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Archive for the category “Trade”

South Sudan: Public Notice – Rumor on Shutdown of MTN Operations (17.04.2018)

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Kenya: CBK & KDIC – Chase Bank (Kenya) Limited (In Receivership) – (17.04.2018)

Opinion: A phoenix is rising from the unknown ashes and its called Zimbabwe Airways!

We fly high, no lie, you know this (ballin’!)

Foreign rides outside, it’s like showbiz (we in the building)

We stay fly, no lie, you know this (ballin’!)”Jim Jones (‘We Fly High’ released: 21.10.2006)

I don’t get it, maybe I am foolish, maybe I am a weird kind of brother. Maybe, I am someone who is stupid. Because this boggle my mind. How can an Airline who had 300 million USD in debt in August 2017. That is not a lie, that was reported. Therefore, when I ready that the Airline got two leased Boeing 777 from Malaysia today.

They are leased by a third party company called Zimbabwe Aviation Leasing Company (ZALC), what is weird with this company is that the offices are not found and the corporate filing isn’t showing direct ownership of the company, even if it owns Zimbabwe Airlines (BusinessDaily.co.zw – ‘Air Zimbabwe scandal deepens’ 29.03.2018). So it is weird that Air Zimbabwe, a government corporation cracks, but a new one rise from the ashes. What is weird is that the new planes are leased old planes, they are 12 years old and who knows how much it really cost.

Who foots the bill of Air Zimbabwe and to rebrand it Zimbabwe Airways? Why the need, does Harare need the steady business of flights to London and Beijing? Is that the need for the Republic? Who earns on the agreement and who is the people behind the deal?

There is many open questions, why revive a failed state corporation with 12 years old rebranded planes from Malaysia? They are registered in honour of former President Mugabe (Z-RGM) and the other registered Z-NBE.

The state has tried to say this is not directly government owned, but third parties bought and leased. However, who has this kind of money in Zimbabwe and who else has the capacity to bring planes to the Republic?

After the delivery of the planes today. There was revelation:

Speaking after the delivery of the first Zim Airways plane, Finance Min Chinamasa said: I’m here to categorically state that this plane is the property of the Republic of Zimbabwe and not the former First Family” Chinamasa also mentioned that three more planes are to be delivered, including an Embraer. He says the whole deal is worth $70m” (Zimbabwe Today, 11.04.2018).

We are seeing that the Finance Minister came with double messages today, clearly, the state knows that the usage of millions of dollars to the failing airline industry is a scandal. Since the former Airlines owned by the state went south. Now, they are trying to revive it, but why say it is property of the government, not Mugabe’s family. However, expressing in the statement the ownership of the lease going to ZALC. That is meaning that there is basic agreements between the operational company Zimbabwe Airlines and ZALC, that ZALC is leasing the planes, while they are operating for Zim Airways. That makes it possible to skim money between ZALC and the Airlines. The gist is there, since the state is show shallow with the transparency.

That the revival of something that was already dead, that had debt of 300 million US Dollars. Who wrote that off? Did the Chinese? Who paid the creditors of Air Zimbabwe? Someone had to cough up the money and pay them off. It doesn’t go from red to black without some sort of trick. Unless, you have a generous uncle who write-off the losses.

That Zimbabwe Airways is revived with 12 year old leased Boeing 777, which is a costly deal. Hard to believe it will be worth it. Unless, the Mnangagwa government knows something we don’t, and that he offered someone extra scarfs or something. Who knows?

But this seems like a scheme and the ones who could track the money, could find the sources, find the middle-men and the ones paying the Malaysian business-men. Somewhere there, the reality would be open and the ones earning profits on the leasing would be established. Because I have hard time to believe this is good business. Since the last Airlines wasn’t run well and neither will this one. Unless, again, Mnangagwa knows something I don’t.

