. proved impossible to ease traffic flow on this
The four-lane dual carriage expressway road, which is the second busiest in Uganda. Expressway relieves frustration
was designed to be a toll road with users At one point, the old Entebbe road was Then there is Christine Iyura, a mother of
paying to drive on it. But for 15 months reported to have 635,656 vehicles annually one who lives in Entebbe and works in Kam-
now it has been open to the public at no in 2011 or just 1700 vehicles daily. But that pala, who told The Independent about having
cost although the toll booths are in place at changed dramatically as the economic envi- to be on the road by 6am in order to hope-
Busega where it starts and at midpoints at ronment improved and international travel fully be at work by 8.30am. Spending quality
Kajjansi and Mpala which have exits. by locals and foreigners became more neces- time with her four year old or a school drop-
Isaac Menya, an engineer of the Uganda sary and common. off was out of the question as there simply
National Roads Authority (UNRA) told The The growth in volume of traffic left resi- was never enough time.
Independent that just 13,720 vehicles on aver- dents and travellers along the old Entebbe Iyura says the opening of the Kampa-
age use the road per day while the old Kam- road with stories of frustration over the la-Entebbe Expressway has eased things a
pala Entebbe road clocks in about 109,005 traffic jams. bit. She now uses the Expressway and the
vehicles per day. That is a whopping differ- Isaac Kwebiiha understands firsthand drive between Kampala and Entebbe that
ence of 95, 285 cars in daily traffic between what headache the Entebbe Road traffic used to take two hours now takes 40 min-
Kampala and Entebbe. Whether that is by causes for travellers to Uganda’s only inter- utes. That is partly because vehicles on the
design or accident, however, it might be national airport at Entebbe. He says he once expressway are expected to cruise at nothing
good news. got delayed at a meeting on a day he was less than 50km/h.

20 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
news analysis
She loves the expressway because it is it has for long been congested,” Muhumuza up handling totally different traffic.
less congested and does not have the gaping told The Independent in an earlier interview. Most travellers to Entebbe now realise
potholes that characterize the old road. The President Museveni signed into law the that the smartest way to get to Entebbe from
smooth quality of the road means one can tolling Bill. Since then, the tolling has been Kampala is to find one’s way to the North-
drive fast without worrying that much about delayed because of delays in the procure- ern Bypass, another expressway that forms
bumping into something. ment process for the tolling technology. That a ring around the northern part of Kampala
But Iyura says she still uses the old Enteb- could be resolved soon because, according to city. The set-up is such that connecting
be Road more because, although only a few the Commissioner for Public Infrastructure from the Clock Tower heavy traffic is quite
people have moved to the expressway, she at the Ministry of Works and Transport, convoluted and one has to make the deci-
feels like most people have moved there. Edward Ssimbwa, the procurement and sion to avoid it much earlier – before getting
“This road is no longer congested either,” installation of the technology can now go trapped in it.
she says of the old road. She says she now ahead. He told The Independent in July that Most public transporters might not make
drives to work within a maximum of one his Ministry has set end of the year as the the decision because it means taking a longer
hour and has ample time to drop her daugh- possible starting date for the tolling system. route. But many travellers in a hurry will
ter off at school and to get her into bed by jump on it because, once one hits the North-
8pm. According to Iyura, although the Kam- The jam continues ern Bypass, arrival to Entebbe is usually
pala-Entebbe expressway is less congested, For now the traffic jam nightmare remains less than 40 minutes. Of course a lot on how
it feels much the longer route at 51km com- for most travellers to Entebbe from Kampala quickly one reaches the Busega junction,
pared to the 40km on the old road. because most public transport has failed where the Entebbe-Kampala Expressway
President Museveni officially opened to switch to the expressway. That is partly starts.
the Entebbe Expressway to the public on because if the goal of the expressway was Since it opened, the expressway has
June 15, 2018. Construction of the Entebbe to decongest traffic between Entebbe and attracted many admirers.
expressway started in late 2012 and was Kampala, two emerging issues show that the Phillip Sozi says driving to the airport
completed in June 2018. Construction was designers went about their mission in a very using the expressway saves him 40 minutes
done by a Chinese company, China Com- roundabout way. to an hour of driving. Then there is also the
munication Construction Company and cost The Expressway appears to have avoided reality of Entebbe as a favoured lovely desti-
$476 million (Approx. Shs1 trillion) which, tackling the worst traffic congestion spots nation for Kampala city residents hoping to
according to some people, makes it the most which are between Kampala and Lweza laze-off the stress by relaxing in Entebbe; a
expensive road of similar scope in the east along the old Entebbe Road. Here the traffic cool Lake Victoria waterfront city with many
African region. It was financed in part by a crawls at just 34km/h north according to shore points and beaches.
loan from China through the Exim Bank of
China ($350 million) and in part by the Gov-
ernment of Uganda ($126 million). Old Kampala Entebbe road Kampala Entebbe Expressway
Initially the road launch was delayed
Road Total motorized Toll Plaza Total motorized
because installing the toll-payment technolo- traffic/day traffic/day
gy at the payment booths could not be done
South of Nyanama Rd 39,814
without parliament passing the law allowing Busega 3,390
construction and use of road tolls. South of Lubowa Terrace Rd 28,096
On May 16, 2019, Parliament passed the Kajjansi 5,310
South of Wankulukulu Rd 26,769
Roads Bill tabled in 2018. The Bill provides Mpala 5,020
for collection of road tolls which are sup- South of Sekiwunga Rd 14,326
posed to assist the government in paying Total 109,005 Total 13,720
off the loan used to construct the road. The
Expressway has three toll plazas and a total
of 16 toll gates. The government still has a Travel Time Survey. At that speed and Beach goers particularly crowd Entebbe
to procure a company to execute the toll- moments at peak hour when traffic stays road over the weekends. Many used to set
ing. The Ministry of Works and Transport still, one needs two hours to complete the off from Kampala at midday hoping to reach
together and UNRA also have to agree on 40km journey from Kampala to Entebbe Air- their destinations at 3pm. But that is also
the levy. port. The Travel Time Survey shows average about the same time travellers catching after-
There has previously been some criticism travel speeds in both directions on the Kam- noon flights at Entebbe International Airport
of the government’s decision to subject the pala Entebbe Expressway to be 108km/h. often chose to leave Kampala. The smarter
road to tolling as a mechanism of earning On the other hand, after Lweza, the Enteb- travellers learnt to start driving as early as
money for repayment of the loan from Chi- be traffic is fairly smooth, with most drivers 10am to avoid mishaps. Many got caught up
na. managing an average 57km/h in both direc- in traffic jams.
Fred Muhumuza, a member of the Minis- tions south of Lweza on the old Kampala Diana Ashaba, a resident of Munyonyo
try of Works committee that negotiated the Entebbe road, according to the same survey. who used to loath the congestion whenever
Entebbe expressway repayment mechanism That makes venturing to the expressway she drove to Entebbe over the weekend is
says it is dangerous to ask for a fee from the almost pointless. It is not clear if this is by excited about the expressway. She says she
road users as a way of repaying the loan. design or by accident. now drives to her favourite waterfront resort
He says it means the road users will have Logically, it appears, the designers of the in Entebbe in just 40 minutes. She says driv-
to pay high tolls in order to pay the loan expressway should have focused directly ing on the smooth road gallows her peace of
within the specified 13-year period. In his on easing the traffic between Clock Tower mind too.
view, the government should repay the loan in Kampala city and Lweza which is about The government plans to build a Southern
and charge users a lower toll over a longer 25km. But that, it appears, just might have Bypass that will make a ring around the
period. spread-out the problem without solving it. southern section of Kampala city. That might
“The major aim of constructing the Instead, the Entebbe expressway was possibly bring more relief to the traffic with-
expressway was to provide an alternative designed to run almost parallel but away in Kampala’s Central Business District.
route for Entebbe-Kampala road users since from the old Entebbe Road. Each road ends

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 21
NEWS ANALYSIS

Polar bears depend on Arctic sea ice. FloridaStock/Shutterstock

Not convinced on the need


for urgent climate action?
Here’s what happens to our planet
between 1.5°C and 2°C of global warming
By Rachel Warren and Sally Brown work just how much sticking to 1.5°C other out of sync.

M
matters. The more we destabilise our climate,
any numbers are bandied Climate breakdown is already the greater the risk to human societies
around in climate harming livelihoods, cities and and ecosystems. Even at 1.5°C of global
emergency discussions. ecosystems. From heatwaves and heating, tough times are in store for the
Of them, 1.5°C is perhaps droughts to cyclones and floods, living planet. But the space between
the most important. At the Paris devastating extreme weather events are 1.5°C and 2°C of heating is a crucial
Agreement in 2015, governments more frequent, more intense and more battleground, within which risks to
agreed to limit global warming to well unpredictable than they would be in humanity and ecosystems amplify
below 2°C and to aim for 1.5°C. By the absence of global heating. Warming rapidly.
2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on and acidifying oceans are causing
Climate Change – the UN body tasked severe coral bleaching to occur twice as Climate battleground
with relaying the science of climate often as in 1980, leaving many unable At 1.5°C of warming, about one in
breakdown to the world – had made to recover. twenty insect and vertebrate species
worryingly clear in a special report Shrinking habitats are increasingly will disappear from half of the
how much graver the consequences of forcing wildlife into conflict with area they currently inhabit, as will
the higher number would be. human settlements. Increasing around one in ten plants. At 2°C, this
Together with the University of wildfires are damaging vital carbon proportion doubles for plants and
Queensland’s Ove Hoegh-Guldberg stores in North America and Siberia, vertebrates. For insects, it triples.
and colleagues around the world, we while the advance of spring is Such high levels of species loss will
have explored in newly published throwing species who depend on each put many ecosystems across the world

