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#UGBudget18: Museveni – Was this a budget speech?

I don’t know where start or where to finish. As I am not a tool of propaganda and here to make the President look like super-star with a brilliant mind. Warning the media, banning Police Bond for Killers and all other spats of nonsense, which has nothing to do with the budget. It is just like he has defend himself. As President, he even attacked MPs and their attitude. They were ATMs to their voters, something he is and been called himself. He even recently tried to bribe his MP into position in Rukungiri. So that the President has short-term memory is evident.

You know he is in self-hostile territory, when one of the biggest donors and on of the biggest media owners Aga Khan gets a warning. Surely, the President cannot handle journalism and only care about praise. He cannot manage that people are looking into the growing debt. As this budget alone is 10 trillion back-pay of loans of the 32 trillions spent. While there is shortfall and growing deficit and the donor funds are still dwindling. Therefore, the need for loans to cover the shortfall is needed. So what the President is creating is a debt-trap. He can say he managed that since he used 27 guns, but different to blow former-leadership into oblivion and actually being able to repay your debt.

I am just awaiting the salute and the simple minded changes he is progressing into middle-income country, as the President is showing less intent of doing anything. He just talking about nothing and everything. Quoting the bible and acting holier than the pope, while warning everyone else. Not that it is securing anything. He will secure it all, as he is the man who has the answers. If this is getting boring, is that he has done this for 32 years and counting. And has not changed, other than his face and tenure of hair on his head.

It is like he doesn’t care and just say whatever that is on his mind. No one will fact-check or really check the relevance, because why mind. Its a deluded old man, who has been so long in power, that the ones going against are either in jail or possibly monitored by the sleeping police officers his been talking about. He is again blaming the mindset of Ugandans. Because there is never his fault. He has just been running the enclave and people gotten lazy, awaiting handouts. Not like he has delivered any of his pledges, built institutions or prosperous organizations for the citizens. That is just his lack of mindset and work ethic.

Therefore, there is no need to really dig deep into the speech. It is mere facade, a mere forged mirage of utter nonsense. A speech rampant of lies and warnings. If your a journalist or MP, you should feel offended. Because he expect to be praised, while your supposed to carry the nonsense from him.

The saddest part is that he takes no responsibility, that he has no accountability or no common sense. That this man just continuing to utter these words, like a word-salad of mockery of intelligence. While expecting that the spinning-machine of his party, his spokespersons and friendly media will make him look a giant. They will eat the crap out of it and make it look like gold, but its only fools gold. Not worth the bling its made off, better to buy a Rollex in Wandegeya, it will at least fill your tummy for a moment. Because the fools gold will be worthless and just ready for the bin.

President Museveni has no cards to play or nothing to say that changes the narrative. Only 1986ing the world and hoping he can get away with it. However, the debt trap should worry him. Nevertheless, it is the next generation that will pay-back it and he will be dead by then. Peace.

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The Creations of districts: Shows growing expenditure, not only at Parliament, but also at local level!

Local governments are supposed to be financed with 30 per cent of the national budget but this has never been possible; sometimes it is as low as 15 per cent. This continues to stifle service delivery,” said Mr Cuthbert Felix Esoku, the Mbarara District chief administrative officer” (Mukombozi, Rajab – ‘Government lacks political will to improve district funding, say local leaders’ 09.11.2017, Daily Monitor).

Sometimes I wonder, if the government understand what it does, or if the sins of the 9th Parliament is hitting the 10th Parliament hard. Also, that the President is lax on caring, because he wants his cronies well off, just like former Prime Ministers and Vice-Presidents are getting 20 million Shillings Yearly as a Pensions, without the perks they are getting too. Therefore, the silence from them, as they are highly paid without doing anything for the NRM. Their ills and the growing Local Government is costing. Not only in Parliament, but in the districts itself. Today, the issues of Parliament is hurting, but none is addressing the local issues. Which is the reason for the lack of money and needed supplementary funds for the Members of Parliament (MP). Take a look!

Parliament is seeking Shs 3.3 billion for the emoluments of twelve more legislators starting July 1, 2018. According to the parliamentary service commission, the number of MPs will increase from 453 to 465 at the start of the of 2018/2019 financial year when new districts and municipalities come into effect” (URN – ‘ Parliament seeks Shs 3bn for 12 new legislators’ 22.04.2018, The Observer).

I am amazed about the amounts of districts and the rise of cost. This not only the share Members of Parliament, the lack of space for their seats and the possible rebuilding of the Chambers. Because the amounts of MPs wasn’t built for this amount of people at the same time. Therefore, the Parliament needs funds and budgets to fit. That says the foolishness of the new districts in that regard alone.

We know, by recent news that the state cannot afford to hire civil servants to Local Government that as is, and that is without the new enclaves or districts created by the state. That is not just the salary of the MPs whose recently elected, while the Electoral Commission are stretched in getting the by-elections and the MPs their seats. That is just beginning, as the growing debt and the interest are growing. While the Parliament is lacking space and the infrastructure and the local hires are not there.

That the state has under President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni gone from 33 districts in 1986 to about 136/7 after 1st July 2019. Which was ushered in July 2015, a year before the General Election 2016 and fitted the needs of the National Resistance Movement and keep up with pledges made by the President. So every single town is a District and none is inter-connected it seems. Every hill and top is Sub-County. Just the way NRM Regime like it.

