There are enough troubles over the seas and between the British Islands. It isn’t enough that a Northern Irish political party is forming a coalition with the Conservative Party. The Tories and Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) that is enough for breaking the impartiality in the devolution and following the Good Friday Agreement alone. But there are other parts of the Belfast Agreement or Good Friday Agreement that get touched in the possible break-up between the European Union and United Kingdom, which has the Northern Ireland as part of it. Therefore, the released report from House of the Oireachtas is important. What the reports point at is all the aspects that will affect the Northern Ireland and their citizens. As well, as the promised possibilities of movement of people and goods between Northern Ireland and Ireland. The Republic of Ireland and United Kingdom is jointly part of the Good Friday, they both have responsibilities towards the peace process and the devolution in Northern Ireland.
But to not put word in the mouth of the report. The issues it address, it does well on it is own!
“For Strand 1 (Assembly and Executive), the question arises of whether powers held now at EU level will be devolved unchanged to the Assembly if the UK passes a ‘Great Repeal Bill’ intended to repatriate powers from the EU to the UK. Should it be decided to first change and then devolve these powers (e.g. in relation to employment rights or environmental standards), it is possible that there would be implications for the rights guaranteed by the Good Friday Agreement” (…) “For Strand 2 (North-South cooperation) it has been noted that the limited scope of the North South Ministerial Council (NSMC) and North-South implementation bodies means that much of their focus at present centres on EU-related work, for example management of EU funding and coordination on compliance with EU regulations. If Brexit means there is no longer an EU focus to Strand 2 the question arises as to how to ensure this Strand remains meaningful. It has been suggested that Strand 2 might provide a mechanism for enhanced North-South cooperation in the event of Brexit” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 11, 2017).
“In total, since its inception 21 years ago the PEACE programme has provided over €2.2bn for important reconciliation work in Northern Ireland and the Irish border region, and INTERREG, since its inception 25 years ago, has provided over €1.1bn to encourage cross border cooperation in job creation and infrastructure development in Ireland, Northern Ireland and Western Scotland” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 23, 2017). “One of the main concerns expressed by many witnesses is the future of PEACE and INTERREG when the current programmes finish in 2020. The Committee notes and welcomes the UK Government’s commitment to guarantee EU funding until the end of 2020 but the uncertainty after that period is deeply worrying” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 24, 2017).
“Now, more than ever before in the face of such political and economic uncertainty and instability in Northern Ireland, the importance of programmes that address issues such as intercommunity conflict, reconciliation, cross border cooperation and relationships, the development of infrastructure and jobs, needs to be recognised and these programmes protected. The Committee urges the Government to ensure the matter of EU funding for Northern Ireland and the border region remains high on the agenda and an expeditious solution is found for successor programmes after 2020” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 26, 2017).
“The statements of the UK Government and the European Union acknowledging the importance of not returning to a hard border are welcome. Yet the uncertainty around what arrangements will be put in place and how these might affect trade flows, businesses with branches on both sides, movement of people living on one side and working in another is already taking a heavy toll. Brexit has also sharpened the focus on the immense gains of an invisible border, gains that for many had been heretofore taken for granted and underestimated but that are now keenly appreciated as their existence becomes threatened. These include economic gains (see the unemployment statistics below), as well as social, cultural and most importantly psychological gains” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 27, 2017).
“This weakness is likely to be compounded by Brexit with an expected reduction in cross border trade and economic cooperation, loss of FDI and loss of EU economic development funding. Northern Ireland’s anticipated 12.5% corporation tax rate was expected to boost inward investment however this was largely predicated on continued EU membership and access to the single market. The Committee further heard that the Brexit vote had already brought a considerable degree of uncertainty which is negatively impacting businesses and SMEs and is likely to remain for years. Businesses are less likely to invest in an unstable climate and Brexit is already creating barriers to the efficient conduct of business. Smaller businesses (SMEs) dependent on exports to Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK are being particularly badly hit” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 28, 2017).
“The Common Travel Area predates Irish and British EU membership. It allows for free movement of Irish and British citizens between the islands of Ireland and Great Britain and guarantees the rights of Irish and British citizens to live and work in each other’s jurisdictions. However, there is no precedent for its operation with one State inside the EU and the other outside it” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 30, 2017).
