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Archive for the category “Transparency”

Brexit: Boris couldn’t force his law on the Commons!

Well, for the first time in the reign of Prime Minister Boris Johnson he got the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (Bill) through the second reading. However, later in the evening he lost on the program motion of the law. Meaning the government time-table to push the laws through the Commons, Lords and Royal Assent. Therefore, Boris lost again tonight after a minor victory.

The MPs, the acts of Parliament shows that they want proper scrutiny and assessment of the new Withdrawal Bill, which the government just released last night. Dozens of documents of amendments and costs of the bill. Which is all the job of the Parliament and their role as representatives. They are not there to sign-off to any idea the Cabinet nor the PM has. If it sounds bad, they can “naye” or amend it to make it righteous.

The PM lost the 31st October 2019. The Bill will not be pushed or finished by then. The HM Government have to hope for a helpful Brussels to buy more time. Because, the Tories, the PM has used his cards and empty gambles without winning. Tried to be a genius, but instead going bonkers.

This man has already shown disregard for the Commons and continues to do so. Because a law like this is about the watershed moment of withdrawing from the EU. Not just what sort of labels that should be on a pack of crisps. No, this is the legal binding changes, the trade-offs and further negotiations with the EU.

Therefore, the Tories should have given the Commons more time to digest the revised Withdrawal Agreement and the Withdrawal Agreement Bill. However, it gave it none and thought it would care to give way. The same house that has voted down the previous one THREE Times. It is like the PM cannot learn or know the hiccups of the past.

The arrogance of doing this today and thinking it would work. His dislodging the agreement and the bill at one point. Unless, his trying to configure it through the house, amendment by amendment, statute after statute. Will Boris do that or will he try to push it through another time before the 31st October?

Johnson is really showing his losing side. Boris should have thought this one out, but by proroguing the Parliament he lost valuable time for his due-date. However, that seems to forged and faked for his own image.

We know at one point this is supposed to end, but now its up to the mercy of Brussels. Something, that is funny considering how Brexiteers cannot stomach this and Remainers want a new referendum. Some speculate in a General Election, but who knows at this point. What we are seeing a government losing on their important votes.

Boris is not able to get a full house. His not able to succeed. Not that he wants to see that. That destroys his mind. It must be shattering for him. Not that I feel sorry for him, because he has made this bed and has to sleep in it.

Boris cannot fix Brexit, it will destroy him, just like it did Cameron and May. His next in line. He just don’t know it yet. Peace.

Brexit: A Shoddy Impact Assessment of the new Withdrawal Agreement Bill…

This was really inspired and not well thought out of, the Department of Exiting the European Union and the rest of the Tories. Really didn’t care much for the estimates of the costs, nor the consequences in concerns of their amended Bill to Parliament. Prime Minister Boris Johnson wants to just pursuit the ending without doing the proper work. This is shoddy, disrespectful work, which he wanted to be over within 3 days or so. Within the parameter of when he wanted to suspend the Parliament.

So, his acts and his vision is blurry, as the whole law and amendments of it. Is substantial and needs time to be addressed properly, that is if, the Brexit process and withdrawal of membership has consequences. Which it does, but apparently it is more important to leave, than to know why your leaving.

I have today looked through the Impact Assessment Report on the bill, which in itself is a sad report. A disgraceful attempt of justification and proving the possible outcomes of the withdrawal. Apparently, that didn’t matter, because my quotes are very striking. Take a look!

There could be costs to business associated with the arrangements in the Northern Ireland/Ireland Protocol. But these are inherently uncertain in their nature and intensity, as such, these costs have not been quantified” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

Customs:

Businesses in Great Britain and Northern Ireland may face familiarisation costs in adapting to the new customs processes, such as the requirements for customs declarations, in particular if they have not undertaken such processes before” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

This isn’t rocket science and will cost both the state and the businesses. It will cost both time and money, to fill forms and secure the movement accordingly to the regulations on both sides of the customs.

VAT:

Northern Ireland will be required to align with certain EU VAT and excise rules. VAT collected in Northern Ireland will be retained by the UK. Specific practical arrangements will be the subject of discussions within the Joint Committee, and it is not therefore possible to assess costs or benefits at this stage” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

The taxation on goods will be an issue and how its issued. This will add prices possibly on the consumer and also on the businesses. But the HM Government don’t know to what extent and how to operate. That is clearly a smooth transition.

