I have been working in the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and formerly in State House for some time but I am surprised today when I say top government officials and the #Covid-19 committee members praising Gen. Wesley Clark as a freedom fighter for Africans.
How really do you celebrate a donation of $100,000 when the so-called donor is taking away millions of dollars from you? Gen. Clark through his briefcase companies that don’t even go through procurement processes have been siphoning lots of our resources back their countries through dubious dealings. Ugandans and Africans have been fooled enough. He is the man behind the dubious SICPA company that was given a tender to supply stamps to Uganda Revenue Authority without being submitted to any procurement rules and at the same time, the tax payer has as of today paid Shs90 billion. Uganda government first paid Shs30 billion and just recently not even a month, an additional Shs60 billion was released to SICPA owned by him.
In their top management recently, Ministry of Finance rejected SICPA quality of stamps and the reason is that they are of low quality and overpriced. It was also revealed that the stamps are overpriced with each stamp going for Shs130 instead of Shs35. Through his agents, Gen. Clark and SICPA lied are to be paid Shs340 billion annually from the tax payers and yet had his company been subjected procurement, there would be value for money.
The argument is that why can’t Gen. Clark if he loves Uganda more than us print those stamps and empower our people with jobs? In their submission to the Ministry of Finance, they indicated that after government pay Shs340 billion, they would make a profit of Shs800 billion but they are running back to government to milk the unsuspecting tax payers.
Gen. Clark and his agents through their company GVG were given over $26 million by government of Uganda to supply an equipment meant to monitor telephone companies. The same equipment was overpriced but the news is that the equipment failed to work and yet Gen. Clark and his commission agents were paid. In a joint security meeting by chiefs and Uganda Communication Commission, his equipment was rejected as well like Tanzania did but who is going to compensate for the money lost?
I would wish to request the United States government to investigate such people like Gen. Clark who come her in Uganda and more Africa and in turn steal from here and yet claim to be clean and corruption free.
Gen. Clark is a director of companies in Switzerland and most of them have exploited Africa through their agents who collect commission on behalf of heads of states. Uganda ought to have done a due diligence on some of these companies before giving them contracts. Tanzanian President John Pombo Magufuli chased one of Gen. Clark’s companies. Most of his companies have dented with corruption scandals.
Dr. Magufuli suspended the head of the country’s telecoms regulator and disbanded the board, claiming the organisation has failed to monitor the industry and gather revenue for the state.
According to the office of the president, the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) installed a traffic monitoring system Global Voices Group (GVG) in 2013 but has failed to use it. The contract was signed by Ally Simba, the director general of the TCRA, who has been suspended.
The system was designed to allow 28% of international telecoms revenue to be paid to the government. According to the TCRA’s figures on its own website, international calls are charged at $0.25 a minute, out of which the international network operators get $0.13, “the government receives 7 cents, and the balance of 5 cents is shared by the consultant and TCRA for maintenance”.
This enables the country to earn about 20 billion Tanzanian shillings a year from the revenue share, says the TCRA – meaning that the TCRA’s revenue calculations are a long way short of the 400 billion shillings ($180 million) that the president says has been lost.
According to the TCRA, the contract for the monitoring system went – after an open tender – to a consortium of Société Générale de Surveillance (SGS) and Global Voice Group (GVG). “The project was being financed under build operate and transfer, whose main advantage is that no funds are paid up front.”
According to their website, the Seychelles-based GVG says that it “is a pioneer in the development and implementation of telecom governance technologies”, with clients in 10 African governments.
Gen. Clark represents the unacceptable face, the perceived American standing and abuses African countries by giving peanuts with his agents. Therefore, it is a shame for him to donate peanuts and yet his been given preferential treatment and reaping big from Africa.
The writer is a Patriotic Ugandan