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On Museveni’s Umeme missive

UMEME: Why the president is misinformed about electricity distribution market and tariffs

THE LAST WORD | Andrew M. Mwenda | President Yoweri Museveni’s letter to the minister of Energy has provided considerable grist to the anti-Umeme mill. There is no company providing a public service in Uganda that has been as successful in business and as equally hated by many as Umeme. This is because Umeme made a fundamental error: it invested in business success but ignored both customer relations and stakeholder engagement.

Let us begin with Museveni’s allegations: he claims the Umeme concession was “messed” up and this explains why the electricity tariff is high. That the Auditor General had in 2005 estimated power losses at 28% but this mysteriously was changed to 38%. That today commercial losses are 1% and technical losses are 17.3%. He wonders why technical losses do not decline in spite of Umeme investing over $500 million in the network.

Museveni then condemns the provision that guarantees Umeme a Return On Investment (ROI) of 20%, and even suggests that he is surprised it is billed to the tariff. He instructs the Umeme concession should not be renewed. This is the most uninformed letter by Museveni I have ever read. The President even gives instructions against renewing the Umeme concession before listening to the investor.

I have never known Museveni to act on a subject of this type (where economic facts and figures as opposed to emotional feelings of the masses on the streets guide his decisions) with such vitriol. The president was wrong on basic facts. Sector losses are 16.8%, of which commercial losses are 6.8% not 1% and technical losses are 10% not 17%. Umeme cannot be a big contributor to the tariff because they take 25% of total revenue generated by the sector.

I have spent years defending Umeme and typical of Ugandan discourse, many people say the company pays me to do so. As I await the first cheque to hit my account, I feel the Museveni outrage (shared by many) should be addressed. Umeme inherited the distribution concession from Uganda Electricity Distribution Company Limited (UEDCL), then a limping organisation without money to invest in the network. In just 12 years, it has transformed electricity distribution into a successful business, and the numbers are staggering.

In 2005 when Umeme took over, there were 290,000 electricity connections accumulated over 50 years from 1954 when Uganda began generating electricity. In just 12 years they have increased it to 1.2m. Revenue was Shs160 billion (Shs 320 billion in 2018 prices). Now it is Shs1.6 trillion. Uganda’s generation capacity was 190MW, now it is 880MW. There were only 5,000 transformers and now they are 13,000, not to count those that have been replaced. The losses were 38%, now they are 16.8%, saving the country $70 million annually and making Uganda the best performer in the region.

Museveni writes: “The investor claims to have invested $500m in the distribution infrastructure. If they invested so much money why do the technical losses not decline?” But how could Umeme reach five times more customers and distribute five times more MWs of power without investing in transformers, sub-stations, poles and wires? Technical losses have fallen from 20% to 10%. The cost of investment to reduce technical losses to below 5% would exceed any sought benefits and increase the tariff unnecessarily.

Why are so many Ugandans angry with Umeme? I suspect the company thought that business success alone is enough to win public trust. Museveni suffers this weakness too, believing that economic growth and investment figures can win public trust. Listen to his State of the Nation speeches – they are a litany of numbers. For Umeme, it also failed to appreciate that success would attract other interested companies to take the concession from them. These could be the ones who have formed behind-the-scenes lobbyists against Umeme.

Uganda’s electricity distribution market is a far cry from 2002 when government advertised to privatise it, thanks to Umeme. When government invited expressions of interest, six international firms responded. After doing due-diligence, all of them refused to invest. Only the Commonwealth Development Corporation, a British government parastatal, had the courtesy to reply government of Uganda, stating the reasons why it was not worth anyone’s while to take over the country’s distribution business. Government invited them on bended knee. Many of the provisions in the concession that some people find obnoxious were informed by our nation’s high-risk profile at the time.

Having fed Uganda’s cow, and now it is glittering before any investor, our country has forgotten where Umeme dragged it from. Ugandans now think UEDCL was doing a great job. The past always looks rosy as I meet many Ugandans online who even argue that Idi Amin presided over a golden period of Uganda’s economic growth and Museveni is presiding over economic retrogression. In many ways, Museveni’s letter on Umeme is a triumph of his opponent’s approach to public policy – rely on emotions not facts.

