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Archive for the category “Economy”

Tanzania: Further Response to the First Presidential Committee’s findings on the Export of Gold/Copper Concentrates (26.05.2017)

EAC: Signing of the Inter-Governmental Agreement between the Republic of Uganda and the United Republic of Tanzania for the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) Project (26.05.2017)

MPS for Presidential Affairs FY 2017/18 proving massive spending on Mzee!

The Ministerial Policy Statement on the Presidential Affairs for the Financial Year of 2017/2018. These are clear of the priorities in the Republic. The Republic are putting as much funds into the State House, which is Ushs. 245 bn and under the Office of Prime Minister in the Development Expenditure Ushs. 245 bn. So there are certain aspects of government priority that isn’t healthy, as both the Office of the President and the State House get Ush. 300 bn in total. But take look at the beautiful priorities of the National Resistance Movement!

Office of the President:

In the FY 2017/18, the total proposed allocation to Office of the President is Ushs 54.268 bn, reflecting a 2.8% increment against the FY 2016/17 approved budget” (GoU, P: 3,2017).

The Committee noted that four (4) districts of Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda came in place in FY 2016/2017. In the FY 2017/2018, Namisindwa, Pakwach, Butebo, Rukiga, Kyotera and Bunyangabo will come into operation. The Committee however noted that additional cost implication of Ushs. 2.63 bn to facilitate 10 RDCs is not within the MTEF ceiling of Office of the President in FY 2017/18. The Committee further observed that facilitation for RDCs to conduct effective monitoring of Government programs is underfunded to the tune of Ushs. 3.0 bn” (GoU, P: 4, 2017)

Internal Security Organization:

The Committee expressed concern without substantial facilitation to Internal Security Organisation, terrorists can successfully accomplish their interests of terrorism and insurgency activities and other forms of organized crimes including politically motivated ones without detection. This has in most cases resulted substantial spending in managing such acts” (GoU, P: 9, 2017).

State House:

In the FY 2017/18, the total proposed allocation to Vote 002 is Ushs 245.567 bn, reflecting a 4.6% reduction against the FY 2016/17 approved budget” (GoU, P: 12, 2017).

External Security Organization:

In the FY 2017/18, the total proposed allocation to Vote 159 is Ushs 31.343 bn, reflecting an increment of 16.4°10 against the FY 2016/17 approved budget largely on account of a 10 % budget cut on consumptive items” (GoU, P: 18, 2017).

Office of the Prime Minister:

The Committee noted that the policy on refugees in Uganda is lacking. The Committee was informed that Office of the Prime Minister is in the process of conducting consultations with stakeholders to validate the Draft Refugee Policy. The Committee observes that in absence of the refugee policy, citizens are not aware of the right places and right engagement for refuges. The Committee undertook on-spot assessment of communities hosting refugees in Adjumani, Yumbe and Kiryandongo Districts and noted that in some instances, refugees have too much freedom and are more privileged at the expense of nationals” (GoU, P: 29, 2017).

10.3.5 Lack of sustainable interventions for Disaster Preparedness

The Committee notes that Office of the Prime Minister has not made any efforts in putting in place sustainable interventions for Disaster Preparedness. In its oversight role, the Committee undertook a field visit to Nakasongola District, which is among the drought prone areas in the Country. The Committee was informed that during peak drought season, about 30 heads of cattle died per day and that the drought season occurs year in year out. The most painful thing to note is that Nakasongola District is surrounded by Lake Kyoga” (GoU, P: 29, 2017).

11.1 VOTE 001 – OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

Budget Item UShs. (Bn)

(i) Recurrent Expenditure 118,929,091,000

(ii) Development Expenditure 5,216,904,000” (GoU, P: 32, 2017).

11.3 VOTE 003 – OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER

Budget Item (i) Recurrent Expenditure Ushs. 64,786,412,000 bn.

(ii) Development Expenditure Ushs. 245,404,928,000 bn” (GoU, P: 32, 2017)

There are proof of enough lacking resources, lacking policies, even coming from the Office of the Prime Minister, that is the Ministry under Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the trusted appointee that was sought to fill the shoes of Amama Mbabazi. Therefore, the government are clearly not planning or having funds to keep the refugees in Uganda. There assistance is coming from donors, the Multi-National Organization and Non-Governmental Organization who apply needed help to the fleeing refugees in Northern Uganda.

