Regional Tier for the Kingdom of Buganda was refused many years ago.


 With such an arrangement there is no need to have a lukiiko , or use the name Katikkiro or refer to Kabaka.







M/s Mpanga of Buganda Kingdom



They can call him Governor or District Head and seat him anywhere but not in Bulange.


We may be back to the same old arguments.



On 15 Feb 2017


By Haji Ahmed,

  1. Central gov't will cede specified powers and rights to the Buganda Kingdom.
  2. The citizens of Buganda Kingdom (who are these?) will elect a Lukiko (parliament) which will make laws to govern Buganda Kingdom.
  3. The Lukiiko will appoint the Katikioro (Prime Minister or President) who will head a government or administration. .

4.The Katikioro  is accountable to the Lukiiko, and the Lukiiko is accountable to Uganda Parliament.


So where does this leave the Kabaka? What are his constitutional roles: are they spelt out in the Constitution you keep going on and on about?



Buganda Government should be restored first with a Katikkiro with

executive powers and Lukiiko with legislative powers, which shall form

a Buganda Land Board, in accordance with the constituion, which will

manage Lubiri on behalf of the Kabaka, who, according to 1955

constitution holds official mailo and public land in Buganda, in

people;s trust.


 Mayiga is already a walking "former " Katikkiro.  A lot has happened!


 "In tribute to the United Kingdom and the Republic of Uganda, two bastions

 of strength in a world filled with strife, discrimination and terrorism."


*Buganda Lukiiko*,

 Katikkiro Mayiga seemed confident that members would rubberstamp his

 plans

 to lease the 132 year old national and cultural palace of the Kabaka of

 Buganda (*Mengo Lubiri*) to foreigners. He spent over an hour of reverse

 psychology, giving examples of how “naturally short-sighted Baganda” fail

 to appreciate any Katikkiro who introduces modernity to Buganda.  At the end, Mr. Mayiga confidently declared that, ultimately, nothing will stop

 his plans. However, his confidence seemed to evaporate when one Mrs.

 Joyce

 Mpanga got the microphone.

 In his marathon speech, Mr. Mayiga made a few highly contradictory

 statements that may have disturbed Mrs. Joyce Mpanga.  For example, as

 usual, Mayiga claimed that Kabaka Mutebi made the decision to lease Mengo

 Lubiri but, sensing negative reception, he later changed to, “The

 decision

 to re-develop Lubiri was made by the *Bataka Supreme Council* at the time

 government returned it.” Also, he aggressively defended construction of a

 hospital and conference facilities in Lubiri but later insisted that

 everything presented by Mengo so far were just concepts, not real plans.

 He

 blamed the press for saying that the project photos that Mengo

 distributed

 in Serena Hotel or on its Facebook page were real plans. He explained,

 “Those picture were just images downloaded from the Internet; one was, I

 think, the American white house.”

After Mayiga finished his long speech, one of the most intelligent,

 well-educated and knowledgeable Baganda alive, Mrs. Joyce Mpanga, threw

 down a “roadblock” against his scheme. When she got a chance to respond

 to

 Mr. Mayiga’s speech, Mpanga systematically, and with some humor,

explained

 why the Katikkiro’s  plans for Mengo Lubiri were poorly reasoned, not

 well

 informed by Buganda history or culture and are dangerous, even to Kabaka

 Mutebi’s reign.

 In his speech, Mr. Mayiga had spoken in the style of a non-Muganda when

 he

 said, “I can never understand Baganda” and claimed that Baganda are

 short-sighted because they opposed former Katikkiros Kawalya Kaggwa “for> bringing electricity” and “killed Martin Nsibirwa for donating Buganda> land> for the now glorious Makerere University”.  He even claimed that the same

 short-sighted Baganda complained when Ssekabaka Muteesa II brought horses

 to Mengo Lubiri, since they were used to cows.

 Mrs. Mpanga, mother of Buganda Attorney General David Mpanga and Kabaka’s

 Private Secretary Peter Mpanga went straight to the point after thanking

 the Lukiiko speaker. She opened with, “People tell me, sometimes in

 whispers, and others keep phoning me, some anonymously, saying that I

 must

 stop my lawyer sons from selling Kabaka’s palace. They tell me that the

 Katikkiro is my son, the second Katikkiro my son and the other lawyers

 are

 also my sons.

 “It appears that some of these people think that I have easy access to

 Kabaka, which [these days] is impossible. One even warned that [Baganda]

 may replace Kabaka Mutebi, as they have done to other Kabakas in the> past.

 And one of these people wrote to remind me that Baganda forced Ssekabaka

 Muteesa II to have his widowed mother to resign and get replaced as Namasole* (Kabaka’s mother) [when she decided to marry a commoner]. They

 told Muteesa that if his mother did not resign, he would have to go too.”

Pointing out that she was a member of the Bataka Supreme Council (which

 Mr. Mayiga said made the decision to lease Lubiri), Mrs. Mpanga informed

 the Lukiiko that, when they first re-established the Buganda Lukiiko, it

 was designed to ensure that ordinary Baganda were well consulted by their

 representatives and issues were strongly debated before major resolutions

 were passed.

 She complained, “But now, the Buganda Lukiiko is only a rubberstamp

 because there is no debate. The Katikkiro comes here and speaks for over

 one hour. Then the members are given two minutes to make comments. Next

 day, the lady who is minister for Lukiiko publishes resolutions that we

 never debated or agreed on at all.”

 As the clapping and cheers grew, Mrs. Mpanga continued her attack. She

 accused Mayiga and his partners of bringing the topic of Mengo Lubiri to

 the Lukiiko only after they faced serious public opposition. She said it

 was obvious to her that they had already made their decisions and were

 now

 looking for cover from Buganda Lukiiko. She questioned why, when Kabaka

 is

 supposed to have so much land, Mengo should offer Mengo Lubiri to

 foreigners and not some other land.

 “Mr. Katikkiro, you keep talking about putting Buganda’s issues first (

 *okusoosowaza*) and they include *Federo*. What kind of Kabaka are we

 going to have under a Federo where his palace is leased by foreigners?”

 she

 asked. She pointed out that [Kabaka Mutebi] is not supposed to be the

 last

 be Kabaka in Buganda. “What if a future Kabaka wants all the space in

 Mengo

 Lubiri? Are we then going to beg the foreign investors for the space

 our Kabaka needs?” she asked. Adding, “Some say that we got *Byooya bya

 nswa *(ant feathers for a Kingdom), are we going to accept that and also

 lease our Lubiri to foreigners?”

 Fearing that the situation was getting out of hand, one of Mayiga’s

 strongest supporters in Lukiiko, a man called Kasakya, requested the

 speaker that further discussion of the topic be continued in “sessional

 committees” since it was sensitive.

 A day later, the official Buganda Government website, www.

buganda.or.ug,

 only reported that “The Lukiiko agreed that, there is need to develop the

 Mengo palace but with utmost care without tempering with the tradition.”

