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News analysis Health Business

Murchison Falls 10 ways to have a 2019 economy performs


Giveaway healthier Christmas below expectations

Issue No. 603 Dec. 20 - 26 2019 Ushs 5,000,Kshs 200, RwF 1,500, SDP 8

Museveni, Rwanda
and 2021 Elections
The inside story of the cabinet reshuffle

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Dec. 20 - 26 2019 1
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Issue No. 603 Dec. 20 - 26 2019

News analysis Business Health Arts Motoring

Cover story
Museveni, Rwanda and 2021 Elections
The inside story of the cabinet reshuffle

5 The Week
30 Comments
Outgoing DPP Mike Chibita
appoints new PRO Is tech a New Frontier for
Sustainability?: Financial
institutions also need to
9 The Last Word
understand their risks, social
Corruption and poverty: impact, and ethical implications
Why our obsession with corruption
as a cause of our poverty is too much
32 Health
ado over little or nothing
10 ways to have a
14 Analysis healthier Christmas
Uganda’s war on corruption:
It’s not all doom and gloom

35 Arts & Culture


27 Business Unmasking History: Students
integrate research, collaboration
2019 economy performs and innovation into art production 
below expectations: Growth is
projected to range between 5.5-
6% compared to 6.2% in 2018

MANAGING DIRECTOR: Andrew M. Mwenda WRITERS:Ronald Musoke, Ian Katusiime, Patricia Akankwatsa, Julius Businge.
MANAGING EDITOR: Joseph Were DESIGN: Sarah Ngororano
BUSINESS EDITOR: Isaac Khisa CARTOONIST: Harriet Jamwa

PUBLISHER: Independent Publications Limited, Plot 82/84, Kanjokya Street, P. O. Box 3304, Kampala, Uganda
Tel: +256-312-637-391/ 2/ 3/ 4 | Fax: +256-312-637-396 E-mail: editor@independent.co.ug | advertising@independent.co.ug
circulation@independent.co.ug | Website: www.independent.co.ug

2 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
inbox

“If you used lifeguard condoms,


go and test yourself” Outgoing
health minister for general duties Sarah
Opendi after lifeguard condoms were
declared substandard
The Board Chairperson of the Private Sector Foundation Uganda, Elly Karuhanga makes a point as
Uganda Revenue Authority Commissioner General Doris Akol (2nd R), Patrick Ayota, deputy ED for NSSF
(2nd L) and Asuman Guloba, the director for development planning at the National Planning Authority
looks on. This was during the high level policy dialogue on the National Development Strategy held on
Dec.12 at Protea Hotel.   INDEPENDENT ALFRED OCHWO

The Uganda Media Center


Acting Executive Director,
Denis Katungi announces
cabinet approval of
Rebecca Kandunda as
member of the Board of “The President may have considered
Directors for National
Bureau for NGOs. Katungu my log experience in local
also informed the press government affairs before appointing
about cabinet’s approval me”New minister for local government
of the budget framework
for FY2020/2021. Rapahel Magyezi
This happened at the
Uganda Media Centre on
Dec.17.   INDEPENDENT ALFRED
OCHWO

The Kampala Capital


City Authority Executive
Director Andrew Kitaka
hands a microphone to
Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago
during KCCA’s Weyonje
Sanitation Challenge held “NRA/UPDF has always relied upon
in Nakawa Division on Dec its trusted methods of work while
13.  INDEPENDENT ALFRED handling such contradictions.
OCHWO
This will equally be sorted out
accordingly.”UPDF spokesperson Brig.
Richard Karemire

Key Ministers Current death People in Uganda


7 dropped in
cabinet reshuffle
27 toll of Bugisu
landslide
1000 living in camps after
displacement by floods

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 3
week

FDC celebrates 15 EC extends voter registration update again


years of existence The Electoral Commission Register. The Commission sat
further extended the period on of Monday 16th December
Hundreds of Forum for for the update of the National 2019 and reviewed the reasons
Democratic Change supporters Voters Register for more seven advanced by various stake-
gathered at Namboole Nation- days. The exercise, according to holders for a further extension,
al Stadium on Monday to cele- the new programme, will run which include: The unfavorable
brate 15 Years of existence. from t 16th December up to the weather conditions in many
Founded on December, 23rd December 2019. parts of the country; and High
16th 2004 as a pressure group “We have extended the peri- turn up of applicants at update
called Reform Agenda, most od for updating the National Byabakama explained. stations.
of them were disenchanted Voters’ Register,” said Justice He said arising out of this, the Accordingly, the Commission
former members and followers Simon Byabakama Mugenyi Electoral Commission found it has decided to further extend
of President Yoweri Museveni Chairperson Electoral Commis- necessary to extend the update the update period from tomor-
National Resistance Move- sion, in a statement on Monday. period from 11th December row Tuesday 17th December
ment. The exercise commenced on 2019, for five more days. 2019 for seven more days, end-
Notable examples include 21st November 2019 and was However, before the end of ing on Monday 23rd December
former party presidents, Kizza scheduled to close on Wednes- this extended period, the Elec- 2019, after which, there will be
Besigye and Mugisha Muntu day 11th December 2019. toral Commission once again no further extension.
[who left to form Alliance for “Towards the close of the received several requests from This exercise will continue
National Transformation]. update exercise we observed numerous stakeholders in the to be conducted at update sta-
While speaking at the big numbers of applicants at the electoral process, and recom- tions in each parish throughout
function, FDC Spokesperson update centers across the Coun- mendations from our own field Uganda, starting from 8:00am to
Ssemujju Nganda, said in try and also received requests staff for a further extension 6:00pm, throughout the extend-
terms of the multi-party dis- for extension from various stake- of the period for the General ed period, including weekends.
pensation, Uganda is not yet at holders in the electoral process”, Update of the National Voters
a level that should be exciting.
“But we’ve travelled a bit.
If you look at the operation of Outgoing DPP Mike Chibita appoints new PRO
political parties, the govern-
ment hasn’t allowed them to The Director of Public Pros- to the Kampala Regional Office
flourish”, Ssemujju said. ecutions, Justice Mike Chibita as the Deputy Regional Officer.
“You can’t have political appointed Senior State Attorney, In 2019, she was moved to the
parties and fear competition. Jacquelyn Okui as the Public International Crimes Depart-
Those in government have Relations Officer of the Office of ment where she is to date.
restricted other political par- the Director of Public Prosecu- Okui is a member of the
ties”, he added. tions. This follows the appoint- Contracts Committee in the
According to Nganda, ment by the President of the Office of the Director of Public
politics isn’t measured in kilo- former Public Relations Officer, Prosecutions and represents the
Jane Okuo Kajuga (SADPP) as in the Netherlands in pursuit of Office of the Director of Public
grams. It’s about the number
judge of the High Court. She a Master of Law in International Prosecutions in various task
of leaders one can sponsor and
joined the Office of the Director Human Rights and Criminal forces including the task force
those in parliament. Justice which she acquired in
of Public Prosecutions in 2008 assessing Uganda’s readiness
“We have not lost three elec- 2014. Okui was thereafter pro-
and was posted to Kamuli as to accede to the Budapest Con-
tions, we have been robbed of moted to Senior State Attorney
Resident State Attorney. In 2011, vention. She will be assisted by
three elections,” he said while and served in the Appeals
she was transferred to Iganga as Irene Nakimbugwe Senior State
responding to Besigye’s recur- Division which she headed until
Resident State Attorney. In 2013, Attorney/ Deputy PRO.
rent losses in 2001, 2006, 2011 she went to Utrecht University 2016 when she was transferred
and 2016 presidential elections.

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4 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
week
MTN donates Shs.31M to Bundibugyo flood victims CSOs re-launch black
MTN Uganda through its reads an excerpt. Monday campaign
Corporate Social Responsibil- While handing
ity arm, the MTN Foundation over the dummy Civil Society Organizations
on Monday, December 16th cheque, Wim Van- (CSOs) on Monday re-launched
donated Shs.31M towards the helleputte, the com- the Black Monday campaign and
Bundibugyo floods victims. pany CEO Uganda appealed to Ugandans to isolate
The donated money will be expressed their corrupt officials by boycotting their
used to buy non-food relief heartfelt sympathy to events and businesses.
items to support the families the people of Bundi- In a joint statement issued at the
that have been displaced bugyo. launch in Kampala, the CSOs said
following the floods that left “As MTN Uganda, the campaign is aimed at mobiliz-
many people displaced, hous- we stand with the ing Ugandans to take action against
es destroyed and lives lost. used to procure 100 relief kits people of Bundibugyo who the corruption.
A dummy cheque for the to support 100 of the displaced have suffered great loss in the “We ask Ugandans to isolate
donation was handed over to families. The kits will include 2 recent floods. We understand every thief who has been implicat-
officials from the Office of the Jerry cans, saucepans, 6 cups, 6 that this is such a trying time ed in a corruption scandal by not
Prime minister and the Ugan- plates, 1 ladle, 1 kitchen knife, for them and we hope that inviting them to your weddings,
da Red Cross Society at the 3 blankets, 3 mosquito nets, 3 this little support we have burial ceremonies or even fundrais-
Nyonyi gardens based MTN bars of soap, 1 tarpaulin and rendered will offer them some ing. You should also boycott their
offices. “The money shall be a plastic storage bag or box,” comfort,” said Vanhelleputte. businesses,” the statement read by
Rev Fr Gaetano Batanyenda stated.
They also appealed to Ugandans
Uganda and Rwanda fail to come to an to wear black clothes every Monday
agreement following cross- border issues to show that they are tired of cor-
ruption.
Richard Ssewakiryanga, the
Ugandan and Rwandan “Issues like executive director of the NGO
officials failed to reach attempts to infil- forum said the fight against corrup-
agreement Saturday on trate our security tion must be led by the public rath-
most of the contentious agencies,” Kutesa er than the leaders in public offices.
issues between them; said. “We want the people themselves
mutual allegations of “Issues like the top champion this fight. If we leave
destabilizing actions, pro- closure of the bor- it to the leaders, we shall not gain
tection of the rights and der by Rwanda. much out of it because in the end
freedoms of each other’s We also talked they are the ones stealing money,”
nationals, and resumption about Rwandans Ssewakiryanga said.
of cross-border activities. have provided information, we who have been arrested here Former Ethics minister Miria
After failing to find a resolu- have provided names. We have for illegal activities and some Matembe accused government of
tion after eight hours of closed- also addressed the issue of of them deported. For Ugan- celebrating corruption.
door meetings, the matters will Rwandans who are arbitrarily da, clearly, we shall never “I was fired from cabinet because
now be referred back to the arrested and illegally detained support any force destabilizes I was fighting corruption and now
respective heads of state. “The and also tortured in this coun- or intends to destabilize our President Museveni comes out to
armed groups that are operat- try”, he added. neighbors including Rwanda’, walk in demonstration against the
ing here in Uganda and are get- Uganda’s foreign minister, he added. While Rwanda vice that is so laughable. I hope
ting support,” said Rwanda’s Sam Kutesa, responded to expressed hope that the issues people are seeing and trust me God
foreign affairs minister, Olivier those allegations and listed can be resolved in good faith is seeing all of us including those
Nduhungirehe. some of Uganda’s own griev- and good will, Uganda said it that are hiding under the vice”,
“We have discussed and we ances against its neighbor.   hoped for truth and trust. Matembe said.

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Dec. 20 - 26 2019 5
week
Generals Tumwiine and Angina
clash over Kirumira land saga
Security minister General Elly Tumwiine
roasted former Deputy Chief of Defence
Forces, Lt. Gen. Charles Angina for taking
sides in a land dispute which involves business
man Godfrey Kirumira. Last month, Kirumira
alleged that Gen. Angina was behind a group
of soldiers who beat up him up following a
land dispute with another fellow.
In video that was circulating, Gen. Tumwiine
was seen roasting Gen. Angina, accusing him
of using his interest in the land to tarnish Vivo energy officials pose for a photograph with one of the winners at Shell Kiira station on Dec.17.
the image of the Uganda Peoples Defence
Forces (UPDF) which Tumwiine said that they Vivo energy to spend Shs600m in festive season
fought for. Tumwiine said that they also have Vivo Energy Uganda is running a and SMS both the code and their vehicle
wrangles with a lot of people but they don’t national customer promotion that will registration plate number to 8008 for a
use the force to beat and mistreat people. see over 15,000 motorists rewarded with chance to win. “In the spirit of gifting,
“Don’t abuse our forces. We all have up to Shs600million worth of prizes. we are giving back to our customers
wrangles but we don’t use the force like this. Dubbed 10 Weeks of Cheer, the promotion and thanking them for supporting us
We have worked to build the image of our is targeted at all motorists that use Shell through the year. Through the 10 Weeks
force,” Tumwiine said in part. fuels, lubricants or shop services. To par- of Cheer promotion, we will make life’s
Tumwiine told a visibly “frightened” Angina ticipate, officials said on Dec.17 that cus- journeys better and give our customers
that if there is a dispute on the land, that is an tomers simply have to spend Shs50, 000 an extra dose of cheer as they wrap up
issue that should be left for Kampala Capital in the case of general motorists or Shs10, 2019 and start 2020.” said Moses Kebba,
City Authority (KCCA) to enforce the law and 000 for riders to get a draw entry coupon the company’s marketing manager at
not the army. Gen. Angina is also the current at any of the company’s participating Vivo Energy Uganda said. The promo-
deputy coordinator of the Operation Wealth pump stations. Thereafter, customers tion starts on Dec.16 and ends on Feb.16
Creation (OWC). will be required to scratch their draw next year at 105 Shell service stations
entry coupon to reveal their unique code across the country.

6 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
Humour Did you know?
30million xmass trees are
sold in North America

Approximately 30 million real


Christmas trees are sold in North
The KCCA Amendment Act 2019 assented by the President on 28 Nov will erode the mayor’s powers drastically. America every year, totaling more
than $1.2 billion in sales. About 78
percent of these are pre-cut trees
and 22 percent are cut-your-own.
The U.S. has nearly 15,000
Christmas tree farms.
There are more than 350 million
trees growing on Christmas tree
farms in the U.S. alone.
The top-selling Christmas trees
nationwide are Balsam Fir, Doug-
las Fir, Fraser Fir, Noble Fir, Scotch
Pine, Virginia Pine and White
Pine. One acre of Christmas trees
produces the daily oxygen require-
ment for 18 people. It can take as
many as 15 years to grow a tree of
average retail sale height (6 feet),
All Police officers are to undergo mandatory mental checkup to ascertain their psychological status.
but the average growing time is
seven years.
Oregon, Washington, Wiscon-
sin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New
York, Virginia and North Carolina
are considered the top Christmas
tree producing states in the U.S.
Most artificial trees are manufac-
tured in China, Taiwan or Hong
Kong.
For every real Christmas tree
harvested, two to three seedlings
are planted in its place the follow-
ing spring
Thomas Edison’s assistant,
Edward Johnson, came up with
the idea of electric lights for
Christmas trees in 1882. Christmas
tree lights were first mass-
Uganda’s Indian community is lobbying to be recognized constitutionally as an indigenous tribe. produced in 1890.

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 7
News analysis Health Business
East Africa’s Teeth brushing Domestic marine cargo covers
abnormal rainfall keeps heart healthy? could boost insurance market

Issue No. 602 Dec. 13 - 19 2019


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

Uganda after
Museveni
Pundits weigh in on transition

Inbox
Follow us on Twitter @ NEXT
http://twitter.com/#!/ugandatalks PRESIDENT

Follow us on Facebook @
www.facebook.com/TheIndependentMagazineUganda Stronger Parliament
Stronger Civil Society

More Emporered Gov’t Instutions More Press Freedom


www.independent.co.ug

Letters are There are faces that did not have to come back
welcome ! Refer to: “President Museveni should be done to the Rdcs. the DISOs to get such people
reshuffles Cabinet” (The There are people who are not appreciated.
The Editor welcomes short and
Independent Online Dec.14). celebrated but have done a lot
concise letters from our esteemed
readers on topical issues. Please There are faces that should for this country especially under Muyonjo.F.A Mugwiri
send them to: have not come back. The same NRM, the President should use
The Editor, The Independent
Publications Ltd,
P.O Box 3304,
Plot 82/84 Kanjokya St,
People need to get Negotiators are suspicious of each other
Kamwokya.
Kampala,Uganda.
used to entry and Refer to: “No fruit for Ugan- in Bongo (Tanzania) we’re hap-
da-Rwanda after 8 hours of mar- py we have John Magufuli still

Email: editor@independent.co.ug
exit of office holders athon talks” (The Independent and we’re confident that he will
Online Dec.15). The problem is respect his term and open door
Refer to: “Looking back at that each one of the negotiators for next president, making this
High electricity the controversies shrouding
dropped ministers” (The
is looking forward to work with
the president of another country.
as “the land of Possibility.

prices hindrance Independent Online Dec.15).