In 2017, the Parliament gave a tender about 260 Billion Shillings to ROKO to build a 500 seat size of chambers there. So the payments and monies are there, when needed, as the state can configure and find money for this. But they are usually lacking funds for the civil servants and for the ones serving in public offices in low-level positions. Even not hiring the needed ones in the districts, schools and so on, as there are thousands of jobs that the Ministry of Public Service is not allowed to hire by direction of Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary of Treasury said there was no funds for that.

But now, suddenly, just like there is funds to athletes, there are funds for new MPs. This is happening as the new possible Social Media tax and also the Tax on Mobile Money. So not like they don’t have projects to use it on. It is all of them districts that needs mansions for District Police Commanders and Residential District Commanders, who all need a palace to live in. Also the need for a local government building and facilities, they cannot run the district from a shack. If that means all citizens has to bleed, that is okay, they deserve this cronyism.

This is the pile of bills made by the amounts of districts, the running costs isn’t just the 3 billions supplementary for the MPs there, it is the new civil servants, buildings and develop these districts. Unless, they want to be ghosts on the paper like schools, teachers, students, refugees, roads and development projects in general.

So, if you don’t see the issues I see, then your either in on it or your just thinking. Its a lost cause, because the President is ushering it in and sanctioning it. This to feed off his cronies and making sure they get jobs locally. Instead of building good districts, he has just chopped them in two or made new ones. So the development and local changes can be made right before elections. That to secure his own candidates for the Parliament too. So for the President its a win-win.

Nevertheless, this has clearly stretched the budgets, the need for public officers and civil servants, as well as more appointed local leaderships. All of these needs salaries and pensions, which means the grows and becomes more expensive with the growth of expenses like these. This is happening at a rate and time, as the growing debt and interest rates are rising. Therefore, the negative affects of it all needs to be put in perspective. However, that is not interesting to the NRM as they cannot question their king, without insulting his intelligence or his will of staying there. That is shown too…

Well, this was a bleak and sad story, but needed this perspective, since the cost of 136/137 districts should be discussed, not only the cost of MPs and the cost of building a new chamber at the Parliament. Peace.

Mzee promises millions of shillings to athletes, but keep general upkeep? Nah, not important!

He then asked he president to stop funding wells and toilets and use the money to buy grain. (Because really, how can you use a toilet if you never eat?)” William Kamkwamba

Well, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has started to promise things again, like he does now and then. It is a habit, he has done this for over three decades, to keep up with all his pledges. We would need a wall in a library and dozens of reports to check if he kept his promises. Many would be lacking, but that is for another day. Today, he was celebrating after returning from London and the Commonwealth Head of Government Meeting (CHOGM). He has always liked to bask in glory on those occasions, because it is all talk and no need to play or pay. Now, he has returned and promised something again. Therefore, I wonder, how come the state has money to pay lavish salaries for athletes, but cannot hire needed civil servants?

Priorities, the state got none? Is that what Mr. President is saying? I understand he wants to celebrate, but has the ones in past gotten their perks? The Olympic winners of the past? Have they gotten their check and built their house, even finish building the stadiums in their names? After my calculations, there are many who is left behind. Just like so many other projects under Museveni. Because it is fun while cooking and eating. But very, very boring to clean up the mess and paying the farmer too.

First, the recent news of lack of funds:

The Ministry of Public Service had earlier directed all ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) that filling of structures should be done in a phased manner subject to availability of funds. “I further emphasised in the Second Budget Call Circular (2nd BCC) dated February 15, 2018, that wage allocation for 2018/10 was only for staff in posts and no funds have been provided for recruitment,” Mr Muhakanizi states” (…) “Mr Muhakanizi’s order comes after Parliament’s Public Accounts (Local Government) Committee report on the 2015/2016 findings of the Auditor General pointed out that of the 77,713 posts that are established in the local governments, 23,093 are vacant, implying that nearly 30 per cent of the jobs are not filled” (Arinaitwe, 2018).

Second, the sudden announcement that there are funds available:

I made a promise that whoever wins a gold medal at an international or continental competition would get a monthly salary of Shs5 million, a silver Shs3 million and Shs1 million for bronze. The five medalists today will get onto the payroll. I have also been told of some arrears to other athletes, they will be cleared. Likewise, I will build a house for Cheptegei and Chesang who won gold medals, like I have done for previous gold medalists” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 22.04.2018).

Maybe, I am stupid or maybe the system is foolish. Because how come there is no funds for paying the teachers, hiring principals and other needed civil servants in the government, but the Ministry of Sports and Education has capacity to dole out millions to several individuals. So the sudden victories are important, than the future generations own lessons in school. All Ugandans should get the memo. That the victories done on the Commonwealth Games are more vital to the Republic, than studying or even getting educated. If you want to secure a decent pay and salary in Uganda. You got to start running and the government will find you money.

However, if you need administrators, secretaries, teachers, principals or whatever else, there is lacking off in the districts, at schools and at hospitals. You can linger unemployed and even with the education to go into the field of expertise, the state cannot find funds for you. But if you had run on dilapidated stadiums and run around pot-holes, gotten a chance to be picked up by Uganda Athletics Federation. Than you have hope for a decent salary and a future. Unless, you get picked in NRM Primary and rig yourself into Parliament. For that matter, get a name grand enough to become a Regional District Commander (RDC), then you get a salary and also a house.

