Sunday, October 2, 2011


With Gaddafi toppled, Libyans rejoice that they are no longer forced to study the compulsory tract, The Green Book. The once best selling book now has no buyers and people are free to say what they think of it.
Libya’s number one best selling book is familiar to every Libyan, as they were forced to study it from the age of eight for two hours every week. Penned by Muammar Gaddafi, ‘Al-Kitab -al-Akhdar’, better known as the ‘Green Book’, was published in 1975. Subtitled ‘The Solution to the Problems of Democracy; The Social Basis in the Third Universal Theory’ the compulsory tract is a rambling treatise of disconnected, often contradictory thoughts, with an unintentionally comical element.
The Green Book can be read in its entirety here, courtesy of the 9/11 Truth Net. It perfectly epitomizes one of Gaddafi’s central tenets that
“Freedom of expression is the right of every person, even if a person chooses to behave irrationally to express his or her insanity.”
The Libyan people were not allowed the freedom of expression to say what they really thought about Gaddafi’s book, but Aljazeera reports that they no longer have to hide their contempt for it.
For a leader who often showed glimmers of brilliance in projects such as the man made river, and plans to link the price of oil to gold rather than the US dollar, Gaddafi often states the blatantly obvious in his book. He wrote such gems as

“Men do not become pregnant and give breast-feeding”

and explained that men are aggressive

“By virtue of their inbred nature.”

Muammar al-Gaddafi: The Green Book
Muammar al-Gaddafi: The Green Book
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His views on women are contradictory yet protective. He wrote women

“Are like blossoms who are created to attract pollen and to produce seeds…A woman is tender; a woman is pretty; a woman weeps easily and is easily frightened.”

Yet after declaring this, Gaddafi famously protected himself with 40 virgin female bodyguards, taking them on his travels as part of his extravagant entourage. As civil war intensified he armed the women of Tripoli and sent them on military training courses.
When Benghazi fell to rebel control at the beginning of the Libyan conflict, the BBC reported that one of the first buildings to be attacked was the Centre for the Recitation and Study of the Green Book.
According to Aljazeera many copies of the book were burned during the conflict and now booksellers can’t even give copies away. They quote Libyans claiming the book is

“silly”, “crazy”, and “A waste of time.”

Libyans are now free to make fun of the tract which will play no part in the education of the people. Instead it will be consigned to the dustbin of history along with Chairman Mao’s Little Red Book.

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State House says President Museveni (Right) had no hand in approving Basajjabalaba’s claims.

By Monitor Team

Posted Sunday, October 2 2011 at 00:00
Kampala. In a strongly worded statement, State House has disowned businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba and said it will investigate forgeries of its documents by “crooks” in the wake of Basajjabalaba’s claims that President Museveni okayed his Shs142 billion compensation.
On Thursday, Basajjabalaba told parliamentarians of the Public Accounts Committee –PAC - that after government cancelled his tenders to run a number of markets in Kampala city under the instructions of President Museveni, he sought compensation to which the President assented.
But in statement on Friday, State House described Basajjabalaba’s claim that the President approved his Shs142 billion compensation as “totally false” and would proceed to investigate if the businessman or any other parties forged State House documents to defraud government.
“The public should be informed that State House is looking into forgeries of its documents, perpetuated by some crooks,” the head of legal department at State House, Ms Joy Kabatsi, wrote. Ms Kabatsi, however, acknowledges that the President instructed Finance and Bank of Uganda to “expedite compensation due to Basajjabalaba” without mentioning the specifics of the financial value involved.
“At no time did the President mention a figure, either by word or in writing that would be a basis for such compensation. This is not his work. He does not have the competence to do it. This is the work of government valuers,” Ms Kabatsi said.

