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Opinion: It’s ironic that President Museveni is talking about disciplining the government!

The three arms of government and their sub-branches must have discipline. For example I have been involved in disciplining the army. We should do the same for other sub-branches of government. If the Judiciary is also disciplined in fighting corruption, citizens will lead a good life. – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 1st October 2017, State House Entebbe.

Its just one of these days that hearing the news and seeing the tweets of the President, makes me laugh and wonder if he listen to himself. He knows his system and has made his garden. The way the government steers and govern is because of his policies, his regulations and his support. It is not like there been other ruling for last 30 years in Uganda. The Republic has been under the control of Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM).

The NRM has suffocated all other free-will and control. Therefore, Ministers, Members of Parliament and others seek guidance and funds directly at the State House in Entebbe. Even foreign investors meet there to make agreements. Everything is nearly sanctioned out there. The Discipline now is more on the narrow-minded government that is run from there. The institutions and the procedures are not so important. Since most things happening is with the words from “above”, meaning the President and his close advisers.

It is not rocket science to know where the benefactor or the reason for lacking structures. That is because government waits for their go sign by the State House, they are waiting for funding of the projects and institutions from the State House. The projects and the works of the State House and under the Prime Ministers Offices are the key organizations within this government. They might say all of the massive cabinet has part to play, but that is the facade.

Therefore, it is ironic for a man so controlling and so disorganized that it gives sometimes way to the unthinkable. Just like the Presidential Handshake, that was sanctioned by the State House, but taken form the wrong account. That was the problem for the President, not that the corrupt behavior was occurring on his watch. Its like he talks against himself. Because he has no problem speaking anti-corruption, but if corruption benefit his cronies – its fine and dandy!

I am not surprised by him at this point of time, its fit his narrative. He says what he expects and wants out of others, but the next day he finds a way to benefit or use the loyalty of his cronies. Not like he would have excepted the UCC not to listen and stop the suspended MPs to hit the airways and be broadcast on TV. He rather being himself on radio and in the spotlight, but will accept anyone else sharing the same space.

President Museveni is the proof of someone saying something noble, but doing opposite. He might say something insane, but act rational. Therefore, you never know where you have him. I will never believe him actually disciplining the government, if doing so. It means they are all blindfolded and following his guidelines. It does not mean building proper governance and protocol, neither is institutionalize the departments and ministries, it is all about his will and his stature.

When it comes to Museveni, discipline is about following him. Not building transparent and proper government institutions. Peace.

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Opinion: President Museveni claims in a letter to the FM Kasaija – ‘that the government is “mushrooming”’, well, that is his own creation!

 

It is ironic and hard to take serious that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wrote a letter to the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, Minister of Public Service Muruli Mukasa, Minister of the Presidency Esther Mbayo and Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet John Mitala. This letter was sent on the 17th July of 2017 and was titled: “Re: Mushrooming Agencies/Authorities”. It is ironic and weird, it is the irrational part of Musevenism. The ones that speaks against corruption, but give provisions for a “Presidential Handshake”. Therefore, this is in line of the others chronic problems, this is just one of them.

This here is in line of this, just like the President has problems to understand that the state will have higher costs with each added district and carving out every single county to have someone to be leaders as Residential District Commander and other local government. The same feeling I’m getting by this letter. Since it is his creation and his vision behind the new agencies and the bold hiring of cronies to any department in Uganda. That shouldn’t be shaved from history. He has had 30 decades, most of the Ministries and their agencies has come as answer to his reasoning and him sanctioning it.

Therefore this quote from the letter is obvious trying to put blame elsewhere:

The questions are: “Why have an Agency when you have a department of the government dealing with the same area of responsibility?” “Why have an Authority when you have a department of the government dealing with the same area of responsibility?” “Why have Boards for money consuming units rather than money generating units?” Boards came into existence when capitalism was growing. In the infancy of capitalism, the owner (the proprietor) would also be the manager because the operations were small. When capitalism grew, it was too much for the owner to manage. Ownership, therefore, got divorced from supervision (board work) and management (managerial work)” (Museveni, 17.07.2017).

