Opinion: Switching the SSP to something else isn’t the trick

In Juba on Friday, the Cabinet decision to change currency came to the public. This is happening after several of attempts and changes in Ministry of Finance. However, none has lasted or made a difference. Therefore, the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) have decided to drop the South Sudanese Pound and create another one.

Nevertheless, economics and financial policies aren’t that simple. There are some key components missing to create the balances in order. First, the state can and is allowed to change their currencies. That is up to the sovereign. Is that advisable?

Most like not, because you have to build a foundation and have the balance sheets in order. The grander public got to understand the change. The markets have to invest in the futures of the currency and it has to trusted.

It can be a financial trick, a juxtaposition to just to get you out of a hurdle. You move from one account to another. But, then again… you get the same value for practically nothing. Maybe, even the currency has no value, as nobody trades on a value that nobody trusts. That is why its key to build trust and monetary policies around what you already have.

Unless, you want a Bond-Note bonanza and erupting inflation out of spiral. Making the pennies and dimes worthless anyway. If that is the trick, the Bank of South Sudan and Ministry of Finance should just go ahead. Instead of securing the measures, the trade policies and the monetary instruments of the Republic.

They are instead re-issuing a new currency. They are dropping the SSP for something else. There have to be a transition period. A time and opportunity to change the currencies. As the time goes for the switch, the public and businesses can go from SSP to whatever it will be. If not, then they are draining the system and emptying the coffers of people. Which in the end, will also ensure there is less money in circulation.

The saga of the SSP will haunt the new currency. Because, this is just changing the name, but not changing the elements. They are taking away the history and the namesake. However, the same lack of trust and monetary instruments are still there. If they had these and ensured the markets and safeguarded the currency. Then the public could have some trust and if there was measures in place. It wouldn’t be necessary to switch and ditch the old one.

This here is a sign of weakness, lack of process and just sudden change. In hope that this is the remedy. This sort of action is the quick fix and hope it can miraculously save the day. However, it is never that easy. Especially, when your not only building market dynamics, but also on trust. When you need several of components to work in tandem and be at each others side. If they are not. Then one will beat the other and in the end the citizen or consumer is the loser. As the currency gets devalued since the authorities cannot contain the brutal assessment of currency.

This is short-sighted. It really is and the next one will have the same remaining issues. Your folding one chapter, but your just starting where the other left off. It will be just a matter of time before this stinks too. Since, the same fella’s are running the shop and their game is to earn a quick buck. Peace.

Zimbabwe: Dollar Dollar Bill Y’all!

Cash rules everything around me

CREAM, get the money

Dollar dollar bill, y’all” – Method Man on Wu Tang Clan’s – ‘C.R.E.A.M’ (1994)

I don’t know and I cannot count how many currency and monetary reforms that been since the launch of the New Dispensation from the Mnangagwa Government. What I do know? There’s been plenty and countless of initiatives in concern with the currency. Which was made to stabilize and supposed to ensure a steady rate in the inflation. However, that ship has sailed, as the rates are over double-digit and its not getting better.

The Zimbabwe government has stopped and reopened opportunities to have foreign currencies in trading. Today is not different. Just like a year ago in June they ceased to trade with United States Dollars. Today they are returning through bank action and able to show prices in Zimbabwe Dollars and US Dollars in the shops.

The return of this imminent. As the value of the Zimbabwe Dollars are depleting, the inflation is out whack. The money is getting devalued and destroyed. The state knows, the Reserve Bank knows this and the people know it too. This is not new, but the normal mockery of financial stimulus and fiscal responsibility, which causes this damage on a regular.

There is no trust in either the Ministry of Finance nor the Reserve Bank. All institutions are running a shit-show and hoping to trade insults to save their lives. They are all just pinning on duck and hoping it doesn’t quack. It is like an endless circle of Bond-Notes, RTGS-Dollar, Zimbabwe Dollar Notes and unattainable monetary polices in concern with the US Dollars.

In June 2019, the President proclaimed this: Except that if you want to transact in any shop, if you want to buy your tea and milk in dollar or euro, then you must go to bureau du change” (Mnangagwa, 25.06.2020).

Now a year later the opportunity to use US Dollars is back and the promise of “normalcy” is a far-cry from reality. As the state, the institutions and the men behind the monetary policies cannot figure out the trick of the trade. They don’t have the ability nor the slightest idea on how to stable the economy nor ensure any trust in the currency they are printing. It is like a gift of misgivings and lack of integrity.

