Today is the first day of Presidential Elections rallies that has been harmonized with the Electoral Commission. The Camps or Parties has travelled around the country while one candidate still works with the commission to get a go to campaign. The ones that really seem to matter is the President Museveni in Luweero, Amama Mbabazi and People’s President Dr. Kizza Besigye in Rukungiri. And the best of all, this has been very peaceful and IGP Kale Kayihura has put his tear-gas and violent men to the side. It’s rare to see so little activity from the UPF and the peace that is at venues today. Hope this continues. Because its good to see the crowds, though we surely knows that certain levels of the NRM crowds are shipped there as the Crime Preventers are taking buses back and forth from venues to listen to Mzee. But enough of that! Let’s feel the flow of the day, start with the economic situation and then address the Elections as they have unfolded. The reports are not it all, not full speeches or such. But pieces and gist’s of what has been happening.
Before I go on the trails with the candidates and their trails, I will show a report from the Watchdog:
“A well-placed source at the Ministry of Finance has told Watchdog that President Museveni ordered the Ministry to arrange for him Shs500 billion. The source suspects the money is meant to fund Museveni’s campaigns. “He gave us only one week to look for the money and send it,” he said. The move came at the time some civil servants have not been paid for about three months. But that is not the sad bit. The Finance official told Watchdog website that the money had to be cut from various ministries” (Watchdog, 2015).
Money to MPs to be energized for the Elections:
“While asking NRM MPs to support the proposed amendments to the Public Finance law, the minister for planning, David Bahati, warned of a crisis in government, if Parliament rejects a new Bill that seeks to amend the current law to allow government, among other things, to borrow from Bank of Uganda. Daily Monitor broke the story when the Parliamentary Commission, secretly approved a 40 per cent pay rise for MPs and House staff, in a move the Clerk to Parliament, Ms Jane Kibirege said was intended to motivate members ahead of next year’s elections” (…)”However, Mr Bahati’s explanation according to sources did not go well with some senior legislators led by Mr Emmanuel Dombo (Bunyole East), who insisted that the Shs286.7b in the Contingency Fund went to State House and defence operations. Asked why government is broke, the Ministry of Finance Spokesperson, Jim Mugunga, said: “Government is not broke. Some ministries and government departments received more money in the budget.” (Mugerwa, 2015).
Car as an election gift to the Lamogi Clan Cheif from NRM:
You know there is election when there is big pledges and free stuff to the citizens. And the security agencies get new equipment and other material. The reports here says this:
“The Lamogi clan chief Martin Otinga Otto Yai Otuka has asked his subjects to vote for President Museveni in 2016 presidential polls, saying he has honoured pledges to develop the chiefdom. The chief made the remarks while speaking to residents at his home in Guru-guru village Lamogi Sub-county, Amuru District, while receiving a new Pajero donated to him by Mr Museveni on Friday” (Ocungi, 2015).
When reading about this money issue the President pledges this later today at the 2nd rally in Luweero:
“President Museveni has promised to increase funds for the National Agricultural Advisory Service (NAADs) to the tune of Shs1 trillion if Ugandans re-elect him in next year’s presidential elections.” (Monitor, 2015).
The FDC travelled in a Team today, they we’re Gen. Mugisha Muntu, SG Hon. Nathan Nandala-Mafabi, Spokesperson Hon. Ibrahim Nganda Ssemujju, Special Mobiliser Hon. Erias Lukwago, Hon. Amuriat, Hon. Otto Odonga, Fdc Chairman Waswa Birigwa, Shifrah Lukwago and Activists Gloria Paga and Moses Byamugyisha.
In Ntugamo town, people was lining up by the road with FDC signs. They had planted banana trees 10 kilometers from town and to the center of the town. At the FDC office in town Hon. Kataha was flashing the FDC sign and screaming “Kyahwa” transelated means “It’s finished”. In the same time even DP supports showed support for Dr. Kizza Besigye.
In Mbabara the town was in standstill because people wanted a view of Dr. Kizza Besigye. People were screaming and even woman was crying. People have been waiting in more areas for the FDC convoy in Mpigi, Masaka, Rwengo, Lyantonde and Rushere.