I would say most of them are created for the same issue that the state are soon paying former ministers with remuneration to them, even when they are not in cabinet. The same procedure is with hiring cronies to the boards and agencies. Not all about need or necessary for the government or the ministries. How come there are City Hall of Kampala, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Ministry of Kampala. That is because the state needs to hire enough cronies to make sure they stay loyal, also the state needs more administrative organs to make sure they can find jobs for their loyalists. Not because Kampala needs all of these administrative bodies to function, it does not help that the state also have a Presidential Advisor for Kampala. All of this is proof of the mismanagement. This is only in Kampala and without taking a deep dig into the wards and under all the mayors of Kampala. Not what that is under Lord Mayor and KCCA Executive Director.

The letter continues:

Why, then, should you separate the policy role from the regulation role for the non-commercial bureaucratic portions of the government; Forests, National Parks, Roads, NAADs, etc? Their functions are just two: policy and regulation. There is no business involved. If the Ministries of Works and Finance want to form Road Construction companies that will compete for construction jobs, then it makes sense for those companies to have Boards and Management but not a Board for a unit whose only job is to award contracts using government money” (Museveni, 17.07.2017).

It is ironic again, because NAADs, SACCOs and other Youth Livelihood Programmes have all been created by Museveni and run by close associates, even Salim Selah in some instances. That the President suddenly have issues with this weird. Since on the Campaign Trials, it seems like it is remedy and the solutions to use these government programs, but now with growing debt, it is an issue? You need this money to build a petroleum pipeline and refinery? You can wonder, I wonder, if this is the reason! Since these sort of boards, sort of agencies has been put in place, by laws signed by Museveni and accepted by him. Many is part of legislation to secure each and several ones for pivotal parts of government. Others are just created to hire cronies! Therefore, weird that he want to sack cronies… but maybe it is within need?

I want efficient with no further delays. You have up to 20th December 2017, to propose a plan to Cabinet” (Museveni, 17.07.2017). It seems only to able to change this with bringing in new tools. President Museveni needs these boards for every produce and every parts of government. That is within himself, as the ideology has no value and also no vision. Other than keeping himself in power by any means. Therefore, the boards and agencies will not cease to exists, he needs to hire cronies and pay them by either a hook or a crook. If not he has to go forward or change his system. Maybe he shouldn’t create so many ministries, districts and sort of specialized organizations, but he cannot help himself. That is his MO, nothing else. This will not change! Peace.

The letter:

President Museveni letter to Hon. Muruli Mukasa, Minister of Public Service: “Re: Emolument on Personal to Holder Basis” (01.08.2017)

Opinion: President Museveni wants cronyism on steroids!

We know that the loyalty based between former Members of Parliament, former NRM historical’s is not based on merit or on ideology anymore. It is on the possible paycheck and envelopes given by the state and the favors it gets the President. Everything else is and should be seen as a lie. Therefore, when the Observer quotes a letter from 1st August 2017 sent to his loyal cronies, saying they have to make sure the other loyal cronies get more perks. It fits the paradigm of his growing entitlement and his regime. The President do know the only way of keeping them within reach and loyal to him, is to pay them. That is the only way he can sway them and make sure they got his back. This is the reason for the sudden; we need to give MP allowances and benefits to the ones ousted and who has left office in disgrace. They need a new form of payday, since I still need their loyalty. Just look!

