August 29, 2014
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the East African Community (EAC) this week launched a collaborative program to improve the compilation and dissemination of Government Finance Statistics (GFS) for Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda. The inaugural workshop was held in Arusha, Tanzania, from August 25-29, 2014.
The workshop provided an opportunity for statisticians and economists from the EAC region to identify the needs for technical assistance (TA) to strengthen GFS to be provided by the IMF. The program will assist the EAC Partner States to meet the fiscal data requirements associated with the East African Community Monetary Union (EAMU) protocol, signed by EAC Heads of State in November 2013.
Dr. Enos Bukuku, EAC Deputy Secretary in charge of Planning and Infrastructure, welcomed the opportunity to host the workshop and launch the GFS program. “The intervention is timely in facilitating production of robust statistical data required for the establishment of EAMU and transition to EAC single currency by 2024,” noted Dr. Bukuku. He added that GFS compiled in accordance with internationally agreed methodological standards would not only provide the EAC region with an important framework for comparing, analyzing and evaluating fiscal policy, but also an opportunity to improve government and public sector performance.
Mr.Barredo Capelot, Director of the Government Finance Statistics and Quality Directorate in Eurostat, said “solid and comprehensive fiscal statistics are essential for regional integration and preserving macroeconomic stability.”
Mr. Sukhwinder Singh, Coordinator at the IMF’s East Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center (East AFRITAC), noted that “as part of the collaboration program, the IMF will provide TA through hands-on sessions during visits by experts to participating countries, as well as regular workshops to provide practical training and allow countries to share experiences.”
During this inaugural workshop, country representatives from the EAC discussed their national fiscal data development plans that will guide the work of improving compilation and dissemination of regionally comparable GFS data in accordance with international standards. This is to be done by 2018, which is within the timeline of the EAMU protocol.
IMF staff shared their expertise in developing systems for compiling GFS and government debt statistics. TA needs were drawn up based on national priorities and work plans are also already underway. This work reflects the initiative and migration to the use of the Government Finance Statistics Manual 2014(GFSM 2014) methodology in reporting fiscal data related to the EAMU macroeconomic convergence criteria, which would be compatible with international standards and best practices and consistent with other macroeconomic statistical systems.
East AFRITAC, located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, is one of nine regional IMF technical assistance centers around the world, serving Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It provides capacity-building assistance in core areas of expertise of the IMF such as: revenue administration; public financial management; macro-fiscal analysis; financial sector regulation; monetary policy and operations; and economic and financial statistics. Its Steering Committee, composed of the member countries, the IMF and representatives of the donors, oversees and provides guidance on the Center’s operations.
August 14th 2014
On 1st May 2013, three rivers of Mubuku, Nyamwamba and Nyamugasani in Kasese district burst their banks causing massive flooding and devastation of Kilembe Mines estates, Kasese town and the surrounding villages. The disaster had far reaching effects resulting into the death of eight persons, destruction of property and displacement of more than 3000 persons, many of whom were forced to live in emergency camps. Cabinet therefore, noted the magnitude of destruction that had occurred as a result of heavy rains which caused floods in Kasese district on May 1st 2013 and directed the Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development to avail funds amounting to Shs 39 billion to facilitate the relocation and resettlement of people in all areas that were highly prone to landslides and floods.
This was because Cabinet realized that emergency operations and responses to the medium term development initiative aimed at restoring basic services, the recovery needs of the affected populace are still immense and require a more comprehensive approach for full recovery.
Therefore, the Kasese District Disaster Recovery plan 2014/2015 is a comprehensive response to the recovery needs of the affected areas and surrounding communities by reducing their vulnerability and enhancing their resilience to possible disasters of a similar nature.
The floods affected several sectors including Agriculture where food security of the people remains threatened. It will take approximately two planting seasons for the affected people to recover their livelihoods. Indeed more than 100 livestock perished, about twenty nine fish ponds were destroyed and 731 acres of agricultural land with crops were washed away by the flooding rivers.
The transport sector was not exceptional. The disaster resulted into the destruction of 20 bridges in the area including, mubuku, bridge along Kasese-Fortportal Road. Both murrum and tarmac roads were damaged cutting off communities and rendering access to different points difficult. This immensely affected the local economy and delivery of social services especially health, water and sanitation and education.
The floods washed away most of the inhabited houses with people’s belongings rendering the communities helpless particularly in Kyarumba, Maliba, Bulembia and Nyamwamba Divisions. Kilembe Mines Hospital, a 200 bed health facility and a main referral hospital was affected with a number of medical equipment and property including 50 housing units for staff destroyed. A number of classroom blocks and sanitary facilities in various schools including Bulembia, Road barrier, Nyamwamba and Kasese Primary Schools were destroyed.
