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Archive for the category “Economy”

Uganda: MoDVA – Supplementary Expenditure Schedule No. 3 for the FY 2017/18 Budget (22.05.2018)

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Greed 101: The 10th Parliament MPs are doubling their own salaries!

“They have plundered the world, stripping naked the land in their hunger… they are driven by greed, if their enemy be rich; by ambition, if poor… They ravage, they slaughter, they seize by false pretenses, and all of this they hail as the construction of empire. And when in their wake nothing remains but a desert, they call that peace.” – Tacitus

These Members of Parliament is are the definition of greed. They already have cars paid by the government, and then not some off-back neck-in-the-woods ones, but something with 4 Wheel Drive and usually a SUV. These same MPs got tax exempt in 2016, that gotten suits, foods and other benefits in their salaries, they are so caked up with funds for themselves, it isn’t funny. And comparing these fellow brothers and sisters to average salary rate in the Republic. Would be an insult to salary rate in the Republic.

They are now in 2018 trying to get their salary doubled from 11 million shillings to 24 shillings. When they are already paid hefty sums for the cars, the monthly gratuity, medical expenses covered through insurance, wardrobe grants, furnished offices, mileage facilitation, constituency facilitations, sitting fees, allowances for plenary sittings and airtime allowances as well. There is nothing that is already covered, expect for the side-dish allowance, so if they have a man or woman on the side, the state will cover that too!

Because this is an insult to the state, the whole republic. They are already the special class who has a salary, which is tax-exempt, that they fixed for themselves in 2016. They have added and added for every Parliament, added more perks and more covering of their expenses, while their own salary has sky-rocketed.

It is a reason why they are unaccountable and not trusted, its because they are eating, while so many and plenty are living hand to mouth. While the state is figuring out more loans and added debt, these people are topping off on the loads of cash borrowed or donated. They are taking the aid and donations, the squeezing of every buck from the Republic as God-given right. They continue to do so.

So these subject isn’t new, at every twist and turn, these MPs are trying to hash out more funds from the public. Because of any reason within here and the moon. Let’s just be clear, this isn’t fair salary, this is a theft of a nation and the MPs are the embodiment of it. If they weren’t thieving like this, they are still getting kickbacks, grabbing land and also getting paid to vote in favour of the Presidents bills. That is known as the handshakes and “suits” has been given in the past for favourable bills.

This is the National Resistance Movement paradigm, we eat and the rest of you starve, because we need everything and deserve everything. We liberated you so we could eat off your plate and everyone else too. Because we deserve that, while the rest of you fork-up the money, so we can represent you. That is what they are saying and continue saying, without showing any signs of accountability or responsibility to their constituents, because they don’t matter anyway.

As long as they are paid, and paid-in-full. Peace.

Katakwi district farmers protest as they are tired of a decade old unfulfilled promise!

If you don’t eat mangos that fall on the ground, be sure to be strong enough to pick ones on the tree” – Proverb

Yesterday, a reaction to the disarray of the state of the Republic, as the state of promises going back in time. Over a decade of promises of a Soroti Fruit Factory, a factory where the farmers in Katakwi District could deliver their fruits. This would be a massive investment for the Teso Region. However, it has not seen light of day, but for three campaigns in the region, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Have continued to promise roads, development and factory for their produce. To make juice and generate more added-value on their produce. However, that hasn’t happen, because the National Resistance Movement and the President doesn’t really care about it.

This factory has been talked about being finished many times, many times talk of funds set-up for it, but really not materialized. It has happen every time the President visits. Kinda like a slogan and empty promise. He could for all the farmers care, promise heaven and all the pleasures existing to man. However, they know he will not deliver on it. Museveni doesn’t care about Soroti or the struggle of the farmers in Katakwi.

The MP since 2012, Proscovia Alengot Oromait, who was elected at the age of 19 years old. Who is now 25 years old. For being the MP of the area, she has really not made an impact on the issue. Therefore, the public shouldn’t trust her motivation, as this has been the giant promise in the Teso Region and the NRM has not delivered.

It is 2018, the first big pledge of the Soroti Fruit Factory was in 2008. That is a decade of empty promises, saying there are money for building and planning the factory. In 2017, when in the area, President said together with his team, that its nearly done. This is a district that has fallen behind and that has been through a lot of issues over the years. As the drought and lack of food hit the region last year.

This is just Katakwi District promise, which also entails Soroti District itself, where the factory was supposed to be set-up. Therefore, he has had empty promises in both districts. Katakwi farmers are tired, that is why they just left the mangoes on the street. Instead of taking it to the market, they couldn’t get transport to sell it, even as the state has promised factories to produce juice. Which never appears. It is a government ghost, a government mirage.

Yet, another empty promise from Mzee and the NRM. The farmers are tired of empty, pathetic lies and deception. Big eloquent words from a life president who doesn’t care and has no interest of keeping promises.

No Remedy Mentioned aka NRM or Not Reassured by Museveni aka NRM. Peace.

Do the Gunners really want to be associated with Paul Kagame?

As today news show, that ‘Visit Rwanda’ has signed a sponsorship deal with Arsenal Football Club, which means that jerseys will be filled at one specific place with the logo of ‘Visit Rwanda’. Rwanda which all controlled by President Paul Kagame, the general who has blood on his hands and knows very well how to use his trigger finger. General Kagame is ruthless and unforgiving, his enemies either lingers in jail or are buried six-feet under. Therefore, the Gunners have blazed all guns with this one.

If your thinking it is legitimate to forgive the man for being the current leader of African Union, at some point Muammar Gadaffi was too and they took his dictatorial flesh all across the streets before getting rid-off him. Rwanda has their own dictator and that is Kagame. Kagame might dress smart and talk like a wise man. But he has killed and gotten rid of his enemies. There are many men and woman who has gotten at the other side of the gun. That all on orders of Kagame. This isn’t a fairytale, it isn’t a fiction either. It is the reality and the blood of the voices that stand-ups to Kagame.

Goal Reports: “Goal understands that the £10 million-a-year ($13m) deal with ‘Visit Rwanda’ is the biggest sleeve sponsorship contract in the Premier League, surpassing Chelsea’s £6m-a-year ($8m) agreement with Hyundai and Manchester City’s partnership with Korean company Nexen Tire” (Chris Wheatley – ‘Arsenal sign Premier League’s biggest sleeve sponsor deal’ 23.05.2018, Goal).

So, the state of Rwanda can afford a three year deal with the Gunners for £10m. What is ironic in this is that the United Kingdom The Department for International Development (DFID) planned total budget for Rwanda are in 2017/18 total £64m and in 2018/19 are £62m. Meaning, that the about 16,6% of the DFID budget funds are returned to the United Kingdom, through the payments of ‘Visit Rwanda’. But they are going directly to the Gunners of London and not in the pockets of anyone else.

Just to be specific about the violations of the Rwandan government in 2016 to 2017, the Human Rights Watch reported in their 2018 report, that 37 people killed as petty suspects in the Western Province between April 2016 and March 2017. This is just a small fraction of the real numbers, as there are many undocumented ones. Therefore, this is just a small sample of the pain that Kagame does to the ones who stands in his way.

He is used to blazing guns, now he is blazing the state funds on a sponsorship deal, because surely he has seen the plan and said “do it”. I doubt he wasn’t kept in the loop, because the President does it all and controls it all. That is why people are forced to vote for him and follow his laws. He says they all support him, but then if they did, his biggest rivals wouldn’t be behind bars like Victoire Ingabire and Diane Shima Rwigara. Who both had the courage to stand-up and speak against Kagame, that has a price, which is either behind bars or killed. They got the first and not the second offer.

Therefore, the Gunners are really following their nickname, Arsenal are now associated with Kagame and his tyranny. They are already flushing in monies from other questionable sources, but this is the latest. The one I know. If the Board and Owners of Arsenal Football Club knows this, then they are accepting mercenaries blood-money from the Democratic Republic of Congo and even that the aid supposed to be donated to development projects are instead ending up their to pay the fat salaries for their Premier League footballers.

That should make anyone shake their heads, usually football isn’t that serious, but when you put money into play. It becomes dead-serious and Kagame isn’t playing, he is coning and trying to white-wash his name. People like me don’t accept that, he has to many bodies on his watch to be forgiven and to many people who has suffered just he and his kin could rule Rwanda. Peace.

Hon. Otto Odonga: Notice of Motion to Censure Betty Amongin over abuse of Office (23.05.2018)

Central Bank of Kenya – Banking Circular No. 2 of 2018: Guidance Note on Conducting Money Laundering/Terrorism Financing Risk Assement (23.05.2018)

The National Coffee Act of 2018: A sour cup of Coffee or just another Robusta?

It is hard to see any significant change of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, as the law of 1994 is planned to be repealed, as the Cabinet accepted a new bill yesterday at the State House. Let me explain, It would seem more reasonable, if someone leaked the text of the law, but the short tide bottlenecks of information leaked. That information is showing, that it is more of the same. Just some new buzz-words, to keep the donors buzzing.

