Opinion: The 40 million shillings which makes the world go around…

The 11th Parliament is as corrupt and filled with stooges as the previous ones. The Speaker and Deputy Speaker is the “visionaries” of it and it shows by what sort of characters they are. Therefore, the news of an envelope for voting in the budget of financial year 2022/23 wasn’t shocking. It was more of the same…

The Members of Parliament allocates themselves a higher allowance and a kickback for their services. While teachers, nurses and civil servants will sought far and wide to get any help with the rising prices or the cost of basic commodities. No, this is the representatives and the ones who are working for the people. Who is giving themselves a pay-rise and an additional money-grab. While the President and others tell people to live within their means or eat cassava.

The 555 MPs was offered a huge fee as incentive and a bargain for doing their actual duty. They should scrutinise and have general oversight over the budget. Every vote and need should be looked into. The MPs should state the needs or the usage of the funds. However, by the manner of which the budget is passed. It seems like its ceremonial and pre-fixed ordeal where the MPs just has to accept and move-on. As if the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) has everything covered and they should just nod their heads all along.

It is not strange that they accept the verdict and let bygones be bygones. When the money is coming in and it didn’t cost them anything. They are just accepting “free” money and can easily spend it however they deem fit. Nevertheless, their role as legislators and MPs is pointless. When they are not doing their job and is only stooges for the State House and the machinery of the “high above”.

We have seen this before and these sorts of votes will happen again. They called them suits or whatever really. As long as the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and their MPs follows the program, which is whatever Museveni deems fit. That’s the gist of it. They are additionally paid for their services and they have already high allowances, salaries and levels of perks. It is not like the MPs is unfortunate or lack wealth. No, this is the gig to go after and the state abundantly pay you.

While the less fortunate gets even lesser. The value of currency and lack of revenue makes it harder to get by. Meanwhile their representatives are getting paid-in-full with add-ons. These ones are living the high life. They are living life like there is no tomorrow and topping up at any given opportunity. Therefore, there is no second coming or worry…

It just shows how there is one world for the citizens and another for the MPs. Peace.

The Rise of the Cassava Republic: The MPs will eat, but not help the general public…

The speaker Among and the members of the parliamentary commission reportedly resolved a salary hike by at least 30% effective the coming financial year of 2022-23. Among argues that the inflation levels are affecting the performance of the lawmakers” (Emmanuel Busingye – ‘Mixed reactions over Among proposal to hike MPs salary’ 02.06.2022, Ekyooto.co.uk).

What is really striking is that the Members of Parliament has issued a possible pay-rise of a total of 193 billion shillings shared among the 555 MPs. If those billions of shillings are shared equally between the MPs than each of them would get an additional 347 million shillings each. That is happening while the rising inflation and commodity prices are hard for people to handle.

The public are not getting any direct incentive or help with the basic commodity prices. The President has told people to eat cassava and live within their means. While the MPs are collecting more money and they have already huge wages. The MPs has free vehicles, salaries, paid per plenary session and whatnot. Therefore, they have already more than plenty and not lacking in anything.

While others has to contemplate to buy soaps, cooking oil or petrol. There are so many other things that is hit by inflation and rising prices, which affects the households. The livelihoods and salaries of the ordinary worker isn’t being stipulated. Neither is the state doing anything in concern to targeted taxes, levies or ensuring the population can afford it.

So, now that this is happening, the lawmakers and the ones who can help the population with it’s needs. Are more concerned about their added expenses, but they already earn millions of shillings and live large on the public expenditure. The public are not even getting cents on a dollar or any sort of push in the hardships they are facing.

The President told people to eat cassava and skip bread. That just shows what sort of mechanism and lack of concern that is on the top. The elite and the MPs are not feeling it or are unbothered. They don’t care if they are vouching for money and topping off more expenditure. The State House has already additional supplementary funds and now the same is scheduled for the MPs. They are all living outside their means and has vast pockets filled by the state coffers.

The public is really being played around with and only of value in a election. The rest of the time the state doesn’t pay them no mind. If civil servants or people paid by state coffers like health care workers strikes… the MPs and Ministers speaks of mass-firing and axe their jobs. That’s because the workers cannot even pay electrics or the pay to get to work with their salaries. While the same folks in chambers of power has no scruples giving millions of shilling in addition to their bountiful payments, which they will have for years. Therefore, the double standard and hypocrisy is out in the open.