If you are just a commoner applying for job, it will not be easy, even if the government institutions hasn’t hired what they need and lack to fill the positions, because of lacking funds. Trust me, if you get into the field and get a medal. You will secure your future. That is the promise. But remember, Museveni, as always promise a lot, but don’t keep it. Just like he has done to previous winner and gold medalists.

So in reality don’t expect anything, you should be worried about those promises. When the President cannot even have the needed funds for needed civil servants within his own government. The signs of problems and lacking structure should be there. The gravitas of nonsense should strike you. But someone will buy into the soft-words, but others will be. I have a way out, but that is not certain.

Peace.

Reference:

Arinaitwe, Solomon – ‘Uganda: Govt Stops Public Service Recruitment’ (19.04.2018) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201804190159.html

Opinion: Now Kenya is broke, you go figure!

This is not shocking or making people awe, as the Minister of Finance Henry Rotich said the state has run out of the money. The same state that has made new positions in the cabinet, the same state has built the Standard Gauge Railway, the same state that has lost NYS Funds, lost Funds from State Owned Enterprises and so on. The same state that made the President Uhuru Kenyatta and Deputy President William Ruto vastly rich, Ritchie Rich Rich, or even Iron Man aka Tony Stark wealthy.

Kenyatta’s own companies with new expensive and big projects even building a new township in Nairobi, while Ruto continues to expand his estates, his businesses too. Both of them are wealthy and getting richer by the minute. While the state is getting more debt, getting more broke and they cannot answer for the usage of money. How convenient that the ones leading the government is having more money, while the state reserves are empty?

This same government has added debt, used on Eurobond and unleashing a second. They are really using the system, finding ways of printing money without thinking of the consequences. It is weird that a government who recently took up a new debt of 200 billion still has a deficit of 279 billion, which means the shortfall of cash without Eurobond 2.0; the state would miss about 479 billion. All of this is nightmare, but a nightmare created by the gentlemen mentioned. They knew all of this, they overspent and misused funds during the 2017 campaigns, they expanded their businesses and they spoilt the system. They we’re out of pocket, but continue to blead the economy even so.

Certainly, while the President is building his own town on someone else’s money, and Ruto is getting bigger and grander estates. While the state is suffering, someone should connect the dots, the Kenya government isn’t broke, but it is juicing up ventures on the outside of the government services. That is why the sudden deficit and why the state suddenly ran out of money. It isn’t rocket-science to put two and two together. It is only the naïve who thinks otherwise.

While that is happening, more part of the state is drained by illegal tenders, misuse of funds in the fashion of the National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF), as the Public Protectorate has looked into their wastage of public funds into companies like UAP Life Assurance Ltd, Britiam Life Assurance Company and Pioneer Assurance Ltd. All of them got the basis of 800 million shillings in their tenders, the wastage on these schemes are enormous. Seemingly, no place in the state of affairs, where money isn’t gone, embezzled or sort of fraud away from the possible spending on supposed government services. This bidding was done without following procedure and neither tenders public by either the accounting officers or the CEO of NHIF who certainly found it possible to spend it this way.

When you know, that is just one of the ministries, one of the public funds and one of the state service providers, you can imagine if they are doing similar acts in other places. Like the scandals surrounding NYS, where corporations and businesses never seen before and again, got tenders with ownership within the ones who allocated the funds. It is seemingly something like this again. The Jubilee cannot help themselves; they are eating of the public plate.

That is why the state has a deficit, that is why the government broke, Kenyatta and Ruto is busy eating, while the public is footing their bills. They are all laughing and giggling, while the other parts are scrapping whatever they have to pay for the services that state is supposed to provide. Peace.

Opinion: President Museveni has given up on the UPE, should the public do the same?

St. Kitzo Primary School, Kabarole

President Yoweri Museveni has implored parents who are financially sound to give their children a better education to guarantee a better future even it means taking them to Private schools” (NTV Uganda, 04.03.2018).

The pledges of yesterday is losing value for President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, the process and the service delivery doesn’t matter, if it ever did. The Universal Primary Education was one of the brilliant moves he did and also got much more donor funding in the beginning of his Presidency. He introduced UPE in January 1997, as the time went the Government of Uganda invested more into the schools. As the Overseas Development Institute in February 2006, which stated: “The UPE programme has required a significant increase in public expenditure devoted to primary education. Total education expenditure increased from 2.1% GDP in 1995 to 4.8% of GDP in 2000, while the share of the education sector in the national budget increased from 13.7% in 1990 to 24.7% in 1998” (ODI – Policy Brief 10, Feb 2006). So the DFID sponsored brief are really explaining how the National Resistance Movement and President Museveni really used funds into the schools to make it happen. However, down the line the investments hasn’t continued and the progress of the policy has lost value. Since they have not continued or hold into that standard.

The President clarified that parents should feed their children and those who can’t afford should take their children to Universal Education Schools which he insisted should not charge fees, while the capable ones can pay in private schools or ‘big government schools’. “Universal Education Schools should not charge fees and parents must provide a meal for their children, called ‘entanda’. Government has provided UPE and USE for poor parents and here it is free. Those who can afford can take their children to other government schools and private schools where they pay but no child should be withdrawn from school” he emphasized” (Opio, 2018).

When you hear the man who is the leader, whose been the President since 1986, been there 32 years. Saying if you want to give your kid a good education, send them to private schools. The ones who are poor can send their kids to government schools. Therefore, if you have money, you will care more about the future for your kids. Because we as a state has given up the Universal Primary Schools.