The whole state could fix this, the men behind this could really try to do something. They should first quit their day-jobs, because they are not up for it. These people have tried and tried. Done so much work for nothing. They have been jibber-jabbing for so long without any luck.

So since nothing is working. We can all just put on the old classic Wu Tang Clan joint ‘C.R.E.A.M’ and sing: “Cash Rules Everything Around Me/Cream, get the money/Dollar Dollar Bill, Y’all”. Peace.

The Art of Deficit Financing: Budget 2020/21

Deficit financing, however, may also result from government inefficiency, reflecting widespread tax evasion or wasteful spending rather than the operation of a planned countercyclical policy. Where capital markets are undeveloped, deficit financing may place the government in debt to foreign creditors. In addition, in many less-developed countries, budget surpluses may be desirable in themselves as a way of encouraging private saving” (Encyclopaedia Britannica – ‘Deficit financing’ (25.08.2015).

What is striking from the 2020/21 budget is that its not only 45 trillion shillings, but the way they are financing this spending. Because, the budget need financing or revenue to pay the expenditure. You cannot use air to pay the bondsman. The people you owe money or supposed to spend on needs real cash-flow and liquidity to be fiscal responsible.

What we learned again is the debt deficit financing, which has been common staple in the Republic. Since domestic revenue or tax revenue is about 20 trillions shillings. This means that the rest of the budget has to paid for in various of other ways. In this regard, the state are borrowing, refinancing and gaining more debt. As the state is also wasting more of the budget on paying interests.

This is really making a evil circle and continuing debt trap. Even if the trillions upon trillions owned by the state is growing. That this still haven’t hit a debt ceiling. However, the issue here is the amount of paying interests. They are wasting away money on paying for old loans. This is what the state is initially offering. While it is gaining new debt to finance the over-expenditure today.

When the state pays 4 trillion shillings (9% of the budget) in interests. That shows how destructive this is for the budget. How important it has become. When 1 in 10 shillings of the budgets are paid in interest. This money could have been spent in all parts of society. It could have changed people’s lives and invested in the future. Instead its paying on the debt trap created by the same state.

Deficit financing and refinancing will only ensure the future generations are paying for the growing debt created by the current government. They are borrowing on the future growth and supposed revenue. Even as the state is ballooning the budgets, that they are not able to cover more than half. That is worrying and should worry the republic too.

Yes, that budgets get ballooned in election years are common. That the budgets are insincere and write of taxes in these years are typical too. All of this isn’t new. It is what happens when the Republic is preparing for elections in the coming year. Therefore, the state needs a treasure chest to bling out on chiefs, voter tourism and whatever else to look good for everyone.

That is why this budget is like this. We can clearly see that the state are continuing to acquire more debt, which means the interest payments will grow every year. This is why the refinancing and growing debt should worry everyone. Because, just like the interests payments are now at 9% or 4 trillion shillings this year. We can wonder how it will look when the grace-periods of several of loans are over and the initial price of these as well.

The Republic of Uganda deserves better, but the leaders and the ones in-charge are making it like this. They are not concerned about the future and that is very clear. As they are spending and squandering away the future today. Then someone have to pick up the tab in the future. Peace.

Opinion: The government have money [unless your not a priority]

Let me just say, that tonight, this evening I am tired of reading headlines from various of Republics and Countries where they state they don’t have funds for pledges nor supposed basics during this global pandemic. Yes an global pandemic of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus isn’t a planned affair, unless your a conspiracy theorist who makes up ghost stories out of thin air. The rest of us lives in reality and try to figure the best way out of this.

What is boring in these troubling times is when the state says they doesn’t funds for PPE, Masks, Medicine, Salaries for Front-Line workers and whatnot. It is just an endless stream of costs, payments, allocations and expenditure the state has to carry. The imports of sudden extra equipment, ventilators and such. By all means its an expensive enterprise to cover this and ensure enough of the basics. Still, if the people, the citizens and the well-being of them matters. Than this should be shielded first.

However a reason for the lack of funds is that the state hasn’t this as a priority. This isn’t their breadwinner, this isn’t their ballpark. No, this is a side-show, a show where donors, where foreign donations and other comes in to cover the basics and the needed cover. In sunny days this is usually enough, because the ones getting hurt isn’t an priority and the ones whose VIP gets treatment abroad anyway.