22 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
NEWS ANALYSIS

at risk of collapse. We rely on healthy chance of it remaining that way. But heading for 2.9°C to 3.4°C of warming.
ecosystems to pollinate crops, maintain at 2°C, some Arctic summers will be By this point, many dangerous tipping
fertile soil, prevent floods, purify ice-free. Polar bears and other species points could be crossed, leading to
water, and much more. Conserving who depend on frozen sea ice to eat rainforest die-back, deadly heatwaves,
them is essential for human survival and breed will be left homeless and and significant sea-level rise. Half of all
and prosperity. struggling to survive. insect and plant species are projected
Between 1.5°C and 2°C, the number Studies show that at 1.5°C, we to disappear from more than half of the
of extremely hot days increases could expect one metre of sea-level area they currently inhabit, potentially
exponentially. Some parts of the world rise in 2300, with an extra 26cm at causing widespread ecosystem collapse
can also expect less rain and more 2°C. However, between these two and threatening organised human
consecutive dry days, while others levels of global heating, the risk of civilisation itself.
will receive more extreme floods. the Greenland and West Antarctic Limiting warming to 1.5°C will save
Collectively, this will place agriculture, Ice Sheets starting a slow process of the global economy trillions of dollars
water levels and human health under decline dramatically increases. For in the long run, even accounting for
severe stress – especially in southern the Greenland sheet, this is likeliest to the seemingly gargantuan cost of
African nations, where temperatures happen at 1.6°C, with the Antarctic ice transitioning our energy systems. But
will increase faster than the global sheet’s tipping point hovering not far this is more than just an economic or
average. The Mediterranean is another above this mark. academic issue – it’s a matter of life
key area at particular risk above 1.5°C If these ice sheets melt, seas could and death for millions of humans and
of heating, where increased drought rise by up to two metres over the next animal species, and a severe threat to
will alter flora and fauna in a way two centuries. These rises could lead the well-being of billions.
without precedent in ten millennia. to millions more people being exposed Tackling climate breakdown is perhaps
At 1.5°C of warming, we could to flooding each year. Many of those the tallest order humanity has ever
expect to lose between 70% and 90% living in coastal cities, deltas, or small faced, and there is no simple solution.
of our coral reefs. While this would be islands will be faced with little option The only way forward is accepting that
catastrophic for the millions of ocean but to build upwards or relocate. we must fundamentally change the way
creatures and human livelihoods these we live our lives. It won’t be an easy
beautiful ecosystems support, there Way off track transition, but there is no alternative
would still be a chance of recovery in The impacts of climate breakdown if we are to preserve the well-being of
the long term if oceans warm slowly. are accelerating. The planet has humans, wildlife, and ecosystems. The
But at 2°C of warming, we could kill warmed by 1.1°C since 1850-79, but coming year is vital, and there’s too
99% of reefs. To be clear, this is a line 0.2°C of this warming happened much at stake not to act now.
that once crossed cannot be easily between 2011 and 2015 alone. The last
uncrossed. It could mean the extinction four years were the warmest in the
of thousands of species. global temperature record. Source: theconversation
Arctic sea ice has been a constant on Despite knowing all the above, many
our planet for hundreds of thousands, country-level commitments and action
perhaps millions of years. If we limit are nowhere near enough to limit
global heating to 1.5°C, there’s a 70% warming to 2°C, let alone 1.5°C. We’re

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 23
interview

Total E&P frustrated but


willing to go on with project
On Aug.29, Tullow’s proposed sale and
purchase agreement stipulating the US$900
million farm down to its Joint Venture Partners,
Total and CNOOC, terminated. This news
was followed a week later, on Sept. 05, with
Total’s suspension of technical activities on its
flagship pipeline project—the EACOP. Pierre
Jessua, the General Manager of Total E&P
Uganda Ltd explained to The Independent’s
Ronald Musoke why Total took this decision.

What exactly led to the termination and collapse of

T
Tullow Oil’s farm-down deal?
here were a lot of discussions with the Uganda
Revenue Authority (URA) right from the
beginning of Tullow’s transaction, but these
basically came down to two main subjects.
One was on Capital Gains Tax—the tax that the
seller must pay and the other on issues regarding
the transfer of the ‘tax deductibility” associated with
past costs/investments. To cut a long story short, as
far as the CGT is concerned, despite the fact there
was a fundamental disagreement on the nature of
the transaction and therefore the amount of tax to
be paid, in order to allow the matter to be resolved
and the project to move forward, our CEO (Patrick
Pouyanné) met H.E President Yoweri Museveni and
there was an agreement for the buyers to supplement
the amount of tax that the seller accepted to pay in
order for the government to receive the amount it
considered payable. As part of this agreement,
there was an understanding from Total
that the buyers were inheriting the rights
and obligations associated with the
percentage participating interest being
acquired from the seller, Tullow. This
inheritance of rights and obligations
from our perspective was to include
the pre-development costs associated
with the interest being acquired
that had been spent in the past by
Tullow in developing Uganda’s
oil resources. We understood we
would inherit those costs since
we were reimbursing Tullow
these expenditures. Of the US$
900 million payable to Tullow,
there was US$617 million which
was recognized by both the

24 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
interview
government and the URA as expenditure joint venture partners have their own that even before the sale was concluded,
linked to the oil exploration and frustrations. But we are business people the government gave you the green
appraisal activities—or costs which are working all over the world and we light to operate Tullow’s acreage. What
recoverable. So, we needed to recognize have to continue to discuss and explain is the status of operatorship of Tullow’s
that the US$ 617 million is “cost oil” things. Most importantly, we must learn acreage now?
or in other words investment which is from what didn’t work in the way of There were some agreements reached
recovered (as per the Production Sharing presenting and discussing the recent amongst ourselves and the government
Contracts) via the sale of oil once issues. as far as the operatorship is concerned
production starts. In order to ensure and they were conditioned on the
this investment is recovered, the US$617 How would youdescribe the Lake farm-down, therefore, Tullow retains
million must also be tax deductible Albert Oil Development project you its existing participating interest and
for the purposes of the income tax have been nurturing since 2012? operatorship role.
calculation, otherwise, only 70% of the The oil in the Lake Albert region is a
US$617 million is recovered once tax mature discovery.We are talking about It appears the oil companies have
is applied to the revenues earned from 6bn plus barrels of oil although we are suddenly based their FID on the
sale of the cost oil. Therefore, it was talking more about 1bn barrels of oil that outcome of the Tullow farm-down.
not a favour which was requested or can be turned into what we call reserves Why has this been the case?
exemption but rather the application of When you make a final investment
a legitimate principle of the agreements decision, it means that you have a
we signed with the government to project where the board of the investing
ensure that costs which are recoverable company has looked and assessed
are not taxed. Total is happy to pay all several parameters. You need to de-risk
the taxes that we must pay.
We do not play the technical issues, the commercial
issues and many others. Once you
Some sections of the Ugandan
public say the oil companies are
politics. The way have ticked all the boxes, each of
the investment boards then takes a
using “bullying tactics” to make the Total behaves decision. I would say Tullow’s farm-
government submit and give you what
you want? and does its down is not a goal in itself but linked
to the financing of the project. That is
We do not play politics. The way
Total behaves and does its business is
business is not why in 2017, Tullow looked at a partial
farm-down of their stake in Uganda. I
not in any way done to pressurize the in any way done would still say the Tullow deal was an

to pressurize the
government. This is purely business important element. However, you cannot
logic and adhering to a principle of summarize the final investment decision
not taxing investments. Total is a listed
company and we must be disciplined
government is the only requisite to the Tullow deal. It
is the overall environment of the project
with our expenditures when we don’t that the JV partners are looking at. The
have clear visibility of the schedule of project is large and complex because
our activities. you have various upstream activities,
you have a pipeline and you have two
Is it true Total ‘suspended activities’ on countries involved and by definition it
the EACOP following the termination following our demonstration that it is means that it is encompassing various
of Tullow’s farm-down? recoverable. It is a significant volume of issues that we try to progress in
Total has been at the forefront of the oil when you contextualize it with other collaboration with the authorities.
EACOP from Day-1. We have spent so discoveries from around the world. This
far about US$ 325 million and we have project has a refinery component and a Lastly, given the current circumstances
been pushing everything we could pipeline to transport crude oil to Tanga surrounding Uganda’s oil project, are
without any financial contribution for the international market; so, it is a big you able to put a date upon which the
from the potential shareholders (of project which requires a lot of (financial JV partners will agree on FID?
the pipeline project). However, we and human) resources to develop it and I know so well that there are many
could not continue to perform further Total has strongly and steadily been expectations and the goodwill from
technical activities without realizing working with its partners—CNOOC everybody to regain momentum and to
a breakthrough on a shareholding and Tullow to realise it. We have made redefine dates but, unfortunately, what
agreement and the legal framework a lot of progress as far as the technical I can say today is that it is absolutely
for the pipeline. The reality is that we elements are concerned; for example, premature to start talking about a final
had to suspend technical activities of we have made engineering studies and investment decision date. I would say
the pipeline but of course we kept the acquired land. We have performed we need a little bit of patience; we need
commercial, legal and contractual teams the environmental and social impact to work among ourselves, discuss with
mobilized to discuss and work with our assessment (ESIA) for the Tilenga project the partners and build up a scheme
partners and the governments. and we are in the final stages of the and share it with the government. I am
ESIA for the pipeline in Uganda. A lot sure that we will be able to come back
How frustrating is it for you to of activity has gone on so far to be in with the appropriate dates, but I am
know that after two-and-half years’ a situation to take a final investment not keen at all to start giving any kind
negotiations, the Tullow farm-down to decision (FID). of assumptions and speculation at this
you has been terminated? stage. It is too premature and we need to
Definitely all the parties are frustrated. At one point, Tullow’s US$ 900 million be patient.
I must respect and recognize that the farm-down to you (and CNOOC)
government has its frustrations and the looked like a done deal to the extent