30 comments

  1. In a long time, this is one of Mwenda’s first to publicly criticise the president Museveni. As a hater (privately and public ally) of President Museveni’s politics, I should applaud Mwenda but I don’t. Mwenda has cultivated a culture of just going against “general thought”. He opposes everything that would speak to general thought. Being unconventional in itself wouldn’t be a problem, however, there should be limits and logic to it. People like Galileo, Albert Einstein, Jesus Christ among others, challenged conventional wisdom but there was always a marked sign to their challenges: they were either knowledgeable at their stations or possessed divine power, attributes that are a distant cry away from Mwenda (actually a far distant cry from him.) To oppose Mwenda’s thought is next to sacrilege. At the drop of a hat and, or a method to his madness, Mwenda will screen, cannon target and then ravage his opponent with” words of untold suffering “- which will include accusing them of poverty and stupidity. Mwenda’s intellectual approach is consumed with ” fear” and, therefore, he’s practicing “intellectual fundamentalism”. If ” intolerance ” is bad in politics, then it should be disabused by the intelligentsia. Mwenda’s criticism of Museveni’s letter was a disregard to tenets of serious thought.
    Museveni’s outcry whether genuine or not, should be a welcome gesture to the general public. The UMEME deal was a bad deal for the government right from its inception. It was an “omelette” removed from its eggs. As a private entity, UMEME aims at maximising profits. However, and in this particular instance, its profits were guaranteed. The inclusion of the 20% return on investment (ROI) clause in the UMEME contract meant that by the stroke of a pen and at zero rate of work, UMEME was guaranteed a profit of ShS 20/= for every 100/= “invested.” What do I mean? If for instance, UMEME paid the government of Uganda by a postdated cheque worthy 100m. And then, UMEME went ahead and commenced work before the maturity date of that cheque, however, during its stipulated operational period it only manages to collect 50m. UMEME will report a loss of 50m but will also have a claim of the 20m. In essence UMEME is taking away a cool 70m for free. What then will be the motivation for UMEME to operate under full capacity if it can gain by not doing anything? Remember that dividends are payable after the realisation of profits. So, by declaring “losses” UMEME does not meet any “PAYOUTS” to its other shareholders namely; the Uganda government.

    Frankly, I wouldn’t guess as to how much UMEME has invested so far but I will provide a personal experience. In 1989, it took my father six million shillings to get six poles and then get connected to electricity. It is almost 30years and the only changes so far is a replacement of a pole. Prior to YAKA, we were accustomed at being billed 200,000 every month. YAKA came in and its connection ranged from 110000 for those who were already connected to 370000 for the new connections. YAKA also brought about some structural adjustments within UMEME- where the numbers of stuff tremendously reduced. And I want to think that it is from here that the President premises his argument in the letter. “If the investors are claiming to have invested $500m in the distribution infrastructure, why aren’t the losses declining?” It is a legitimate question from the president whose “honest” answer only lies with the Return On Investment (ROI) clause.

    Mwenda should not only be a writer in his own magazine but also its reader. In January, 2017,The Independent published an article by Isaac Khisa titled, “Can Uganda survive with the highest electricity prices in EA?” One of the many things that the article highlighted was Uganda’s industry. At that time the power prices had risen by 22% and majority of the industries were operating at an average capacity of 50%. This meant that some workers had to be laid off and the cost of doing business was now high. It certainly affected the GDP figures (which is Mwenda’s favorite subject.) Museveni’s letter could be a reflection to what John Pombe Magufuli, Tanzanian president had expressed. The article stated, “The Tanzanian president John Magufuli sacked the head of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) after the firm approved an 8.53% increase in the power tariff. He reasoned that it was unacceptable while he was trying to build manufacturing industries and have more citizens on the national grid, someone else was blocking his ideas.” I know Mwenda “loves” to be referred to as “the old man of the clan,” however, without the “seriousness” put into his “thoughts” he will only be remembered as the gnome and not the vizier that he had wished to be.

    • Rightly put Rajab. Without going into M9’s statistics and his glorification of Umeme’s performance, I can vouch for the following:
      1. M7 has more and better analysts (and informers) than M9
      2. M7 gains more and loses more when the power tariffs skyrocket because M9 is never held to account, cursed or even mentioned. M7 can even go sleepless for the said issue
      3. All investors(including the holier-than-thou US) under heaven have local contact people who lobby for them with the powers-that-be. It is an open secret that the loser is never the government(read group that governs), the investor or the go-between but (always) the consumer. Sadly, even non-users of mains electricity and solar energy users contribute to the extortive rates through other forms of taxes. Armed with such knowledge, I can state that even if M9 eats anything from Umeme, the government headed by M7 eats more. So they cannot bite the hand that feeds them.
      4. And honestly, is it impossible to resurrect UEB?

    • Rajab
      You are hugely wrong on almost all fronts you are responding to Mwenda. I would like you to discuss the electricity supply industry from the deep knowledge point of view, not from the emotion point of view. For example, the electricity sector has a regulator, who sets the tariffs and conducts studies that determine the loss levels in the sector. I may not confidently state how often you have interfaced with the regulator or the regulators published materials to build a case for your argument. Rightly put, Umeme is not a super perfect player in the sector as evidenced with the poor customer care of its staff; but with this particular debate, Ugandans are playing in the hands of lobbyists. If you examine that letter, its content a mere download from Facebook debate with lobbyists that ended up on the State House headed paper and the presidents signature. At first, personally, having been privy to the online debate, i thought these guys had forged HE’s signature; alas – it was genuine.