That is why the Health Care system isn’t fully functioning nor has the capacity it should have in consideration per capita. The lack of enough beds, ICUs and such are now a contrast to the amount people in the dominion. Therefore, the state has lost the battle, if it gets bad quickly. The state cannot assume they will get help from elsewhere. Since they are already hurting themselves and are damaged by the virus as well.

So in this regard, when the state is complaining and stating lack of funds for this now. Its all about priorities. These states usually has no issues getting loans, grants and donations to cover deficits. They have no issues getting loans and supplementary budgets to secure new revenue-streams in sunny days for infrastructure and development projects. However, securing the well-being of the citizens and their welfare. That is burden it cannot shelter. Not to the max, not to the appropriate levels. That is just to expensive. Unless, a drunk uncle, snappy-nephew or an in-law is kicking in some remitted funds to shelter its own family at family. That is how this goes.

The governments can run their coffers dry, they can create huge deficits in the times of needs. They can boost their stimulus and use the credit, the forecasted revenue and the sales of treasury bonds. All of that cover it in the future, as the government and state can in practicality never cease nor get bankrupt. That as a sovereign state and therefore, has more gains and possible future income to cover debt and deficits.

That is why in these times of need, the government can prove where their loyalty lies. Either its with their citizens or its with the corporate agenda. They can show that solving it and investing in the Health Care system matters.

We can see if it is a priority or just talk. We can see by the pounds sterling, the US dollars or whatever currency spent on it. That its a priority or not. If they priorities it, they are risking a bigger deficit for now. If not, they are shielding the hurt and hoping it just goes back to normal quick. Peace.

Opinion: Don’t let Mzee pimp a second round of debt relief

Back in the day, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in the end of the 1990s the World Bank let the Republic of Uganda the opportunity to join their Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to cut the debt of the Republic. However, even with the massive amount of debt relief done in 1998 and later never stopped him from taking up more debt.

That is why the amount of interests paid on every single budget is debt burden, which is created by the President himself and his extensive cronyism. The President has ensured that the state owns so much money, while he stills continues the drill by financing half of it by more debt. Which has been method the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Mzee has used in the recent years.

That is why such a big amount of funds is going into interest payments. Also, why the Republic are going in a negative spiral, while the lack of domestic revenue isn’t following the projections of growth that the state always promises.

With the knowledge of this, as the President is asking for a debt relief now. His using the Coronavirus or COVID-19. The whole world are into a recession because of this. It is the perfect smokescreen. The President had the 2000s and 2010s to fix issues, but instead the plunge the economy anyway. He just need an excuse for a bailout.

Last time it was Universal Primary Education, a empty campaign promise and now there are plenty of dilapidated schools. They played and tried to focus on it, but gave it up along the way. Because, doing this properly would actually cost time and effort. The President and his big convoy would actually have invested more, than they wanted too. More promising spending on proxy-wars, than on proper education for everyone.

So, knowing that the Multi-National Organizations, Bretton-Woods Organizations and donors gave way to the Uganda in between the late 1990s and early 2000s. They offered billions in various of schemes, not only HPIC and Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP). This has been done already and still the state is bound by loans and grants to function its government. Therefore, the bullet of debt relief has been wasted.

The amount of US Dollars spent on the debt relief earlier in the reign of Museveni. The Head of State has misused this in the past. Not like he will change now. He has used the system to pimp his budgets and his wealth. His enriched himself and his cronies. While the Republic is still poor and the revenue isn’t growing like the economic recovery of the 1990s said it should have done. If the cure of the past would have worked, than the need for debt relief now would be unnecessary.

In 2020, the Republic shouldn’t get debt relief. It will be only spoils for the elites and the cronies around the President. It will be used buying tear-gas and SUVs. The WaBenzi will eat the spoils and only give away beans to the ones in need.

That Museveni says the continent needs debt relief. He means that himself needs it now. Even if his a wealthy guy in an impoverished republic. A republic he has run for three decades. Which already got special treatment and had a controlled Consultative Group. So, its not like this man hasn’t pimped the system already. He has tricked it and promised to juice up vehicle, but instead continue to run it to the ground. Hoping he could trick some new leaders to do the same mistake. Trusting him and his “high above” leadership.

They already spent millions of dollars to cut of the debt of the Republic under his control. The leadership is the same and they will misuse this if they get it again. When he had the opportunity to use it the last time. He instead wasted it and has ensured the state is more addicted to loans. That is why he hopes someone else can bail him out. While his paying ghosts, fake tenders and whatnot.

