“If you claim to love your business/organization and you are not investing in your people, and support systems to make them excel then you are either severely delusional, dangerously clueless or a potent combination with severe proportions of clueless delusions!” Mike Watmon Kinyera.
In Sun Tzu treatise, “The Art of War”, a mother was reduced to tears when she heard that the Commander, patiently and with great concern, had sucked at the wounds of her injured son so that he, the General, might remove any poisons therein and clean it with some spirits and herbs. When asked why she answered, “Now there is no fire through which my son will not walk through for the General!”
Fredrick W. Taylor, the father of modern management, identified people as the vital engines of production. The Management guru Peter Drucker pressed this point home when he argued, rather convincingly, that organizations are nothing in themselves, things get done in organization, or not, by the strength of the organizations people.
Looking through the Biblical teaching Jesus took time to teach his disciples or Apostles how to do pray and even then he had to ensure that they were baptized by fire before they could go on and administer his mission.
In a fast changing world, new emergent technologies, communication being fast tracked opportunities are lost and obtained in real time. How ready are the troops/workers under you command to put the best foot forward? How does their training, motivation, support systems complement the over arching organizations mission? What latent areas of improvement can be leveraged for organization success?
The time to make adaptations to suit the changing circumstance, grasp the opportunities exist long before the opportunity has manifested itself. This is why at a strategic level that kind of weather forecast of the environment the organization operates in is critical.
Competition embodies the raw primordial instincts, I win you loose; its a zero-sum game, and once enter into the vagaries of uncertainty beset it and accurate predictions an element of impossibility; the only hope is where one has had opportunity to plan and thus is confident that ones best foot is forward. In this it resembles was which was much eloquently captured by General Karl Clausewitz.
“War is a fascinating trinity composed of primordial violence, hatred and enmity which are to be regarded as a blind natural force; the play of chance and probability, within which the creative spirit is free to roam; and its element of subordination, as an instrument of policy, which makes it subject to pure reason!” Karl Von Clausewitz “On War”
The Baganda, a cultural grouping in the Republic have a very colorful adage on cojones. To wit; “Muno w’abaa kusinga ebinege togyitta mpananma!” Literally translated as, “When the cojones of another a bigger than yours do not say he has hydrocele!” Hydrocele is a condition where the scrotum is filled with serous fluids; the reasons for this filling of fluids are beyond the scope of this missive but if you are curious it is: inflammation and or injuries within the scrotum. This was confided to me by a good Doctor who will not be working at the International Hospital being built by a consortium of Italian Investors Finasi and ROKO at Lubowa.
When the idea was first conceived the project total costs were estimated, by people who knew better, at 250 Mn USD. As the project obtained the necessary approvals and the file kept climbing from office to office seeking the final guarantees from Government the Parliament of Uganda approved a 379 Mn USD total project sum; representing a remarkable 51% increase from what was conceived in 2017. This despite the fact that the Dollar has been growing stronger than the dollar.
The late Professor Dr Father John Mary Waliggo taught me of a concept of “La Politique Du Vendre” (Politics of the stomach or chop- chop politics.) Using a colorful example in the dysfunctional state of the Zaire he quoted an instance where the President would demand One Million Dollars. The following sequence of events followed, the Minister goes to the Governor of the Bank of Zaire with a requisition of Two Million Dollars and the Governor authorizes a a withdraw from the vaults of four million dollars. As the money makes a return to the President, care is taken along the value chain so that the recipient next in line is not bothered by what he did not ask for and the president eventually gets his 1Mn USD free of any excess baggage; you chop I chop!
Juxtaposing the International Specialist Hospital of Uganda with Mendata Hosiptal which was set up 9 years ago at 144 MN USD we get some good eye openers. Mendata sits on a 43 Acres spread and has 20 Specialist World class departments, it also has over 1250+ beds. Our ISHU boast less than 280 beds; its actually 264 but I was trying hard to be nice.
The stinker in the structuring of the whole deal is that the promoters get a promissory note from the government of Uganda. This was passed by the parliament and we are remained stuck with a loan without a complete value for money audit. Some of you idle mouths will start murmuring corruption kickbacks, I will refrain from joining you; no kowtowing in your poohoo. Ariverdici!
Far be from it for me to fence-sit as two formerly earnest allies reach for the draw in readiness for, hitherto an unimaginable feud. Accusations have been flying across the border between Rwanda and Uganda and while the grass plead for peace the leaders, ignoring the calls for peace talks, have started actively sizing themselves up. Literally counting the size of munitions, standing forces, reservists, supply lines, and other such resources; in short preparing for everything but peace talks.
The rhetoric has also been heated. Sentiments like: “I will never be brought to my knees, if you like gun me down…” are met with retorts of provocative adventurers, threats of destabilization and counter destabilization. Ther are also urgent attempts to bolster the military capacity on either side of the divide. These trends do not abode well for either country.
As a citizen of the republic of Uganda, I have zero, actually negative interest in a war between Uganda and Rwanda. There is no merit, no justification, no reward, no profit by whatever imagination possible. We have had wars in the past. The one for which we are still paying for is the one which has been cloaked as a sacrifice and for which we have to be eternally grateful ad in finituum! What guarantees do we have that any other such adventures in Rwanda will not be classified as another sacrifice for which our grandchildren will be made to pay ad in finituum?
Matters are not helped by the Chief protagonist’s declaration that once he has hunted an animal, the spoils are to be dispensed at his sole and only discretion. Such perverse distributive tendencies makes us crave for perpetual peace however just the cause of war.