Hope the cat will get out of the bag, the ones leasing, the ones operating and the ones earning on the operation. However, I don’t think the ZANU-PF wants that, neither want the whole deal in the open. Secondly, the Mnangagwa Presidency always want to be in contrast of Mugabe, but this looks more of the same. Just renting, instead of getting the first family to own the business directly. Peace.

Brexit: Lord Adonis letter to Lord Hall of Birkenhead, Director-General of the BBC on its coverage of Brexit (09.04.2018)

Zimbabwe: The Invoice of the cost of the plane for the delegation to China recently (29.03.2018)

The Uganda Budget Framework Paper FY2018/19 for Energy and Mineral Development is saying that the External Financing is the key for this Sector – Period!

The Budget Framework Paper for Financial Year of 2018/2019 for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is really revealing how the financing of the sector is and how the state is involved with the manner. Also, how low-key the main factors are and lacking transparency is hitting the Energy Sector of Uganda. Not that is surprising, since the agreements, the licenses and the tenders are usually kept behind closed doors.

However, the main part of the Framework Paper is evident of the issues at hand:

The indicative budget ceilings for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development have been rationalised in line with the sector priorities and national priorities as communicated in the Budget Call Circular and in the Presidential Directives. The ceilings for Vote 017 for the FY 2018/19 are as follows: Wage Recurrent is UGX 4.23Bn; Non-Wage Recurrent is UGX 74,04Bn; GoU Development is UGX 307,84Bn and the Development Partner contribution is UGX 1,608.41Bn. Under Vote 123 ceiling is UGX 81.98Bn is for the GoU Domestic Development and UGX594.00Bn is from external financing” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018).

The building of vital infrastructure, the refinery, the pipelines and energy production facilities are all dependent on funding from abroad. If it is grants, loans or paid-in-full agreements done in secrecy. Because, there are more than the shadows of this budget framework paper. It is saying a lot and the votes for the future is showing the future too. That the Ugandan economy is prospering, as the budget are needing all funding from afar to be able to build needed infrastructure. Also, needs the grants for the Rural Electrification, the ones who the state has even borrowed to do.

Therefore, this Budget Framework Paper is showing the troubles ahead. This isn’t voting for better economy, know this is dependency and also proving how much the donors and partners are involved in making sure the economy gets addicted to it.

When it comes to the refinery, the details are clearly still in the wind: “The process of selecting of the Lead Investor is still progressing and the negotiations are ongoing between Government and the selected investor. The process is expected to be completed in FY 2017/2018. There after FEED and ESIA for refinery development will be undertaken with the Lead Investor on board” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018). So the selecting of it is not finalized, well, for some thought Russians had secured agreement and the reason for Museveni to visit Moscow. Clearly, that ship has sailed, we can wonder if Total or any other company would do this. As Total has the biggest chairs of licenses in the Lake Albertine Basin. Time will tell, but another proof of lack of transparency, when the Ministry has to write this.

Procurement Bottlenecks including lengthy bidding processes that require no-objections from the external financiers at each stage of execution. There is need for PPDA to revise guidelines for procurements relating to flagship projects. In addition, the following measures need to be considered: financing agreements are signed, project is almost ready to kick off. PPDA should reduce the administrative review timelines that sometimes stall progress” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018).

This here is initially following the guidelines of the First Amendment of the 1995 Constitution of 2017, the Land Amendment that the National Resistance Movement put forward before the Age Limit. That would fit the narrative of the Ministry and their wishes. It is like reading the same idea, to give more power to the state and able to land issues quickly.

What we can learn, also and which is important, these developments, these infrastructures projects couldn’t have been built if it wasn’t for external loans, externals grants or direct aid, if not on the license fees and the parts that is taxed. However, the grand amount and the majority of the projects needs the external funding.

