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  • A collage image of President Yoweri Museveni (left) and President Samia Suluhu of Tanzania during President William Ruto's inauguration on September 13, 2022 (right). KENYANS.CO.KE 
  • Uganda's president, Yoweri Museveni, has expressed his displeasure at the European Union (EU) Parliament for disapproving the Ksh421 billion oil pipeline deal it signed with Tanzania in 2021

    Tanzania was preferred over Kenya, with Museveni's administration claiming that Kenya lacked an efficient road system and would thus delay the project.

    In a statement on Friday, September 16, Museveni argued that the project will go on as projected despite the EU Parliament sanctioning the project over human rights and environmental issues. 

    The EU parliament had warned its member states against financing the project over the concerns activists had raised.

    File photo of KPC Pipeline
    File photo of KPC Pipeline FILE KENYA PIPELINE

    In response, Museveni stated that his government would seek other development partners to fund the project if the initial contractors bail out of their agreement. The 1,443km pipeline is projected to run from Hoima in Uganda to the Chongoleani Peninsula near Tanga Port in Tanzania.  

    "We should remember that Total Energies convinced me about the pipeline idea; if they choose to listen to the EU Parliament, we shall find someone else to work with.

    "Either way, we shall have our oil coming out by 2025 as planned. So, the people of Uganda should not worry," Museveni stated in a statement. 

    His response was also issued minutes after Uganda's deputy speaker and the attorney general raised concerns over the EU's censure. 

    The deputy speaker, Thomas Tayebwa, stated that the motion seemed premised on allegations of potential environmental impacts, human rights violations and climate change targets.

    "I believe formal communication of this motion by the European Parliament will be made and a formal response will be made," Tabeywa stated. 

    Human and Environmental Issues  

    The EU Parliament wants Uganda to release activists and journalists who were reportedly apprehended and intimidated for opposing the project

    Among the victims are Maxwell Atuhura, an environmental rights defender and Federica Marsi, an Italian journalist, who has been in custody since May 25, 2021. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta(left) alongside his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni
    Former President Uhuru Kenyatta(left) alongside his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni TWITTER

    Uganda Prefers Tanzania Over Kenya

    Uganda settled on Tanzania, then under the late President John Pombe Magufuli, stating that dealing with their neighbour would be more cost-effective.

    A detailed report ascertained that it was difficult to secure land in Kenya as it took nearly two years to compensate land owners, unlike in Tanzania where the government owns all the land. 

    Kenya switched focus to building its Ksh121.45 billion pipeline from Lokichar, Turkana County, to Lamu.  

    “The pipeline route from Hoima to Lokichar to Lamu is the best option for Uganda given that Kenya will charge them cheaper compared to Tanzania per barrel of crude oil transported through the pipeline,” former Energy Cabinet Secretary, Charles Keter stated. 

    Former President Uhuru Kenyatta was keen on partnering with Uganda in constructing the pipeline that would have seen Kenyan transport over 100,000 barrels of oil per day.By Washington Mito, Kenyans.co.ke

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