President Museveni has criticized the European Union parliament over its recent resolution condemning the East African Crude Oil Pipeline Project(EACOP)and calling for it to be delayed.
“I spent 12 years studying English and one of the words I picked up in those years is insufferable. Some of these people(EU MPs) are insufferable. You(EU MPs) need to control yourself not to explode.(They are) so shallow, so egocentric, so wrong that they think know everything and they broadcast their ignorance all over the place but they should calm down. This is a wrong battleground for them,” Museveni said.
“We don’t take kindly to arrogance and that’s why we spent so many years sorting out issues with arrogant people. The plan will be implemented according to schedule. I hope our partners join us firmly and advise them. When you go to the European Union parliament these are just young girls. A young girl is lecturing me what to do in Uganda! I think somebody should counsel those young people.”
The president was on Tuesday speaking during the Annual Uganda International Oil and Gas Summit at Serena Hotel Kampala.
A few weeks ago, the EU parliament voiced concern over “human rights violations” in Uganda and Tanzania linked to investments in the 1,445-kilometer-long pipeline that draws crude oil from wells in western Uganda in Hoima district to Tanzania’s seaport of Tanga.
“There are human rights violations including wrongful imprisonment of human rights defenders, the arbitrary suspension of NGOs, arbitrary prison sentences and the eviction of hundreds of people from their land without fair and adequate compensation,” the EU parliament said, arguing that more than 100,000 people risk being displaced.
The EU lawmakers consequently asked TotalEnergies to take a year before launching the project to study the feasibility of an alternative route.
Both Uganda and Tanzanian government have since defied the resolution but also blasted the EU lawmakers over the same.
Speaking on Tuesday, President Museveni re-echoed the voice of both governments insisting that the European Union parliament cannot decide what is right for the East African countries.
“The EU parliament has got much work to do in their own place and I would advise them to spend much time to help some of our people there. East Africa has got capable people who know what to do,” he said.
Museveni explained that whereas reducing carbon emissions to the atmosphere is the ideal thing, Europe accounts to the biggest percentage of emissions and should therefore take the first step in correcting the wrongs, before Africa follows.
“It seems the percentage of carbon dioxide is increasing because of too much emissions and it is causing a lot of problems. It is good to think about the environment but the one who has messed up most should be the first one clean The one who has done most damage should start. We are also coming but you start. I don’t think our additional contribution to emission is so big.”
Museveni said that countries cannot completely do away with oil because it produces carbon which is useful to life.
Quoting his secondary school organic chemistry, the Ugandan president said all living creatures including plants and animals need carbon to live, noting that a reasonable amount of it is required.
Organic chemistry says that carbon is present in all living things including plants and animals. Carbon must be there for living things to survive. The problem is not carbon because it is in all living things. The problem has been the misuse by greedy groups or those who didn’t study enough otherwise plants take carbon dioxide from atmosphere and manufacture food. As long as we use it properly, we shall be able to maintain value for our petroleum.”
The Ugandan president’s remarks are a slap in the face of activists who have for the past two or so weeks asked that the two East African governments halt the East African Crude Oil Pipeline project until the concerns raised are addressed.