“In an August 1 letter, President Museveni directs the minister of Public Service, Muruli Mukasa, to give the former ministers who were appointed ambassadors the same remuneration they used to get while they still served in cabinet. “As you are aware, I have appointed some former ministers as ambassadors. I, therefore, direct, if it is not against any law, their remuneration, personal to holder, like when they were ministers, minus of course elements like constituency allowance because they no longer have constituencies,” Museveni’s letter reads. The letter is copied to Vice President Edward Ssekandi, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, head of Public Service and secretary to cabinet John Mitala and the permanent secretary of the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Patrick Mugoya. Museveni’s letter suggests that the former ministers could alternatively be paid an equivalent of the monthly pay of Shs 15m for permanent secretaries, although this could come with additional benefits. “Sort it out in a rational manner on the basis of maintaining some of the benefits the individuals were getting previously minus the elements that are no longer applicable,” Museveni further wrote” (Kaaya, 2017).

It is amazing that former Cabinet Members will get perks when they have left office, that can only be keeps his cronies at bay. Not because it is benefits the state or is fiscal responsible. Since the Ministers and Members of Parliament get very high salaries and their reunification, that the ordinary worker in Kampala could “die” for.

Certainly, the President knows this and wants to make sure the former loyal cronies get their paycheck, which they will smile and grin. That they will continue to support him and speak well of him. If that weren’t the case, then this wouldn’t be necessary for him to propose. This isn’t for the love of the country and to take someone. These are the former well-paid politicians and loyalists, who are now sure they get another payday, without any work or office! It should be insulting, but is more of the same, seriously, since many former cabinet members becomes ambassadors, presidential advisors or any sort of title to pay for their loyalty. Not for their advice or political savviness. We all know better.

This certainly will bill up more funds and put more strains on the debt-ridden economy. But why doesn’t President Museveni, he will be dead when the interests and the debt has to be repaid to the creditors. Peace.

Reference:

Kaaya, Sadab Kitatta – ‘Museveni wants ex-ministers to draw cabinet-level pay as envoys’ (18.08.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/54467-museveni-wants-ex-ministers-to-draw-cabinet-level-pay-as-envoys.html

President Museveni has directed that all Government Loans needs his “Personal Approval”!

“Parliament: President Museveni has written to the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga directing that all government loans must get his “personal approval” before they are tabled in Parliament” (Arinaitwe, 2017).

Yesterday in the Daily Monitor, all government loans has to go by and get approval by the President. So now, it is not all information relating to crisis. Neither is only the matters of grants, presidential donations or presidential handshakes for that matter. It is needless to say, more and more, if there was ever enough that has to get the provisions or the sanctions by the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

If there is a street in Kampala that has damaged sidewalk, soon the President has to be involved and check his budget. Since now if the government needs loans from either internal banks, state reserves or even multi-national financial institutions, his Excellency needs accept it all.

Certainly, this will hamper any development and stop all the financial inclusions and provisions, who when you look true it all had given lots of power to the Parliament and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED). Therefore, the Public Finance Management Act, which gives the government a go-ahead actually to loan without the approval of parliament. Now the President orders all loans to be levied by him. That shows his need for control and his passion to cease all the cash.

We can clearly imagine the Ministers, the Members of Parliament and the Local Councilors, all have to travel to the august house of Okello in Entebbe or jointly to Nakasero to plea a deal and get vouches for their needed bills and needed funds. Especially, considering that all State Affairs are now handled by the State House. The need for the parliament and its functions are dwindling when the President are the one that decides these details.

There are clear misconceptions of power, when all the money are under control by one-man and he does the decision. The need for a director of Bank of Uganda is only for show, the fiscal policies and needed understand of the financial markets are bonkers, when the President takes it all in his hand. More and more, the values of Presidential Advisers and Ministers are just for the effort and show. Therefore, they will not turn against him, instead of actually doing the state needed function.

This I say, since even business agreement between trade-off of banks, of estate and public lands are arrangement directly in the chambers of the State House. With investors and merry-men who promises to make gold out of bulk goods and Chinese imports. So that former markets, farms and former private lands are extorted with the benefit of the President, without concern of the traders, the ones living in the houses or the general effect of these efforts. Even the destruction of the National Theater is a prime example of a short-con to gain personal wealth on former old institution in Kampala.

