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February 5, 2023
News Opinions

The oil curse is here

By Ndawula Ronald

Uganda Parliament got concerned by the resolution of the European Union Parliament sanctioning the construction of Uganda’s oil pipeline “EACOP” by Total energies of France. 

Among the reasons was the declining human rights record of President Musevenis government and some peripheral environmental concerns.

This to me is proof that celebrations to mark our independence are a mockery of ourselves as Africans.

First of all, if Europe or USA for that matter opened their boarders for a visa free entry into their boarders you will be left with no Ugandan in Uganda!

These days at one of the worst airports in the world, Entebbe , you will be met by endless queues of Ugandans laboring to run away from home to go and meet their tormentors (slave masters) in Saudi Arabia and Asia.

We accused these people of perpetuating the vice of slave trade in the 19th century but what Africans really wanted was to sell their brothers and sisters themselves and call it independence!

The European Parliament funds and is responsible for investment decisions their companies make because at the end of the day, the people of Europe do the financing of the entities.

Its common adage and knowledge that, “he who pays the piper calls the tunes”

If Uganda wants to build this pipeline they should tow the line of the investors.

Secondly, what’s wrong with rectifying our human rights record and challenges?

These people built for us a railway which we actually run down, now we have reached the stage of stealing the rails and the land on which it was built because of maladministration. 

The ripple effects of impunity and human rights to investment are so huge and dire because to people who have invested in sustainable developments like Europe they know good governance and democratization are pillars of sustainable development and without which all is in vain.

If the people funding half of our budgets look at what’s happening in Uganda airlines and you expect them not to lift a caution finger because you will accuse them of being and harbouring a colonial mentality is not fair Hon. Speaker?

Our oil has been in the ground since God created Uganda and nobody is going to steal it even if it stays for another century.

Let’s keep it for the next generation instead of bringing it out at this time of confusion and anarchy.

Imagine in 3 years the airline has existed it has lost about half a trillion! Do you think its feasible to run this airline Hon. Speaker?

I know if oil comes out now, it will be another Bamuturaki or there about to head the entity and a vicious cycle of nepotism, fake receipts and fake appointments and stolen money.

Why don’t we clean our house first and then drill oil. Our Oil is safe but when it comes out under the circumstances it’s going to be trouble for Senyonyis’ COSASE and and the auditor General.

Now that every Ugandan is indebted to a tune of 1.8 million and our debt portfolio stands at about 70 trillion and mounting, let’s save this oil for the next generation and posterity. 

If the European Union refuses to fund this pipeline and they want the oil don’t tempt to look for other funders because we are not independent but living in self-inflicted poverty and beggars who can’t choose what we want.

Sudans, and Libyan oil became a curse when Bashir and Gaddafi wanted to become independent because of the wealth they expected from the oil proceeds and expected to make new alliances other than the Americans and this culminated into a civil war and the eventual creation of South Sudan and fall of Tripoli.

EU and USA can’t observe a poor country they have assisted for decades with vast oil reserves showing allegiances to Vladimir Putin and refusing to vote in a UN resolution condemning Russian aggression in Ukraine and you think they will take it easy.

As you look for new oil investments, you brace for another level of trouble from the world leaders.

Ndawula Ronald, the author is the former Chairperson of Luwero district

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