      You advance that the UMEME deal was a bad deal for the government right from its inception, but lets establish, what options dis GOU have as it tried to established a well functioning power supply industry? As Mwenda has put it, When government invited expressions of interest, six international firms responded. After doing due-diligence, all of them refused to invest. Only the Commonwealth Development Corporation, a British government parastatal, had the courtesy to reply government of Uganda, stating the reasons why it was not worth anyone’s while to take over the country’s distribution business. Government invited them on bended knee. Many of the provisions in the concession that some people find obnoxious were informed by our nation’s high-risk profile at the time. This similar challenge of our nation’s high-risk profile is what leads Uganda to Bujagali problem we are currently facing. When we have our homes lit, businesses running, and charging ipads and fones, its very easy to forget where we have come from.

      You further advance that YAKA came in and its connection ranged from 110000 for those who were already connected. This is wrong, and hugely wrong. A retrofit (conversion) of an already existing connection does not cost a customer money. All of us who were connected to electricity as post paid customers have benefited from retrofitting and were never asked to pay any money. I am not sure of where you live where you were asked to pay 110,000 – save for corruption if it ever happened.

      You also state that in 1989, your average family bill was 200, 000, ok, so what was the end user tariff by then, what dynamics have changed to date? do you still want to pay 200k 29 years later?

      Rajab, i want you to appreciate that Return On Investment (ROI) is tagged to Umeme’s approved investments by the ERA, not on losses. The loss factor determined by the ERA is on energy sales, not on ROI. Moreover, not everything that Umeme submits as an investment is allowed to attract a return. ROI is only allowed on investments verified by ERA, and proved to be existing, reasonable, technically and financially feasible and sustainable; and useful to the electricity consumer. You can access and read ERA’s investment verification guidelines at http://www.era.or.ug/index.php/statistics-tariffs/2013-11-27-16-54-30/doc_download/93-electricity-investment-approval-and-verification-guidelines

      Rajab, you also make reference to Isaac Khisa January article titled, “Can Uganda survive with the highest electricity prices in EA?” One of the biggest challenges Uganda faces is journalists with the most shallow research capacity. For starters, Uganda and Seychelles are probably the only Countries on the African continent running a cost reflective electricity tariff, Uganda having eliminated direct subsidies in 2012. Uganda is part of the Energy Regulators Association of East Africa which has Uganda, Kenya, TZ, Rwanda, Burundi. Tariffs of these countries are bench-marked against each other on a quarterly basis, besides, the tariff drivers and inputs differ from country to country. When you go to the ERA website, or the websites of the power regulators in these countries, you will find the charged tariffs, where did Khisa get his figures from? The ERA conducts extensive engagements with stakeholders on issues of tariffs including the manufacturers. Even when tariffs must go up, Manufacturers are always involved the tariff determination process, which they now understand very well. This is probably the reason we haven’t seen counter tariff comments from manufacturers in Uganda over time.

      Its true that President John Pombe Magufuli in January 2017 fired head of Tanesco after the outfit hiked tariffs by 8.53% claiming the increase would stunt his plans to industrialize the country and went ahead to order a reversal of the move. To date, TZ is living on subsidies, which is a false way of running a public sector which requires heavy investments. Because of this, TANESCO has been unsuccessfully seeking loans from the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and commercial lenders to turn the company round. What they have been left with is to live in admiration of Uganda.

      Without further ado, i want to invite Rajab and Rwasubutare and others like them, to discuss from the informed point of view of the sector. If you did that, you will very much appreciate Andrew’s views above.

    • Well put

  2. Mwenda’s basic assumption is that there are only two possible motives for Museveni’s action on Umeme; One: A logical analysis of the matter (what Museveni should have done) and two: An emotional response (what Museveni did)
    The Bodaboda men and rolex seller down the road from my home, as well as the elite lot at my Kafunda, all have a different reading of the matter. The Kafunda group are an erudite set who have been “solving” Uganda’s problems since their Makerere days decades ago.
    The rolex seller has a humbler CV; he can’t even afford a newspaper but saw the headline. He summarized everyone’s analysis very succinctly: “Ha, era bagenda kulya”.

    • Must you be so ironic in matters of life-and-death such as this? Serukeera you know only too well how the two groups you allude are mere fence-sitters who can never believe anything progressive and have been vaccinated against any good that may hail from this good land. Why? They have seen corruption, duplicity and greed all practiced by the cream of society from top-most to lowest. Join the solution-seekers to this junction whose wrong choice might be fatal. As for M9, don’t trust him much because he was even speaking for Crane bank yet they were later found to be his benefactors….. having loaned him a succulent sum. Don’t be surprised if you find he is into the pudding bowl of Umeme too. M9 is a social dinosaur.