It’s on the basis of the foregoing concerns, urgency and sensitivity of the issues that cabinet approved the Kasese District Disaster Recovery Plan 2014/2015 that spells out measures aimed at recovery of the area focusing on the key affected sectors as well as addressing some of the root causes of river flooding.
The Recovery plan also aims at reducing vulnerabilities and enhancing the resilience of the district and its populace. The recovery plan takes cognizance of the prioritized needs of the affected communities arising out of the local consultations. It will also promote recovery of Kasese District after floods, rebuild and promote business in Kasese, restore people’s livelohoods and to build their resilience to disasters and enhance early warning systems on natural disasters in the district. Cabinet therefore noted the humanitarian challenges caused by flooding in Kasese District in May 2013 and the colossal damages occasioned to varous sectors in the district.
It also noted the need to redirect recovery and development of Kasese District through implementation actions in the Recovery Plan and approved the Kasese District Disaster Recovery Plan 2014/2015. Cabinet also directed the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to frontload the money contained in the budget for FY 2014/15 to various sectors to facilitate the implementation of the critical activities of Kasese District Disaster Recovery Plan 2014/15 to prevent recurrence of floods likely to result from the El-nino rains expected in September 2014.
FOR GODA AND MY COUNTRY
Namayanja Rose Nsereko (MP)
MINISTER OF INFORMATION AND NATIONAL GUIDANCE
The main focus of the Private Sector for FY 2014/2015:
(Private Sector, 2014)
Private Sector concerns:
They see issues with Infrastructure development, transport, Energy, ICT. The concerns about improving business regulatory climate, also the increasing access to affordable business finance to the agribusiness. Find a new focus for National Growth strategy on export of niche products. Get a new tax regime that is predictable and encourages growth for both production and development processes. A good management model of public resources to follow planned actions and implementation (Private Sector, 2014).
Proposals according with the new Tax measures:
Income Tax: Initial Allowance on capital expenditure on eligible plant and machinery has been removed. With the termination of exemption on the interests income that is on agricultural loans (Private Sector, 2014).
Value Added Tax (VAT):
The tax is now set on exemptions on certain levels of products. Like feeds for poultry and livestock. It’s also exemption for machinery for agricultural and dairy machinery. There is also lesser tax for packaging materials to both diary and milling industries. Then there is also special tax on specialized vehicles, plant, machinery, services and civil works that is on infrastructure construction, water, education and health (Private Sector, 2014).
They wish a termination of the Zero VAT rate supply:
The products that are not under ordinary VAT is Cereals (grown, milled or produced in Uganda), Processed Milk and Milk products, supply of machinery and tools for agriculture, seeds, fertilizer, pesticides and hoes. This is also for printing services for education materials. They are set VAT of 0 % but the Private Sector wish it to be 18 % (Private Sector, 2014).
After thought to the concerns from the Private Sector on the FY 2014/2015:
To cook this all down, it’s basic Chicago-School of economics. It’s the liberalistic dreamland where everything is free and liberal. That’s where the government stops all subsidies of education and agriculture. It’s the place where the government is a little player on the market – the strong beat the little guy in every instance. It’s fearful that the Private Sector wish to get VAT on Fertilizer, Seeds, Processed Milk and Machinery to the agriculture, pesticides and hoes. This will lead to issues for the struggling farmers of the hinterland and far far away from the streets of the rich Kampala. So therefore when the issues from the Private sector is just to earn simple money and earn on the poor farmer in the districts who can’t pick or choose his tools, fertilizer and seeds. They also mark the difference in between Kenya and Uganda. Even though there similarities between the nations. Still Agricultural business is different. The export from Kenya is in another league. The export of Kenyan coffee is famous compared to the Ugandan beans. The same with the Tea, I say that and I still wished to Garden Tea.
So for me the suggestions from the Private Sector are too silent and will kill the agriculture driven business. The Tourism tax is wise, because that will be used for promotion and marketing. They have good ideas even if they fear for the exemption for the lodging outside of Kampala. When it comes to Education is the removable of exemption of income tax from private schools. Government believes that the exemption will help investments in schools in the greater Kampala areas and also the improvement of education upcountry. This means that the private sector wants to blow this off. It tells that the private sector cares more for profit then the education system. This is also making the state or governments smaller, which usually are the tools of the Chicago-School of economics.
