A small group of disgruntled Ugandans living in Boston Massachusetts have held a demo urging General Electric to leave a consortium of firms that signed a deal with the government of Uganda in April to build an oil refinery in Hoima.
The group carrying placards posted their video on Facebook via Radio Free Uganda profile, alleging that President Yoweri Museveni is a dictator who wants to use oil money for his own good.
They said: “Oil in not for Museveni Tutsi Junta. But for indigenous Ugandans. Museveni and his foreign mercenaries plan to use violence as way of acquiring Uganda Trillion tones on Oil underground allover Uganda.”
The group which had a one Robert Mukuya and Nasser Mugewra alleged that foreigners “facilitated by Museveni criminals regime” are grabbing land from Ugandans in different parts of Uganda.
The demonstrators alleged that General Electric is financing what they referred to as “Museveni bloody dictatorship” that has existed for the last 33 years.
In April Uganda signed an agreement with an international consortium of energy industry investors to build an oil refinery. The consortium which is a partnership of four Italian and Mauritian companies including Nuovo Pignone International owned by US-giant General Electric agreed to build and operate the refinery near Hoima on the shores of Lake Albert.
President Museveni said the deal with the Albertine Graben Refinery Consortium, valued at between US$3 billion and US$4 billion, would contribute would boost Uganda’s development but also to make Africa powerful in terms of business.
Once complete the facility will have the capacity to refine 60,000 barrels of crude oil per day, much of which will be pushed to Kampala via pipeline also yet to be built.
Experts say that of the 6.5 billion barrels of oil discovered below and around Lake Albert about 1.5 billion are easily recoverable.
Meanwhile the group seems to be happy with the cruel murder of former Arua Member of Parliament who was buried on Monday.
The members, much as they are living in the USA have warned politicians in the National Resistance Movement (NRM), saying they stand to follow the late Abiriga’s fate. Those warned include, MP Raphael Magyezi, MP and Minister Evelyn Anite, MP Semeo Nusbuga, Ruth Nankabirwa (NRM Chief Whip) and Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga.
The group also say First Lady Janet Museveni and son David Muhoozi Kainerugaba are on the list of those they intend to target. It is not clear whether that group is serious or just playing to the gallery.
Some elements in government and NRM party have tagged MP Abiriga’s murder to politics, with some pointing their fingers at the opposition. However, the group in the US did not come up to state what side of the political divide belong as far as the Ugandan politics is concerned.
Some however said Uganda should adopt the federal system of government.
Speaking to BCC in London former President of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) presidential candidate Dr Kizza Besigye said Abiriga could have been killed due to politics especially that he vehemently supported the remove of the presidential age limit of 75 years, meaning that anyone above 75 years now is free to run for the country’s top office.
Besigye said the country faces deep long standing problems of political, social and economic basis that need a national dialogue. He accused Museveni of staying in power for a long time.