The MPs are worried about the rising prices and lack of value for money. While the Ministries and MPs are not covering the health care workers, teachers or local government civil servants. No, they have to make it on the own. These have to live on measly salaries and hope to get by. Meanwhile convoys of big-men and MPs are driving in SUVs through town. They are acting as big-shots and of vast importance, but they are not doing anything substantial. Because, if they did anything that did matter. They would look after the poor, the starving and the ones who cannot afford a bar of soap. However, they are disinterested in doing that and would only give away a bar of soap if there is a by-election or something.

So, the MPs doesn’t care and clearly Besigye’s “Wake-Up Call” is needed. Because, the gentlemen and ladies of the Parliament won’t bat an eyelid. They don’t care and neither does the State House. That is the revolution that Museveni brought, which was “our time to eat”. Peace.

Opinion: The President spends around a billion shillings a day for the remaining days of the Financial Year…

The 2nd Supplementary Budget of 2021-22, which is scheduled now in May 2022, as the end of the Financial Year is soon ending. The FY 2021-22 is only ending on the 30th June, as the next Financial Year is starting on the 1st July 2022. On that date start the FY 2022-23. Therefore, it must be something significant for the state to suddenly spend lavishly in the end of a financial year.

The Supplementary Budget which was voted on recently gave the State House 77 billion shilling in additional funds for “Classified Expenditure”. This is happening days before President tells his citizens to buy “less” and “survive”. As the state isn’t able or it isn’t capable of subsidising or cut taxes on basic commodities, as the prices are rising in the Republic. However, the same state can spend a billion shilling a day on the “classified expenditure” for his august State House.

The President can spend a billion shilling a day just on the supplementary budget. That is not taking into the account the already allocated funds to the State House Budget in the FY 2021-22 or the first supplementary budget, which most likely also had additional funds towards the State House. If not there is plenty of funds allocated and directed to the Office of the President. He has enough options and means to spend vast fortunes on a regular basis.

The latest is just a simple fact of how his beyond redemption. A man who speaks of being a revolutionary, but acts like a kingpin. A man who speaks of surviving and living within our means, but he himself has all the monies of the world. The State House and the President can buy whatever it wants at any given time. The State House can imports, buy and trade whatever it deems fit. It has the budgets and the sudden additional funds to do so. It is a huge enterprise and a growing money tree.

The State House has only by the latest budget a 1 billion shillings a day to spend and that isn’t even covering every single day. The State House would still have funds to spare and use. This just shows how reckless and how how the President is using money like no tomorrow. He might claim it’s for development and other projects. However, what results does it have or what purpose? Why not let other agencies, state enterprises or even ministries directly steer these funds?

We all know why… the President wants to be implicated and directly part of all pieces of the state. That’s why his directives goes into all portfolios and all parts of government. He wants to have a say and order as well.

That’s why his spending like a drunk sailor on himself, but speaking of frugality to anyone else. His office and State House gets huge slush-funds, classified expenditure and whatever else he points at. He can claim it is to save someone in the up-country, but everyone knows it is being eaten mostly by himself. His getting a big convoy, having over 130 Presidential Advisors and whatever else he see fit.

If you believe a man who needs a billion shillings day to live. That his the guy to lecture you about living a simple life. You are being lectured by the wrong guy. The guy who is living hand-to-mouth and selling New Visions on the streets of Kampala can explain how that life works. However, a President who spends more than any other soul of the Republic.

Well, he isn’t the guy to speak of living frugal. No, his the guy to listen to when you want to buy Evian or import expensive relics to his State House. Peace.

The Art of Deficit Financing: Budget 2022/23 and the worrying affects of the growing debt…

The proposed budget for FY2O22/23 hos increased to UGX 47.25 trillion from the approved budget of UGX 44.77 trillion in FY2O21/22. ln the proposed budget, recurrent expenditures amount to UGX 33.54 trillion (71%) while development expenditures amount to UGX 13.70 trillion (129%). Worryingly, the projected revenue collections of UGX 25.54 trillion cannot fund the country’s entire recurrent expenditures” (Opposition Response to the Annual Budget Estimates for FY 2022/23, 03.05.2022).

