For Online E-newspaper
The East African : November 25th 2013
The EastAfrican MAGAZINE NOVEMBER 23-29,2013 books Museveni’s unilate≥al tactics in the oil secto≥ In his book, Henry Ford Miirima traces the origin of Uganda’s “oil gem,” and brings to light how Ugandans were involved in the exploration and discovery programme in the Albertine Graben. The 179-page book was self-published in August, and is printed by Marianum Press Ltd. New book t≥ies to explain the o≥igins of Ugandan p≥esident’s highhanded actions, w≥ites BAMUTURAKI MUSINGUZI W hen the Speaker of Uganda’s p a r l i ame n t declined to rescind some 10 historic resolutions that the House had adopted between October 11 and 12, 2011, ushering in an era of openness in the oil industry, President Yoweri Museveni ordered the concerned minister to sign two new agreements in defiance of the legislature’s decision. The president ordered that no further accords were to be signed before all previous oil agreements had been enacted into law. Kaliisa facto≥ In 1978, Uganda, a landlocked country, faced a blockade of gypsum from Kenya following bad relations between the two neighbours. Gypsum is used in the manufacture of cement, to stop it from hardening, while in storage. The Uganda government then assigned Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa, a geologist, to explore for gypsum deposits in the country to stop the dependency on Kenya. His team discovered over 12 million tonnes of the mineral in the Semliki area. The presence of gypsum is also an indicator of a good sedimentary basin, which is the basis for oil formation and accumulation. Kabagambe-Kaliisa (pictur discussed the idea of the possibility of oil with fello geologists at the ministry aerial geophysical survey w undertaken in 1983 covering the entire Lake Albert area including the eastern side of the lak Congo. The survey discovered tha sediments were over three kilometres deep, way bey their expectations of one kilometre deep. In his 2013 book titled Oil Discovery: The Role Ugandans Played, author Henry Ford Miirima observes that since that time, an acrimonious debate has ensued over the principle of separation of powers between the executive and the legislature. To throw light onto why the president is inclined to act unilaterally, Mirima traces the genesis to 1981 when Museveni single-handedly picked 27 men and led them into a five-year rebellion against Milton Obote’s government. His followers did not question his wisdom. The venture paid off when in 1986 he captured power. “From that time, he adopted a culture of acting single-handedly,” Miirima observes. “The act gave him the equivalent of dictatorial powers, a sort of de facto licence to act unilaterally.” According to Miirima, Ugandans accepted Museveni’s belief in himself. He was later to announce he was the only one with a vision for Uganda. Such beliefs led him at one time to defy Uganda High Court judgments and in 1990; he made Parliament vote out presidential term limits. The author argues that when in 2011 Parliament boldly and fearlessly forced the executive to reverse its policies on the sector, the removal of secrecy in the oil laws caught the executive flatfooted. Hitherto, oil laws were drafted, negotiated and adopted by the pioneer oil group within the Energy Ministry. Impeachment Some MPs even launched a process of impeaching Museveni in February 2012. In the petition, they accused him of abuse of power and committing economic crimes in contravention of the constitution. The impeachment process aborted after the court ruled that the executive had the liberty, under the Constitution to accept, or to ignore, parliamentary resolutions. Hence the signing of two oil agreements in violation of parliament’s 10-point resolutions was deemed in order. Miirima dedicates his book to all the people in and outside President Museveni confers with Bunyoro Kitara King Solomon Iguru Gafabusa in Karuma recently. Pictures: Morgan Mbabazi the country, who are doing everything possible to ensure that the discovery does not turn out to be a curse upon the country. He emphasises the important role played by local Ugandans in the oil exploration and discovery in 2006, and saying they remain the country’s unsung heroes. He particularly singles out the pioneers of the Petroleum Exploration and Production Department (PEPD) in the Energy Ministry. They are Reuben Kashambuzi, the late John Kakenga, the late Saul Mboijana, Ernest Robondo, Robert Kasande, Honey Malinga, Robert Tugume, among others. In this group of pioneers, Fred Kabagambe-Kaliisa stands out. Ugandans came to know of the existence of oil in 1977-78, when Kabagambe-Kaliisa mapped an oil seepage at Kibuku, in the Semliki Basin, near Mount Rwenzori while he was exploring for gypsum. “That was the beginning of oil exploration by indigenous Ugandans,” Miirima notes, adding: “...It is the mustard seed which has germinated to culminate into the 25-year oil exploration, the oil discovery, now on the verge of going into full production…” The same oil seepage at Kibuku had also been reported by government geologist, J J Wayland in 1925. “But, it is sad that not many people are aware of the crucial role these indigenous Ugandans played, and continue to play, in the exploration and discovery of our oil,” Miirima writes. “This book therefore, sets the historical record straight, and recognises the pioneers’ contribution in the exploration, and discovery of oil in Uganda,” he adds. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Pic: File ‘Fiction’ in Sir Alex’s ‘My Autobiography’ UK’s fastest-selling non-fiction book, Sir Alex Ferguson’s autobiography released last month, is causing a storm after readers noticed 45 factual errors in the 402-page book. The non-fiction book sold 115,547 copies in its first week on sale. But can the tome now be classed as a work of fiction? Included among the errors are the age of Ryan Giggs when he made his Manchester United debut — the book says the Welshman was 16, when in fact he was 17; the years that Roy Keane served with the club — Ferguson said it was 11, but it was 12; the year United became a Plc —1990 not 1991; the year he got his pacemaker fitted – it was 2004, not 2002, and even whom he sold Dutch defender Jaap Stam to – the manager said it was Roma, but it was actually Lazio. CEO of Hodder and Stoughton (the publishers) Jamie Hodder-Williams said: “Possible corrections that have so far been helpfully pointed out are being checked and will be included in future reprints.” III BOOK SHORTS Kwani Trust hosts famed Nigerian writer Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (pictured) will be in Kenya this week as a guest of Kwani Trust. Kwani Trust is marking its 10th anniversary and Adichie will on November 29 give a public lecture at the University of Nairobi. On the same day, she will launch an East African edition of her third novel Americanah at the National Museum, in Nairobi. Adichie is best known for her award winning novels Half of a Yellow Sun and Purple Hibiscus. Also launching her new novel alongside Chimamanda will be Yvonne Adhiambo. Kwani? Founding Editor Binyavanga Wainaina described Owuor’s new novel, Dust at Marshall’s Warehouse as, “the novel my 21st century Kenya has been waiting for ... Yvonne Owuor’s magical, and visceral novel does to Kenya’s recent history what Chimamanda Ngozi Achichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun did for Nigeria.” On the eve of her book launch, Owuor will hold a public lecture at Kenyatta University.
November 18th 2013
December 2nd 2013