IMF loan to Uganda should be cancelled

Ms. Kristalina Georgieva,

Managing Director

International Monetary Fund

1900 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20431

June 07, 2021

Dear Ms. Kristalina Georgieva,

Ugandans and friends of Uganda beseech you and the entire management of the International Monetary Fund to decline approving the proposed $1 billion ECF to Uganda due to its long-standing failure to account for public funds. In addition, the Ugandan regime is now considered illegitimate by most Ugandans.

On January 14, 2021, dictator Museveni lost a Presidential election — 54.19% to 34.83% per independent tallies — to principal challenger, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (aka Bobi Wine), though Museveni’s handpicked electoral commission declared him winner. The fraudulent declaration is currently being challenged in the East African Court of Justice with supporting evidence that was declined by a partisan Uganda Supreme Court.

It would be unconscionable for the IMF to allocate more funds to a regime so riddled with endemic corruption that the almost $1 billion that IMF, World Bank & other international donors allocated to Uganda in 2020 for Covid relief was either embezzled or misdirected towards military suppression of opposition political party supporters.

Some covid funds were channeled to Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa’s two daughters’ company which was awarded a contract to deliver Oxygen to Uganda’s hospitals, but failed to do so. https://pearltimes.co.ug/first-son-kainerugabas-wife-charlotte-another-minister-kutesa-daughter-on-spot-over-inflated-covid19-oxygen-plants-contract-sum-delays/

Meanwhile, Ugandans died (in 2020) and continue to die (June 2021) of Covid-19 due to lack of oxygen in hospitals. https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/investigation-how-lack-of-oxygen-poor-health-sector-is-killing-covid-19-patients-in-uganda-3213300

Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa has himself been implicated in various corruption scandals in Uganda. And, in 2018, he was indicted in New York for accepting a bribe from a Chinese businessman in exchange for facilitating Chinese investment interests in Uganda. https://observer.ug/news/headlines/68019-us-court-upholds-minister-sam-kutesa-briber-conviction

As this letter to Senator Coons from the New York Bar Association indicates, World Bank Covid relief money to Uganda was also misappropriated: 2020812-UgandaWorldBank.pdf

New York Review of Books article on how Covid relief funds were likely redirected towards military suppression, including during the November 18, 2020, protests: In Uganda, Another Museveni Crackdown | by Helen Epstein | The New York Review of Books (nybooks.com)

More Press stories on Covid-19 related Corruption in Uganda https://medium.com/u4-anti-corruption-resource-centre/ugandas-covid-19-supplementary-budget-pandemic-response-or-cash-bonanza-3296d8f338b6 https://www.independent.co.ug/covid-19-exposes-true-cost-of-corruption/ https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/prosecute-thieves-of-covid-19-cash-report-3231244

According to the June 1, 2021, IMF press release 21/152’s FAQ section on the Staff Level Agreement on a three-year $1 billion Financing Package to Uganda:

“The Program’s transparency and governance reforms will build upon the improvements launched by the government’s new leadership code – which requires government officials to disclose their assets, incomes and liabilities, and clarifies sanctions in case of false reporting.”

The “new leadership code’ is a smokescreen. Runaway corruption in Uganda is not due to a lack of a leadership code. Uganda has had a leadership code act since 2002, https://www.ugandalaws.com/principal-legislation/leadership-code-act

but it has had no effect on corruption because corrupt officials are intricately linked to Museveni and his kin. Museveni also fuels corruption by openly bribing members of parliament whenever he wants to pass controversial legislation such as the removal of the age limit clause from the constitution in 2017. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-uganda-politics/ugandan-mps-get-8000-each-for-work-on-extending-presidents-rule-spokesman-idUSKBN1CT1J6

There is no new substantive leadership code. Museveni simply just announced a “leadership-code tribunal.” Experience shows that such announcements are merely stratagems that Museveni uses to appear to be addressing international and domestic calls for action. https://www.mediacentre.go.ug/media/president-museveni-swears-new-leadership-code-tribunal

According to the press release’s FAQ section:

“The [Uganda] Government has already completed the audit of COVID-19 spending for FY 19/20, which is expected to be published in the coming days. Some aggregate procurement reports have already been published and individual procurement contracts will also be published in the next few days.” https://www.imf.org/en/Countries/UGA/uganda-qandas

Question: Why did the International Monetary Fund reach an agreement with the Ugandan regime on the ECF before publication of its audit of Covid-19 spending? And why only FY 19/20? Much of the Covid-19 related fraud transpired in FY 20/21 (1 July 2020 – June 30, 2021)?