 All 5 Mayiga watchers that BugandaWatch has contacted since February 1,

 2017, agreed that the “Joyce Mpanga roadblock” did serious damage but

 Mayiga will probably keep trying. In the meantime, Katikkiro Mayiga’s

 contract ends only 3 months away in May 2017.

 Below is additional BugandaWatch reporting on Katikkiro Mayiga’s scheme

 to

 lease Mengo Lubiri to foreigners, since February 25, 2015.

The European Union joins the Ugandan political opposition for Electoral Reforms

 

The EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt (pictured) 

 

File photo 

By Solomon Arinaitwe


Posted  Thursday, March 26  2015 

 

Kampala.UGANDA. The European Union has become the latest group to rattle government, saying it shares the concerns of the Uganda Human Rights Commission (UHRC) about delays in passing electoral reforms.

In a statement on Wednesday, EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt signalled that with less than 12 months before the February 2016 poll, time was running out, backing a view taken in the latest UHRC annual report. 

“With less than a year left to the next elections, electoral reforms need to be prioritised and implemented if they are to be effective and credible. The report is an important and highly relevant contribution by an independent body to the electoral reform debate,” Mr Schmidt said.

The EU is among Uganda’s leading development partners. 

The envoy also observed that in the last 12 months, it was pleasing to witness vibrant public debate on electoral reforms which has resulted in a number of concrete proposals.

Mr Schmidt’s statement came hours after a government reaction suggested it was reeling from the hard-hitting report by the UHRC.

“The EU, therefore urges the government to act promptly on the proposed reforms to ensure a level playing field and transparency in the 2016 General Elections,” the statement said. Government spokesperson Ofwono Opondo, who had on Tuesday said the report was “shallow and unfortunate”, again took a dim view of this latest in a rising chorus of criticism about the handling of the run-in to the 2016 election. 

“If you fast-track electoral reforms, what evidence is there that there will be consensus building and a good outcome? There is no guarantee that if we introduce the electoral reforms now there will be positive response,” Mr Opondo said.

But with the pressure for reforms building, government seems to be flip-flopping on when it will table them. Premier Ruhakana Rugunda last week back-tracked on a promise, saying it would be “erroneous to make false deadlines”.

Shadow Justice Minister Medard Sseggona yesterday indicated that the Opposition has now learnt of a plot by the government to shoot down Opposition plans to table a Private Members Bill on the constitutional amendments to ensure reforms.

“They have taken that decision that they will use their numbers to block us from taking leave of Parliament to prepare our Bill and that we will not be given a Certificate of Financial Implications (a key technical requirement for Bills). We are not deterred. We are preparing our Bills and will cross the bridge when we get there,” Mr Ssegona said.

sarinaitwe@ug.

nationmedia.com


Sijja kukkiriza baleeta ffujjo mu byakulonda kwa 2016 - Museveni asabye Tonda MU KKANISA:
Dec 27, 2015
Pulezidenti Museveni ne mukyala we, Janet ne bannaddiini oluvannyuma lw’okusaba ku Ssekukkulu mu kkanisa ya St. Luke e Nshwere mu disitulikiti y’e Kiruhura.

Bya MUSASI WA BUKEDDE

 


PULEZIDENTI Yoweri Museveni alabudde abatiisa okuleeta obutabanguko mu ggwanga mu kiseera ky’okulonda n’agamba nti tajja kubakkiriza.

Yabadde mu kkanisa ya St. Luke Church of Uganda e Nshwere mu disitulikiti ye Kiruhura ku Ssekukkulu. Yasuubizza nti abantu tebasaanidde kutya nti eggwanga liyinza okufuna obutabanguko okuva mu kulonda n’abagumya okusigala nga bakkakkamu.

Yabadde ayanukula Muky. Esther Magagga, eyategeezezza nti mu kiseera kino abantu abamu bali mu kutya, olw’enjawukana mu bantu abawagira ebibiina byobufuzi ebyenjawulo. Museveni yagambye nti abalowooza okutabula emirembe bajja kukolwako.

Mu kwogera kwe, era Pulezidenti yawabudde abalunzi mu kitundu okwewala omujjuzo gw’ente, n’ategeeza nti ng’oggyeeko okukosa ente zennyini, kyonoona n’omutindo gw’ettaka. Yabakuutidde okwawula mu ttaka lye balina, balundire ku limu okumala ekiseera ekigere.

Yasuubizza okukola okukola oluguudo lwe Nshwere.

Ate Muky. Janet Museveni yasabye Bannayuganda okwongera okuwagira gavumenti ya NRM, kuba y’esobodde okuleeta obumu mu bantu bonna. Yasabye wabeerewo okutabagana mu bantu abalina wadde balina endowooza z’ebyobufuzi za njawulo.


Museveni ng’akutte mukyala we Janet ku mukono.


Bamuseveni nga bayimba mu kusaba ku Ssekukkulu.

Museveni nga tannaba kugenda Kiruhura kukuza Ssekukkulu, yakubye olukuhhana lwa kampeyini ku ssomero lya Nakalama Primary School e Kigulu South gye yasuubirizza abantu b’e Iganga  bw’agenda okussa essira ku kutumbula eby’amazzi n’okukola enguudo mu kisanja ekiddako.

Yasuubizza okwongera okusima nayikondo mu byalo, kuba obubuga bungi nga Namagera, Ndodwe, Nambali, Idudi, Namungaalwe bugenda kufuna amazzi ag’emidumu. Waakugattako okubunyisa amasannyalaze mu kitundu kya Kigulu South kyonna. Yategeezezza nti oluguudo lwa Iganga-Tirinyi-Mbale lukolebwa ku buwumbi 73. Yasuubizza okukola olupya oluva e Iganga okuyita e Kiyunga okutuuka e Bulopa.

Olwaleero, Pulezidenti Museveni azzeeyo e Busoga ayigge akalulu akamuzza mu ntebe y’obwapulezidenti mu 2016. Eggulo ne ku Ssekkukulu yabadde awummuddemu eby’okunoonya akalulu.


1980-86 Ani oyo eyaleeta efujjo mukulonda nemukufuga kwa Uganda ate no nga obululu bwe nga omukulembeze tebubbiddwa?

 The government of Uganda has procured armoured police vehicles for the 2016 General Elections.
 

For whom are the youths in UGANDA trained in Masindi at,

 08 SEPTEMBER 2014

In January, about 700 Makerere University students were trained as crime preventers at the same school. The criterion used to select these students is not elaborate and is exclusive to those who are either in the patriotic clubs or the youth league of the National Resistance Movement (NRM).

Several student groups have attended these courses at Kabalye. Another one of about 2,400 students from several universities and tertiary institution was passed out last week.

We are told the course content includes ideological orientation, self-defence, martial arts, and security skills, among others. I am not sure of how this programme is supposed to add value onto the lives of students, and Ugandans as a whole! Further, I don’t know whether the police budget should be diverted to this kind of exercise.