Tariffs:

No tariffs will be paid on goods moving from Great Britain to Northern Ireland unless they are deemed to be at risk of entering the EU. The appropriate UK tariff will be paid on goods moving from outside the UK or EU to Northern Ireland unless they are deemed to be at risk of entering the EU. The Joint Committee will agree the criteria to be used in determining whether goods are not considered to be at risk of entering the EU” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

So, there will certain cost of moving goods into the EU as per the tariffs stipulated by the Joint Committee. This means, the UK-EU on accord will find the fitted prices on movement of goods form the UK into EU. That means, the goods moving across the borders will cost more, than today, as there is no-tariff on lots of products crossing the borders at this very moment.

Agri-Foods from GB to NI:

Agri-food goods moving from Great Britain into Northern Ireland would need to be notified to the relevant authorities before entering Northern Ireland and would be subject to checks including identity, documentary and physical checks by UK authorities as required by the relevant EU rules. These processes would introduce additional costs, both from one-offfamiliarisation and ongoing compliance, to businesses compared to current arrangements” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

This will surely cost and make it more time consuming. Not making it easy or smooth either. Surely, all of this is hardening the trade of this to NI.

Manufactured goods from GB to NI:

To ensure regulatory compliance, businesses in Great Britain selling to Northern Ireland may incur additional costs from product testing and corresponding administrative processes. The nature of the costs will depend on the product-specific requirements in EU law and on a business’s current approach to meeting these requirements. These costs may be passed through to businesses in Northern Ireland” (Impact Assessment, 2019).

Here the costs will be put on the consumer in Northern Ireland for the goods coming from Great Britain. The manufactured goods will not be cheaper, but more time consuming to get and has to follow other protocols, than the ones coming from Ireland/EU. This means for the NI it will be more profitable to get EU goods, than GB goods, because of the cost. That is simple calculation.

We can all see, that the Withdrawal Agreement and new legal text makes business, movement of goods and borders to the Northern Ireland more harder. That without swimming into the legal text nor the statutes of the Withdrawal Agreement. Because, this is just the mere chip-shape of the impact assessment of it all.

The whole thing is lazy and that makes me grim. Because, this shows the people releasing it. Didn’t do their job and show the real estimates nor the possible costs of doing business. Only that it might cost more, which it most likely will do, because you have more things to do before doing business. Peace.

Reference:

European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill – Impact Assessment, 21.10.2019

Brexit: Lib-Dems – Government grovelling over food standards to try and secure US trade deal (07.10.2019)

Brexit: Lord Kinnoull letter to James Duddbridge MP Under Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union – “Government response to Hosue of Lords’ report Brexit: the Customs challenge” (03.10.2019)

Opinion: I wonder, what is Ramaphosa hiding?

The grandest trick of them all is to follow the money. If you want to know where the mans heart is: find out where he spends it. That is usually the trick to solve everything. With this in mind, the recent revelations and actions of President Cyril Ramaphosa. Shows, that there is a dire rot within the African National Congress (ANC), the state capture didn’t only eat Jacob Zuma, but it has taken other people hostage too.

This time its his former friend and now President Ramaphosa. Who uses his lawyers, his technical team behind, the party organization and everyone involved to hush, to silence and stop a Public Protector Report #CH17 from Adv. Busisiwe Mkhwebane to be released. Since, that will hurt the President and his team. Clearly, there is something there under-seal, that the President want to hide. Just as if other Presidents like Zuma needed to hide certain reports from the public. This is not a new trick, but an old one with new theatrics.

Some people say: If you’re wealthy already and gets into a public office, you got no reason to steal. However, you go figure me out, because, the richest is the greediest and the ones that eat the most. Secondly, they are the ones that will push blood out of a stone for a profit. Therefore, the wealth gained already by the likes of Ramaphose. Doesn’t stop him from finding news ways to pocket funds and ensure his backers get favourable tenders. In addition, this has been state practice under Zuma, so Ramaphosa want to do it on the low-key.

It doesn’t save the case, neither the defence letter of the lawyers, to ask of the released mails on the report confidential, as well as asking for the report to be under-seal. This all means, that the head of state is stopping one of the mechanisms and the state own functions, when it fits him and his cronies. There is no different way to see this, because this is stopping the public, the courts and the justice to be served.