We can also see the similar use of Development expenditure under the Office of the Prime Minister and the State House, which is Ushs. 245 bn. This is proving the misuse of funds on the State House, as the development expenditure should be more important than expensive water and all other projects under the State House. As well, as keeping the upkeep of the President. Even as under the Office of the President are alone getting Ushs. 118 bn. Therefore, the whole Presidential Affairs are really not a cheap ride for the Financial Year of 2017/2018.

The are really lot of spending on the President and Prime Minister’s portfolios, but still missing key policies to implement the spending. That is maybe why the State House needed supplementary budget before even getting the vote of the Ministerial Statement. If that isn’t bad planning or even misuse of State Reserves, than who knows! Peace.

Reference:

Government of Uganda (GoU)- ‘SUMMARY REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS ON THE MINISTERIAL POLICY STATEMENTS FOR FY 2017/18’ (May 2017)

Opinion: Minister Kibuule misuse state funds as he flies to see in-laws!

You would think the misuse of government funds would have an end in the Republic of Uganda? But the misuse of State Reserves are endless. Especially by the Ministers and Members of Parliament, that really use every reason in the book to eat of the government plate. That Honorable Ronald Kibuule stepped out of line and used government transport without sanction is clear. That the Minister for Water using for a private visit a Police Helicopter is just disgusting. It proves how little the Minister thinks of the cost of his lifestyle and secondly how it may look. There are clear he just wants to sponge of the state and use the available resources to extend his luxury. If the Minister had use the monies from the suits from the President or even used the car provided by Parliament, than he still would seen as one living life within the means of his public office. But taking a helicopter to visit his in-laws are really showing disrespect to the rest of the citizens. Just take a look!

The State Water minister, Mr Ronald Kibuule, on Tuesday stirred residents of Ntungamo Town in southwestern Uganda when he swung by in a police helicopter to check on his father-in-law.

After the police Agusta AW109 Grandnew chopper landed at Ntungamo Sacred Heart Parish adjacent to the police station at about 4.30pm, curious onlookers crowded to catch a glimpse of the government official they mistook for the Inspector General of Police, Gen Kale Kayihura” (…) “But a few minutes later, minister Kibuule sauntered out of the helicopter with another man and five police guards and headed to his father-in-law John Tumuhimbise’s residence, a short distance from the police station.

We thought it was the IGP; some police officers even had to run [home] to dress up. But I think this is pure misuse of government resources; there is no police officer that can ask for this or even a motorcycle while going home, and it is given to him,” one police officer said on condition of anonymity to avoid possible reprimand” (Rumanzi & Kasasira, 2017).

This is a total disregard and disrespect of the people, the taxpayers and the donors. That the state are using and paying for private travels with police helicopter. This should have been taken care of with other means. The Police Helicopter should been used by the Police Force only and for the use in Police functions. Not used for a private trip for the State Minister of Water Kibuule. Kibuule should reimburse the costs of the trip back to the state and assure the citizens that he doesn’t misue the funds in this manner. This disgrace as a minister to use state transportation to for personal travels. As the MP’s and Minister’s are already getting massive salaries and allowances, plus cars and other benefits that the average Ugandan couldn’t afford. Therefore, this is just a proof of how the NRM regime and their cabinet members see themselves, as they can just use State Transportation when needed and without consideration of the spending in doing so. Peace.

Reference:

Rumanzi, Perez & Kasasira, Risdel – ‘Minister flies chopper to visit in-laws’ (25.05.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Minister-chopper—inlaws-Ronald-Kibuule/688334-3940918-xxausg/index.html

Moyo District planned cutbacks for FY 2017/18 to an already tired Local Government Structure!

“”Connecting Uganda, Changing Lives! The Obongi Ferry routes between #Adjumani and #Moyo districts” (UNRA on Twitter)

The Local Government Budget Framework Paper for the Financial Year of 2017/2018 for the Moyo District of the Republic of Uganda is daming. It is tragic, the ways the budget is inadequate and is proving the lack of will of governance. The way the district is being underfunded and not spending needed tax-payers monies. But this is just one district in the Republic, still if this is a proof of the problems in Uganda. This is one out of dozens districts, but the little drops of issues has also been showed in the MPS of the KCCA for the coming financial year. Therefore, the quotes from the Moyo District, proves the lack of care of the local district institutions and their staff. As the lacking structure is evident by the Framework paper. Take a look!