More than just healthy commerce, many Ugandans and Rwandans or Rwandese are joined together by real blood. That one side calls Gatuna and another calls Katuna, or Gisoro which another calls Kisoro shows the thread thin divide. Away from our people we have a common heritage of the largest population of Gorillas that we keep in trust for the community of nations. Hostilities of any kind in that areas will spell doom for these primates.
At the height of its fever, the Bank of Uganda was an institution that brooked no dissent; like Ceasor’s wife she was beyond suspicion. Above the control, supervision or oversight from any temporal being she accounted to no one and for the period of the contract the Governor could well ride roughshod over any opinions; and often did. To answer, and appear before select committees in parliament was an act of courtesy rather than mandate.
He derived his clout from an unambiguous clause in the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda Article 162 (2) that,
“In performing its functions, the Bank of Uganda shall conform to this Constitution but shall not be subject to the direction or control of any person or authority.”
The reasons for this extreme power given to BOU was to ensure that it went about its duty of ensuring stability in the financial Sector and furtherance of the country economic agenda.
In the aftermath of the closure of Crane Bank, a concerted effort was made to have the bank appear before the committee and not only explain the closure of Crane Bank but the closure of 7 other banks (Teefe Bank, Greenland Bank Ltd, Global Trust Bank, The Cooperative Bank Ltd, International Credit Bank, and the National Bank of Commerce) closed 20 years ago!
It is too late to argue why the BOU submitted to this COSASE. Was the economy unstable, what was the purpose of the inquiry for asking why banks closed 20 years ago were closed. I saw a well orchestrated effort to manufacture consent that BOU had failed in its mandate and hence a total reform is necessary in the banking sector. If the BOU had so miserably failed why is the economy not collapsed. Why did the sale of Uganda Commercial Bank; which was a milestone in the last 20 years not feature in this probe?
The closure of Crane Bank and the Billions Shilling surrounding the entire Bank closing Value chain was a magnet for the differing sharks sniffing for an opportunity to make quick buck. From the lawyers, commission agents, kickbacks etc the opportunity for a feeding frenzy was too much to miss.
And while the waters are still mucky one aspect has been forgotten which will come back to bite the tax payer in the butt; payouts to the employees who lost their livelihoods. Bankers who saw their reputations go down the drain, who were stigmatized and failed to get gainful employment. Since their termination was a product of error may be it time for compensations compounded for interest over 20 years.
Over the weekend a despicable incident involving three men played out in the Uganda social media. No less than three shameless individuals -MEN- joined hands to teach a diminutive, puny white skirted policewoman a lesson. How dare she, have the effrontery to contemplate, and once having the nerve to contemplate act on so sacrilegious a contemplation; to stop a Major General from turning willy nilly in the middle of a busy thoroughfare?
Unrestrained passions of bully or if you like the agony of bully; the Major General has a book on the agony of Power burst through the seams and manifested itself in slaps and fisticuffs on the errant Officer who could imagine that Major Generals are ordinary beings who must operate within the ambit of the law and common sense. Their combined sense of irritation blinded them to the rules of war and brandishing their horrendous weapons of war fell upon the hapless officer like savage canines of the wild.
With one voice condemnations have flowed from the Spokesperson of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces, to the wanainchi in Pajule. This is not correct they chorused. This will not do. To their credit the UPDF has done a partial job of remedying the wrong by arresting 60% of the perpetrators of this villainy. But as the President has always labored to argue we must make a fine distinction between the “Misleaders’ and the “Misled.”
Ssemogerere’s habit of keeping a black book needs to be rejuvenated. This sense of impunity must not be allowed to prevail. Let them be documented so that at a day of reckoning in future such wrongs can be righted.
“Its not from the benevolence of the butcher, the baker, or the brewer that we owe supper; but their regard for their own self interest!” Adam Smith.
This statement is a clear testament on the motive of human beings. When they do or omit to do anything its on the basis of their own interest. So the baker, the brewer, or the butcher is figuring how the money you pay for his goods will enable him accomplish his set goals and objectives.
Anyone who has closely followed me through the years knows that December and January are months dedicated to devouring goats and we do it with like minded family members to celebrate “joie de vivre!” During these activities we paste the skin on the walls of the house with a mind to dry it and ostensibly use it for some purpose which I have never discerned. In any event a few days later the skin is all forgotten and probably devoured by enthusiastic canine bearers
Invariably, regret at this wasteful extravagance gnaw at my vitals. The leather and tannery industry is an untapped goldmine in this country. In my goat eating months 10 hides go to waste by I and nucleus family alone. By an uncanny coincidence, as I was digesting this, Comrade Simon Kaheru penned an article “Going leather for Uganda.” See New Vision 21st/Feb/2019.
My friends in Ethiopia and Algeria have been trying to interest me in this sector. I peeped into the numbers and the results are interesting. Ethiopia in 2016/17 had 57.83 Million Cattle, 28.04 Million sheep, 28.61 Million goats. These represented 2.8% of the entire livestock of the world. Between 2004/2005 and 2016/17 Ethiopia saw a growth in earnings in the leather industry from 67 Mn USD to 115.4 Mn USD. Their target, according to policy documents is 500 MN USD.
Uganda on the other hand has 14 Mn Heads of cattle, 4.3 Mn sheep, 15 Mn goats. With such wealth one would assume the country is making money. This is not the case; the National Leather Policy document shows that we are making a loss of 249 Mn USD annually. Added to this we import 35 MN USD worth of footwear. We have not yet added belts handbags, wallets, hats and other assorted leather based products.
As a matter of urgency there is need to address the knowledge gap. The entire leather value chain needs to be studied so that we have more indigenous people having greater knowledge of the sector giving it a firm foundation for growth. To do this we need to tap into the knowledge of our brothers in Algeria, Ethiopia and Egypt.