This financial year the state is using 10,87 % of the national budget in 2018/19, that is down 11,37% in 2017/18. Both years are really proving how little it is concerning how it was when the UPE was booming around the millennium. In those years the state used about 20% or more on Education. Meaning the means to build and upgrade schools where there, also for more staff and more equipment was there. This has been forgotten and deemed unnecessary by the state.

Already in 2006, the UBOS Statistical abstract stated this: “However, the education facilities including classrooms, teachers’ houses and libraries have not matched the upsurge in the number of pupils. In 2004, provision of classroom space remained an enormous challenge. Table 2.2.2 shows that, only about half of the pupils had adequate sitting space” (UBOS, 2006). So the problems we are seeing today, is systemic from the mushrooming of schools and districts who built-up schools after the announcement of the UPE in 1997. I am not saying it is easy to keep the upkeep after the surge of schools, but if the state wanted them as a priority. They would have allocated funds to it over time.

Clearly, that part has gotten wasted and the state hasn’t figured out that buildings needs upkeep, schools needs equipment and teachers needs salaries. I know all of that seems basic, but the deep understanding of that seems lost somewhere.

Since if you are seeing the numbers, the Education Ministry got 24,7% in 1998 and now in 2018 it get’s 10,87 % of the National Budget. The schools has surged then and the budget is smaller, that meaning the more schools and teachers are getting significantly less funds for their operations. This is clearly the will of the state, as they are prioritizing other parts of government and not the schools. So the pledge before the 1996 Election is now being abandoned, the Ten Point Program point is being dismissed and the State showing disregard for its own system, as the rich can have their own. The poor can have lesser quality and the ones who care about their future can got to the private ones. Because of this I want to go back to 1996, because it says a lot, about why its like this today.

So, we are not going back to 1986 today, but 1996, when this happen:

Given his earlier opposition to the idea, President Museveni’s decision in March 1996 to make universal primary education part of his manifesto for the upcoming presidential election campaign represented a sharp break with existing policy. In a radio speech delivered on 27 March, Museveni promised that, if re-elected, he would implement a plan giving four children per family access to free primary education (the plan would also apply to orphans) (Radio Uganda 27.3.1996). This education promise was, however, just one part of an overall election manifesto that included pledges concerning liberalisation of the economy, road building, defence, and renewed East African cooperation. In fact, improvement in education was listed as only the fifth of seven bullet points on the back of Museveni’s

published manifesto (Museveni 1996). Though free primary education was only one small part of President Museveni’s initial election manifesto, during the course of the campaign it soon became clear that the promise to abolish school fees was striking a chord with the electorate. Ugandan officials from the period recall that several of Museveni’s close advisors repeatedly sent messages to the Ministry of Finance after campaign meetings in order to emphasise how the UPE promise had been well received” (Stasavage, 2006).

We could see it was his own initiative, as the President knew what would strike a chord, making sure the kids was educated and had a better future. The same resonates today, but the state has forgotten that. They are not caring, they build a giant program, a big school system of Primary Schools, but not allocated or planned the upkeep of them. That is why the state of the schools are going down and the level of poor public schools is rampant. The districts and sub-counties are not getting enough to keep the schools in functions or even the buildings up. That is why we can find pictures of schools falling apart and looking like they we’re forgotten the day after they finished building it.

From a report from the Ministry of Education and Sports in 1999 said this: “Uganda spent only US$8 per pupil in the early 1980s, and in financial year 1997/98 US$32.50 was spent per pupil” (…) “ UPE is one of the surest means that will lead Uganda to the attainment of the Jomtien Conference (1990) pledge of providing basic education to our primary school going population. As we provide that ìminimum package of knowledge, skills, values, and attitudes required by every person to enable him or her live as an independent, productive and effective citizen in a societyî the individual is empowered to meet her or his daily needs and aspirations, those of the community and the nation, which are focused on modernisation. Uganda is confident that by the target year 2003, Universal Primary Education will have been achieved for all its children” (Ministry of Education and Sports, P: 19, 21, 1999).

So in 1999, the State was hopeful, today in 2018, UPE is not for all children. Not if you listens to the words and the statement from Museveni. It’s Private Schools for the wealthy and the UPE for the POOR. Therefore, Museveni is claiming to classes and two system, which is really demeaning to the ones going to the UPE schools. This is his fault that the schools are bad. He introduced the system, he made it and built it. However, he forgot to the upkeep. He forgot the pledges of the past, even the goals of his own ministry in 1999. It is nearly 20 years since or 19 years ago. Therefore, if Museveni has forgotten it is natural, I don’t remember what I wrote a year ago. However, he promised this and used his Presidency to promote this. The UPE is one of the few grand achievements of Museveni. Even I can say that. But now its rotting and that is because the State has stopped funding it. It is their own decisions not upgrading or even maintenance of the buildings. It is weird that the NRM went into this, build this giant school program and had no plans for maintenance of the Schools or the Salaries of the teachers.

It is easy to start something, but when it continues, you needs to allocate, secure and also funds for day-to-day business. That is forgotten and today, Museveni has given it up. If not he doesn’t care about the UPE he introduced officially in 1997 and pledged during the 1996 Campaign. I say that because, well they have gone from using over 20% of the yearly budget in the 1998 to around 2000, but now the state has allocated as little as 10%. So it the Primary Schools are neglected, because the State has decided to neglect them. It is because the state has built a lot of them, but not funds to maintenance of them. Museveni knows this, but doesn’t say it. That is why the schools are for the poor, because the President even keeps the Government Primary Schools poor themselves.

