President Museveni came out on Sunday, unveiling a ground-breaking fuel deal set to revolutionize Uganda’s energy landscape to a whole new level.
The President disclosed that Uganda, a nation voraciously consuming 2.5 billion liters of fuel annually, equivalent to a staggering $2 billion, had been unwittingly entangled in a web of middlemen-based transactions, with Kenya as an unexpected intermediary.
“Our industrious citizens were procuring this colossal volume of petroleum products through middlemen in Kenya. Can you believe it? A whole nation relying on middlemen in Kenya or any other place!! Astonishing, yet sadly true,” exclaimed Museveni, his incredulity palpable.
He raised a pertinent question: why resort to middlemen when refineries stood ready to cater to Uganda’s needs? “Why not source directly from foreign refineries, utilizing Kenya and Tanzania as transit routes, thereby eliminating the unnecessary costs incurred through middlemen? Those involved seemed impervious to such considerations,” Museveni mused.
Revelations surfaced through courageous whistleblowers, prompting Museveni to delegate the matter to then Minister for Energy, Mary Goretti Kitutu. However, to his dismay, the issue remained unresolved, leading the president to delve deeper into the matter, uncovering the extensive losses Uganda was incurring due to these convoluted transactions.
Middlemen, it transpired, were supplying diesel to Uganda at an exorbitant $118, whereas bulk suppliers and refineries could provide it at a more reasonable $83.
Similarly, petrol was being sold by middlemen at $97.5, while refineries offered it at a mere $61.5. Kerosene, too, saw a stark contrast, with middlemen charging $114 compared to the refinery’s $79.
“These prices apply once the products have reached the ports in East Africa. The colossal losses our beloved nation endured due to these transactions are glaring,” Museveni affirmed.
Turning the page on this chapter of inefficiency, Uganda has now secured agreements with bulk and refinery suppliers, ensuring the importation of fuel at substantially reduced prices.
The president expressed his satisfaction in sharing this development with Kenya’s President Ruto and Tanzania’s Suluhu, heralding a new era of economic cooperation.
Yet, in the face of progress, internal adversaries, deemed “parasites” by Museveni, have mounted a relentless social media and mainstream media campaign against the transformative deal.
Undeterred, the president affirmed Uganda’s steadfast commitment to their liberation and resistance plan against extortionate pricing, reserving a special mention for President Ruto’s commendable role in the Kenyan dimension.
“I guarantee the people of Inland East Africa access to competitively-priced petroleum products, devoid of the distortions introduced by middlemen. The entire region – Uganda, Northwestern Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Western Kenya, South Sudan, and Eastern DRC – stands to reap the benefits,” Museveni asserted.
The meticulously crafted deal, inked by the Ugandan government in collaboration with the Uganda National Oil Company, ushers in a new era of energy security.
Vitol, the driving force behind this transformative agreement, will establish vital “buffer stocks” in both Uganda and Tanzania, ensuring a steadfast supply chain that fortifies the nation’s energy resilience.
The dawn of a new era for Uganda’s energy landscape is now on the horizon, heralded by a visionary deal destined to reshape the nation’s economic trajectory.