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To Say That Uganda Is Transporting Crude Oil by Trucks is the Peak of Ignorance

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By Elison Karuhanga

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I have read a number of allegations that the oil companies and the government are secretly dealing in Uganda’s oil. The allegation is that trucks/trailers are being used to export our oil as the common man waits for production to start.

I can say without fear of contradiction that this particular allegation is untrue, false and utterly ridiculous. It is sad that the allegation is coming from minds capable of better things. I hope in this simple piece to demonstrate this as clearly as possible. Let us start by agreeing on the basic facts.

Oil companies like TOTAL and CNOOC are businesses. They are mainly here to make a profit. They will make the profit by producing and selling oil. They hope, like all businesses to make sure that when they sell the oil they will get enough money to meet their costs and have money left over-this is called profit. So, let us agree that their motive is not hidden. Their motive is profit.

The second fact we can agree on is that the oil is mainly got from underground. When it comes out of the ground it is in its “raw form”. This “raw form” is what we call crude oil.

Would oil companies make profit if they secretly put the crude oil in trailers and drove it to Mombasa? The answer is no. In fact it would be one of the worst business decisions ever taken in the history of business.

How is oil transported?

Crude oil is mainly transported across borders and over long distances by pipelines. The reason why Uganda plans to build a pipeline is not because pipelines are fashionable and not because we lack trucks. It is because the pipeline is the most cost effective way to transport crude oil. Uganda’s oil will be transported to Tanga in Tanzania. From Hoima to Tanga is about 1,455 km. From Hoima to Mombasa is around 1,375 km. The cost of transportation in the pipeline ranges between US$ 12.2 to US$ 15 per barrel. For the sake of argument we shall assume Uganda will pay a tariff of US$ 20 per barrel and not 12 dollars. That is about 70,000 shillings. A barrel of oil is equivalent to 159 liters. Therefore to transport cargo of 159 liters of oil in the pipeline for a distance of 1,455 km it would cost UGX 70,000.

If an oil company decided instead to use a truck how much would it cost? Let us ignore the risks associated with road transport, the cost of repair, the cost of the drivers etc and just look at the cost of fuel in the oil tanker.

The average cost of fuel in the tanker from Mombasa to Hoima and back to Mombasa would be in the region of UGX 5,000,000. The cost of road transport for crude oil is therefore seventy one times more expensive than the cost of transport in a pipeline. Why would even a terrible businessman go for the road transport route?

Not only is road transport more expensive it also completely wipes out any chance of profit for the oil company. Remember the oil tanker/trailer is carrying crude oil. The product which is going to be sold is crude oil. The cost of 1 barrel of crude oil is around US$ 59 (Uganda Shillings 218,300). So why would anyone transport cargo worth UGX 218,300 at a cost of UGX 5,000,000? Even a bad business cannot make such a decision.

As a simple issue of cost there is no benefit, not even a remote one from transporting oil by road to Mombasa or Tanga.

Cost is not the only issue. Using trucks to carry crude oil from Hoima would be a logistical nightmare. Many books have been written explaining this very point. Valcalv Smith in his book “Oil: A Beginners Guide” said, “replacing a 1000 km pipeline carrying 20,000 tons of oil a day with tanker trucks (assuming each truck holds 25tons and covers 1,000 km a day) would need a fleet of 1,600 vehicles with a load arriving every 54 seconds.” In our case the coast is 1,455 km away. We would probably need 2,000 trucks to transport Ugandan oil.

It is also worth noting that trucks of a certain weight are not allowed on the road. Long distance travelers in Uganda will have noticed at different points these things manned by UNRA called weigh bridges. The weigh bridge measures the weight of the truck. In this case the 2000 heavy trucks arriving in Hoima every 54 seconds (at all hours of the day) would not last a month since they would simply make a large chunk of the road network impassable.

When the crude oil will eventually be pumped out, it will first be taken to what is called a Central Processing Facility. Here the oil will be separated from other impurities like mud, stones etc. Only crude oil will go to the pipeline. Once in the pipeline it will be heated because Uganda has waxy crude oil that needs heating. So these trucks are they taking Crude Oil, mud, water, stones etc? Or are these trucks fitted with mini Central Processing Facilities? If they are, then Uganda will be the 1st country on earth to have imported them from God knows where (unless we are secretly manufacturing these trucks.)

Even if the trucks would process the crude, it would still need to be heated. One wonders if these magical trucks are also fitted with solar panels.

The whole thing is impractical, not profitable, not possible, not necessary and absurd.