I just have to ask the President, you used years and your time in the beginning of your time as President to build up the Universal Primary Education, have you officially given it up? Should the Ugandan population give it up too?

If you I can put the whole situation into one simple explanation: Museveni wanted to give the public a giant castle, he pledged to give the public that giant castle. He actually built the giant caste and made sure the public could use the castle. However, with time he didn’t have the funds or the money to maintain the castle. The walls and barricades are failing, the walls are weaker, the structure needs fixing. The servants, the people who are inside the castle are not getting paid and even educated to keep the walls steady. So, the stones and the building are looking more like a ghost-town than a castle. Museveni could have had a castle, instead he has a rundown ghost-town.

There are too many UPE schools that are rundown without proper buildings, which has been neglected. The same has the teachers and the pupils, who them all are living through it. Their future is depending on it and they are forgotten. Now the President tells, the ones who can afford it should go to the Private Schools instead. The poor has enough with the UPE schools. That just shows how he has given up the 1990s project.

Isn’t this a sign that you as a leader should have retired, since you have actually given up one of your achievements?

Peace.

Reference:

Opio, Sam Caleb – ‘I’m going to fulfil all my outstanding pledges – Museveni’ (04.03.2018) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/I-am-going-fulfill-all-my-outstanding-pledges-Museveni/688334-4327940-view-printVersion-27vqxt/index.html

Stasavage, David – ‘The role of democracy in Uganda’s move to universal primary education’ (2005) Cambridge University Press

Ministry of Education and Sports – ‘THE UGANDAN EXPERIENCE OF UNIVERSAL PRIMARY EDUCATION (UPE)’ (July 1999).

Opinion: I’m shocked that Baryomunsi acts like he doesn’t know how shitty his government is!

Today, the Minister for Housing Dr. Chris Baryomunsi were in shocked by the lack of proper investment into schools, that are in the sub-counties in Uganda. Like it was a revelation to him, the man who worked for years within the Ministry of Health. Where he left behind a system of lacking blood, medicines and equipment. Also, lacking salaries and other basics, therefore it is a big thing to give beds and covers, when politicians are in an area of a hospital. Clearly, the Minister didn’t leave a well-working Health Care before becoming Minister for Housing.

This is revelation of his came in the newly created district Namisindwa, which they planned before the General Election of 2016, that has been done for better service deliver. Clearly, the making of smaller districts isn’t paying off. Especially not for schools and for others things the state is supposed to deliver. This district came out of the Manafwa District and was the former “East Bulubo County”. So the County, which became a district hasn’t become a magic wand, like the State has told the public. This was also done as a promise, as the President promised this during rallies in 2015 in the region before the Gneeral Election in 2016.

Minister shocked by state of schools in Namisindwa district. #NTVNews An abrupt visit to Busiru primary in Bukokha Sub County, which has a population of over 800 pupils shocked the Minister for housing Dr. Chris Baryomunsi who could not believe the conditions under which the pupils have to study” (NTV Uganda, 02.03.2018).

When we look at the budget for the school in the new district it got in 2017/18, where there was enrolled 75144 pupils. The budget for their well-being and classrooms on the Primary Schools levels are really meager, nearly a joke. For 312101 Classroom Construction and Rehabilitation, in the whole district, it was a total of 176,000 shillings. That isn’t much, 312104 Other Structures got 134,000 shillings. The last post is 312203 Furniture & Fixtures got 33,043 Shillings. In total for betterment of the all the primary schools in the district it got 343,000 to fix the schools and buildings. This is for 95 Primary Schools and in the first quarter. Meaning it will be 4 quarters in a budget year. Still that is not more than 1,372,000 Shillings on these post for 95 Primary schools and their upkeep. To put in international sense, it isn’t more than the $ 376 US Dollars!

Therefore, it is not strange to see the state of the Busiru Primary School in Bukokha Sub County in the Namisindwa District. This school couldn’t be priority and if they we’re all getting equal share of the funding from the state. The school would get in 2018 the total of $4 US Dollars to Classroom Construction, Furniture and Other Structures. Clearly, you will not get much for 4 Dollars, if anything more than a pencil. The Bank of Uganda, even buy more expensive pens to their employees, than the expenses of each school a year here. They are clearly reckless and showing mismanagement. You don’t need rocket science to understand the funding is inadequate and good enough. Just to put the 4 dollars into perspective on Supermarket.Co.Ug, the cheapest lightbulb cost $2,90 and therefore, if they buy one, than the budget is already cracked for the year. Just think about that, one light bulb and the budget is used up!

The Minister of Housing Baryomunsi, should look into the budget and look into their allocations of funds if they care about the schools. Maybe not put so much of the funds into the State House, Office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Defense. If these we’re allocated elsewhere, it might generate change, but I know that is far-fetched idea, because no one want to insult the intelligence Museveni. Even if his Republic, couldn’t care less about the state of the schools.

If the Minister and his fellow Members of Parliament cared, the 95 Primary Schools in Namisindwa District would get more than 4 dollars a piece to fix school building. Can afford one light bulb and than the budget is used. They cannot afford more than that, if the schools get similar amount, in theory that will not happen. So some will get “lots” while other “less”. Therefore, the 4 dollars are not proper, but it gives you a sense of the lack of funds. Peace.

