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The 200 Shillings of Doom: Millionaire MPs complain about possibly paying 400 shillings daily for OTT Access!

It is a disgrace, the best paid representatives with all sorts of benefits, even not even taxed for their salaries, these Members of the Parliament (MPs). That these MPS are complaining about the OTT Tax. These MPs who are earning approximately earning about 26,000,000 Ugandan Shillings ($6,852) monthly. MPs are complaining that they have pay 400 shillings a daily. Because they have to pay OTT on their personal Cellphone and also on their Ipads. So lets say a month is 30 days we add that with 400 shillings (Ipad + Cellphone) that is total 12,000 shillings ($ 3.1). That is why it is insulting, that ones earning giant fortunes are complaining about paying possible for one more gadget. This is a tax they enacted in Parliament not long ago. They should have the courage and the funds to pay this sums, but seemingly that is too much for them. How about the people then, who doesn’t earns millions of shillings a month?

Parliament has clarified that members of parliament can access free Social Media services on their IPADs only when transacting parliament business. The Principal information officer at Parliament Moses Bwalatum, says according to the contract signed between Parliament and the Ipad Service providers, legislators can only use them for the legislative roles unless the contract are reviewed. This means that legislators have to pay OTT tax on their personal phone to access the other social media platforms” (NBS Television, 14.09.2018).

They should be capable to spend these meager sums of money. As the MPs should be able to pay 3 US Dollars a month for the OTT on both Cellphone and Ipad, as they are earning close to 6800 US Dollars. It is insane, that they whose earning such fortunes in a country, where civil servants aren’t earning that much. They are high-ranking and huge salaries which should cover everything, especially another 200 shillings, which is apparently to much for these rich MPs.

That the MPs cannot manage to spend a total of 3 dollars a month on OTT Taxes are insane, when they are earning over 6000 dollars a month, are they that lavish on their side-dishes, that they cannot mange to pay this? But they said the ordinary citizens and that this would not discriminate people, as this was a luxury. Is this now a luxury that the millionaire MPs cannot manage?

Are 400 shillings a day to much to ask for the ones who are already tax-exempt on their salary? Are you that greedy? 

Seriously, the MPs who enacted the OTT Tax should be able to pay for it, just like everyone else. They are having a giant salaries, housing, cars and whatnots covered. They are surely able to do this, but are stubborn and greedy, as sleazy salesmen, they expect to be…

They are certainly not showing confidence, but a more a mockery of the people. Since they have wealth and the general public doesn’t. Peace.

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President Kenyatta promise more austerity measures!

The Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta have today pushed for a lower VAT on Petroleum, not showing why it gets cuts in half, but still will charge the public more in taxes. While state is promising more cuts in all arms of government. This from a government that has borrowed more spent more and been more corrupt, than any other I can think off. The Jubilee government have a ten-fold of corruption scandals since its inception. Therefore, if the government would clear its yearly shortfall quickly, the embezzlement, frauds and tender scandals has to stop. Also, the open looting by the high-ranking officials and their cronies, which for some reasons skates by, while the funds are running short. That why it is further insult to injury of the public, that the Wealthy President and his rich cronies are asking for a sacrifice. How could he?

Here is his statement:

“Fellow Kenyans, I have spent the last few days listening to a wide cross-section of views. It is clear that you are all troubled by the effect of the rise in the prices of petroleum products, and its impact on the cost of living. I have heard and understood your concerns, which is why I have proposed, as part of my memorandum, to cut VAT on petroleum products by 50% — from 16% to 8%. Should Parliament accept this proposal, the price of super petrol will drop from KSh 127 to about KSh 118, and the price of diesel will drop from KSh 115 to about KSh 107. Just as business owners took the new VAT rate as an opportunity to increase the cost of goods and services, I expect them not to take advantage of weary citizens, and to lower their prices commensurately and without delay. But we still face a financing gap. This measure will not suffice to balance our budget, as required by law. Therefore I have also proposed wide-ranging cuts in spending as well as austerity measures across all arms of government. The cuts target less essential spending, such as hospitality, foreign and domestic travel, training and seminars, and similar categories. These budget cuts ask of us in government that we tighten our belts. It also ensures that the sacrifices made by tax-compliant Kenyans are matched by discipline from all of us in the public service” (Uhuru Kenyatta – ‘STATEMENT BY HE THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF KENYA AND COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE DEFENCE FORCES, UHURU KENYATTA C.G.H., ON FINANCE BILL 2018/2019 ON 14TH SEPTEMBER, 2018’ (14.09.2018).