At the rally in town the first ones to address the rally were Wafula Oguttu and Ingrid Turinawe. After that Erias Lukwago has address them. After that Gen. Mugisha Muntu addressed the people. Then Dr. Kizza Besigye went up to the podium and the people went bananas. Quotes from his speech:
“Our children can’t study properly when the teachers are not properly remunerated”(…)”Our people are hoodwinked that they will be given Naads handouts and they keep walking up and down from and to Sub county offices” (…)”Why should government first extort money from citizens in form of high taxes and yet they can’t give services to the people?” (…)”Government will now begin to distribute Naada handouts since we are going in elections and you will find people thanking and praising government” (…)”If you have no power, you will never get better education or medical care” (…)”No meaningful jobs for youths when you have no power as citizens” (…)”When government over taxes you, it leaves you with no money or capital to use for production and development of yourself”.
Message from Kizza Besigye after the rally today:
“To the people of Rukungiri, inclusive of supporters of various political parties, I would like to extend my heart felt gratitude for the overwhelming turn up and the material support you have accorded to my candidature today” (…)“The spirit shown in Rukungiri, I believe will be the catalyst of the liberation of the entire country. The wave you have began will be unstoppable, from here on ‘as we move, many people will join us, we shall assign them duties and we shall build a force to break all the obstacles before us'”.
Reports from FDC Primaries:
“Anywar tears ballots papers for FDC primaries in Kitgum:
“I am the one who brought Besigye to Kitgum … Let him come here. Where is Besigye ?” Anywar fumed when she stormed the FDC meeting in Kitgum. She later left the office wailing”.
Just so you know:
In Busaana in Kayunga Professor Baryamureeba held a rally there today! Also was in Kamuli he held a public rally.
Abed Bwanika held his first election rally in Kamuli. There were more people at his rally it seems then at the Prof. Barya, but that is just my eyes I guess.
Statement from one of the Independent Coalition candidates:
Elton Joseph Mabirizi: “I love you all my supporters. Keep on supporting me and encourage others to join”, he Joseph Mabirizi says this and also Maureen Kyala is supposed to hold Election rally in Busoga today. Look forward to hear the reports from their rallies in Busoga when they come.
Maj Gen Benon Biraro is most likely not to hold his first rally today as he is still harmonizing his campaign schedule
Go-Forward Rally in Masaka:
Ssekasamba and the DPC has spent the whole last night supervising and determined to take down posters of Amama Mbabazi in the town. As the morning has come the Go-Forward team has put more up. The Go-Forward team has also paid for free boda-boda rides in Masaka town. The police are heavy deployed in town. The Police have also warned Go-Forward Presidential Candidate to have a procession through town from the Golf Grounds to center of town.
Amama Mbabazi on the road to Masaka where he got stopped got a special built chair and bananas by supporters.
Former NRM Masaka Municipality MP Shanon Kakungulu has deflected to Go-Forward today! There is also reports that 20 other members has deflected from NRM to Go-Forward as well, seems like many leaves the Yellow-Party.
To follow more up the Police and the NRM even had to have a function in the town as the Go-Forward Presidential candidate will arrive and have a rally later today. DP’s Norbert Mao has showed up to support Amama Mbabazi. There has also been set up some police barricades in town. So that Norbert Mao is stuck in a jam on the way to venue of the rally. He came to the venue and has been on stage with Vice Mukasa Mbidde and musician Big Eye. John Kawanga handed Amama Mbabazi a spear at the rally.
Amama Mbabazi message after the Rally:
“Thank you Masaka for turning up in big numbers to support the Go Forward campaign. We continue preaching the message of a Uganda that works for everyone”.
NRM Rally in Luweero:
There has been rumored that the President Museveni had a meeting and campaign rally in a town called Bamunanika. The People of the area were mad and screaming for all the promises that he has given and never kept. Also being mad at the how the Associates have taken land from them. He lost his speech and was stammering by the anger of the local residents.
The second rally was held on the Kasana Ground in Luweero. Where he asked the local electorate to: “me your grandfather”. At the Kasana Ground entered Kakooza Mutale!
Technology in this election:
Spokesman of the NRM Ofwono Opondo has proudly told the party has gotten themselves a call-center which was launched this morning and will call and reach up to 8 million voters during the election season. If that wasn’t enough Mzee has released his own election app and had help from an aide to get it to work on his own phone.
In Kabale there has been a Radio Panelist who first escaped from arrest after orders from the Resident District Commissioner Darius Naninda who tried to catch the Anti-Corruption Activist who was taking part of a show on the Kabala Freedom Radio (Mughisa, 2015). Later is seen that he has a warrant on inciting violence.
