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    Energy Minister Muloni Grilled Over Increasing Fuel Prices

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    Energy minister Irene Muloni has explained to parliament why there is an increase in fuel prices across the country.

    Muloni, who was reading a letter dated 6th February 2018, titled “statement on the increasing fuel prices in the country” told parliament that, “On 31st January, 2018, Hon Nsereko Mohammed MP, Kampala Central raised concern over the increasing prices of diesel and petrol in the Country. The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development was tasked to give a comprehensive statement on the increasing fuel prices. The purpose of this letter is to forward the responses to the issues raised by Hon Nsereko Mohammed MP, Kampala Central.”

    Muloni told legislators that the high prices have been caused by the increase in fuel prices across the world.

    “Uganda is a net importer of petroleum products in a liberalized downstream petroleum market and the prices in Uganda are purely determined by the forces of demand and supply. Being landlocked and a net importer of Refined Petroleum Products, pump prices are a function of the fixed logistical costs which include port handling fees, transit handling charges, storage fees, transportation, taxes, clearing and marking fees. The combination of the logistical costs together with the cost of the imported products which increased as a result of increased refinery premiums in the Open Tender System since September 2017 have resulted in the increased pump prices,” Muloni reasoned.

    She added, “On the international scene, the monthly average crude oil prices per barrel started rising from US$52.02 in August to US$ 55.74 in September, US$ 57.50 in October to US$ 62.49 in November and US$ 62.89 in December 2017 to US$ 69.45 in January 2018. The rise in the crude oil prices was due to the huge storm in US that shut down many of the production sites and refineries in US Gulf coast. Then oil prices continued to increase in November and December 2017 as the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) countries agreed on extending production cuts further to June 2018, showing their willingness to balance supply and demand.”

    Muloni concluded that, “the interplay of the rise in crude prices and refinery premiums (since we import refined products only) are major causes of the rise in pump prices since the rest of the parameters like taxes, transport and handling costs have been constant.

    With the measures put in place to ensure a steady supply of petroleum products and fair competition in the Downstream Petroleum Sub-Sector, my ministry will continue to monitor the sub-sector and engage the oil marketing companies to ensure that the citizens o continue to get value for money from the consumption of petroleum products.”

    Below is he full statement:

     

     

    MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT GRILL MULONI…

    MP Guma: I don’t know why we are ‘roasting’ the Energy Minister yet all these questions about electricity and fuel prices are about the economic planning, which would mean there is no planning in the Ministry of Finance.

    MP Odonga Otto: Government of Uganda should carry the blame for not having fuel reserves.

    MP Addoa, Serere woman representative: As we discuss the issue of fuel prices, we need to discuss the issue if congestion in the city.

    MP Kibalya Henry: Everybody knows that any effect on fuel has a spillover on all aspects of the economy, much as Uganda is an open economy, we have given other countries power to plan for us and we have no control over this.

    MP Lutamaguzi: Who are the people who benefit from high priced fuel? The Baganda have a saying that, a monkey cannot make any objective judgment when it comes to making a decision on a forest that houses it, we all know who is benefiting.

    MP Kasibante: What is government that cannot stabilize the economy still doing in power?

    MP Ochen: We are not going to save the country on the basis of fear, some of you Ministers fear to say things about your own ministries when asked.

    MP Anywar to Minister Muloni: When fuel prices go up based on world prices, they immediately go up in Uganda, however, when they go down, the fuel prices in Uganda never go down, why? Who is regulating the price shifts?

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    Leaders Of Traders Panicking After M7 Directs Investigation Over Allegations Of An Invisible Foreign Hand Fueling Their Strikes To Sabotage Economy…

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    L-R: Some of the leaders of traders: Godfrey Katongole, David Kabanda and Thadeus Musoke

    Kampala Metropolitan Senior Minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda has exclusively confirmed to theGrapevine that president Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed the country’s intelligence organs and Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) to investigate the alleged invisible hand behind traders’ leadership.