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 25
Global hotel brands
scramble for African market
Growing middle class, growing economies and growing
FDI attracts investments in the hotel industry

N
By Isaac Khisa middle class, growing economies and have lined up approximately 20,000 and
increase in foreign direct investments. 15,000 rooms, respectively, to be opened
early six years ago, 18 This comes as Sub-Saharan Africa econ- in the few years to come.
countries in Africa did not omy continue to show signs of robust Radisson Group Hotels and Hilton
have any global branded recovery, with the Gross Domestic Prod- Worldwide, which currently have 16,230
hotel as prospective own- ucts forecast to grow 2.8 this year, accord- and 11,289 rooms in Africa, plans to add
ers and operators did not ing to the World Bank. approx. 10,000 and 11,000 rooms, respec-
see business opportunities. Similarly, FDI inflow into the continent tively. Other global brands planning to
But this has now reduced to only five is on an upward trend, recording an 11% increase their operations on the continent
countries – Central African Republic, Er- increase to $46bn in 2018. include; Intercontinental Hotel, Best
itrea, Gambia, Liberia and Somalia – on Latest data from STR, an American firm Western Hotels and Resorts, and Hilton
the continent. that tracks supply and demand data for Garden Inn.
Hotel brands such as Accor, Marriot, multiple market sectors including hotel Some of the cities that the hotel brands
Hilton, Sheraton, Radisson Blue, and City industry, shows that Accor and Marriott are investing in include; Cape Town,
Blue are now casting their nets wider that leads the hotel rooms in Africa, with Kampala, Lusaka, Abidjan, Nairobi, Abu-
on the continent owed to the growing 24,512 and 24,508 rooms, respectively, ja, Addis Ababa and Cairo. Currently,

26 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
business
Africa has 5,000 hotels.
On Sept. 24, Accor Hotels that current- Average daily room rate in various African countries
ly operates 164 hotels across 22 countries
in Africa, signed a partnership deal with
the Compagnie Hôtelière et Immobilière
du Congo (CHIC), owned by leading
Democratic Republic of Congo conglom-
erates, to open Novotel properties in the
capital, Kinshasa, and its two major min-
ing centres in the south, Lubumbashi and
Kolwezi.
The partnership will introduce 337 keys
to Sub-Saharan Africa’s largest country.
Mark Willis, CEO, Accor Middle East &
Africa, said “With Africa tipped as the
next global market and DRC one of the
continent’s fastest-expanding economies
with an affluent middle class, the time is
right to introduce our flagship midscale
lifestyle brand in three major growth
markets.” opment Director at STR revealed during which is calculated by multiplying a
The hotel brand already operates two the Africa Hotel Investment Forum held hotel’s average daily room rate (ADR) by
properties under the upscale Pullman in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Sept. 24 that its occupancy rate, has sharply declined
brand in DRC – the Pullman Kinshasa the leading hotel’s scramble for the Afri- in Kampala, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam,
Grand Hotel and the Pullman Grand Kar- can continent is attributed to the fact that Victoria Falls, Mauritius, Casablanca,
avia in Lubumbashi. there has been low hotel room supplies. Algiers, Khartoum and Abidjan, owed to
City Blue hotels with operations in “There were no enough rooms in these a combination of factors including high
Kenya, Uganda, and Zambia, plans to cities particularly from international hotel supplies, insecurity, mineral discov-
open doors to the Tanzanian market in brands compared with particularly devel- eries , among others in various markets.
Dar es Salaam. The hotel group plans to oped part of the world,” he said.
open the 65 bedroom facility in March “There is a growing middle class, KEANE forecasts 700 new hotel
2020. growing connectivity, growing econo- restaurants and bars in Africa
The Hotel is also eyeing at having mies across various markets, available of
properties in Arusha, Mwanza, and Zan- natural resources and inflow of Foreign Meanwhile, a new study by the food
zibar as well as Democratic Republic of Direct Investments on the continent, and and beverage (F&B) strategy & design
Congo. the global brands wants to be in these firm KEANE, forecasts that 700 new hotel
Similarly, the InterContinental Hotels markets because they see opportunities restaurants and bars will be opened in
Group, has signed a Master Development for growth.” Africa by 2025, in internationally branded
Agreement (MDA) with Aleph Hospital- However, approximately 17 cities hotels.
ity to develop ten franchise hotels across including Nairobi, Durban, Cape Town, The prediction is based on KEANE’s
IHG’s portfolio of brands in midscale and Windhoek, Johannesburg, Abuja, Lagos, research into 410 F&B venues across the
upscale segments. Accra, and Casablanca are experiencing a 100 internationally branded hotels in the
The MDA will see IHG expand its pres- medium room occupancy rates of 50-65% major 10 cities in Africa and W Hospital-
ence in Africa across key countries such due to high hotel supplies. ity Group’s authoritative hotel develop-
as Kenya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Morocco, Kampala, Kigali, Lusaka, Victoria Falls, ment pipeline report.
Algeria and Ghana. The addition of new Bamako and Conakry have room occu- Stefan Breg, Group Strategy Director of
hotels, as a part of the agreement, will pancy rates of below 50%. KEANE said: “Over the last 70 years,
solidify IHG’s position as one of the lead- On the other hand, Mauritius, Cape the restaurant market internationally
ing hospitality players in the MEA region Verde, Cairo, Seychelles, Alexandria, has been built on three factors; growing
and will strengthen IHG’s portfolio in Marrakech, Dakar, Agadir are experi- towns and cities, broad distribution of
the continent, across six brands including encing high room occupancy rates above income and a growing middle class.
Crowne Plaza, voco, Hotel Indigo, Holi- 65%. When you take into account that the
day Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Stay- In terms of rates, cities such as Sey- anticipated rate of urbanization, expected
bridge Suites. chelles, Mauritius, Addis Ababa, Khar- across Africa, will outpace India and Chi-
With a portfolio including nine hotels toum, Abuja, Accra and Marrakech are na in the next 25 years, Africa will become
across five countries on the continent and fetching higher average daily room rate of one of the world’s most vibrant dining
plans to expand to 35 hotels across the US$150 compared with other cities on the scenes.”
MEA region by 2025, Aleph Hospitality is continent. He said Africa’s hotels could follow dif-
a pioneering hotel management company Kampala, Nairobi, Kigali, Dar es ferent routes forward for F&B. First, the
offering a results-driven alternative to Salaam, Lagos, Conakry, Casablanca and European/North American model of 2-3
traditional hotel management models. Cairo hotel facilities are fetching between F&B venues per hotel with F&B playing a
The Dubai-based company manages US$101 and US$150 average daily room secondary role to the marketing of rooms.
hotels directly for owners and leverag- rate. The alternative was the Middle Eastern/
es its in-depth market knowledge and However, Durban, Johannesburg, Dubai model of four or more venues,
extensive experience of working with the Windhoek, Cape Verde, Agadir and Alex- a proportion of which, are operated in
world’s largest hotel companies to gener- andria are fetching an average daily room association with third parties; a scenario
ate superior returns for hotel owners. rate of below US$100. where F&B plays not only a strategic role
Thomas Emanuel, the Business Devel- Revenue per available room (RevPAR), but also a significant source of income.

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 27
business

Lipimile (2-L) and Okilangole (2-R) displaying copies of the COMESA Competition Commission Guidelines, 2019.

COMESA sees more business


mergers, acquisitions
Executives urge ‘sleeping giants’ to quickly
enact competition law for job creation
By Julius Businge energy, banking and financial services and ing to engage them to speed up the process.

T
ICT. He said the commission hopes to regis- However, experts say competition
here are mega opportunities that ter more mergers and acquisition in the near regimes should be designed and implement-
mergers and acquisitions are creating future. ed in such a way that does not discourage
within the Common Market for East- mergers and acquisitions because of the fees/
ern and Southern Africa (COMESA). Boosting foreign direct investment costs that come with these transactions.
Statistics from the Zambian-based COME- George K. Lipimile, the director and Mwemba said that COMESA regional
SA Competition Commission (CCC) that chief executive officer for CCC said the new merger control regime provides an import-
oversees transactions in 21 African member development comes at the time the world ant tool for easing costs of compliance and
states shows that more than 220 transac- is increasingly recording fewer new invest- promoting confidence for investors in the
tions have been notified to the commission ments (greenfield investments) because region which is partly why the number of
between 2013 and July 2019. investors now find it easy to acquire or mergers and acquisitions has increased over
Out of this total, conditions have been merge with an existing entity. the years in the bloc.
attached to, 17 transactions to avert He, however, said that there is empirical He, however, said the varying instruments
anti-competitive behavior and safeguard evidence that transnational corporations of FDI may have different implications for
interest of the public during the post-merger are more likely to invest in a country where the competition landscape which requires
period. there is a robust competition law and policy. the competition authorities and the media to
Willard Mwemba, the officer in charge of He said this legal framework ensures a remain vigilant
mergers and acquisitions at CCC told The high level playing field and certainty for Patrick Okilangole, the chairperson of the
Independent at a recent workshop in Nairobi, business growth. Board of Commissioners of the COMESA
Kenya that the new developments signals “A good and robust competition law and Competition Commission also supplement-
increasing attractiveness of the region as an its constituent merger control regime is ed on the views of Mwemba and Lipimile
investment destination, both within and out- instrumental to attracting FDI,” he said. saying competition legal regimes stir coun-
side COMESA. Four countries out of the 21 member states try competitiveness in terms of business in
He said the total turnover in the bloc’s in COMESA have been labeled ‘sleeping trading blocs.
transactions involving mergers and acquisi- giants’ for being slow on enacting competi- “A recurrent empirical result found in sev-
tions from inception amounts to more than tion laws. eral of our member states suggest that firms
$110bn. These are; Uganda (which is in advanced facing more competitive pressure are more
Most transactions reviewed by the com- stages), Somalia, Eritrea and Libya. likely to have introduced new products and
mission involved parties with operations in The CCC executives said these countries upgraded existing product lines,” he said.
Kenya, Zambia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe and are missing out on economic opportunities He added that firms usually acquire many
Uganda, in various sectors – construction, brought about by mergers but are continu- of their inputs, for example, transportation,