“The Southern Africa Litigation Centre (SALC) is deeply concerned about the safety of Ugandan refugees Musa Isabirye and Timothy Yamin who were deported to Uganda by Botswana Government last week. They have previously been active in opposition politics in Uganda and could face persecution, imprisonment or torture there. According to their legal representative Martin Dingake, “Their deportation took place in spite of a clear court order from the Botswana High Court interdicting such deportation. As a result the deportation is in flagrant contempt of the order of court and displays a shocking disregard by the Government of Botswana for the rule of law” (SALC, 2015).
In the External Security Organization there will be a reshuffle of four of the leaders on the top. Said to be an election switch. Also, one of the leaders who is Director General of this British which is kind of illegal in this matter; they are supposed to be Ugandan nationals.
“According to Airtel Uganda Corporate Social Responsibility Manager Mrs. Charity Bukenya, “Airtel Uganda has and will always welcome ideas that focus on empowerment of the youth, not only by providing them with better telecommunications solutions, but also by giving them opportunities to better their loves through the kind of exposure that AIESEC provides” (IT News Africa, 2015).
There will be more to come. This is what I have for now. Hope you got enlighten about what has happen. I don’t have all the clear reports at least some to give you a feel of what has gone down. There will be more to come. Since we’re just starting on the road to February polls! Peace.
Monitor – ‘Museveni to inject 1 trillion in NAADs’ (09.11.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/SpecialReports/Elections/Museveni-inject-trillion-NAADs/-/859108/2949484/-/8rjmx6z/-/index.html
Mugisha, Alex – ‘Drama as Kabale Radio Panelist escape arrest’ (09.11.2015) link: http://ugandaradionetwork.com/story/drama-as-kabale-radio-panelists-escape-arrest
Mugerwa, Yasiin – ‘Pension cash spent on MPs allowances’ (09.11.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Pension-cash-spent-MPs-allowances/-/688334/2948430/-/vstkcjz/-/index.html
Ocungi, Julius – ‘Chief rallies for Museveni after car gift’ (09.11.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Chief-rallies–Museveni-car-gift/-/688334/2948234/-/rt1x0r/-/index.html
IT News Africa – ‘Uganda: Airtel to take digital empowerment to Kyambogo University’ (09.11.2015) link: http://www.itnewsafrica.com/2015/11/uganda-airtel-to-take-digital-empowerment-to-kyambogo-university/
Southern Africa Litigation Centre – ‘Statement: SALC Condemns Deportation of Refugees from Botswana’ (09.11.2015) link: http://www.southernafricalitigationcentre.org/2015/11/09/statement-salc-condemns-deportation-of-refugees-from-botswana/
Watchdog – ‘MUSEVENI RAIDS SHS500 BILLION FROM TREASURY TO FUND CAMPAIGNS’ (09.11.2015) link: http://watchdog.co.ug/detail.php?id=559
Well, we are in the middle of election hiatus and all, the Nomination and planned campaign that last to 18th February 2016. This here will not be on that, but be crunches numbers delivered from the Bank of Uganda Yearly report for the 2014/2015 budget year. This here will tell what I see as important from that report.
“The external position weakened with the current account deficit excluding official grants deteriorating to 11 percent of GDP compared to 8,8 percent in 2013/14. The deterioration of the current account deficit was largely driven by the services deficit, which deteriorated to US$ 731 Million in 2014/15 from USD 323 million in 2013/14 mainly account of higher payments of government services related to infrastructure projects, particularly Karuma and Isimba Hydro Power Projects” (BoU P:1).
That is big change in deficit! That must be a bit worrying that the amount of monies is becoming this big. Also with the infrastructure projects makes so big hunch of that deficit.
Financial risk management at Bank of Uganda focuses on the risk exposures in both the foreign exchange reserves portfolio as well as other operational areas of the Bank. Notably, foreign exchange reserves account for over 86 percent (2014: 74 percent) of BOU’ assets” (BoU, P: 12).
A lot of foreign exchange is major parts of the reserves of the bank. Is that a safe way to do it and doesn’t that devalue its own currency?