Hampering implementation:

Poor road conditions and inadequate infrastructure limiting community access to productive land, increasing cost of production and access to markets and social services, inadequate and limited supply of electricity that hinders promotion of value addition and food processing, inadequate skilled manpower and under staffing where the current staffing level is at 52%, negative community attitude and cultural practices that impact negatively on health seeking behaviour and access to education, high population” (Vote: 539, 2017).

Cutbacks to Local Government budget:

Total planned revenue for FY 2017/2018 is Uganda Shillings 22,463,673,000 compared to FY 2016-2017 of Uganda Shillings 25,617,772,000 indicating a decline of 12% in revenue budget. The FY 2017//2018 total revenue has reduced by Uganda Shillings 3,154,099,000,000 .The major decline in revenue budget has been witnessed in Donor funding by Uganda Shillings 2,396,897,000 mainly UNICEF, UNFPA and . Secondly Locally Raised Revenue and Conditional Grants have been reduced” Vote: 539, P: 3, 2017).

Planned Revenue for 2017/18:

(i) Locally Raised Revenues

(ii) Central Government Transfers

(iii) Donor Funding

Out of total Local Revenue of Uganda Shillings:

699,937,000, Uganda Shillings 148,794,000 is Taxes and Uganda Shillings 551,142,000 is Non taxes.. The major sources of the taxes include; Land fees of Uganda Shillings 9,060,000, Application fees of Uganda Shillings 8,200,000, Business licenses of Uganda Shillings 33,000,000, and other licenses of Uganda Shillings 24,721,000 Animal and crop related levies of Uganda Shillings 30,521,000, Registration of Businesses of Uganda Shillings 13,222,000,

The Total Central Government Transfers:

Is Uganda Shillings 18,059,155,000. The Conditional Grants amount to Uganda Shillings 13,813,,307,000 (76.5%), Dicretionary Grants amount to Uganda Shillings 3,698,541,000 (20.5%), Other Transfers of Uganda Shillings 547,307,000 (3%) Major source of the Central Government Transfers are; Sector Conditional Grants ( Health, Education, Production and Maketing, Water, and Administration), District Discretionary Development Grants and District Discretionary

The total Donor funds:

To the district is only UGX 3,704,581,000. The low allocation of was because some of the development partners like BAYLOR Uganda and SuSTAIN are no longer receving funds from their Donors outside Uganda” (Vote: 539, P: 6, 2017).

Low Primary and Secondary School completion rates

The Primary School completion rate stands at 26.1% which is far below the national average. Drop out rates at Secondary schools is also high at 35%. The challenge is caused by low parental/ community participation and involvement in schools.

Inadequancy of teachers houses in Schools and poor school sanitation

Only 29.2% of the teachers in Primary Schools are accomodated at school. This causes tardiness and late coming among teachers. Besides effective transfer of staff is a big challenge. The Pupil Stance ratios in schools are still appalling.

Inadequancy of Science and Mathematics teachers in secondary schools:

It is extremely hard to attract and retain science and Mathematics teachers in the secondary schools. The few available once retired or died and never replaced by the Ministry of Education and Sports” (Vote: 539, P: 15, 2017).

The three biggest challenges faced by the department in improving local government service:

Lack of Transport: Planning Unit has no running vehicle nor motor cycle hence affects programme implementation.

Weak internet connection: The internet installed for Birth registration is weak hence affects data entry and demotivates the Data entrants since payment is according to records entered.

Erratic power supply: The line connecting the Unit has been constanly inturrupted during printing hence leading to loss of records” (Vote: 539, P: 23, 2017).

It isn’t only on the Framework Paper that the troubles of Moyo District comes to surface, as the issues of the District is evident. The Moyo district needs certainly more funds and more direction, as the district is understaffed. This is with the mind of not only having enough people in the needed positions, but also have the equipment and buildings for the state to deliver needed services for the citizens.