Since the UCDA are already in charge of monitoring, pricing and promoting coffee, both internally and externally. They are supposed to help raise the quality of the coffee and educate farmers, both in production of better coffee, but also raise the yields for the cash-crop. The UCDA is rally a state organized body in both education, trade and promoting of coffee. Where all parts of the transaction from the seedlings to the trade of the ready beans has been in connection with the government body.

That is why the Cabinet decision that is released to the public, the one page dossier, as the law and the new provisions aren’t out, but if these footnotes are the realization of the changes from 1994 to become the new law in 2018. There are really just putting in the word sustainable and harmonize the roles of all the roles. Which is fancy lingo, for making sure everyone along the line is taxed and made sure they pay for the government services. Since they are already having the mandate by the law of 1994.

As sub-section 4 in the UCDA Act of 1994 states:

The functions of the authority shall be— to issue certificates in respect of the grade and quantity of coffee; to register in accordance with guidelines issued by the Minister, from time to time, on the advice of the board, all organisations and bodies applying to market coffee; to liaise with the Bank of Uganda in respect of repatriation of foreign exchange obtained from the sale of coffee; to set the quality control standards under which coffee is sold; to certify all coffee exports; to collect, maintain and disseminate statistical data in respect of all aspects of the coffee industry; to advise the Government on the mechanism for determining the minimum price for the sale of coffee; (h) to monitor world market price changes and adjust the minimum price on a day-to-day basis to reflect the changes; (i) to research and make extension arrangements through the Ministry responsible for agriculture or any other organisation established in the country for the purpose; (j) to reconcile coffee subsector policies with the macroeconomic policies of the Government; (k) to liaise with the International Coffee Organisation and be responsible for the administration of the stamps of the organisation; (l) to liaise with other international organisations and promote Uganda’s coffee on the world market; (m) to be responsible for the overall supervision of the coffee subsector, including related industries, and advise the Government on coffee subsector policies; (n) to organise training for technicians, coffee processors and quality controllers” (CHAPTER 325 THE UGANDA COFFEE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY ACT, 1994).

So when I read from the spreadsheet from the Cabinet meeting at the State House, where the gist is to replace the 325, because they want to development of competitive, equitable and sustainable coffee, promote Coffee research, good Coffee farming practices, domestic coffee consumption and add value to the Coffee. Also, provide the Authority regulate all on-farm and off-farm activities in the Coffee Value Chain, streamline and harmonize the institution in the development of the Coffee Sector and to promote the Coffee sub-sector.

As what I see, the UCDA Act of 1994, not only hold the grabbing hands on all of this, but the mandate of the Authority is already, just not managed well, apparently. If the state cared about the Authority, they wouldn’t lack needed staff, as the Auditor General Report of December 2016, said the staff had 29 open positions, I don’t know if its as bad today, but wouldn’t be shocked if there was openings that the UCDA couldn’t fill, because of lack of funds.

What is striking to me, is that what the Cabinet Meeting of 21st May 2018, is what is in the statute of 1994. It just using a few different words, but if they cared about the UCDA, they would fund it properly and also actually have proper oversight of the operations. As the UCDA has often given away bad seedlings to Coffee farmers, in the same fashion as the Operation Wealth Creations has to its SACCO’s around the Republic. Like the Auditor General report of December 2016 says: “ Failure to plant and maintain coffee seedlings that were distributed and received by the farmers is wastage of Government Funds and eventually leads to failure to achieve planned coffee outputs at national level. Further, beneficiary lists withfarmers that never received inputs may be an indicator of irregular dealings on the part of seedling suppliers” (AG Report on UCDA December 2016, P: 19).

Therefore, the changing of words within the law is not fixing the remedy of the goodwill to generate more coffee and better yields. It is actually giving the king, what the king needs. That is not more fancy lingo, but actually actions and funds, also accountability, so that the farmers and the other part of the coffee production chain. Can all benefit from the Authority. On December 2017, the MoFPED delivered the National Budget Framework, which said this: “Continued implementation of the Coffee 2020 road map aimed at achieving 20million bags of 60Kg each per annum, including supporting research interventions at the National Agricultural Coffee Research Institute (NACORI) to produce high yielding coffee varieties and disease resistant tissue culture plants for coffee as well as development of a National Coffee Bill, 2017 that focuses on developing the entire coffee value chain and enable the country consolidate its dominant position in export earnings and employment” (MoFPED, P: 18, December 2017).

