Opinion: US-China relations sours even more…

It is like the United States own failures is used as an option to hurt Chinese Business interests. This is not only the sanctions and stopping of Huawei trading in the United States. The US has sanctioned 24 entities yesterday for their connections to the Chinese Military. Also on the same day, the US Commerce did also put sanctions on 9 companies connected to the oppression of Uighur in Xinjiang province.

That means the US has put their mission and blocks certain companies. Also ensures that these corporations or entities less traction in International trading. Just as the US Department of Commerce put it: “The Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) announced it will add 24 governmental and commercial organizations to the Entity List for engaging in activities contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States. The entities, based in China, Hong Kong, and the Cayman Islands, represent a significant risk of supporting procurement of items for military end-use in China” (Commerce.gov, 22.05.2020).

Also, the other piece from them state this: “These nine parties are complicit in human rights violations and abuses committed in China’s campaign of repression, mass arbitrary detention, forced labor and high-technology surveillance against Uighurs, ethnic Kazakhs, and other members of Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region (XUAR). This action will supplement BIS’s first tranche of Entity List designations in October 2019 involving 28 parties engaged in the XUAR repression campaign in Xinjiang” (Commerce.gov, 22.05.2020).

Yes, the actions of China and Chinese government in concern to the Uighur people is outrageous and morally wrong. No question in my mind. The activity and the destruction of them as a minority is wrong. However, in my mind, this is using them as en excuse for US selfish reasons. This is insincere. Because, its not like the US will open the arms for immigrants fleeing similar situations elsewhere. The US is building walls and closing its borders for asylum seekers fleeing situations like the Uighurs. So, the US is using this an argument, but not a legit one from this administration.

This administration cannot even make good lies. They are so open on their motives. This is direct trade-war and efforts as a scapegoat in the midst of the tragic COVID-19 Pandemic. The US needs a scapegoat and righteously so is it fitting to blame Beijing and China. Instead of looking at own inaction and lack of concern to what happen.

The US has also already put tariffs on Chinese production and products already. Therefore, this is a continuation. However, by every step and every action. The US is losing leverage and they are also paying the price. They need to go elsewhere for trading similar things. If not pay more, as they are stopping certain parts of imports from there.

The Chinese are doing their wrongs too. Nevertheless, the Foreign Affairs wrote this yesterday, which state it perfectly: We urge the US side to abandon its Cold War mentality and ideological bias, follow the trend of the times, view China and China-US relations in an objective and rational way, immediately stop interfering in China’s internal affairs, harming China’s interests or undermining China-US relations, and work with China to bring bilateral relations back onto the right track” (Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s Regular Press Conference on May 22, 2020).

This here says it all. Yes, the relations is based on both parties gives and takes. However, right now, the reality is that the one aiming and hitting one party. Is the US whose shooting down and tracing their targeted companies or entities. Just like last years tariffs and such, which has also slowed things down. The US is doing this and the Chinese has retaliated. This will continue. Just like the Chinese banned certain journalists and media houses within the Republic. That is all natural in the sense of the relations between them.

This is all hostile. There is not function or care. The US President says everything is China’s fault. While he hasn’t carried water for happen within his own borders. Therefore, that isn’t a fair assessment. It is an easy victimhood in this pandemic. Yes, the origin was from China. They didn’t do enough and do it correctly. Still, the US didn’t care about the warning signs either or did what they should have done. That is the 20/20 hindsight, which deems both parties wrong in the sense of acting in accordingly to the danger of COVID-19.

However, this is about the trade war. Where for every step the US is attacking and targeting companies of Chinese origin. They have to release proof of these allegations now. Especially, the list of Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). Where the Commerce Secretary says these companies are connected with this. If so, I would like to see proof and leaked documentation of sensitive intelligence. To actually prove the allegations. If not, the US is just using their power and means to kick the Chinese. Because, it is useful to have an enemy in this troubling time.

The Chinese is far from perfect and their reign within the One-Party state isn’t peaceful nor democratically anything to aspire too. Nevertheless, the US isn’t that great on this either. Especially, the way Trump Administration is just another epitome of baroque king-pin from the Big-Apple and Trump tower in New York. That is why these measures has to be explained to be believable.

The US cannot con the world anymore. They could in the past, but not now. This US-China Trade-War is only proving what sort of hostile force it is. Instead of finding diplomatic measures or even doing the hard work of talks between the parties. It is easier to sanction and block someone, than actually do the work. That is how it seems. They are using excuses and arguments of legit reasons to do something. But, a very important but, they are not proving the reasons for doing so.