PTA Bank Loan Scandal: US$200m gone missing, you don’t loose that amount money, you spend it!

The government has announced plans to borrow US$200m from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (known as the PTA Bank)” (…) “It will, however, do little to ease the near-term pressures. The weak currency is pushing up the cost of external debt (the new PTA Bank loan will add to the burden of US dollar-denominated debt), while high interest rates are driving up yields on domestic securities. The government originally budgeted USh172bn to service external debt in the current 2015/16 fiscal year and USh4.8trn for domestic debt, but the actual outlays will exceed this” (The Economist, 2015).

In today’s exchange rate the loaned planned would be 727,749,571,653.20 Uganda Shillings, or UGX 727bn. So that means that the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija cannot find the documentation for a huge amount of money. This isn’t a lost pocket or recite, this is like loosing bank. However, we know the context, the loans that came from PTA came within months of the General Election and the Campaigns. Therefore, we can imagine where the money has gone. That is just speculation, but National Medical Stores (NMS) has given some signs, that the PTA Loans was not for them.

In June 2017, the Public Notice of NMS said this:

This funding facility was the PTA Bank loan, which was later approved by Parliament on 26th April 2016. The record on the Hansard clearly indicates ugx. 68billion required to avert an impending crisis at NMS as one of the primary reasons why the loan “should be urgently” approved. If NMS was therefore not meant to get the ugx. 68billion as additional funds, then the Ministry of Finance, Planning

and Economic Development misled Parliament” (…) “NMS provided the contracts by a letter

dated 13th September 2016, and waited for disbursement of the money from PTA Bank. However the said funds have to-date not been provided. This fact was brought to the Ministry of Health and the Permanent Secretary/ Secretary to the Treasury on 27th March 2017. It is important to note that the PTA Bank Loan, was approved by Parliament on the understanding that part of the Proceeds would go to NMS to cover the sh.68billion deficit” (…) “We wish to restate that if this money is not provided, over and above the Budget for FY 2017/18, all Health Centre IIs, IIIs and IVs, including those of UPDF, Uganda Police and Uganda Prisons, shall not receive Medicines in the FY 17/18 except ARVs, Vaccines, ACTs and TB medicines” (NMS, 2017).

Although documents indicate that PTA Bank released the loan basing on documents submitted by the agencies, it was never remitted to them accordance with the agreed terms of the funding. Last week while requesting for a supplementary budget for NMS, Finance State Minister David Bahati was put to task to explain why NMS lacks funds to procure medicines yet the funders released the money in November last year. MP Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo) wondered why NMS was going through a financial crisis when Parliament approved a loan request of $200m. During the meeting yesterday, members put Bank of Uganda officials led by the Governor Tumusiime Mutebile to task to explain whether the loan was released from the funders to the respective recipients. Mutebile told the committee that between October20th 2016 and May 23, 2017; BOU received $97.9m from PTA bank and transferred all the money to the Ministry of Finance Consolidated Account as instructed by the Ministry of Finance. “How it was used, is the ministry of finance to explain,” he said” (Karugaba, 2017).

So just part of the loans that trusted to NMS never came and never was delivered. The amount of funds needed the crisis in the NMS was not given. Therefore, the lack of oversight of the funds and the loans was evident even last year. Still, PTA Loan of 2016 has not been honored. The BoU will explain what happen after the money was released. So, it means that the documentation of receiving it is there, but what happen after is now gone. The NMS are clear, the BoU, but not the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED).

Just to put the loan in more perspective, even the World Bank described there in January 2017:

Uncertainties related to both local and external events, including the freezing of new loans by the World Bank and the impact of the results of the Brexit referendum and the US presidential election being the most significant causes of this uncertainty. This is notwithstanding the fact that the Government has contracted balance of payments support credit from PTA Bank to provide the BoU with sufficient resources to prevent spikes in the foreign exchange market when the need arises” (World Bank, P: 11, 2017).

However something that is striking is the Letter of intent written by BoU Governor Tumusiime Mutebile and Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Kasaija. Who both prepared a statement, to build trust in the economy and the loans made by the government.

Who wrote this this to IMF on 18th May 2016:

Government requested a line of credit of USD 200 million from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank). The three year revolving facility has terms that are deemed more beneficial than those prevailing in the domestic markets at the current juncture and near future, so we plan to use these resources in FY2016/17 and FY 2017/18 to finance our deficits. Therefore, these resources will replace existing, more costly domestic financing, rather than expanding the available envelope. We will not use the loan in FY2015/16” (Kasaija & Tumusiime Mutebile, P: 6-7, 2016).

While this story started after Public Accounts Committee in the Daily Monitor this:

Two of the most prominent Banyakigezi – Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile, secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi and other top officials in the Finance hierarchy are set to answer questions over how Shs340 billion of Shs720b ($200m) loan meant for medicines and rural electrification was used. They are going to be quizzed by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) with the vice chairman Gerald Karuhanga saying that Muhakanizi, Mutebile, Auditor General John Muwanga and Mr. Lawrence Semakula, the acting Accountant General have been summoned to appear before MPs on Wednesdays to “explain the whereabouts of the money because no agency has received anything.” Mr. Muhakanizi called the probe ‘misdirected’ because ‘everything was done properly and I will prove that with documents.’ He said the money was pooled into the consolidated Fund and spent on approved expenditures” (Daily Monitor, 05.07.2017).