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Archbishop Lwanga Bans Receiving Communion in Hand

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By Staff Writer

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Effective this week, the Catholic Archbishop, Cyprian Kizito Lwanga has issued directives concerning Holy Eucharist.

Among them is the outlawing of receiving Communion in the hands. The Archbishop says this act disrespects the body of Christ and increases chances of people using destroying this blessed sacrament.

The directive reads in part;

“Henceforth, it is forbidden to distribute or to receive Holy Communion in the hands. Mother Church enjoins us to hold the Most Holy Eucharist in the highest honor (Can. 898). Due to many reported instances of dishonoring the Eucharist that have been associated with reception of the Eucharist in the hands, it is fitting to return to the more reverent method of receiving the Eucharist on the tongue.”

The Archbishop has also outlawed cohabiting couples and weekend wives from engaging in this blessed sacrament.

“it must be reaffirmed that those living in illicit marital cohabitation and those who persist in grave and manifest sin, cannot be admitted to Holy Communion,” the directive reads…

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Commentary: Could witnesses in the Kanyamunyu case have been compromised by the State?

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Matthew Kanyamunyu

By Our Reporter

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Perjury is a criminal act that occurs when a person lies or makes statements that are not truthful while under oath. For example, if a person is asked to testify – under oath -in a criminal proceeding but do not tell the truth, they can be charged with perjury if it is discovered that they have lied.

By committing perjury, people partake in the miscarriage of justice and corrupt the legal process. As a result, perjury is considered a very serious criminal offense, even though most people who lie under oath have never bothered to understand the law or have been coached and often times paid to lie under oath and do not consider it to be very serious.

Witnesses, including parties to a case, provide testimony to the court that the judge and assessors consider. When witnesses testify to the court, they often do so under oath. They also do so under the risk of facing criminal charges if they lie to the court.

Robert Mutebi was testifying as prosecution witness in the murder trial in which, Quantum Logistics Limited Founder and managing director Matthew Kanyamunyu, his girlfriend Cynthia Munwangari and brother Joseph Kanyamunyu are charged with the murder of Kenneth Akena.

Robert Mutebi who is a former security guard at Nakasero Hospital told court that while guarding their posts, he saw a white Land Cruiser coming in being driven by a man who was later handed a pistol and a laptop bag by Kanyamunyu.

However Kanyamunyu’s lawyer McDusman Kabega asked Mutebi how he was able to identify the pistol at night. Mutebi responded that the emergency parking of Nakasero Hospital has security lights. Not convinced McDusman Kabega retorted as to how he had managed to identify the pistol exchange and yet failed to identify a six foot tall man at an identification parade during day light staged by the police at the Kira division police station when they arrested Joseph Kanyamunyu seven days after Mathew had been arrested. The security guard further testified that he was present at the reception where Akena was being received.

The question then remains, how is it possible that the guard was in three places at the same time. He was allegedly helping the nurse to get the dying declaration, at the check point guarding his post at the gate, and at the same time in the parking yard monitoring ongoing activity. This raises doubt of the credibility of the testimony of the guard.

If he emphasized that he was guarding his post, Mutebi was duty bound to close the gate and to stop the white land cruiser from going out if indeed he had cause to believe there was a gun in the said car until the police, which he was aware was on the way, arrived.

That said, the guard at the height of it all, agreed that he failed to identify Joseph Kanyamunyu on the identification parade. He said the people paraded all looked similar.

According to Mutebi, Dr. Percy reportedly asked Akena what exactly had happened to him. Mutebi said that Akena responded that he had been shot by the people who had driven him to the hospital. How could he have heard the death declaration in English, when he professed and demonstrated during cross examination a lack of a basic understanding of the English language?

Clearly Mutebi did not project confidence and an air of trustworthiness for the public in his testimony. It appeared he had been coached as he even fails to read the contents of his statement which was made at the time of the incident.

On coaching witnesses, it is gross that prosecution omits facts along the way. For instance, it is the paramount duty of the guard to have searched the vehicle first at the entrance of hospital of which he admitted he did but the failure to have found the very gun which he claimed to have been exchanged inside the hospital casts immense doubt in the witnesses testimony.

The overwhelming problem with simply providing contrary testimony is that the argument becomes one of he-said, she-said.

Seems to be that the prosecution is having trouble getting conclusive evidence as most of the testimonies so far provided have only worked against their case. However, the case is ongoing and we hope to see more unfold to get more clarification on what actually happened on the fateful night.