  3. Julius, if suppose, you found me helpless on the streets of Kampala and out of your volition, you accepted to adopt me as your child, do you have a free ticket to mistreat me while reminding me of how you got me off the streets? Is UMEME doing the Ugandans a favour whereby, their services is on a “voluntary” basis? If that were to be true, why then do you have to make a lot of noise when we (the ones being helped) want to bow out? If the “UMEME Contract” is on the basis of a “win- win” situation, why is the possibility of its being cancelled seem to be affecting UMEME the more?
    You say that my comment was based on emotions and I should use some “expertise” to find out the real truth. I am living the real truth. I own a home, a school and a mill. You dismiss the findings of “The Independent” a survey that was carried out by Isaac Khisa yet the man you want to defend is its chief editor. Should I take it that you have had a discussion with the chief editor of The Independent and that is dismissive of these findings. If Isaac Khisa is a quack, isn’t it then telling of the sort of management Mwenda is running at The Independent? But what did Khisa say? By admitting that the Tanzanian president fired the head of TANESCO for having hiked power tariffs, you have vindicated Khisa. He also stated that according to the survey carried out majority of Uganda’s manufacturing industries were operating at 53%. Are you stating otherwise?
    Julius I want you to “double check” with what Mwenda is stating here. He states, “In 2005 when Umeme took over, there were 290,000 electricity connections accumulated over 50 years from 1954 when Uganda began generating electricity. In just 12 years they have increased it to 1.2m.” You and me both know that there is the ‘Rural Electrification Board’ whose work is being carried out by ‘REA’ (Rural Electrification Agency.) I, at least know that REA partners up with many agencies for instance, it had projects with UEDCL that covered the whole of West Nile, it is in partnership with SIDA. The only project (at least reached finishing stage) the REA had with UMEME was that of Kiboga. Is Mwenda stating that all the nine hundred thousand (900,000) “new connections” are “solely” UMEME’s connections?
    2. You and me, both know that UMEME has never been part of “power generation” but this is what Mwenda states, “Uganda’s generation capacity was 190MW, now it is 880MW.”
    3. You and me, both know that UMEME has never been part of “power transmission” but this is what Mwenda states, “There were only 5,000 transformers and now they are 13,000, not to count those that have been replaced.”
    Mwenda twists a lie to make it believable. However, you have that choice to believe all that he says or writes.

    • Peter Rusongoza Abwooli

      Rajab I have over 16 umeme yaka meters n none has cost me more than Shs 150000. There very clear guideline, for new connection, pinned in all umeme offices all over the country. So the figures u r quoting could be bribes u r offering for ur new connection.
      Customer service at umeme has greatly improved. If u find the inquiries desk challenging try getting them through there WhatsApp. You will be surprised at the attention you will receive. I don’t know u r age now, it looks like the experience you had in 1989 had greatly shaped, and continues to shape, ur perception about umeme in 2018. Brother, umeme has improved greatly. If I were the President of this country I would have renewed umeme contract.

      • Abwooli you miss the big picture here. While I was making my comment I stated it clearly as ” I provide my personal experience “, I didn’t expect that all Ugandans went/are going through the experience. But what is clearly coming out that even the rosy picture some of would like to paint UMEME is tainted. One Julius here has come out in broad day light and said UMEME connections were ” free”. You are stating that the charges weren’t above ShS 150,000/= What then informs you that my account is false? What is clear is that UMEME is treating its customers differently. For purposes of verification I provide you with my reference number from which you can confirm that I am telling the truth (Ref: 761543329) this transaction was carried out by UMEME- Nateete office. But that’s not important since I was referencing my experience. The big issue is with the 20% return on investment (ROI). Why would someone be paid an “interest” even when there is no business? UMEME is GUARANTEED 20% whether they are in the field or outside of it. The problem with this is that at whatever cost the other party that entered into this agreement with UMEME has to offer the 20%. In my eyes, I regard this as “unfair” just as l regard treating your customers different yet offering the same service as being “unfair” but it could be just me.

  4. ejakait engoraton

    OKALYA DDA KADDA DDA is a Ganda saying which literally means “what goes round comes round” or something to that effect.

    What is happening with UMEME is the fallout/dividend of the M 7 /M 9 much touted ” beneficial corruption.
    There is so much to respond to this article that one does not know where to start and where to end, but time permitting , I will give it my best short.