‘Properties more valuable’
Speaking to the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee this week, Mr Basajjabalaba insisted that he and President Museveni “discussed these issues in detail” in December 2006 and that Museveni ordered that the matter be resolved within 60 days.
Mr Basajjabalaba told MPs that if they thought the compensation was exaggerated, he was willing to return the money to the city authority, saying they should reinstate his market sub-leases.
“Some people in government think I was given a lot of money. I would be happy if government returns the markets and the Constitution Square because the properties are worth more in value than the current money,” said the businessman. “The time gap is what is causing these differences and accumulation. In 11 years, we [have] lost a lot of businesses. We have to seek compensation and the President asked the Attorney General to handle the matter.”
In May, President Museveni described Basajjabalaba’s claim of Shs142b as “ridiculous and unacceptable” in a letter to the then Finance Minister Syda Bbumba. He also called for investigations of Finance Ministry officials he believed were involved in dubious loan agreements and settling “unacceptable” claims.
In a twist of events, however, Mr Basajjabalaba has secured an interim order stopping investigations into his claims and any subsequent cancellation of Shs142.6b awarded to him for the lost deals in City markets. An interim order of the Land Division of the High Court dated September 19 was issued against the Attorney General and government agencies from backtracking on the award of Shs142.6b to Basajjabalaba’s Haba Group for “the lands acquired compulsorily by the government”.
The interim order reads: “Any act or investigations by Auditor General, Uganda Revenue Authority and Ministry of Finance, aimed at changing the value of the award from what was granted by the Inter-Ministerial Evaluation Committee are acts of the Attorney General and are hereby prohibited.”

PAC calls for investigations
The interim court order now makes the work of PAC futile in a sense that under the Sub-judice Rule, Section 60, “reference shall not be made to any matter on which judicial decision is pending in such a way as may in the opinion of the Speaker, prejudice the interest of any party to the action.”
PAC chairman Kassiano Wadri had earlier instructed CID to investigate a consent judgment dated October 6, 2010, which an official of court disowned and said was a forgery. Mr Wadri also said another letter from Mr Christopher Gasharabaki of the Justice Ministry exempting Mr Basajjabalaba from paying taxes should be investigated.
Mr Basajjabalaba initially claimed $65 million (Shs182 billion) for loss of business stretching over 11 years. His contracts to manage Nakasero, Shauriyako and St. Balikuddembe (Owino) markets and the Constitution Square were cancelled by order of the President, who Ms Kabatsi says had always objected to Basajjabalaba’s acquisition of City council markets.

Mr Bagarukayo, considered a chief suspect because he acted as an agent for Aitel in the botched deal, was recently arrested and grilled by CID officials but released. PHOTO JOSEPH KIGGUNDU
By Chris Obore