On the 13th June 2017, Treasury Secretary Keith Muhakanizi tried to explain where the money went:

As explained above, all the funds disbursed from the PTA Bank Loan have been fully accounted for. ii No funds has been lost as the Monitor Newspaper has alleged. iii I thank the PTA Bank for quickly providing the funds to the Uganda government when needed. iv It is, therefore, professionally unacceptable for Monitor Newspaper which has represented at the meeting of PAC in Parliament on Wednesday 7th June 2017, to have published an incorrect story in its editorial of 11th June 2017” (New Vision, 2017).

However, the story is not ended in last year. The PTA Loan continue to haunt the MoFPED and the BoU. They both have answers to give. Now a few months later. The answer from MoFPED are differently. Because the Treasury suddenly promised documents in June 2017. However, we are in February 2018 and still not there. Even his own defense that was a notice in the New Vision. Now a half year later, we see the same story and the same issue in the Parliament. That the same amount of monies are not accounted for. The same actors are trying to defend it. The whole affair smells not like Teen-Spirit, but more of State House affair. Since, they are trying to defend the misuse of funds and loans in the timeline of Campaigning. That is what it seems. Since suddenly during campaigns and such the needs for funds is there. Paying off political parties and loyal commissioners. There are so many things to buy and needs. So much material, buses, t-shirts and bribes. You have to print massive amounts of money. In a way where the State House also always needs bigger Supplementary Budgets after the General Election of 2016.

Here is the movement today:

Mr Kasaija yesterday failed to present a personal statement detailing what went wrong with the loan but maintained that no money was “stolen” as he fought to save his job.“I request that we should give an opportunity to a government authority to find out where this money went. But I want to give assurances to this House that no money was diverted or stolen,” Mr Kasaija said. With the loan approved only after the Finance ministry changed its labelling, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga last evening ruled that she will today make a decision regarding the fate of the report, with the duos fate set to be decided today. “I may not talk much but I had engagements with Ministry of Finance over that money. I had engagements to remind the ministry that that money was partially borrowed for NMS. I had meetings in my office over that money,” Ms Kadaga ruled. The loan put the Executive and Parliament at loggerheads with the Speaker at some point ordering the Rules Committee to investigate Mr Kasaija over contempt of Parliament as the fallout escalated” (Arinaitwe, 2018).

So still to this day there is no proof of where it went. Even if the trail leads to two familiar faces, the MoFPED Kasaija and Treasury Muhakanizi, who both trying to save faces. This all seems like misused funds from the Consolidated Funds for Campaigning. Since it was not used for the Rural Electrification Funds or the NMS. Who was both in dire needs, but not important enough. The NMS has lacked it anyways, and not gotten the needed medicine.

Therefore, the two financial heavy-weights has to either forge the paper-trial, since the NMS and the other agencies hasn’t received the funds. They have been spent elsewhere. Suddenly missing and that Muhakanizi uses so long time, that from June 2017 to February 2018 is unbelievable. If you use that long time proving parliament where the funds went. You know there are some shady misuse of it. It has gone to all sorts of activity, to tear-gas, paying police officers to keep Besigye under house arrest and whatnot. Because it didn’t go the place where the MoFPED and BoU promised.

This the GAVI Funds and CHOGM scandal all over again. This isn’t new, it is just PTA Bank loan gone missing. You miss a shilling, you miss a book or even some keys. But you do not loose this amount of money. They have gone to a growing patronage and securing the President’s Private Plane or something. Peace.

Reference:

Arinaitwe, Solomon – ‘MPs plot to censure Kasaija over Shs700b’ (07.02.2018) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/MPs-plot-censure-Kasaija-over-Shs700b-/688334-4294524-r1k3ls/index.html

The Economist – Intelligence Unit – ‘ Loan secured from regional bank’ (11.12.2015) link: http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=63762990&Country=Uganda&topic=Economy&subtopic=Forecast&subsubtopic=Fiscal+policy+outlook&u=1&pid=923837876&oid=923837876&uid=1

Karubaga, Mary – ‘Finance makes U-turn on sh150b NMS loan’ (08.07.2017) link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1455202/finance-makes-sh150b-nms-loan

Kasaija, Matia & Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile – ‘Uganda: Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Economic Financial Policies, and Technical Memorandum of Understanding’ (18.05.2016) link:

NMS – ‘CLARIFICATION ON FUNDS RELEASED TO NATIONAL MEDICAL STORES (NMS) FOR PROCUREMENT, STORAGE AND DISTRIBUTION OF ESSENTIAL MEDICINES AND HEALTH SUPPLIES (EMHS)’ (16.07.2017) link: https://www.nms.go.ug/jdownloads/Press/NMS%20Full%20pg%202017.pdf

New Vision – ‘Clarification on Allegations that US$200 million meant to procure medicines for health centres and implement Rural Electrification Projects Went Missing’ (17.07.2017) link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/digital_assets/fa485f48-5a96-4b7b-be1a-3969e7a45cc3/9-Min-of-finance.pdf

World Bank – ‘Uganda Economic Update 8th Edition, january 2017 – Step by step Let’s solve the finance puzzle to accelerate growth and shared prosperity’ (January 2017) link: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/662191486394023103/pdf/112621-WP-P161699-PUBLIC-UEU-8TH-edition-final-for-web.pdf

USA: Mick Mulvaney Memo to CFPB – “To Everybody from Acting Director” (23.01.2018)

Opinion: Blackmailing doesn’t work in negotiation of a budget, even if Trump and Republican’s think it works!