Transparency and good governance, budget control and fiscal responsibly only becomes words needed when begging World Bank and International Monetary Fund for steady cash relief, or even African Development Bank (AfDB). Since it is the stakeout and possible needs of the President those matters, not the general state of schools, hospitals or refugee settlements. If the President see the need and issue or if one, of his fellow cronies beg on their knees and kiss his ring. Then the offer will be settle as a token of loyalty.

Now that the PFMA is out-done and out-played, even outfoxed if you will, because of the Presidential personal approval, therefore the parliament values is close to zero. They are just leaflets of envelopes and extra personnel for him. The parliament is more a front and piece of possible “democratic” institution when needed be, but not in reality. Since the last word and the last decision of any value comes from the State House. Peace.

Reference:

Arinaitwe, Solomon – ‘Museveni takes over loan approvals, rejects 11’ (12.07.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Museveni-takes-over-loan-approvals–rejects-11/688334-4011990-124ocj0z/index.html

 

Uganda: Civil Society Position on Tax Revenue Measures for FY 2017/18 (21.04.2017)

Report from the MoFPED shows the growing Ugandan debt by June 2016!

Again, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) dropped another report on the fiscal policies and the fiscal health of the economy in Uganda. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have created this environment as the growing debt and growing interest payment comes with their planned debt rise. Still, the PriceWaterhouseCoopers spelled gloom earlier in the year, as this report was dropped on the MoFPED web page today. Even if the Report was spelled out in December 2016. It is if like the NRM didn’t want this to spelled out early. Since the numbers aren’t compelling of an arts piece, more issues… just take a look!

The stock of total public debt grew from US$ 7.2 billion at the end of June 2015 to US$ 8.4 billion in June 2016. This represents an increase from 30.6% of GDP to 33.8% over the two periods. The increase was largely on account of external debt, which grew from US$ 4.4 billion to US$ 5.2 billion over the period. Domestic debt increased from US$ 2.8 billion to US$ 3.2 billion” (MoFPED, P:V, 2016).

That the debt are growing quick, as the public debt grew with US$ 1.2 billion, that the percentage of GDP went up with 3,2%, the external debt rose with US$ 0.8 billion and the Domestic debt went up US$ 0.4 billion. All of these numbers show the amount of monies that the Government are adding on their debt, as the UNRA and the development projects are suspended by World Bank. So the Infrastructure development can be questioned as the growing debt, as the government must have other uses of the growing and scaled up debt. Since the transparency of the economy isn’t there and that the sanctioned bills comes from the State House. Just look at the growing interest rates as well.

Interest Payment as a percentage of GDP stood at 2.2% as at end June 2016, up from 1.9% as at June 2015. The increase is largely explained by interest payments on domestic debt, which grew from Shs 1,077 billion in FY2014/15 to 1,470 billion in FY2015/16. There was a significant increase in the weighted average interest rate of Government debt; from 5.9% to 6.5% in June 2015/16. This followed increases in the weighted interest rates for both domestic and external debt, from 13.6% to 15.3% for domestic debt and from 0.9% to 1.2% external debt. As interest rates increase, so do the debt service obligations of Government” (MoFPED, P: 4, 2016).

The difference between June 2015 and June 2016 the percentage has grown with 0.3%, the domestic interest rate grew with Shs. 0.393 billion. The Interest rate alone went up by percentage 0.6%, as the weighted interest rates went up 1.7%. The key sentence that the report wrote and I repeat: “As interest rates increase, so do the debt service obligations of Government”.

That idea isn’t only on the interest payment percentages are running higher, but as the debt goes up, the interests goes up. So the Debt Service Obligations are going up for the Government. This is a natural outcome, that the obligations for the state goes up with the amount of debt it rises. So the government can try to portray this is controlled, and to one extent it is under control. Still, the growth in this regard proves that the NRM regime are pilling up debt and increasing their debt, as well as interests. In the end this will make the state worse. Especially knowing that the energy dams have been built poorly and many of the expensive roads haven been fruitful. This is development that the growing debt is being used to…

So the NRM regime and the Ugandan government isn’t believable… the rise of debt and interests show’s the current state of affairs. Even if the percentage is after plan, the government still has to take charge and make sure they can pay back both the debt and interests. Peace.