Since, the Head of State is using his fortune and his attorneys to defend the funds he got for his campaign. Whoever paid him and allocated him funds is getting suspicion, even before its unsealed, because the President hide it already. The President could have been transparent and open about this, but surely there are some relics of the state capture. Therefore, he got to make it hush-hush.

Ramaphosa doesn’t look smart, doesn’t look refreshing and if he cannot be transparent about campaign funding, what else will he hide in the future? What else will he mull to silence and stop from being released? What sort of business deals with the State Owned Enterprises have he made and who has he given tenders too?

It is easy to ask and think about, because this is modus operandi. If you scratch my back, I will scratch yours. Especially, when someone donates big-money, they expect big-returns. Unless, there is as side-dish and a few bastards kept in the shadows of power. In this regard, it is just mere infuriating facts, that a President want to keep a state report under-seal, which is a about the funds for his campaign.

A Presidnet that is using his power not for the good, but for his own wealth creation. Wants to keep the public in the dark, about the way he spent money in a limited time. Than, the question remains, what about how he spends money, all of the time? If he wants to hide this, what else is he hiding? This cannot only be it!

That is why this shows something about Ramaphosa, that he really doesn’t want to show. He shows that he is compromised and that his wealth isn’t a shield for corruption, graft and possible embezzlement. It is instead it’s a vessel for more of it. Peace.

Uganda: Fresh report states that the debt-service has grown 129% within one financial year!

 

The Republic of Uganda’s economy is really reeling, it cannot be sustainable as the Government of Uganda is growing their debt like there is no tomorrow. While the fiscal growth is substantially lower than their rate of debt-service. As the growth of debt combined with lacking growth to substantiate the shortfall.

In addition, with the knowledge of added expenses, growing shortfall of funds in the upcoming Financial Year of 2019/20 and the election year of FY 2020/21. There will be more add-ons on the need for debt service, as the state already had loans outstanding, which the grace period ends and the debt-service begins on. Therefore, the amount of loans will transpire even more, than what is in this report. The endless cycle of debt and growth of it, is worrying, as well, as the state thinks that the magical wand of oil-money will clear this debt. Even as the first operational oil field and such has been postponed yet again.

Just look!

“The total Government of Uganda external debt service by end of FY 2017/18 amounted to US$275.75 million, which was an increment of l29% compared to US$120.62 million in FY 2016/17” (…) “Debt service of Uganda’s external debt is on the rise and outstripping growth of the country’s income, currently at 6%. This poses risks for future debt repayments, especially as the country continues to acquire external debt at less concessional terms, especially to finance the oil development programme” (P: 6-7, 2019)

“It follows that as interest rates increase, the debt service obligations of Government also increases. The rise in external debt interest costs attests to the fact the government is increasingly contracting non-concessional debt, which will increase the repayment burden” (P: 24, 2019)

“However, this may not be the most likely scenario, as most projects have been discounted and some excluded in the macroeconomic framework. With the development of the NDP III, additional project and other pipeline project related to the oil developments and other infrastructure, will increase the financing requirement of government in the medium term. The inclusion of the above projects will re-classify Uganda from low risk of debt distress to moderate risk of debt distress or high risk if the export shocks materialize. A downgrade would have significant implications for the program with the IMF, where Uganda’s credit risk rating will worsen; implying that accessibility of nonconcessional financing will be limited. This will limit credit to Uganda to only concessional and grants financing.” (P: 28, 2019)

You don’t need to smart about it, as the state has bigger budgets with higher shortfall in the economy, combined with debt service and higher interest payments on the growing amount of loans. You know sooner or later, the economy will tank, as the fiscal responsibility is taken for granted and that fresh funds are lacking, because these are taken out of the economy to finance the payments of the old debts. Instead of generating growth and actually naturally grow the economy, by spending and investing as a state. The money is taken away to service debt, instead of building the state. That is what they are doing and at a alarming rate. Peace.

Reference:

NEC1-19 – ‘REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL ECONOMY ON THE STATE OF INDEBTEDNESS, GRANTS AND GUARANTEES’ June 2019, Parliament of Uganda

The crazy and mandatory exercise called the Huduma Bill of 2019!

Here we are, at this moment and time, where the Jubilee government, where the Kenyatta administration has no issues to launch a bill so draconian. That the state are forgetting their role for the citizens in their drive to pursuit the registration of all with Huduma Numba.