The Government of Uganda should not follow this advice. It will weaken the state and marginalize the structure of it. The ideas from the Public Sector won’t benefit either the public or the state. Both parties might earn a coin of silver dollar in the beginning, but in the long run the crippling of the education and agricultural business will not drive it. The reason why I still publish the document and pieces of it is to show the Public Sector who must be driven the USAID and their powerful basket of money. Views of state and business: Where nothing is to collide between the state and public sector. The dreams of freedom and big business with no power to big government, except a strong police and military. The rest, that can the public can pay for or handle themselves on their own. That’s why they want taxation and VAT on all this items and cut the whole idea of Zero VAT exemptions. That’s totally against their belief system. It’s true I been beating on the government for their lack of payment of their civil servants and teachers. Still, it’s necessary to tax and get sufficient cover for the supposed running of the state and the civil service. Not only monies to the mighty UPDF and UPF. Also not forgetting NSFF.
There is always a struggle to be family of a big man. The big man has options he can use his power to benefit others, follow procedure or give a hand to those in need. Jacob Zuma the President of South Africa has already been under fire for many different reasons. This time it’s for getting his daughter Thuthukile a great position in the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services.
Nepotism is patronage delivered to people of kin or family. The Nepotism is an action where the kin or the family member gets a better business deal or job because of the relation and not the skills or education (Dictonary.com).
Thuthukile Zuma got appointed to the position of chief of staff in the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services. Spokesman Siya Quza says: “Thuthukile Zuma’s appointment … is consistent with the rules and regulations governing the appointment of people in government ministries” (…)”The minister only considered her capacity to do the job and her qualifications. Her genealogy was never a consideration”. The most compelling part of the story for the hiring of Thuthukile Zuma is that it wasn’t any adverts or official release of the position (BDLive.co.za, 2014). A Government employee commented on the action: “There is an HR procedure for an upgrade of posts, but minister’s requests are rarely turned down” (Timeslive.co.za, 2014). Thuthukile Zuma went from being a low public liason officer to become a chief of staff. This appointment happened just months after Zuma was sworn in again (News24.com, 2014).
Gwede Mantashe defends the hiring of Thuthukile Zuma and says this: “grow and develop and take opportunities” (…)”I am cautioning against this thing of punishing our children for our sins. Please punish us for our sins, leave our kids” (…)”The daughter of the president took time to go to university, did a degree, an honours degree. I can tell you I would be surprised if she is not doing her master’s degree and I can tell you that child must be given space to grow and develop as herself and take opportunities” (…)”Once your principal goes, many of them actually spin on their tails because it’s not a permanent job, it’s contractual work that is going with the principal. Therefore the attitude is that we are politicians, we don’t want our kids to be described as only that in life, they must be able to survive and develop professionally as individuals, and we must give them space to do so, that’s my argument” (Marrian, 2014).
The Spokesman for the Department of Telecommunication and Postal Services Kgalalelo Masibi said: “Once the assessment team has done its assessment of the complaint, it will be sent to her for a decision” (…)”The complainant is asking the protector to find out whether the post was advertised, how many people applied for the position, and which qualified candidates were rejected” (…)”The complainant wants to know about the processes followed in the appointment, and whether she has the required qualification for the position” (Iol.co.za, 2014).
BDLive.co.za – ‘Ministry defends appointment of Zuma’s daughter’ (25.07.2014) Link: http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/politics/2014/07/25/ministry-defends-appointment-of-zumas-daughter
Dictonary.com – ‘Nepotism’ Link: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/nepotism
Marrian, Natasha – ‘Mantashe defends Zuma daughter’s appointment’ (29.07.2014) Link: http://www.bdlive.co.za/national/politics/2014/07/29/mantashe-defends-zuma-daughters-appointment
News24.com – ‘Zuma’s daughter gets top govt job’ (25.07.2014) Link: http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/Politics/Zumas-daughter-gets-top-govt-job-20140725
IOL.co.za –‘Protector assessing Zuma daughter complaint’ (01.08.2014) Link: http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/protector-assessing-zuma-daughter-complaint-1.1729107#.U-uA9fl_uSo
Timeslive.co.za – ‘Zuma’s daughter promoted to chief of staff in two months’ (25.07.2014) Link: http://www.timeslive.co.za/politics/2014/07/25/zuma-s-daughter-promoted-to-chief-of-staff-in-two-months
Following the press conference by the Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan held in Juba, on 24 July 2014, during which its Chairperson, H.E. Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria informed that the Commission has commenced its the third field mission from 20 July 2014, beginning in Juba, the mission has since being undertaking states visits within the Republic of South Sudan which will last till 14 August 2014.