This is not surprising, it is to be expected because Museveni doesn’t want to use his money. He want to spend other people’s money and also the money of the future. To benefit him today, that is why the deals are done in the secrecy…. We don’t know the reasons and the value of the licenses, the ones who is to build the refinery, even the grand agreement between the Corporations who will build the Pipeline. We know that certain companies has failed to build the dams and used bad material, but that is because of the Chinese Contractors has saved money, while being paid-in-full.

President Museveni blessed that deal and got scraps back. Time will tell, but this isn’t a good look. Not because I want it to be bad, but because the money says so. Peace.

President Museveni proposes a Social Media Tax: Good luck enforcing it!

I know that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will not go door-to-door getting the cash-in, he will not issue the tax directly or levy the tax on each single individual who is on Social Media, but his letter to Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija on the 12th March 2018 on “Re: Lack of Seriousness in Tax Collection”. That is the letter that propose to task some taxes on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. Where every single user of these are paying 100 shillings each per day. That is specialized task to gain huge revenues for the state. This is really to secure more funds to the Republic.

That President Museveni hasn’t thought this true, but will he get the names, does his CMI knows all who has WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, do they know how much these are used? Will these taxes be put when they are used and not levied the other days. The Uganda Revenue Authority, needs a mandate for this sort of tax, because this is also the privacy, since these are programs that people download on their free will. Not all have these. Is his plan to pay a 100 shillings for each days, so if you have three apps, will you pay 300 shillings per day?

This sort of ideas opens wormholes, is it that the Republic of Uganda, will through the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) and Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT). Should all be involved in finding he ways to levy these sort of things. Should they get all the companies who are servicing these apps to put a pay-wall that you have to register to pay each day you enter? Is that the sort of plan?

That the MICT, MoFPED, URA, NIRA and UCC are sending letters to Facebook, Google, Apple, WhatsApp, Twitter and so on. So they can figure out how to get this tax. Because it needs a technical feature, unless the CMI and Intelligence at SIU Kireka has it all. Unless, the state has gathered it all in secrecy or if the Telecom companies has this registered in their records.

You can wonder, if the MTN, Airtel or any of them has been considered here, as they are paying taxes on all the added value of the airtime, the trade of the phones. That the state is trying to do this, is to force a tax, that should be taken on directly every phone-call and SMS. That your paying 5 shillings for picking the phone and 10 shillings for receiving. Also 5 shillings for every SMS and 10 for MMS. That is the nonsense of this.

But I don’t think the President has considered the implications, neither the invading of the privacy, unless he wants to order the companies to put a pay-wall for using social media, that will have to subtracted by credit-card, mobile-money or out of the air-time. That is how it is supposed to be. But than, this is a grand-old man. Whose not that sophisticated or smart enough to understand, what he is implicating. Unless, someone is trespassing on his lawn or going to close to his cows.

This idea should be scrapped in the country, that has struggled to register the Sim-Cards and have them registered correctly. That all Social Media should be monitored and levied tax on is insane, but fits the Modus Operandi of Museveni.

Ready, Set and Bogus. Peace.

Trump’s Trade-War is now hitting East Africa: Because of possible lost trade with Second-Hand Clothes!

Museveni buying shoes in Wandegeya, 02.06.2017.

United States of America is really just cherry-picking the world right now, they are evolving into a beast and not an Uncle Sam. President Donald J. Trump don’t like to have friends, unless they are related or Roger Stone. That is now seen with his recent activity, not that he knows of these countries or these market. That I say, because he has no hotel or haven’t laundered money from there. The countries being hurt by his new policies are Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania. Places he would never travel to or have consideration about. That is because in his mind, they are shitholes, but as long as they serve as vassal states for the United States. Everything is fine and dandy.

What we are talking about is this:

(A) THE PRESIDENT IS AUTHORIZED TO DESIGNATE A SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN COUNTRY AS AN ELIGIBLE SUB-SAHARAN AFRICAN COUNTRY IF THE PRESIDENT DETERMINES THAT THE COUNTRY (SEE NOTE*)

(1) (A country that) has established, or is making continual progress toward establishing–

(A) a market-based economy that protects private property rights, incorporates an open rules-based trading system, and minimises government interference in the economy through measures such as price controls, subsidies, and government ownership of economic assets” (AGOA – ‘AGOA Country Eligibility’).