This should not be news
Paul Kagame’s wish for M7is to
be succeeded and likewise. Here
Mkolonjinji

to consumption because these same people


Refer to: “Unconsumed elec-
before occupying the same
offices, there were other peo-
Consumers will pay for “deemed”
tricity will hit Uganda’s budget ple in the same offices. Just Refer to: “Unconsumed ture and demand were in place.
hard” (The Independent Online the same way their prede- electricity will hit Uganda’s Electricity generation machines
Dec.10).It is very surprising to cessors left, is the same way budget hard” (The Indepen- don’t remain running with-
hear that Ugandans will have these ones have left. Ugan- dent Online Dec.10).Let’s put out demand. Like Kaka John
to pay for unconsumed power. dans need to be used to entry it clear. Ugandans cannot pay says up there, the turbines are
Personally, I think one of the and exit of office holders. generated but unconsumed switched off until the Transmis-
major reasons as to why there electricity, instead, they will pay sion company orders for energy
is low power utilisation in the Kaka John for “deemed” energy – that’s from that plant.
country, is price. Our electricity energy that should have been
is very expensive. Without delv- generated if the right infrastruc- Julius Wandera
ing into the economics maze, it
puzzles me as to why the power
generation cannot be reduced.
Cheap labour, free land, these are the investors we do not need
Another puzzle is: if already the Refer to: “French companies a short time but also be able to cannot be trusted at all, and they
country is producing surplus keen on partnering with Ugan- repatriate it,” Anite said. “… have even made their colonialist
electricity, then why are we dan firms” (The Independent cheap labour and free land…” agenda clear.
borrowing money to build more Online Dec.13). Colonization These are the exact kind of
electricity generation dams? agenda alert: “You will be able “investors” we do not need and Saddened Ugandan
Kaka John to make a lot of profit within we do not want, at all. They

BUNDLES IN TOWN
DATA

* T&C apply * Regulated by Uganda Communications Commission. CONNECTING COMMUNITIES

8 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
The Last Word opinion

Corruption and poverty


By Andrew M. Mwenda
Why our obsession with corruption as a cause of
our poverty is too much ado over little or nothing

C
ognitive scientists argue that argument I had not made. Corruption is a by Park Chung Hee in South Korea in
human beings are [inherently] very unfair practice: one man steals money exchange for campaign contributions led to
cognitive misers i.e. we prefer to meant for everyone and takes it all by rapid industrial transformation while the
do as little thinking as possible. himself. It is even more painful when he same given to similar groups in Pakistan
So when we confront a challenge, our stays in power, displaying his riches. Such led to civil war, the breakup of the country
instinct is NOT to look for facts to help unfairness offends people’s moral tastes and economic stagnation).
us understand it. Rather we lean on our and easily leads us to give it a casual link Look at Kenya and Tanzania under Jomo
biases, prejudices, values and beliefs to with poverty. Yet, corruption [per se] is not Kenyatta and Julius Nyerere respectively.
make judgment. Evolutionary psychology a cause of poverty but a mere characteristic Kenyatta ran a corrupt administration and
explains why it is not profitable for us to of it. made himself wealthy. Nyerere ran an
stretch our minds to acquire a large body Corruption takes many forms across honest government and did not accumulate
of knowledge. Evolution is driven largely thousands of transactions in contexts whose personal wealth. During their time Kenya
by reproduction. The command of a large multitudinous complexity we can never grew rapidly, Tanzania retrogressed.
body of facts did not give our ancestors fully capture or comprehend. It can be a Here, Kenyatta’s corruption interacted
a competitive advantage in the dating doctor stealing drugs from a public hospital with capitalist policies while Nyerere’s
market. The most competitive qualities to his private clinic, a nurse charging a honesty with collectivization. Even within
in mate selection are power, wealth, fee for a public hospital bed meant to be Kenya, corruption seems to have stifled
generosity, kindness, caring, good looks, free, a traffic police officer taking a bribe growth under Daniel arap Moi, Kenyatta’s
good health and such artistic qualities as to let an offender off the hook, a head successor. Robert Bates captured the
music, art, athletics etc. teacher stealing the building fund. This specificity of these dynamics in his majestic
There is a truly great book, The Righteous petty corruption is different from the study of that country, Beyond the Miracle
Mind, by the moral psychologist, Jonathan grand corruption of a minster taking a 10% of the Market.
Haidt. He argues that people’s moral commission off a road contract, a tax official Finally corruption is both a moral and
judgments shape their reasoning, rather taking a bribe to let an importer under- a legal issue. Yet moral values differ from
than the other way round. Reasons purport declare taxes, another minister giving a society to society and within a society
to explain and justify judgments. But in tax exemption to a company in exchange from one era to another. The same applies
fact we grasp at reasons and pull them for shares, a president taking a campaign to legal norms. For instance, most of the
into service to legitimize judgments that contribution from an investor in exchange acts characterized as corrupt in the rich
we have already made on the basis of for free prime land, etc. world today were perfectly normal and
our moral tastes. On no significant issue First these acts [in and of themselves] legal during their period of transformation.
is all the evidence lined up on one side neither stifle nor promote prosperity. Their Using public office for private gain was
of the argument. Our ethics determine impact depends on many other variables: seen as ethical and legal in most of Western
the reasoning and evidence that we are the capacity of the state and society to Europe and North America until the turn
prepared to accept. We give credence to secure accountability for results, the quality of the 19th century. The transformation of
the flimsiest of straws in the wind that are of the existing laws and regulations, the these societies led to the change in both
aligned with our values, while dismissing type of economic policies, the nature of the moral and legal norms, not the other way
opposite evidence with a torrent of business elites who get favors, the interests round.
contempt and vitriol. and values of dominant elites, etc. Second, Why is this debate on corruption critical?
This is exactly what happened to me corruption is not a single reified activity. It is because African governments and elites
last week during an intense debate on Rather it is a myriad of transactions across are obsessed with it as the biggest threat
corruption on our WhatsApp chat-group, multitudes of activities. Depending on the to our prosperity. Yet we have neglected
made of the most educated of Uganda’s aforementioned factors and combinations, debate on the most critical factors that drive
elite. I argued that there is no evidence that some corrupt acts can have a negative the prosperity of nations: terms of trade
corruption automatically or necessarily impact, others a positive one and others (the price index of our exports vis a vis the
stops a country from developing. This is can be totally neutral. The outcome is not price index of our imports – which means
not an opinion but a statement of a historic determined by corruption alone but its we must add value to our exports) and
fact. Most of the nations that are developed interaction with all these factors. having local ownership of our economies
today had corruption during their intense Furthermore the effect of corruption (which means we retain that value). If we
period of transformation from backward, is not its extent per se (there was much devoted 10% of the political, economic
poor agrarian societies to modern affluent more corruption in Indonesia under Gen. and emotional resources we expend
industrial nations. This let loose the Suharto than in Zaire under Marshal fighting and arguing about corruption on
dogs of largely emotional (as opposed to Mobutu; but Indonesia grew rapidly while promoting these two, our nations would be
intellectual) war. Zaire regressed), or even in the specific on a better path to prosperity.
I was accused of “defending” corruption acts categorized as corrupt (favors given
and of arguing that it drives growth, an to a small select group of industrial houses amwenda@independent.co.ug

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 9
cover story

Museveni, Rwanda
and 2021 Elections
The inside story of the
cabinet reshuffle

10 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
cover story

President Museveni at the launch of Isimba dam in March. The completion of the dam is seen as
one of the successes of Irene Muloni who was dropped as energy minister.  (NET PHOTO)

P
By Ian Katusiime in August. can keep their seats in parliament let
Sources told The Independent that alone lure voters to give him a sixth
resident Yoweri Museveni Museveni tapped Otafiire, a longtime term.
on Dec.14 made an minister in his cabinet as a counter Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi,
impromptu reshuffle of offensive to Nduhungirehe who has who tabled the motion to amend
his cabinet, a step that a been known for issuing explosive the presidential age limit is the next
section of the public linked statements against Uganda since the minister for Local Government.
to the upcoming 2021 bilateral relations broke down. He is also a former chairperson of
general elections. Museveni’s decision to keep Philemon the parliament committee on Local
But the most significant concern in Mateke, the minister for Regional Government.
the reshuffle is the appointment of Affairs, has also been described by One of the seconders of his motion,
Gen. Kahinda Otafiire, a Museveni sources as “a clear signal to Rwanda.” Kyaka South MP Jackson Kafuuzi, joins
longtime comrade, as minister for East Away from the behind-the-scenes him in cabinet as the deputy Attorney
African affairs at the time the Rwandan decisions on Rwanda, is Museveni General. Another zealous supporter of
delegation was in Kampala to meet intent on securing votes in the next the removal of the age limit who was
its Ugandan counterpart over the general election. rewarded is Usuk County MP Peter
deteriorating relations between the two His decision to reshuffle cabinet Ogwang, the new minister of state
countries that had led to the former to demonstrates his strategy ahead of an for Information and Communication
close the border in February last year. election where he faces an untested Technology (ICT).
The Rwandan government had challenger in Kyadondo East MP Bobi This was arguably the most
previously complained to President Wine with whom they are battling on anticipated cabinet reshuffle because
Museveni’s government about Otafiire, many fronts. of the battle lines drawn by amending
describing him as an “anti-Rwanda In the reshuffle, Museveni rewarded the constitution in 2017 to ensure
agent,” according to reliable sources. the loyalists who spearheaded the age Museveni has another chance to run
The Rwandan delegation was limit amendment, ejected two ministers again as president. With NRM MPs
led by Rwanda’s minister for East in the key dockets of Energy and Works being warned point blank by their
African Community (EAC) Olivier but more crucially appointed those constituents against tampering with
Nduhungirehe as it interfaced with with constituencies to canvass votes for the constitution, those who actively
their Ugandan counterparts led by Sam him and the ruling National Resistance campaigned for the amendment were
Kutesa, minister for Foreign Affairs, at Movement (NRM) party. seen as not just staking their political
Commonwealth Resort Munyonyo. Importantly, the election year, 2021, is survival but their human lives as well.
The meeting was also attended by fast approaching and Museveni has his Therefore for Magyezi, Kafuuzi and
officials from Angola and Democratic sights on who among the ministers can Ogwang, it was the perfect Christmas
Republic of Congo. Angola hosted the bring him votes amid an ageing cabinet. gift after two years of waiting. They
signing of a pact between Rwandan The dilemma Museveni finds himself in endured intimidation and threats after
President Paul Kagame and Museveni is whether the loyalists he has rewarded they voted to remove the age limit.

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 11
cover story

The age limit fight in parliament in September 2017. Those who voted for the amendment have been rewarded.  (NET PHOTO)

Months after Parliament amended seconders of Magyezi’s motion. Mid She fell out with Besigye’s party,
the constitution in December 2017, this year, Nsubuga narrated his ordeal FDC, before the 2016 elections when
there was fear among NRM MPs who claiming abandonment by the NRM she backed presidential candidate
voted for the amendment. At a function, when hundreds of his constituents in Amama Mbabazi. Anywar then stood
Ogwang asked President Museveni Mubende were facing eviction. as an independent and won the Kitgum
for bodyguards because he felt he was “I have stood with NRM at a time when Woman MP race for the third time. Her
being trailed. no one wanted to be associated with NRM, schmoozing with NRM was cemented
It will also be a test for Museveni I have sacrificed so much for the sake of when she voted to amend the age limit.
on whether he can keep these new NRM. I defended the party when no one Anywar also known as Mama Mabira
ministers in cabinet if he wins the could, but is this what they are paying me?” is now expected to deliver Kitgum to
2021 presidential election, in the event Museveni, however, appointed the NRM since a daughter of the soil
that the ministers have lost in their Judith Nabakooba, who is a Woman has been elevated to cabinet. In 2007,
constituencies. MP in Mityana, a district neighbouring she led a protest in Kampala against the
Analysts say the same goes for Molly Mubende, to the position of Minister for proposed giveaway of Mabira Forest
Nawe Kamukama, the Principal Private Information and ICT. to investors to grow sugarcane earning
Secretary to the President who has Some observers expressed her the moniker. At the time, she was
been appointed minister of State for reservations about her appointment shadow minister for Environment.
Economic Monitoring. She is expected as ICT minister but other sources say The appointment of Denis Hamson
to run for parliament and ‘justify’ her she was likely selected for the docket Obua, as the new minister of State for
ministerial position among the voters. due to her previous role as Police Sports also got the public by surprise.
Failure to win a seat could cost her, her spokesperson prior to joining into Sports has been a long suffering
cabinet position if the NRM government politics in the last general election. ministry with voices in the sports sector
retains power in 2021. The other notable but not surprising calling for it to be separated from the
However not everyone who was appointment is Beatrice Anywar, who education ministry where it is more of
fervently pro-amending the constitution will be state minister for environment. an appendage.
was rewarded. Simeo Nsubuga, MP Anywar is a former diehard supporter Obua, the Ajuri County MP is the
for Kassanda South in Mubende for opposition leader Dr. Kizza Besigye captain of the parliament soccer team
District, was left out and so was Moses and now an avowed admirer of and has often travelled with other MPs
Balyeku of Jinja West, one of the Museveni. to morale boost the Uganda Cranes, the

12 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
cover story
national football team, in their away “If she attempts to manifest the same
games outside the country. in the new docket that could be the end
Sports enthusiasts generally of her political career,” he said.
welcomed Obua’s appointment with The two leaders had an acrimonious
some describing him as someone who relationship and there was talk of a
cares about sports in general. However new bill that Kamya had introduced
the youthful and passionate Obua will to take away the powers of the Lord
have to contend with the underfunded Mayor to approve KCCA budgets.
ministry in a government that has Lukwago, an opposition stalwart in
prioritised construction of roads and his own right had a similar message
dams. for the incoming minister for Kampala,
Worse still, national sport teams; of Betty Amongi.
football, netball, boxing, athletics are “If your assignment is to bury
usually reduced to begging for a bail- Lukwago’s political career, come with
out at the eleventh hour for air tickets tough gloves,” he said.
for international tournaments. Obua’s The Lord Mayor said he is not ready
main task may be lobbying for more to compromise on accountability
resources to a perennially underfunded Molly Nawe Kamukama and rule of law. Lukwago has been a
ministry since Uganda’s sports source of headache for Museveni in
personalities and teams have proved Kampala for the last nine years and all
that they can do well at the highest indications are that he will vie for the
stages even with the meagre budgets. mayor position again in 2021.
The other task of Obua may be to In other changes, Frank Tumwebaze
sort out National Council of Sports was moved to ministry of Gender,
which critics say is out of its depth as Labour and Social Development.
a sports management body and has
instead sowed discord among sports Anite triumphs
federations. Meanwhile, Minister for Privatisation
and Investment, Evelyn Anite,
Dropped triumphed over what she claimed were
Museveni dropped Irene Muloni ‘mafia’ fighting her over the audit
as minister of Energy and Monica of Uganda Telecom (UTL). With the
Azuba as minister of Works and transfer of Mwesigwa Rukutana back
Transport. Speculation darted to to the Ministry of Labour, she perhaps
the alarm sounded by Speaker of looks to a smoother process while
Parliament Rebecca Kadaga about the dealing with UTL.
alleged theft of money to the tune of Kenneth Omona Anite spent the better part of the year
Shs24billion meant for a construction flexing muscles with deputy attorney
of a bridge between Kayunga and presidential advisor. general Rukutana over an audit of the
Kamuli. However Muloni it appears The Works sector takes a lion’s share government-owned UTL that drew
was dropped because she does not have of the national budget with upwards of in other big shots in government on
a constituency. Shs6trillion that goes into construction Rukutana’s side.
As a way of placating the Bugisu and maintenance of roads. Sources say Ephraim Kamuntu, deemed not
sub-region from which Muloni perhaps Museveni looks at the former very conversant with legal matters
hails, Museveni appointed Mary army chief Wamala as more proactive moves to the ministry of Justice and
Goretti Kitutu who is Woman MP for when it comes to dealing with matters Constitutional Affairs while Tom
Manafwa district as a replacement. infrastructure. Butime will now be in charge of
Kitutu is currently minister of state for Wamala also had a better working Tourism and Wildlife. Other new
environment while Muloni is now a relationship with the roads agency, entrants to cabinet are Robinah
presidential advisor. Uganda National Roads Authority Nabbanja, minister of State for Health
Although, Muloni can take credit for (UNRA). Given Museveni’s preference (general duties) and Hellen Adoa
the completion of Isimba hydropower for soldiers in service delivery, insiders minister of state for fisheries. The firing
dam that Museveni commissioned in say Wamala’s move up was in the of Ida Nantaba as minister of state
March this year, she will now watch offing. Peter Lokeris and Joy Kabatsi for ICT was widely expected in the
from the sidelines as a mere presidential are the deputies in charge of Works and reshuffle. She ran into trouble early this
advisor on energy as Karuma nears Transport respectively. year after being involved in a shooting
completion probably late next year. incident in Mukono that claimed the
In another key decision, Museveni Kamya, Amongi swap life of Ronald Sebuliime, an innocent
dropped two ministers from Works Kampala Lord Mayor, Erias bystander. For most of the year, she
and Transport; Azuba and one of her Lukwago, was ecstatic with the news of stayed away from official duties and at
deputies; Aggrey Bagiire. Conversely, the transfer of Kampala Minister Beti some point was said to be in hiding out
he elevated Gen. Katumba Wamala Kamya to Lands, Housing and Urban of the country. Also dropped from the
to the position of full minister after Development. Speaking to journalists 80 member cabinet are Alex Onzima
serving three years as State Minister for at his home, Lukwago sounded a note and Abdul Nadduli. Onzima was the
Works. of caution to Kamya advising her not to State Minister in the Office of the Vice
Azuba, who worked tirelessly in play the same politics as she did while President while Nadduli was minister
the revival of Uganda Airlines, will, at City Hall, the seat of Kampala Capital without portfolio.
like her counterpart Muloni, be a mere City Authority (KCCA).