“The Committee acknowledges that much progress has been made but there remains a long way to go in addressing many outstanding legacy issues, dealing with ongoing justice and security matters and breaking down barriers and divisions between communities, both at a psycho-social level and in terms of access to services. Northern Ireland still faces enduring challenges of building and restoring inter-community harmony and addressing the legacy of its troubled history. It should be noted that the issue of sectarianism remains a significant problem in Northern Ireland. According to Cooperation Ireland, 95% of social housing in Northern Ireland is segregated; just 5% of children go to integrated schools. There were 18 so-called “peace walls” before the Good Friday Agreement, but there were 88 of them in 2008 – an incredible 70 additional walls erected since the Good Friday Agreement” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 34, 2017).
“The Good Friday Agreement, in effect, provided equal identity to all. Many have availed of their right to hold an Irish passport. This gives rise to the unprecedented situation in which several hundred thousand Irish citizens, resident in Northern Ireland, will, overnight, and in most cases against their will, find themselves outside the European Union. As noted by Cooperation Ireland, “leaving the EU could raise issues of identity in ways that none of us can yet see.” (…) “Dr Morrow further cautioned that “unilateralism in the context of the Good Friday Agreement and uncertainty are both really serious and significant issues, all of which have potentially very major knock-on effects in a context of fragility.” (Houses of the Oireachtas, P: 35, 2017).
“Brexit must not be a distraction from the important work of reconciliation, the full implementation of the Good Friday Agreement, addressing legacy issues and building cooperation. Northern Ireland’s concerns for stability and a continuing and seamless expression of Irish citizenship and identity require a unique answer and focus. We cannot see restrictions on movement of people again. Brexit is already having a psychological impact. It is absolutely essential to ensure there is no diminution or unravelling of the still fragile peace process. Dialogue must be encouraged at all times, between all parties and stakeholders within Northern Ireland, and on an all island basis” (House of the Oireachtas, P: 36, 2017).
Clearly, the Brexit implicates the Northern Irish very much not only the impartiality of the Tories government with a DUP infused powered cabinet. The Tories have to make sure the Good Friday Agreement are respected as part of the negotiations in the Brexit agreements. Therefore, the movement of Northern Irish together with a soft border between the Republic and the Northern Ireland is important. As both states United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland has stakes in Northern Ireland. The citizenship and devolution has to work together with becoming independent from the European Union. That is a hard bargain. The dialogue between the parties in Northern Ireland and the Tories government.
We can just see how the much all parties will respect the Good Friday Agreement, if the United Kingdom or the European Union together with their Member State Republic of Ireland want’s to honor the Northern Irish constituents. Certainly, the negotiations are just starting as the Brexit time table is only beginning for the Tories and their team. However, the Good Friday Agreement and the implications should be well-known for the United Kingdom and European Union. Therefore, to respect the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland, should be very important, so that the state of affairs and the peaceful progress of the Belfast Agreement can implemented and also create a sustainable peace. There are enough stirring waters already, doesn’t need questionable behavior from London to make it worse. But that is only what time would tell. Clearly, the Tories government has to either sink or swim, but no matter what their feet will get wet. Peace.
Houses of the Oireachtas – ‘Joint Committee on the Implementation of the Good Friday Agreement – The Implications of Brexit for the Good Friday Agreement: Key Findings’ (June 2017).
In Uganda everything in Parliament and legislation are usually connected with the President in someway or another. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are usually involved in any sort acts and government affairs. It is well known that many decisions are taken directly at the State House or at either the NRM National Executive Committee (NEC) and the NRM Caucus. This are all directed by the President and usually contains his vision. So that the Parliament was probing the Presidential Handshake, that was like looking directly into the provisions given by the President. The President who has accepted to give to civil servants and other government officials. So here is the report from Parliament today!
“A House committee that inquired into the payment of Shs 6 billion to 42 government officials for winning a tax oil case in London wants the beneficiaries to refund the monies. Parliament’s Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) committee was instructed by Parliament in January this year to investigate the payment of the monies to the officials, said to have participated in the arbitration case between government and Heritage Oil and Gas in a London court” (…) “In its recommendations, the committee has tasked government to come up with a bill within 90 days to regulate and streamline the Presidential donations budget. Parliament last month rejected a Shs 53.8 billion supplementary budget, which included the Shs 6 billion bonus payment to the government officials. The Budget committee, in its report, said the approval of the funds was deferred pending the COSASE probe conclusion” (Parliament Watch Uganda, 21.06.2017).
Clearly, like all things in Parliament and within government in Uganda are coming back to the Okello House, or President Museveni. He is always involved and has made decisions or took charge so it happen. The same happen with the Presidential Handshake, which he gave way to after seeing the letters in the case. That the beneficiaries are claimed to have to refund their money to the state, as it was supposed to be tax to fund the state. The money the state won was not supposed to become individual income for the individuals doing clerical work for Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) or anyone else.