28 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
business

Next big thing at NSSF


energy, construction, and financial and
professional services in local markets when
competition laws and policies are at play.
He explained that once upstream markets
lack competition, goods and services neces-
sary for production cannot be provided at Byarugaba pegs future performance
competitive prices and, as a result, firms may
be less competitive than their foreign rivals
and less likely to compete globally.
on innovation, businesses
He also added that competition has pos-
itive effects on innovation, productivity, By Julius Businge arrangement that is currently running at the

T
foreign direct investment and economic Fund.
growth. he National Social Security Fund “Let’s go slow; people should come on
He also said that competition laws lead Managing Director, Richard seamlessly and spontaneously as they gain
to competitive domestic markets which are Byarugaba, has spoken out on his confidence in the fund,” he said.
necessary to realize the benefits of trade. plan to grow the Fund in the coming He also said mid-term access should not
Indeed, in 2014, in Zambia, the entry of year. only apply to the members under voluntary
Dangote Cement in 2015 led to an immedi- This comes as the Fund declared a loss of contribution but to all that have saved with
ate decline in average retail cement prices Shs402bn and a lower interest rate payable to the NSSF.
from $12.19 in 2014 to $6.96 in the second members for FY2018/2019. On government borrowing form the
half of 2015. Dangote has further plans to Byarugaba, who spoke to The Independent Fund, he said, this is not new given that
takeover cement manufacturing giant PPC on the sidelines of the 7th Annual Members the government has been doing it through
which has operations in South Africa, Zim- Meeting held at Serena Hotel on Sept.27, treasury bonds – which is internationally
babwe, Rwanda, Burundi, and DRC. This said the new plan rotates around the recognized – and issued by Bank of
is expected to lead to further reduction of company’s innovation strategy set to be Uganda. But he said that they might have
cement prices in the region. implemented internally and externally. to review this clause and say for anybody
Externally, he said the pension firm has intending to borrow from them should go
Implementation challenges a fund where it is paying $20, 000 (about with some guarantee that the money will
Lipimile said that implementation of com- Shs74million) to start-up companies with be paid back; or with something similar to
petition laws and policies face many chal- good ideas but failing to come to the a bond.
lenges including protectionism which has market. “It should be expedited fast because it is
continued to be a biggest dagger to many “This money will help them to test and good for members and the economy,” he
economies. pilot the market and if those ideas are said.
As such, economies continue to face bad scalable, we will fund them,” he said. Speaking as the chief guest at the
market practices including firm collusion, Internally, he said, the fund plans to scale meeting, Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija,
market foreclosure, and discrimination up the awarding of good performing staff said the government’s wish is to have the
against new entrants—practices which also who come up with best ideas to grow the NSSF Act amended by end of this year to
limit firms’ competitiveness and affordabili- fund and improve its performance. make it flexible for members to deal with
ty of key consumer goods. He said, the best idea would be paid their savings and for the Fund to grow
“Competition laws are (therefore) here to Shs100million and that the awarding faster.
promote and protect the process of competi- ceremony would go on quarterly.
tion,” Okilangole said. “We have already run our first Minister’s lowest rate
He added that competition rules are not competition internally and generated Kasaija announced 11% interest to be
meant to punish large companies on account four ideas which we are developing,” paid to members for FY2018/2019, lower
of their size or commercial success but are Byarugaba said, adding that the new plan than the 15% declared in FY2017/2018.
there to create a level playing field for all would not only contribute to the Fund’s The new rate was also lower than that
business players in the market. good performance but also boost economic recorded in each of the last financial years
Going forward, Lipimile and Okilangole development. The Fund’s Board Chairman, over a seven year period.
said the countries must strengthen competi- Patrick Kaberenge, said the future The Fund paid interest rate of 11.23% for
tion laws and policies to be able to address performance is linked to the proposed 2016/17, 12.3% for 2015/16, 13% for 2014/15
challenges of high unemployment and pov- amendment to the NSSF Act. and 11.23 in 2012/13.
erty levels. “The way this bill will be handled can Officials attributed the lower interest
be a good deal or bad for the future of rate to equity investment class and foreign
Key facts and figures the Fund,” he said citing issues of taxing exchange losses that the Fund incurred
 According to CCC data, a review of benefits, government borrowing, mid-term during the year. This meant that during the
cartels and collusion cases in developing access and mandatory contribution. year, the equity class experienced loss of
countries show a staggering effect of For instance, on taxing retirement share value for companies where the Fund is
anticompetitive practices on both pro- benefits for those accessing their savings at a shareholder across the East African Stock
ducers and consumers, with prices being the age of 55, Kaberenge said that this issue markets.
inflated up to 25-30%. has remained difficult for them to explain to
 CCC has over the years assessed the members and that many have failed to Asset base
approx.220 merger transactions understand it. He said it should be left out. In FY2018/2019, the Fund’s assets under
 Over $30 million has been received in “If something is not broken, why do you management increased by 13% from
notification fees by CCC fix it,” he said. 9.9trillion to Shs11.3trillion driven by
 CCC has used this income to partly offer On mandatory contribution of increased contributions and interest incomes.
technical assistance and capacity build- companies/firms employing below five It invested its money in three asset classes
ing to member states people, this too, he said should be left out or – fixed income (79%), equity (15%) and real
be left to fall under voluntary contribution estate (6%).

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 29
business
BANKING TECH
Afreximbank president wins an award Nigerian firm acquires
mit” on the sidelines of the United Nations Kenya’s iHub

N
General Assembly on Sept. 27, celebrates
leadership for and from the African conti- igerian tech innovation
nent in pursuit of the 2030 UN Agenda for centre CcHub has acquired
Sustainable Development and the African Kenyan technology incubator
Union’s Agenda 2063. iHub for an undisclosed sum.
Constance Newman, Chairman of ARDN This is the second change of
and a former United States Assistant Secre- ownership for iHub which was in 2017
tary of State for African Affairs, said Prof. acquired by venture capital firm BSP
Oramah was selected as the 2019 recipient Fund LLC, according to Business Daily.
in recognition of his exemplary leadership “CcHUB’s mandate is to build a
in the fields of trade, trade finance and eco- formidable innovation ecosystem with
nomics, and as a scholar and prolific writer. a deeply rooted network, cultivating
Afreximbank President Prof. Benedict Oramah “As the leader of Afreximbank, you have strategic partnerships and practical
displays the 2019 African Renaissance and Diaspora not only overseen the strengthening of trade industry know-how that can support
Network Private Sector Development Award activities throughout Africa, you have also entrepreneurs in building thoughtful,

P
played pivotal roles in the application of the relevant and scalable solutions.
rof. Benedict Oramah, President Bank’s expertise to support humanitarian We believe we can only do this if
of the African Export-Import Bank emergency relief programmes,” she said. we are intentional and proactive in
(Afreximbank), has received the In an acceptance speech, Prof. Oramah how we scale and grow our reach,
2019 African Renaissance and Dias- said that he saw the award as a call to action not only across Africa, but also
pora Network Private Sector Development to do more to support Africa’s effort to internationally,” CcHUB CEO Bosun
Award. The award, presented by the African achieve economic growth, arguing that Afri- Tijani, said.
Renaissance and Diaspora Network (ARDN) ca needed economic independence as politi- CcHub is using the acquisition as a
during the “Africa: Open for Business Sum- cal independence was not enough. pivot into its Africa-wide expansion.

INSURANCE CSR

Insurance broker, Marsh Vivo energy donates to Kiswa Primary School


moves to attack cyber risk

A
s the world continues to register
developments in information tech-
nology, insurance broker Marsh
Uganda Limited is on the ground
to help its clients understand cyber risks.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting
for its clients held in Kampala on Sept.26,
Alex Mukasa, the company’s managing
director, said that they have built capacity
globally in insurance and general business
risk management to aid their clients’ man-
agement a range of business deadlocks.
Globally, the company records over
$15bn in annual turnover. It has over 70,
000 experts in different fields in over 130
countries.
“As insurance brokers, we are also in
wider risk management,” Mukasa said.  He
said businesses should take on risk head-on Vivo officials pose for a group photo with pupils and other guests at the handover ceremony.