Moyo district councilors have protested what they call deliberate refusal to pay their sitting allowances by the office of the Chief Administrative Officer. During a council meeting to pass the 2017/18 budget, the councilors almost paralysed the sitting after putting to task the Chief Administrative Officer to explain why they were not being paid their arrears” (…) “Chaiga Warned the CAO to be serious in handling the matters of the councilors because such delays can embarrass in the eyes of their electorates. “We should not make such things to occur again in the lives of the councilors”, he said” (…) “Grandfield Omonda, the Chief administrative officer however blamed the delay in paying the councilors to low local revenue generation. Omonda said the district performed poorly in terms of local revenue collection leading to delay in clearing the arrears. “We have performed low in collecting the local revenues and money to pay the council sittings comes direct from the collection and the money is generated from lower local government at sub county levels”, Mr Omonda said” (Iceta, 2017).

So the Local Government are blamed by the appointed men of the Central Government, as the Budget Framework Paper is showing how it is lacking. Even the CAO and the Councilors are trading shots of the lack of funds and their salaries, as the representatives in the district isn’t even getting their supposed allowances. But they are not the only who has misgivings, the are on the top and still isn’t getting what they are supposed to. The whole districts lacks the needed manpower and revenue to run. That is a systematic maladministration that is totally normal under the National Resistance Movement. This is their system and their works over decades rule. Therefore, the NRM haven’t had the priority to fix or make sure the districts are running sufficiently. That is why the basics isn’t there and the CAO of Moyo Oryono Grandfield Omonda, who reported this all to the Parliament for the voting. Peace.

Reference:

Iceta, Scovin – ‘Moyo District Councilors Protest Unpaid Arrears’ (25.05.2017) link: http://westnilepress.org/moyo-district-councilors-protest-unpaid-arrears/

Republic of Uganda – ‘Vote: 539 Moyo District’ – Local Government Budget Framework Paper – Financial Year 2017/2018

Burundi: Avis Aux Createurs d’Entreprises (23.05.2017)

South Africa: Committee Concerned about State of Governance at Eskom (24.05.2017)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 24, 2017 – The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises held an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue of the reappointment of Eskom’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Brian Molefe.

Acting Chairperson Ms Zukiswa Rantho said last week the Committee agreed unanimously to call a meeting where the Board and the Minister are to appear before the Committee and explain what is happening at the power utility. Ms Rantho said: “The meeting today wants to know why is Mr Molefe back at Eskom, has Mr Molefe retired, was he retrenched, did he take early retirement or the new one that has been reported was that he was on unpaid leave, these are some of the answers that we need today.”

The Committee was of the view that legal advice that has been received will not be used to shield Eskom from being accountable before the Committee. The comments from the Committee came after Eskom’s Board Chairperson, Dr Ben Ngubane, said he had received legal advice from his counsel after he had filed an affidavit on Monday, 22 May 2017. Dr Ngubane said he was advised that the matter cannot be debated other than in a court of law. “I have to listen to counsel as they are representing us in a court of law,” said Dr Ngubane.

Members indicated that the Committee had also received legal advice regarding today’s meeting and the Committee had been advised that it should not get into the merits and demerits of the case. Members of the Committee stated that Eskom and the Executive are accountable to Parliament.

According to the legal advice from Parliament’s Legal Office, it states that “there is a constitutional duty to perform oversight and the intention of calling the Minister and Board is not to influence the court. Whilst the matter is sub judice (meaning it is before the court), this does not mean that Parliament cannot perform its oversight function, as long as the deliberations are not on “the merits of the case”.

In response to the presentation by Eskom and the Minister of Public Enterprises, the Committee questioned what pressurised such a strategic institution to hire someone where a question mark has not been cleared based on the Public Protector’s State of Capture Report. The Committee indicated that Eskom needs to state the basis of employment of Mr Molefe as the issue is still in the public domain.

The Committee said Mr Molefe, in his resignation letter, said he was stepping down from the power utility based on good governance following the release of the State of Capture report by the former Public Protector.

The Committee wanted to know if the papers filed in court by the Minister that Mr Molefe was on unpaid leave whilst being a Member of Parliament are true. Furthermore, the Committee queried why the post of the chief executive would be advertised and interviews conducted if Mr Molefe was on unpaid leave. The Committee said it will not accept the explanation provided before the Committee that he (Mr Molefe) was on unpaid leave as Section 47 of the Constitution would not allow this.

