Connect with us

World

How Museveni Surrendered Uganda’s Only International Airport For Chinese Loans

Published

on

How Museveni Surrendered Uganda’s Only International Airport For Chinese Loans

The details of the deal Uganda signed with the Chinese lenders have shown that the African country “surrendered” its most prominent and only international airport.

The Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) says some provisions in the Financing Agreement with China expose Entebbe International Airport and other Ugandan assets to be attached and taken over by Chinese lenders upon arbitration in Beijing.

It also emerged that China has rejected recent pleas by Uganda to re-negotiate the toxic clauses of the 2015 loan, leaving Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s administration in limbo.

According to the Daily Monitor of 25 November 2021, the Ugandan government waived international immunity in the agreement it signed to secure the loans, exposing Entebbe. International Airport to takeover without international protection.

In desperation, Uganda in March sent a delegation to Beijing hoping to renegotiate the toxic clauses of the deal but the officials came back empty-handed as China would not allow the terms of the original deal to be varied.

Last week, Uganda’s Finance Minister Matia Kasaija apologized to parliament for the “mishandling of the $207 million loan” from the China Exim Bank to expand Entebbe International Airport.

“I apologize that we shouldn’t have accepted some of the clauses,” Kasaija told members of the committee in response to questions asked by the legislators. There were also questions over the interest rate that was set by the China Exim Bank for the funds placed in an off-shore Standard Bank account that was used as collateral for the project.

Three weeks ago, Uganda Parliament’s Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises raised concern over terms of the loan acquired to upgrade and expand Entebbe International Airport.

Committee members led by chairperson Joel Ssenyonyi demanded the Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development Maria Kasaija, to explain whether due diligence had been made prior to government signing the agreement with the Chinese bank.

Ssenyonyi asked the finance minister to explain at what stage the due diligence had been done on the loan financing terms, noting that the terms were not in favour of the tax payer.

“It is right to understand how China has done this. But then, how has Uganda always done its loan agreements? This would have provided a meeting point between the two parties,” said Ssenyonyi.

A Legal Advisor at the finance ministry told the committee that they reviewed the agreement, especially on the waiver of immunity. He admitted that some conditions could not be negotiated.

“The President on his trip to China, raised this as one of the challenges that China ought to address in our agreement,” the advisor told the committee while under oath.

READ ALSO: Kyrgyzstan Security Operatives Detain Suspected Coup Plotters

Progress of work at the airport has reached 75.2 per cent, with two runways having reached overall completion of 100 per cent.

The phase one project that commenced on 10 May 2016, was expected to have been completed by 09 May 2021. It was extended to 05 December 2022. But still, there are genuine fears the airport could be lost as Kampala is struggling to meet the strict loan repayment regimen.

Built in 1972, Entebbe International Airport is Uganda’s only international airport and handles over 1,9 million passengers per year. Its seizure by China would greatly dent Museveni’s legacy and expose him to election defeat especially by the younger and fierce rival Bobi Wine.

Museveni, who came to power on the back of an armed uprising in 1986, has defied the political laws of gravity which have felled other long-serving leaders in the region.

The 77-year-old has managed to maintain his grip on power through a mixture of encouraging a personality cult, employing patronage, compromising independent institutions and sidelining opponents.

 

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading
Click to comment

World

IMF Wants El Salvador To Stop Use Of Bitcoin

Published

on

IMF Wants El Salvador To Stop Use Of Bitcoin

Warning of “large risks,” the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked El Salvador to rethink its stance on using Bitcoin as its legal tender.

In its “Article IV Consultation with El Salvador” released on Tuesday, the IMF “urged the authorities to narrow the scope of the Bitcoin law by removing bitcoin’s legal tender status.”

“Since September 2021, the government has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender. The adoption of a cryptocurrency as legal tender, however, entails large risks for financial and market integrity, financial stability, and consumer protection. It also can create contingent liabilities,” the statement said.

The call by the Washington-based financial body came as the cryptocurrency market dropped in value for its fifth week, erasing over $1 trillion and wider volatility on Wall Street.

Last September, El Salvador became the first country in the world to embrace digital money, allowing consumers to use it in all transactions. The Latin American country planned to build the world’s first “Bitcoin City“, funded initially by bitcoin-backed bonds.

President Nayib Bukele sought a $1.3 billion IMF loan, but this has been delayed due to the volatility at the crypto market.

Mr Bukele had disclosed that there would be no property, income or municipal taxes and that the city would have zero-carbon emissions.

READ ALSO: El Salvador Becomes First Country To Adopt Bitcoin For Use As Legal Tender

He explained that the project would attract investors, adding that the city would have residential areas, malls, restaurants and a port, and sustainable public transport.

In its statement, the IMF also warned that at current debt spending levels, El Salvador’s public debt could rise to about 96 per cent of GDP in 2026, calling it an “unsustainable path.”

 

 

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading

World

81-year-old Nancy Pelosi Declares Bid To Return To US Congress

Published

on

81-year-old Nancy Pelosi Declares Bid To Return To US Congress

The 81- year-old Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi is not ready to quit politics yet.

Pelosi has just declared another run for congress in the November 2022 election.
Her announcement Tuesday night ended months of speculation over whether she would be retiring.

The California Democrat revealed her plan in a video posted on Facebook, in which she said that “much more needs to be done to improve people’s lives.”

“Our democracy is at risk because of the assaults on the truth, the assault on the US Capitol and the state-by-state assault on voting rights,” she said in the video.

READ ALSO: House Sets Impeachment Vote to Charge Trump With Incitement

“This election is crucial. Nothing less is at stake than our democracy. But as we say, we don’t agonise, we organise and that is why I am running for reelection to Congress and respectfully seek your support. I’d be greatly honoured by it and grateful for it. Thank you so much.”

Nancy Pelosi was first elected to Congress in 1987 and has been the top House Democrat since 2003.

In 2007, she became the first woman to hold the speaker’s gavel.

After Democrats were beaten in the 2010 midterm elections, Pelosi spent eight years as the minority leader before becoming speaker again in 2019.

 

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading

World

Over 120 Roman Catholic Priests, Others Admit Being Homosexuals In Germany

Published

on

Over 120 Roman Catholic Priests, Others Admit Being Homosexuals In Germany

A gay crisis is brewing in the Catholic church as no fewer than 120 priests and employees of the Christian body within a community in Germany have decided to come out as homosexuals.

They also launched a campaign demanding an end to institutional discrimination against LGBTQ people.

The priests and church employees took to the streets on Monday after allegedly facing constant discrimination, and also called for better protection of LGBTQ rights and an end to institutional discrimination against queer people.

READ ALSO: Spain To Lagalise Euthanasia As Catholics Protest

The protesters, including former and current priests, teachers, church administrators and volunteers, who identified themselves as gay and queer, asked the church to take into account their demands and do away with “outdated statements of church doctrine when it comes to sexuality and gender.”

They also published a seven-point demands on social media under an initiative called “OutInChurch.”

The demands range from queer people saying they should be able to live without fear and have access to all kinds of activities and occupations in the church without discrimination.

They demanded that their “sexual orientation must never be considered a breach of loyalty or reason for dismissal from their occupation.”

They also asked the church to revise its statements on sexuality based on “theological and human-scientific findings.”

The group also put down demands that the church takes accountability for their discrimination against people of the community throughout history, calling on the bishop to take responsibility on behalf of the church.

 

Read more authentic news on our social media platforms

Continue Reading

Top Stories

%d bloggers like this: