#FixMotherGhana: “Everyday for thief man, one day for master”

Countrymen, the task ahead is great indeed, and heavy is the responsibility; and yet it is a noble and glorious challenge – a challenge which calls for the courage to dream, the courage to believe, the courage to dare, the courage to do, the courage to envision, the courage to fight, the courage to work, the courage to achieve – to achieve the highest excellencies and the fullest greatness of man. Dare we ask for more in life? ” President Kwame Nkrumah address to the National Assembly. 12 June 1965

These days, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cannot catch a breath… heck he doesn’t have a moment of silence. The people are willing to riot and demonstrate. They are tired of been taken for a ride. A political elite not seeing them and not meeting their needs. Accra and other places are seeing this.

Ghana is burning. Ghana is tired and most of all. Ghana seems like it is tired of taken for granted. To have selfish leaders who only fix things for themselves and their operatives, but doesn’t serve the general public. A political class who has forgotten the lessons of Kwame Nkrumah. These have to be revisited to achieve what is long forgotten.

Not to forget the passion of M.Anifest on Burna Boy’s ‘Another Story’ which was released in 2019, where he said these wise words:

Same shit, Ghana, Naija, man tire

Stuck in traffic I dey hate delay

Big man get the motorcade, big Benz and the Escalade

Hustle just dey escalate

But March 6, we go celebrate

Every year be the same cock and bull

Propaganda you dey push no dey pull

E dey pain, people tire for this matter

Everyday for thief man, one day for master” – (M.Anifest, 2019).

That sentiment is felt in Ghana these days too. The same sort of neglect and feeling of being forgotten by the ones representing you. Where you feel nothing is happening and that’s why the citizens are pleading to fix it.

The demands is very clear, but shows the lack of progress. They are asking for the water to run in their taps. Not just work on the water-cannons of the Ghana Police vehicles. Fix Dumsor, fix the roads, fix the education system and fix the health care system. They are coming with demands, which shows a lack of care and use of resources. Still, the same state have fresh new from the boat police vehicles and other equipment to crack-down on demonstrations. That just shows how mismanaged their priorities are…

President Akufo-Addo have been smart in the past. He knows which words to say and get positive publicity. However, now the state is clearly mismanaged and the people are tired of it all. Economic Fighters League have been on this front-line a long time without much or any support. Now the #FixThisCountry and #FixMotherGhana is catching fire. Which is good, because they are fighting the same cause.

The indifference and the lack of care for citizens. While a political elite and their associates are living large. The economy was dead before the global pandemic, but it did expose it. Showing the lack of concern or care from the government. The NDC-NPP have controlled and switched power, but with no real change. They have just changed chairs and called it a day.

Now the youth, the citizens are crying and shredding tears. They are saying: enough. It is time for the people in power to listen. Not only order the police vehicles in the streets. Having press conferences stating facts and coming with propaganda. No, it is time to work and fix it all. The duopoly rulers have had their time and clearly not used it properly. Because, if they did.. they wouldn’t be here today. Peace.

Opinion: Is Duterte under a spell from Beijing?

The Philippines President Rodrigo Roa Duterte seems to be tricked, fooled or be caught by Chinese authorities. The Filipino President seems to be in-debt and own the Chinese a huge load of favours. Since, his pride and his stances towards is so peaceful. This coming from a man who has no trouble tarnishing, addressing people in brutal manner and even striking hard at his enemies.

Still his silence and mediocre attempts of defending his foreign policy in concern to Beijing is weak tea. The President just looks like his given up diplomacy and even standing strong on the rights of land, islands and sea in Western Philippines Sea. An area, which has been contested by both nations, but the Filipino nation won this case. Meaning, the international law is an favour of Manilla and not Beijing.

With that in mind, it is weird that his breaking his back and putting his feet in his mouth. Instead of acting as the Patriotic and Steadfast man his perceived to be. Has he added such debt on the Republic that he has traded away pieces of land?

Has the Build! Build! Build! Programme and loans for infrastructure across the Republic cost its sovereign ownership and because of the rates on these loans. He rather cosy up to Beijing, instead of buying peace in Manilla. Is that’s why his so weak and forgiving to the Chinese?

Because, if these we’re people being red-tagged, possibly connected to the communists. He would have hired the gun and buried you. However, if you are in-connection to the high power and the ones with suction in Beijing. He will grovel and be sweet as sugar.

That is where Duterte is weird. A man who can so easily buckle-up and go hammering on opponents. For someone who can sufficiently target anyone. Has not trouble to offer his hand and be gentle and rub the hands Xi Jinping.

