I’m The One Behind The Controversial Coffee Deal – Museveni Reveals New Secrets

By Uganda Online Media

Kampala: President Yoweri Museveni has said he initiated the controversial coffee agreement signed between Uganda Vinci Coffee Company Limited (UVCCL) company and the government of Uganda.

According to the agreement, Enrica Pinetti’s an Italian investor signed on behalf of UVCCL to establish a coffee processing plant at Namanve industrial park and also market Uganda’s coffee abroad.

The agreement that granted the company exclusive rights to buy Uganda’s coffee among other inceptives became a centre for public debates from several corners before parliament recommended that the agreement be terminated.

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Pinetti, the owner of the company, has been accused by many of being a fraudster, having earlier been involved in the deal for the constriction of Lubowa International Specialized Hospital but the same has since stalled.

However, speaking on Tuesday during the State of the Nation Address, President Museveni admitted that Pinetti has no experience and that he is the one who asked her to help the country in that line of business.

“When I met madam Pinetti, she had no idea about coffee. I, however, could see she had a wide network of contacts and I asked her to look into coffee. After some time she came back with a positive report that it is doable. For her she was in hospitals,” Museveni said.

“Those attacking that project are supporters of perpetual bleeding of Africa. If they were not, they would have responded to our call to add value to coffee and seek government assistance. I am ready to sit down with all coffee people. If you want add value I will support you. Instead of attacking the saviour, if you are genuine, join the liberation effort,” Museveni said.

Museveni explained that coffee growing countries all over the world get less revenue from the sale of their coffee, adding that it is other countries that benefit from this coffee.

“When a kilogram is roasted in London and ground, it shrinks to 700grams and packed into packets of 300grams each. Each packet is sold at $12, which means that 700grammes may fetch about $30. Therefore, for what Uganda gets $ 3.34, the smart people of UK, get $30. Each coffee bean that is sold in supermarkets abroad, takes away our phosphorous, our nitrogen, our potassium and other nutrients for 10% of the value at which the final consumer buys the product.”

“The total value of coffee in the world is $460 billion. However, of this figure, the coffee growing countries only take $25 billion. The African coffee growing countries only take $2.4billion When we de-hust, roast, grind and pack here, Uganda will get more dollars and we shall also pay higher prices to our farmers.” he added.

According to Museveni, it is this value addition to Ugandan coffee that Pinetti and her Vinci company are bringing for the country, noting that it is wrong to abuse her.

“You have seen the calculation. How can this be? How can we accept this and I call myself president? I am not a clown. I will meet anyone willing to add value to our coffee.”

According to the agreement, the government gave UVCCL free land in the Industrial and Business Park at Namanve measuring 27 acres after indicating its capacity to establish a coffee processing facility.

The agreement also gives the company exclusive rights to buy all of Uganda’s coffee until 2032 but is subject to renewal.

 The agreement also exempts the Vinci Coffee Company from paying Income tax, Pay As You Earn, Excise duty, and remitting NSSF contributions. The agreement also provides a 5 percent subsidy on electricity for the company.

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