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 13
year enders

Jan.1 Feb.1
President Museveni counterpart Paul

Feb
Jan
hands over the Kagame at a heads of
chairmanship of the state summit in Arusha,
EAC to his Rwandan Tanzania.

Feb.19
Kyadondo East MP regime under President
Bobi Wine also a musician Museveni. Some church
releases Tuliyambala leaders criticise him for
Engule, a song decrying politicising a Chrisitian
the injustices by the NRM hymn song.

Jan.3
Makerere University
Vice Chancellor Barnabas
Nawangwe asks sacked staff
to return salaries they were
paid arguing they did not do Kiira EV, a hybrid electric farthest distance after doing
any work. In December 2018, car manufactured in Uganda rounds around Kampala. It
Nawangwe fired 45 teaching is driven to Kisoro, south covered a distance of over
staff from the university western Uganda in its 1000km.
over absconding from duty,

Feb.19
failure to complete studies,
financial fraud and insubor- NRM top organ,
dination, among others. the Central Executive
Committee (CEC),

Jan. 15 endorses Museveni


as the party’s sole
candidate for the
2021 elections. Sitting
In a month dominated were accused of sexually at the luxurious
by the Makerere saga, abusing female students. Chobe Lodge in
President Museveni Museveni praised Nwan- Nowya district, CEC
backs Barnabas Nawan- gwe’s management style endorsed Museveni
gwe for sacking the 45 at the university’s 69 th after a five day
staff, some of whom graduation ceremony. retreat.

Jan.26 Feb.27
Rwanda closes border to for political reasons. The
The ruling NRM party celebrates its 33rd Uganda. Travellers, traders, incident worsened Uganda-
anniversary in a ceremony hosted in Tororo district. trucks are stranded at either Rwanda relations which had
side of border. Initially, existing tensions for more
Rwanda said it had closed than a year. Border remains
its border to renovate roads closed throughout the year.
but later said it was closed

14 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
year enders

March 12 April 2
March

April
Parliament approves a says the 264-bed facility will
guarantee of USD 379 million be operated as a world-class
(1.4 trillion Shillings) for the internationally accredited American tourist gunmen ambushed
construction of an International hospital to treat conditions for kidnapped Kimberley them while they were
Specialized Hospital in Lubowa, which Ugandans have been Sue Endecott and her on a game drive. The
Wakiso district. Government travelling abroad. guide Jean Paul Mirenge duo were released after
are kidnapped in Queen a ransom of $30,000

March 16
Elizabeth National (Shs.112m) was paid to
Park. Four unidentified the kidnappers.

April 4
People Power leaning
candidate Julius Kateregga wins
university guild presidential
elections at Uganda’s highest
institution of learning -Makerere
University. He scored 3921
votes closely followed by an
independent candidate with
3365 votes. Race had nine
contestants where NRM and
FDC candidates came third and
fourth respectively.

March 23
Kyadondo East Party (PDP) and Social
MP Bobi Wine joins Democratic Party
opposition parties; (SDP) as they sign an
Democratic Party (DP), MoU ahead of the 2021
People’s Democratic election.
Speaker of Parliament in Morocco and the U.S.
Rebecca Kadaga airlifted to Kadaga was first checked into

April 23
Aga Khan Hospital in Narobi, Nakasero Hospital in Kampala
Kenya to nurse fatigue. She before being flown out.
had just returned from trips
Uganda receives The government paid 280

March 25
first aircraft for revived billion shillings ($74.8
Uganda Airlines planes; million) for the two planes
two CRJ900 planes through a supplementary
from Canadian aircraft budget approval by
UPC hands over happens at a time when manufacturer Bombardier. parliament.
chairmanship of Inter Party FDC, the largest opposition

April 30
Organisation for Dialogue party is dilly dallying over its
(IPOD) to DP. The handover membership to IPOD.

UCC writes
letter to media
houses ordering
for the immediate
suspension of 39
journalists at 13
media houses.
Media houses reject
the move and blast
UCC over regulatory
overreach.

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 15
year enders

May 2 June 3

June
May
Martyrs’ day:
Kaveera ban fails. The
Uganda Episcopal
Conference declared
the Uganda Martyrs
Post Bank financial loss environs a Kaveera-
Uganda MD and and conspiracy free zone under a
seven other top to defraud campaign dubbed
officials of the their employer ‘TuvvekuKaveera’,
bank are charged before the Anti- but it didn’t work as
with fraud, abuse Corruption many pilgrims were
of office, causing Court. seen entering the
shrines with buveera.

May 20
Pilgrims were not
given any alternatives
to use.

June 6
President Museveni
steers clear of the state
of Uganda Rwanda
FDC boycotts IPOD Semujju said that FDC
relations while he is
summit again. FDC party was still under siege
delivering the annual
spokesperson Ibrahim by various security
State of the Nation
Ssemujju Nganda said agencies, their legitimate
address. He avoid
that the issues that barred rights to associate and
security too and instead
them from attending the assembly were still being
overloads on economic
summit in December 2018 curtailed but the IPOD
growth and projections.
had not been addressed. had kept quiet.

May 22
June 14
Bank of Uganda Authority were brought
officials arrested over in for questioning
‘procurement’ scandal. following an anomaly
Several officials from with a consignment
the Bank of Uganda from France belonging
and the Civil Aviation to the central bank.

Mugisha Muntu
launches party, Alliance for
National Transformation
The ANT party and its
promoters broke away
from the FDC after years
June 24
(ANT) at Kampala Serena of internal bickering that
Hotel in what marked a culminated in the defeat of
new era for the former Muntu by current president
army commander-cum- Patrick Amuriat for the
opposition politician. FDC top in last year’s polls.

May 30
Ex-bodyguard to critic of his former boss
Rwandan president President Kagame and
Paul Kagame is killed fled into exile in South Six street children are school collapses on them.
in South Africa. Camille Africa where he met his killed after a perimeter Wall collapsed after a
Nkuruziza turned a death. wall at Lohana Primary heavy downpour.

16 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
year enders

July 12 Aug.5
July
Journalist turned pastor Joseph

Aug
Ziggy Wine, a
Kabuleta is arrested for Facebook musician associated
post critical of President Museveni. with People
He is released days later and claims Power, a political
he was tortured. movement led by
Bobi Wine, dies

July 21 under mysterious


circumstances.
Ziggy Wine’s
Uganda finish seventh at
death causes
Netball World Cup hosted
intense controversy
in Liverpool, England.
with claims he
There was controversy over
was tortured
some of the decisions by
by government.
Coach Vincent Kiwanuka
where some players However it turns
were reportedly played out he died in a
in unfamiliar positions. boda boda accident.
Captain Peace Proscovia

Aug. 13
scored 27 of 33 shots, Mary
Cholock Nuba 15 of 18, and
Stella Oyella 16 of 17 to
ensure Uganda finish in a
place better than they did in Government tables a withdrawal from Nation-

July 24
Sydney 2015. bill before parliament al Social Security Fund
proposing to tax workers (NSSF). Workers rise up
savings at the point of in arms over the proposal.

Aug. 20
State Minister for
Privatisation and Investment
Bobi Wine launches the 2021 presidential Evelyn Anite addresses a
People Power 2021 elections. The function, press conference saying there
team. Bobi unveiled attended by opposition are mafia in government who
a 140 member team figures in other want to kill her. Anite says her
to spearhead their opposition parties took insistence on auditing UTL is
mobilisation activities place at Bobi Wine’s
the reason mafia are after her.
across the country as home in Magere, Wakiso

Aug.21
they head towards district.

July 29- 19 Presidents; Museveni


and Kagame sign a Memo-
between their countries.
The ceremony is presided
Generals retire from (UPDF). The Generals randum of Understanding over by Angolan President
the UPDF. President include Gen. Joram in Luanda, Angola to pro- Joao Lorenco and observed
Yoweri Museveni, the Mugume, Maj. Gen. mote peace and mediation by DRC president Felix
Commander-in-Chief, Nathan Mugisha, Maj. to resolve the conflict Thisekedi.
presided over a ceremony Gen. Willis Byaruhanga,
at State House Entebbe Maj. Gen. Sam
where 19 Generals were Turyagenda, Maj. Gen.
retired from the Uganda Eng. Timothy Mutebile
People’s Defence Forces Sabiiti.

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 17
year enders

Sept.7 Oct. 5
Sept

Oct
Government
concludes one month
validation exercise for
NGOs. Through this,
the government collects
data on NGO funding,
contracts, staff, bank
accounts. NGO bosses rap
the exercise as intrusive.

Sept 13

Museveni appoints 15 the Court of Appeal. The


judges; 15 judges, 12 to latter included IGG Justice
High Court and three on Irene Mulyagonja.

Oct.6 Ugandan
runner Joshua
Cheptegei wins
US slaps sanctions Ugandans, human rights gold in the men’s
on former Inspector violations, corruption, 10,000m race at
General of Police (IGP) wildlife trafficking. Also the IAAF World
Gen. Kale Kayihura for sanctioned are his wife and Championships
alleged role in torture of two children. in Doha, Qatar. A
remarkable year

Sept.27
for the 23-year-old
given that he set
a new record in
the 10,000 metre
Ruling NRM wins hotly violence and intimidation. category two
contested by-election Opposition had joint months later in
for the Hoima Woman candidate in Asinansi Valencia, Spain.
MP seat. NRM’s Harriet Nyakato but differences
Businge is declared emerge between FDC and

Oct.7
winner in a poll marred by People Power.
Uganda
Airlines receives

Sept. 30
two Bombardier
CRJ900s. The two
aircraft touch
Uganda Cranes get Stadium, Namboole when down at Entebbe
new coach, Johnny Cranes beat Malawi 2-0 International
McKinstry. The 34-year in their Group B game for Airport from
old won his first game AFCON qualifiers. Canada where
at Mandela National they are
manufactured
amidst
excitement by
the public.

Oct.24
Opposition leader the injustices perpetrated
Kizza Besigye launches by the NRM government
Twerwaneko (lets defend such as land grabbing,
ourselves), a campaign murders, kidnaps.
urging Ugandans to resist

18 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
year enders

Nov. 10 Dec.16
Nov

Dec
Museveni becomes man challenger political FDC marks 15th Anniversary
of the ghetto. He continues muscle, Bobi Wine (Robert Uganda’s largest opposition political party FDC converge
his political work by Kyagulanyi, the Kyadondo in Namboole National Stadium to celebrate 15 years of
visiting some people living East MP) who had earlier ‘operation to oust Museveni’. This time around police and
in or originating from announced his intention to sister security agencies did not clash with party officials,
poor neighborhoods of stand for president come supporters. Its leaders including its former President Dr.
Kampala City, popularly 2021. Museveni appointed Kiiza Besigye said the most outstanding achievement was
known as the ghetto.  Mark Bugembe, aka Bucha to expose President Yoweri Museveni’s regime weakness-
Political pundits said, this Man as his special envoy es, one of which being corruption.
move is aimed at breaking to the ghetto.

Dec.8
his new opposition

Nov. 7 Nov. 9 Deadly floods hit


some western parts of the
had suffered floods and
landslides in recent weeks.
country claiming at least It said that hundreds had
South Sudan’s Tshisekedi visits Ugan- 16 lives, the Red Cross said died and millions were
president, Salva da with 117 delegates on Dec.08 as the region displaced. The events had
Kiir and chief rebel endured weeks of rain. been linked to an unusual
leader, Riek Machar Congolese President
The BBC reported that weather phenomenon in
meet in Uganda Felix Tshisekedi visited large parts of east Africa the Indian Ocean.
with President Uganda for a two-day
Museveni and state visit. One of the

Dec. 14
agree to postpone major highlight was
the formation of a
unity government that he was accompa-
for another 100 nied by 117 delegates
Dec. 14 Museveni names ‘political’ cabinet
days. This was the from several minis- President Yoweri Museveni announces a new cabinet
third such delay in tries and the business with a few changes in some ministerial positions. Some
South Sudan’s peace community. Tshisekedi of the changes included Igara West MP Raphael Magyezi,
process, and some who tabled the motion to amend the presidential age
analysts believed that would later attend the
first ever Uganda-DR limit being appointed minister for local government.
even with the delay,
Kyaka South MP Jackson Kafuuzi, joined cbneas deputy
the sides would not Congo summit at Im-
attorney general. Usuk County MP Peter Ogwang, was
be able to bridge the perial Golf View Hotel appointed minister for state designate for Information and
differences that were in Entebbe.
holding them up. Communication Technology.

Dec. 16
Nov 20 Shs24.7bn: First profit for UEGCL in 18 years
For the first time since 2001, Uganda Electricity
‘People’s Government’ towards ousting President Generation Company Limited announced that it had made
leader Dr. Kizza Besigye Museveni out of power.  a net profit of Shs24.7bn for the financial year 2017/18 up
announces a process Besigye told Ugandans from a loss of Shs10.8bn a year before. This performance
of collecting 2 million that his ‘government’ was supported by sales of electricity from the new power
signatures as one tool would treat their dam (183MW Isimba) that had been commissioned in
to use to petition the evidence with utmost the same year. The company’s turnover increased from
International Criminal confidentiality so they Shs8.2bn in FY2017/18 to Shs61.6bn FY2018/2019. Its assets
Court to reenergize are not persecuted by increased from Shs5.7tn in 2017/18 to 6.8tn a year before.
their struggle geared Museveni’s regime. 