Now the COSASE wants the state to restrict the Presidential Donations and the monies the President suddenly dole away. So they can monitor his giving ways and his use of state funds. Clearly this will put measures to follow the President and his acts. Certainly, he would not like this, because this could show some transparency and show where the funds the President are free to give-away. This is not something that seem like President Museveni doesn’t want to follow. Since if so, he is showing real governance and open government. He prefers running in backdoor agreements and brown envelopes to get legislation through the Parliament. If the Presidential donations are monitored, than the clear corrupt behavior will be in the open and COSASE would have a field day on the actions of the State House. Certainly, the 90 days will not be met and not be followed.
If so, than it will be water-downed legislation, which doesn’t have the power to question his authority. Just like the monitoring and probing into the Presidential Handshake. The Report today proved how little they can vindicate, and even show who is to blame. As the recommendation for regulation of the Presidential Donations will certainly not be something President Museveni would prefer. Peace.
Certainly, one of these days the Jubilee government Cabinet Secretaries going to wake-up from their sleep and start to act with common sense. Since the release of subsidized maize and opening imports, the markets has not overflowed with Unga. Neither, the reality that some of the millers kept stockpiles of it, as they knew they would be subsidized from the state. So why sell it months ahead, when you can keep it steady and unleash when you get double bonus. The Jubilee government knows this and therefore right on the day of the subsidized maize and the possible export provisions came into effects. Boats with foreign maize came pouring in through the ports of Mombasa.
“He witnessed the arrival of 12,000 bags through the Rift Valley Railways yesterday. “To ensure every Kenyan enjoys the Sh90 subsidised maize flour, all maize from Mombasa will be removed using SGR, RVR and trucks,” Bett said. In two weeks, the market has been experiencing a shortage of unga. “Since we started the subsidised programme, we have witnessed more Kenyans preferring unga, thus the high demand for maize flour,” he said” (Ngotho, 2017).
CS Willy Bett, need some guidance, needs some reassurance and some sort of stiff upper-lips for insulting fellow citizens. It isn’t the sudden love for UNGA. This the staple food. This is what Kenyans are known to eat. UNGA, Ugali or Posho (Ugandan I know). Still, the maize flour meals is not a well-kept hidden secret. It would be like taking potatoes as out of the equation when feeding massive parts of Northern Europe. That is just the staple food. Period.
The CS clearly, has some internal issues and need to stop thinking he can deceive fellow citizens. As the indicated exports combined with the stockpiling was very evident. That people are buying lots of it now, is because they might even fear for more scarcity. Since it isn’t only drought, but man-made problems that has given way to shortage of UNGA.
It is time to wake-up for Mr. Bett and smell the UNGA. Time to see and relieve his fellow brothers and sisters. Not just find excuses upon excuses and think it can save his grace. You do not take away some-ones staple and think you can get away with it. Seriously, that is insulting. The insinuation and undermining of the needs and the will of Kenyans. Are evident in his approach to the UNGA crisis. This should not be forgotten, because his grace has clearly not done his job and then blames the citizens for either their staple food! Peace.
Ngotho, Agatha – ‘Kenyans eating more ugali to blame for unga shortage – CS’ (20.06.2017) link: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/06/20/kenyans-eating-more-ugali-to-blame-for-unga-shortage-cs_c1582605?platform=hootsuite
Theresa May is still struggling to have a majority government, as he the Queens Speech are happening within hours. The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) is playing hard with them and showing them how to negotiate. As they know they have most of the leverage and what Prime Minister Theresa May needs after a flawed and botched election campaign.
The Conservative Party under PM May looks like chaos and talks like chaos. Brexit Minister David Davis had to give way and accept the terms of the European Union, since the Cabinet and Parliament isn’t put into play yet, as the Queen hasn’t blessed the hallow halls in London. Certainly, the minority power of Northern Ireland is now playing with her.
Theresa May are clearly between rocks and no soft spaces. She is stuck between either a worse place or axing. Even as the disarray and uncertainty is not the stable government she pledged during the election, neither the reason for the election in the first place. The Tories isn’t building bridges or structures worth trust. More making sure they stay in office, than actually having plans and things in order. Just like it was revealed after the Brexit Referendum election, the Brexiteers who was running the campaign like Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson really had white paper on how to leave the Union. Instead, that has come in the months after the campaign and it has been very light reading.