When you read the first numbers on the Budget for the Financial Year of 2022/23 you see a problem that has been a long lingering issue. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Government of Uganda (GoU) has done this for several of years now. The state has banked on loans and grants to cover the deficits. While the state is budgeting with a deficit financing method, which is far from covering fiscal funds by the lack of domestic revenue. That’s why the rising debt and the cycle of recycling debt isn’t making things better.

Just read this paragraph here:

It is critical to note that debt management costs hove risen from UGX 8.58 trillion in FY2017/18 and ore projected to be UGX 15.94 trillion in FY2022/23. This translates to on increment of 86%. The costs take first coll on the budget to cater for interest payments, commitment charges, debt management fees and amortisation. Therefore, from the onset 33% of the proposed budget will

not be available for service delivery. instead, it will be utilised for payment of partial debt commitments” (Opposition Response to the Annual Budget Estimates for FY 2022/23, 03.05.2022).

Just seeing this number, as you see the lack of domestic revenue to cover the budget of 47 trillion shillings, which is only at the level of 25 trillions. While the project debt management is put to about 16 trillions shillings. That means most of the domestic revenue would be used to pay old debt. Unless, the state plans to take out more loans and recycle debt to pay the old debt. That is just pushing the problem further down the line and get more interests as well. Therefore, the state finances isn’t tricky anymore, but a tragic phenomenon. These sorts of numbers are getting closer to default and a possible debt trap at one point. As the state needs more loans to cover current loans. That is not how to run a nation and neither how to run a fiscal responsible government.

The numbers becomes even more striking:
“The advance effect of this astronomical level of borrowing is felt through interest payments of over UGX 5.5 trillion in FY2O22/23 rising from UGX 2.4 trillion in FY2017/18. An increment of 130%. This is coupled by external debt repayments that ore projected at UGX 2.4 trillion in FY2022/23 rising from UGX 589 billion in FY2017/18. An increment of 307%. These toke first coll on the revenue collection and reduces funds available for service delivery” (Opposition Response to the Annual Budget Estimates for FY 2022/23, 03.05.2022).

We see the debt management and now we see the rising interest payments are also doing the same. The ones that has been crying wolf and worried for the rising debt portfolio is catching up with the government. The Ministry of Finance and Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) has failed to comply with the mechanisms and the codes of Public Finance and Management Act. Clearly, the Government and the all the Ministries has to be following suit.

These sorts of numbers should strike fear of a debt default and a crashing economy. The art of deficit financing … is now becoming a growing issue. The state cannot hide from this and this should worry the citizens. As there is nothing given that the creditors will be merciful or give way. They might … be vengeful and take collateral over failure to repay the debt. Peace.

Kenya: Social Justice Centres Working Group – Press Statement on the #NJAA Revolution Protests and Arrest of the Kasarani 4 (14.04.2022)

Nigeria: Center for Fiscal Transparency and Integrity Watch – Missing Financial Records on teh Treasury Portal Disturbing (13.04.2022)

The Kenya Kwanza Alliance: Our Unflinching Committment and Resolve to Stand with Suffering Kenyans – Why we reject the Mischiefs in the Transitional Budget for the Financial Year 2022/2023 (21.02.2022)

Nigeria: Paradigm Leadership Support Initiative (PLSI) – 20% of 2019 Budget Failed to Perform, N455 Billion Not Accounted For in 70 MDAs (14.02.2022)

Opinion: The Budget for the FY 2022/23 lacks 2,6 Trillion shillings!

We know that the state during the recent years have been running on deficit financing. This means it takes up loans to pay up for new loans to pay recurring expenditures. The state follows up this negative spiral of lacking of funds to ask for more expenditure than it has funding for. This means, the state is fiscally indisciplined and misusing funds, as they have to later find sources of revenue or take up more loans to fulfil the voted expenditure it has.

That isn’t a sign of a growing economy, but a way to further more loans and add more debt, which has to be paid back with interests in the coming years. As the parts of the government budgets are becoming more expensive, as the state has to fulfil and repay on the debts it has already taken out over the years.