Does Duterte want to act like a caretaker of a Chinese Province or be a proud President of the Filipino Nation? The way he speaks of this manner, it seems like he wants to be a governor appointed by Beijing to rule the Philippines for them.

If he can give away the Scarborough Shoal or the Huangyan Island, which they have claimed ownership over since mid-1930s. While the Philippines won the latest case in 2016. Therefore, the President should shield this island and such. However, he seems frightened and you can wonder what he has gotten from the Chinese.

Has Duterte done something stupid on his visits in Hong Kong or what underlying factors is it with the loans taken out during his term? What is the strings of China and what did he have to give up as collateral for the possible debt?

Did Duterte sign-off Scarborough Shoal for the BBB loans and such? Is that why his so friendly… and so kind towards China?

Because, this is not his typical self… but seemingly a character flaw of someone who can stir up harsh words with no work and be hot-headed. However, that never happens in the way towards Beijing, but can happen towards everyone else.

Duterte is just weird and you can wonder if he has given away something to have an achievement in his term. He was able to push the BBB, but the price of that is to give up his “independence” and loyalty to the Republic. As he knows the friends of Beijing bailed his pet-projects. That is why he needs their favours and see it as a political victory to give a little questionable land in West Philippines Sea, as he can point at the infrastructure built in his term. Peace.

Opinion: Boris is acting like his untouchable

The Tories Prime Minister Boris Johnson has acted the way he does, because he has the feeling of being untouchable. The Tories have been rocked with several of scandals, but every time he has gotten away with it. In the past, lesser “crimes” or questionable actions have led to resignations or sackings in cabinet or within Parliament.

However, this time around the “untouchable” can be connected to whoever. Do whatever and get away it. If he is using government funds to pay-off a mistress. If he is spending questionable funds to go on a vacation in the Caribbean or refurbishing his flat in Downing Street. It just don’t matter..

Boris is used to get away with it and it seems like the politician thinks he can get a “jail free-card” in monopoly this time too. Johnson have been Teflon, but that seems more on luck and timing than anything else.

Boris has been able to skate by and jump ahead. The crises and scandals has eloped in the middle of a global pandemic and Brexit has hit the fan too. It is a twist of stagnation and lack of growth. While his personal life, turmoil and spending habits are creating issues. Surely, the Eton boys cannot be salvaged forever.

Like for instance he can create a modern blue room for press conferences, spend a fortune refurbishing that, but not intend to use it. That is the sort of epitome of the inept government his running. When he can do that on the public dime, what is he capable of doing with his own money?

The Prime Minister has enough challenges and questionable things in the past. Not only his shady and reckless articles, his attitude towards woman and foreigners. No, this man is a liar and con-man. Who has been able to get to the top. A place where he wants to remain.

Still, his associates and allies are clearly not helping him out. As his trailing with scandals and a mockery attempt of running the kingdom. The PM is misusing his time in office, living on money, which he haven’t earned and with that is compromised by these “donors”. That is the mere reality of this.

When his living his life on a lie and thinking he can twist this too. Hoping he can ride another storm and get away with it. A man calling himself broke, but living on the public’s dime. Having no costs for phone, housing or other natural expenditure plus a salary and a net work over 2 million pounds. This man clearly has it if he wants too, but is to erratic to keep basic control of his spending habits.

He has donors paying for everything. While still getting a salary and everything else. That say a lot about how he operates. This man because of his office thinks other people can cover his expenses. While they surely wants something in return. That means his in their pocket and will do their bidding because they pay for his nanny, wallpaper and former girlfriends to be silenced (or whatnot).

That is the sort of fella Boris is and his proud of it too. To squander his time in office and living lavish on other people’s monies. That is seemingly fine and he continues to find new schemes to get out of paying his bills.

He says his broke, but plenty in the general public would be grateful for his salary and perks. It just shows how distasteful and disgraceful he is. When he wants it bumped to the double to cover his “expenses”. How can he be capable as civilian, when he has pay all the additional costs of living, which he doesn’t have now? Also when he doesn’t have benefactors and donors to cover his ass?

That just shows how corrupted he is and how lucky his been until now. That none of his mischief have cost him anything and nobody has challenged him on it. He has just been able to brush it all off and continue like normal. There is a time of inquiry to look into his personal expenses and sources of money. As not only a public civil servant and a member of parliament, but as the head of state. As his supposed to be clean and following ministerial codes, which he most likely has breached.

