Different Civil Society Organisations -CSOs in Greater
Masaka Region have said the death of Tanzanian President John Pombe Magufuli will hamper
the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project processes especially the compensation process for the people affected by the oil pipeline project.
Winfred Ngabiirwe, the Executive Director of Global
Rights Alert (GRA) says that Magufiuli’s demise will delay the vital negotiations
on the pipeline project.
She says his absence may also change the dynamics because
he personally was the biggest pusher for the project.
Ngabiirwe says that any delays in negotiations will
affect the Final Investment Decision, and this will affect not only communities
that have awaited compensation for several years but also demoralise the investors
in the oil sector who have looked forward to the FID.
“However, we hope the technical teams on both sides (Uganda
and Tanzania) will remain committed and unchanged for smooth conclusions,” she
According to Ngabiirwe, the delays in compensation also
has negative consequences on the livelihoods of communities and has induced unhealthy
speculations about the EACOP operator's social license.
Magufuli’s death has sparked anxiety among
different Civil Society groups, and the people affected by the oil pipeline
project in Kyotera, Rakai, Lwengo, Sembabule and Gomba.
Yisito Kayinga Muddu, the Coordinator for Community
Transformation Foundation Network (COTFONE), says the oil developments will
delay since the two heads of state Magufuli and Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of
Uganda were spearheading the pipeline project.
He adds that much as there are written agreements, the
new Tanzanian leader Samia Suluhu might decide to make reviews or suspend certain
engagements that may interfere with the process.
//Cue in: “In my opinion as………………………………..
Cue out:………….suspend certain engagements.”//
He points out the complicated position the two countries being parties to the
Paris Protocol which is pushing for the renewable energies yet the oil pipeline
is contrary to the treaty.
//Cue in: “And another thing………………
Cue out:………………..it is just a project.”//
Matilda Ndagano, the GRA-Community Based Monitor -CBM for the pipeline in Rakai, says that Magufuli was playing a pivotal role in the
agreements between the oil companies and the two countries in the pipeline
However, Christopher Kalemba, the Kakuuto County MP, says
that Magufuli’s death will not impede the processes as the CSOs allege
adding that everything will move according to plan.
He explains that several agreements have already been signed and the new Tanzanian leader will have to continue from where Magufuli
The Petroleum Authority of Uganda (PAU), has
postponed the launch of the Tilenga Development Project and the EACOP project due
to Magufuli’s death. The launch was planned to take place on March 22, 2020 but
it was deferred to April.
According to PAU, Magufuli was a strong foundation for the
EACOP with key milestones including the signing of the inter-governmental Agreements
in 2017 and the initialing of the Tanzania Host Government Agreement (HGA) in
The CSOs have said that the suspension of the launch is a
clear indication of how Magufuli’s death will interfere with the whole EACOP process.