V
by looking at cyber and other risk expo-
sures and design strategies to mitigate that. ivo Energy Uganda, the dis- over the materials to the school manage-
For instance, he said that where you have tributor of Shell branded fuels ment on Sept.26.
one ethical hacker, there is probably anoth- and lubricants has donated 400 They said the donation cements their
er 100 or 1000 unethical trying to disrupt school text books and sanitary belief that by empowering schooling
business. towels worth Shs15million to Kiswa Pri- going children they would contribute to
According to Cybercrime Magazine, mary School in Bugoloobi, Kampala, as having a future generation of leaders.
it is estimated that cybercrime will cost part of the company’s Schools’ Education “This gives them opportunities to
the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up Support Programme. learn,” Assi said. He said the support giv-
from $3 trillion in 2015. Experts say this The school has a population of 2000 en will in turn improve literacy, grades
represents the greatest transfer of economic pupils. Vivo’s Managing Director, Gilbert and overall improvement of the school’s
wealth in history, risks the incentives for Assi, and Vivo Energy Group Chairman, performance.
innovation and investment. John Daly, and other officials handed

30 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
business

Medical Concierge Group to offer


health services to UAP clients
By Julius Businge affordable access to medical

T
services at your convenience,”
he Medical Concierge he said.
Group through its He said the Group will
direct-to-consumer ensure that the standard of
service called Rocket care is provided to the client
Health has entered into throughout the period of illness
partnership with UAP Old to achieve optimal utilization of
Mutual Insurance Uganda the members’ insurance cover.
Limited (UAPOM) to extend This development comes as
telemedicine services to the more clients are now seeking
insurer’s members. for medical insurance covers.
The partnership will Data from the Insurance
enable the group’s team Regulatory Authority shows
Pirelli Regional Manager, Christophe Vanier, (C) showcase the new Pirelli of health professionals to that medical insurance
tyres for the next session. Looking on is Mandela Group of Companies CEO monitor, coordinate and premiums grew by 24.5% to
Venkatesh Kumar (L).  INDEPENDENT /ALFRED OCHWO
extend healthcare needs of the Shs200.5 billion in 2018.
insurer’s group of clients. The segment contributed
The Group’s Managing 23.4 per cent to the sector gross
Director, Dr. Davis Musinguzi, premiums written in 2018,
said on Sept.25 that through overtaking motor insurance—
their mobile phones, clients the only product whose
will be able to access services premiums have consistently
such as prevention and curative remained above the
healthcare information, Shs100billion mark, but whose
prevention and management of growth has been sluggish in
complications, periodic follow recent years.
up to gauge the progress of Stephen Chikovore, the
their treatment and counselling managing director of UAPOM
services. said by leveraging on digital
“We have combined technologies to deliver
our diverse expertise in insurance solutions, they are
telemedicine solutions for partly contributing to efforts for
patients in Africa to bring you achieving universal health care
Vincent Omoth – Marketing Manager Brookside Limited (C) hands the advantage of unlimited and coverage.
over a basket full of Brookside Fruit yoghurt to Tany Bakes (R) and
Tambiti Lucas ( L) winners of the Brookside Fruit yoghurt- My Food
Network Every Fruit Counts challenge on Sept.27. The Challenge is
aimed at encouraging people to consume Brookside Fruit Yoghurt as a
healthy and nutritious snack containing real fruits.

Share price movement (Oct. 01)


Security Oct. 01 Aug.08 Movement
BATU 30,000 30000 00
BOBU 128 128 00
CENT 1,060 1,157 8.4
QCL 128 130 1.5
DFCU 650 650 00
EABL 7,054 7,243 2.6
EBL 1,341 1,446 7.2
JHL 11,668 13,261 12
KA 86 105 18
KCB 1,416 1,411 0.3
NIC 12 12 00
NMG 1,449 1,609 9.9
NVL 325 329 1.2
SBU 27 29 6.8
Centenary Bank General Manager Retail and Outreach Division, Charles Kabanda, UCHM 10 12 16.6
and the General Manager Corporate Communication, Beatrice Lugalambi ,displays UCL 13 14 7.1
the accolades worn as best digital customer experience and best brand on social UMEME 297 297 00
media awarded to the bank at the Digital Impact Awards Africa (DIAA) held at ALSI -- -- --
Mestil Hotel on Sept. 20.   INDEPENDENT /ALFRED OCHWO

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 31
Drug resistant
bacteria in DR Congo
It’s fueled by HIV prevalence and multidrug resistance (MDR)

I
By Agencies However, things are different when it comes a problem with iNTS, which is typically
to S. typhimurium and related strains, which treated with the fluoroquinolone antibiotic
t looks like it’s time to pay the piper. are better known to cause two-thirds of ciprofloxacin. On the other hand, compli-
The first extensively drug-resistant bloodstream infections in this region. In fact, cated iNTS requires ceftriaxone – but ST313
(XDR) strain of Salmonella typh- these have gained their own name: invasive lineage II is now showing the presence of
imurium, called ST313 sublineage II.1, non-typhoidal Salmonella (iNTS) infections. extended-spectrum beta-lactamase enzymes,
has cropped up in the Democratic Such infections affect almost 3.5 million which means they do not respond to newer
Republic of Congo (DRC). This fails people a year, and almost 700,000 thousand cephalosporins either, like ceftriaxone. This
to respond to any of the antibiotics that are people meet their death this way – with the fits the definition of XDR as applied to S.
commonly used in the DRC, except for cip- greatest danger coming from S. typhimuri- typhi, that is, resistant to five drugs.
rofloxacin. And to make things worse, one um. The worst thing is that iNTS infections Expanded, this means the bacteria show
sample has been isolated that shows incom- are rife in the very places which have the MDR along with resistance to the two sec-
plete response even to this last drug. lowest availability of healthcare, a poorly ond-line drugs, ceftriaxone (through extend-
The bacterium S. typhimurium, which equipped system, and low levels of immuni- ed-spectrum beta-lactamase enzymes),
many researchers say originated in sub-Sa- ty. In these places, it is the children under 5 and azithromycin. This leaves only the
haran Africa some decades ago, has been years of age who bear the brunt. fluoroquinolones. However, one sample has
showing increasingly broad resistance to The exact strain of S. typhimurium pro- already been isolated which is not suscepti-
antibiotics over the last decades. According ducing iNTS in this region is typically ST313, ble to this either – a pan-resistant pathogen.
to the new study which reports the emer- which is known to be resistant to drugs. This evolving strain, dubbed lineage II.1, is
gence of this new strain of S. typhimurium This has also given rise to two new variants responsible for more than 10% of isolates in
in the journal `Nature Communications’ on called lineage I and lineage II, which have the central part of the DRC.
September 19, 2019, this is a threat which spread independently to cover most of Afri-
will need the close cooperation of microbi- ca, fueled by two factors: HIV prevalence New invasive changes
ologists, geneticists, and epidemiologists, in and multidrug resistance (MDR). Lineage II The most worrying part is yet to come.
addition to clinicians and other specialists, if infections are now the main cause of iNTS. Not only is the bacterium becoming increas-
it is to be identified and controlled in differ- ingly resistant to all antibiotics, but it is
ent locations. What does XDR mean? shifting towards becoming a primary blood-
Salmonella is more commonly known MDR pathogens are resistant to ampi- stream pathogen. In the first case, research-
to cause food poisoning, not necessarily cillin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and ers found that a single plasmid carried all
life-threatening though very uncomfortable. chloramphenicol. This should not create the resistance genes. A plasmid is a package

32 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
HEALTH

Red meat doesn’t


of genetic material that can be transferred
from cell to cell. Moreover, the new lineage II
strain is undergoing several changes, both in
its genome and in its behavior, which means

hurt your heart!


it is becoming more and more geared up for
bloodstream infections – becoming “inva-
sive”, in other words.
Invasive characteristics have been detected
both in laboratory experiments as well as
by the innovative use of machine learning
algorithms. These techniques helped to pick By Agencies with respect to systematic review

W
up characteristic patterns in the DNA that methodology, and presentation of the
indicate which strains are becoming inva- e’ve heard it for years: absolute magnitude of effect,” which
sive. These include less stimulation of the Cut back on red meat in is the absolute risk per 1,000 people
host immune system, lower metabolism, loss favour of lean meats like followed over time.
of one type of flagella and greater tendency fish or chicken. But now After looking at the randomized
to form biofilms. researchers say there’s evidence red trials, the researchers discovered that
meat may not be quite as bad for our eating meat did not appear to put
Why did this happen? health as we have thought. people at increased risk for a host of
It could be due to the excessive use of A rigorous review of the evidence health conditions, including heart
antibiotics, says the study. Azithromycin was finds little to no health benefit from disease and cancer.
recently used in a mass campaign to wipe reducing red or processed meat However, after analyzing additional
out trachoma, an infectious cause of blind- consumption from average levels. But studies with millions of participants,
ness, and also is extensively used in children. don’t think this means you can go and the researchers did find evidence of
The plasmid found in lineage II strains has eat meet every day. small reduction in risk.
previously been found in other iNTS-associ- The findings were published in According to Shelley Wood, MPH,
ated S. typhimurium. the Annals RDN, with the
of Internal Santa Clara
Looking ahead Medicine. Valley Medical
Over the past decade, all bloodstream Researchers Center, there’s
infections have been put under surveillance claim average recent research
by two agencies, the DRC’s Institut National consumption investigating
de Recherche Biomédicale (INRB) and the won’t affect cancer risk
Institute of Tropical Medicine (ITM) in Ant- health from the way
werp. The routine isolation of the causative While the red meat is
organisms from patients across the country study seems to prepared.
has proved a great help in picking up the fly in the face She
earliest indications of bloodstream infections of decades of said high-
with this XDR strain of S. typhimurium. research, the temperature
With hundreds of blood samples collected study authors cooking like
from patients in the DRC who were suspect- actually looked frying and
ed to have sepsis, the emergence of drug at past research to understand the risks grilling has been associated with
resistance to S. typhimurium on an order of consuming red meat. potentially carcinogenic chemicals
never before imagined is becoming clear. Researchers did not find a created by the flame and smoke they
Scientists have put in place a worldwide statistically significant or important create. The findings also don’t mean
effort to trace the continuing development association between meat eating and we can eat unlimited amounts of meat.
of ST313, and to assess its resistance to anti- heart disease, diabetes, or cancer risk
biotics. after looking at 12 randomised trials The bottom line
Bioinformatics is becoming more import- involving about 54,000 people. An examination of several studies
ant as it helps detect these signs of invasive- They found there was less risk for involving a very large number
ness. Researcher Nicole Wheeler says, “The those consuming three fewer servings of people finds that moderate
hope is that in the near future we’ll be able to of red or processed meat per week, consumption of red and processed
deploy machine learning in a more predic- although they claim “the association meats doesn’t negatively affect health.
tive role to help control the emergence and was very uncertain.” Experts say that this doesn’t mean
spread of drug-resistant strains of bacteria Based on a series of five high-quality that eating these foods is necessarily
such as S. typhimurium.” systematic reviews investigating the healthy or that we can eat unlimited
Cambridge Professor Gordon Dougan relationship between meat and health, quantities without consequences. They
comments: “Studies like this are unique as a panel of experts with NutriRECS add that high sodium and saturated fat
we are making the bridge between the most advises that most people can eat red consumption are still associated with
important health issues observed in hospitals and processed meat at present average increased health risks.
across the world with in-depth biological consumption levels. For adults in They also point out the
research for which we apply cutting edge North America and Europe this means overwhelming positive health impact
technologies. Collaborations like this are key about 3 to 4 times per week. associated with a plant-based diet that
and will be important in the future to gain The researchers were aware includes generous amounts of fruits
further insights on emerging diseases.” that current guidelines on red and and vegetables.
processed meat consumption left
Medical News Today room for improvement, “particularly Source: Healthline