There should be retributions for this and not just a “I’m sorry for breaking with your trust” . End scene and move on to the next episode. Peace.

Kenya: The National Treasury & Planning – Press Release – Budget & Finance Bill Presented to Parliament (30.04.2021)

Opinion: Museveni and the NRM is in a ill-advised debt-cycle

The National Resistance Movement and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni have created a negative spiral of debt. The state have taken out more and more debt over the years. The CSBAG, Uganda Debt Network and other organizations have spoken out about this. As the state have the need to pay more in interests and it takes away more from the general budget.

Now the state is saying it has 65 Trillion Shillings in unsustainable debt. That is happening after the Parliament have had sessions over the last few years. Where the only thing they do is to vote over debt and approve more loans to the state for various of development projects, roads and you can wonder if it does anything.

The state is now owning a lot of money. More money than it usually uses in a state budget. The state budgets of late have had half of the revenue coming from domestic taxes and the other either grants or loans. There is also additional supplementary budgets, which is coming in cycles during the budget year. Which is adding more debt… and creating more debt.

There been worry about the rise of debt, but the NRM and the President has said it has been done within reason. However, that is now the chickens coming home to roost. There is enough problems ahead and the state has created this financial conundrum. It has been done deliberately over time.

The Parliament is on the regular issuing now loans… and taking new loans. While hoping one day they have the revenue to actually do these things. The state is spending money and funds it doesn’t have. That is an unforgiving task… and the NRM cannot run away from this.

The NRM have created problem. The appointments of the President is doing this. The Bank of Uganda (BoU) and Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) should have seen this coming. They have been looking over the expenditures and the interests rates. They know when the grace periods of the loans are over. These folks are the ones who has the oversight and supposed sound judgement to advice the Parliament to accept all these loans. However, that is clearly not the case.

The state is crippling its budgets, overspending and over-loaning funds over time. Now, the creditors and debtors wants their pieces of coins back. They cannot bail on it or default on it. Then the state will not be trustworthy and be credible as a economic broker. The state is clearly struggling and lacking funds. That’s because they are having trouble to raise domestic revenue and have to high costs.

This is a self-inflicted ill-advised debt-cycle. A government not listening to CSBAG, Uganda Debt Network and others. The NRM and Museveni should have done that. It will be harder for them to get solidarity this time around. As the Museveni era of now is destructive. The state actions against its own citizens and totalitarian acts. Is not the ones who makes outsiders forgiving like it did in the early 1990s when Museveni was part of a new group of leaders that the West had hopes in. However, that boat has sailed and the truth has come out. That is why Museveni is still there and depleting the state like there is no tomorrow. This is why the debt is rising and its run without any balance of the budgets. That is why the debt is rising and there is no way out.

They want debt forgiveness. However, getting that now will be a feat, but not sustainable either. As this state will just take out new loans and not re-coup or try to absorb the lack of revenue, which is causing the problem in the first place. That is why the state doesn’t have any liquidity or equity to trade for the lack of revenue. It is just a sinking boat and the captain seems clueless…

Deficit financing can only take that far and now its at the end of that journey. Peace.

Opinion: First trade chickens before you establish a confederation …

Since the establishment of the East African Community (EAC) on the 30th November 1999 there been a promise of more integration and “open” borders between the member states. However, there has by the time and the promise been hurdles. Seemingly with time the EAC Partner States or Member States should have resolved these, but there seems to significant changes with every twist and turn.

This involves Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. They are part of it and has their place. The EAC is working on a Customs Union, Common Market, Monetary Union and the Political Federation/Confederation.

The last piece has moved further as the EAC secretariat is having a 14 day consultations in Uganda and drafting a EAC Political Federation Constitution. That will be vastly different than the treaty, which established the EAC in November 1999. The EAC haven’t even been able to create the other features promised in the EAC. How will it be able to create a confederacy? When it cannot even ensure common market and a customs union over all these years?

Rwanda has distrust with Burundi. Burundi has distrust with Rwanda. Rwanda and Uganda are distrusting each other. Kenya and Tanzania are having squabbles. Even Kenyan and Uganda are having trade-wars too. All of this are supposed to be settled and be water under the bridge. All the people are supposed to be humble and let bygones be bygones. Just forgetting about the issues and the diplomatic impasses, which haven’t been settled and cleared.

Justice Benjamin Odoki can believe in the Confederacy and establishing a Confederation. However, there are two many chickens who isn’t allowed to pass border points. There are to much milk wasted and fighting over ownership over islands on Lake Victoria to suddenly kiss and make up. There are so many hurdles which needs a resolve before even starting writing a constitution for a huge project like this.