What exactly does a crime preventer do? Is he/she a security operative who gathers information on certain offenders and then confront them? Is this a voluntary exercise or it is a paid- for, job? If so, it, therefore, calls for certain regulations, obligations and responsibilities.

Is this an auxiliary group to the security organs? Are these students specifically trained to prevent crimes in universities or in the entire country? Sometimes, armed people commit crimes. So, will the crime preventer be armed in order to counter any armed attack?  It is not clear whether all the national tertiary institutions will be equipped with crime preventers. Once, the dubious Kiboko squad described itself as crime preventers.

So, should Ugandans worry that another dodgy group is being prepared, perhaps for the expected intense political activity in 2016?

What is the relationship between these crime preventers and the police, army, and other security agencies in the country? Many of these questions still remain unanswered.  Inspector General of Police Kale Kayihura says the course is good because it has equipped the young people with ideological direction.

The Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary defines ideology as a system of ideas and ideals, especially one that forms the basis of economic or political theory and policy. It further defines it as the ideas and manner of thinking characteristic of a group, social class, or individual. So, if the course is supposed to orientate the students in ideology, in whose ideology are they inculcated? Who determines the correct ideology, and anyway, what ideology was being marketed to these students?

Again, there is a trend that one cannot be a complete cadre or patriot without being equipped with military skills. Everything in Uganda is being militarised. Agriculture has to be run by the military. The police have to be steered by a military man. The immigration and national identification process has to be conducted by the military. A military man runs the highest office in the land.

Ruling party MPs have to conduct their annual retreat in a semi-military camp. Early this year, they (MPs) were all clad in attires that resembled military uniforms! Even the beauty contest is a candidate for military takeover! At their pass-out, the youths gleefully displayed their skills of dismantling and assembling guns. Others performed martial art drills.

Some of these youths are, actually, mere opportunists. They are using this training as a pedestal to clutch on better things in future. Many of them have realised that keeping closer to the party means instant wealth. They have seen how those youths who originally backed Amama Mbabazi for president, but later crossed to President Museveni’s camp, have become instant millionaires.

They know that when time comes for recruiting mobilisers for votes in 2016, priority will be given to those who trained at Kabalye.  Instant, and sometimes unexplained, wealth has become the major motivation of joining NRM programmes. I don’t know the exact ideological direction of the NRM. Even if one asked these youths what NRM’s ideology is, the likelihood is that the answer would not be given. And if it is given, the one who asks the question would remain uninformed.

This exercise in Kabalye is as inoperable as the youth representation in Parliament. The lives of the youth in Uganda have not improved as a consequence of being represented in Parliament. I have not seen bills being sponsored by youth MPs, specifically targeting issues that youths grapple with.

The irony is that the very youths who have trained in crime prevention may be the harbingers of crime. There is a temptation to look at crime as mainly a physical thing such as murder, treason, theft and rape. We forget that there is an unemployed youth likely to engage in forgery in order to access someone else’s account in the bank.

And more threatening is the fact that honesty is no longer something taken seriously, as the strength of youths. So, the economic pressures, which Kabalye never addressed, may turn these cadres of crime prevention into victims of the very mischief they intended to cure. It would be stretching the restraint of a hungry hyena to entrust it with the servicing of a loaded butchery. 


pmkatunzi@

observer.

ug

Twitter: @piuskm

 

I'm lucky to be alive - Ongwen

Publish Date: Jan 15, 2015

Dominic Ongwen 


The captured Lord's Resistance (LRA) commander, Dominic Ongwen, revealed to the African Union contingency in the Central Republic of Africa (CAR) that he is lucky to be alive, according to army spokesperson, Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda.


Ankunda has told New Vision that Ongwen looks psychologically settled for being in safe hands now and assured of justice at the International Criminal Court (ICC).


"The man has been in the bush for most of his life fighting and eating rats but now he is in our (UPDF) custody eating chicken. He is happy that he will get justice at the ICC," said Ankunda when asked about Ongwen's situation.


"What we are waiting for now is for the CAR government to hand him over to the ICC. When they (CAR Government) ready, they will let us (UPDF) know," added Ankunda.


Ongwen was handed to the AU contingency in CAR by the US Special Forces on Wednesday and he was received by UPDF CAR contingent commander, Col .Michael Kabango, at Obo.


In the picture taken with Kabango, Ongwen is seen in a jolly mood, not reminiscent of a man who has been through thick and thin of Africa's jungles fighting for most of his life.

 

Kasibante

Member of Parliament on tension over Beti Kamya's return for the 2016 national election:

Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante.

 

By Monitor Reporter


Posted  Tuesday, January 27  2015 

 
Uganda Federal Alliance (UFA) leader Beti Kamya is plotting to return to Parliament in 2016. Political Xtra understands that Ms Kamya, who is also the former Rubaga North MP, took the decision after her supporters reportedly advised her against “chasing shadows”. 

They reportedly told her to admit that she miscalculated when she took the decision to contest for the highest office and asked her not to waste time again. Ms Kamya was a contestant in the 2011 Ugandan presidential elections.

However, Ms Kamya, who accepted to contest for Parliament next year, is said to have told her supporters that she participated in the 2011 elections not to win but to launch the federal ideology outside Buganda; she calls it ‘Ugandanisation’ of federo. 

Apparently, Ms Kamya’s return has taken current Rubaga North MP Moses Kasibante by surprise since he thought the former FDC strong lady would contest for presidency again.

‘Sleepless nights’

Sources close to Mr Kasibante told Political Extra that the UFA leader is giving him sleepless nights. The MP nowadays frequents his constituency and quietly meets voters in order to galvanise his support and has reportedly vowed to give Ms Kamya “a bloody nose” in next year’s parliamentary contest. 

Following the 2011 elections, the former journalist with the help of Kampala Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and other Opposition sympathisers went to court, challenging NRM candidate Singh Katongole’s disputed win. Mr Katongole, who won the seat through a disputed re-counting process, was ejected by court, allowing Mr Kasibante to reclaim what belonged to him. But it appears what belonged to Mr Kasibante, once belonged to Ms Kamya and she is determined to have it back.

 

America advises Uganda on oil refinery deal with a Russian trade company. 

  Mr Scott De Lisi 

 

By FREDERIC MUSISI


Posted  March 1   2015 

 
KAMPALA, UGANDA:

The US Ambassador to Uganda Scott DeLisi last week expressed disapproval of the awarding of $4b (about Shs11.5 trillion) oil refinery project to the subsidiary of a Russian state conglomerate that also deals in arms and whose chief executive is under heavy US and EU sanctions. He warned that this venture is “not a done deal.”

“On the issue of the sanctions, these are issues I am sure the government will have to look at carefully. They have designated a Russian company as the first on the list, absolutely, but they still have to negotiate a variety of issues that will go to financing and the rest. I would suggest that you wait and see how that all plays out,”

DeLisi was speaking during a 45-minute interface with selected journalists at the US embassy in Nsambya, Kampala, on Wednesday. 