As the bill states: “AN ACT of Parliament to establish the National Integrated Identity Management System; to promote efficient delivery of public services; to consolidate and harmonise the law on registration of persons;to facilitate assigning of Huduma Namba and issuance of identity documents;to facilitate registration of births and deaths;and for connected purposes” (The Huduma Bill, 2019).

This sounds legit, but at the same time, the registration for these reasons should already be in other parts of the legislation. Not for a NIMS or Huduma Namba but for a commercial ideal, which is an agreement between Mastercard and the Government of Kenya.

As explained here: “Nairobi, Kenya – February 7, 2017 – Mastercard commits to supporting the roll-out of the Huduma Card in Kenya as the technology partner of choice for the local government organisation. The secure payment solution supports Kenya’s Vision 2030 that calls for reforms in public services to enhance accountability, transparency and efficient service delivery, with focus on developing a cashless economy. The Huduma Card is a prepaid card with chip and PIN technology that will connect all Kenyans to the formal financial sector by providing a secure, reliable and flexible payment option. The Huduma Card, powered by Mastercard, is currently being issued by Commercial Bank of Africa (CBA), Diamond Trust Bank (DTB), Equity Bank and Kenya Commercial Bank (KCB), with no bank charges being allocated to citizens when registering for the smart card” (Mastercard, 2017).

Clearly, this should be a voluntary exercise, as the commercial aspect of this shouldn’t make this mandatory. However, with this law, they are really showing no regard for the public. As they are not asking people to accept a commercial agreement with Mastercard, but doing it mandatory.

As stated in the law here:

8.(1) Every resident individual shall have a mandatory obligation to present theHudumaNambain order to—

(a)be issued with a passport;

(b)apply for a driving licence;

(c)register a mobile phone number;

(d)register as a voter;

(e)pay taxes;

(f)transaction the financial markets;

(g)open a bank account;

(h)register a company or a public benefit organisation;

(i)transfer or make any dealings in land;

(j)register for electricity connection;

(k)access universal health care services;

(l)benefit from the government housing scheme;

(m)register a marriage;

(n)enrol into a public educational facility;

(o)access social protection services;

(p)register or transfer a motor vehicle; or

(q)any other specified public service” (The Huduma Bill, 2019).

As you see from this, most of the state services are bound by having the Huduma Numba and the Mastercard connected to it. If you don’t have it, you are not getting access to government services. They have even more of them too, even passports:

(2)The requirements for applying or replacing a Passport are—

(a) Huduma Namba;and

(b)prescribed fee” (The Huduma Bill, 2019)

So, by this state, even passing by a road-block, the Police Officers needs to see your Huduma Numba to let you pass by. To prove that your not a felon, but an innocent citizen.

To top this off, the legislators plans to sanctions the ones who doesn’t want to comply to this: “48.A person who carries out or permits the carrying out of any transaction specified in section 8 without a Huduma Namba commits an offence” (The Huduma Bill, 2019).

It is actually an felony to not comply with previous part of law. They are not only stopping people from getting government services if they don’t have the Huduma Numba and Card made by the Mastercard, but also making it a felony not to register it properly.

The giant lie of this bill, is this sentence in the ending of it:

The Bill does not limit any fundamental right or freedoms” (The Huduma Bill, 2019).

Well, if you cannot access any of the government functions or get the needed services because of not having the Huduma Namba and Huduma Card, than your kind of limiting the fundamental rights or freedoms. The liberty of the person is taken away, as they got to do this. This is taking away people’s freedom, to put them into a government scheme, as they have signed off together with Mastercard. They could have done this with VISA and it would have been the same issue, even for Gods sake, American Express.

So, when CS Fred Matiang’i wrote that this bill doesn’t limit any fundamental righ or freedoms of its citizens. I believe he was high or drunk, because he couldn’t write that with a clear mind. Unless, his heartless and doesn’t understand the basic components of the bill. You don’t need to be a legal scholar to get the gist here. Peace.

USA: DNI Chairman Coats resignation letter to President Trump (28.07.2019)

Uganda Peoples Congress: Caution on Coffee Bill (17.07.2019)

Kenya: Turkana Country Government – Statement on the Council of Governor’s legal push over the Division of Revenue Impasse (16.07.2019)

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