Umeme Agreement to blame For Expensive Electricity, blackouts

Gulu Starts Protests Against Umeme

Residents of Gulu district have today expressed anger over electricity blackout in the region which is threatening business.

Anger is also  brewing in the rest of the country over increased prices per unit.

While placards read UMEME MUST GO, UMEME MUST GO the problem is much deeper than aye meets.

President Yoweri Museveni is widely quoted on the availability of electricity but power blackout is not going away.

Members of Parliament and the ruling party NRM must revisit Umeme agreement signed by 6 Ugandans led by former Permanent Secretary Kaliisa where loses increased from 28% to 38%.

Every percentage loss Umeme cashes $4 millions. Is Umeme making alot of money through loses than more connectivity.

President Yoweri Museveni wants these agreements revisited.

Meanwhile live bullets were fired in Gulu to disperse angry business people protesting against continued black out.

Gunfire on Monday rocked Gulu Municipality as Police and UPDF soldiers obstructed a protest by residents. Hundreds of business men led by local politicians had turned in big numbers to protest against the constant power blackout within Gulu Municipality.

However, as they were heading to the Umeme service centre along bank lane, they were dispersed with teargas and live bullets. Protestors had placards reading; “Umeme Must Go” and “Umeme should not be an obstacle to Gulu in gaining a city status” among others.

For the last three weeks, there have been constant power blackouts within the town and other neighbouring areas within Gulu District, which angered residents.

The protestors led by Kilak South Member of Parliament Gilbert Olanya and Aruu County legislator Samuel Odonga Otto argue that the constant power outage has been affecting their businesses.

Mr Olanya said, the protest is timely since the Umeme contract is soon expiring and might not be renewed.
“If power blacks out in Gulu, all the districts in the region are affected since Gulu is the central business district for Acholi Sub Region,” he said.

Mr Olanya accused Police of using teargas and live bullets against the peaceful protestors. “Time is now for Police and other security agencies to give way to people who protest against issues affecting them,” he said. Mr Otto, said there is an urgent need to throw out Umeme since they have failed to deliver as expected.

Mr Christopher Acire, one of the businessmen in Gulu town, said Umeme should focus on the issues at hand instead of conniving with the state forces to frustrate the protestors.
“They are always in time when it comes to billing but when a problem comes, they cannot put things right,” he said.

Credit: 94.3 Q fm Lira

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