The Tories, PM May are hanging by the thread since the 10 MPs that gives majority to Conservative Government is clearly not an easy buy-out for power. Since Arlene Foster now officially can control the Tories and their agenda for the next term. That is why the Queen has to be in the sorry state, where the Prime Minister and the Cabinet cannot inform her on the policy changes or more constructive legislation to speak-off. Since we don’t know if they are going to have orange marches in Oxford and London now. As a part of the agreement between Tories and DUP. They could even offer the most amazing infrastructure plan for Northern Ireland and lax border-control between Ireland and Northern Ireland. But who knows what sort of way the Tories has go to please the DUP?
Certainly, DUP can push their policies and what they need to deliver to their constituencies. The same can be said by the Tories, but the Tories are the partner who needs DUP. Not the other way around. The DUP and Tories if they are going together has lose key causes. That is the normal for any sort of agreement between two political parties forming a government or a coalition. If it wasn’t giving and taking, it would be one-party majority who did as they pleased. Something the Tories did until the election, which is ironic.
Arlene Foster can bushwhack London government and with full velocity, something they have clearly already done. The sources to Sky News and BBC News hasn’t been hopeful today, and seemingly, the chaos that May promised the voters if they voted for either SNP, Lib-Dems or Labour, has happen to her. It has hit the Tories like a wrecking-ball, we can just wait now for the back-stabbing and the ugly internal notes leaking to the press. This will describe the in-fighting and centralized control under May.
It isn’t only that DUP have control of the coalition, but the problems it can create in the negotiations after the peace-agreements in Northern Ireland and the National Assembly of Stormont. The outspoken Sinn Fein and others has their rights to be skeptic about the whole arrangement. The impartiality is out of the window with the clear gateway into Cabinet policy in London. The Belfast and Northern Ireland Peace Agreements are torn when the ink on the paper between DUP and Tories are official. That historical document will seal the definition of London Accord of forgetting the Good Friday Agreement.
Certainly, we will then officially know what is the most important for the Tories, not the United Kingdom, neither stability for the British Isle’s, only keeping themselves in power, and that by any means. Since they haven’t had good and thorough plans for Brexit, neither for the coalition, therefore the Tories are stumbling from one crisis into another. With all of this they might start eating “a whole other kettle of fish”. But as long as May stay in power the Tories thinks they are fine. But the Brexit negotiations might be hard and troubling as 7000 deals with the European Union (EU) has to be finalized during the next two years. At the same time they now has to consider more often the implications of the peace agreements in Northern Ireland and also kiss the ring of Arlene Foster.
Certainly, this will not be a walk in the park. This will be hurdle after hurdle. Wonder when it going to end and how this story is ending in certain peace. Since the Tories, PM May and Foster are clearly playing with high-stakes and not considering the implications of their actions. Since they just reacts and trying to save face by any means! Peace.
Honourable Evelyn Anite, the State Minister for Investment and Privatization, the one who was speaking on the 19th June 2017 at the Constitutional Square in Kampala. This is where she uttered words of special disgrace. Especially in a free-market ideology that the National Resistance Movement (NRM) has bought into with the Structural Adjustment Plan (SAP). Together with the privatization of all sort of markets. Uganda Telecom isn’t the only Cellphone provider or the ones delivering telephone services in Uganda. There are dozens owned by local and by foreign investors. These are all from MTN to Airtel, even Smile Telecom and others. These are in competition and is one of the most profitable industries in Uganda.
Therefore, just look into what the Privatization Minister said yesterday, which is interesting.
“Once the managerial problems at Uganda Telecom have been fixed, Ugandans will be compelled to own a UTL Simcard just like having the national identity (ID) card Evelyn Anite, the outspoken State minister for Investment and Privatization has revealed” (…) “”It did not take us to get somebody from another country to come and fix what is [problems] in UTL. We’re not yet done but we are close by…I want to tell you something; that once we fix the problems in Utl, it is going to be compulsory for Ugandans to hold a UTL line just as it is for you to have a national ID, you must have a Ugandan line. That is the spirit of patriotism”, she said” (URN, 2017).
Sometimes, there should be given some public ethics and governance practices to fellow ministers, as their reach and their possible outreach of laws and proposals. Even the State Minister Anite should learn some parts of the Uganda Communications Act of 2000, which says: “56. Commission to encourage fair competition. The commission shall, in the performance of its functions under this Act, promote, develop and enforce fair competition and equality of treatment among all operators in any business or service relating to communication“ (Uganda Communication Act, 2000). So the laws abiding by the state itself, says it is supposed to be fair, but what is even more neat.
