At 9:30 am on March 14, Ssalongo Bachondoza arrived at Afiego’s office in Hoima. I am an officer in that field office; so, I attended to him.
Bachondoza is a father of many, including twins, he said, as we talked about his journey to our office, village life and family. Then he told me he was worried. Why? I asked.
He intimated that he is a farmer but also runs a small hardware shop in Buhimba trading centre. But with talk of their land being imminent for acquisition, he was scared for his children.
This is what he said: “In 2016, Newplan [Ltd], the ministry of energy contractors who did some studies for the [finished oil products’] pipe line, came to Rweparaki [in Kiziranfumbi sub-county] and told us they were doing some studies to see if the pipeline could pass through our villages.
“We heard that the studies were completed but no one has told us if the pipeline will go through our villages. My daughter, I think you know what it is like to live in fear and panic because you lack information. Our land is our biggest asset and when we unofficially hear that it could be taken away, we panic.”
Bachondoza expressed fear of many. As Uganda moves from the exploration into the development phase of her oil and gas industry, communities whose land is expected to be acquired are living in worry.
In the development phase, infrastructure including the proposed oil refinery, the crude oil export pipeline, finished products’ pipeline, feeder pipeline, well pads and others will be set up.
In order to set up infrastructure, land will be acquired by or on behalf of government and it’s these impeding land acquisitions that are worrying the communities.
These communities need not live in fear and government should ensure so. How? It must engage different stakeholders including communities on the planned developments for the oil sector and who stands to be affected.
Government should go beyond publishing this information in newspapers and on the internet as these are largely inaccessible to community members. Instead, materials in local languages should be posted at community halls and village notice boards in respective affected areas.
Radio talk shows should also be used in partnership with civil society, local governments and traditional and religious leaders.
Africa Institute for Energy governance (Afiego).
Gashumba should know how media works
It has been almost a month since the president of Sisimuka Uganda, Frank Gashumba, has been conducting the programme The Eagle on NBS TV, with his longtime friend Bassajja Mivule.
Since this programme began, there have been complaints that it had gone beyong the Uganda Communications Commissions guidelines. This forced the station owner, Kin Kariisa, to intervene following a warning letter from UCC by introducing a new moderator such that the programme can be balanced.
This did not go well with Gashumba who has since introduced a verbal war with the station. Gashumba says he was not given an appointment letter which, to me, means he was there by Kariisa’s mercy and the powers in that show were in the hands of the owners, not in Gashumba’s as he claims.
He adds that his show was to inspire people; still he can do it on social media platforms than wasting time fighting NBS as if he owns shares there. He should believe that in Uganda there are organisations that regulate and govern the media and if you go against them, the law can force them to crack the whip.
Gashumba should have known that world over media owners have the powers on what should be aired on their stations or not. For the station owners to bring in a new moderator, it means there was something they needed new to add in the show, but not to fight Gashumba.
If he says UCC used NBS to fight him after he had criticised the Buganda Katikkiro, it shows that this was not their in-house style of broadcasting. Had he done research about NBS’ in-house style, and found that he doesn’t fit in there, he would have gone to stations that criticise everyone.
Sim card directive long overdue
The executive director of the Uganda Communications Commission, Godfrey Mutabazi, last week issued a directive that all unregistered Sim cards must be deactivated by March 29, 2017.
In addition, no person should be allowed to possess more than 10 Sim cards registered in their names. The emphasis on deactivation of unregistered Sim cards comes after the investigation into the recent murder of Afande Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Some reports have indicated that there were unregistered phone numbers that sent messages threatening the slain police spokesperson. Deactivation of unregistered Sim cards is long overdue given the fact that it was supposed to be implemented about three years ago. I believe that due to the laxity of many of our countrymen, so many issues are usually left half-done without thinking of the negative outcomes.
Indeed, phone-related fraud is rampant and I believe there is no better way to calm this than ensuring that all Sim cards are registered. Deactivation of unregistered Sim cards should be taken with great earnest and also the issue of people owning more than 10 Sim cards is inappropriate and uncalled for and, therefore, should be dealt with.
I also appeal to Ugandans to be cooperative and register all their cards because at the end of the day, it is still for the good of our country and our own security.
The president’s farm good example
I recently toured the presidential demonstration farm in Kawumu, Luweero with other people to assess the progress of the farm after four months since it was started.
The most interesting part was the drip irrigation progress because most Ugandans despised it and never believed it could work.
Many people took to social media to criticise the president when called upon to sue this simple method. A number of others also laughed off the president when he used a bicycle to fetch water. Some said it was an insult to the poor and others claimed it was a public relations stunt. But my recent visit to his farm revealed that the president’s plants were healthy, as if they weren’t planted during the dry season.
With drip irrigation, I concur with the president that people can’t suffer famine or lack income in the dry season.
To win, outline your vision
The people we admire in life are those with a clear vision and have started taking steps towards these goals. If you want to be successful in life, then write down a clear vision of what you want to attain such as in business, marriage, education, etc.
Read your vision statement every day and devise possible actions to take. Successful companies, organisations and schools have written down clear visions which are usually portrayed in their offices; why not you?
I got a vision of becoming a motivational author. I wrote down the book titles which I would release ahead of time and the time frame for them to be published. I then started by reading books written by different authors I admired such as Robert T Kiyosaki, Praise George, Dale Carnegie and others.
Then afterward, I started releasing my books after writing them. I started with The Blessing of Obeying God’s Voice, then to Motivatonal Quotes and Scriptures and I am currently working on a book entitled, The Power of a Devine Idea, which will be out by July 2017.
Rise up, acquire a vision, write it down and start taking possible actions to reach your target. “What guarantees success is a clear vision backed up by plans and consistent action,” Praise George says.
Motivational author and speaker.