History is lined with examples of chaps who took a trophy or offerings without consideration of the motivations of the giver. The story is well illustrated in gift of the Trojan Horse, ostensibly as token for peace whereas encased in its innards were an infantry to destroy the Troy’s after they had made an impressive defense on their gated community; an impressive ten year siege.
The power company UMEME has been given a carte blanc to siphon as much currency as it can obtain during its concessionary period. Adam Smith warns, “Its not from the benevolence of the brewer, the baker, and the butcher that we owe our supper, but from their own regard to their own selfish interests.” If the interests of the three professionals were not served they would be disinclined to make the different products: beer, bread and beef that are necessary to and are incidental to the supper.
Power is an essential component of the growth of the country. Energy is a sin qua non for industries, financial sector, health sector, communications infrastructure virtually all the economy runs on some form of energy. Therefore it is imperative that this vital resource needs to be adequately monitored and controlled to ensure the much talked of steady progress. Any marginal increase in tariffs has a multiplier effect on the industries and consequently on the wanainchi.
In an unpublished altercation with a member of his government, the old fox was told, “Muzee you have your own interests, we also have our own interests, when these cannot and do not converge, we shall each go our own separate ways.” The relationship with the gang along the electric power axis in Uganda needs to be guided by the hunch back logic; “if you must sleep with a hunchback, use separate blankets!”
Intermittent supply are common tricks to depict constraints in supply and has oft been used as a justification for incremental power tariffs. At the beginning of each year there is, seemingly, a mandatory increment in tariffs and this in done by a helpful and enthusiastic cabal of cooperators of the three arms of Generation, Transmission and Distribution plus Electricity Regulatory Authority as a willing and able accomplice. The reasons advanced for increment are always the same: Investment costs, distribution costs, energy losses, collections and operations rates!
No one has told us the effect of the prepaid metres on the operations and collections costs! What is a fact is that collection costs are borne by the Ugandan consumer charged on his mobile money payments; which to add insult to injury will be subject to an additional 1% tax. I think we are going to get into legal conundrum with all these duplicated charges intended to strangle an already desperate populace!