Therefore, the Cabinet meeting has initially decided to follow the guidelines of the National Budget Framework, as it was in December 2017. That is not surprising, but what is weird is the wording and how little change it is from the original law, that they are repealing. Unless, they have some magical formula sprinkled over it, making it a beautiful cake, instead of a boring bun with a little whipped cream. Because that is what it seems.

If you read the objectives of 1994, it doesn’t seem so far away from 2018, does it?

The objectives of the authority shall be— to promote, improve and monitor marketing of coffee with a view to optimising foreign exchange earnings and payments to the farmers; to control the quality of coffee in order to ensure that all coffee exported meets the standards stipulated by the contract between the seller and the buyer; to monitor the price of coffee in order to ensure that no export contract for the sale of coffee is concluded at a price below the minimum price; to develop and promote the coffee and other related industries through research and extension arrangements; to promote the marketing of coffee as a final product; (f) to promote domestic consumption of coffee” (UCDA Act of 1994).

That seems a lot like the spreadsheet of the Cabinet from yesterday, right?

Its only the value chain and add value on the coffee that is very new, but the rest more of the same. I am baffled or even shocked by this. It is like the Cabinet haven’t read the old bill or cared about the provisions there and thought. Maybe we should have better oversight of the Authority, instead they are changing wording and thinking that is magic wand to change the current predicament. If they wanted real change, they would have reformed the organization internally and used the provisions already there. But it is easier to make a leaflet, than change people’s mind and allocate funds.

Good morning and smell the coffee, well, I smell it, but more of the same. Just attached “sustainable” on the package, but taste is the same as yesterday. Peace.

The Spreadsheet of the aka National Coffee Bill of 2018!

Zimbabwe: President Mnangagwa – “Re: Establishment of a Special Anti-Corruption Unit” (21.05.2018)

Opinion: NRM, It is hard to see Middle-Income Status coming quickly!

He explained that the NRM manifesto is anchored in Vision 2040 and the second National Development Plan. It commits to deliver Ugandans into middle income status and to ensure sustainable development” (Mubiru, 2018).

Well, it is that time of the year. To prove the National Resistance Movement (NRM), that their empty promises. Because when you collect the news together. It is easy to see how things doesn’t add up. If the NRM was on their way to sustainable development, like Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda talked about earlier last week. Then all of the news coming wouldn’t fit. The narrative cannot be growth and development, when all of these issues are happening at the same time. It doesn’t fit. The glove has to fit the hand. The three things that doesn’t add up is the missing funds for the Presidents own Village Poverty Program, relief food for Karamoja and also a missing sugar factory.

Village Poverty Program:

State House has said it needs at least Shs 5bn to roll out the model village poverty alleviation initiative by President Yoweri Museveni. In the request contained in the Ministry of Presidency’s policy statement and budget estimates for 2018/2019, State House said the existing Shs 1bn budget for the project is too little and therefore a 500 percent increase is vital. The current Shs 1bn has only managed to establish small scale commercial agricultural farms in 21 model villages. The country, according to Electoral Commission of 2016 data, has 59,700 villages” (Okello, 2018).

Donate relief food:

The government of China has donated food aid worth $5 million (about Shs 18bn) to the World Food Programme (WFP) to support a feeding programme for vulnerable groups threatened by malnutrition in the Karamoja sub-region. More than 2000,000 people mostly school going children, infants and mothers are threatened by malnutrition in Karamoja according to official figures” (Lyatuu, 2018).

No existent Sugar Factory:

It is five years, since Atiak Sugar Factory under Haryal investment Holdings Limited was rolled out in Amuru District, to commence sugar production, but has since stalled, leaving a number of sugar cane farmers stranded. “The people shifted from food crops with hope to earn from sugar cane. Out growers are now worried that the factory will not take off in time to fully untilise the 4,000 acres planted,” reads part of their petition. Kilak North MP, Anthonu Akol who read out the petition to the Speaker said that the farmers are stuck with no factory to sell their sugarcane and questioning why the minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija, sold to them hot air” (Kyeyune, 2018).

All of these issues shouldn’t be at this state, if the state was seriously developing and on the way to Middle-Income status. There are so many issues that is missing, not only the ghosts and the added debt ratio in the budgets. This is all minor measures in the bigger picture, but it proves the lack of governance and accountability, when the state can grab land in Amuru district, but never deliver the promised the factory. As this been going on for years.