“They [problems] maybe because of the sanctions imposed upon the parent company.

“There may be problems in terms of financing, inability to operate but we will see how all that plays out,” he added.

Last week, the Uganda government awarded the contract for the refinery project to RT Global Resources, a consortium managed by Russia’s Rostec, a defence and technology corporation whose businesses include manufacturing and selling weapons such as the AK-47/Kalashnikov rifles.

In 2013, the government started the search process for a lead investor to undertake construction of the 60,000 barrels-per-day (bpd) oil refinery. About 75 companies picked the Request for Qualification documents and only eight made it to the last submission round. Later, four companies pulled out for diverse reasons.

The four that reached the last round included, RT Global Resources, Japan’s Maruben Corporation, China’s Petroleum Pipeline Bureau (CPPB), and the South Korean SK Group.

Mr Sergei Chemezov, Rostec’s chief executive, is a former officer in the Russian spy agency KGB and close ally of President Vladimir Putin. He has US sanctions on him, which include freezing his assets and barring US companies from dealing with him since 2014.

The sanctions are in response to Russia’s annexation and military adventures in Ukraine.

“It is not my job to tell the government of Uganda with whom they can engage but it is my job to share with the government the US policy, its concerns if there is any and to define the nature of our partnership. So that is what we focus on, but I wish them well even in other dealings but we will see how that all plays out,” said Ambassador Mr DeLisi

The refinery project manager Robert Kasande told Sunday Monitor that they are cognizant of the sanctions against Sergei Chemezov but added that these are issues he cannot comment about or are rather beyond him.

He however revealed that they finalised the issues of financing with the Russian company.

President Museveni has in the recent past scolded Western countries for what he called arrogance, and said China and Russia were available as alternatives because they do not meddle in internal politics of other countries.

musisif@

ug.nationmedia.

com

 

Abavubuka abatalina mirimu mu kibuga Kampala babona bona nokweyiya:
Kampala, Uganda
Mar 11, 2015
 
Bya MARTIN NDIJJO NEJOSEPH MAKUMBI

LABA jjaamu wa Kampala watutuusiza!

Jjaamu kye kimu ku bizibu ebikyabobbya Bannakampala omutwe.

Abantu abamu ne batuuka n’okwenyiwa ekibuga ky’eggwanga ekikulu.

Buli ku makya abantu abangi ekibuga bakiyingira balajaana olwajjaamu abaleetera okukeerewa ku mirimu ate bwe ziwera ssaawa 11:00 ez’akawungeezi emitima ne giddamu okubewaanika ng’abalina ebidduka beebuuza waakuyita okudda eka ate abalinnya takisi balowooza ku budde bwe bagenda okumala ku nguudo .

Wadde aba KCCA bagezezzako okulwanyisa omugotteko gw’ebidduka mu Kampala, bamenya n’okugaziya enguudo wamu n’okukola agamu ku makubo agabadde mu mbeera embi nga bayambibwako n’ebintongole ebirala nga poliisi ebibeera ku nguudo okulaba ng’abantu n’emmotoka zitambula bulungi.

Bano bakyalina omulimu munene olw’akalippagano k’ebidduka akalemedde ku nguudo z’omu Kampala eziyingira n’ezifuluma nga Jinja Road, Ntebe Road, Bombo Road, Nateete n’enddala. Jjaamu ono avaako ebizibu bingi eri abantu

baabulijjo olwo abakedde n’essanyu ne batuuka okudda eka nga banyiivu.

OKUKONKOMALIRA KU NGUUDO

Buli lwe ziwera ssaawa 11:00 ez’akawungezi abantu abalinnya takisi ne kosita ng’emitima gibeewanika. olwa jjaamu ku nguudo.

Baddereeva abamu basalawo okusimba mmotoka ne bawummuliramu nga bwe balinda n’omugotteko gw’ebidduka okukendeera ku nguudo.

Ate abamu batya okutuuka mu ppaaka ne mu bitundu by’ekibuga ebimu olw’abasaabaze ababa babalindiridde ne bakonkomalira ku nguudo ne mu ppaaka ssaako okulwanira ezo mmotoka entono eziriwo

Wano aba takisi abamu bagufuula mugano okwongeza ebisale okugeza emisana w’otambulira 1,000/- akawungeezi oba ku makya basaba 1,500/- oba 2,000/- embeera eno y’evaako abantu abamu okubuukira mmotoka za kabangali, loole n’abamu

okwegayirira ab’obumotoka obutono okubatwalako ssaako okulinnya ‘bodaboda oba boda ggaali. Olw’obukoowu okuva ku mirimu ssaako okuyimira okumala ebbanga nga balindiridde mmotoka kivaako abantu abamu okwetamwa ekibuga n’abamu okuggyamu obulwadde n’abalala okuzirika.


OBUBBI

Abamenyi b’amateeka naddala ababbi mu bitundu ebimu beeyambisa embeera ya jjaamu okutuukiriza ebigendererwa byabwe.

Waliwo abavubuka abamanyi okubaza mmotoka bw’oba togisibye ne bagigula naddala mu jjaamu ne bakusikako ensawo, essimu, laputoopu n’ebintu by’omugaso ebirala ne babitwala. Waliwo abeefuula abasabiriza ku nguudo kyokka nga bakola kimu kya kubaza abatudde ku madirisa oba ebintu ebiri okumpi ne ddirisa okubinyakula.

OBUBENJE BWA BODABODA

Olw’akalippagano ate ng’ abantu abamu bali mu bwangu bangi basalawo okulinnya bodaboda ezaakazibwako erya ‘boda takisi’. Zino zisiweka abasaabaze abasuukka mw’omu kyokka nga zidduka kubanga baba ku mugano ng’ayagala okutuusa amangu batwala asobole okudda atwale n’abalala era embeera eno evuddeko obubenje bwa bodaboda ng’abagoba baazo nga bawaganya n’okuyita mu bifo ebikyamu. N’emisana bangi

bettanira bodaboda olwa jjaamu.

Mmotoka zifuna ebizibu. Mu jjaamu abavuzi b’emmotoka bangi bafuniddemu ebizibu omuli okukola obubenje nga bakooye, mmotoka ezimu zigaana okusiba ate abalala amafuuta bateekamu ‘bwendo’ era olugwa mu jjaamu avugamu wano ne wali nga mmotoka esika.

POLIISI EYOGEDDE

Omwogezi wa poliisi mu Kampala n’emiriraano, Patrick Onyango agamba nti nga poliisi, egezezaako okulwanyisa ababbira mu kalippagano k’ebidduka n’okulaba ng’abantu batambula bulungi, bwe batadde abaserikale kumpi buli kafo akabeeramu akalippagano ne mu makoona mu Kampala n’emiriraano.