This here shows how he thinks and manoeuvre, instead of thinking directly how the elites, the cronies and the central leadership to pay for the shortfall, the added debt and growing corruption will cost the public and not them. The austerity and the lack of service providing, even salaries and lack of needed services will come with time. As the defaulting debt and the restructuring that is programmed through the IMF will hurt the communities.

Kenyatta knows this, but trying to deflect and finds ways to smoothing the hurt, but not initially changing the paradigm. The reality is that the state are struggling financially, have over-borrowed and secured massive debts, it now has to pay with interests, while also swiftly embezzled funds to the high-ranking elites, which are not paying for the short-fall, but the tab is put on the public instead. That is the insane reality and the swindle of the century.

There are usually two sides to ever story, and two side to every coin, but the man who has both created it the issue, are now trying to find ways to billing the debt on the public, without taking direct responsibility or going after the ones who created this in the first place. They are off the hook and off the books. While the public will be left with the costly back-payment and figuring out to pay it back. Day-by-day. Peace.

Parliament of Uganda: Clarification on OTT Tax remarks attributed to Hon. Kaps Hassan Fungaroo (14.09.2018)

European Parliament: Uganda, arrest of parliamentarians from the opposition – European Parliament Resolution of 13 September 2018 on Uganda, arrest of Parliamentarians from the oppostion (13.09.2018)

President Lungu is making Zambia a Chinese debt-slave!

We can just wonder how and why these Executives, these Presidents are taking these high-risked loans on Infrastructure projects and other vanity institutions, without considering the implications, the cost of interests and the real time cost of the projects as a whole. As they are topping off one more loan with another. Creating a negative spiral and instead of gaining the income through proper taxations or donor aid. They are instead taking higher loans and hoping the future generations can pay it off. This while the Chinese government who borrows are awaiting return on investment and making sure the debt-slave, that they will repay their stocks and bonds, even as needed vital part of infrastructure, even mineral extractions if needed be.

There been warnings on the horizon that the aftermath of these jolly days loans would come to into the atmosphere. Now, that is a reality, as the Republic of Zambia are countering the Chinese and struggling to repay all the borrowed funds. It is really to the next level.

“Africa Confidential noted that although Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe announced that all Chinese projects below 80 per cent completion would be halted, President Edgar Lungu told Chinese nationals that all projects would go ahead as planned. “The Zambian government is supposed to be contributing 15% of its own money to the Chinese-financed projects. Meeting this commitment is testing government finances to the limit and taking precedence over social expenditure. Even though Finance Minister Margaret Mwanakatwe pledged to halt all Chinese-backed projects that were less than 80% complete, on 11 July President Lungu publicly told Chinese officials in Lusaka that there would be ‘no disruption in the ongoing projects’ financed by China,” read the report.“Since President Edgar Lungu came to power, Zambia has signed off on at least US$8 billion in Chinese project finance. Over $5 bn. of this has not been added to the total because Zambia insists the money has not been disbursed, and more large loans are in the pipeline. Yet the finance ministry does not have the capacity, insiders say, to police, let alone stem, all the spending. In some cases, the financial penalties for halting disbursement on projects would outweigh the savings. Donor governments have offered technical assistance to bring the project debt mountain under control but have been rebuffed.”” (Lusaka Times – ‘China to take over ZESCO – Africa Confidential’ 04.09.2018).

When you read this and thinking, why did the President Lungu accept all this loans and didn’t he ensure that the state could arrange to pay it back somehow? Alternatively, did he just issue it without considering the implications, because he saw it as free money? Didn’t Lungu consider the refinancing and the costs of these loans?

Now there is reports that the Chinese will take certain infrastructure away from the Zambian government, as a way of repayment, an airport and even other things. That proves how dire the situation is, as the Chinese did the same in Sri Lanka and now does it Zambia. As it is proven, that if you don’t pay the bill-collector, something will be taken as collateral. That is evident in this case, as the rising debts and the spiral of negative sums are taking its toll. That because the President doesn’t care for the consequences and eats the defaulted debts.

Zungu is using the state to eat and the people are paying more, as they are working, but seeing the Chinese taking away their assets, because Zungu got “free” money to spend, while the results of these loans are not up to par. That is why this situation is dire. The costs are all put on the state, but the President don’t have to take any responsibility or care for the added costs. That is proven. Peace.

