A section of Civil Society Organisations -CSOs 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.
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.
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 2020.
Some 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.