“The higher than programmed expenditure was partly, compensated for by the over performance in government revenue. Total government revenue, including grants amounted to UGX. 10,866.0 Billion, which has higher than target by UGX. 249.1 Billion. Grants and domestic revenues over performed by UGX. 173. 0 Billion, respectably” (BoU, P: 28).
The good news is that Government is able to collect more revenue as of taxation and grants to the Government. Though we can say it is a steady rise and the bank doesn’t explain how the rise happen, because this can’t all be collected on the Cellphone, Alcohol or VAT taxes, but something else.
“The fiscal deficit of UGX 3,621 Billion was financed by both domestic and external source, which amounted to UGX. 2,479.0 Billion and UGX. 919 billion, respectively. Domestic financing included a drawdown on savings amounting to UGX. 1,060.0 Billion and net issuance of Government securities of UGX. 1,386.0 Billion. The drawdone of savings was specifically used to finance expenditures related to the public infrastructure projects” (BoU, P: 29).
This here continues on how the financed and the fiscal deficit and sure the drawdone on the savings to build infrastructure projects.
The total public debt stock, in nominal terms, at end June 2015 is estimated at UGX. 24,242.0 billion, an increase of 24,2 percent of UGX. 19.518. 0 Billion at end of June 2014. External and domestic debt increased by 27,7 percent and 21,1 percent, respectively” (BoU, P: 29).
This here is frightening how much the rise is steady and getting more… The terms of it and the rise should make people shake their heads and worry. The Government of Uganda continues to hedge the Public loans and having a rise like this can’t be a sign of a healthy economy.
The depreciation pressures which started in early 2014 continued through June 2015, with the Shilling depreciating by 18,8 percent year-on-year on a trade weighted basis and by 29.1 percent against the USD to an average mid-rate of UGX. 3,398,49 per USD” BoU, P: 31).
That the currency loses value towards the dollar should also be worring. When you see how much shillings you need now to get the dollar now.
“Petroleum Revenue Investment Fund:
In June 2015, the Government opened two accounts (UGX and USD) in order to operationalize the PF. These accounts are to receive all oil related revenues. In June 2015, USD 36 million was received as part payment of the USD 250 million capital gains tax (CGT) liability from Tullow. This sum includes USD 142 million received in 2012 and USD 108 million to be paid in three equal installments of USD 36 million in 2015, 2016 and 2017” (BoU, P: 45).
“During the year, an amount of UGX 1,607,814 million was transferred from the Oil Tax Revenue Fund to Uganda Consolidation Fund. This balance relates to an amount of UGX 1,161,737 million from Tullow Oil paid to GOU for the settlement of tax dispute between the Government and Heritage Oil & Gas (U) Limited. It also includes stamp duty of USD 171 million (UGX 447 million) on sale of Tullow Oil’s assets to Total and CNOOC” (BoU, P: 107).
“In addition, the bank received USD 36 million (UGX 119,057 million) on 22 June 2015 on behalf of GoU, relating to Tranche 1 Tullow Oil tax settlement” (BoU P: 107).
“Ugandan Consolidation Fund refers to the Government appropriation account where all tax receipts are credited and appropriations made. During 2014/15, UGX 1,612,080 million relating to the oil tax revenue collections was transferred to the UFC” (BoU, P: 107).
As seen Petroleum Revenue Investment Fund and Oil Tax revenue shows how the oil impact has on the economy. We can also see the result of the longstanding dispute of the Government of Uganda and Tullow Oil Company. That has now been overturned and gotten the Total and CNOOC. There will be more monies at stake on a later stage coming with the found oil in the Bunyoro area and Lake Albert.
“The special loan to government relates to an advance to government for procurement of the presidential aircraft with interest rates (LIBOR plus 100 basis points), maturity date and repayment terms agreed between Ministry of Finance and the Bank as stipulated in the memorandum of understanding. The last loan instalment was paid off on 24 July 2015” (BoU, P: 107).
That was an expensive airplane for the president! Though it’s all back-paid this still shows how the President buys what he needs and wants, and not what the people need.
Uganda Consolidation Fund: (by the 31. June of the year)
2014 it was UGX 3, 245,961 million.
2015 it was UGX 2, 386,056 million.
(BoU, P: 117).