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 19
news analysis

Uganda’s war Corruption the monster


Corruption has been described by observ-
ers of Ugandan society as one of the biggest

on corruption challenges facing the country’s development


aspirations of becoming a prosperous and
perhaps welfare state by 2040.
“Corruption has become an accepted

It’s not all doom and gloom means of getting by in the country,” says a
recent report by the Bertelsmann Stiftung
Index, a German foundation that does
research on socio-economic reform around
By Ronald Musoke unimpressed and described the gesture as the world. Indeed, advisories on corruption

D
another public relations stunt. Moses Oke- in the country are common when prospec-
ecember 04 marked another key mer, a motorcycle taxi (bodaboda) rider in tive investors are seeking strategic invest-
moment in President Yoweri Mu- Kampala told The Independent that he saw ment information on Uganda.
seveni’s protracted fight against “nothing in Museveni’s corruption walk.” “The police, the judiciary and procure-
corruption that has for a long time “The government cannot fight corruption ment are areas where corruption risks are
blighted Uganda’s development agenda. because many of those who walked are cor- very high and under-the-table cash pay-
Flanked by several high profile govern- rupt,” Okemer said, adding“It (corruption) ments are expected,” says a 2017 report on
ment officials, religious and civil society could possibly end if they eliminate them- Uganda by GAN Integrity, a US-based tech-
leaders, Museveni walked a stretch of about selves from the system.” nology company that manages corporate
4km alongside thousands of citizens to The task of rooting corruption out of compliance programmes for over 140 global
demonstrate government’s commitment in Uganda was not even lost on senior gov- companies, “Corruption challenges are exac-
the war against the vice. ernment leaders like Jacob Oulanyah, the erbated by weak law enforcement, which
The president later addressed a rally at the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, who walked fuels a culture of impunity.”
Kololo Independence Grounds saying the alongside President Museveni. Interestingly, Uganda has one of the most
“Corrupt people are parasites.” “Mr. President, we are all corrupt. robust anti-corruption legal frameworks on
“They are parasites because they get We need to have a change of attitude,” the continent such as the Anti-Corruption
wealth which they did not earn,” he said. Oulanyah said, before turning to address Act, the Penal Code, the Inspectorate of Gov-
The president said it is the responsibility of the rally, “Don’t wait to be anything else to ernment Act, 2002, the Public Finance Man-
political leaders to end the vice by organiz- start fighting corruption. It starts from where agement Act 2015 and the Leadership Code
ing the economy in such a way that people you are and what you do. Let us stop the Act 2002 yet the vice still persists.
meet their needs. pretence.” “Nearly half of Ugandans perceive the
But sections of the Ugandan public were judiciary as corrupt,” says the 2015 Global

20 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
news analysis
Corruption Barometer. “In 2015, nearly half viction rates— an indicator of strengthened in shaping the Directorate’s work culture, it
of Ugandans who had come into contact effectiveness of prosecutorial approaches is equally clear that the leadership of the IG
with the courts in the previous 12 months both in preparation of cases and in trial have steered this transformation.
indicated having paid a bribe.” advocacy at the court. At the Anti-Corruption Division (ACD) of
There are probably millions more The ODPP, for instance, reported a convic- the High Court, the court has also registered
accounts by Ugandans who have tried to tion rate of 74% up from 68% in the previous a conviction rate of 57%. This is an increase
access services in public institutions like hos- year, which marks an 8.8% increase while from 51.4% in 2017/2018. Fifty-seven percent
pitals, police and education facilities. the Inspectorate of Government registered of the completed cases were backlog cases,
a conviction rate of 73.5% from 66%, an 11% a remarkable performance as the target and
SUGAR-TAF’s intervention increase. accompanying budget from the Justice, Law
This is perhaps the environment under The two institutions also managed to and Order Sector (JLOS) had been for 30
which a five-year UK government and Euro- recover Shs1.37bn. This is a 94% increase cases.
pean Union-funded programme known as from the previous year.The Inspectorate of The court also raised revenue of Shs 106.5
Strengthening Uganda’s Anti-Corruption Government also completed 12% more pros- million in form of fines, and issued compen-
Response-Technical Advisory Facility or ecutions in the 2018/19 financial year than in sation orders worth Shs 15.7bn.
“SUGAR-TAF” has been running for the last the previous year. The SUGAR-TAF programme has also
four years to help more than14 government This development, according to SUG- made inroads in fighting impunity in public
institutions become more effective in fight- AR-TAF’s annual results report for the service. When, for instance, the programme
ing corruption. 2018/19 financial year, is a testament that the found out in 2017 that the public service
“When you look at the causes of corrup- programme’s multi-institutional approach ministry was rarely informed whenever
tion and what sustains it, sometimes it is to popularizing asset recovery as a prime public officials were convicted of cor-
outright greed and other times, it is ineffi- anti-corruption tool is working. ruption—a situation that undermined its
ciencies in the public institutions,” Valentine Joram Magezi who heads the IG’s Direc- oversight role— a case referral mechanism
Namakula, the SUGAR-TAF Director told torate of Special Investigations and Reuben through which information could be shared
The Independent early this year. Bainomujuni, a Principal Inspectorate Offi- was initiated.
“We are looking at reducing levels of cer said SUGAR-TAF has taught their team This enabled the Ministry of Public Ser-
corruption through two mutually-reinforc- the value of teamwork—a virtue the direc- vice to follow up on persons convicted of
ing mechanisms; one is increasing the risk corruption so that they are removed from
of engaging in corruption and the other is the payroll.
looking at reducing opportunities for cor- Allan Muhereza, the Assistant Commis-
ruption,” she said. sioner at the ministry says that whenever a
SUGAR-TAF’s objective to strengthen the public servant was convicted, Public Service
effectiveness of anti-corruption functions is did not know because there was no commu-
hinged on ownership for new approaches of nication between the ministry and the prose-
fighting graft by leaders at different levels in cution agencies.
institutions the programme supports. Muhereza says the ministry has since
The programme has particularly dwelt on established these communication channels
strengthening the detection, investigation, to the extent that when a public officer is
prosecution and adjudication of corruption convicted of corruption, the responsible offi-
and the recovery of ill-gotten assets. The cer is notified of the ruling.
support has been provided through skills “We get a copy, and also the service com-
training, hands-on case support, support of mission gets a copy,” Muhereza says, “If
legislative reviews, development of guide- a district does not comply, we write to the
lines and reference materials, and through ministry of Local Government to follow-up.”
learner-led mentorship and coaching. “If district accounting officer are not doing
SUGAR-TAF has also invested in building their job, we can recommend to the finance
leadership skills both for institutional heads ministry that they be removed.”
and for technical officers at the Inspec- These incremental developments in
torate of Government (IG), the Office of the torate previously struggled to foster. administrative sanctions are also being felt
Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP), the “We would have issues of fear of confi- at the Judicial Service Commission where
Financial Intelligence Authority (FIA), as dentiality and information leakage. Inves- SUGAR-TAF has supported strengthening
well as the Public Procurement and Disposal tigators wanted to keep everything close of disciplinary processes.
of Assets Authority (PPDA). to their chest,” Magezi said. “(Now), the Disciplinary action was, for example,
“Corruption is deeply ingrained in Ugan- entire Directorate is sharing documents and issued in 20 cases in the 2018/2019 financial
dan society and so, to root it out requires a information without the fear and conserva- year, a significant increase from the 11 issued
multi-faceted response,” Namakula said, tism that they had before. Because we are in FY 2017/2018.
“The public institutions starting from the all doing the same activity and we are all Going forward, Cissy Kagaba the execu-
legislation to the institutions cannot fight responsible.” tive director of the Anti-Corruption Coalition
corruption on their own without getting Bainomujuni also describes a work culture Uganda (ACCU), one of several civil society
support from the private sector or the citi- within the Directorate which is much flatter organizations that have been working close-
zens.” than the typical government departmental ly with SUGAR-TAF to fight corruption in
Several anti-corruption government insti- hierarchy. Uganda told The Independent that the biggest
tutions have made significant progress and “This is important because investigations achievement of SUGAR-TAF’s interventions
are now registering outstanding results. The are time-sensitive: the longer they take, the will come in the form of a mindset shift for
Inspectorate of Government and the ODPP more likely it is that evidence will disap- the government officials who have bene-
particularly did well in the 2018/19 financial pear,” Bainomugisha says. fitted from the programme’s interventions
year. But, while Magezi and Bainomujuni over the last five years.
The two institutions registered higher con- credit SUGAR-TAF as being instrumental

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 21
news analysis

Murchison Falls
By Ronald Musoke

F
ifteen civil society organizations
(CSOs) have asked the Electricity

Giveaway
Regulatory Authority (ERA) to share
details with Ugandans that show
South African energy firm, Bonang Power
and Energy Pty Ltd, is technically capable
and financially sound to undertake a feasi-
bility study for a hydro electricity dam that is Do a thorough due-diligence on
located in an environmentally sensitive area.
In a letter dated Dec. 06 and addressed
to ERA’s Chief Executive Officer, Eng. Ziria
Bonang Power, government told
Tibalwa Waako, the CSOs also asked ERA to
provide information that show that Bonang the generation and sale of electricity from Murchison Falls are separate falls that are
Power was procured to conduct a feasibility a hydro power plant proposed to be estab- adjacent to each other.
study for a dam at Uhuru Falls. lished near Murchison Falls in Kiryandongo “In order to make a scientifically informed
The Civil Society agencies include; the and Nwoya Districts. decision, cabinet reviewed its decision
Guild Presidents’ Forum on Governance However, the notice drew uproar from the yesterday (Dec.02, 2019), and agreed that a
(GPFOG); Citizens Concern Africa (CICOA); Ugandan public. Civil society organizations feasibility study is undertaken on the Uhuru
Action Coalition on Climate Change (CSOs), cultural institutions, communities, falls site.”
(ACCC); South Western Institute for Policy conservationists, tour operators demanded “In making the decision, cabinet consid-
and Advocacy (SOWIPA); World Voices that the Murchison Falls be spared for a ered the need to have the feasibility study
Uganda (WVU); Oil Refinery Residents hydropower dam construction. undertaken because that is the only scientific
Association (ORRA) and Africa Institute for Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, the outgoing way to determine the impact of the project
Energy Governance (AFIEGO). minister of tourism said cabinet had agreed on the environment, tourism and ecology at
Others include; Great Lakes Institute for to stop the planned dam at Murchison as the proposed site,” Muloni said.
Strategic Studies (GLISS), Centre for Con- it would affect the scenery, beauty and the The minister explained that the feasibility
stitutional Governance (CCG), Twimukye falls. study will help determine the technical,
Women’s Organization, Graffen Organiza- But on Dec. 03, Irene Muloni, the imme- environmental, social, economic and finan-
tion –Butimba, Youth Action for Environ- diate former energy minister said during a cial viability of the project and whether to
ment –Kiryandongo, Centre for Energy media briefing in Kampala that the govern- undertake it or not.
Governance, African Initiative on Food ment had signed a memorandum of under- The government will ensure through
security and Environment and Water and standing with Bonang Power to undertake a supervision of the feasibility study so that its
Electricity Consumers’ Association. detailed feasibility study to establish wheth- interests are taken into consideration includ-
This follows ERA’s notice published on er a hydropower dam at Uhuru Falls in ing benchmarking where similar projects
June 07 stating that Bonang had applied for Murchison Falls National Park could co-exist have been previously undertaken in ecologi-
a permit to carry out a feasibility study on a with tourism. cally sensitive areas,” Muloni said.
360MW power project near Murchison Falls. Muloni said the dam will not be construct- Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu complemented
ERA said, it had received a notice of ed at Murchison Falls but rather adjacent to Muloni’s comments, saying that the govern-
intended application of a licence from it at Uhuru Falls which is a distance of 500 ment is committed to ensuring Uganda’s
Bonang Power and Energy (Pty) Ltd for metres apart. Muloni said Uhuru Falls and natural endowment remains.

22 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
news analysis
“I want to assure you that conservation of is unclear to touch the iconic Murchison emerging economy to realize its deeper need
the environment and natural endowment is Falls, which are visited by over 30% of the for a reliable and high quality infrastruc-
not a choice for anyone but a duty for every- 100,000 tourists that visit Murchison Falls ture in order to achieve its goals of ending
one. You should never doubt the commit- National Park.” extreme poverty and increasing shared
ment of the government in the conservation The last time The Independent visited prosperity.”
of natural endowment,” Kamuntu said. Bonang Power’s website in June this year, In Uganda, Bonang intends to work on
the firm claimed it is an African independent what they are calling the Uhuru Hydro
Bonang Power’s capacity power producer. Power. The new hydro power project, the
But it appears several civil society organi- This makes the company’s move in Ugan- initiators claim, will support economic
zations remain skeptical. The CSOs say they da to be in conflict of interest owed to the growth and job creation as well as enhance
are raising the red flag on Bonang following fact that it is the very firm that intends to the competitiveness of Ugandan goods both
their investigation of the South African carry out the feasibility study yet also inter- regionally and internationally.
company. They say their investigation has ested in developing the hydropower dam,
revealed that Bonang’s experience in devel- critics say. Local tourism agencies unhappy
oping hydropower dams is questionable. The company’s profile noted that Bonang Meanwhile, on Dec.10, the Association
“No reliable information on the dams that was formed to develop sustainable green of Uganda Tour Operators drove its
the company has developed is available. energy generating capacity for Africa (clean, partners from conservation, civil society,
The company’s website is also down and its renewable hydropower projects) which academia, students, local communities and
physical address is a shared working space, could replace around 75% of the current the media to Murchison Falls from where
raising questions about the company’s will- diesel-powered generation capacity on the they condemned the government’s idea to
ingness to promote transparency,” notes continent. sanction a feasibility study for the hydro
the letter which was also copied to various “The fact that hydro-electric power is electric power dam.
heads of government including the Prime clean, renewable source of energy that does Everest Kayondo, the chairman of
Minister and Speaker of Parliament. not contribute to global warming and cli- Uganda’s tour operators’ body, said both
“The signatories to this letter suspect Uhuru and Murchison Falls must be
that Bonang is a front for corrupt Ugandan protected for their environmental, social;
officials and unless ERA, which is Uganda’s direct and indirect economic value to
only mandated energy sector regulator, Murchison Uganda.

Waterfalls
undertakes due diligence and informs Ugan- Located on the Nile between the Ugandan
dans about Bonang’s technical and financial lakes Kyoga and Albert , the Murchison Falls
capacity, the Murchison and Uhuru Falls
will be destroyed.”
from the top also lend their name to a 3,900sq km national
park, one of Uganda’s biggest, where visitors
The CSOs’ investigations show that all the way to can view lions, hippos, elephants, buffalos

the delta at its


Bonang Power and Energy (Pty) Ltd was and giraffes.
founded on Jan.16, 2014 with a registration “Murchison Waterfalls from the top all
number 2014/008439/07. However, the com-
pany was deregistered on April 11, 2016 due confluence with the way to the delta at its confluence with
Lake Albert, including Uhuru Falls is a
to failure to file annual returns. It was again
re-registered on Dec. 5, 2017.
Lake Albert, Ramsar site, designated to be of international
importance under the Ramsar Convention
A search on the company’s physical loca- including on Wetlands; an intergovernmental
tion reveals little to nothing, the CSOs say.
Before the company’s website was pulled Uhuru Falls is a environmental treaty established in 1971 by
UNESCO, which Uganda is also a signatory
down, the listed physical address on its web-
site was 195 Jan Smuts Avenue, Randburg,
Ramsar site to.”
“The top of the falls also holds important
in South Africa but a further scrutiny of the cultural and historical regalia of great
physical address reveals that in fact, the significance to the host communities from
mentioned address, is a commercial prop- the many districts surrounding the park,
erty that also offers co-working and virtual who benefits from its existence,” Kayondo
office space. mate change is the key driver for choosing said.
The CSOs investigation of the hydropow- this power producing method, citing some AUTO said several studies had already
er works that Bonang Power and Energy advantages.” been conducted to highlight the critical
Ltd has undertaken reveals unconvincing Bonang claim its mission is to break new state of this protected area, including a
results. On its website before it was pulled ground in helping Africa bring transforma- September 2017 Environmental Sensitivity
down, the company listed hydropower proj- tional change to the lives of the people, by Atlas for Murchison Falls National Park
ects that were ongoing in Africa. providing much needed renewable electric- by the Uganda Wildlife Authority, funded
However, the company’s links to those ity generation, enabling sustainable local by the United States Agency for International
hydropower works was unclear as the economic growth. Development (USAID) and the Royal
company did not mention any dam that it is In a company Facebook statement dated Norwegian Embassy that re-emphasizes the
developing across the continent. May 25, 2019 and attributed to Ernest Moloi, protection of this Ramsar site.
The CSOs argue that a company that the Bonang Power chairman, the company “There is therefore no need for another
seems to have no office of its own, lacks a strongly believes and sees hydropower as study for a Key Biodiversity Areas
web presence, lacks clear information on having excellent potential in Africa. (KBA) hosting many IUCN red listed
what hydro power projects it has undertak- “Vast amounts of water flow in Africa’s species,” Pearl Hoareau, the president of
en cannot be trusted with one of Uganda’s rivers, amounts of that available water can the Uganda Tourism Association said,
most prized tourist attractions— the Murchi- be harnessed to produce electricity energy “The Uhuru damming would exacerbate
son and Uhuru Falls. to satisfy most of Africa’s current energy this issue by causing a major loss in the
“We cannot let a company whose track demand by 2030.” aesthetic beauty of the park.”
record on construction of hydro power dams Moloi added: “It is vital for Africa as an