Onyango yagasseeko nti, kino baakikoze okulaba nga akalippagano k’ebidduka kaggwawo ku nguudo zonna

eziyingira n’okufuluma ekibuga.


Ku nsonga y’ababbira mu jjaamu, Onyango yategeezezza nti bano bamazeeko abasaabaze emirembe era bakoze ebikwekweto mu bitundu bya Kampala okuli Kibuye ne Nsambya ne bakwata abavubuka abawerako ababadde bateega abantu mu jjaamu ne bababbako obusawo, emikuufu, essimu n’ebirala.

“Tubamanyi bulungi ababba abantu mu jjaamu era ebikwekweto byaffe bikyagenda mu maaso mu kaseera katono tujja kuba tubamazeewo bonna.” Onyango bwe yagasseeko.

Abakyala nga basindika mmotoka eweddemu amafuta mu Kampala.

KCCA ereeta bbaasi ne tuleyini

OMWOGEZI wa KCCA, Peter Kaujju ategeezezza nti, pulaani yaabwe ey’okumalawo akalippagano k’ebidduka teri mu

Kampala wakati mwokka wabula mu kibuga wonna nga muno mwe muli okuleeta bbaasi ne tuleyini egenda okutandika okukola mu mwezi guno.

Agattako nti baatandika dda ku kaweefube ono era nga mu bye baasookerako mulimu okutereeza enguudo, okutereeza

entambula ey’olukale omuli bbaasi ne tuleyini egenda okuvanga e Namanve okutuuka ku kitebe ky’eggaali y’omukka mu Kampala wakati n’oluvannyuma bakwate ku luguudo lw’eggaali olugendaokudda e Kyengera ne Portbell.

“Tuleyini ne bbaasi bwe zinaaba zitandise okukola, tujja kuba tukendeezezza ku muwendo gw’emmotoka eziyingira mu

Kampala ne bodaboda nazo twaziwandiisa buli emu ne tugissa gy’erina okukolera era nga tuli mu nteekateeka okukakasa nti gye twabateeka gye bakolera.” Kaujju bwe yategeezezza.

Agattako nti, bakoze enguudo okwetooloola Kampala era mu bbanga ttono, ebyentambula bigenda kugojoolwa mu Kampala yenna.



The Electoral Commis

sion begs the media not to incite violence as the 2016 National elections approach


By Fred Muzaale

Posted  Thursday, April 2  2015

Luweero in the State of Buganda, Uganda.

The Electoral Commission (EC) chairman, Mr Badru Kiggundu, has cautioned the media to desist from reporting sensational and unbalanced stories that can instigate violence.

In a speech read for him by the EC director of finance and administration, Ms Jovita Byamugisha, during a regional media workshop on the 2016 general elections, in Luweero Town on Monday, Mr Kiggundu said the media should promote peaceful campaigns and support conflict prevention.

“You should study the road map and internalise its content so that you are able to follow the progress and report from a point of knowledge,” the EC boss said.

Study the road map

He added that journalists should acquaint themselves with the EC’s road map for the various electoral activities so that they report from an informed point of view.

The workshop was attended by journalists from Kayunga, Mityana, Luweero, Nakaseke and Kiboga districts.

The EC senior public relations officer, Mr Paul Bukenya, said the 2016 general election will not be free and fair if it does not receive a free and fair media coverage.

fmuzaale@ug.

nationmedia.com


Health workers at Lyatonde Hospital have gone on strike protesting nonpayment of salaries for five months now.


The strike has left hundreds of patients stranded without any assistance. The most affected departments include; surgery, children's, maternity and causality wards.


The health workers are demanding for at least a package to take them through the Christmas season if their salaries of five months are to delay further.


The strike began this morning after receiving communication from Christopher Okumu the Chief Administrative Officer that their accounts would be credited after Christmas or in January 2016.

Stranded patients at Lyantonde hospital

Led by the hospital Medical Superintendent Dr Billy Ssebunya, the health workers stormed the CAO's office after receiving the communication but found it locked.


As a result, they stormed RDC Sulaiman Tiguragara Matojo's office seeking an explanation. Matojo held a closed door meeting with the aggrieved health workers but the meeting did not yielded any positive results.


The health workers stormed out in protest accusing Matojo of being incompetent in managing the affairs of the district including issues of health workers.


Dr Ssebunya says his staff has often complained about the lack of payment and have lost the morale to attend to the patients.


According to Ssebunya the CAO earlier claimed that a cheque was banked in November this year and that all their accounts were to be credited but that has not happened.


When contacted, Okumu said that his office was handling the matter and the workers would get their salary by the first week of January. He however could not explain the delay.

THE EUROPEAN UNION IS WAKING UP THE TROPICAL AFRICAN COUNTRIES TO THE GREAT POTENTIAL OF SOLAR POWER:

December 14, 2016

Written by Justus Lyatuu

If Uganda is to provide cheap and clean electricity, the government of Uganda should invest more in solar technology, a European Union envoy has said.

Kristian Schmidt, the head of delegation at the European Union in Uganda, said the country is a good place to invest in solar energy, and that the private sector should be supported in order to make more investments.

Speaking during the inauguration of a 10MW solar plant in Soroti recently, Schmidt observed that solar energy is an alternative to hydroelectric power, which is expensive to set up and takes longer to be connected to the grid.

“Solar energy is a good alternative to hydropower that fluctuates with water availability. If the grid stability is enhanced, allowing more solar plants to be connected to the grid, we are sure this technology will represent a very good option for affordable energy in Uganda,” he said.

 

Schmidt said the regulatory framework should be conducive to attract more investments.

“It is great that this is now triggering private sector interest in solar power generation. The European Union is proud that our grant contribution ensures the realisation of the Soroti solar plant, and I hope this is only just the beginning for many more to come,” he said of the project, which is the largest in East Africa.

 

This is one of the great solar project in the tropical regions of Teso, Uganda, in East Africa

 

 

Christophe Fleurence, the vice president of Eren Renewable Energy, said the country has vast renewable energy resources for energy production and solar alone can produce an estimated 30 per cent of the country’s energy needs.

Simon D’Ujanga, the minister of state for Energy and Mineral Development, said Uganda is set to fast-track up to 15 small-scale renewable energy generation projects (1MW-20MW).

“We have policies to attract more investors in the sector. While we focus on hydroelectric investments, the private sector should come and take on smaller renewable energy,” he said.

THE PROJECT

The $19 million Soroti solar plant is part-funded by the European Union under the Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund through the GET FiT solar facility, an initiative between the government and development partners.

The plant is made up of 32,680 photovoltaic panels. It is the first grid-connected solar plant and will generate clean, low-carbon, sustainable electricity to 40,000 homes, schools and businesses in the area.

The project was developed under the Global Energy Transfer Feed in Tariff (“GET FiT”), a support scheme for renewable energy projects managed by Germany’s KfW development bank in partnership with Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Agency (ERA) and funded by Norway, Germany, the United Kingdom and the European Union.