The Minority Report states this:
“The government contradicted itself when it indicated that there would be limited supplementary budgets in FY2022/23 but at the same time elaborately articulate unfunded priorities or additional expenditure needs of UGX 2.62 trillion. Unfortunately, the majority report is silent on this fiscal indiscipline. The indiscipline of supplementary budgets is bound to continue and government hos sent indications that a minimum of UGX 2.62 trillion will be sought in due course” (A MINORITY REPORT ON THE NATIONAL BUDGET FRAMEWORK PAPER FOR FY 2022/23 -2025/26, January 2022).

This here should create headlines, because this is planning to take out loans to cover the current debt, which this will be. Since the state needs borrow or take up loans to cover these expenses. This just show how reckless the state is carrying it’s budgets.

As it can create 2.6 trillion shillings without having any sort of funds or revenue to ensure it. Which means someone else has to foot the bills currently. A creditor will take the debt and make sure the state can pay for the expenses. However, the future citizens has to repay for this and that is fiscal indiscipline and deficit financing. As the deficit needs financing and the shortfall has to be covered, which tends to be covered by debt.

This is unserious of the government and a sign of worry. As they are doing this on the first budget for the financial year and we can know additional supplementary budgets will most likely become bigger than two trillion shillings. We should expect more and the shortfalls might become worse, as all revenue isn’t recovered or the estimated tax-base isn’t as huge as earlier estimates and therefore the state couldn’t perform or have fresh funds to pay for the reoccurring expenses. Peace.

Opinion: Are the democrats even running things?

The Democratic Party in the United States is supposed to have the Presidency, the House of Representatives and have 50 senators in the Senate. So, in the Senate the Vice-President could vote to have a majority like the Trump Presidency showed plenty of times when Mike Pence voted in favour when it was a tie on legislation and important votes there.

It is tragic that the 45th President was able to do more than what the Democratic President Joe Biden. That’s because he doesn’t have the loyalty or the ability to have all the ducks in the row. Biden cannot keep his senators behind him or get them to vote for the legislation, which is supposed to be the unique and the what the Republic needs at this very moment. Instead, they have rebels like Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema.

Even with a President who used mostly to pass Executive Orders, he was at least doing something for his base. He ordered things and pushed things forward for his political base. Alas, the Democrats doesn’t seem to be able to do that. The Biden Administration isn’t able to backtrack or fix the repressive immigration policies of the Trump era. Neither is it able to tax-loops, the corporate tax-levies and such. No, the Democrats cannot make the Supreme Court more just or fair. They cannot even try to roll out a fair minimum wage.

The Democrats have promised the magnificent “Build Back Better Act” which was supposed to be filled with stipulations and amendments that was supposed to fix a lot of the issues in the Republic. The bill is said to be costly and be vast. Though, the ones complaining about the costs could vote for the Iron Dome defence in Israel and mega-budget posts for the military industrial complex fitting Pentagon and other security agencies.

Biden and the Democrats are just spoiled by the corporate agenda, which the moderates and the neo-liberal have cheered on. The Squad or the Progressives haven’t gotten anything to prove for. Manchin is acting like his the majority of the people and should have the control of the nation. When his one out of two senators from West Virginia. Not like he has the support in whole South or in the Mid-West. This man is on a high horse and coal-money is inflicting a lot of harm. Manchin will soon sell Trump’s clean coal to the masses.

Joe Biden and the VP looks like they cannot control their own party. The voters has wasted their votes in the last election giving them control of the chambers of congress. Since, they cannot even pass proper legislation or acts of which can make the Republic better. This is is just wasted space and time, which no political party really have. Biden has nothing to show for … except for blocking international media, getting Assange and being a neo-liberal corporate stooge in office.

It is tragic that one or two senators from the own party can stop things from moving forward. It would be natural if the senate filled with Republican’s blocked it. If Mitch McConnell would block things and be a living hypocrite we know he is. That would be expected. The same could be said if the House of Representatives was run by the GOP. However, both places are now run by the Dems. Though it doesn’t look like it.

At this point of time, former rep. Paul Ryan looks like a gem in comparison to Nancy Pelosi. Because, Ryan was able to leverage and get things done. Alas, the Democrats are not even able to do that…

This is just tragic man. You thought things was bad when the Republican was running things. Now, with the Democratic Party it seems all lost and no way forward. Nothing is reformed or changed. Just wasted time and wasted space. Manchin proves that and Biden administration has nothing to counter with. Just a lot of hot-air and a congress filled with wicked corporate interests, which rules supreme. Peace.

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