If these companies are what they claim. Prove it and show it. Unless, they hare having a smokescreen and another visionary moment similar to the Iraqi WMDs in the early 2000s. Well, I’m looking forward to see that.

Until then, this is a propaganda victory for the Trump Administration with no hold in reality. Since, they are just blocking someone without any proof. They could say whatever and argue for it. Still, a man like me wants reasons for it.

Unless, they are just finding fitting measures to pressure Beijing, but that is not something they can do too long. Because, Washington D.C. doesn’t have that much leverage. Since, for every step they do. There is less of a reason for the Chinese to serve or even work in association with the US anyway. Peace.

Opinion: Mzee wants it to BOP his way

You want another rap? Nah, didn’t think so. Even if President Museveni wants a BOP. Not a DaBaby track or anything. His just approved the US$500 million dollars to the Republic. This was reported earlier this month and he approved it on the 6th of May 2020, but stamped by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) on the 11th of May 2020.

What is unique here is that this loan is given on the idea of “Balance of Payments”. Economist would know that this to cover the deficit and the balance the budgets. This is to ensure the state has enough revenue to already cover the deficit it has. That is why grants and loans comes to ensure the levels of revenue covers the spending. This means that the state has spend a hundred dollars, but only had 50 dollars in liquidity. So, to ensure the accounts are balanced, the BOP comes in and fix the shortfall.

Museveni writes this in the letter:

The money that goes to the Bank of Uganda is for “balance of payments support”. “Balance of Payments supports” does not only mean helping the country to “import more” but must also mean helping the country to “import less” by manufacturing these products here. With this undertaking, I approve the loan” (Museveni, 06.05.2020).

Because what the support does in the instance of the hundred dollars budget with a shortfall of 50 dollars revenue. The BOP support is the missing 50 dollars and makes it zero. Meaning, the accounts and financial flows should turn into zero. That means with the budget with its expenditure and its revenue its should be a nil or zero sum game. Therefore, when the President claims this helps local industry and less imports. I don’t see it.

Especially, if this is a BOP. Because, a BOP is a fixated way of balancing the budgets, not secure more trade. Its to cover deficits between expenditure and revenue. This isn’t a magical sphere of happiness and joy. This is budgetary measure to cover the shortfalls and lack of domestic revenue. To cover expenses that appeared or was already budgeted. Therefore, the need of Balance of Payments from the IMF to cover those.

This can be seen as a Financial Inflow to cover the deficit.

Like this:

-100 dollars budget/Import

+50 dollars revenue/Export

+50 dollars Financial inflow (BOP Support)

= 0

That is why, when the man says like this. Its a game of balancing the budget. Not putting a wand on the thing and swiftly changing things. This is just a financial measure to cover a deficit. A short-term solution to a shortfall. That will not solve anything, but by time. Not cover debt, not create a market nor make a big difference. Its just covering expenditure. Nothing else.

The President can make it seem so, but that wouldn’t be a BOP. That would be another instrument and another measure. Where the funds was actually meant for investment. This is covering the basics.

Let me end with DaBaby: “I needed some shit with some bop in it (Let’s go)” (DaBaby – ‘BOP’ of KIRK, 2019). Peace.

Opinion: New Zim Dollar Notes, should we be worried now?

The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists” Ernest Hemingway

Well, why do I say this? Well, the Reserve Bank and Ministry of Finance haven’t really been trustworthy nor transparent. Neither has the policies been pushed forward with trust and sincere objectives. Its like everything is a smokescreen and one day they hope it sticks. However, that is not how you build an economy.

Ever since the last hyper-inflation and total devaluation of the currency. The authorities and the Monetary Agencies has struggled to get their act together. This being with the Bond-Notes, and the RTGS Dollar. They tried to sign-off foreign currencies like the US Dollar and the Rand, but to no luck.

Now in May 2020 the same guys are relaunching the Zimbabwe Dollar Notes of 10 and 20 dollars denominations. We can really wonder if this will go well. The economy and currency value is built on trust, fate in it and in the possible strength of total economy. That’s why you need a hectic mess of measures from both the Reserves, the Ministry of Finance and hopefully some foreign support to recapitalise the currency.