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 23
Government is heavily investing in agriculture as one of the key sectors to spur economic growth

2019 economy performs


below expectations
Growth is projected to range between
5.5-6% compared to 6.2% in 2018

U
By Julius Businge moderation of economic activity since the the government has been working
beginning of this year. tirelessly to boost growth in key sectors of
ganda’s economy He said the moderation of domestic agriculture, tourism, manufacturing but
performed below economic growth was driven by both little appears to have been achieved.
expectations especially slowing global activity and domestic For instance, in tourism, government
towards the end of the factors. had planned to attract more than one
year, according to the latest For instance, in the first 10 months million tourists this year on top of the
Bank of Uganda Monitory of 2019 with the exception of gold 1.5 million people received in 2018, but
Policy Report. and re-exports, tourism and other available figures from the Central Bank
In addition, an analysis of the different merchandise exports are estimated to and Uganda Tourism Board indicate that
monetary policy reports, looking at have grown at a slower rate, reflecting after ten months, only about 1.2 million
the trend of GDP, private sector credit, the moderating external demand. tourists had visited Uganda.
inflation, commercial bank interest rates, However, the public sector financing Uganda’s tourism earnings had grown
balance of payment position and the rose amidst limited fiscal space, and to $1.4 billion in 2017 and $1.6billion
central bank rate shows that all was not raising the prospect of further pressure making the sector the biggest forex
well in 2019 compared with the last year. on the domestic borrowing costs. exchange earner above coffee earnings
This is further supported by the Overall, economic growth is projected and diaspora remittances. There was
Bank of Uganda Governor, Emmanuel to be in the range of 5.5-6.0 percent in hope that this could only get better in
Tumusiime Mutebile, who revealed 2019. In 2018, the economy was reported subsequent years.
on Dec.09 that indeed the Composite to have grown at an average of 6.1-6.2%. But with the scare of Ebola cases
Index of Economic activity pointed to a This development comes at the time reported in Kasese and the international

24 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
business
media reports on the violence in the November, the MPRs analysis shows
Democratic Republic of Congo, cases that PSC growth averaged at 12.75%.
of political violence, murder and urban
crime have made some tourists to Uganda shilling performance
reconsider visiting the country. The Uganda shilling maintained an
In August, the government appreciation trend strengthening by
re-launched operations of the national 1.5% quarter-on-quarter and 3.3% year-
carrier – Uganda Airlines – as one way on-year in September 2019 to a mid-rate
to boost tourism. The airline now flies of Shs3, 675.50 per US dollar. Shilling
to more than seven destinations in strengthening was driven largely by
Africa. Its impact on tourism and the strong inflows from offshore investors,
entire economy is yet to be attained. exports, and NGO inward transfers.
On average, the shilling traded
Balance of Payments against the dollar for all months of 2019
In the 12 months to October 2019, up to November at Shs3, 730, going by
the Current Account Deficit (CAD) BoU’s quarterly data.
widened by 45.1%, to $3,290.2million The other key highlight during the
due to higher private sector imports. year was increasing debt levels. BoU
The import bill grew by 14.3% (or Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile figures for the August MPR, shows that
US$850.2 million), exports grew by the country’s provisional total public
9.6%. However excluding gold, imports debt stock as at the end of August
grew by 1.9%, consumption goods by 2019 stood at Shs 47,348.2 billion,
4.9% while capital/intermediate imports corresponding to an increase of 0.1%
grew by 0.8%. Exports contracted compared to a decline of 1.6% the
by 12.7%, financial account inflows previous year.
increased by 72.3% (or US$1,119.1 The increase in the stock of total
million). public debt between June 2019 and
Increased Foreign Direct Investment August 2019 was mainly due to a 2.9%
(FDI) inflows, coupled with significant increase in the public domestic debt.
draw down of deposit assets abroad by However, the public external debt
banks and the private sector, relative maintained a dominant share of 64.8%
to the year to October 2018, where of the total public debt.
significant build up in deposits abroad According to expert analysis by the
was recorded. FDI grew by 45.4% from World Bank top officials, reliance on
US$1200.4 million to US$1745.9million. rain-fed agriculture, however, remains
a downside risk to growth, the poor’s
Inflation trends income, as well as export earnings. Tax
Despite the increase in core inflation Keith Muhakanizi collections are below expectations and
in November 2019, it remained low fiscal pressures are rising.
and within the medium term target Meanwhile, delays and poor
(2-3 years) of 5%. Inflation remains increases that were noted in the periods management of the public investment
subdued in part due to a relatively of April and July 2019. program could prevent the productivity
stronger exchange rate, moderate In the three months to August 2019, gains expected from enhanced
domestic demand, and lower food commercial bank interest rates increased infrastructure, while an acceleration in
prices. The factors holding back slightly to an average of 20.2%, domestic arrears may have an adverse
inflation appear to have gained a compared to 19.7% in the quarter to impact on private investment and further
foothold, reinforced by lower global May 2019. The increase in the lending limit the extension of credit.
inflation, falling global commodity rates was mainly recorded in the sectors The country’s economy, in general
prices, and weakening global growth. of agriculture, manufacturing, and analysis was largely influenced by
The annual headline and core inflation trade. But throughout the year, the rates an accommodative monetary policy
was reported at 3% and 2.9% in for the averaged at 20.15%. stance driven by Bank of Uganda
month of November as opposed to 3.0% technocrats, growth in the private
(headline) and 4.6% (core) in the month of Private sector credit sector credit, fiscal stimulus, strong
February 2019. Growth in private sector credit (PSC) domestic demand, improvement in
In between the year (April – October) continued to strengthen, despite a the agriculture sector as a result
annual headline and core inflation slowdown in the quarter to August 2019, of favourable weather conditions
averaged between 3.7% and 3.4% largely supported by an accommodative and growth in public infrastructure
respectively, going by the monetary monetary policy stance and developments.
policy reports published by BoU. improvements in asset quality. Average The central bank continued to manage
Changes in inflation figures were mainly year-on-year growth in PSC declined to monetary policy using the policy interest
influenced by food prices and related 13.9% in the three months to August rate – the Central Bank Rate – as a tool
factors like weather. 2019 relative to 14.8% in the previous to determine interest rates in the market.
period. The trend of the CBR was 10% (February),
Bank lending rates The slowdown was mainly due to 10% (April), 10% (June), 9% (August),
Commercial bank lending rates have higher loan recoveries on account 10% (October) and 9% (December).
on average remained relatively stable of improved loan recovery measures The CBR movement remained largely
which is reflective of the accommodative undertaken. In terms of annual flat because of marginal changes in core
monetary policy stance, albeit slight performance for all the months up to inflation that influences its movement.

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 25
business

Uganda’s long
road to first oil
FDI expected to be reached by April 2020 
By Liam Taylor CNOOC, a Chinese state firm, be reached by April 2020. It typically

O
and Tullow, an independent with takes three years for oil projects to
il deposits have sat beneath headquarters in London. In 2017, move from FID to first oil.
the shores of Lake Albert, Tullow announced it would sell on Meanwhile Total has suspended
in western Uganda, for most of its interests in the Uganda activity on the 1,445km pipeline that
millions of years. Since its project to its two larger partners, will carry Ugandan oil to the sea. Back
discovery in 2006, plans to extract the reducing its own stake to 11.76%. in February its boss, Patrick Pouyanné,
oil, estimated at over 1bn recoverable In August this year, the companies had quipped about the oil project’s
barrels, have repeatedly stumbled and the government could still not numerous challenges. “There are many
over disagreements between the agree how the $900m deal should be crocodiles in Lake Albert,” he said.
government and oil companies. The taxed. A sales agreement between the “We need to domesticate the crocodiles
latest was a tax dispute that threw companies expired. The deal was off. before we move forward.” The story
the whole project into limbo, holding Uncertainty over the transaction of Uganda’s oil suggests that those
up the commencement of commercial has delayed a long-awaited final “crocodiles” will be hard to tame.
production. ` investment decision (FID) on the oil
The argument turned on the project, which was expected this year. Tax disputes
transfer of assets between the three Irene Muloni, the former immediate Uganda has already been waiting a
oil companies who are developing energy minister, had told the African century for oil. The first formal survey
the fields: Total, a French supermajor, Business Magazine that a decision will around Lake Albert was conducted

26 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
business
bill for $167m, which the company
contested.
The A compromise was reached after
direct meetings between Museveni and
government Pouyanné. They agreed that Tullow
also felt the would pay just $85m, with Total and
CNOOC topping up the rest. They
cost of delay could not agree, however, about
in its own whether the two larger companies
pocket. It has would inherit Tullow’s recoverable
costs and count them against future
poured money tax obligations. That issue and others
into roads, remained unresolved when the sale
collapsed at the end of August.
dams and The government put forward new
airports on proposals, which the firms have
the promise of since accepted, Hanns Kyazze, a
communications specialist at the
an imminent ministry of energy and mineral
oil boom development, told Reuters in
December.
While the dispute has been resolved,
the original sales agreement between
the oil companies is dead; they will
have to draw up another one, perhaps
on fresh terms. Political attention
an arbitration case in London both is already turning to contentious
ruled in favour of the government, elections in 2021.
and Museveni later awarded a Shs6bn The government also felt the cost of
($1.6m) bonus to 42 officials who had delay in its own pocket. It has poured
helped in the case. A similar dispute money into roads, dams and airports
arose when – in a foreshadowing of on the promise of an imminent oil
the current standoff – Tullow sold on boom. A 2018 study by Sebastian
part of its stake to Total and CNOOC. Wolf, of the Overseas Development
That matter was settled out of court in Institute, and Vishal Aditya Potluri, of
2015.   the Harvard Kennedy School, forecasts
by a British team in 1925. President Other tensions bubbled below the that oil earnings will peak at 73% of
Yoweri Museveni held meetings surface. Museveni wanted to refine oil the government’s non-oil tax revenues
about oil with advisers two weeks locally. The oil companies wanted to within a few years of coming on stream
after seizing power in 1986, and soon export it, arguing that a small, inland (assuming a price that starts at $77
afterwards called off talks with oil refinery was economically unviable. In a barrel and grows by 2% a year).
companies while the country built its the end they agreed that up to 60,000 Senior officials at the Bank of Uganda
negotiating capacity. barrels per day – about a quarter of the have warned that debts could become
At the time, most African oil total – would be refined in Uganda. unsustainable if oil arrives late.  
exploration was off the Atlantic coast. The rest will be transported to the Everything now hinges on the
When commercial quantities were Tanzanian coast through the longest final investment decision. “From the
finally discovered in three fields in the heated pipeline in the world. moment FID is announced, Uganda
western part of the country in 2006 it is going to change drastically,” says
was the largest onshore discovery in Taming crocodiles Hanns Kyazze, communications
Africa for two decades. It was unsurprising, then, that specialist at the energy ministry. Up
“There is a lot of nonsense that Tullow’s 2017 decision should also to $20bn is expected to flow into the
oil will be a curse. No way,” said run into problems. “The transaction country to develop oil infrastructure.
Museveni when he announced the find. which we have today is being But once a decision is finally
Sensibly, the government did not rush looked at through the lenses of prior reached, other challenges loom.
to the market. transactions,” says Denis Kakembo Already, thousands of people in
It took time to pass relevant laws of Cristal Advocates, a law firm in western Uganda have been displaced;
and recruit a team of competent Kampala with expertise in energy and some are contesting the resettlement
technocrats. Museveni, a notorious tax. package they received. Part of the oil
micromanager, took a deep personal The deal was structured so that Total lies below a national park.
interest in negotiations with oil and CNOOC would pay Tullow $200m In January six NGOs will challenge Total
companies. He drove a hard bargain. in cash, and a further $700m towards in a French court, claiming that it has failed
The most contentious issue was tax. its share of future development costs. to elaborate and implement its human
In 2010 Heritage, the company that had But disagreements arose over several rights and environmental vigilance plan.
done much of the initial exploration issues, such as how to account for the Uganda’s oil saga is just beginning. 
work, agreed to sell on its assets to costs Tullow had already incurred
Tullow. The government imposed a between acquiring its Ugandan assets Adapted from the Africa Business
$434m capital gains tax bill, which and selling them on. The government Magazine
Heritage disputed. A local court and presented Tullow with a capital gains

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 27
business
Executive Style

Jumia is here to stay- CEO


What is the future of ment, more afford-
Jumia in Uganda going able prices and faster
by recent developments delivery across the
in Tanzania and Camer- country. Customers

W
oon? can also expect us to
hat we can keep our promises
say is that we to offer a free seven
see demand day return policy,
for our ser- nationwide delivery
vices in Uganda. We will and cash on delivery
continue to do our best payments. On the
to meet the demand. other hand, we still
have a long way to
ow is Jumia Uganda go in educating the
performing in compari- market. Many peo-
son with other markets ple we speak to are
in East Africa? amazed by our prizes
We are prohibited and the convenience
from sharing numbers of home delivery, but
on a country level but do not know how to
we can share numbers at place an order them-
a group level. The latest selves. Consequent-
figures have to do with ly, we will spend
the recently concluded more resources in
Black Friday sale where bringing Jumia clos-
we recorded 100 million E-commerce firm, Jumia, recently announced to close er to a wider range
visits across all our mar- of consumers. For
kets. We are contributing
shop in Tanzania, Rwanda and Cameroon, and also example, we already
to the development of restructured its operations in Kenya. This sparked fears that have thousands of
digital payment solu- the decision could spread to Kampala. The Independent’s sales agents across
tions. During Black Fri- Julius Businge caught up with the firm’s CEO in Uganda, the country, help-
day campaign, slightly Ron Kawamara, and shares the following industry insights. ing people to place
over 30% of orders were orders on Jumia.
paid with JumiaPay. In Another example is
2019, the group recorded as a tool for growing your How do you view the exter- our “Call to Order”
9bn page views. The most business in Uganda? nal factors relating to eco- option. We realize that not
moving items include home Our strategy is to make nomic growth and related everyone has access to the
appliances, sports and fit- people’s lives easier. We ICT policies that connect internet. In response to that,
ness, groceries, fashion and are doing that by providing with the online market? we developed an option for
accessories and television consumers the ability to Overall, we see a healthy consumers to simply call our
sets. At group level, we con- shop and pay for millions of environment for business. line and enjoy the personal
tinue to connect hundreds products at affordable pric- However, all policies that assistance of our staff.
of local logistics partners to es while we deliver to the hinder access to the inter-
enable the delivery packag- convenience of their homes net are naturally also det- What makes Jumia an im-
es. So far, in 2019, 3million or offices countrywide. And rimental to our business. portant online fin tech spe-
packages were delivered, this strategy of convenience Even though the OTT tax cifically for Ugandans and
33% of those were delivered applies not only to our con- did not directly affect our the economy?
in less than 24 hours. In sumers but our vendors as growth adversely, we would While we have not
terms of economic contri- well. We are providing a encourage policy makers to launched our payments
bution, 40% of our sellers more convenient way for our empower the advantages of solution ‘JumiaPay’ in
on the platform are women, vendors to make sales by the internet more enthusias- Uganda yet, across Africa
60% are youth. During Black offering them a wider mar- tically. we grew our Total Payment
Friday alone, 5000 Jumia full ket to tap into. Traditionally, Volume (TPV) by 95% in
time staff were deployed. a vendor would be limited Apart from annual sales quarter three of 2019 versus
We estimate 50, 000 as indi- to walk in customers but promotions....what should 2018. This strong growth
rect jobs created through with the internet and online the customers expect from manifests our ambition of
vendors and logistics part- platforms like ours, a vendor you going forward? becoming the leading pay-
ners. is able to reach millions of On the one hand, we are ments platform across the
customers with one simple on our journey to make our continent.
How do you view Jumia’s sign-up on Jumia. services more beloved. That
internal business strategy implies more product assort-

28 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
business
PENSION ACCOUNTING

NSSF gives out Shs55m to retirees ICPAU supports 10 students


three, according to
Barbra Arimi Teddy,
the head of marketing
and communication
at NSSF. Arimi said
that the judges for this
season three of the
campaign considered
corporate governance,
business model, ICPAU President Frederick Kibeddi (centre)
financial literacy with the beneficiaries.