    She explained that preliminary investigations have established that some leaders of traders who are advocating for endless strikes are biased in their decisions because there is an invisible hand pushing them with an agenda of sabotaging the country’s economy and creating an ungovernable situation.

    “We know whatever they are planning. Our people are on ground, so they should stand warned,” Kabanda said.

    She revealed that President Museveni was shocked to establish that in Kampala city alone, traders have more than 30 associations and each one of them has command.

    This has created suspicion and the need for an investigation to establish their true motives.

    The development comes at a time when traders are threatening to go into a two months strike without opening their shops in the city center if president Museveni doesn’t address their demands including the banning of the Electronic Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS).

    On 7th May 2024, Museveni directed Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) to sit down with leaders of traders and sort out their differences.

    The President guided that once these leaders and URA agree, they should make a joint report which they should read to him and other traders on 20th of June 2024 at Kololo independence grounds.

    However, before that meeting, Minister Kabanda has disclosed that Museveni is set to meet leaders of traders in the State House to have some issues sorted out noting that government is doing everything in its power to make sure that what happened on 7th May 2024 never happens again.

    She explained that it was bad for traders to shout at the President and embarrass senior government officials to the extent of accusing some of corruption insisting that traders’ behavior sent a warning signal to government that there must be an invisible hand influencing and facilitating them.

    theGrapevine has established that the leadership of Kampala City Traders Association(KACITA) led by Thadeus Musoke Nagenda, Federation of Uganda Traders Association(FUTA), Katukazane Shoe Dealers, Kampala Arcaders Advocacy Forum, United Arcarders Traders Enterprenuers Association,  Uganda Needy and Squatters Association have resolved to join hands and strategise on how to come up with a common voice before the President.

    Highly placed sources in intelligence have revealed to theGrapevine that all eyes are on David Kabanda who is being investigated for working for some opposition bigwigs who promised him support in the coming elections.

    Sources said that Kabanda wants to become the city councilor on Lord Mayor Ssalongo Erias Lukwago’s council.

    However, veteran journalist and the Senior presidential advisor on media Joseph Tamale Mirundi advised Museveni not to take lightly statements made in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords that King Charles’s leadership should influence regime change in Uganda.

    He explained that the western powers are going to use all the available means to sabotage Museveni’s leadership insisting that there is invisible hand in traders’ frequent strikes.

    But a section of KACITA leadership told theGrapevine that there are people in President Museveni’s government who are facilitating the creation of endless traders associations with the aim of benefiting from them and fighting the unity among traders.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    UNTOLD STORY: How SFC Commandos Defused Trader’s Plan To Publicly Embarrass M7 And Some Ministers At Kololo As War On EFRIS Deepens…

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    Some of the traders during their meeting with President Musevei. Iset are their leaders Kabanda (R) and Musoke (L)

    President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni was overwhelmed and openly told angry traders to stop intimidating him but instead listen to him just like he also listened to them for more than two hours.

    Museveni made the statement after some traders started shouting on top of their voices.

    Some of them even started to move out of Kololo while he was still speaking.

    However, they were stopped by Special Forces Command (SFC) Commandos from getting out of the Kololo Independence ground gates until the President finished speaking.

    SFC Commandos told some of these angry traders that they had come to listen to the President and since he gave them time, they should also wait until he finishes. One by one they were forced to go back to their seats in the tent.

    President Museveni’s 1981 war comrade and political competitor Dr. Kizza Besigye revealed that it is the first time in many years that he has seen Museveni being publicly embarrassed by civilians.

    However, the mighty Grapevine has exclusively learnt that what happened at Kololo was not accidental but a planned move which was defused by SFC Commandos.

    Highly placed sources within traders leadership revealed that on the fateful day of 7th May 2024, a section of traders leadership held a private meeting in the morning at the offices of the Kampala Acarders Traders Association (KATA) chaired by Godfrey Katongole.

    Others in the attendance included; Moses Lwegaba on behalf of Katukazane shoe traders, John Kabanda who represented the Kampala New Generation Traders Association and also the Federation of Uganda Traders Association.