Eng. Ziria Tibalwa, ERA’s chief executive officer, said the GET FiT programme helps renewable energy sources become affordable.

“The project [in Soroti] is financed by a mix of debt and equity with the senior debt facility being provided by the Netherlands Development Bank and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund (EAIF); as government, we will continue getting partnerships to increase our electricity on the national grid,” she said.

Uganda has joined countries such as Rwanda and Kenya, which have commissioned similar solar projects with an aim of improving quality and reliability of power to spur development.

Vahid Fotuhi, the managing director of Access Power Uganda Ltd, the firm that constructed the Soroti project, said that EU contributed $9 million while Access Power and Eren Renewable Energy contributed $10 million. The two companies will manage the project for 20 years.

 

Nb

The Teso communal lands are in danger of an encroaching Northern desert climate from the Sahara. Promoting a natural forest cover around the peripheral of this wonderful project would up grade this expensive environmental project over the next 20 years! Solar energy is best than nuclear and hydro energy for the poor countries subsisting on the Equator of Planet Earth.

 

In Tropical Uganda, the very powerful solar energy that exists regularly in this country, has just brought in new foreign investors:

By Vision Reporter

 

Added 28th November 2016

 

 President Yoweri Museveni with Fenix International delegation at State House, Entebbe.

Fenix International, the largest provider of off-grid solar in Uganda has presented the ReadyPay solar power system and their plan to bring renewable energy to 1 million households in Uganda to President Yoweri Museveni.

 

The President promised to offer greater tax exemptions on solar to ensure more than 6 million Ugandans can benefit from safe, affordable ReadyPay solar power.

CEO Lyndsay Handler, demonstrated to the President how a customer can benefit from bright lights plus phone charging, radio and more even if they are living off-grid without mains power.

She also revealed that the ReadyPay solar power system allows customers to make a small deposit from just 49,000/- to take the system home and then they can make payments from just 500/- per day over mobile money to complete payment over a number of years.

Handler said: "ReadyPay Solar transforms quality of life in two ways. First, ReadyPay eliminates the need for dangerous kerosene lamps, improves air quality in the home and increases time students have to read at night.  Second, ReadyPay payments are flexible and more affordable than kerosene and candles, enabling Ugandans to save money on energy and build a credit score with Fenix that will unlock a wider world of financing."

 President Museveni urged Fenix to use their unique technology to develop a solar-powered water pump in Uganda, stating that if solar-power water pumps are made in Uganda, the Government will make them accessible for farmers, especially in rural areas.

He said this would help rural farmers tend to their crops and improve harvest production.

“I encourage you to domesticate the technology to manufacture solar-powered water pumps. We want to solve the problem of irrigation using solar-powered water pumps to stabilize agriculture,” he told the Fenix delegation.

 
An electrician works on a transformer

The feud between power distributor Umeme and Electricity Regulatory Authority over unrecognized investments has deepened, with the former saying the regulator's behaviour has hampered its ability to mobilise funds internally.

In its application letter to ERA for the 2016 power tariff, Umeme wants the money it spent between 2009 and 2013 factored into the tariff for it to recover its investments.

Umeme says, in general, the investments unrecognized are $35.7m (Shs 112bn). For the most part of this year, Umeme has written numerous letters to the regulator but it says the latter’s response has often been delayed or sometimes not coming at all.

“Umeme disagrees with the authority’s decision to disallow investments on low-voltage lines, as the allocation under direct operating and maintenance costs (DOMC) is inadequate to cater for the full requirement of low-voltage upgrades to restore and improve the distribution network,” the power distributor writes.

“It should be noted that these assets exist on the network and benefits have accrued to the consumers. And, therefore, Umeme requests that these investments are rightfully included in the company’s asset base for purposes of computing the return on investment and that the associated loss of revenues for the periods is recognized,” one letter reads.

NEVER RECOGNISED

Umeme says between 2009 and 2011, investments worth $8.7m were never recognised. It adds that in 2012 and 2013, it invested $86.5m. And when determining this year’s tariff, the regulator included only $70.7m, disputing the remaining $15.4m.

When it submitted documents to show that it had actually invested the $15.4m, it took the regulator two months to respond, Umeme alleges. Even when it responded, ERA made matters worse in a letter dated June 10, 2015, in which it cut the investments recognised to $59.5m only.

“The amount disallowed here is $27m,” writes Umeme, adding that this amount represents 30 per cent of the initial investment of $85.6m made in 2012 and 2013 period.

“Umeme reiterates that the above behaviour is inconsistent with the fact that the investments have been completed and benefits have accrued to the respective customers,” Umeme says.

“[This] undermines the company’s investment program and ability to raise internally-generated funds to improve reliability and meet the growth requirements of the distribution network.

“Umeme, therefore, requests the authority to review the above investments and include them in the company’s rate base.”

ERA chief executive officer Dr Benon Mutambi told The Observer in an interview last month that the authority’s relationship with Umeme was “a normal arm's-length.”

“It is a well-known fact that a regulator will always have to stand up sometimes and disappoint the various stakeholders,” Mutambi said. “It is not the intention of the regulator to disappoint, but the regulator is accountable to the public and all the other stakeholders. Accountability requires that whatever I am going to allow is going to be supported by convincing evidence... When it comes to their capital investments, we always want to make sure that there is no double-counting; that the money we allowed for repairs is actually used for that purpose. ”

“Where the justification provided by a licensee is not convincing enough, it is the duty of the regulator not to allow that kind of cost to be paid by the consumers of the electricity… But of course there are other arguments. One of the examples is a transformer blowing up before its useful life.

So the question is: when it is replaced, who is responsible? Is it a capital investment or a repairs and maintenance? Then we also have a debate of why didn’t the company comprehensively insure those assets so that when those unfortunate events happen, the company is compensated. Our argument is that the consumer is not an insurer to the company,” Mutambi added.

This is not the first time Umeme and ERA are disagreeing on issues concerning the industry. Before the Electricity Disputes Tribunal (EDT), the two institutions have, for a couple of years, been battling the manner in which power tariffs should be set. ERA accuses Umeme of exploiting certain privileges – being allowed to factor all its costs within the power tariff – to ‘fleece’ Ugandans.

The regulator says, for instance, sometimes Umeme’s submission of the amount of money it intends to pay government in income tax is higher than what it actually reimburses to Uganda Revenue Authority.

For instance, ERA says that while in 2008 Umeme wrote to government that it would pay a tax of Shs 12.1bn that year, only Shs 2.9bn was received by the tax body even after the money had been integrated into the tariff.

In 2011, Umeme said it would pay Shs 18.8bn in income tax, but URA received Shs 3.5bn. The regulator says in doing so, Umeme subjected Ugandans to high power tariffs yet more money went into its coffers. The tribunal is yet to resolve these matters.