T
NSSF’s Ayota (right) congratulates Alira.

T
skills, local resource
he Institute of Certified Public Accountants of
he National (Shs30m). Martin utilization, community
Uganda has awarded scholarships to 10 stu-
Social Security Owako, who was the engagement and brand
dents, six of whom are female and four are male.
Fund (NSSF) first runners-up got imaging as parameters
This is to enable them pursue the Certified Pub-
gave out (Shs15m) while Edson for one to win. The
lic Accountants of Uganda (CPA-U) qualification. The
Shs55million to Mwine, the second overall objective of
beneficiaries are fresh university graduates drawn from
three winners for runners-up took home the campaign is to
both public and private universities. The beneficiaries
its ‘friends with Shs10m. The highly encourage the Fund’s
obtained either a 1st Class or 2nd Upper degrees. Derick
benefits’ campaign competitive vetting retirees to put into
Nkajja (CPA), the CEO for ICPAU said the institute is
held at Mestil Hotel in process started with good use of their
committed to nurturing talent among young people.
Kampala on Dec.12. 450 contestants but retirement benefits
“The beneficiaries have distinguished themselves as tal-
The overall winner were later on reduced (money) after getting it
ented individuals,” Nkajja said, “Ultimately they should
was Simon Lulu to 16 and then to from the NSSF.
be able to qualify as accountants within the next two
year or so,” he said on Dec.12 at Imperial Royale Hotel.

STANDARDS CSR

UNBS opens Pearl Dairy excites needy children


Shs22bn food lab diseases or physical abnormalities are pre-

T
sented from birth among some children. The
he Uganda National Bureau of diseases are not easily detected in the first
Standards (UNBS) has opened the one or two years among children in most
UNBS national food safety labora- cases but when detected, they can readily
tory building whose construction be minimized or addressed in later stages
started in 2010 when the body acquired through corrective surgery. Experts say that
land to build its headquarters in Bweyo- some of these conditions include; cerebral
gerere Industrial Park. Ben Manyindo, the palsy, hydrocephalus, polio, accidents, se-

O
UNBS executive director said on Dec.12. vere malaria and more. Apart from some
The food lab is built on a space of 4,323 n Dec.11, Pearl Dairy Farms Lim- of the parents who can afford the surgery,
square meters and was fully funded by ited, the producers of LATO Milk majority cannot afford the operation and
the government of Uganda. The laborato- and the initiators of the LATO treatment. Pearl Diary, decided to create
ry is expected to increase productivity of Help initiative brought together its awareness and provide whatever help they
staff and provide more room for testing beneficiaries and their parents at a Christmas can in regard to this. The Company created
capacity samples for Ugandan exports, party held at Lohana Academy in Kampala. a Lato milk Pouch with a distinct red colour
support businesses and boost trade activ- The “Lato Help initiative” is under the com- dubbed ‘Lato Red Pack ’ under the initiative
ities. Going forward, two more labora- pany’s corporate social responsibility func- to specifically help provide opportunities
tories will be constructed including the tion. It offers corrective surgeries to children to these under privileged children to access
National Metrology whose construction that suffer from congenital diseases. These these corrective surgeries for the children.
is expected to begin at the end of the first
quarter of 2020 with funding from the AVIATION
African Development Bank. The other lab
is the Engineering and Building Materials Ethiopian Airlines connects Kisangani

O
and its funding has been incorporated in
UNBS’ budget for FY2020/2021. “When n Dec. 15, Ethiopian Airlines un- now route via Athens and operate three
completed, the three laboratories will veiled a new flight routing, which times a week, leaving Addis every Monday,
facilitate trade at national, regional and will see Addis Ababa connect with Wednesday and Friday and returning the
international level as well as offer protec- Kisangani via Entebbe airport. following day. The aircraft used on this
tion to consumers,” Manyindo said. He The service is operated with a Boeing route is a Boeing B787 Dreamliner. In addi-
said the facilities will not crowd out the B737NG aircraft in a two class cabin layout tion did Ethiopian Airlines also launch their
private sector but will provide oversight of business and economy and according long awaited services to Houston, adding
services to other private sector laborato- to reports. Meanwhile has the airline also another North American destination to their
ries in the country. adjusted their Moscow flights which will growing network.

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 29
business

TEEP to receive
US$5m boost
By Isaac Khisa stem the rising tide of unem-

T
ployment and inequality facing
ony Elumelu Entrepre- the continent’s youngest citizens.
neurship Programme The programme aligns with the
is set to receive US$- Bank’s ten-year Jobs for Youth in
5million boost from the Africa strategy launched in 2016,
African Development Bank to support the creation of 25 mil-
(AfDB) to scale up its outreach lion decent jobs across the conti-
and impact to 1,000 select youth nent. The strategy is also expect-
entrepreneurs across the conti- ed to equip 50 million young
nent. AfDB approved the grant African people with employable
on Dec.16. skills that enable them to access
The grant follows the signing economic opportunities and
(L-R) Umeme Ltd Board Chairman, Patrick Bitature, MD Selestino Babungi and of a letter of intent between the realize their full economic poten-
Stanbic Bank Chief Executive, Patrick Mweheire, during the signing ceremony Bank and the Tony Elumelu tial across the continent.
announcing $70 million long term syndicated financing.   COURTESY PHOTO Foundation, which took place The Tony Elumelu Foundation
during the Tony Elumelu Entrepreneurship Programme
Foundation Entrepreneurship will deliver business training,
Programme launch in March mentoring, and access to net-
this year. works, markets and capital for
The partnership will bring business development to select-
about future collaboration ed youth-led start-ups in order
focused on strengthening small for them to grow and create jobs.
to medium-sized enterprises as The Entrepreneurship Pro-
well as talent and skills develop- gramme demonstrates a strong
ment for Africa’s youth. alignment with the Bank’s Youth
The partnership will support Entrepreneurship and Innova-
3,050 young entrepreneurs tion Multi-Donor Trust Fund
across 54 African countries. The objectives to build the African
Bank’s participation will enable youth entrepreneurship eco-
an additional 1,000 entrepre- system by scaling innovative
neurs to benefit from the Tony youth led start-ups, expand-
Elumelu Entrepreneurship ing youth market opportu-
Program, which provides much nities and improving youth
needed opportunities to help access to finance.

The Miss World Africa Quiin Abenakyo (3rd L), receives a dummy cheque of
Shs10million for her charity foundation from Peter Kabatsi (2nd L), the Board
Chairperson and other Bank of India officials at the Bank’s head offices in
Kampala on Dec.17.  INDEPENDENT ALFRED OCHWO

Share price movement (Dec. 15)


Security Nov. 25 Sep.03 Movement
BATU 30,000 300 00
BOBU 125 130 3.8
CENT 1,075 1,037 3.6
QCL 127 130 2.3
DFCU 650 650 00
EABL 7,352 6,985 5.2
EBL 1,752 1,422 23.2
JHL 12,922 13,177 1.9
KA 104 89 16
KCB 1,790 1,430 25
NIC 11 12 8.3
NMG 1,450 1,356 6.9
NVL 321 325 1.2
SBU 24 24 00
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (in a hut) takes time off to inspect UCHM 12 10 20
several exhibitors at the ICT Innovation Expo at Nakawa on Dec. 17. Over UCL 10 14 28
80 innovators showcased their businesses ranging from human resource UMEME 297 297 00
solutions to healthcare and transport.   COURTESY PHOTO. ALSI -- -- --

30 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
feature

Social protection impacting


beneficiaries-study
By Independent Team

S
pending on social protection inter-
ventions, such as the Senior Citizens
Grant, is not a welfare cost, but is in
fact an investment to the economy
that demonstrates remarkable macro-eco-
nomic impacts comparable to investment in
other interventions like infrastructure, a new
study conducted by the Ministry of Gender,
Labour & Social Development in collabora-
tion with the Ministry of Finance, Planning
& Economic Development, shows.
The study, “Economic and Poverty Impacts
of Expanding Social Protection in Uganda:
Results from a SAM Modelling Approach,”
was led by Dr. Bazlul Haque Khondker, a
professor of economics at the University
of Dhaka, Bangladesh and economic mod-
elling expert; Dr. John Mary Matovu; and only about 0.08 per cent of GDP). to inform development of the long-term
Diloá Athias; under the UK-based consulting The study further finds that the impacts financing strategy for social protection in the
firm Development Pathways. on GDP are equally positive. If all targeted country. The research demonstrates the key
The study carried out simulations to groups are covered, increased social protec- role of social protection as part of a wider
assess the impacts of the progressive expan- tion spending could enhance Uganda’s GDP government strategy for accelerated growth
sion of the current Senior Citizens Grant to growth rate by an additional 1.37 per cent in and development, thereby making the case
older persons over 65 years, while introduc- 2020/31. for increased government investment in
ing child-focussed and disability grants over “Simulation outcomes suggest significant social protection. Increasingly, governments
a 10 year period. Simulations of impact were effects of social protection interventions in around the world are realising that social
conducted on household income/consump- Uganda,” Khondker said. protection is a core component of any suc-
tion, poverty headcount, inequality, national Since the proposed social protection inter- cessful and sustainable market economy.
income and government revenue. ventions would be financed through tax rev- There is now strong international evi-
Stephen Kasaija, Head of the Expanding enue, the study also sought to investigate the dence that shows that adequate levels of
Social protection Programme Management opportunity cost of direct income support to investment in well-designed national social
Unit said, “These findings excite us. But it is households. As an alternative option using protection systems can transform societies
in line with what we have all along thought the same level of investment, the study sim- and economies, as has happened in many
about social protection interventions. Up ulated the impact of investing 1.47 per cent high-income countries (which invest, on
until now, many people considered the of GDP in a construction activity to foster average, 12 per cent of GDP in social securi-
Senior Citizens Grant under SAGE a social capital formation and long term growth. ty) and growing numbers of middle-income
welfare cost, but analysis presented here The findings from the simulation suggest countries. “Uganda is not yet gaining the
using the macro-simulation tool confirms that spending of this scale on direct income benefits of investing in social protection.
that social spending is actually an invest- schemes would be comparable to macro-eco- Despite high levels of vulnerability to pov-
ment in the economy.” nomic impacts to a similar investment in erty and low productivity, current levels of
The study shows that spending on social other sectors, such as construction. social investment are minimal and, as yet,
protection interventions such as direct The study also shows that investments in there is no national social protection scheme
income support reduces poverty and household-level transfers have a compara- in place,” Khondker said.
inequality, increases consumption, increases tive advantage for greater domestic output “The main scheme is the Senior Citizens
national income and expands the national from agriculture, through increased value Grant but this still only reaches a small pro-
revenue base for the country. added to land and labour, and increased portion of older persons.”
For example, the study shows that the household consumption. This reinforces Khondker said if Uganda is to move for-
national poverty rate could drop to 10.9 per the widely acknowledged role of social ward to become a successful middle-income
cent by 2031, with sufficient investment in protection and in particular cash transfers to country, it will be critical to develop and
social protection. It also shows that a rise in beneficiary households, in supporting con- implement a medium and long-term vision
investment in social protection from 0.11 per sumption-led growth. for a national social protection system.
cent of GDP in 2022 to 1.47 per cent of GDP “On the basis of these positive effects, This, he said, will imply developing a
in 2031 would generate an additional house- more social protection interventions are justi- financing strategy to underpin the vision,
hold consumption gain of 39 per cent (cur- fied,” Khondker said. both clarifying the level of investment and
rent spending on the Senior Citizens Grant is The study is part of a 2-year research plan sources of finance.

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 31
10 ways to have
a healthier
Christmas

C
By Agencies stomach is full). The chances are, you’ll real- for others this festive season, whether it’s
ise you’ve had enough. baking some extra mince pies for an elderly
hristmas is notoriously a time neighbour, inviting an acquaintance who
to indulge, but don’t let this be 4 Keep colds at bay doesn’t have family around them to your
the green light to overindulge! Colds are rife at Christmas, partly because home or helping out with a local Christmas
You can still enjoy all the fes- many of us travel around the country, expos- fete or carol service.
tivities of the season and get ing ourselves – and others – to different cold
through the Christmas period viruses. Minimise your risks by maintaining 8 Think before you eat
without too much impact on your health a healthy immune system (eating a healthy Christmas is a time of plenty, and with
and waistline. Try the following top 10 tips diet, getting enough sleep and not smoking nuts, chocolates, mince pies and cheese
for a healthier Christmas. will help), so you are more able to fight off straws wherever you look, it would be rath-
any viruses. er Scrooge-like to suggest that you don’t eat
1 Don’t sit down all day any treats over the festive period! But rather
We know every Christmas special under 5 Don’t stress than mindlessly popping whatever is in
the sun will be showing on the TV, but you ‘Tis the season to be jolly’ but jolly is the front of you in your mouth, spend a moment
don’t need to plonk yourself on the sofa all last thing many of us feel with overspend- thinking about whether you really want it, or
day! Encourage the whole family to get out ing, cooking, cleaning, endless ‘to do’ lists are just eating it because it’s there.
for a walk at some point – ideally, after din- and visitors we could do without. Try to
ner to aid digestion. The more activity, the keep a sense of humor and proportion. Is 9 Engage your brain
better, so take along any new outdoor gifts, it really the end of the world if the carrots Instead of switching off in front of the TV,
like bikes, scooters, footballs or Frisbees, or are overcooked or if the mantelpiece is a keep your mind active by playing games
play old-fashioned games. bit dusty? Do you really care about Auntie like Trivial Pursuit or Charades. This is also
Mary’s disapproval of the fact that you and a great way of getting everyone together.
2 Go easy on the booze your partner are living together and aren’t If you aren’t a ‘game’ person, engage your
If you are firmly ensconced at home over married? Remember, Christmas is just one mind by setting up any new gadgets, such
the festive period, those alcohol units can day out of 365 and it isn’t worth stressing as Playstations, iPads, mobile phones or
really mount up. Mulled wine on Christmas over. laptops.
eve, Bucks Fizz with breakfast, wine with
dinner, Baileys, brandy… the list goes on! 6 Eat fruit 10 Be a careful cook
So, do try to keep tabs on how much you are Let’s be honest, most of us get through the If your Christmas duties include cooking
drinking, and intersperse alcoholic drinks entire Christmas period eating no more fruit the dinner, you won’t be delighted to hear
with soft ones. than the satsuma in the Christmas stocking. that according to the Food Standards Agen-
It just doesn’t really feature on the Christmas cy, December is one of the most common
3 Don’t give yourself a Christmas menu. But at this time of late nights, overin- months for people to get food poisoning.
stuffing! dulging and partying, it’s more important To minimise the risks, don’t leave food out
Recent research suggests that we consume than ever to get your vitamins and minerals, all day. Put out small amounts at a time, so
around 3,000 calories in our Christmas din- to help you stay in good health. Ensure that that what is on the table has just been cooked
ner – more than the entire recommended your Christmas shopping list enables you or just come out of the fridge. Ideally, try to
daily intake for a grown man! to fill up the fruit bowl and get your rec- use any leftovers within 48 hours or freeze
This huge feast not only contributes to ommended daily portions of fruit and veg. them. As for the turkey, always defrost it in
weight gain but also to indigestion and (And no, mulled wine doesn’t count as one the fridge, allowing 10 to 12 hours per kilo
heartburn – not to mention lethargy for the portion!) and do not wash the bird, as this can spread
rest of the day, reducing the chances of you bacteria around, which will be destroyed by
burning much of it off. Instead of gorging 7 Do something for others cooking anyway.
yourself on Christmas dinner, eat a nor- It’s hard to avoid the consumerism that
mal-sized meal and then take a 20-minute has overtaken Christmas in the western And most importantly, have a happy, healthy
break to see if you are still hungry (it takes world, but it doesn’t all have to be about giv- festive season!
this long for the brain to register that the ing or receiving gifts. Try to do something