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 33
HEALTH

Giving up alcohol
Stopping for just 1 month has lasting benefits
By Agencies alcohol for a month helped the participants  88 percent had saved the money that

M
reduce their number of drinking days later they would otherwise have spent on
any of us enjoyed glasses of in the year. The number decreased from an drinks
wine, beer, or other alcoholic average of 4.3 days per week before taking  82 percent of participants reported an
beverages. Sometimes we may part in Dry January to an average of 3.3 days enhanced awareness of their relationship
feel the need to take a break per week afterward. with alcohol
from alcohol. An alcohol-free month is the Moreover, people who went teetotal for  80 percent felt more in control of their
best choice we could possibly make for our a month also got drunk a lot less frequent- drinking habits
health, British researchers conclude. ly later on in the year. Rates of excessive  76 percent understood when they felt
Dry January is an initiative of the charity drinking fell from an average of 3.4 times more tempted to drink and why
organistion Alcohol Change United King- per month at baseline to 2.1 times per month  71 percent of participants learned that
dom, which encourages people to try giving on average. In fact, Dry January participants they did not need alcohol to have fun
up alcohol for 1 month at the start of the also learned to drink less. They went from  71 percent said that they enjoyed a better
year. Although the charity that promotes consuming an average of 8.6 units of alcohol quality of sleep
this effort is UK-based, thousands of people per drinking day at baseline to 7.1 units of  70 percent reported better overall health
around the world pledge to take part in this alcohol per drinking day later on.  67 percent had higher energy levels
campaign each year. “The simple act of taking a month off alco-  58 percent of participants lost weight
It is fairly logical to assume that giving up hol helps people drink less in the long term;  57 percent reported improved concen-
alcohol for 31 days can only benefit health, by August, people are reporting one extra tration
since drinking regularly is a major risk factor dry day per week,” notes Dr. de Visser.  54 percent said that they noticed better
for cancer, liver disease, and cardiovascular “There are also considerable immediate skin health
diseases, among other issues. benefits: nine in 10 people save money, sev- “The brilliant thing about Dry January
Now, a study by researchers from the en in 10 sleep better, and three in five lose is that it’s not really about January. Being
University of Sussex in Falmer, UK, shows weight,” he adds. Important benefits, how- alcohol-free for 31 days shows us that we
just how much skipping alcohol for 1 month ever, are also available to those who give up don’t need alcohol to have fun, to relax, to
can improve your life and concludes that alcohol for shorter periods. An alcohol-free socialise,” says Dr. Richard Piper, the CEO
these benefits are long-lasting. month would be better, but even less than of Alcohol Change UK. “That means that
The research, which Dr. Richard de Visser that can still boost a person’s health, Dr. de for the rest of the year, we are better able
from the University of Sussex led, found that Visser says. “Interestingly, these changes in to make decisions about our drinking and
people who took part in Dry January in 2018 alcohol consumption have also been seen to avoid slipping into drinking more than
reported higher energy levels and healthier in the participants who didn’t manage to we really want to,” Dr. Piper notes. “Many
body weight. They also felt less need to stay alcohol-free for the whole month — of us know about the health risks of alco-
drink alcohol, even several months after par- although they are a bit smaller. This shows hol — seven forms of cancer, liver disease,
ticipating in this initiative. that there are real benefits to just trying mental health problems — but we are often
to complete Dry January,” the researcher unaware that drinking less has more imme-
Long-term health emphasises. diate benefits too. Sleeping better, feeling
Dr. de Visser and team analysed data that more energetic, saving money, better skin,
they collected from Dry January participants A long list of benefits losing weight... The list goes on,” he says.
in three online surveys. A total of 2,821 peo- The people who took part in Dry January So, be it in January or later in the year,
ple filled in a survey upon registering for last year noted numerous mental and phys- you may want to try swapping alcohol for
the campaign at the beginning of January. In ical health benefits as well as a “healthier” tea, juice, or water for a month or even a
the first week of February, 1,715 participants bank account. More specifically: few weeks. It could make you happier and
completed a survey, and 816 participants  93 percent of participants reported expe- healthier, and your bank account will thank
submitted additional data in August 2018. riencing a sense of achievement at the you too.
The researchers found that giving up end of the alcohol-free month Source: Medical News Today

34 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
COMMENT
By Karin Nansen
False climate solutions
How hyping misleading promises allows the rich to
continue profiting from climate crisis they created

I
n a recent special report, the Intergovern- impossible without mass deforestation ment in fossil fuels; transforming our
mental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and soil degradation in the tropical belt energy systems towards community
argues that addressing climate change of the Southern Hemisphere, where most and public renewable energy systems;
will require fundamental changes to the fast-growing biomass is produced. Land abandoning destructive practices like
way we manage forests and farmland. The grabs are virtually guaranteed. Moreover, industrial agriculture and logging; com-
data are new, but the underlying conclusion as agricultural land was transformed to munity management of biodiversity and
isn’t: for over a decade, scientists, environ- produce biomass, food prices could rise, water resources; and reorganising urban
mentalists, and civil-society organisations fueling hunger and malnutrition. And life to support sustainability. Neoliberal
have been warning that our prevailing – and the destruction of vital ecosystems would trade and investment agreements that
deeply unjust – model of production and eliminate the livelihoods of local commu- prioritise the interests of business over
consumption lies at the root of the climate nities and indigenous peoples. environmental sustainability and human
crisis. Protecting the planet on which our Hyping BECCS and other misleading rights must be reversed to allow for these
survival depends will require nothing short promises – such as Reducing Emissions solutions.
than system change from Deforestation and Forest Degradation At the same time, developed-country
The world – and the developed coun- (REDD+) initiatives and carbon-trading governments must provide large-scale
tries, in particular – has built an economic schemes – is expedient for rich countries, public financing to support the much-
system focused on capital accumulation, corporations, and elites, because the tech- needed transformation in the developing
which privileges corporate profits over nology charade enables them to continue world. To succeed, the transition must
the wellbeing of people and the environ- profiting from the climate crisis they have be just and ensure the rights of workers,
ment, entrenching injustice and rewarding created. But, by distracting from real imper- peasants, women, migrants, and indige-
its perpetrators. This process has been atives, it allows the crisis to deepen and nous peoples. Here, public and commu-
unfolding for centuries, but has acceler- disproportionately affect those who have nity ownership is crucial.
ated in recent decades, as a select few have contributed the least. Social movements in the Global South are
acquired an ever-larger share of total wealth It is time for those who caused the already providing models of this approach.
and political influence. Today, just 100 cor- climate crisis to take responsibility For example, La Via Campesina – an inter-
porations produce 71% of greenhouse-gas for addressing it. To this end, devel- national movement comprising peasants,
(GHG) emissions. The wealthiest 10% of oped-country governments must take smallholder farmers, agricultural workers,
people are responsible for around 50% of the lead in drastically cutting emissions rural women and youth, indigenous people,
GHG emissions, while the poorest 50% at source by pursuing a comprehensive and others – has shown how peasant agri-
produce 10% of emissions. transformation of their energy, transport, culture and agroecology can cool the planet,
Unwilling to stand up to those who are food and economic systems. feed its inhabitants, nurture its soil, support
destroying our planet, political leaders Essential steps include ending invest- its forests, safeguard seed diversity, and pro-
have latched onto technological solutions, tect water basins.
including geoengineering approaches that Moreover, community forest management
promise to suck already-emitted carbon out helps to safeguard the forests, protecting the
of the atmosphere. Even the IPCC included livelihoods of those who depend on them

It is time
assumptions about such technologies in and preserving biodiversity. (As it stands,
many of its modeled pathways for keeping only 8% of the world’s forests are in the
global temperatures from rising more than
1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels.
for those hands of communities.)
With strong political will and the right
But geoengineering technologies are who caused policies, we can systemically tackle cli-

the climate
unproven, unsafe, and unrealistic. Con- mate change and related crises, including
sider bio-energy with carbon capture and biodiversity loss, water scarcity, hunger,
storage (BECCS), the leading proposed
path to “net-negative” emissions. BECCS crisis to take and rising inequality. If, however, we keep
indulging the fantasy that some “silver
entails growing certain crops as biomass,
burning the plant material for energy,
responsibility bullet” solution will rescue us, progress will
be impossible.
capturing the CO2 emitted during com- for
bustion, and storing it underground.
That sounds promising until one recog- addressing it Karin Nansen is the chair of Friends of the
nises that growing biomass on the nec- Earth International.
essary scale would require an estimated
three billion hectares – twice the Earth’s
currently cultivated land. Any attempt Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
to implement BECCS would thus be