On unrecognized investments, Mutambi said: “We are not saying that the investments were not done; we are simply saying that we are not convinced by the justification, as of now provided by Umeme that those investments should be capitalized and should, therefore, find themselves within the tariff.”

amwesigwa@observer.ug

How Umeme made free money from River Kiira and Lake Nalubaale, but could later face tougher times:

Tuesday, 28 October 2014
 
Written by Jeff Mbanga
 
  • ERA recovers Shs 37bn in tax revenue
  • Umeme makes an extra Shs 32bn on additional power sales
  • Umeme says it could lose $50 million in seven years if ERA wins
  • ERA claims Umeme Holdings share-sale violates license requirements
After years of raking in free money through inflated projections of some of its costs, Umeme is finding it difficult to make easy money, with the company in the process of making one last stand against government’s proposals on how electricity tariffs - the power supplier’s main cash cow - should be set.
The Observer has looked at dozens of documents – some of which are labeled ‘strictly confidential’ – that show the Electricity Regulatory Authority’s dissatisfaction over how Umeme made free money, even when the company enjoyed a cool 20 per cent investment return over and above its costs.
That tension has boiled over to the Electricity Disputes Tribunal, where the two institutions have for the last two years contested the manner in which power tariffs should be set. The tribunal resumes tomorrow after a three-week break, and could have the matter resolved before the end of this year.
At the centre of the dispute are two items that ERA says Umeme has exploited to set higher power tariffs for its own financial benefit: the income tax and power purchases. As part of the agreement with government, Umeme is allowed to factor all its costs within the power tariff. The company sets the tariff by making projections of its costs based on what it spent the previous year. It sends that figure to ERA for approval.
However, ERA discovered that Umeme’s submission of the amount it intended to pay in, for example, income tax for a given year, which it factored in the electricity tariff, was usually higher than what it reimbursed government, leaving Ugandans with the burden of paying higher power bills.
The tax numbers are startling. For example, in 2008, Umeme wrote to government and said it expected to pay a tax of Shs 12.1bn that year, which it wanted integrated into the power tariff. Instead, Umeme paid only Shs 2.9bn that year, with the rest of the money going to its coffers. The widest variance, however, came in 2011. In that year, Umeme said it would pay Shs 18.8bn in income tax.
But when URA finally received Umeme’s income tax filings for that year, the company had only paid Shs 3.5bn, while the other Shs 15.3bn had been pocketed. By the time ERA added up the tax numbers from 2005, when Umeme’s 20-year concession started, to 2011, Umeme had made an extra Shs 37.3bn in revenue from setting a higher tax within the power tariff. Umeme disputes these numbers, and says the figure is lower.
To be fair, Umeme cannot be faulted for failing to come up with the exact projection of its costs. However, the margin of error in the figures it presented was usually so wide it pointed to potential abuse by the power firm over the privilege it enjoyed.
On energy purchases, Umeme used almost a similar trick. ERA has found out that over the years, Umeme had purchased more power than it had projected. ERA has recovered up to Shs 32bn ($11.8m) from Umeme’s accounts as a result of an increase in the energy purchase the company had made.
If ERA had not intervened, the authority said Umeme would have placed higher electricity tariffs and made Shs 351bn ($130m) through energy purchases between 2013 and 2018. Ugandans pay one of the highest power tariffs in Sub Saharan Africa. Domestic consumers pay a tariff of Shs 518 per KwH, which is $0.19, far higher than the Sub Saharan Africa average of $0.13.
Uganda produces about 800MW of power today, which is shared by less than 15 per cent of the population, far below the Sub Saharan average of 24 per cent, according to the World Bank. At the tribunal tomorrow, ERA, through its lawyers, Ligomarc Advocates, will push for amendments on Umeme’s license, especially on how the tariff is set and the inclusion of a reconciliation mechanism if there is a difference in the financial figures of the income tax and energy purchases.
The reconciliation mechanism would offer ERA the power to always claw back any revenues that Umeme made outside what it had projected, and probably bring electricity tariffs down. The lawyers are expected to argue that the revenues Umeme is reaping from the income tax and energy purchases are not special benefits for meeting its performance targets.
“The use of projections without providing for reconciliation mechanisms results in an unjustified windfall for [Umeme] whenever the actual outturn exceeds the projection. This creates an additional and unjustified burden with the tariff to the consumer,” Benon Mutambi, the chief executive officer of ERA, wrote in a witness statement, dated March 7, 2014.
Umeme is expected to make strong objections. The company says it is acting within its license requirements. If anything, Umeme warns of dire consequences if ERA continues to dip its hands into this revenue kitty. In its application to modify its licence to ERA, published in February this year, Umeme complained that ERA’s continued pursuit of those extra revenues leaves it with two options: “forgo an equivalent amount of the capital investment, or borrow more money.
The combined impact of these modifications, in increasing Umeme’s costs and reducing its revenues from future addition electricity sales, places a serious strain on Umeme’s ability to raise sufficient debt finance, on commercially reasonable terms.”
Life could turn out tougher for Umeme given that the escrow account, one of the company’s fallback positions remains empty because the Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited is too broke to meet its part of the deal of financing that account.
In fact, Mutambi, in September 2013, accused Umeme for illegally tapping into the escrow account after the company argued that it had not recovered all its costs. He said Umeme had been compensated for its costs in the tariff, and therefore it was “erroneous” for the utility firm to withdraw money from the escrow account as that amounted to double recovery.

History

So, how did Umeme find itself with all these benefits? Why did ERA allow all the things it accuses Umeme of to go on for so long?
The answers can be traced back to the first few years of Umeme’s operations in Uganda. Before Umeme came to Uganda, the energy industry had been mired in all sorts of scandals. The Uganda Electricity Board, then the managing body for the sector, was saddled with high debts, poor management, and political interference.
On top of that, UEB was the regulator, the generator, and distributor of power, roles that pointed to a conflict of interest. UEB was also choking from a huge number of redundant staff, so much so that when the body was unbundled into three separate companies in 2001, more than 300 staff were laid off. Power theft was at its most rampant, while a number of government institutions blatantly refused to clear their power bills.
Even the available power, which was exposed to theft, was not enough, with less than 5 per cent of the population getting access to electricity. Matters were not made any easier when AES, the American firm that was awarded the deal to build the country’s biggest power plant, the 250MW Bujagali project, in 2001, pulled out two years later after being implicated in a corruption scandal back home.
The World Bank, which had agreed to finance the plant, also pulled out of the project. With the collapse of the Bujagali project, government was desperate to reduce its role in the energy sector and hand that task to a private investor.
In March 2005, Umeme was handed a 20-year concession to be Uganda’s main power distributor. Umeme had just been created 10 months earlier through a consortium between Eskom Enterprise Limited PTY and Globeleq (Conco) Holdings of Bermuda.
In 2006, Uganda faced its biggest power shortage. A long spell of drought led to a drop in water levels at Lake Victoria, where much of the power generation was taking placing. Power generation dropped by more than a half. A schedule to ration power supply was instituted. Some areas went an entire day without power.
A number of factories that could not stand this madness relocated to other countries where power was available. The power problem almost brought Uganda’s economy to its knees. It is at that point that Umeme threatened government that it would terminate the concession and leave the country if the power shortage, which threatened its revenue streams, continued.
Uganda was in a desperate corner. The country made some concessions to Umeme, which, it now turns out, the company would later use to its advantage.