32 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
HEALTH

Weak surveillance
By Nelson Mandela Ogema

V
accine-preventable diseases
such as polio could make a

to reverse Africa
devastating recurrence in
Africa due to weak and cash
strapped surveillance, a WHO expert
says.

health gains
This could cost Africa US$ 22.4 billion
and more than 915,000 deaths, thus
reversing gains made in the fight,
control and eradication [so far],
says Richard Mihigo, programme
manager for immunisation for vaccine
development, WHO Regional Office- Countries need to put more resources in
Africa.
The WHO has, therefore, developed
Investment Case for Vaccine-
vaccine preventable disease surveillance
Preventable Disease Surveillance in
the African Region, 2020-2030, aimed
at increasing domestic investment in
surveillance from countries.
About US$470 million in operating
costs will be needed over the next
decade to realise this ambition, and
this could save over 700,000 lives,
prevent 20 million people from falling
ill due to vaccine-preventable diseases,
says WHO.
Vaccine-preventable disease
surveillance, the systematic
collection, analysis, interpretation,
and dissemination of information
regarding the occurrence of diseases in
defined populations for public health
action, is part of close observation
focusing on diseases that can be
prevented or controlled by vaccines, Vaccination team vaccinating children at a nursery school Copyright: Louie Rosencrans/CDC, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
Mihigo explains.
Mihigo told SciDev.Net in an interview Africa in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone disease outbreaks, role of surveillance
on 2 December that surveillance for and ongoing outbreak in DRC,” he in measuring disease control and
diseases targeted by various vaccines says. elimination targets,” he says.
in the Africa region have been mainly “Disease surveillance and laboratory Strengthening surveillance in countries
funded from the polio resources performance gaps usually results considered hot spots for disease
provided through the Global Polio in delayed detection and response epidemics in Africa will help in early
Eradication Initiative. to disease outbreaks – leading to detection and timely response to
“However, as [the] eradication of humanitarian crisis, loss of lives and outbreaks before they spread.
polio draws to a close, this funding disruption of economic activities,” he Pauline Bakibinga, associate
has decreased substantially and will tells SciDev.Net. research scientist, Health and Systems
continue to decrease further in the The investment case will help for Health Research Unit at African
coming years. In the African region, African member states to realise the Population Health Research Center,
disease surveillance has mainly been importance of investing in disease says that  the WHO investment case for
funded through external resources and surveillance systems and step up vaccine preventable diseases has come
donor funding,” he says. accordingly with support from donors, late given that a number of deaths has
Vaccine-preventable diseases according to Mihigo. occurred in the continent as a result
surveillance have declined markedly “We are hopeful that this initiative of inadequate investments in disease
over the past two years, according to will make a strong case for vaccine- surveillance.
WHO. preventable diseases surveillance that “Perhaps now, countries and
“There are disease surveillance gaps will lead to increased funding from development partners can pay more
in many countries and already, we are African governments but also for other attention to allocating more resources
seeing large outbreaks of yellow fever non-traditional donors,” he says. to disease surveillance,” she says.
in Angola and the Democratic Republic Mihigo explains that there are about Bakibinga adds that African
of Congo that also faces severe measles 22 vaccine preventable diseases, but governments need to adopt better
cases, meningitis in the meningitis surveillance has not been prioritised management practices and resource
belt countries with Nigeria and Niger with governments only giving support allocation with good policies to
impacted, pneumococcal meningitis in human resource surveillance. strengthen health systems to avert
and pneumonia in Burkina Faso and “Until recently there has been lack of disease outbreaks, which happen as a
Ghana and Ebola virus disease in west appreciation of the economic impact of result of weak surveillance.

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 33
comment
By Dennis J. Snower
Fighting the diseases of Want & Plenty
Many of the diseases associated with either
affluence or poverty are avoidable

D
iseases of want” arise from granted immunity from prosecution. And routines – such as by taking frequent brisk
poverty, while “diseases of plenty” the aviation industry regards the safety walks, playing sports regularly, sitting on
are associated with affluence. of each passenger as equally important, appropriately designed chairs, and avoiding
Many of the illnesses in each regardless of what they paid for their sugary foods.
category are avoidable, but stopping them respective tickets. Variations in ticket prices Stress, meanwhile, frequently is caused by
will require a revolutionary change in our reflect differences in comfort and amenities, insecurity and disempowerment at work,
approach to medicine. not in safety. unemployment, homelessness, or deficient
Diseases of want are avoidable because Now, suppose that we applied this aviation social ties. Tackling this problem thus has
poverty is avoidable. We have the technical safety approach to medicine. Everyone implications for both government policy
expertise to eliminate extreme poverty would get regular, mandatory health checks, and companies’ strategy. For example,
simply by sharing information, generating and have guaranteed access to information giving workers control over their daily work
relevant skills, and redistributing a small about healthy living. In addition, everyone schedules, promoting cooperative work
fraction of economic resources. Our failure to would receive rigorous training in how to cultures, and mindfulness training at work
overcome diseases of want thus reflects not maintain their health, whether in school or could all reduce stress and contribute to
a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will. at work. Rules for protecting one’s health public health.
And it is this unwillingness, not the diseases would be strictly enforced, with automatic Medications, doctors, and operating
themselves that we must address. health safety checks at home, at work, and rooms still would play a role in such a
By contrast, diseases of plenty – such as elsewhere. At the same time, a national health system, of course, but only after all
obesity, tobacco-related illnesses, depression, body would investigate all major diseases the safety checks had been observed – just
diabetes, and various types of cancer – arise and publish its reports. Doctors, like pilots, as ambulances have a function after a plane
because our affluent lifestyles make us ill. would be immune from prosecution. crash. Instead, we should focus mainly on
Such illnesses also are avoidable, but again, Finally, the system would give equal how we conduct our lives, the example we
we lack the will to conquer them. They attention to each person’s basic health, set for family and friends, what we teach
occur because our approach to medicine regardless of how much they paid for their our children, and the physical and social
is fundamentally wrong. Once we have health care. Different levels of individual contexts we create for our work and leisure
understood this, we will be better able to spending on health would reflect differences activities. And although there also is a
tackle diseases of want as well. in comfort and amenities, not in treatment. strong case for universal health care and an
The problem is that modern medicine In order to acquire a health-oriented important role for government, this role lies
focuses primarily on treatment rather than mind-set in medicine, rather than the primarily in prevention.
prevention. It is supposedly people’s right to ubiquitous view that medicine is meant The same preventive approach would
live as they choose, and if they fall seriously to cure illness, it is useful to be guided by help the world’s poorest countries overcome
ill, their health system – doctors, hospital Detlev Ganten’s “health formula”: your diseases of want. Assistance to these
managers, insurers, medical researchers, health depends on your body’s biology, countries should focus on eliminating
and many non-medical support staff – is your environment, and your behavior. Like extreme poverty and creating the social
meant to cure them. If we took an equivalent most profound insights, Ganten’s formula settings, habits, expectations, values, norms,
approach to aviation safety, we would allow sounds obvious once expressed. and laws that promote health.
anyone to fly airplanes, with or without Crucially, it understands health as a state This is a new vision of medicine for rich
a license, and would not monitor safety that is achieved when our behavior within and poor countries alike, where health
equipment. If a plane crashed, aviation our environment is adapted to our bodily systems still overwhelmingly concentrate
safety personnel would make every effort to needs. Thus, any behavior that makes our on treating illnesses. By focusing instead
save the injured, which would be expensive, bodies maladaptive to our environment on prevention, while adapting our
given the gravity of the injuries. is unhealthy. And so is any environment, environments and behaviors to our bodily
Yet, in practice, aviation safety efforts created through our lifestyles, that makes needs, we can initiate a new age of medicine
concentrate almost entirely on preventing our behavior maladaptive to our bodies. that enables us to overcome a host of
accidents in the first place. Aircraft are Once we take this health formula to avoidable diseases.
required to be serviced regularly. Weather heart, we see medicine with new eyes. For
information is readily available. Pilots and example, diabetes, high blood pressure,
other aviation personnel receive rigorous arteriosclerosis, arthritis, gout, heartburn, Dennis J. Snower is the President of the Global
formal safety training, and strictly enforced and gallstones, as well as cancer of the Solutions Initiative, a senior research fellow
rules ensure that a pilot’s performance is not breast, intestine, and prostate, commonly at the Blavatnik School of Government at the
impeded by fatigue or alcohol. The industry arise from obesity and stress. Obesity often University of Oxford, and a non-resident fellow
has many other safeguards, most of which is a consequence of sedentary work and at the Brookings Institution.
are implemented automatically. recreation habits, which result from the way
Furthermore, all major aviation accidents we build our offices, schools, and cities. Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
are investigated by a national body whose Thus, an important part of tackling diseases
reports are made public. Pilots are usually of plenty is for people to change their daily www.project-syndicate.org

34 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
comment
By Bertrand Badré &Philippe Heim
Is tech a New Frontier for Sustainability?
Financial institutions also need to understand
their risks, social impact, and ethical implications

D
iscussions about “sustainability” effect must be managed carefully. Banks haps even legal decisions, it is essential to
usually center on a company’s and other financial institutions should know their critical features and the relative
environmental and social com- therefore focus on anticipating these tech- importance of each in the decision-making
mitments, and for understand- nologies’ impact on their employees, and process. We need to open the black box
able reasons. But the financial sector in invest in training and career counseling to to understand the processes, procedures,
particular should consider two other, less help them during the transition. and sometimes-implicit assumptions it
obvious, dimensions of sustainability. Reg- AI technologies are probably the most contains. Regulation also will increasingly
ulatory sustainability is essential for ad- difficult for the finance sector to address, push us in this direction: the GDPR, for
dressing the systemic risk that the financial owing to their complexity and ethical example, introduces the right for individ-
sector poses to our societies. In addition, implications. Although financial institu- uals to obtain “meaningful information
the emerging new frontier of technological tions have been criticized since the global about the logic involved” in automated
sustainability is having an increasing im- financial crisis, they have in fact long taken decision-making that has “legal or simi-
pact on business models and strategies. ethical considerations into account. But larly relevant effects.”
Data, robotics, and artificial intelligence with AI, we are moving to another level, Today, we still have more questions than
are on everyone’s minds. But although where firms must anticipate potential answers regarding technological sustain-
these new technologies have vast potential, ethical risks and define the mechanisms ability. That is probably fine for the time
financial institutions also need to under- to ensure control and accountability. Two being, because we are proceeding into
stand their risks, social impact, and ethical major issues stand out. uncharted territory with care and concern.
implications. Regarding data, the numbers The first is algorithm bias (or AI bias), After all, developing a more comprehen-
are striking: 90% of all data worldwide which occurs when an algorithm produces sive approach to climate and the environ-
have been created in the last two years, systematically prejudiced results owing ment has taken many years, and we prob-
and we generate an estimated 2.5 quintil- to erroneous assumptions in the machine- ably still have a long way to go.
lion bytes of it every day. In this context, learning process. In 2014, for example, We now must start a similar journey
it is essential for financial institutions – Amazon developed a tool for identifying toward technological sustainability and
which are both key producers and users software engineers it might want to hire, ask ourselves how well equipped we are
of data – to address issues concerning data but the algorithm incorporated the biases to discuss the practical, social, and ethical
creation and protection. of the male engineers who created it. As implications of new and powerful digital
Regulations in this field are becoming a result, the system soon began discrimi- tools. Because these questions touch upon
stricter, as the European Union’s General nating against women, leading the com- anthropology and philosophy as much as
Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) illus- pany to abandon it in 2017. economics and politics, we must respond
trates. Fortunately, banks and insurance More recently, Apple and Goldman to them with open and inclusive debate,
companies continue to benefit from their Sachs launched a credit card that some interdisciplinary frameworks, and well-co-
reputation for being trustworthy. Their have accused of being sexist. For a married ordinated collective action. This shared
challenge is to honor and maintain that couple who file joint tax returns and live effort should bring together the public
trust despite the growing temptation to in a community-property state, Apple’s and private sectors, as well as consumers,
monetize their data “assets” by selling black-box algorithm gave the husband a employees, and investors. Although tech-
them or using them for marketing pur- credit limit 20 times higher than that of nological progress comes with risks, it
poses. Robotics, meanwhile, is trans- his wife. The influence of the conscious ultimately improves everyone’s lives. By
forming all industries and the job market. or unconscious preferences of algorithms’ managing these advances responsibly,
According to some estimates, between creators may go undetected until they are we can ensure that humanity and digital
one-quarter and one-half of the financial used, and their built-in biases potentially technology combine to produce a more
sector’s total workforce could be replaced amplified. Fortunately, algorithms can be sustainable future.
by robots and AI over the next decade. reviewed and monitored to avoid unfair
True, studies of German manufac- outcomes. For example, a bank employee
turing workers have found no evidence may unconsciously consider an applicant’s Bertrand Badré, a former Managing Director
that robots reduce overall employment: gender when making a loan decision. of the World Bank, is CEO of Blue like an
although each robot eliminates two man- But with an algorithm, you can simply Orange Sustainable Capital and the author
ufacturing jobs, it creates additional jobs exclude a gender variable and other of Can Finance Save the World?. Philippe
in the service sector that fully offset this closely correlated factors when com- Heim is Deputy CEO of Société Générale.
loss. But robots do affect the composition puting a score. That is why it is crucial
of aggregate employment. In fact, we are to implement the right safeguards when Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
probably experiencing another episode developing the model. The other big eth- www.project-syndicate.org
of Schumpeterian “creative destruction.” ical concern relates to the transparency
Robotics and AI will change the types of and “explainability” of AI-driven models.
jobs on offer, their location, and the skills Because these models will increasingly be
required to fill them. This disruptive used to make recruiting, lending, and per-

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 35
year ender

Gone in 2019

Ronald
Ssebulime Armali Joseph Bossa
Ssebulime Karmali aka Bossa was
was on his
Apolo Mukwano a lawyer, Med
way to visit
Nsibambi
politician and a Kaggwa
his daughter The legendary central banker
at school Former Prime businessman died who reached The former
in Mukono Minister Apolo on July 10 after a the level of chairman
when in a Nsibambi died life of exemplary Maria director of Legal of Uganda
twist of fate, a on May 28 at his business Nagirinya Affairs at Bank
Justice John Human
bodyguard of home in Mengo leadership. His The 28-year-old of Uganda. Rights
fired minister at the age of Mukwano Group social worker was He was vice Tsekooko Commission
Idah Nantaba 78. He was had interests slain after being president of The retired passed on
shot him renowned as an in agriculture, kidnapped on Uganda Peoples Supreme Court after fainting
dead on the academic and logistics, Aug.28. Nagirinya Congress (UPC) judge died on in his car
minister’s a meticulous beverages, was kidnapped as from 2010 to Oct. 14 aged around
orders on time keeper. property she waited in her 2015. Bossa 77. He ruled Mulago on
March 24. He formerly development car outside her was a regular twice to annul Nov. 20.
Nantaba headed the and banking. home in Rubaga, commentator President He was a
claimed political science Given the name Kampala her car in on current Museveni’s passionate
Ssebulime was department Mukwano the evening hours. affairs in The election in the advocate
an assassin at Makerere (meaning friend) Her body was Independent. presidential of human
trailing her University and by those he dumped near a Contemporaries election rights whose
when she his mentees dealt with in his stream in Mukono described petitions filed last years in
ordered the include Sabiiti early years, the in one of the most Bossa’s death by Dr. Kizza office were
guard to shoot. Makara, businessman shocking murders on Sept. 30 Besigye in marked with
The murder Prof. William was literally a of the year. She as a challenge 2001 and 2006. rising cases
of Ssebulime, Muhumuza, household name was kidnapped for UPC and He became of torture
a boda boda Simba Kayunga, in Uganda. Some with her driver a loss for a Supreme in Uganda.
rider enraged Prof. Paul estimates put his who was also intellectualism Court judge in Kaggwa
the nation for Omach, the fortune at $1bn murdered to Uganda. 1994. In his was also a
the prevailing current head of (Shs3.7trillion) alongside. He died in The long career, politician
sense of the Department but by any President Hague where he he mentored who served
injustice in of Political account it was Museveni ordered was living with and judges in the sixth
the country Science, difficult to put his for the arrest of his wife Solome like David parliament
if not for the Murindwa fortune to any police officers Bossa who is Wangututsi, and
impunity of the Rutanga, Yasin figure due to the who acted a judge at the Musalu Munene, represented
perpetrators. Olum. far-flung business negligently after International Lawrence Uganda in the
enterprise he left they were alerted Criminal Court. Gidudu and East African
behind. of her kidnap. others. Legislative
Assembly.