EFF Statement on Second Quarter Economic Decline and Recession (04.09.2018)

Kenya: Minister of Energy and Petroleum CS Kamau – “Re: Computation of Value Added Tax on Regulated Petroleum Pump Prices Exclusive of Levies” (04.09.2018)

The trade of illegal weapons implicates senior government officials in Djibouti – Report (03.09.2018)

EXX Africa published a special report on the arms trade in the Horn of Africa.

LONDON, United Kingdom, September 3, 2018 – EXX Africa (EXXAfrica.com) published a special report on the arms trade in the Horn of Africa.

Download the report: bit.ly/2CcF7hr

The trade of illegal weapons implicates senior government officials in Djibouti, which suggests that the Doraleh port terminal, which is now under government control and suffers from porous customs checks, will increasingly be leveraged as an arms trade hub. However, the most significant flows of illegal weapons will continue to be moved in smaller dhows via the fishing communities in the south-east coast and via the Garacad port project.

So far, and over the past few years, the DP World operated Doraleh terminal was not used for arms trafficking. However, local intelligence suggests that the terminal, which is now under government control, may in future be leveraged as a processing center for the illegal arms trade.

There is some evidence that the Doraleh terminal will increasingly be used for the weapons trade. The Chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority (DPFZA), Aboubaker Omar Hadi, is a close friend of Ali Abdi Aware, who is a three times presidential candidate of Puntland, as well as a very prominent businessman. They are jointly involved in a venture where Aware is personally in charge of former Yemen president Ali Abdallah Saleh’s bank CAC International. This bank is headquartered in Djibouti. Local intelligence suggests that Omar Hade helped with the registration of the bank and owns shares in it (“part of the investment components”). Moreover, Omar Hadi has established a bank branch in Bosaso that can launder money for underground institutions dealing with weapon imports from Yemen, as the bank hails from Yemen originally.

Aware is also very well established in the Guelleh government and he was the one who set up Puntland’s assistance to Djibouti donating 900 camels to Djibouti when it had an armed dispute with its Eritrean rival over the disputed Doumeira Islands. He also helped Djibouti secure an investment commitment for road construction from the Saudi government back in 2009 when late General Adde Muse Hersi was Puntland’s president.

Indeed, the trade in illegal weapons in Djibouti stretches t the highest echelons of the government. Local intelligence confirms that one company, which in the public version of this report will only be names as Company Z, is owned by the Guelleh family and handles arms trade. Company Z only deals with weapons imports into Somalia. Those same weapons are then often distributed to political factions backed by the government.

All this suggests that the Doraleh terminal will start to play a more prominent role in regional arms trafficking. Local intelligence suggests that the main port of Djibouti is not secure and that customs procedures are porous, which facilitates illegal shipments. Yet, since this terminal will remain one of Djibouti’s main import-export hubs, international scrutiny of cargo flows is high here, which will limit the port’s use as a weapons trade center. However, sources say that much of the illegal arms trade does not need to be moved through Djibouti’s main port. It is moved in smaller dhows via the fishing communities in the south-east coast.

Moreover, Djibouti is also now involved in the construction of Garacad Port. Djibouti became following a political disagreement with the Somali government with regards to the Eritrea-Ethiopia-Somalia rapprochement following the meeting between the Somali President and his counterpart Afewerki in Asmara. Djibouti are taking advantage of the Puntland disagreement with the Somali government here over the Garacad port. Prime Minister Hassan recently visited the region and was invited to the grand opening of the Garacad Project but refused to do so as the Somali government recently began the Hobyo port construction plan, only 90 km down the road.

There is a lot of tension between the Somali government and Djibouti over their involvement in this project. Local intelligence suggests that the Somali government is rightly worried about Djibouti using this as a base for moving weapons from the Gulf of Aden into Puntland and then onwards into Somalia proper (see previous comments on support for destabilising factions within Somalia such as al-Shabaab). Also, Garacad is a regional hotspot for weapons shipments landing, as it was pirate territory from 2008 – 2011. Boats disguised as fishing vessels still land there for smuggling purposes.

It is at Garacad that Djibouti plays its heaviest role in regional arms trafficking. The logistics, freight, and construction companies involved in the Garacad Port Project are often owned by senor Djibouti government officials and military officers. Most of the construction materials for the project will be transported overland from Djibouti or shipped to the coast off Garacad. There is ample opportunity here for weapons smuggling. Again, the UN Monitoring Group reports for this region include names of some entities which local intelligence suggests are still accurate.

