Friday, May 19, 2017

Open letter to @MarkZuckerberg - @Facebook investment of $170M in #Uganda @FrankTumwebazek @KagutaMuseveni

Dear Mark,
It is wonderful to finally write to you.  You will get many other letters in the future and they will all be about Uganda and the gross human rights abuses going on in that country.
Mark, when we read from CNBC Africa that Facebook was going to invest $170M in Uganda by end of this year for Fibre Optics and internet (Telco) infrastructure for our people, it was wonderful.  That is a lot of money but we know you are investing a lot more in other African countries but do thank you for remembering us.
Do you know that in 2016, Social Media was blocked twice in Uganda FB users went nearly nuts but off course we all installed VPN within an hour.  That happened in February and May.  Even the US State Department had to issue statements to demand that President Yoweri Museveni unblocks social media so that we can tell the world that we are being tortured and killed.  AND it is really bad.  You only have to do a Google of Facebook search of "Torture Uganda".
We are back in business and you have no idea how much Ugandans use Facebook and WhatsApp.  They are corner stones of our daily lives.  We use others too but you rule Big time in like BIG.  You of course know about the regime asking for disclosure of the identities of activists on Facebook against the regime but big salute know if we are hunted and killed, the rest will die with no trace.  I bet you also do not know who TVO is.  Kills Ugandan regime all the time but do not have mercy or pity on them.  It is us the people who are suffering.
So today, just think about this.  CNBC says Facebook is investing $170 million in Uganda to help with the Internet since we are Internet brats to the tune of 14 million people out of a starving population of 38 million people with a minimum of 2.5 million Ugandans on Facebook (no idea of the WhatsApp numbers yet) but that is a descent number for a country where 11 million people barely afford a meal a day and many now apparently live on termites, grass or green mangoes or water lilies.  Being half vegetarian, I do not think this is bad but these people have children who need school fees, medicine, a roof, school supplies, computers and their parents are only lucky to afford a phone with FBzero (FBlight) with electricity off most days and water filled with feaces sometimes with cholera and typhoid and other minor things like birthing babies on cement floors or in the bush.
This story is going somewhere.
So today.  May 9, 2017 when CNBC says Mark is investing in Uganda in Telco, our wonderful Minister of ICT who has never taken a single computer science course, investment course, marketing course or sales course or customer course tells all the Telcos to shut down all the phones whose Sim Cards have not been registered.  Pray tell us, which Telco do we know in USA, Canada or Europe that puts a phone on their network with a Sim Card and has no details of who owns that phone?  This is not a conspiracy.  This is not a joke.  This regime is dead set against Ugandans.  I assure you that your investment will not provide any value until you do something very crucial. 
Ask for accountability and transparency.  AND whatever Facebook does, do not pay a bribe. The country thrives on bribes and corruption.  You trade on Nasdaq.  All it takes is information leaking out about how you bribed the Uganda regime to give them free money of $170M to help their country and we will watch how it will open at 10:30am ETC.  You do know that Shell and ENI bribed to the tune of $1.1B in Nigeria to secure an oil field and never thought it would come to light.  
If you do not believe me on their corruption, ask Russia and South Korea why they refused to build the famous Oil Refinery.  The country reeks of so much corruption multinationals keep exiting.  Ask British Airways, Heritage Oil, AIG, Actis, Uchumi, Sudhir, nebilala nabalala. This country is killing every opportunity to invest there because of the rampant corruption. Ask EU warning them in 2015 about amphibs on their fruits and vegetables and they did nothing till the BIP points complained loudly and all of a sudden their useless minister of International Trade slaps a ban on Ugandan impoverished farmers not to export to the EU till they comply with whatever policies they do not even have written down.  
Their new director for Uganda Investment Authority said they do not even have best practices or any policies.  Why would you wanna throw away money in a country that insists on only stealing and never accounting for anything you give them?  Uganda is a total mess.  Of course technology has a huge part to play but imagine parliament says not to shut off phones and one thief says the phones are going off.  By the way, he barks and people listen but I assure you he has never worked on a switch board or terminal.  We have. 
Shell and ENI were not sued in Nigeria.  Italy found them guilty.  But in your case, why connive with a regime which is dead set on destroying the country you wanna help.  I think you need to set up some conditions.  First of all, no bribes, then all jobs for all projects must be open competition.  We will advertise them online and have applicants apply online and be interviewed via Telecon to avoid this thing of giving jobs to half illiterates to run a country. Only a school drop out would cut off 60% of all mobile phones after reading that a big investor was going to put $170M in the same business.  But...maybe we assume that they read.  He will see it on Twitter though.  Short little sentences appeal to dictators. 
Do I sound Angry?  NON, that is not even close.  Ugandans are suffering a lot.  I beg you to read our stories. The anger is coming soon.  We ain't seen anything yet. 
Martha Leah Nangalama
Moncton, Canada
IT and Business Background 

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