    SO far, corruption has been going on without having a visible impact on the population and most especially the economy. It has been easy for instance to inflate the cost of roads, army uniforms, junk helicopters, MiG jets etc , because their impact is not felt directly. We do not for instance pay directly to use roads.
    The game has changed however with electricity, because the corruption that was injected “downstream” is having an effect “upstream” by way of the tariffs , even with subsidies, which again are eating into M 7 s money, which the consumers are having to pay. This means that the uptake on generated power is low because the prices are prohibitive, but worst of all , it is impacting where it hurts most – INDUSTRY.
    This , therefore is the cause for the VITRIOL, which surprisingly is M 7 s usual way of doing business , but M 9 is taking note only now.

    I had a good laugh where M 9 says that M 7 uses “a litany of figures”, and as the Ganda say ” abakokolo bageyana” meaning that a man who has no nose is pointing to another without a nose. In this article alone , he uses figures no less than 30 times!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. ejakait engoraton

    IT is not possible to discuss issues to do with the UMEME contract without knowing the background and some of the factors that informed UMEME coming into the picture.

    Like M 9 mentions, at the time when bidders were invited to express interest , a few things happened , which things M 9 may not have been privy to, or has conveniently chosen not to mention.

    One of the companies that wished to express interest sent its chief executive to come and meet the relevant officials and to get such information as was not provided in the documents. It is also common practice in the tendering world, and more so in developing countries to meet face to face with key players.

    While in Kampala, according to this chief executive, “there was no clear picture as to what the government intended to do”. He says information was scanty, the documents were badly drawn up, it was very difficult to establish who was in charge and one was tossed from office to office.No body seemed willing or able to provide information on which proper due diligence could be carried out.

    At the same time, while in Kampala, he met up with one of the chief executives of another company that was also interested in expressing an interest.He too expressed the same reservations.
    Mind you that most companies in the contracting world operate as a cartel, they know each other and sometimes agree on the basis for tendering in order not to under price each other.So, they got to find out the other companies that were willing to express an interest and they called them, a total of 5, to a meeting in a European capital.All the companies expressed the same fears, most of all, he says, it became apparent that officials they had met had all asked for “some consideration” , even just for expressing interest!!!!!!!!!!
    Moreover, it was claimed, that all were claiming to act on behalf of the highest office!!!!!!!!!!!

    IT was at this stage he says that they all decided that they were not going to submit any proposals.This also goes against the grain of M 9 and M 7 s much touted growth rate of a zillion %. Because, you would ask yourself, why would companies not want to invest in an economy that was doing so well and with such a rosy future , and especially in an industry that would be ultimately the driver of that success. Because according to this chief Exec , the figures had no reflection on the ground, and they had done their due diligence with the World Bank and the IMF. Simply put , would you today put your money on ARSENAL winning the EPL , let alone MAN U?????????

    That is what informed the decisions of the said companies not to even bother to respond.

  6. ejakait engoraton

    Which brings in the Commonwealth Development Corporation.

    AS M 9 mentions, this is a parastatal and as the word “commonwealth” suggests, this has everything to do with BRITAIN/UK.

    The CDC being a parastatal , is not primarily into business for profit as a normal business entity, and most of all not in the short run.They look at prospects not primarily for CDC as an entity, but more so in a capacity of creating an “enabling environment” for BRITISH ( and to a lesser extent Commonwealth member states)companies.

    At the same time time, being the former colonial master, and the people who built the original Owen falls dam, they had an attachment, albeit sentimental to the UEB and one will note that up to a certain point most , if not all vehicles were LANDROVERS and most of the purchases were done through the CROWN AGENCIES.

    They therefore wished to get involved as a way to provide opportunities for the British, and one will note that even SAM ZIMBE even though a Ugandan by origin, is domiciled in the UK, which to the CDC is an achievement , to get one of their own into employment.

    This was therefore a commercial decision with political undertones.

  7. ejakait engoraton

    Having ended up in a situation where UGANDA, a country according to M 9 was registering astronomical growth, and would probably be an investors heaven, but was here(needlessly) on its knees looking for someone to invest in its critical energy sector, the incoming company, in this case UMEME, did what any business would do under the circumstances , EXTRACT ITS POUND OF FLESH.
    The prospects for investing in the energy sector were NEEDLESSLY painted as gloomy, deliberately or otherwise. In business , the return on investment (ROI) is determined essentially , among other factors by the RISK. Like I used the example of the EPL, at the moment nearly no company is taking bets on MAN CITY winning the title because it is a DEAD CERT. It is like 1000000/1.
    This is the situation UGANDA found itself in , because basically there were “NO TAKERS” and UMEME was in a position to literally dictate its own terms.This does not however mean that UGANDA could not have negotiated a good deal under bad circumstances.

