Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has revealed that he had sent a letter to his Tanzanian counterpart John Pombe Magufuli, which would have seen the two Heads of State seal the crude oil pipeline deal.
He said this at a small gathering of Ugandan government leaders in Kampala to pay their respects to the late Tanzanian President John Magufuli.
Museveni expressed his sadness saying that instead of signing the deal, he was signing a condolence book following the death of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli.
“Two weeks ago, I wrote to Magufuli about the oil pipeline. Today, March 22, was supposed to be the signing day for the tripartite between Uganda, Tanzania, and Total – the signing was supposed to take place in Entebbe,” said Museveni.
He further added that in the letter, he had [jokingly] written that today would be a double victory day, referencing a historical moment on a similar day in 1979 when the Tanzanian and Ugandan army joined forces to defeat Iddi Amin.
“About 42 years ago, on March 21, the Tanzanian army, together with Ugandan freedom fighters – with me present, defeated the army of Iddi Amin in the counter attack against the town of Mbarara at a place called Rukando – 12 miles from Mbarara on the Kabaale road. So, I joked that today would be a double victory; one for our military but also for our economy,” he said, adding that the fact that he is instead signing a condolence book was so sad and unexpected.
The oil pipeline is intended to transport crude oil from Uganda’s oil fields in Hoima to the Port of Tanga, Tanzania on the shores of the Indian Ocean. Once completed, the pipeline will be the longest heated crude oil pipeline in the world.