The United States of America is now without a captain, a head honcho and without clear steering leadership. President Donald J. Trump is clearly not stable or a capable person who can hold thought longer, than he holds his thirst for a Diet Coke. So it is old-fashion way that, when the weekend started and during the weekend. Either the White House or the Republican Party has assaulted the Democratic Party for not doing their patriotic duty. However, they are not the majority in the House of Representatives, they are not the majority in the Senate and they do not have the Presidency.

All of that should come into consideration as the Budget negotiations has been going on. There been counter measured to secure payments for soldiers and people in combat. While that has been silenced by the same Republican Party, that are blaming the Democrats. Its the whole way of discussing the deal and agreement with the minority leader, has proven to failing. That President Trump can get into one state of mind and then hours later a call from Chief of Staff John Kelly. Can sway in another direction. Then again can another call from Trump to Democratic leader Chuch Schumer being about another piece, that was not agreed upon.

Its this constant changes and not stability. Its the constant use of military and health care for the needy, while the same majority party has dismantled a lot of that in the tax-cut bill in late part 2017. So the Democrats knows how the Republican party operates, not for the people need, but for the needs of their donors. They don’t care about the CHIP Program and neither care about DREAMERS. That is evident by their way of reasoning and their way of negotiations. Trump clearly doesn’t care about these, he promises left and right, but just wants tax-cuts for him and another party at Mar-A-Lago in Florida.

That the Democrats has been in the trenches trying to fix something is evident. While Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan have no heart. We knew they operated that out some time ago and its left behind in the closet of one of their main donors. Since, they are using the speeches of the past, but they are the ones that filibustered the crap out of the House and Senate during the Obama Years. Now that they cannot get 60 votes in the Senate. They are sending assaults to Schumer and the Democrats. It is insane!

When they are throwing out bi-partisan deals, by the time spent to forge a deal that both parties can work on and secure funding. Also for popular programs like CHIP and DACA. Clearly, the Republican party doesn’t see that, because they are lost in the InfoWars, Breitbart and Fox News news-cycle, where if they go outside of that paradigm. They will lose popularity in the needed midst of 20% – 30% electorate, which they need in the midterms 2018. Clearly, the Republican Party is afraid to look weak and not following promises made during the 2016 election.

While that is happening, the cost of this a government shutdown. That means many will not during next payout of salaries and government programs will cease until the shutdown is stopped. The natural funding and the in-activity will mean that many ordinary non-life danger programs will stop. This because the President and his party cannot be in balanced and stable in negotiations. They are their worst enemy, but playing the blame-game on Democrats. Who can support this government, but has no incentive to do, when they are shot down and has no reason to give way over nothing.

What the Republicans should do, which they won’t, is to look into themselves and their blackmailing of the other party. Nothing else has happen. That is why the speeches of McConnell and Ryan has been like they are. They know about the changes and calls between them and Democrats. Still, they are blaming them.

They are easily the opposite of Robin Hood, giving more to wealthy and less to the poor. They are struggling to govern, because their enemy is gone in the White House. The Republicans we’re good as long as the Freedom Caucus and the Tea Party Activist could block progressive and liberal ideas from the White House. But now that they have the man in the office and the Capitol Hill for themselves. They cannot explain or be able to agree themselves on what is key or important. Therefore, they have to make enemies out of the Democrats. Secondly, they expect to get away with that.

Not so strange, the blackmailing is their thing, it is the thing of Trump. That is why he has record of lawsuits during his corporate career, why he has not paid workers on his buildings and properties and then sued the contractors for negligence and whatnot. Trump has done that all his life and therefore, tries the same trick as President. However, this isn’t mob business or contractors who needs his money. This is people who has constituents and future votes to be in their favor. Democrats doesn’t need Trump. They don’t need him or his presidency. That is the truth. Trump, thinks everyone needs him and wants him. He is the center of the Universe. However, for the democrats, he is a necessary evil. A devil you work with, in need, but buries hopefully in the future.

So the Republican Party has gone wrongly about it all, they are the ones that need the Democrats. Not the other way around. They have the majority and is supposed to govern. It seems easy on West Wing and Yes Prime Minister. Therefore, they should feel the pinch and their guilt. Even as they deflect and even Kellyann Conway are on TV, still spreading the news of the deal-maker Trump is. Well, it is proven he is jello. It is proven that his shifting and short-term memory, also lack of focus is destroying the importance of the budget negotiations and their deadlines. Combined with the neglect of leadership from his side. Trump cannot whip his party into one focus and one line. If Fox & Friends or Breitbart excel a bad story. He will twist his mind and change way. That is not the way of making significant changes in law.

I think the Republican’s has to jump from the wall and find a middle-ground. If they are serious about governing and not just creating headlines. If the Republicans care about their government and the service it provides, other than giving tax-relief to the wealthy. Time is to open their minds and mouths, talk with the Democratic Party and see where they can go. Peace.

Uganda: Museveni letter to UNRA – “Amicable Solution with Dott Services LTD, To Complete Nakalama-Tirinyi-Mbale Road” (08.01.2018)

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