    IN construction or with any big projects, the worst deal you can ever enter into is the so called COST RECOVERY or as was previously known as “DAY WORKS.”
    A survey carried out by both the RICS and RIBA found out that the single biggest factor responsible for “cost overruns ” in 90% of the cases studied was because of contracts that had an element of COST RECOVERY.
    This is the worst form of contract/arrangement and is almost a virtual “CARTE BLANCHE” or open/blank cheque to the contractor.
    This should only be entered into where all other options have failed, and was previously used in emergency situations where the “scope and extent” of the works could not be established and yet there was an urgent need to commence works. BUT there was always a need to ensure that the contractor was of good standing and the supervisory role was of the highest standard.
    The standing of the contractor may not be in doubt here, but the supervisory role is very much lacking.

    I have had the opportunity to look at some sections of the contract and it is appalling that UMEME is getting away with.

    There were for instance no guidelines or binding specifications on the transformers and the costs thereof, and the more expensive they buy them, the higher their return, so effectively no incentive to buy competetively. Also, “point of charge” is not stated in certain instances so UMEME can start charging the moment they “dream” of an item, unlike say charging on delivery to stores or upon installation.

    • Ejakait, for fear of risking my person and necessity to guard privileged information, I fear you are being brutally frank. Next election vs next generation consideration principle comes in now….. as they say, the chicken coming to roost. So what happened? Umeme may have had a good symbiotic deal with the contract awarders and like you say, the ex-colonial master sets in, knowing well that like the Uganda Railway, Umeme operations will just be a means to realise another indirect benefit wholly unrelated to power supply. This a probable hypothesis.
      An easterner, who has the ears of the powers-that-be can offer a deal, the peanuts Umeme gave having been misspent and finished ( the way of black athletes of the US’s millions deplete) and the next thing you hear, let us get a new guy(s). EOI are called just so it looks transparent and the deal-offerer is chosen and is awarded the concession. But like I said, it is a hypothesis and has no bearing on the goings-on.
      The problem I have realised with you Ejkait is that you have been witness to very many underhands that it is not easy for any trick to go past your experienced nose. In my Public Administration thesis, I mentioned an urgent funds-raising style and it was rejected outright at the synopsis stage without any reason but because it was stepping on toes of the powers-that-were. If the government wants to hurriedly raise 20bn just for drinks, children’s scholarships or even completing a stalled big fish’s house. An alarming notice goes on air that rabies have struck countrywide and all dogs and cats must be innoculated for 1,000 UGX and a defaulter to be fined 10,000 UGX. Either way, the monies come in, you vaccinate you pay, you don’t vaccinate you pay 10 times. So how many dogs and cats are in the country? The drug is distilled water and the staff, the local veterinary officers who are paid even for their loitering. So Ejakait, a government (the mob that governs a nation) is a guaranteed gold mine which can make money in taxing,debt eating,begging or even conning. And if a prospective victim brings lugezigezi, God help him. Umeme might go or it might do the needful and stay but either way, the common consumer of power remains what they have always been, the payer.

  8. 1.How much electricity does an ordinary Ugandan consume to necessitate any complaint?Most Ugandans use electricity for watching Nigerian Movies,Ironing and for security lights.
    2.Most industries are run on diesel generators so which investors are complaining?
    3.Industries that use UMEME are normally charged factory rates which are reasonable.
    4.The power that Karuma and Isimba will generate will earn Uganda more income when its exported to Kenya,S.Sudan,Congo if in 2018 some Ugandans not not yet on the grid you think they will have power in 2090?some Ugandans can do without electricity.
    5.You will die of laughter when those who work for Uganda Rural Electrification Authority tell you what they go through to as they lure Ugandans in rural areas to get electricity they have to bribe them with brochures and Tshits to catch their attention.
    6.Lawyers face alot of challenges with the new breed of businessmen for they set the terms and conditions of their business development and they also want you to solve both their legal and business development.
    7. Pepole like Rajab,Ejakait, will not understand terms like government subsides the electricity rates so The PR team of UMEME needs to explain to Ugandans in simple terms that government contributes to the payment of their bills .
    8. There are too many cooks in the energy sector. Why was former UEB split into UMEME,UEDCL anyway?i believe each of these sectors is betraying the other.
    9.I thought Rajab,Ejakait and Rwasubutare would be polite enough to excuse themselves from such high level debates but waapi.

  9. ejakait engoraton

    WINNIE – what a shame that you even share a name with some of the great people that have walked this earth.

    Like I said before, it is impossible to talk about being clueless without mentioning you, and in this case on this topic you are completely out of your depth.

    How do I, Kakyama, Rwasubutare, let alone my brother DR Kant , start to talk with someone who does not know SUBSIDE and SUBSIDIES.Like I said before, SPELLCHECK can correct spelling mistakes, but not OBUSILU.

    Tell me, how much electricity is used in the UK for domestic and industrial/commercial use. What do you and you family in the UK use electricity for in your KAZIGO ( council flat in Peckham/Upton Park/) Are you telling me that you are connected to 3 phase. Or is it because your mum cooks chapati and mandazi to take to PASCAL , you think that is commercial use.