It is special that the US President is using this against these three states on the imports of used-clothes and shoes. That these three republics trying to develop their own textile and clothes industry, to create work and also revamp the economies. That would mean, that people would also earn more money and spend more money. In the end buying foreign produced clothes on the fashion-lines, that usually are branding American and European brands. Therefore, I don’t understand why Trump suddenly acts like this, when Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania wants to secure their industries.

Because, it is not many days ago, since the President himself used rules and provisions to secure the Steel and Aluminum industry on his own soil. So, that the giant United States can control it, but their trading with other can be spoiled, because it doesn’t favor the President. Seems like double-standard to be. It is easy to muffle the poor and the ones with lack budgets, that are in need of donors. They need to stifle the demands of the powerful, but the ones with power can just use the same means themselves. Still, that doesn’t make it right.

That the United States are trying to force their used-clothes on Rwanda. Like they don’t deserve their own clothes industry and to secure better products, local designs and local textiles is insane. Why shouldn’t they strive for that? Why shouldn’t Uganda strive for their own Bata’s? What is wrong with Tanzanian made shoes? Nothing really, that should be supported, especially if the United States wants to think long-term and create better exports. They would earn even more on ordinary trade of clothes, not second-hand that sold bulk and through other channels. But I am sure that Trump has no knowledge of this or even could imagine it.

This is clearly a step of imperialism from United States, since they cannot stomach, that the partners and the ones getting donations through USAID. Isn’t accepting to be a bazaar for their used stuff. The products that is B-Level and already had their day in the sunshine.

Knowingly, how he is America First, the man himself should understand how others wants to build to their own industries, but thinking Trump has that capacity of thinking is overstepping and thinking that he could actually calculate, that others are sovereign too and not only his state. The East African Republic’s shouldn’t be punished for acting in their own interests over second-hand clothes. Neither second hand shoes. That is insulting and infuriating. If it was just charity and done out direct needs. It would make sense, but if your forcing bad products, because of own will for quick-profits and at the same time destroying local industries. I understand why Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda is trying to ban it and stop it. I respect that and stand behind it. Who wants a old T-Shirt, when you can buy a local-made?

If you buy a local-made, it would create a job for the one making it, the one designing it and the one selling, plus the distribution within the state. That is good business and create lots of job. These jobs create other jobs and funnel money in the system. So some of them will buy foreign design and clothes, that might even be American. That is how the United States should think, if they cared about a free-market narrative, but they are now planning to punish Rwanda and others, because they want to build-up own industry.

Trump is creating a trade-war over Second Hand Clothes.

Second Hand Clothes to East Africa!

Washington, DC – The President determined today the eligibility of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda for trade preference benefits under the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). In response to a petition filed by the U.S. used clothing industry in March 2017, the Administration initiated an out-of-cycle review of Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda’s AGOA eligibility regarding their decisions to phase in a ban on imports of used clothing and footwear. The review found that this import ban harms the U.S. used clothing industry and is inconsistent with AGOA beneficiary criteria for countries to eliminate barriers to U.S. trade and investment. Based on the results of the review, the President determined that Rwanda is not making sufficient progress toward the elimination of barriers to U.S. trade and investment, and therefore is out of compliance with eligibility requirements of AGOA. Consequently, the President notified Congress and the Government of Rwanda of his intent to suspend duty-free treatment for all AGOA-eligible apparel products from Rwanda in 60 days” (AGOA – ‘ President Trump Determines Trade Preference Program Eligibility For Rwanda, Tanzania, And Uganda’ 30.03.2018).