36 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
ART | BOOKS | SOCIETY | TRAVEL | CULTURE

Unmasking History
Students integrate research, collaboration
and innovation into art production

U
By Dominic Muwanguzi effect advanced by Michelangelo Caravag- the Kitagata community. This replication
gio, the Italian Modernist painter (1571- approach is visible also in the Biharwe
nlike the idea of leaners 1610); where darkness became the central monument installation Obulamu Bunyuma.
getting confined in the subject in the painting; the students delved The artists’ deliberate choice of miniature
classroom and dwelling on into the theme of integrating the already cow drawings made from cardboard paper
theoretical approaches of existing historical material into their art with dangling in mid- air, illustrates the Biharwe
art learning or perceiving an adept awareness of innovation:  creating incident of 1520 AD where Bunyoro was
the notion of field study as art from the found and not the imported defeated by Nkore after an eclipse appeared
simply a form of escape from the predictable materials. on Biharwe hill. Gripped with fright the flee-
university environment, the recent excursion This technique injected an element of ing Bunyoro fighters, abandoning their loot
undertaken by a group of third year students originality in the artwork, conspiring to its including thousands of cows, claimed that it
of Margaret Trowell School of Industrial uniqueness and provoking conversations was the Bachwezi gods’ apparition that had
and Fine Art ( MSTIFA), overturned such around the art. For example, the central art- come to the rescue of the Nkore people. In
perception. work in the exhibition that is displayed as an response, the Nkore people believe until this
The art students took a study trip to interactive installation may easily evoke the day that the cows were an offer from their
diverse communities across Uganda, but image of Omweso (Board game), with differ- gods who saved them.
particular interest was focused on in south ent parties playing the game, but is a reflec- Umasking history is a successful attempt
western Uganda because of its unique cul- tion of the students attempt at innovation.  to juxtapose cultural archives with art
tural sites. Omuzano installation combines three while provoking critical conservations on
As such, the learners were tasked to aspects including knowledge interpretation, the essentiality of research to the subject of
approach these cultural sites such as Kitagata innovation and collaboration. The artwork contemporary art. Like previous exhibitions
hot springs and Biharwe Monument within was made by a group of student-artists and mounted at the art gallery, the art exhibit
the framework of research, integration and through its interactive scheme- where a play- by students seeks to lure students into the
innovation and collaboration. The result er is asked a question or set of questions-the discipline of research in order to produce
of such cultural expedition is a display of learner is tasked to remember what they art that is both relevant and original to
multi-disciplinary art at the Makerere Art learnt or experienced during the field study.  the public. This approach dismisses the
gallery that has been lauded by many art Another noteworthy approach is visible in traditional norm of art production where art
pundits as a well- researched and collabora- the installation of ceramics propped up on a exists for art sake and not for cultural and
tive art exhibition. dais. The ceramist used water collected from social benefits.
With hindsight to the practical under- the Kitagata hot springs to sculpt functional
standing of intricate elements and principles objects like Vase, Shield and Pot. In so doing, The exhibition is showing now at Makerere Art
of art making reflected in the paintings on the artist was passing on the spiritual water gallery throughout the month of December –
show that were inspired by the spotlight famous for healing to communities outside January 2020.

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 37
Greta Thunberg trolls Trump
Instead of lashing out on social and earned her recognition around son of The Year. In awarding Thun-
media as her 73-year-old critic Don- the world—updated her Twitter bio. berg with their honor, Time magazine
ald Trump did, Greta Thunberg It now reads: “A teenager working on wrote that the teenage activist was
quietly trolled the president with his her anger management problem. Cur- part of a rising generation of “leaders
own words. Shortly after his tweet, rently chilling and watching a good with a cause and a phone who don’t
Thunberg—whose passionate speech- old fashioned movie with a friend.” fit the old rubrics but who connect
es urge quick action against the cli- Trump fired off the tweet after Thun- with us in ways that institutions can’t
mate crisis has created a movement berg was named TIME magzine Per- and perhaps never could.”

Society to protect apostrophes’ shuts down


The battle to save on the society which Richards started the
the ‘much abused’ lists the three simple society after seeing the
apostrophe recently took rules for correct use of ‘same mistakes over and
Ducks win court case a blow after the society
dedicated to preserving
the punctuation mark.
Writing on the societys
over again’ and hoped he
would find half a dozen
Sixty ducks and geese won a case it announced plans to website, he said: ‘Fewer people who felt the same
recently after a French court rejected a close. The chairman organisations and way. He said: ‘I didn’t
neighbour’s complaint that the birds’ of the Apostrophe individuals are now find half a dozen people.
noise was making life a misery. Court Protection Society (APS) caring about the correct ‘Instead, within a month
said the noise of the ducks kept by retired John Richard’s declared use of the apostrophe in of my plaint appearing
farmer, Dominique Douthe, in the foothills that ignorance and the English language. in a national newspaper,
of the Pyrenees in southwestern France laziness had won. The ‘We, and our many I received over 500 letters
was within acceptable limits. “The ducks former journalist set supporters worldwide, of support, not only from
have won,” Douthe said following the APS up in 2001 after he have done our best all corners of the United
court’s decision. “I am very happy because retired from a career as but the ignorance and Kingdom, but also from
I didn’t want to slaughter my ducks.” a journalist. Now aged laziness present in America, Australia,
96, Richards called time modern times have won!’ France, Sweden,

Teacher sets bogus exam to catch cheating students


A teacher who became an email explaining his own Chegg account and
fed up with students scheme to catch those answered the question
using their mobile phones who had given them- with a stupid answer
to find answers and cheat selves some outside help. that seems correct at first
on university exams came Many of the students use glance but is actually
up with a tricky way to a website called Chegg, wrong. Out of the 99
catch them out—and exams handed
failed the pupils who in, 14 fell for the
fell for the scam. trick and gave the
After leaving the
exam hall, the pupils
exact answer their
teacher had post- Girl sends mom CV to prove
remembered there
was one particular
ed online. Appar-
ently the students
she can care for puppy
question that was not used Chegg A British teenager who put a puppy on her
related to what they while taking toilet Christmas wish list only to be told that it was not a
had all been taught breaks to answer good idea found a “Plan B” to convince her mom
in class, which had the question. All one more time. Kayla Severi, 18, who wanted a
two parts. Part A was the 14 scored zero bull terrier puppy, drafted a hirarious CV and
fairly easy but they had which provides answers and were reported to the accompanied it with a cover letter explaining why
no idea how to do part to exam and homework University for violating she was qualified for the role of taking care of the
B, so they simply left it questions. Although most the academic honour dog. Her CV included claims of her excellent time
blank as it only accounted had assumed their teach- pledge they had signed. management, enough money to cover the costs
for 5 marks out of 100. er would not be familiar Their names were also of the dog, and the all-important qualities of love
When all the exams had with the site, he decided circulated to all the other and kindness. Kayla’s efforts paid off and her
been marked, their teach- to use it against them. teachers in the depart- mom gave in to her request, allowing her to buy
er sent all the students The teacher created his ment as known cheaters. her puppy and bring it home for Christmas.

38 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
Electric
cars
might
not yet
be green
But we should buy
them anyway Electric vehicles can be plugged into mains power at home overnight, allowing owners to save on bills

By Motoring Guru is generated from fossil fuels, this propor- of course dependent on the speed at which

T
tion is decreasing rapidly. At least four industry and government decarbonise their
ransforming the way we travel is an countries are already at or close to being energy supply. But the technology already
essential part of tackling the climate powered entirely by renewable electricity: exists to shed the grid’s reliance on fossil
crisis. The transport sector contrib- Iceland, Paraguay, Costa Rica and Norway. fuels, and many countries have committed
utes about 20% of global carbon In the UK, the proportion of electricity pro- to do so by 2050 or sooner. The distribution
emissions. In the UK the figure is 33%, and vided by fossil fuels has halved over the last grid also already exists – we just need to
the country has made virtually no progress decade and is currently about 40%. install charging stations.
in reducing emissions from transport. In As the transition towards renewable And in choosing where they source their
many countries, they’re actually increasing. electricity progresses, so too will the carbon electricity from, consumers are able to exert
Electric vehicles are often hailed as the footprint of EVs keep decreasing in step. much greater influence on the energy tran-
solution to this quandary, but some question This means that the superiority in carbon sition than the present transport system that
their environmental credentials. With much cost that electric vehicles already have over locks them into high-carbon lifestyles.
of the world’s electricity still produced from combustion vehicles, even if narrow now,
fossil fuels, the criticism goes that EVs may will widen in the years to come. Grid burden
actually be responsible for more carbon The scale of the transition from combus-
emissions over their lifetime than combus- Influencing the future tion to electricity-powered transport is huge.
tion engine vehicles. The electricity transition is only half the Average household electricity demand
As German economics professor story. The production and purchase of new could double once EV charging is included,
Hans-Werner Sinn put it in a recent contro- combustion vehicles locks in dependence on and this will place extra strain on both the
versial article, all we are doing is transfer- fossil fuel use for the life of that vehicle – just grid and energy bills.
ring carbon emissions “from the exhaust short of 14 years on average in the UK. But this burden can be cushioned by care-
pipe to the power plant”. Retrofitting combustion engines to use ful use of technology. Of course, producing
The assumptions underlying these claims hydrogen or biofuel is an option in theory, any large industrial product results in some
are questionable. But even if true, this line of but it’s an expensive one which is probably negative environmental impacts. The min-
argument misses a key point. more applicable to heavy vehicles than cars. ing of lithium for EV batteries is polluting
The car we choose to buy today directly Mass use of hydrogen would also require an and depletes water supplies, in turn harm-
influences the future of our energy system. entirely new and complex distribution sys- ing wildlife and compromising local liveli-
Choose a combustion-powered vehicle and tem for a gas that is hard to make and store hoods. Ultimately, the best way to reduce
we lock in ongoing fossil fuel use. Choose an efficiently. Biofuel could use existing infra- the carbon and pollution costs of transport
electric vehicle and we support the switch to structure, but would require vast swathes of is to make and use less cars, which means
a zero carbon society. agricultural land to satisfy demand. that expanding car sharing and improving
Due in large part to the high carbon-cost If the number of fossil-fuel powered cars public transport are essential.
of EV batteries, the manufacturing process on the road stays high, it will be difficult But for those cars that we do use, EVs are
for an electric vehicle causes more carbon to make serious headway in reducing the least bad option. The switch to electric
emissions than for a combustion engine transport emissions. In contrast, switching vehicles needs to be seen as part of a broader
vehicle. This means that the source of elec- to EVs transfers energy demand from the shift in the way society is organised to tackle
tricity used during the life of an EV is critical transport sector to the electricity sector, the climate crisis. That requires consumers,
in determining how eco-friendly they are. allowing countries to more readily tackle the industry, and government to all play their
While two thirds of the world’s electricity carbon cost of travel. Progress in doing so is part in creating a carbon-free future.

Dec. 20 - 26 2019 39
global comment
By Mohamed A. El-Erian
The global economy’s luck may run out
The prospects for markets and the global economy
heading into 2020 are surprisingly bright

T
his being December, my natural Most important, in the next five years, realm of national security and geopolitics.
inclination is to review the past China and the US, the world’s two largest Bad outcomes are not inevitable (at least
year’s economic and financial devel- national economies, will have to navigate not yet). They could still be averted through
opments to help policymakers and an increasingly narrow path as they try to the sustained implementation of policies to
investors anticipate what might be coming in secure their own interests while avoiding an promote stronger, more inclusive growth;
2020. This year is ending on a relatively pos- outright confrontation. Such fluidity clouds restore genuine financial stability; and usher
itive note, especially when compared to the the economic, financial, institutional, polit- in a fairer, more credible (while still free)
same time last year. There is hope of a global ical, and/or social outlook for other countries. system of international trade, investment,
growth pickup, trade tensions have lessened, Today’s macroeconomic and geopolitical and policy coordination. But much will
and central banks have reaffirmed that that uncertainties will amplify those fueled by depend on the functioning of politics in the
they will maintain ultra-low interest rates technological disruptions, climate change, near term.
and continue to provide ample liquidity. and demographics. And they will raise ques- Going into 2020, politicians have a favor-
Financial volatility is subdued, and there tions about the functioning and resilience of able runway from which to launch the poli-
are reasonable expectations of solid investor the global economy and markets. cies needed to extend the positive short-term
returns across many asset classes. This degree of uncertainty is particularly outlook into the medium and long term.
As tempting as it is to dwell on current notable in the multi-decade context of glo- Worries about global recession have receded,
financial and macroeconomic conditions, balization. In recent years, the stability that financial conditions are ultra-accommo-
doing so risks obfuscating a key element in comes with broad-based adherence to the dating, and US-China trade tensions have
the outlook for the future. There is a curious rules-based international order has been de-escalated. But these auspicious circum-
contrast between the relative clarity of considerably weakened, as has the power of stances will not last forever. Unfortunately,
expectations for the near term and the murk- central banks to repress financial volatility a policy push that could improve and clarify
iness and uncertainty that comes when one and buy time for the real economy. Left the medium-term outlook is unlikely. The
extends the horizon further – say, to the next unmanaged, these medium-term structural US is entering a tense and divisive election
five years. trends would set the stage for greater polit- year. Germany, Italy, and Spain are in the
Many countries are facing structural ical and social fragmentation, and raise the midst of difficult political transitions.
uncertainties that could have far-reaching, specter of secular de-globalization. If there The EU is dealing with Brexit and other
systemic implications for markets and the is one thing that neither the global economy regional divisions. And China’s government
global economy. For example, over the next nor markets are wired for, it is a prolonged is trying to consolidate power in the face of
five years, the European Union will seek to and deepening rupture in cross-border eco- slowing growth and continuing protests in
establish a new working relationship with nomic and financial relations. Hong Kong. The main worry – one that too
the United Kingdom, while also dealing Were such a new paradigm to materialize, few market participants have spotted – is
with the harmful social and political effects today’s trade, investment, and currency that over the next five years, global economic
of slow, insufficiently inclusive growth. tensions would intensify and spill over to the and market conditions may need to deteri-
The EU will have to navigate the perils of a orate nearer to crisis levels before national,
prolonged period of negative interest rates, regional, and multilateral political systems
while also shoring up its economic and muster an adequate response.
financial core. Fortunately, we are now in a period
As long as the eurozone’s architecture is Going into 2020, when action could be taken to prevent
incomplete, consistent risks of instability will
remain. Moreover, in the years ahead, the
politicians have a the worst-case scenario from becoming a
binding reality. Let us hope that I’m wrong
United States, having notably outperformed favorable runway about today’s political paralysis. As long
many other economies, will decide whether from which as there is still time, there is a chance that
to continue disengaging from the rest of the policymakers will follow the advice offered
world – a process that is at odds with its to launch the by then-IMF Managing Director Christine
historic position at the center of the global policies needed Lagarde in October 2017: “Fix the roof
economy. while the sun is shining.”
Or consider China’s development process. to extend the
With the global economy acting more as a positive short-
drag on growth than a boon to it, China may
confront the risk that it has overplayed its term outlook into Mohamed A. El-Erian is the Chief Economic
Adviser at Allianz, the corporate parent of
hand. Heavy reliance on short-term stim- the medium and PIMCO where he served as CEO and co-Chief
ulus measures is increasingly inconsistent
with pursuing the longer-term reforms that
long term Investment Officer, was Chairman of US
President Barack Obama’s Global Development
it needs, and its geopolitical ambitions and Council.
regional economic and financial commit-
ments (including the Belt and Road Initia- Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2019.
tive) are becoming costlier. www.project-syndicate.org

40 Dec. 20 - 26 2019
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