    Sources divulged that the gist of the meeting was to strategise on how to counter the submissions of Dr. Thaddeus Musoke Nagenda the chairperson of Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA) and his Secretary Isa Ssekito.

    They suspected that KACITA had plans of diverting the President from addressing the real issues by resorting to praising him.

    They alleged that they established that on several occasions, KACITA has held private meetings with the president without the knowledge of the traders.

    Before the meeting openly started, Kabanda was grilled and placed on the spot to declare his secret relationship with Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) senior minister Hajjat Minsa Kabanda after his colleagues openly told him that he also might be working with their enemies.

    Kabanda denied the allegations.

    The traders leadership became suspicious of Kabanda when he supported Minister Minsa in one of the precursor heated meeting at Hotel African where she was trying to convince all traders not to bring the issue of landlords who are mistreating them before the president because it was not discussed in the previous meeting held in State House in April 2024.

    They told Kabanda that what he did to support the Minister was an act of betrayal because he also knows very well that landlords harass them just like the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing Solution (EFRIS).

    They started accusing him of being bribed by landlords.

    Traders disclosed that it seems the landlords who Kabanda wanted to save are the ones who supported his lavish wedding last week. The meeting ended in fighting and Minister Minsa was saved by his security.

    In the Tuesday meeting, Kabanda assured fellow traders leadership that he is with them and a decision was taken to inform their respective members on their different WhatsApp groups to storm out of the meeting immediately once they discover that Museveni is not going to ban the use of EFRIS.,

    This is what they tried to do but the move was fused by SFC Commandos.

    However, before Museveni addressed the traders, some of their leaders had successfully executed their mission of exposing Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja Musafire and Junior Minster for investment Evelyn Anite who they declared a mafia who takes fake investors to President Museveni who give her incentives.

    They accused the said investors of facilitating smuggling of goods into the country.

    Minister Minsa, who feared that traders were going to embarrass her before her boss was forced off the microphone because they were shouting at her for not helping them.

    Sources said that the ministers were embarrassed before their boss because some leaders of the traders have information that they are sealing deals with KACITA leadership which are costing the common trader.

    Traders further sent a warning message to President Museveni, his ministers and Members of Parliament (MP) that if their issues are not solved they are ready to stand against them or support by financially facilitating their opponents in the coming elections.

    Democratic Party’s Richard Ssebamala the Bukoto Central MP warned President Museveni to be very careful with traders issues because for a long time, they have not been involving themselves in political issues especially during elections but only concentrated on their businesses.

    But now that they have issues, if these concerns are not properly resolved, it may be a spark for his downfall.

    Some Ministers were shocked when angry traders praised fired trade minister Harriet Ntambazi telling Museveni that mafias in the Ministry of Finance and those in the Trade Ministry fought her and misled the President even though she always acted swiftly in resolving their problems.

    theGrapevine established that Ntambazi always supported Kabanda’s leadership and she was a ground minister who attended traders meetings in Kikuubo and other places and one time she nearly survived being tear gassed by police in Kikuubo who accussed he of attending an illegal meeting.

    However, former trade minister Amelia Kyambadde claims that people who make such statements before the president are always paid by the side which is fighting a certain government official who is embarrassed before the president.

    Nabbanja denied the allegations that she is not responding to Kabanda’s letters and explained to the President that she has never seen any letter from Kabanda.

    She wondered why Kabanda didn’t come to her country home in Kakumiro district since he is a son from the neighbouring Mubende district.

    Sources disclosed that Kampala city junior minister Christopher Kabuye Kyofatogabye predicted that he was going to be embarrassed before the president because the traders accussed him of being very arrogant and using the divide and rule method to frustrate their fight against high taxation.

    He decided not to attend the meeting but his car was cited at the premises of Kololo Independent ground.

    Even though the traders were served drinks and food, with some claiming that over 20 cows were slaughtered for them, some have decided that they will not attend the next meeting  with the President come 20th of June 2026.

    Sources added that a section of traders’ leadership are buying the proposal that the 20th June meeting should only be attended by their leaders. But Kabanda insists that all traders should attend.