This is infuriating and not cool. AGOA should be used as a method to not destroy industry in the developing countries, but add revenue both ways. Now the United States is just using imperialism. Trade-War with East African Countries.

Trump is foolish and also, this is not gaining sympathy and the reasons for this. This isn’t adding and just show how belittling and narrow-minded he is. But that we knew, we just have to see who spanks him. Peace.

Yumbe Riot: Conflicting reports, but seemingly authorities created the havoc and it got public reactions!

What can we can conclude is that the Police Force in Yumbe District has arrested about 60 people and two individuals seriously injured (some reports dead) after bullets hit the scene. The Police Force statements and the Uganda Revenue Authority statements doesn’t add-up. While the Police are saying the URA had an enforcement operation there, the URA counter-claim it and says there was none.

However, there has imports of illegal rice in this case, that created the havoc seen today in Yumbe, as both statements refers to it. The URA legal team, who encountered the boda-bodas with it, who was stoned for interfering with it. While the Police Force are not addressing directly the illegal rice, but that URA was looking at the number plates and lack of tax on the motorcycles.

Before the crowd and masses of people rioted, burning both motorcycles and a car belonging to the Danish Aid in the town. The end of the statement clarifies that the URA was there to collect taxes on the imported rice, and that the motorcycle drivers has to pay the state. Also that URA will continue this operations in the West Nile region.

The Police has said they will engage with the Boda Boda Industry and community, as of this incident. What is special, is one saying it was not paid for the motorcycle, the URA saying it was because of the lack of taxes on imports on the motorcycle. It is a small difference, but still one. We can wonder what was the truth.

What we do know, is that the Police has arrested a dozen of people and two killed, some say they were just hurt. Hard to know what is the fact. 103.2 Open Gate FM reported this earlier in the day: “Two people are reported dead in Yumbe District following a protest by youth in the area against operations of the Uganda Revenue Authority-URA. The protests were sparked by a URA operation against unregistered bodas bodas, in the event apprehending residents in the business. The operation became sour when the URA vehicle knocked down a bodaboda cyclist, making bodabodas to become rowdy by burning several vehicles prompting police to fire bullets. URA Manager Public and Corporate Affairs, Ian Rumanyika said the Authority was cracking down on unregistered boa bodas as well as those smuggles from South Sudan without reverting tax” (103.2 Open Gate FM, 28.03.2018).

So it wasn’t a peaceful initiating, as the URA Management followed and tracked the Boda Boda down. Knocked it and the Police intervened in the operation. The report of Open Gate, also say the URA was doing both, not just stopping the smuggling from South Sudan, but also look into the tags, which hadn’t paid tax. Secondly, they are saying that the URA team drove after the Boda Boda and actually knocked one down. That isn’t just fining and taking the tags, not only checking the products or rice, but actually nearly impounding it. This has been done without forewarning or local knowledge. If not this wouldn’t have happen.

So the URA are now combating illegal imports and also unregistered boda boda’s. Clearly, there have to be better methods, since this became violent, and the following after and knocking down. Was a final spark, since the URA Management created havoc on the way and than the Police intervened with guns, as the youth was throwing stones. When the violent activity transpired they addressed it with throwing stones and also burning cars.

Whatever it was, it shows the lack of oversight and the lack of basic understanding. It is natural for a state to tax imports, also serve taxes on plates, yearly pay for being able to drive on the roads. Both actions are normal, but if the URA Management did the right thing, if the Police Force did the same. Can be questioned and should be.

What should also be asked, would there be a better way to collect the missed tax and also secure the porous border points, so the Boda Boda can pay the levies when entering into Uganda again. Secondly, the URA should be able to notify the drivers of their missing payments and not knock them down for doing so.

We will see with time, if the stories are changing or if they will stay the same. However, this is worrying sight of the state of affairs. When collecting taxes becomes a stand-off, you know something is wrong. Peace.

URA: Clarification on Riot in Yumbe (28.03.2018)

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