Reference:

Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) – ‘DEBT SUSTAINABILITY

ANALYSIS REPORT 2015/16’

Uganda: UPC Calls for Economic Reforms (05.04.2017)

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for February 2017 (15.02.2016)

bou-mps-15-02-2017-p1bou-mps-15-02-2017-p2

PwC report spells gloom over rising debt in Uganda!

Ugandan shillings

A report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers limited has delivered this month is clearly seeing what others has seen with the economic situation and the use of funds by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and their regime. This report by a company which is an international company who works with other businesses and civil society organizations who needs economic advice and advisory services for taxes and such; therefore the report from PwC on economic situation is telling. Their speciality on their outlook will be saying with auditors and financial analyst whose words means a lot. They are professional analysts in this field are writing and saying this on the economic climate. The Economic climate is worrying and that has been visible. The liability of the growing debt in the republic has been a hazard together with the lacking internal revenue for the state as well. Just take a look!

Sluggish economy with higher debt:

“This bulletin comes at a very crucial time for the Uganda economy when growth is slowing down, private sector credit is on a decline, consumer demand is low, implementation and execution of critical public infrastructure projects is very sluggish, and the public sector debt burden on the economy is at the highest it has ever been” (PwC, P: 3, 2017). “If the domestic revenues collections continue to underperform, the government will be forced to borrow more from the domestic market. The increase in government borrowing may result in a substantial increase in yields on government securities, which may result in an increase in borrowing rates, which may constrain the private sector credit growth even further” (PwC, P: 7, 2017).

Growing debt:

“The Uganda’s public debt burden has risen by 12.7% in the past four years from 25.9% of GDP in FY 2012/13, to 38.6% of GDP in FY 2016/17. The debt burden is projected to continue rising to 45% of GDP by 2020. Debt as a percentage of revenues has risen by 54% since 2012 and is expected to exceed 250% by 2018. The country’s ever increasing debt burden has resulted in a deterioration of the debt affordability situation” (PwC, P: 8, 2017). “Uganda’s capital expenditures are still too reliant on external finance. Currently debt servicing constitutes 11% of the total government expenditure, one of the highest debt burdens in sub-Saharan Africa. This is expected to increase to 16% of the total government expenditure by 2018. Uganda’s debt burden has risen faster than the government’s own resources, resulting in a debt-to-revenue ratio of 236%, one of the highest amongst B-rated countries. This has prompted Moody’s recent down grade of Uganda’s long-term bond rating by one notch to B2 from B1” (PwC, P: 8, 2017).

An Economy with challenges:

“2016 was an economically difficult year for Uganda. The economy faced numerous challenges due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the recovery in global economic growth, weak commodity prices and geopolitical events in our key trading partners. As a result, of these numerous challenges, our export earnings, FDI flows and remittances to Uganda all went down. These developments, together with a slowdown in the execution of public investment projects and weaker than expected private sector demand, had a major effect on the economy” (…) “Other internal risks include delays in the implementation of public infrastructure projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) linking Uganda to its East African neighbours, and the key infrastructure projects critical for the commencement of oil production” (PwC, P: 4-5, 2017).

If you are worried by the Republic and their economy after this, than you haven’t followed the class since this signs have been there for while! The state of the economy is fragile and the debt rise should concern all the ones inside the Republic and also outside. However, this could change, but that has to be done by the government and steer in another direction as today. The greed and the common sense of developing the economy is forgotten, as they are fixated on infrastructure projects and oil developments, while borrowing to fill the losses of donor-aid and internal revenue. This could be done in many ways, but that would not be easy. Peace.

Reference:

PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited (PwC) – ‘Uganda Economic Outlook 2017’ (February 2017)

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