    Other traders want to get an expert in tax laws to lead them during their negotiations with URA insisting that URA officials are exploiting their ignorance on tax issues to double tax them.

    Sources among the traders disclosed that they have started engaging Kabanda not to politicize their fight against high taxation by threatening that if EFRIS is not banned, they will carry out a three months strike by closing their shops.

    However, Dr. Besigye predicted that Museveni is going to use guerrilla war tactics to divide traders and very soon they are going to start fighting each other.

    Joseph Tamale Mirundi the senior presidential advisor on media told theGrapevine that Museveni will not ban EFRIS because banning it will attract other people including policemen and women, teachers, doctors to strike because they will have established that he fears strike.

    He added that traders lack serious knowledgeable leaders who can compromise Museveni to side with them.

    He insisted that Museveni clearly know that people like Ssekito are dealers who are always used by his opponents and government mafias to pressurize him on traders’ issues, which is why he does not respect them.

    He questioned the expertise of URA and Ministry of Finance when it comes to traders and tax issues because instead of widening the tax base they are harassing the poor traders.

    He however challenged Museveni on the issue of stopping traders from importing goods from abroad revealing that much of the products which they would have exported with additional value are monopolised by members of his family so the traders don’t want to enter open competition.

     

    By Sengooba Alirabaki

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    KCCA Minister Kabuye Narrates How He Survived Being Humiliated In State House By Angry Traders Before M7…

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    Minister Kabuye Kyofatogabye (L) with KACITA boss Thaddeus Musoke (R)

    Maverick Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) Junior Minister Joseph Christopher Kabuye Kyofatogabye has narrated how he survived being humiliated by angry traders at State House before his boss President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni last week.

    Minister Kabuye was part of the team that organised the meeting between President Museveni and traders to solve their tax grievances with Uganda Revenue Authority  (URA) after they closed their shops for a week.

    The angry traders were protesting against the high tax levies slapped on them and the use of the Electronic Fiscal Receipting and Invoicing System (EFRIS) as a mechanism to collect taxes.

    Minister Kabuye revealed that he chickened out of the meeting at the last moment because his intelligence briefed him at the last hour before the meeting that there was a group of traders who had strategised to humiliate him before the President like they tried to do to URA Commissioner General John Musinguzi Rujoki.

    theGrapevine recently reported how a female trader, a one Doreen Nakirya shocked the meeting when she told the President that Rujoki’s men sexually harass female traders when collecting taxes and the president directed his Special Forces Command (SFC) detectives to record statements from both from Nakirya and the male taxman who she accused of sexual harassment. They were later released.

    Kabuye said that a section of traders were not happy when he told them not to first consult National Unity Platform (NUP) boss Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu (Bobi Wine) on what to tell Museveni yet others were planning to ‘Kulabisa’ Museveni as Bobi Wine encouraged them to do by exposing and humiliating leaders.

    “Those people who were stopped at the State House gate were not traders but they were taken to State House to humiliate me. Never joke with the government, it has intelligence,” Kabuye boasted.

    Sources within the traders associations confirmed the allegation adding that they wanted to tell the president that Kabuye was using government’s money to bribe a section of traders to withdraw from the strike so that he is praised as an influential minister in the city.

    The sources added that when Kabuye invited the traders at Africana Hotel to discuss their issues before meeting the president, he came with people who they didn’t know in the trader’s circle and his plan was to declare before the media that they are ready to open the shops.

    “We identified them before the meeting and we started grilling them to tell us where they operate business from and their shop numbers. When they failed, we forced them out of the meeting and we frustrated Kabuye’s meeting,” one of the leaders in the trader association said.

    He divulged that they wanted to tell the President that Kabuye is very arrogant and doesn’t listen to them and like former KCCA Executive Director Jenniffer Musisi, he runs the city on orders.

    He added that they know that political leaders are mobilizing non traders to be taken to President Museveni’s meeting on 7th May 2024 at Kololo Independent grounds to tell lies to the big man.

    On that date, Museveni is expected to make a final announcement on the issue of EFRIS.

     

    By Hadijjah Namagembe

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