The Second section in Part X, which is worth looking at, since this is the exact part that the operators and the Minister totally forgotten or overlooked, if ever have read: “57. Prohibition of acts exhibiting unfair competition. An operator shall not engage in any activities, whether by act or omission, which have, or are intended to or likely to have, the effect of unfairly preventing, restricting or distorting competition in relation to any business activity relating to communications services. Without limiting the generality of subsection (1), an act or omission referred to under that subsection shall include— any abuse by an operator, either independently or with others, of a dominant position which unfairly excludes or limits competition between the operator and any other party; entering any agreement or engaging in any concerted practice with any other party, which unfairly prevents, restricts or distorts. competition; or (c) the effectuation of anticompetitive changes in the market structure and, in particular, anticompetitive mergers and acquisitions in the communications sector. Neither the Uganda Telecom Limited nor any of its affiliates shall hold or acquire an ownership interest in the second national operator or its affiliates. Neither the second national operator nor its affiliates shall hold or acquire an ownership interest in the Uganda Telecom Limited or any of its affiliates” (Uganda Communication Act, 2000).
So the idea of the State Minister of Privatization are actually thinking of making provisions for the failing state-owned company Uganda Telecom, to get all citizens to have sim-cards and making them costumers in the midst of free-market and also in the midst of all competitions. This is clearly a massive breach of the law and these pieces of legislation. You don’t need to be a scholar or a man of wisdom to understand the possible problems of UTL. This clearly can be seen as limiting the competition and the other companies, as the state only in this way looks into UTL and not helping the other companies. Because she didn’t say all citizens should have MTN and Airtel too, only mentioned UTL.
This is not enforcing free and fair competition and equality of treatment between them. The words of State Minister Evelyn Anite isn’t enacted or become law, even a motion to Parliament. But shows the disregard for functioning law by the own Parliamentarians. That is clearly needed and Speaker Rebecca Kadaga should get the functioning staff to teach their fellow MPs. So they know their laws and provisions within their departments. This so they don’t create these sort of embarrassment, which Anite has done yesterday and revealed today. If not maybe a NRM Caucus at Kyankwanzi could be a learning seminar instead of bashing in the glory of the President and his controlling ways. Peace.
URN – ‘Uganda: UTL Simcards to Become Mandatory for Ugandans – Anite’ (20.06.2017) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201706200332.html
You know there is something special, you know there is something out of bound and something compelling, when the Members of Parliament (MPs) who has no quarrels with eating without taxation, without thinking of their salaries compered to the ones who they represent. The constituency of the MP must feel betrayed as their allowances and their benefits are enormous, to say it at least, they are gigantic! But take a look at the latest big payment for the MPs!
“Parliament — MPs are smiling all the way to the bank after the government authorised the release of an extra Shs45b to Parliament, with each of the 449 lawmakers set to get an additional Shs100m, ostensibly to buy cars for constituency travels” (…) “In a June 13 letter titled: ‘Additional cash limit of Shs45.8b for the Parliamentary Commission’, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary to the Treasury, authorised Ms Jane Kibirige, the Clerk to Parliament, to spend the cash as part of non-wage recurrent budget in the fourth quarter of the Financial Year 2016/2017. The clearance comes barely two weeks to the end of the Financial Year” (Arinaitwe & Manzil, 2017).
So the Members of Parliament are clearly getting another pay-day without passing to much legislation or any sort of consideration of the proposed budget or pledges they had for the financial year 2017/2018. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the NRM Caucus have clearly made together with the Parliamentary Commission to make a new pay-day for the MPs, yet again!
The National Resistance Movement and their MPs clearly like to get extra brown-envelopes without any considerations of the state of the budget or the way the funds are raised. It is not shocking, it seems like an ordinary event at this point. Not like it is the first time, the MPs uses their Noble place in the august house to enrich themselves and add cost to the state. Therefore, the added debt and interest payments should be feared by the MPs. Instead, they are adding debt and creating more interest without concern of the citizens.
The citizens are going to pay extra for this, they are the ones that are ripped off at broad-daylight. They are eating directly of the state reserve and does it with impunity. Also worth noticing, President Museveni is not sanctioning against it, since he can do as pleases. Since he is eating directly and misuse s it whenever he wants. Peace.
Arinaitwe, Solomon & Manzil, Ibrahim – ‘Uganda: MPs Get Extra Shs100 Million Each for Cars’ (17.06.2017) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201706190735.html?utm_campaign=allafrica%3Ainternal&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_content=promote%3Aaans%3Aabafbt