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 35
COMMENT
By Emma Navarro and Nanda Jichkar
Greening our cities
We must do far more to reduce energy consumption
by improving energy efficiency in urban areas

W
ith global leaders gathering in transport. And, among other good examples, to be connected and on the same page. City
New York City for the UN Cli- Mexico City is focused on strengthening the networks such as C40 Cities, ICLEI – Local
mate Action Summit recently, it resilience of its most vulnerable residents to Governments for Sustainability, and the
was important to remember that extreme weather events. Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate &
cities are not just convenient settings for our More and more cities have come to realise Energy offer a good starting point. These
coexistence and dialogue, but also leading that climate-friendly policies have imme- groups have the power and influence
sources of greenhouse-gas emissions. diate benefits in terms of both quality of life to get the right people around the same
As hubs of employment, trade, and inno- and economic growth. Green investment table, discussing concrete policies.
vation, cities are the engines of our economic makes economic sense, because it tends to For its part, the EIB and the Global Cov-
growth, accounting for over 80% of global result in better municipal services, cleaner enant of Mayors have joined forces to help
GDP. By mid-century, more than six billion air, and safer water. Indeed, solar energy cities finance climate action and build
people – almost 70% of the world’s popula- is now often cheaper than fossil fuels, and greener cities for future generations. Under
tion – will live in urban areas, up from about plastic recycling – a key to cleaning up our this new partnership, we launched the
four billion today. Yet cities already use more oceans – is a source of steady jobs. Global Climate City Challenge a year ago
than two-thirds of the world’s resources and But cities also need to go further, by rec- to provide technical assistance that helps
energy, accounting for over 70% of carbon ognising the benefits of a circular economy prepare and fast-track the financing of urban
dioxide emissions. As cities continue to that minimises waste. “The 15 circular climate action projects. After soliciting 145
grow, so will these numbers. Between 2011 steps for cities,” a guide from the European climate-policy ideas from more than 100
and 2013, China used more cement in cities Investment Bank, shows that cities and their cities around the world, we have selected
development than the United States did residents have much to gain – including a 20 proposals involving a total investment
during the entire twentieth century. smaller carbon footprint – from reduced con- potential of €1.4 billion (Approx. Shs 565
The future of our planet, then, depends sumption and reuse of resources. Around billion). By extending technical assis-
on how we manage urban development. In the world, international development tance and financing for climate projects
addition to being the biggest contributors banks are providing cities with financing to cities in Africa, Asia, Latin America,
to climate change, cities are also among the and technical assistance for climate-re- and the EU, the program will create jobs,
most at risk, and thus have the most to gain lated projects. For the EIB, the priorities cut energy bills, improve air quality,
from going green. With 90% of the world’s are energy efficiency, renewables, and strengthen the management of waste and
urban areas on coastlines and at risk from sustainable transport. wastewater, and build resilience.
rising sea levels, there is significant work to At the same time, governments need to To address the critical lack of grant
be done to protect the bulk of the world’s introduce new regulations and offer bigger funding necessary to advance projects
population from these and other climate-re- incentives to get projects off the ground, and to a stage where they are ready for feasi-
lated threats. Cities are where spending on to encourage more innovation among busi- bility analysis and ultimately investment,
climate action will have the biggest impact. nesses. To that end, we need all stakeholders the City Climate Finance Gap Fund was
Making cities more compact, connected, and launched during the United Nations
coordinated around green policies could Climate Action Summit. It aims to raise
yield economic savings of up to $17 trillion more than €100 million in grants in order
by 2050. For starters, we to unlock at least €4 billion in projects.

must do far more


For starters, we must do far more to reduce Government and financial leaders gath-
energy consumption, harmful emissions, ering in New York City had to bear in
and air pollution, not least by improving
energy efficiency in urban areas. Given
to reduce energy mind that they are not alone. They have the
support of a growing global community of
that urban infrastructure is hard to change consumption, mayors, local officials, and private-sector
quickly (and lasts a long time), the time for a leaders who are determined to usher in
new conversation about urbanisation is now. harmful greener cities for all citizens. Our task is to
Cities need to develop plans to reduce CO2
emissions, build resilience, and involve all emissions, and ensure that these voices are heard.

relevant sectors of the economy in the shift


toward clean energy. Policymakers should
air pollution, not Emma Navarro is Vice President of the
European Investment Bank. Nanda Jichkar is
be planning for adaptations to existing infra- least by improving Mayor of Nagpur, India and a Board Member
structure and new long-term investments.
Many cities around the world are already energy efficiency of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate
& Energy.
integrating climate goals into their urban-de-
velopment plans. Copenhagen has empha-
in urban areas Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
sised increasing its buildings’ energy effi-
ciency. Bangalore is investing in sustainable

36 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
ART | BOOKS | SOCIETY | TRAVEL | CULTURE

Oil brushes that conserve birds


Artist turns childhood affection into a challenge for me and you

F
By Dominic Muwanguzi a strong bias to detailing a painting - unlike the wild. To achieve this effect, he plays with
the usual abstract or realistic approach. light and bright hues on canvas. Purples,
arid Mahfudh loves birds. He Fast forward to today, Farid is now a bird- pink burnt ember and pyne grey portray the
cares for birds; lovingly cud- er. He describes himself as a wildlife artist bird’s vulnerability and the environment
dling them and nursing them if with a penchant for painting and drawing they live in. Beyond the figurative conno-
they accidently wander into his birds on canvas. Farid’s birds on canvas tation, the colour scheme is aesthetically
studio. He helps them to free- emerge in hyper-realistic style, integrated appealing. Audiences are drawn to the
dom in the open skies. with their surroundings. The integration is painting because the palette is not dull, but
Born in Masaka town, Farid has fond critical for him as a wildlife artist because the playful and almost casual.
memories of he and his playmates, nursing environment is as important as the wildlife. Farid’s passion for birds and their sur-
abandoned hatchlings; feeding them and The interplay of bird and vegetation also roundings offers valuable conversations
improvising grassy shelters for them. These mirrors his conservation conversation with on the topic of nature conservation that is
became lifelong bonds between him, the the public. To save the wildlife, you should critical globally. The safety of birds can only
birds, and the wild. save the vegetation in which the wildlife be guaranteed if the environment is handled
The unfortunate death of over two million lives. The painting of the vegetation in the responsibly and vice-versa. Farid’s dream is
quelea birds by spraying at Kibimba Rice background validates the school of thought to see birds not only on paintings or photo-
Farm, in Eastern Uganda ignited this conser- that art should never appear blunt. The graphs but in the sky flocking like they have
vationist streak. It coincided as he finished proponents of this philosophy argue that art always done. He implies that each one of us
his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art (BIFA) at is not a poster that promotes a product, art can do something to conserve the wildlife
Margaret Trowel School of Industrial and is a subject that offers entertainment to the and environment we live in. Farid preserves
Fine Art, Makerere University in Kampala public. In Farid’s paintings, entertainment is nature by painting it on canvas; as the rest of
where he specialised in oil painting and everywhere. The public find his art fun. humanity, what are you doing?
anatomy study. The latter discipline influ- He paints birds as sensitive and vulnera-
enced his studio technique to drawing with ble creatures and representing other life in Image courtesy of the artist.

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 37
Police hunt man who divorced wife without telling her
An American man is in trouble after Nixon filed for divorce on February 15 and a
police discovered that he was trying to judge signed an order that made the divorce
divorce his wife without her even knowing official in April. Police told journalists
he was divorcing her. The Texas man is now that his wife only learned that Nixon had
wanted on an aggravated forgery charge. divorced her in May, when she confronted
Paul Nixon, 51, allegedly forged his wife’s him about his unusual money spending on
signature as well as that of a public notary to jewelry. He told her that they were actually
make it look as if his spouse had consented divorced. She reported the case to police.
to the divorce. According to court records,
This 96-year-old is
It’s confusing when royals don’t want protocol oldest fashion model
that met them. According Most female fashion models start their
to one report, while security careers in their late teens and retire in their
remained as tight as ever, early 30’s, but 96-year-old Alice Pang is not
the couple asked that peo- your ordinary fashion model. She started
ple do not bow or curtsy modeling at 93, so you could say she’s
and call them by their first still a beginner. A resident of Hong Kong,
names instead of his/her Alice always liked dressing well and look-
royal highness. This appears ing elegant, but never actually considered
to have confused some a career in modeling. But her granddaugh-
officials. Take this secretary ter always thought she had it in her, so
of the Bo-Kaap Civic and when she saw an online ad for senior
Ratepayers Association models of 65, she sent in Alice’s pictures
Jacky Poking who told the and she was chosen for a photo shoot.
Sunday Times: “I have no Never one to back away from a challenge,
idea how to speak to them. Pang decided to give it a shot and even
We haven’t received any though she knew nothing about modeling,
official brief on etiquette. she had all the natural qualities to succeed
When Meghan Markle Africa recently, they threw I don’t even know how to at it. Today, she is recognized as one of the
and Prince Harry, formally protocol out the win- greet them.” Baby Archie best senior models in Asia, as well as the
the Duke and Duchess of dow—and it caused some performing his first royal oldest. She models for high-end fashion
Sussex, visited southern confusion for the people duties possibly helped. brands like Gucci, Ellery or Valentino.

