In June of 2019, the Senegalese American Singer Akon launched Akoin, a Bitcoin cryptocurrency alike. However after launching the currency, the singer got caught up in between the rocks, because for any money to be trusted as a form of exchange it has to be backed by the precious minerals like Gold, Diamonds, Copper, Cobalt reserves and sells. The desperate Akon, went to Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to find mining opportunities. DRC a country whose mining operations are controlled by Dan Gertler an Israeli government sponsored criminal using Yoweri Museveni as a mascot. Gertler has been sanctioned by the IMF, World Bank and the U.S Treasury Department cutting off his abilities to export the minerals he loots from DRC. Gertler and his criminal enterprise turned to Yoweri Museveni to access Entebbe Airport as a transport route for the looted minerals from DRC and Sudan to international markets. According to our highly placed sources in Statehouse when Akon went to DRC, he was approached by Yoweri Museveni’s agents who assured him of safe passage and cheaper minerals from DRC and South Sudan if he accepts to play the roles Yoweri Museveni wants him to play.
In order for Yoweri Museveni to offer confidence to his clients in illegal mineral mining and export like Gertler, Akon and others there is a move to domesticate the Mineral Certification Scheme of the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR) into Ugandan law soon. The bill is nearly finalised, allowing the minister of energy and mineral development, Mary Goretti Kitutu, (who will remain in place until the re-elected Yoweri Museveni’s new term begins in May) to bring it into effect as soon as it is ready. On paper the law, is designed to ensure that minerals extracted and sold in Uganda are fully traceable, however this law does not need approval from parliament to become applicable.
In anticipation of the regional certification mechanism, Uganda’s Directorate of Geological Survey and Mines has appointed ten inspectors ready to implement the scheme and identify sites that will require monitoring and they will report direct to Yoweri Museveni or to his son Muhoozi Keinerugaba the head of SFC that offers security to all mineral refineries in Uganda and Airport.
On paper, Museveni and his government show that they are willing to improve mineral tracking systems in the country and eliminate the trade of conflict minerals and as well as complying with the ICGLR’s scheme to send a good signal to the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, which Uganda joined in August last year. However, on ground the situation is more opaque. Many observers believe that out of Uganda’s official $1.7bn in gold exports for 2020, a figure announced by the permanent secretary of the ministry of energy and mineral development Robert Kasande in January, a large portion comes from small-scale mines in the DRC and Sudan and was smuggled through the country.
According to our sources, Ugandan officials and soldiers smuggle looted minerals through Entebbe Airport, and while young officers are sometimes called into question, those higher up the ladder are rarely troubled by the authorities as they have ties to the government. Gold is “laundered” by Ugandan refineries before being sent overseas. The money from the smuggled minerals is added as a welcome revenue to the state in a time of economic crisis especially in these times when the US and E.U are planning to enact sanctions on the Kampala regime. Yoweri Museveni needs more money to sustain his private militias that commit atrocities against innocent Ugandans and because of people like Akon who finance him, these sufferings are far from ending.