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How the 1986 Revolution Changed The Face of Ugandan Entertainment

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By Staff Writer

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If you happened to pass by Kampala in the early 80s, you would find a country completely conquered by Congolese music and South African music. But even this was hard to come by, not many people had access to radio or television. For those who had access, there weren’t many options to juggle with. It was almost likely, the official national broadcasters at play. You were never sure when they opened or closed, or perhaps, when a new president would take over and announce their ascent to power. 

Comedy, music, everything art and entertainment was regarded as the last resort for those whom life had taught the most stringent of lessons. You could bet that there may not be a local Ugandan music video that was shot pre-1986. While there was a liberation war on the political front, the entertainment industry was fighting for its own liberation. 

And as they say, the 1986 revolution was as alive in the entertainment industry as it was in other arenas of the country. Afrigo Band, one of Uganda’s most timeless bands would go on to record its first music videos in 1988 at Bat Valley theatre. 

Bebe Cool

The country would go on to extend the popularisation of its own genre aka Kadongo-kamu. At the frontiers of this genre were men such as Paul Kafeero, Fred Ssebatta, Herman Basudde, Livingstone Kasoozi. Not to say that Kadongo-kamu started then, but it’s to say, that post-86, artistes had the ability to sing on a number of subjects. Unlike in the 70s when they had been barred from political commentary. It was a steamy affair in the early nineties as Kadongo-kamu fought its ground with Kidandali that was freshly coming to play. 

Entertainment places such as Bat Valley, Pride and National Theatre would get a chance to come back to life. It was a country that would accommodate each according to their interests. 

On the streets of DV8, the music artistes of the future were hustling for the stage. Girl groups such as Prim n Propa were changing the style of music. One cannot forget to credit Namasagali college that had influenced many of these music artistes. Juliana Kanyomozi and Iryn Namubiru for example had created the famous I-Jay. 

Time forward to the 2000s when Bebe Cool and his Kenyan apprentices chose to return to Uganda setting us into a new system of things. Within these musical returnees, you had the beginning of showbiz as we now know it in the music industry. It was Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine and Chameleone. Newspapers would go on to have entertainment pullouts to satisfy this new growing interest in local celebrities. Instantly Uganda would then have a social industry that created the socialites, and brought a token to fame. 

With this 2000 group, congolese music became history, Ugandans would go on to open up to their own music and support it to the fullest. With the exception of Philly Lutaaya who had organised the mega concert at Nakivubo, concerts were not a usual occurence. Today, one can’t keep track of the music concerts. As though that’s not enough, festivals have also taken over the country. 

Different music genres are now at play in the industry. If one thinks of pop. there will be numerous artistes in that category, same for RnB and Hiphop. 

Where Ugandans waited for months before one of the groups announced their new play, now, one is served to weekly doses of comedy by different groups on different days. To imagine that things like Comedy Store are a normal occurence is something that’s news in the ears of the pre-86 generation. 

On all aspects of the entertainment industry, it’s post 1986 that did build what we call today’s entertainment industry. We call it an industry because you have different arms contributing to the value chain and eco-system of this product and service called entertainment. 

Uganda Revenue Authority can attest about the cut they get from the gate collections at concerts. You now have music video producers, sound engineers, events managers, artiste managers, mention them all, feeding from this ecosystem of an industry that’s been a result of over 30 decades of work. 

Perhaps this January 27th, the country more than ever needs to celebrate the revolution of the Uganda Entertainment Industry. It’s also important to mention that these industries can only rest on foundations of peace and stability, but above all, economic growth to fuel the entry and exits of these industries. 

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Who will win the Battle for Valentine’s Day?

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Rema Namakula

Rema is planning a concert for Valentine’s Day.

By Our Reporter

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As we bid farewell to ‘Janworry’ and welcome the month of love, some of Uganda’s top entertainers are up for a Valentine’s Day battle. It being one of the most celebrated days, the unofficial lovers’ day has this year attracted several major events.

From soulful singer Rema Namakula to Salvador’s Africa Laughs to one of Busoga’s finest artiste Maro and not forgetting Nigeria’s Rude Boy, the celebrities are set to celebrate the lovers’ day with each promising a thrilling show.

Rema’s “Hottest 2020” show will be held at Hotel Africana, Maro will hold his Anjagala concert at Hotel Mestil, Nigeria’s Rude Boy will be at Lugogo Cricket Oval while celebrated Comedian Salvado who is bringing the famous duo Chaka Demus and Pliers plus a few other comedians is challenging himself and going for a bigger venue, Kololo Airstrip. The revellers will be tasked to choose which show to attend.

Although the four events target different age groups and different audiences, Rema’s show is expected to be one of the most attended event on the day since she has several love songs, a big attraction for lovers on Valentine’s Day.


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