Burundi wouldn’t even participate or be part of EAC Heads of State with Rwanda as the Chairman of the EAC of late. There so many possible conflicts and landmines, which if one person dances on that field. It would blow up right in your face.

In 2021 the EAC Confederacy seems like a dream. A dream Yoweri Museveni has had for years. However, it is not sustainable or viable when you cannot even set the bar or the standards for trading chickens across the EAC. When you are not able to trade milk or maize. There are just to many issues with the small offerings, before you take the whole house.

The EAC will go from being a regional intergovernmental organisation to a League of Nation with a Union of Sovereign States united for one purpose. The EAC would become similar to the European Union in East Africa. The EALA and EAC Head of State Summits would have more power and a bigger mandate. They would regulate the trading agreements and joint movement rules between all the member states. That is furthering the powers of today’s secretariat in Arusha.

The EAC needs to fix the spoils and the neighbourly spats which are happening in East Africa. Before they are bounding itself a bigger adventure. When it hasn’t fixed and ensured more flexible trading between the nations. How can it suddenly become a EU of the East Africa?

I don’t see that happening. The EAC needs to gets the ducks in a row or be able to trade chickens before it makes the EALA into the next European Parliament and configures its own European Commission. As it already has its Heads of State Summits, which is more a photo-op these days. Than a place of unity and pledges of furthering the integration of the partner states.

That’s why the EAC needs to swallow some chickens and drink some chai tea before it continues this journey. Peace.

Opinion: The Parish Development Model is the same old scheme rebranded for 2021…

The newly introduced Parish Development Model (PDM) isn’t anything new. The state is continuing their game drive and trying to find their prey. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have launched all sort of money schemes to elevate the economy over the years. All of them have been quick-fixes, but not materialized. If it had… the state wouldn’t see the need to spend on yet another scheme of this fashion.

The NRM and President Museveni have launched all sort of schemes with similar outputs and lack of results. Just to take it all through the historical drive, which I did with the launch of Emyooga in 2020.

I got to rewind the winner of last year:

The Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) was launched in 1992 in the Republic. The second started with Entandikwa in 1995. When that ended in 2002, they launched National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS). In 2004 they launched Rural Micro Finance Project. In the meantime there been launches of Micro Finances schemes for the public from donors and NGOs. In 2013 there was two new schemes, it was the Youth Livelihood Programme and Operation Wealth Creation (OWC).

So, it is nothing new with the PDM. The PDM following the history of Emyooga, OWC, NAADS, Rural Micro Finance Project, Entandikwa and SACCOs. All of these should have made a difference and created a paradigm shift and a new financial reality for the citizens. However, they have never cut it and the reports on their deliveries have been shattering. They are a cash-cow for the elite and the inner-circle of the state. Who are getting quick deals with shell-companies and selling bad products for a giant cut. That is how things are ending up eventually.

The bits and bobs get crushed. The lack of funds and lack of proof of expenditure. The auditor general and others will drop knowledge on the wrongs of the scheme, but nothing happens. Even when the Parliament Committee looks through it all. The state machinery continues and its at a loss without any constructive results.

There will be someone who gets kickbacks and there will be “missing funds”. The PDM will follow suit of the others. Especially, when the state says it will be “wealth creation” at “parish levels”. This is practically rebranding OWC, SACCOs, NAADs and Emyooga. There is nothing new here, but a new name and a new budget post. The Office of the Prime Minister might have a new portfolio and another outlet to do state work.

Therefore, this is just relaunching the same thing with a new banner. A banner and a programme without any new proof of working. They are just relaunching … and rehashing old ideas with new names. The government are only doing this for cheap publicity and seemingly doing some grass-root work.

The PDM is bound to fail, because the other ones did as well. The money will be wasted and it is just a matter of time… before scandals are rocking this and the ones running it has to address it. That is how these are goes. There is not enough checks-and-balances plus the big-men has an excuse to eat. That is what is happening and the reasons for relaunching failures like these. Peace.

Cameroon: Emily Thornburry MP letter to Secretary of State for International Trade Elizabeth Truss (23.04.2021)

Ethiopia: The Global Society of Tigray Scholars and Professionals (GSTS) letter to the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and African Development Bank Group (AfDB) – (14.04.2021)

 

Cameroon: Joint CSOs Press Release on audit for COVID funds (14.04.2021)