So, the IMF and World Bank should know this, but they are maybe more afraid of their image, than the result of letting go of some funds. These funds will not help anyone directly out. Only ensure the President longer life in office. This will not help the ones in need. Than he would have already ensured that. Instead his continuing this ballad and serenading the international community. While he hopes that no one knows history.

He has failed the last debt-relief and misused his chance. That is why his continued to grow the debt, addicted to grants and not created a space for more development. Unless, they give the President some handshakes at the State House. This is the way it goes.

The President of the Republic has had all the time since 1986 and we are still here. There are still opposition Members of Parliament who are tortured, there are still lack of free space and militarization of politics. That has never changed, but he hopes nobody notice. That is why he hopes he can pimp the International Community another time. He already did the trick and hope he can get them buzzed by a few buzzwords.

I know for some this is a moment of nostalgia, but for some its deja vu’. We have been here before and we shouldn’t need to repeat the same bad tune, again and again. However, I expect nobody to listen to me. Peace.

Opinion: Mzee needs about 3 trillions for secret projects [or a slush fund for his re-election]

In the next financial year it is voted in UGX 2.8 trillion shillings in the Financial Year of 2020/21. This is very special in consideration as the whole budget has grown to 45 trillion shillings. Also in regards to things and rising debts, the state will have to pay UGX 4 trillions in interests payments. That is close to 10 % and the Confidential Expenditure is close to 7,5%.

This is really special that the President needs this amount for confidential expenditure for the FY 2020/21. This is ahead of the General Election of 2021. There is already a supplementary budget for COVID-19 as well. Which is also adding more confidential expenditures too.

That is deliberate. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the President is acting with a clear message. They are doing it and we know it. Because, the state needs a lot of funds for the campaigns, for the tours, campaign material, paying ads in New Vision and paying off chiefs, RDCs and whatnots. That is why the President is begging for cars now. He needs them for campaign season, he always buy cars for Pastors, RDCs and other appointed officials to get their loyalty.

So, who knows what they will use Three Trillions Shillings for, but surely it will be for selfish and entitled reasons. NRM and the President will misuse these funds. Just like they are spiking up the budget again. New heights as of the budget is estimated in loans and grants. This means, the state is only able to get revenue for the other half. Meaning 22,5 trillions are gotten from elsewhere and will be more interests to pay later. This is special, as the state is getting debt relief from the IMF. Not like they playing into it. Loaning more, while the IMF is offering relief. Such a brilliant move!

While the state is doing that, they are adding more and more confidential expenditure. This is done in manner and fashion, where we know that it will got devious things. That is why they cannot state it. If it is weapons for proxy-wars. If it is for paying side-dishes, cronies and “foreign investors”. Because, there is a lot of things ahead. The President has a lot of people to pay. A lot of campaigning to do and spend like a drunk sailor in the coming months. Especially after the lockdowns.

The President will use the LDUs, UPDF and Police Force. There will be means and pain, interference and intimidation to ensure another term in office. Not like he can do it with gained popularity at this point. He cannot even get enough to feed the poor. He cannot even find ways to properly serve the public or contact trace within the COVID-19 pandemic.

That is why he needs classified expenditures in the ranking of 3 trillions in the up-coming financial year. Since, he needs secret trading, procurement and usage of funds. These things will not have ordinary due diligence or oversight. The President can use it like his Donations Programs. He can spend it without question and suddenly give a blown-up doll to his wife or something. We don’t know, but that is what he could do.

The NRM has surely ensured they have secured the State House, Office of the President and Office of Prime Minister funds as well. All of this usually spins a big web in the election time. So, expect it to be a supplementary budget for the State House in 2021. As the water-bill, lack of funds for salaries for a few Presidential Advisors and so on suddenly hits the fan. This is partly covered by the Confidential Expenditures. However, it can go anywhere. We just don’t where. It could go to ammunition, Armoured Personnel Vehicles and whatnot. That would be shocking, even if it get some additional tear-gas too.

However, don’t expect these three trillions to make the society better, the Republic to prosper. This is slush funds for the President and his cronies. This is securing their fate ahead of the election. Peace.

South Africa: National Treasury – Media Statement – Government’s response to the rating action of Moody’s investors Service (Moody’s) – (27.03.2020)

Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe: Press Statement – Interventions in Response to the Financial Vulnerablities Caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic (26.03.2020)

Zimbabwe: Press Statement by the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet on the Appointment of Chief Executive Officer of Zimbabwe Investment and Development Agency (ZIDA) – (24.03.2020)

Bank of Uganda: Measures to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 (20.03.2020)