Because, its not like back-in-the-day with the gold standard. Where the currency was as strong as the Reserves of Gold and the value of the gold. Now its so many measures into question, the liquidity of the state, loan interests and Forex values itself. They are co-existing and either adding or taking away value.

That is why the release of this currency is interesting. As the banknotes are supposed to signify a new beginning. A fresh start since the ceasing to exist over a decade ago. That’s why the devalued buddy of Bond-Notes haven’t been cracking and neither has the RTGS Dollar, which is a dumb name for a currency if there ever was one. At least the ZWL makes sense and the return might bring some hope.

However, this state who has mismanaged every single other policy in regards to economy. Why would they succeed with this one? Why wouldn’t they print it like crazy and pay-off debts and whatnot with it?

So, that we within a scope of time see there being shortages, lack of currency afloat and also hyper-inflation. In a sense where suddenly the need for more digits comes quickly. Just like it did last time. When the numbers skyrocketed and still the currency was worthless.

We can hope that this doesn’t happen, but these guys has screwed so expectationally with this before- ZANU-PF rather wants to rule by the gun, than by trust. That’s why you cannot trust their policies nor their intentions. This is maybe just another smoking gun. We don’t know, but the release of two new notes. Only begs to question.

How long will this last? Before inflations spiral out like crazy. We’re soon here shivers from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and the stories of Albatross returns like hungry hippo. So, let’s be honest here. This here is futile. You need to have trust, mechanisms and balance to build a currency, as there is gold as securities. There is only hope and trust. Two things ZANU-PF and their institutions are lacking.

The only thing they have is looting and impunity, that is not measures to build a functioning state. Nor a strong and beloved currency for people to use for buying and selling. Peace.

Opinion: The IMF decided to give dictators a COVID-Lifeline

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) might have the best intention, but when you give debt relief and certain programs funds to several of republics. Don’t expect this to be spent on the public there. These funds will be squandered on big convoys, don’t expect suddenly these dictators do build fancy hospitals for poverty lingering citizens. Who hasn’t been a priority and only useful, when they need grants and loans from the likes of IMF and the World Bank (WB).

On the 2nd April 2020, the IMF approved US$ 109.4 million to Rwanda. This is supporting the militaristic regime, which have ruled since the genocide in 1994. Therefore, giving a lifeline to President Paul Kagame. Who is gettign rid of his opposition, activists and they suddenly dies. That’s why they are ensuring a small praising elite in Kigali to overpower the public with more funds like this.

On the 3rd April 2020, the IMF approved US$ 97.1 million to Togo. This is supporting the Second Generation Dictator Faure Gnassingbe who is just sworn in for his third term in office. Where all protests are hard hit, where the real opposition is destroyed and there is lack of real investment into the the state. As the Gnassingbe family, who has ruled this nation from 1967. They haven’t showed any interest in real development and only using the state as a private business operation.

On the 9th April 2020, the IMF approved US$ 147 millions to Gabon. Where second generation dictator resides. The son like father, keeps the state all enclosed. Omar Bongo Ondimba follows Ali Bongo Ondimba. These funds are given to a man who is following the family affair of running this state. This is has been done since 1967. So, they are validating the Bongo regime and they will continue to constrain it.

On the 14th April 2020, the IMF approved US$ 115.1 millions to Chad. Another big-man and militarized government run by Idriss Deby Itno have ruled since a coup in 1990. He rules by decree and silence his opposition. So, it not like this man is saint. Your not a saint, when the only way the opposition dares to show their affection is to whistle. Not like the IMF cares about that, because these funds will be given to an boast of his army, whose not only battling Boko Haram, but also constrains the public.

On the 4th May 2020, the IMF approved US$ 226 millions to Cameroon. This is boosting the President for Life, Paul Biya. The Ghost of Cameroon and Swiss Landlord of Cameroon. The man who kills own citizens in the North-West and South-West Regions, the Ambazonia parts of Cameroon. The man who rigs elections, uses army against his own citizens and who has reigned non-stop since the 1980. So, this man hasn’t developed Cameroon, except for making his elite wealthy and making his own family richer than the nation. That is the ones the IMF is bailing out.

On the 6th May 2020, the IMF approved US$ 491.5 million to Uganda. This is giving money to the militarized government of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. The government who has run the Republic since the coup in 1986. A man who torture, detain and assaults his opposition. A man who uses the government as private property. A man who is the “high above” and who directs anything from his State House. Who has had debt relief and grants gotten lost, paying ghosts and so fourth. These funds will squandered and only feed the kitchen cabinet, not the public. He has had the time from 1986 to develop the Republic, but have instead built a big army and the biggest entourage on the continent.