Chinese Investments in Africa: It is not a free-lunch, the tab has to be paid!

African leaders should not turn the continent into a giant collector of donations and loans from wealthy nations—they must find other plausible means to help established their economic security so as to minimize poverty. This incoherent blunder on the mainland must be scrutinized.”Duop Chak Wuol

As The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is scheduled to happen on the 2nd and 3rd December 2018, there is time to remember how the Chinese is operating on the African Continent. The Chinese isn’t coming with empty giving hands of donations or even charity. They come with intent of interests and needs of resources from the continent, by offering loans, serving and building through state owned enterprises (SOE) in various of countries, whether it is roads, ports or railroads are built by Chinese Companies, by Chinese Workers and often on Chinese loans. Therefore, they might end up as Chinese owned enterprises, whose vital for transportation and export of needed minerals and whatnot from the continent.

Instead of coming with loans and direct-aid with strings like Western Powers has done over the last few decades, the Chinese are coming with friendly loans, but the Heads of State should know that the Chinese doesn’t play. They want value for money and expect a return, if it doesn’t they might snatch the new crown-jewel or anticipate to get perks from the state. If that is some sort of trade-off or licenses to extract mineral resources or even minor taxation like toll-roads, where the piece of cash will be sent to Beijing and not the capitol of the country where the road is built. That is how these people operate. They are not in it to play or be giving, but gain advantage and have the upper-hand.

This can be shown by what the State Media in China writes in Xinhua Net wrote today and what a CARI report on the same funds are saying. The Chinese portray the funding as investments on the Continent, as the funds are most likely pushed as loans, which burdens the states and that they have to repay. Loans are not given, but issued because of lack of direct funds to build those infrastructure and investments done. So, what I am saying isn’t mere speculation, but a narrative that has to sink in.

Chinese Investments:

China’s investments into Africa surged by more than 100 times from 2000 to 2017. In the past three years, annual Chinese direct investment into Africa was about 3 billion dollars on average. By the end of 2017, China’s investments of all kinds into Africa totaled 100 billion dollars, covering almost every country on the continent” (Li Xia – ‘Facts & Figures: China-Africa ties: cooperation for shared future’ 02.09.2018 link: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-09/02/c_137438845.htm).

Chinese Loans:

From 2000 to 2017, the Chinese government, banks and contractors extended US $136 billion in loans to African governments and their state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Angola is the top recipient of Chinese loans, with $42.2 billion disbursed over 17 years. Chinese loan finance is varied. Some government loans qualify as “official development aid.” But other Chinese loans are export credits, suppliers’ credits, or commercial, not concessional in nature. China is not Africa’s largest “donor”” (China Africa Research Initiative – ‘DATA: CHINESE LOANS TO AFRICA’ Version 1.1 August 2018).

They might try to conceal the reality, just like make-up is used on the face to fade the age or even marks that shows stress or pimples. However, the Chinese cannot be able to lie about their intent. They would not offer these sums of cash, without expecting a turnover or even profits. The Chinese wouldn’t allow all these billions of US Dollars spent on these nations to be spoiled and lost on the streets of Lome, Harare, Addis Ababa or Nairobi. They anticipate a return on the loans, either straight cash or getting pieces of the built infrastructure to advance the value of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

That the Heads of State in Africa should be concerned as they are getting in debt traps, instead of being in cycle of positive growth, they are getting new loans to pay the old ones. They are using the same creditor to secure new loans on top of the old-debt. That is how it will continue, until a point where they cannot pay the defaulted debt and the Chinese would then come to snatch something of value to recoup the failing debt. Because they don’t want to write-off the big money without having anything in return. That is what the Chinese has done in Sri Lanka and might start elsewhere. There might be soon more control of port in Djibouti or railroad of Kenya, even the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line too. As they want their value of money.

They might be all smiles and photo-ops in Beijing these days, the smiles and added loans to dozens of countries. The added “investments” and deals struck, but the Chinese will not do so without getting something in return. To think otherwise, is to be naive and think they don’t have an agenda by doing it.

There is nothing like a free-lunch and the people will learn that, the Heads of State will not directly pay the debt, but the states will do so. Maybe not in this decade or next 5 years, but sooner or later. The bill for the coffee and biscuit will come. Than it is all eaten, but tab still has to be cleared. Peace.

Kenya: Energy Regulatory Commission – Addendum to the Maximum Retail Petroleum Pump Prices Released on 14th August 2018 (01.09.2018)

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