Posted Sunday, October 2 2011 at 00:00
Legislators on the Local Government and Public Service Committee of parliament are grilling several officials over the botched supply of 70,000 bicycles for village and parish councils. The deal is worth Shs9.9 billion.
Originated by the Local Government Ministry, the first contract agreement signed was in favour of the supplier, Amman Industrial Tools & Equipment Ltd (Aitel). The agreement signed on November 16, 2010, allowed the contractor to access 90 per cent of the funds on presentation of a bill of lading, packing list, commercial invoice, copy of certificate of origin, copy of insurance and pictures of the bicycles.
In a November 25 letter to the permanent secretary in the Local Government Ministry, Mr John Kashaka Muhanguzi, the Solicitor General, cleared the contract writing thus: “This is to advise that the contract has been cleared for signature.” Subsequently, the contract was signed by Mr Muhanguzi on behalf of government and witnessed by Sam Emorut, the assistant commissioner in-charge of policy and planning in the ministry.
But following objections from Accountant General Gustavio Bwoch that the 90 per cent payment before supply was unfair, another contract giving Aitel access to 40 per cent payment, was signed on the same day [November 26, 2010]. This newspaper has copies of both contracts.
On December 17, 2010, Mr Muhanguzi applied to the director of payments and settlements at Bank of Uganda to open a Foreign Letter of credit (LC) in favour of Aitel.
“This is to request you to open a foreign letter of credit in US dollars equivalent to Shs9,999,974,446 (Shs Nine billion nine hundred ninety nine million nine hundred seventy four thousand four hundred forty six only) [sic] less bank charges in favour of M/S Amman Industrial tools & Equipment Ltd,” he wrote, indicating the source of money as Local Government Ministry.
The letter was copied to the AG, Secretary to Treasury and director of banking in BoU.
On December 22, Mr Muhanguzi wrote to the director of banking at BoU: “This is to request you to transfer Shs9,999,974,446 from Ministry of Local Government forex transfer account 000110308000001 to Ministry of Local Government Letter of Credit account 000110318000001 to facilitate opening of a foreign letter of credit in US dollars in favour of M/S Amman Industrial Tools and Equipment Ltd.”
But on December 27, Mr Muhanguzi wrote corrigenda to the LC pointing out errors from himself to BoU. He asked that the bank account be changed from Citibank to Stanbic Bank. He also asked that partial shipment of bicycles be allowed, port of loading was changed to India instead of China, and the consignee changed to Aitel instead of the PS Local Government. Sources say the reason for the change of bank was suspicious and could have been influenced by interest in kick-backs.
On January 3, 2011, the BoU computer system generated correspondence showing the amendments made to the LC as requested by Mr Muhanguzi. But on March 2, the assistant director, Payments and Settlements at BoU, Mr Anthony Musumba, wrote to Mr Muhanguzi raising discrepancy in documents under LC.
Discrepancies upheld
“This is to inform you that we have received documents value USD1.842.000 on approval basis. The following are discrepancies: An original delivery note signed by the authorised agent of the applicant and original acceptance certificate issued by the applicant were all not submitted; the final destination on the bills of lading, packing lists and certificates of origin is Kampala instead of the parishes and village councils in Uganda. The alteration on the certificates of origin is not authentic,” reads the letter.
It adds: “The purpose of this letter is therefore to inform you that the documents are not in strict compliance with LC terms and to seek your guidance on whether payment should be effected despite the above discrepancies.”
Sources said the 40 per cent down payment was $1,719,454 (Shs4.8b) but why it was raised to $1,842,000 was not explained. However, on March 3, Mr Muhanguzi and his principal accountant Henry Bamutura wrote to BoU, saying the final destination is Kampala /Uganda instead of parishes and village councils.
And on the same date, Mr Muhanguzi wrote to AG confirming that the goods and services for which the LC was opened were rendered. He co-signed the letter with Mr Bamutura and Ms Hellen Owechi Jenny on behalf of the head of internal audit in the Local Government Ministry. The letter was to facilitate the writing of an audit clearance by Finance before payment is done.
On March 15, payment of $1.7m was made by BoU to Amman. And on March 25, the Commissioner for Internal Audit in the Finance Ministry kick-started the process of clearance by writing to Mr Muhanguzi asking for a packing list. On April 1, Mr Muhanguzi wrote back attaching a photocopy of the packing list, saying the original was with BoU. And on April 5, he wrote another letter confirming that the goods and services had been rendered.
On the same date, Mr Bwoch and the Internal Audit chief, Dr Fixon Okonye, wrote to the director of banking at BoU, saying: “The Ministry of Local Government has confirmed that goods and services for which a Letter of Credit was opened have now been rendered. My staff in Ministry of Local Government has verified the documents pertaining to the supplies and the Letter of Credit can now be honoured.” However, their authorisation was meaningless as the payment they were clearing was done on March 15.
Speculation is rife over the botched procurement, with some technical people alleging that it was political from inception as the ruling NRM party reportedly needed bicycles to induce local council officials to vote and mobilise other voters for President Museveni’s re-election in February 18. They say when the bicycles delayed, the money was instead channeled through individuals and used to fund the campaigns.
On Wednesday, NRM deputy spokesperson Ofwono Opondo said the party has no connection to the shady procurement. “There should be evidence that the money was paid to the party account either in Bank of Baroda or Standard Chartered bank to any party official,” he said.

Mr Ofwono said the idea to buy bicycles for LCs was proposed in the 2008/9 financial year and that already some LC3 chairperson had been given motorcycles.

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