So, the IMF is giving these money out in good faith. They are doing it with a purpose, but don’t expect to do any good. These funds will boast and give the Dictators a lifeline. That is sad, its a bitter pill to swallow, but needed to be said. Since, the IMF is by doing this giving way to the most ruthless leaders on the planet. People who have no heart, but only lives for their own personal greed. These people can order the death of their enemies and can without a flick of their eyes make someone stop.

That is why this money will not be used for the purpose of which its given. It might be some of the dollars ending up to nurses and frontline workers. However, this will most likely pay of their pet projects like para-military groups or security organizations, which is used to monitor the public. The money will also go to the expensive lifestyle of the President and his cronies. While only a few rain-drops will go to public. However, don’t expect these funds to go anywhere useful. Than, your lying to yourself and very naive.

You don’t become big-men like these without being using force and not caring about governance. They are there because of the guns, the method of fear and intimidation. These funds are given to men who uses their state as a racket.

The IMF like I said does this in good faith, but its a reason why its faith. Because they have trust and belief it will do some good, but don’t expect magic. There is no magic wand to fix things, especially with the leadership at the helm. What is worrying is how easily they could get these millions of dollars, because of the global pandemic.

They will misuse it and it will be squandered. It just a matter of time, before ghost companies and ghost workers are paid. Before sudden funds have gone missing and no one can find the allocation. That is just what happens. Also, the elite will get a big pay-check, because their loyalty is worth more than gold for these men. Peace.

Zimbabwe: Details on the COVID-19 Economic Recovery and Stimulus Package (04.05.2020)

EFF Statement on the Financial Sector’s Deliberate Sabotage of the Lockdown (02.04.2020)

The world is under lockdown…

Who knew we would get here? And get here collectively together? It seems all nations, republics and rulers are disconnecting themselves from the world. Closing the schools, emptying the tourism industry and working from home.

So many countries are under lockdown, we are in our homes. Not walking out unless we need too. We are awaiting the next update, the next presser from local councils and the central governments. Schools, Universities, workplaces, churches and sporting events are all closed or suspended. We are supposed to be one meter away from each other. Wash our hands and be quarantined if we have a cough, fever or feeling ill. We are clearly making all metropolis across the world into ghost towns.

This is living in a science fiction novel. We are hiding from a deadly virus. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) are able to break the neck of the airline industry. Make the hotels empty, make the offices in and around the central business district all closed. The banks needs revamped, so does so many other businesses. There is a social destruction, but also a bailout that the states trying to configure.

Laws are amended, the states are taking more power, as they need more modifications to able to close the space of civil society, take away powers from the citizens and also ability to fight this. They are even pursuing it for longer time than the possible crisis will last. From 6 months to two years depending on where.

The borders are shut, the warnings for travel abroad is everywhere. If you still travel from A to B. You will most likely be quarantined and not enjoy the place you travelled too. That is why the free movement of our globe is suspended. That is for a common good, but not something we could foresee for just a few months ago.

I don’t have the answers, because I myself is in a home-office, made a make shift office in the kitchen and not going to the office anymore. Which is weird. Staying home most of the time and worried about going out. While seeing pictures of empty streets and worry about the spread of the virus.

We just have to wait for the advice of the authorities and what they say to us. However, we shall not be muffled in a way that doesn’t make sense. Like if they try to misuse power or breach human rights, nor take away liberties and freedoms without giving it back to the citizens when its over. If not we, have to riot when this is over. Because, the state can do this now, but try to pull a wall over eyers is insane.

We have to show solidarity, we have to show restraint, but that doesn’t mean we cannot question when the measures are overstretched or taking ownership, which might imply that they want more power out of this. That is what people should think about, as quickly made laws and amendments are enacted, as some of this is done in the grandness of common good. Other things can be baked in to ensure more power, which the rulers and representatives doesn’t need, but grabs in the moment of fear and crisis.

Be woke, be aware, but still show solidarity. We are all in this lockdown, but still not fools. Peace.

Bank of Uganda: Measures to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 (20.03.2020)

Kenya: Civil Society Organizations Seek for Opennes in Debt Management Strategy Paper and EPS Review (13.03.2020)