This coffee cup is 22-years Village pond becomes underwater selfie hot-spot
old, costs Shs3.4m About 15 Indonesia’s Cen-
years ago, Pong- tral Java region,
The Münch, a small coffee house in Osaka, Japan, gok was a poor, it measures just
is probably the only place in the world where you obscure Indone- 20 meters by 50
can enjoy a cup of freshly brewed 22-year-old coffee. sian village, and meters. It boasts
That’s if you can afford it, as a cup will set you back a its immaculate the cleanest crystal
whopping $914 (Approx. Shs3.4 million). The story of Umbul Ponggok clear water imag-
what many consider the world’s most expensive cup
pond was a inable because it is
of coffee started decades ago, totally by mistake. But
dirty, polluted continuously fed
he now uses raw coffee beans aged for 20 years, roast-
cesspool where with fresh water
ing them himself, grinding them and finally brewing
locals used to bathe and wash their from 40 different springs, at a rate of
his now famous vintage coffee. Only he has his own
dirty clothes. Unemployment was 800 liters per second. It’s this fascinat-
way of doing things. You’re probably wondering how
Kanji Tanaka makes a living; after all it’s not every day high and locals barely earned a living ing property that makes Umbul Pong-
that people come asking for a cup farming and mining in nearby quar- gok an ideal location for underwater
of his $914 brew. Well, The ries. Today, that same village ranks selfies, and in the age of Instagram
Münch serves a wide range among the 10 richest in Indonesia, you’d best believe people are taking
of coffee drinks, most of unemployment is almost non-existent, advantage of it. The rehabilitation of
which are much more and tourism drives the local econo- this underwater Instagram attraction
affordable (in the $10- my. And it was all possible thanks to can be credited to Junaedi Mulyono,
20 range), and judging Umbul Ponggok and Instagram. But who took it upon himself to turn Pong-
by reviews, they’re then again Umbul Ponggok is not gok into a tourist attraction soon after
pretty tasty too. your usual village pond. Located in he was elected village head, in 2006.

38 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
Volkswagen Rwanda
starts ride-hailing service
By Agencies What is being described as “an growing ride-hailing space.

V
industrial experiment with Rwanda Schaefer says he’d like to give the
olkswagen (VW) is testing as the laboratory” was imagined after business model a two-year test run
a new ride-hailing business Schaefer set out to conquer Africa for before assessing it.
in Rwanda that it hopes to VW but study after study showed Volkswagen told Reuters it was
expand in Africa starting with the same thing: there was no demand already looking to Ghana in West
Ghana and Ethiopia. for new cars. Low purchasing power Africa and Ethiopia, a rapidly
The ride-hailing service is and a lack of financing put them out reforming market of some 100 million
Volkswagen’s South Africa chief of the reach of most Africans, while people, as initial targets for an
Thomas Schaefer’s Trojan horse for competition from used imports gave expansion of its mobility business.
breaking into the new car market. buyers a cheaper alternative. The German carmaker’s project
VW’s ride-hailing cars are assembled Schaefer quickly realised he needed was launched with some fanfare last
in Kigali at a new $20 million plant more than a flashy new product. He December in the capital Kigali but
that also produces vehicles for the needed a new business model for since then scant information has been
relatively few customers able to afford Volkswagen. disclosed about how it has progressed.
a brand new Polo, Passat or Teramont. So Schaefer is placing a $50 million Global automakers like VW,
Employers can also access VWs to bet on a new business built around Nissan, Toyota, Honda and Peugeot,
transport their workers, and VW plans ride-hailing and car-sharing. are waking up to the potential in
to launch car-sharing, where customers The ride-service called “Move” Africa, where incomes and consumer
can drive themselves and are charged already has over 23,000 registered aspirations are rising.
for the time they’ve used a vehicle. users in Kigali although only around But the region accounted for less
All those vehicles are owned by VW, 2,200 of those are active users in the than 1% of global new passenger car
which after a year or two of service city of 850,000 people. sales last year, making it hard to justify
will sell them onto the second-hand In July, the ride-hailing service investing in local manufacturing and
market at a price more accessible to averaged 384 rides per day, a figure assembly.
average Rwandans. VW is also opening VW said it wanted to double. Schaefer believes VW will eventually
certified service centres. It may be a longshot but, if need around 800 cars on the road in
VW hopes combining all these successful, the Rwandan gamble the city for ride-hailing and sharing.
businesses - new car sales, ride-hailing, could help plot a future course for The company will begin introducing
car-sharing, used car sales, parts and Volkswagen, and others, in Africa’s its E-Golf electric vehicle into the
service - can make the company’s challenging auto sector by securing mobility fleet next year.
investment in Rwanda worthwhile. a foothold in the region’s rapidly

Oct. 04 - 10 2019 39
global comment
By Hector R. Torres
Global retreat of free trade
World headed toward a new world order where trade
deals and raw power politics replace trade rules

I
n the 1980s, U.S. President Ronald Rea- to be deterred. In the brave new world a long way toward preserving the multi-
gan’s administration forced Japan to ac- of managed trade toward which Trump lateral trading system. Replacing it with
cept “voluntary” restraints on its exports, is dragging us, his own negotiated deals something weaker could have the oppo-
particularly of automobiles, in order to matter more than multilateral rules or site effect.
reduce America’s trade deficit and protect its norms. As with the national security To be sure, the U.S. is not alone in
companies from Japanese competition. By exception, he might try to game the undermining the WTO, though it has
1994, the deficit hadn’t shrunk, but U.S. car system, claiming that the bilateral deal undoubtedly provided a major boost
manufacturers had become more compet- is the first step in a process that will cul- to those eager to challenge the body. A
itive, so the restrictions were discontinued. minate in a comprehensive FTA, even group of hard-nosed developing econ-
The next year, the World Trade Organisation though, technically, that still wouldn’t omies – especially Cuba, India, South
was established, and such unfair “volun- exempt it from the MFN obligation. Africa, and Venezuela – have also been
tary” restraints were outlawed. The United Nations is – perhaps unwit- doing their part.
Since then, Japan – for which trade tingly – adding another nail to the WTO’s Ignoring the negative impact of
represents about 35% of GDP – has coffin with its Convention on Interna- domestic policy on their economic pros-
been a staunch defender of multilateral tional Settlement Agreements Resulting pects, these countries claim that the WTO
trade rules. But that may be changing from Mediation. Although the WTO is biased against developing countries.
in response to U.S. President Donald already has a proven dispute-settlement (Trump insists that the opposite is true.)
Trump’s escalating attacks on the rules- mechanism, the convention, now open for So, they want to condition any WTO
based trading system. signature, is supposed to offer an “alter- reforms on the satisfactory conclusion of
Japan recently agreed to negotiate a native and effective method” of resolving the all-but-defunct Doha Development
preferential trade agreement with the trade disputes. Round. In doing so, they are abetting
United States that could challenge one The WTO’s dispute-settlement mecha- Trump’s effort to dismantle a rules-based
of the pillars of the multilateral trading nism has long been considered one of its system that provided predictability to
system: the “most favored nation” (MFN) crown jewels. The body has compulsory investors and thus enabled many devel-
obligation, which states that any conces- jurisdiction over disputes arising under oping countries to prosper.
sions or privileges granted to one country its covered agreements, with members Even Japan has been mounting its
in a trade deal must be extended to all required to comply with “panel reports” own challenge to free trade. Last month,
WTO members. Here, Japan is again (recommendations produced by three apparently inspired by Trump, it imposed
acting “voluntarily,” under strong pres- independent experts). Appeals of those tighter controls on chemicals that South
sure from the U.S. reports are heard by the seven-member Korea imports to produce semiconduc-
According to press reports, Trump Appellate Body, which can uphold, tors (Korea’s top export item), ostensibly
has presented Japan with a stark choice: modify, or reverse the panel’s findings. over national security concerns. It then
open its (very protected) market to Once adopted by the Dispute Settlement removed South Korea from its “whitelist”
American agricultural exports, or face Body, Appellate Body reports must be of trusted trade partners, prompting
increased U.S. tariffs on automobiles and accepted by all parties to the dispute. South Korea to demote Japan on its own
other industrial goods. Gaining access Thanks to Trump, this system is on the list of trade partners and to withdraw
to Japan’s agricultural market would, it brink of death. His administration has from a military intelligence-sharing pact.
seems, render moot Trump’s “national been blocking the replacement of Appel- At last month’s G7 summit in Biarritz,
security” concerns over imported Toyotas late Body judges once their terms expire, leaders again paid lip service to reforming
and Hondas – the justification that allows claiming that they have exceeded their the WTO. But there is little reason to hope
him to circumvent WTO rules with his mandate. The Appellate Body now has that they will follow through. Instead, we
tariffs. just three members, the minimum needed may well be headed toward a new world
According to the MFN obligation, to sign off on rulings. Unless the U.S. order, in which trade deals replace trade
however, whatever concessions the deal changes course by mid-December, when rules, and raw power politics stand in for
produces would have to be extended to the terms of two more judges expire, dispute adjudication.
the rest of the WTO. This would not be the Appellate Body will be rendered
the case if the U.S. and Japan were to impotent. At that point, a country that is Hector R. Torres, a senior fellow with
create a free-trade area to which the MFN unhappy with a panel report could send the Centre for International Governance
obligation did not apply. But qualifying the ruling into limbo by filing an appeal. Innovation’s International Law Research
as an FTA requires the elimination of The new UN convention aims to fill Program, was previously Executive Director
duties and other restrictive regulations the vacuum that the Appellate Body for Argentina at the International Monetary
on “substantially all the trade” – inter- will leave behind. But mediators cannot Fund and a staff member at the World Trade
preted to mean no less than 90% of all interpret rules or impose solutions; they Organization.
bilateral exchanges. The impending U.S- can only help parties to reach agreement.
Japan trade deal would go nowhere near (Good luck convincing the Trump admin- Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
meeting that standard. istration to budge.) Saving the WTO
The Trump administration is unlikely dispute-settlement mechanism would go

40 Oct. 04 - 10 2019
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