The Commission will be visiting or has visited the following States from 31 July to 14 September 2014:
• Lake State – Wau and Rumbek
• Unity State – Bentiu, Rubkona and Leer
• Upper Nile State – Malakal and Nasir
• Jonglei State – Bor
• Western Equatorial – Yambio
• Central Equatorial – Yei and Juba
• Warrap , Lake States and North Behr el Ghazal – Kwajok and Aweil
• Eastern Equatorial – Torrit
The African Union Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan will continue to meet with all stakeholders including the South Sudan government representatives, SPLA (in opposition), South Sudanese citizens, International and Humanitarian actors as well as local Civil Society organizations (CSO) and other actors that will assist the pursuance of its mandate.
Why: This is to fulfill the mandate of the Commission of Inquiry which is provided for in the Communiqué of the PSC of 30 December 2013, and can be distilled as follows –
a. To investigate the human rights violations and other abuses committed during the
armed conflict in South Sudan;
b. To investigate the causes underlying the violations;
c. To make recommendations on the best ways and means to ensure accountability,
reconciliation and healing among all South Sudanese communities with a view to
deterring and preventing the occurrence of the violations in future; and
d. To make recommendations on how to move the country forward in terms of unity,
cooperation and sustainable development;
e. To submit a report within a maximum period of three (3) months.
Now again, I will address the matters of civil servants salaries in Uganda. There are still issues with withholding pay for certain groups of society. Like in Kibale District 85 persons we’re affected by this. Electoral Commission is missing money. The good news is that teachers are promised Ush50.000 hike in pay. Last but not least the loans for civil service are back on after been suspended for a while.
In Kibale district there been issues of non-paid civil servant staff. The state hasn’t paid 85. In June it was up to 200 who were affected by the same matter. Human Resources Officer Vincent Kyaligonza says “only 85 out of a total amount of 3200 servants have not been cleared to seek assistance from the CAO’s Office” (ChimpReports, 2014).
The Electoral Commission where recent comments have been made before the next general election in 2016. That Dr. Badru Kiggundu fears this “Salaries for our technical staff have remained stagnant since 1999. This has continued to erode the morale of staff. Through this committee, I appeal to Government for special consideration regarding this dire disparity because increased adjustments were made for all other public servants” (…)”This has put us in a danger of losing our capable and experienced staff and we may not conduct free and fair elections. The commission may not also be able to attract and maintain competent personnel in order to deliver its mandate because of this. In the recent salary revision, increment was only accorded to specified officers and the technical staff was not considered”. The other issue is the budget for the election. Wage bills is set to be sh16.5b this financial year, there is only been given sh8.2b, this means that there is missing sh8.3b. Kiggundu says: “We project to have 30,000 polling stations during 2016 elections and the costs of each voter verification system to be deployed per polling station is approximately $1,000 (about 2.6m) excluding logistics, training, hire of expertise and other concurrent costs” (Kashaka, 2014).
Director of Operation in the Electoral Commission Leonard Mulekwa says: “This is since these councils and committees form electoral colleges for election of Members of Parliamentary and Councillors representing these special interest groups in parliament and local government councils due between February 12 and March 13, 2016” (…)”This period is crowded in the field to permit election activities of Youth, PWDs and older Persons committee to run concurrently and smoothly. Therefore it is logistically prudent to complete these elections before commencing on the presidential and other polls” (Kashaka, 2014).
Certain teachers in the level of Primary school can expect a pay-raise up to 25 % that will be in effect by this month. The lowest pay of a school teacher will now be at shs279.145. Minister of Education Jessica Alupo says: “The increment for teachers’ salaries was provided as promised. The ministry of Finance and Economic Planning factored the increment into the MTEF (Mid-Term Expenditure Framework) where the wage component for primary increased by Shs202 billion from Shs619.68 billion in 2013/2014 to Shs822.07 billion in 2014/2015,” (Nalugo, 2014).
Good News II:
After describing earlier how the government of Uganda suspended loans to their teachers. There is now opened for trade again. Secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi says: “The control enforcing a maximum of 50% for payroll deductions per individual will be activated on the integrated personnel and payroll system”. Uganda National Teachers Union (UNTU) Spokesman James Tweheyo says also: “The revision of the policy means a lot to us. Most public officers survive on loans” (New Vision, 2014).
Chimreports – ‘Kibaale Civil Servants Miss July Salary’ (11.08.2014) Link: http://chimpreports.com/?p=2150
Kashaka, Umaru – ‘2016 polls: Kiggundu decries lack of funds’ (06.08.2014) Link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/658450-2016-polls-kiggundu-decries-lack-of-funds.html
Nalugo, Mercy – ‘Primary teachers’ salaries increased by Shs 50,000’ (06.08.2014) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Primary-teachers–salaries-increased-by-Shs-50-000/-/688334/2409532/-/36j37vz/-/index.html
New Vision – ‘Government lifts ban on salary loans’ (03.08.2014) Link: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/658331-government-lifts-ban-on-salary-loans.html