President Museveni has expressed concern on how Electricity distributor Umeme limited runs operations in Uganda with hiked power tariffs despite the country being the producer and supplier to the East African Community which he says has affected industrialization and production.
President Museveni also castigated officials in the ministry of Energy who went and brought a private company like Umeme into the power business to milk the investors with high power charges.
Museveni has made it clear that power to be used by industries will not involve intermediary companies like Umeme again to minimize costs for production.
“UMEME! What is it for? A private company making profits is made a middle man between the generation of power and the final consumer. I was told when it had already happened. I would never have allowed it if I was told before” he said.
The President said this in a statement during the commemoration of the International Labor Day at Statehouse Entebbe yesterday.
Since last year, Museveni has persistently and deliberately continued to condemn the hikes in power tariffs despite the fact that we’re the manufacturers and suppliers of power to the rest of the EAC countries.
Museveni, again, re-echoed the same sentiments towards UMEME, the South African based power distributors in Uganda during his Independence day speech on October 9 last year where he hinted at high tariffs for domestic consumers and has therefore spent quite a number of years scratching his head on how to avert this, given the fact that the negotiators of the first concession signed a 20 yr contract with Umeme, which the president was reluctant to interfere with.
To some Ugandans, including a section of legislators, even preferred to have privatized the national power sector to a foreign company, Umeme was a very big oversight on the side of Uganda Gov’t, because ultimately, they argue, according to them, ‘these foreign companies come to make money and take to their countries to develop their own at the expense of our poor economy.