Special provisions

With its business at risk, Umeme proposed some amendments to its supply license back in 2006. Umeme requested government to give it the freedom to make forecasts on energy purchases, which it would factor in the power tariff.
The deal was simple: if government failed to generate enough power that Umeme needed to supply and make its return on investment, the company would be compensated. However, if power generation improved beyond what Umeme had projected, the consumers would be relieved through lower tariffs. Government agreed to the conditions.
ERA, by that time, was barely five years old. The regulation of the sector was weak. And they were about to get a painful lesson from a company that had just received more than enough freedom to set power tariffs.

Power supply improves

Between 2006 and 2010, Uganda was in a race to save its economy from buckling under the weight of less hydroelectricity. The country invited companies such as Aggreko, Jacobsen and Electromaxx to produce the far more expensive thermal power. The companies demanded for subsidies before they could switch on their generators.
While Uganda was looking for money to deal with its energy problem, the World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency was channeling millions of dollars to Umeme through Globeleq’s office in Bermuda. Bermuda, an island dripping with all sorts of illicit financial flows, is known to be a tax haven. Companies, some dubious, open up offices there mainly to pay lower tax on their investments.
There is no evidence, however, that pointed to Globeleq engaging in any illicit financial activities while it channeled money to Uganda. In October 2009, Globeleq Holdings changed its names to Umeme Holdings Limited which moved its head office to a nearer tax haven, Mauritius, a country that has a double taxation treaty with Uganda.
Thereafter, the United Kingdom’s Commonwealth Development Corporation, which was the main shareholder in Globeleq, transferred its stake to Actis, a private equity firm, to take over Umeme Holdings Limited. Heavy rains were back in Uganda, which spurred electricity generation, while other smaller hydro power plants had been launched. The 250MW Bujagali power project had just been revived and approved.
The situation had normalised. Things had turned for the better that government, in 2009, set up a five-man committee, led by the president’s brother, General Salim Saleh, to look at Umeme’s investments in Uganda. The team was suspicious of Umeme’s investments and wanted that verified, among other things.
(That report, which had a damning assessment of Umeme, would later be criticised by some government officials, and shelved. Members of Parliament would have the same suspicions over Umeme and have said as much in another disputed 2013 report about the energy sector. )
In 2010, government decided to stop the special provisions that Umeme enjoyed. That decision would lead to a long protracted battle.

Payback time

When government decided to end the special provision period in 2010 in order to reconcile the projections Umeme made, and also change the way the tariff was set, the company decided to block that move. Umeme, according to the documents The Observer has seen, first pointed to the agreements it signed with government.
“Some of those agreements contain provisions which restrict the Authority from amending or modifying the Tariff code regulations in a way that affects the financial position which Umeme enjoyed,” the company wrote to ERA in 2012, and even threatened to terminate its license if the regulator got its way.
Umeme used some numbers to prove its point. The company argued that for every $1m of investment that is not included in the tariff, it would lose $31,000 of revenue each month. For an annual capital programme, it added, this equated to just under $1m per month.
“In simplistic terms, the amendment, as proposed by the Authority would reduce Umeme’s free cash flow by approximately $50m over the next seven years. This would reduce Umeme’s ability to make capital investments and would result in Umeme being in breach of multiple financial covenants under its loan agreement with the IFC (International Finance Corporation, the finance arm of the World Bank).
The company added: “Umeme’s view is that the disadvantages it would suffer based on some of the proposed modifications outweigh the benefits of the public interest.”
ERA would not relent. Instead ERA sought a different way of setting the tariff – pegging the rate to inflation, the exchange rate and fuel prices. Umeme also had reservations about this method. And yet, Umeme’s resistance is not the only problem that the regulator faced.
ERA, it now appears, suspected that Umeme was not just inflating its tax and energy purchase projections; The company was doing the same with its other costs. In 2012, a consulting firm from South Africa, Parsons Brinckerhoff Africa (PTY) Ltd issued a report for ERA that showed how Umeme was very likely to balloon some of its future costs, which it intended to pass on to consumers through the tariff.
For example, according to the report, Umeme said it would spend Shs 57.4bn in staff costs for the year 2015, and yet PB’s opinion is that the figure would be Shs 42.3bn. Umeme also said it would spend Shs 15.1bn in repair and maintenance costs in 2015, and yet PB says the amount will actually be Shs13.9bn. Umeme objected to the report’s findings.
It might not be easy for ERA to pin Umeme on these numbers. The authority has already complained that Umeme was reluctant to send its financial data to the authority whenever a verification exercise took place.
In September 2013, ERA’s boss Mutambi, wrote to Umeme assuring the firm that “The failure/refusal by Umeme Limited to submit monthly statistics which are vital data for use in reconciliations impedes and inhibit the Authority’s mandate to prescribe the end user electricity tariffs.”

Tough times ahead?

If Umeme’s half year results to June 2014 are anything to go by, then perhaps the company could face some tough time ahead. The company recorded a drop in net profit of Shs 38.2bn ($14.1m) in the first six months of 2014 compared to Shs 47.3bn ($17.5m) over the same period last year.
Yet, these numbers have done very little to dampen the mood on the Umeme counter at the Uganda Securities Exchange. This point was made clear in the first two weeks of this month when investors dashed for the company’s share, driving the price to a new high. Deals worth billions of shillings were being inked in a day, something that is rare at the securities exchange.
For example, on the second day of October, an investor bought four million Umeme shares at a deal worth Shs 2bn (about $740,000). Five days later, an even bigger stake was bought. An investor cashed in Shs 21bn (just more than $8 million) and walked away with slightly more than 42 million shares of Umeme.
And less than a week later, a block of 14 million Umeme shares changed hands in a deal worth Shs 7.17bn ($2.6 million). These deals saw Umeme’s share price shoot to a new high of Shs 510, up from its Initial Public Offer price of Shs 275 two years ago.
A top chief executive officer of a brokerage firm told The Observer that it was likely that investors were targeting the stock in anticipation of the half year dividend of Shs 9.4 that the company will be issuing a few days before Christmas. What the investors might not know is that ERA has also written to Umeme over the manner in which Umeme Holdings divested its stake, which led to a new company, Investec, to become a majority shareholder.
ERA says that by Umeme Holdings relinquishing its majority stake, it has violated the terms of its licence since the company might not be able to make critical decisions about the sector. That battle over Umeme and ERA is quietly picking up storm, with meetings taking placing between the two institutions.
For now, the attention is on the power tariff, the power supplier’s cash cow, where ERA intends to bite a sizeable pound of Umeme’s flesh. 

jeff@observer.ug