That the middle income cannot be fulfilled when the village poverty is so prevalent, that the scale is not fitting the needs. You know that the state lacks resources and well-funded plans to even achieve this. The President should have made sure and ensured the progress and at the planning stages, it this is his program, to be sure about the right amount and needed facilitation to deliver to the needed villages. That is apparently a mixed bag wooh-ha and nonsense.

Last but not least, is the donating of food to Karamoja, which in it self a sign of lack of progress. When your not able to meet the needs of your population and have good enough agricultural policies and output to feed yourself and your own kind. You know that the Middle Income Status is far-fetched, when this is still an issue. You know there are miles afar from the promise land. That the NRM and the President is clearly not delivering. There is no excuse in the book, that can fix the grandest issues of not being able to feed all communities and districts of Uganda. You know they are far from Middle Income, when China has to donate food to you….

Enough of the nonsense. Peace.

Reference:

Kyeyune, Moses – ‘Acholi sugarcane growers seek Parliament help over stalled factory’ (16.05.2018) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Acholi-sugarcane-growers-seek-Parliament-help-stalled-factory/688334-4565238-ueostj/index.html

Lyatuu, Justus – ‘China donates relief food to Karamoja’ (19.05.2018) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/57707-china-donates-relief-food-to-karamoja.html

Mubiru, Apollo – ‘NRM Manifesto: The road to modernity’ (18.05.2018) link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1477948/road-modernity

Okello, Dickens H. – ‘Shs5Bn Needed for Museveni’s Village Poverty Alleviation Program’ (21.05.2018) link: http://chimpreports.com/shs5bn-needed-for-musevenis-village-poverty-alleviation-program/

Opinion: When will the grace period of the Chinese loans end? – While, Kenya and Uganda continues to borrow more!

The Government of Kenya and the Government of Uganda, should both worry about their arrangements and their growing debts, as the non-sustainable rates of debt and higher interests. As the unnatural growth of the national budget, where the lack of revenue is covered with more state debt. To cover both salaries and development projects. All of this has happen over the recent years. As more and more of the yearly budget goes to pay interest on old loans, as the old loans also mature and the rates will become more dire. As the strength of the economy isn’t going in the same rates as the loans. This is in the end a debt trap. A debt trap China has used in other countries.

Sri Lanka is the recent example, which has come into a debt trap, where the Chinese loans has become so dire, become so big and not able to recover. That the collateral for the state was to favorable lease the harbor of Hambantota to the Chinese. They had too, since they couldn’t repay the creditor from Peking. That should be realization from all the others who borrows big and think that the Chinese will not get something valuable back for their funding.

This should be a warning for the Kenyan and Ugandan counterparts, this should be a warning for President Kenyatta and President Museveni. That is if they care about the state resources, about their minerals and about the possible extractions from their republics. If they want to be debt-slaves, or lease away the crown jewels to the Chinese, because they promised favorable debt plans, that in the end put them in juxtaposition, that they cannot come out off; unless they trade away something very valuable. If that would be licenses to drill oil in Turkana or in Bunyoro.

Who knows what the end-game of these massive loans are and if the Presidents and their parties plans to repay them. Or hope that the next generation will try to invent new way of generating money. If so, then they are saved by rare luck and not by planning ahead. These loans are big and taking bigger and bigger slices of the GDP. They are going far beyond the levels of revenue and possible future forecast of funds. Therefore, the loans can only at this point benefit the ones giving them. They will get the repayments and the interests. If they don’t get that, they will take collateral and take other state entities to get their values back. The Chinese are doing that in Sri Lanka, they could easily do that with Kenya and Uganda too. They are in for the taking and ready to muscled out.

The Chinese doesn’t play and doesn’t play with money, they will recollect and they will recover the funds spent. As they are not playing games, they are really investing and hoping to get paid-in-full. They are waiting for the numbers to go from red to black. They don’t expect to loose, and if they do. They will figure other ways to collect the lost.

President Kenyatta and President Museveni should know this, but I doubt they are thinking in this direction right now. They are eating and not caring, but their states and their economist should worry. As the growing debts has a backside, not only the interests and the lack of development it creates, as they have to find bigger revenue to cover the debt and the mature loans, as they have to settle old affairs and such. They don’t go away or get deleted over nothing. They got to take charge and find a way to solve it.

The Chinese will take advantage if they start to default, if they struggle to pay, which could come, if the loans and the negative spiral of lack of revenue continues. That is if the state doesn’t find ways to repay. Than, the Chinese might take a port, might take state owned enterprise, but surely they will be paid-in-full. Peace.

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