As proof with the rising debt and deficits, even with rise of higher taxs returns the Government of Uganda. Stills shows that their spending more than they getting since the Taxation fund is dwindling and become less and smaller account. That in total with the other numbers should be a worrying thing to see. Especially knowing how the NRM-Regime goes mayhem on the economy the coming months of elections paying for every votes with chickens and goats in the districts. We have seen that before and will see it again. This will also lead to rise of inflation with more running through the economy so the value of the currency might also dwindle towards on dollar. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Shilling comes up to 4,000 on a dollar!
And that is not a good luck, since the imports and prices will rise for the rise of cost of imports. But hope my predictions isn’t correct, but election cycles usual make the ordinary voter pay and those receiving just get a patch on the wound created by the mayhem done to economy by the ruling regime. Peace.
Bank of Uganda (BoU) – Annual Report 2014/2015
Today there are planned voting for the Public Finance Management (Amendment) Bill of 2015. This is confirmed through the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Hon. Matia Kasaija. I will first quote the bill itself then comment on the matter at hand.
“An Act to amend the Public Finance Management Act, 2015; to provide for the preparation of Budget Framework Papers by Sector; to repeal the provision on the requirement to represent a certificate certifying that the policy statements of the votes are gender and equity responsive; to provide for virement by a vote of not more then ten percent of the budget of the vote; to provide for further financing of supplementary estimates; and to provide for guarantees and advances by the Bank of Uganda” (P3, 2015, PFMA).
Amendment of Section 13:
“The Minister or another person responsible for the vote, as any case may be, shall base on the priorities identified in the Budget Framework Paper of the sector of the vote, cause to be prepared for the vote, a policy statement for the vote, for the proceeding financial year and shall submit the policy statement to the Parliament by the 15th of March” (P4, 2015, PFMA).
Amendment of Section 17:
“A vote that does not expend money that was appropriated to the vote for the financial year shall by the 31st July of the following financial year, repay the money to the Consolidated Fund, except where the Secretary to the Treasury authorized the vote to retain money” (P4, 2015, PFMA).
“The authority given by the Secretary to the Treasury under subsection (2) shall be valid up to 31st of October of the financial year” (P4, 2015, PFMA).
Amendment of Section 20:
“The functions of a vote may be transferred to another vote or a vote may be assigned additional functions” (P4, 2015, PFMA).
“Where the functions of a vote are transferred to another vote or where a vote is assigned additional functions, the functions of the vote shall be financed accordance with sections 25” (P4, 2015, PFMA).
Amendment of Section 25:
“(4a) Where the funds in the Contingencies Fund are not sufficient to finance the supplementary budget, the supplementary budget shall be financed by a reallocation of the funds of the annual budget” (P5, 2015, PFMA).
Amendment of Section 36:
“(5a) In addition to subsection (5), a loan raised by the Government as a temporary advance by the Bank of Uganda, which does not extend beyond a financial year shall not require to be approved by the Parliament” (P5, 2015, PFMA).
Amendment of Section 82:
“(1) The bank may with the approval of Parliament, make temporary advances to the Government and local governments in respect of temporary deficiencies of recurrent revenue” (P:6, 2015, PFMA).
“(1a) Notwithstanding subsection (1) the bank may take a temporary advance to the Government, without approval of the Parliament, where the advance does not extend beyond a financial year” (P:6, 2015, PFMA).
“(5) The bank shall not guarantee a payment to any person on behalf of Government or make any advance to any person on behalf on of Government without the prior approval of Parliament” (P:6, 2015, PFMA).
It is reasonable that you have dates for the Budget Framework for the next financial year as they are switching dates in the new amendment. From the 15th of March until the set date of the 31st of July, also by the end of the year pay the money that was voted for into the Consolidated Fund with an exception that the Treasury Secretary has a vote to retain that money. The first changes to the law aren’t really scary or worrying it’s the parts that I come to now seems scary!
In Section 36 the government will have the ability to take up loans without having vote by the Parliament. The Government can henceforth take up advances without being questioned as long as it is set into a certain timeframe. When this continues into the Section 82 where the Government doesn’t need a stamp of approval from the Parliament to take Advances from the Bank of Uganda to secure funding where there is “deficiencies of recurrent revenue”, which means that if a sector of Government is lacking money. They can go directly to the bank and extract funding without having approval from the Parliament. This is to secure balance of funds and to stop the deficiencies in the Government. Still it’s a worrying that the Government can get this ability. (1a) under the same sections is giving the same kind of advance within a financial year without an approval of the Parliament. While the last Section (5) is telling the bank can’t guarantee a payment to any person without approval of the Parliament to a person which represent or are a part of the Government. So With this means that a person or affiliated to the Government can get an advance or loan from the Bank of Uganda without approval of the Parliament, but still not allowed to get a direct payment form the Bank of Uganda. You do get that right? Some of it is if there is a deficiency in the Government. Are there so often missing funds now that the Government has to act in this way, because the lack of funds is so big now that they don’t want approval of the Parliament to fix their own deficiencies? And does the Government fear that giving the information and stamp of validation from the Parliament will show the current loans and advances that the Government does for the moment or need?