The Political and Human Rights situation in Uganda

Beyond financial and economic aspects, the dire political and human rights situation in Uganda is enough reason to hold off on approving the ECF to the Uganda regime which is considered illegitimate by most Ugandans — outside of a tiny business elite and regime beneficiaries. Aware of the population’s sentiments, General Museveni has since the election in January 2021, escalated abductions, torture, and murder of opposition party supporters in a bid to eliminate evidence of his electoral fraud — and to cower the population into not protesting it. On November 18, 2020, during the campaign period, Ugandan security forces shot dead more than 100 citizens protesting the arrest of Presidential candidate, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, though the officially acknowledged count is 54 people.

BBC documentary on the November Killings committed by Uganda Security Forces https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g7d2AvLEPyA

Thousands of political prisoners — including 17 of Honorable Kyagulanyi’s campaign team arrested on December 30, 2020 — are languishing in prisons and ungazetted detention centers. Scores have either been maimed, killed or both. The scale of the abuses is reminiscent of the worst of Idi Amin.

Several international media including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, The BBC, and The Guardian have in recent months reported the Ugandan regime’s gross human rights abuses.

New York Times https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/11/world/africa/uganda-election-disappearances-museveni.html

Economist https://www.economist.com/middle-east-and-africa/2021/03/23/the-ugandan-army-has-abducted-hundreds-of-opposition-activists

Washington Post https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2021/03/12/uganda-opposition-torture/

BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56321791

The United Nations, Human Rights Watch, and the US State Department have also published reports detailing the abuses. https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/04/1089642 https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/03/11/uganda-end-enforced-disappearances-opponents https://www.state.gov/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/UGANDA-2020-HUMAN-RIGHTS-REPORT.pdf

In 2016, the Uganda army killed more than 100 people, including women and children in the Kasese region on the orders Museveni. https://www.hrw.org/news/2018/10/10/uganda-no-justice-2016-kasese-massacre-security-forces

And for over two decades, Museveni’s regime committed “a silent genocide” in Northern Uganda under the guise of fighting Joseph Kony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8boQaql6Ofc

Unfortunately, the abuses are still ongoing as of June 2021: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jun/06/uganda-bobi-wine-yoweri-museveni-hundred-opposition-activist-detained-without-trial-new-wave-repression

Many Ugandans are seeking refuge in Kenya, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Tanzania.

Uganda has also been implicated in instigating and exacerbating conflicts in neighboring countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, leading to deaths of millions of people. https://www.dw.com/en/ugandas-hidden-role-in-congos-conflict/a-16494434

Given the documented lack of accountability and poor human rights record in Uganda, we humbly request that the International Monetary Fund refrains from approving the pending ECF to the country until the fiscal, political, and human rights situation clears. Continued donor funding gives Museveni license to continue misallocating funds while suppressing and killing Ugandans with impunity. Moreover, the anticipated oil production by Total on which the IMF partly bases its argument for Uganda’s ability to pay back is still being contested by international environmental organizations and by Ugandans concerned about the associated pipeline’s effects on their land, lakes, rivers, and the climate. https://www.stopeacop.net/

In cases of humanitarian aid, international agencies such as USAID, DANIDA and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (@FCDOGUK) should facilitate Ugandans directly through carefully vetted CSO’s, cultural, and religious institutions — with no ties to the regime.

We are following closely and anxiously await your response on this matter.

Sincerely,

Ugandans, Friends of Uganda

&

The People Power Movement in Diaspora

G7 Global Online Protest

In the weekend of 11-13 June the presidents of the G7 countries USA, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy & Japan are meeting in Cornwall UK.

Comrades from the UK are going to the venue where the conference is held to protest against the continous financial and military support of dictator Museveni.

In particular we are trying to convince these 7 most important shareholders of the IMF to not give a loan of 1 billion USD that they have planned to do.

The IMF did not do a proper due diligence of the loan; they did not visit Uganda. If they had visited Uganda they could have seen with their own eyes that a Worldbank Covid19-relieve loan of 300M USD that was given last year has not come to the benefit of Ugandans, but the money has gone to security forces.

We have been able to create a formidable lineup of speakers for this event.

  • Matthias Mpuuga (speaker of the opposition in the Ugandan parliament)
  • Kakwenza (author of Banana Republic & the Greedy Barbarian, FDC member)
  • David Lewis (secretary general of NUP) will be interviewed by Milton Allimadi (professor of African studies)
  • Joel Isabirye (director of Market Intelligence Group). He made the last reliable survey among Ugandans.
  • Robert Amsterdam (lawyer of Bobi Wine)

Eurovision demonstration

On 18, 20 & 22 May the Netherlands are hosting the Eurovision Song Contest. The festival is a celebration of (white) European comradeship. Why else would white colonies like Israel and Australia be participating but other countries not? It’s not co-incidental that all of these countries support the Museveni regime militarily and financially.

France — Teargas

Israel — Guns & training

Russia — Fighter jets

United Kingdom — Training

Netherlands — SUVs & other vehicles

Europe — Money

While the Euroguns countries celebrate their comradeship by having a competition of their musicians, our musicians are in jail, tortured, or under house arrest. Our musician presidential candidate was attacked with a vehicle sponsored by the Dutch government. Although it was reported in the Dutch Volkskrant newspaper, all 150 white Dutch MPs ignored it. Most European governments have congratulated Museveni with rigging elections after he has thrown 1000 of opposition members into jail.

Uganda has been under dictatorship for 35 years, just like Belarus. However, the Belarus struggle is reported every week on the news, but Uganda, as most African news, is a backpage story reported once a year.

There will be hundreds of journalists reporting on the Song Contest, so this festival is a perfect location to explain them about the Ugandan catastrophe, sponsored by their countries.

The song contest is both an online and offline event, and so is our demonstration. Where people from nearby Chapters such as Netherlands, Belgium & Germany are present physically, Ugandans from other parts of the world join online. Especially through Twitter, we will directly address organisers, journalists & artists.

Our request to the organisers: Play a Nubian Li song

Our request to the journalists & artists: Come to our stand to be informed & tweet about it.

Our request to the Western world leaders: Stop funding the Ugandan dictatorship.

Pesacheck factcheckers are a joke

Pesacheck is an East-African fact checker organisation. It had already struck me that many of the fact-checks they were doing were totally irrelevant or biased towards the Museveni dictatorship.

For example, they factchecked a tweet with 40 retweets that a voter got tortured for not voting Museveni. Actually, it was a photo from Ghana. Factcheck succeeded.

However, no reference is made to the fact that disappearances and torture happen on a large scale. This has been documented by Al Jazeera. None of the real Ugandan torture stories have been factchecked by Pesacheck. An outsider is left with the impression that in general the stories about torture in Uganda are false.



On 31 March they published the following factcheck:

Obviously it’s a great idea to double check such an important statement. Let’s look at the reasoning provided by Pesacheck.

Basically Pesacheck is saying; the EC is the authority for elections, whatever they say about it is true. Well, this does not meet their own principles 2.1.

I do agree that reputation can be a part of your analysis. However, the Electoral Commission does not have a good reputation at all. Just some examples:

  • In 2016, the European Union observation mission stated that the EC is not sufficiently independent from the Ugandan government.
  • The EC chairman spoke out publicly against the National Unity Platform
  • National Unity Platform and FDC were not able to campaign. Complaints were dismissed.
  • EC has never investigated the hundreds of polling stations in 2016 and in 2021 that have a 100% voter turnout; where even dead people have voted.
  • On March 1st the EC published a DoR that is highly suspicious and likely the result of fraud. The EC has never given any further comment.

Interestingly, none of these five items have been the subject of any factcheck by Pesacheck, or are they mentioned anywhere in their analysis.

My conclusion is that the Pesacheck factchecks are a joke. Especially dictator Museveni is having a good laugh.

Press coverage of rigging, kidnapping, torture & killings.

We have collected an overview of independent resources about the situation in Uganda. 

Military beating up journalists

https://www.hrw.org/news/2021/02/22/ugandas-beaten-journalists-deserve-justice#
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v1634f24ReI&t=49s
https://www.reuters.com/article/uk-uganda-politics-idUSKBN2AI0RP

Violent Election

Amnesty: https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2020/12/uganda-stop-killings-and-human-rights-violations-ahead-of-election-day/

Report Bruce Afran: https://s3-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/s3.sourceafrica.net/documents/120896/Report-on-Governmental-Abuse-Violations-and.pdf
Reuters: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEFw0r0nLA0
Africa News: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJp1hX5CSFA

Kidnappings, torture, killings

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56321791
https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2021/3/3/they-came-in-plainclothes-with-guns-abducted-by-ugandas-army
https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/minister-odongo-tasked-to-present-list-of-kidnapped-ugandans-to-parliament-3303574
https://news.un.org/en/story/2021/01/1081662
https://www.independent.co.ug/govt-fails-to-table-list-of-abduction-victims/

Human Rights Organisations

HRW: https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2020/country-chapters/uganda#
Freiheit.org https://www.freiheit.org/pressemitteilung/li-fnf-and-aln-call-democracy-and-human-rights-be-respected-ugandan-elections
Amnesty: https://www.amnesty.org/en/countries/africa/uganda/report-uganda/


Supreme Court Petition

https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/chief-justice-refuses-to-quit-bobi-petition-3302644
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aasi28G2L8k
https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/owiny-dollo-s-meeting-with-museveni-was-to-swear-in-a-new-judge-says-judiciary-3299738
https://fremermedia.co.ug/officer-who-released-footage-of-chief-justice-owiny-dollo-when-meeting-museveni-has-landed-in-these-troubles/
https://www.voanews.com/africa/uganda-opposition-leader-bobi-wine-accuses-court-bias-withdraws-election-petition
https://nilepost.co.ug/2021/02/16/another-setback-as-court-declines-to-receive-130-affidavits-from-kyagulanyis-lawyers/

U.S States Department Warning

https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/booker-risch-press-state-department-re-evaluation-u-s-uganda-relationship/
https://www.facebook.com/nkharym/videos/10225665157399103
https://ug.usembassy.gov/statement-by-u-s-ambassador-natalie-e-brown-on-u-s-concern-over-denying-ugandan-csos-access-to-their-bank-accounts/

COVID19 Status Uganda

https://www.dw.com/en/covid-restrictions-chipping-away-at-africas-civil-liberties/a-56767699
https://www.monitor.co.ug/uganda/news/national/us-govt-cancels-shs37b-covid-19-fund-2727872

Rigging of the 2021 elections

On 16 January the Electoral Commission announced the results that president Museveni has requested for. In this blogpost we will be explaining how they rigged the election.

As a scientist I request that the reader asks him or herself a number of questions.

  1. Why would the Ugandan government shutdown the internet if it wants to organize transparent elections?
  2. Why were voters chased away from polling stations if the government is confident they have the majority?
  3. Why were agents from NUP & other parties chased away?
  4. Why were agents hunted down, tortured and their copies of DORs destroyed?
  5. Why weren’t opposition parties allowed to campaign?
  6. Why weren’t opposition parties allowed access to radio & TV?
  7. Why were so many journalists & election experts expelled from the country?
  8. Why did the military & police had to intimidate their own people on a day that is supposed to be the celebration of democracy?
  9. Why weren’t observers from European Union not invited like in 2016?
  10. Why is Electoral Commission announcing the president to be the winner without providing a breakdown of how they got to that result?

There are many, many more questions to ask yourself, but a very important one is:

Which country in the world has voted for 35 years for the same person to be president, given that the country is one of the poorest of Africa?

Starting with the last question; there is simply no democratic country in the world that voted for 35 years for the same president, even if it’s a rich country. According to Freedom House, an organisation that rates countries across the globe for amount of Freedom, Uganda scores 34/100; it is qualified as “Not free”.

Another fundamental question:

Why is Ugandan government organising elections at all?

Uganda doesn’t organise elections because Museveni believes in democratic elections. Museveni came to power through a war after he had lost elections. The book “How to rig an election” by Nic Cheeseman explains a lot of reasons why dictatorships organise elections. One is justification. Using elections they can justify their power.

When you are popular, then having elections does not cause any problems. But Museveni has lost a lot of support of Ugandans in recent years. And with the rise of Bobi Wine they found a favorite candidate of their own generation. Talking to Ugandans it was clear to me that Kyagulanyi had a lot of support; I rarely encountered a Museveni supporter. But as a scientist I know the danger of bias… [still typing]