    Do you know how these SUBSIDIES came about.This is one of the biggest THEFTS that is taking place in Uganda , because the taxpayers are paying for something that most of them do not consume. This was a ploy for the Thermal generation companies with their sponsors to swindle the taxpayer. They are producing electricity that no one is using, and they are getting paid for it. Moreover , even the production figures are very highly inflated. One of the companies for instance that had an installed capacity of 10 MW, which was only meant to kick in at “peak hours” was charging for an output equivalent to an installed capacity of 40 MW, and this even then assuming that it was running at 12 hours a day , instead of the stipulated maximum of 6 hours.

    This is where the so called problem of “loss” was coming from, because the “thermal ” generation companies were over declaring their production, so since UMEME had to balance its books, ie “received” power against distributed or consumed power, this was appearing as LOSS. BUT this was something very difficult to rectify, because the interests went very high. UMEME also had to come up with ” ingenious” methods of accounting for the inflated supply, by also inflating its bills and this was done through its meters which were proved to be up 10% inflated.So if Kakyama consumed 100 units, the meter would show 110 units. This is not a new practice, since petrol stations have done it time immemorial and I had a friend who got very rich because he was the meter technician foe SHELL then in the 70/80 s. UMEME was only doing what we were warned about in the BIBLE / QURAN about “weights and measures”. That is how the ASIANS got rich, they cheated you when you went to sell your produce ( cotton, coffee, maize…..) and cheated you again when you went to buy sugar, salt etc because the scales were rigged.

  10. ejakait engoraton

    BUT , you can offer SUBSIDIES up to so far. It has turned out that these subsidies (corruption in this case) are harming the state finances and therefore adversely affecting the amount of money available to the regime. And M 7 is clueless as to the elephant in the room – CORRUPTION. No matter how big a container you use to fetch water from the well, if it has a big HOLE in it , you deliver very little or no water at all.

    KAGINA, while still at URA realised that she had gone almost as far she could with her efforts to collect taxes. She also knew where most of the leakages were and had made attempts to plug these leakages , only she realised that these were connected to very powerful people , people who were willing and made it clear that her life would be in danger. Realising that ever greater demands were being placed on her to keep increasing the tax purse and the dangers that it would put her in, she sought an honorable exit.

    What we are seeing now with attempts to tax everything and anything that moves ( soon we shall have a death tax), is the fall out of what has been going on over the years and the first in line is UMEME and of course what the fountain has decided to call “ABOLUGAMBO”.

    MORE IS YET TO COME.

    • On death tax, it existed in Kenya and it was so enforced such that you could not bury your deceased before paying it…..it was called ‘burial tax’. What is required is an MP from some constituency to table a private member’s bill and the next thing you know, a hospital is compelled to give all details of the departed, the LC1 to extort from his location for the unknown bodies found there……etc. People will grumble but pay….. and that is what matters….pay

  11. @ Ejakait why would government steal from the poor who dont even pay tax?

    i joined this forum because of indiscipline by some members like Ejakait,Omeros,Rajab,Rwasubutare,Adhola etc i realized that the mothers of Andrew’s haters did not study at Gayaza High so since some of us were raised by old girls of Gayaza High i found it fit to introduce some etiquette and by the way i always follow a recipe while preparing a meal.

  12. ejakait engoraton

    WINNIE , it is all well and good for you to claim that you are a LOOYA , but for you to try and drag an institute like GAYAZA, a place where my mother was one of the founding pupils in the days when they were a dress called “busuuti”that later came to be fashioned into the national dress by a Goan tailor in Entebbe called GOMEZ and thus corrupted into ” gomesi”, is scandalous to say the least.

    This is an institution to which my sisters went right from P 1 up to S 6, and subsequent generations always maintain a permanent presence. Your mum must have gone to the “other” Gayaza, Gayaza Kadongo as it was called because of having structures which were built in the local mud, which school was later brought to standard when my cousin Mrs LABOKE became the headmistress after being at NABINGO.

    Back to more serious issues, like I said before , the CLUELESS WINNIE rears her ugly head once again.

    SO , as far as you are concerned, poor people do not pay taxes?????????? SO who pays taxes on which our beloved president lives and maintains his mobile toilet? AS far as you are concerned, you probably think it is the big corporations like MTN, COCA COLA, UGANDA BREWERIES, BAT,SHELL, PICFARE etc etc. YES, these pay corporation tax as and when they are required to but basically the taxes that they “pay” are paid by the common man, and these corporations are like that man in the BIBLE story ZACHARIAH , the tax collector who JESUS asked to come down from the tree he had climbed.