The Government must be needing loans towards the election of 2016. That must be reason why the Amendment is happening now and the deficiency is happing now. Also why should it be so hard to get the approval and show the country what the advances and loans are going to during the Financial Year! This is just proving what state of affairs has turned in the country and why people should address it. That this kind of laws get into effect shows how little oversight the Government wants to show and secondly shows how the Government want to loan money without proving paperwork for where the money is going. Since its still short time loans that is to withstand a Financial Year still that this is not looking good, should be visible. The Public Financial Management Amendment of 2015 is surely made to make life easier for the Government and not have to question their actions through the Parliament when it comes to short-term loans and advances. Something is surely up. And we’ll see over time how fruitful this will be and I wouldn’t be surprised if the inflation starts to rise after this amendment to the law get into effect. Peace.
A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Ana Lucía Coronel, IMF Mission Chief and Senior Resident Representative in Uganda, visited Kampala from September 24 to October 5, 2015, to conduct the fifth review of Uganda’s economic program supported by the Policy Support Instrument (PSI).1
At the end of the mission, Ms. Coronel, issued the following statement:
“Despite the global and regional economic challenges and election-related uncertainties, Uganda’s recent economic performance has been mostly favorable. Real economic growth —led by increased public investment—reached 5 percent in FY2014/15, slightly below staff projections, but well above the FY2013/14 level (4.5 percent). Core inflation accelerated to 6.7 percent year on year in September but remains within the Bank of Uganda’s target band. International reserves remain at comfortable levels”.
“Uganda is not immune to the difficult external environment affecting other countries. Together with domestic nervousness relating to the upcoming elections, external shocks and uncertainty have resulted in a sharp decline in the shilling (27 percent over the past year), creating challenges for policy makers. The exchange rate depreciation raised domestic prices given the high import content of the consumption basket, created uncertainty for consumers and investors, and generated market uneasiness. The mission welcomed the authorities’ proactive and effective response to the challenging situation, notable the timely monetary tightening, which has helped curb further inflationary pressures”,
“Performance under the PSI was satisfactory. The end-June 2015 fiscal, external, and inflation targets were mostly met. There was significant progress on increasing tax revenue, with the strong package introduced in the FY2014/15 budget yielding about 1¼ percent of GDP compared to an original target of ½ percent. However, the high stock of domestic arrears—notably the proliferation of court awards—remains a concern, despite the authorities’ efforts to reduce them”.
“Discussions focused on policies to be conducted over the rest of the fiscal year. The mission welcomed the authorities’ determination to adapt the policy mix to the ongoing challenges, including those related to the political cycle, by closely coordinating fiscal and monetary actions. Supported by an adequate stock of international reserves, monetary policy will remain vigilant of price developments and help moderate inflation expectations now that the shilling has largely stabilized. On the fiscal front, the authorities are encouraged to continue to build on the strong revenue performance of last year by improving tax collections even during the election period. On the expenditure side, the government has appropriately identified a series of spending cuts that should reduce the need for domestic borrowing, creating space for private sector credit and growth recovery”.
“On the structural front, important steps have been taken. The mission welcomes the approval of the Public Financial Management Act and the actions taken to clean the payroll and improve the payments system. Regulating the new law and finalizing the Charter of Fiscal Responsibility are important steps to further help improve the budget process and efficiency of expenditure. In addition to these improvements, the mission has encouraged the authorities to intensify ongoing efforts to fight corruption, which continues to affect the business climate. Improving transparency and accountability remains critical”.
“Over the medium term, core inflation is set to decline toward the 5 percent target and growth is expected to gradually return to its potential of about 6–6½ percent. While the authorities will continue their plans to scale up public investment, they intend to re-profile projects to ensure that public debt remains at low risk of distress. The completion of these projects should reduce infrastructure bottlenecks and support growth”.