A response from a Board member indicated that Mr Molefe had resigned last year. Regarding the reappointment of Mr Molefe as CEO, the Board supported his reappointment based on the legal advice that the power utility received and on Mr Molefe’s performance whilst in the employ of Eskom.

The Committee made a recommendation that the Eskom Board and the Minister should be subjected to an inquiry to check if they (the Board) exercised its fiduciary responsibilities and duties. A parliamentary inquiry needs to be instituted against the Board and forensic investigation needs to be conducted to reach a determination of what must happen. The Committee agreed that further engagements need to be conducted amongst the members to discuss a way forward on the possible inquiry.

Following its deliberation, the Committee supported the decision for a parliamentary inquiry in line with National Assembly rules to look into the Board of Eskom.

On Eskom’s legal argument that Mr Molefe was appointed under the terms of the 2014 Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI), the Minister stated that the early retirement agreement didn’t have to be shown to her. The 2014 MoI does not enlist the Minister as party to the contract of employment of a Group CEO, whist the 2016 MoI explicitly enlists the Minister as a party to the contract of employment of Group CEO.

The Committee is of the view that the Minister failed to exercise her oversight duties as the 2016 MoI gave the Minister powers to appoint and dismiss the Group CEO of Eskom.

Ms Rantho said: “The Committee is concerned with the state of governance at Eskom. There seems to a breakdown in communication between the shareholder and the state-owned company.”

“The Committee is concerned with the breakdown of corporate governance principles at Eskom. In this regard, the Committee views the reappointment of Mr Molefe with serious concern,” said Ms Rantho.

She added that “we will further seek advice on how to deal with the decision of the reappointment of the Chief Executive”.

In its deliberation the Committee requested the power utility to provide the Committee with documents such as minutes correspondence and decisions taken on the reappointment of Mr Molefe.

Ethiopia: Food insecurity intensifies despite late Gu and Belg season rainfall (24.05.2017)

Key Messages

  • Despite enhanced rainfall at the end of April into early May over many areas of Ethiopia, food security outcomes are still expected to deteriorate, particularly in southern and southeastern pastoral areas due to the late start, erratic, and below-average Gu/Genna rains. In portions of Somali Region, the accelerated loss of livestock has significantly expanded food consumption gaps, and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) outcomes are likely in the absence of sustained assistance during June to September. In lowland areas of SNNPR along the Rift Valley and in East and West Hararghe, southern Tigray, and portions of northern Amhara, projected outcomes are expected to move from Stressed (IPC Phase 2) to Crisis (IPC Phase 3), beginning in June, due to low household purchasing power and a lack of confirmed humanitarian assistance.
  • Late Gu/Genna season rainfall has partially rejuvenated water points for both livestock and human consumption across some woredas of Somali Region, and improved water availability has been reported in Borena and Guji zones of Oromia and South Omo in southern SNNPR. However, the rainfall has not continued into mid-May, and the short-term forecast indicates only moderate rainfall as the season concludes. The current marginal improvements in pasture and water are likely to be depleted by early June, which will mean rangeland resources will rapidly decline, and subsequently livestock body conditions and productivity, until the Deyr/Hageya season in October.
  • Over most Belg-producing areas of the country, extended dry spells through much of April suppressed the growth of Belg crops as well as Meher long-cycle crops. As a result, even if the Belg rains continue through the end of May, lower yields are likely for maize crops in particular, especially in lowland areas of SNNPR along the Rift Valley. Due to late planting, the green and dry Belg maize harvest in SNNPR is likely to be delayed by more than two months. Poor households are already experiencing constrained food access as they are highly market dependent during the peak of the lean season. Staple food prices, especially for maize, remain atypically higher.
  • The 2017 HRD initially estimated that 5.6 million people needed humanitarian assistance through June 2017, but the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) has revised higher the number to 7.81 million. In addition, the NDRMC has projected that in Belg-dependent areas, additional PSNP beneficiaries past the traditional six-month period of transfers will need extended support. The NDRMC, JEOP, and WFP completed the first two distribution rounds, and the third round is underway. However, there are logistical constraints that might impede timely distributions.

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