    THEY are just “tax collectors” on behalf of URA and just collect the taxes that the common man pays on airtime, beer , cigarettes , fuel etc.Yes, companies pay tax on goods when they import the items, but these taxes are “refunded” by the end user ,the COMMON PERSON, THE POOR, when they consume/use these goods.

    BUT then again, I do not imagine someone like you to comprehend such things.

    • The man was Zaccheus (the URA of Israel or was it IRA) Ejakait. He promised to refund 4 times what he had extorted. We have been wondering where he would get the money from (unless he robbed Peter to pay Paul)calculating simply that if he extorted 100 and wanted to pay 400 in penance, where would he get the 300 from….knowing that all he owned was stolen stuff? A bit difficult to understand.

      • ejakait engoraton

        That is the stuff of PONZI schemes, they did not start just yesterday, they have been around for a long time.

  13. @ Ejakait; 100% of Uganda ‘s tax is from Buganda region do the Karamoja or Basoga contribute to the development of economy or they drain it?surely how can someone who buys a match box of 100k contribute meaningfully to the development of the economy?

    You are just a hangers on person you claimS everyone who matters in Uganda is your cousin including the late King Kaboyo now how can Mrs Laboke be your cousin when she is a Mutoro and married in Acholi and you r from Soroti?

  14. ejakait engoraton

    Patrick Olimi Kaboyo (rip) was my friend; so someone from Teso can not be related to someone from Bunyoro. Mrs Labokes brother Solomon Mukasa is a Muganda n her other brother is Patrick Kunobwa who is the chief accountant to parliament, they were all born in Serere, which I’m sure you know is in Teso.
    Why would I want to claim to be related to someone I’m not, like you claiming your mum went to Gayaza whereas not.

    • Ejakait, tell Winnie that two or more siblings can belong to not only different tribal groups but also nationalities. Imagine a scenario where the Aworis (Aggrey and Moody) if Moody (Vice President) had succeeded the incumbent in Kenya(due to sudden death of incapacity) and Aggrey(Presidential candidate) had won the race in Ug. Then Migingo hots up.
      We would have seen two brothers’s armies,naval forces and Airforces tussling it out in mortal combat.
      Winnie is a violent transplant whose birth and descent is obviously Ug(inference) but her language in general and vocabulary and grammar in particular, let alone deplorable spelling shows she went to school in the visionary era…… possibly went on to graduate by the way of lodge we are all acquainted with and maybe relocated to UK via a social night in Entebbe with an old tourist or any one of many other possibilities. That is why you find she knows things in incomplete parts, being neither wholly local nor wholly british.

  15. ejakait engoraton

    I did not realise that me knowing a few people, who according to you matter in Uganda, was a big problem for you.
    But at least I have drawn you out and the fact that you know Mrs Laboke so well confirms the fact that your mum went to the “other” Gayaza because she was the head of your mother’s old school.

  16. Ejakiat you seem to have a problem and i mean it please relax ladies never tell lies i know in some areas of Uganda normal things having parents who are graduates appears like one is bragging. since you feel that its your right to have imaginations of who your cousins should be its ok you can add Trump,Obama,Queen Elizabeth to the list of your cousins.

    Rwasubutare is at least honest he said he made it in life after he bought a camera in 1985 and made quick bucks by taking photos of all sorts of women.

  17. It seems the matter has been sorted out and we are the ones left arguing while the parties (visionary and Umeme) have met and well……….. reached an understanding. Ejakait, power is an orchard of low level trees with ripe fruits for picking. Appoint me a ‘minister of standards’ and I will pay all my staff salaries without tapping from Ministry of finance and remit to treasury 1m USD every quarter and if I fail they jail me for life.

    https://theinvestigatornews.com/2018/04/museveni-meets-umeme-bosses-over-power-tariffs-concession-renewal-as-firm-announces-shs12b-dividend-to-its-shareholders/

  18. ejakait engoraton

    And in Uganda where they have never heard of conflict of interest, the same Bitature who is the board chair has interests in the power generating companies, which companies are receiving massive subsidies and also over invoicing.
    Umeme has exposed some of this and they now want Umeme out.
    Normally Umeme as a “sitting tenant ” has first refusal and if it is felt their ROI is high, they can renegotiate to lower unless another offers considerably lower.
    As they say, better the devil you know.
    Let us watch the space, the vultures are ciclinng

  19. Those are satanic verses from a power hungry fascist — all political power has been forcibly concentrated in him and his family. He’s destroyed all institutions (Uganda has no constitution) what is there to talk about UMEME? An arsonist coming back to discuss how to fix the fire or who started the fire he set off? Politics is always subject to public debate in a way UMEME or any sector is not. This is what happens when a country accepts replace all institutions with corruption. It’s get lost at sea, looking for distractions. UMEME is a public utility. Its pricing is subject to a political process which is utterly, rotten and corrupt. Nobody wants to or pays for power. The government is the worst offender.

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