“The mission met with Mr. Keith Muhakanizi, Permanent Secretary/Secretary of Treasury of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; Dr. Louis Kasekende, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Uganda; and other senior government officials, and representatives from the business, civil society and international communities. The mission thanks all counterparts for their collaboration”.
“IMF Executive Board consideration of the fifth review of the PSI-supported program is expected by end-November 2015.”
Kampala, Tuesday, 8 September, 2015:
The Democratic Alliance (TDA) has learnt with shock and consternation of the deployment of heavily armed police and the military in Apa Parish, Pabbo sub county, Amuru district. The aim of the deployment is to subdue the residents violently in order for the government to demarcate boundaries between the districts of Amuru and Adjumani. They also claim that they want to demarcate the boundary of East Madi Hunting Area.
In 2012 the Uganda Wildlife Authority sent armed Rangers with the backing of police and the army to forcefully evict the residents of Apaa. People were beaten up, their livestock raided, their houses burnt and their crops set on fire. Some young men were shot dead in the operation. Twenty five men were arrested, beaten severely, taken to Adjumani where they were charged with offenses ranging from criminal trespass, being idle and disorderly to threatening violence.
Primary schools were closed down, the pupils and teachers sent away and the school desks were being used as firewood by the army and police. In fact the school became the command post of the army complete with a road block along the road leading to the school.
We are aware that this forceful eviction is being driven by a profit motive. We are also aware that at the instigation of Hon. Moses Ali, the area had been offered by Adjumani district to one Bruce Martin, a foreign investor, to be developed as a private game ranch and hunting area. We feel that since the affected area is not under the exclusive jurisdiction of Adjumani district, it requires cross border collaboration and a joint discussion and a shared decision and consent by the neighboring districts of Amuru and Adjumani.
After the incident where mother of Apa exposed themselves naked be fore the government delegation in protest, government made a commitment that a border meeting would be convened to listen to the concerns of the residents and the leaders.
To our surprise, we were told that three days ago a team comprising the army, police and other government officials were already on the ground and had come in via Adjumani district and were carrying out a survey, boundary opening and were also planting mark stones. This was in total contravention of the spirit of dialogue. Leaders tried to access Apa but roadblocks were set up and they were prevented from speaking to the people.
Three people are now confirmed dead by sources in Apa. Several people suffered grave injuries and are being treated at Amuru health centre. The Member of Parliament Gilbert Olanya was arrested and is believed to be detained in Masindi police station.
We condemn the greed behind this illegal and violent eviction of people trying to settle down after twenty years in concentration camps. We demand that this illegal survey and boundary demarcation he halted immediately.
Only open and transparent dialogue with the affected communities can resolve this matter. Force and violence by the army and police will only escalate an already volatile situation. For centuries the people of Madi and Acholi have coexisted and lived peacefully and there has never been any dispute over the administrative boundaries of the two districts. A case in point is Bibia Parish which is located in Attiak Subcounty, Amuru district and has a considerable population of ethnic Madi people. The administrative boundaries of Amuru and Adjumani are well known. That is why we believe that this current dispute is being orchestrated by greedy people who have selfish interests.
We now propose the following way forward:-
1. Any attempt at a unilateral process of survey and boundary opening at the instance of Adjumani district or the central government should be halted.
2. A high level meeting of government representatives, leaders from the districts of Adjumani and Amuru should be convened by to clarify issues of contention and provide an initial platform for dialogue.
3. A meeting of the communities that reside in the affected area should be convened in order that they become part of the efforts to seek a solution rather than being victimized by decisions and actions imposed from above.
4. Trusted mediators should be sought and asked to get involved in facilitating dialogue by the affected communities. The residents of Apa have for instance proposed that Archbishop John Baptist Odama and retired Bishop Macleod Baker Ochola be asked to mediate in this conflict.
TDA stands in solidarity with the people of Apa. We demand that the media blackout and the isolation of Amuru stops. This brings back memories of Operation North when the entire region was cordoned off as soldiers violated human rights with reckless abandon.
Finally, we know that the NRM regime doesn’t adhere to the rule of law but we wish to state that the matter is before the courts of law and the court has issued an injunction against any further survey and boundary opening.
Government should act impartially and without any undue delay in order that an amicable solution to this problem be found.