“Charity … is the opium of the privileged; from the good citizen who habitually drops ten kobo from his loose change and from a safe height above the bowl of the leper outside the supermarket; to the group of good citizens (like youselfs) who donate water so that some Lazarus in the slums can have a syringe boiled clean as a whistle for his jab and his sores dressed more hygienically than the rest of him; to the Band Aid stars that lit up so dramatically the dark Christmas skies of Ethiopia. While we do our good works let us not forget that the real solution lies in a world in which charity will have become unnecessary.” – Chinua Achebe
At this days, the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the peddlers of information and defense of the ill-advised activities of the Ugandan Government are now attack the Foreign Donors for interfering in internal affairs in the Republic. However, what would President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the NRM do without the donor funds and direct government support?
As every time there is a launch of government programs and development projects, it is mostly based on foreign currency and funds, which secure the needed services of the government. That is why if a road is built, if a bridge is fixed or even possible investments into oil industry. It all defines by the need of foreign investment and donations. As without these, the government wouldn’t be able to carry it, as they are drowning in debt and lack of fiscal financial funds to actually do it. That is why either United States, European Union or China is behind the support of various development projects and direct government funds.
However, if the Republic has an issue with the criticism from the EU after the Arua By-Election. Then first do yourself a favor. Stop taking their money and their government support. As they are the ones pledging these funds and therefore, they are not wanting to help a government that hurts and kills own citizens to stay in power. That is why the EU is reacting to the open-bazaar torturing and oppressive behavior of the NRM regime. Bosco and his henchmen might be mad that this is leaking and that this hurting their pride. Nevertheless, if they have an issue with the EU, take it in the diplomatic channels and also address it as political operatives. Instead, they are attacking the EU. They should be lucky that the EU isn’t suspending their funds and stops direct support. Because we have seen what that did to Uganda, when the World Bank suspended funds to Uganda National Roads Authority and stopped building roads for a while.
Therefore, if the Ugandan Government don’t want to be transparent or questioned for their behaviors by donors or even foreign powers. Stop taking their money and use their funds for needed government services. Stop taking the donations and loans, the fiscal supply from abroad and forget that there is no free money. There will be strings with taking the money from either Multi-National Organizations, the Breton-Woods Organizations and the other Aid Agencies. All of them have a mission and policies to follow, just like the state. So if the state they operate in breaches this, they have the rights to voice it out. As this is their money and they are using them in Kampala, instead of Mogadishu or Kathmandu.
That is why the NRM and Bosco has to get real, they are not donor darlings anymore, because the reality of the acts of this government is shown to the world. Not because of Bobi Wine, but because of what the NRM does. Their acts are shown and repeated, beating civilians, not taking care of their ill bodies or even making sure their rights as citizens are respected. Especially if they question the President and his party. That is a no-go.
Therefore, the NRM and Bosco have to decide, do they want to only take loans without any interference from China or do they want funds with strings from EU/USA? Does the NRM and Bosco want to make sure that they can pay-back the loans and interests to the Chinese? As they are not as forgiving as the Western Powers, as they did write-off loans in 1980s and early 1990s to Uganda. That should be remembered, but Museveni have become forgetful, unless it fits his continued existence and rule.
That is why the defenders of the government and party, should ask themselves, if it is so critical and important to be independent and sovereign, why take foreigners money anyway? Can you not operate without it? Then you are totally free and they can shut-up, as they are not contributing anyways. They can just be naysayers from abroad and their input will not have any force behind them. However, now, the Ugandan government should ask themselves?
Can you stop the donations, the loans and funding from all the stakeholders and be truly sovereign?
If so, than the power of the donors will be depleted and their reach will be less. However, as long as they are letting donors be key part of government programs and development projects, they are obliged to listen and follow some of the strings attached. Peace.
Today, must been a day that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni have suddenly awaited for since writing a letter dated on the 17th July 2017 titled: “Re: Mushrooming Agencies/Authorities” sent to Finance Minister Matia Kasija, to tell this:
“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).
That is why the Press Conference done by Frank Tumwebaze today, was to tell what the giant Cabinet has decided to do on the 10th September 2018. Which is more than one later and also 9 months after the fixed deadline President Museveni gave to Cabinet. Seemingly that haven’t matter. What matters to me, is that they are closing Authorities and such, which is there by law. They are not repealed or gone, as the Cabinet of 80, should be able to figure that out, but certainly they are more preoccupied with doing measures that pleases the President.
I will looking into a few of the Agencies and Commissions that are now in the spotlight, as most of these are parts of laws and are in-forced. Meaning, this laws needs to be repealed or amend them. To take away the legality of having the set commissions and such. This is something the President and the Cabinet should already know, however, this is more a learning sessions of the ones that is mentioned for being reverted into the Ministries of the Republic.
With the likes of Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority (URBRA), which was commencement on the 26th September 2011. Have the cabinet a plan to repeal the Uganda Retirement Benefits Regulatory Authority Act of 2011? Until then, they cannot discontinue this Authority, right?
The same can be said with Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA), which was established because of the Free Zone Act 0f 2014. The Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) was established by enactment of the Investment Code Act of 1991. The same can be said that Uganda Export Promotions Board Act of 1996 established the Uganda Export Promotions Board (UEPB). This is just three acts, which shows there was laws creating these ones, that being URBRA, UFZA, UIA and UEPB. This I did with very little or no research, all of these laws are still in-force, meaning that they have to repeal these to kill of these boards and authorities.
Who knows if it similar with the rest of the Authorities, but if I was working there, I would sue the government as the laws are allowing their existence and their mandate under a minsitry and lawful funds to operate. Therefore, there should be reactions to the Cabinet Resolutions.
At this point, if there is any rule of law and the laws have some value, than the government should work on repealing the Authorities laws and ensure there is no legal ground to keep them alive, if they are a waste of government resources. Until, then, the laws are giving them mandate and also a lawful existence, no matter what the Cabinet enacts or written resolutions. Peace.
“Yet, as our Baganda people say, “Omugo oguli ku murirano, tegugoba engo” ─ (the stick in your neighbour’s house cannot help you to fight off a leopard)” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the State of the Nation, 2018 (06.06.2018).
I have stopped after a years to look and breakdown the whole speech of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Because no one should waste that amount of time, unless your Don Wanyama, Tamale Mirundi or Andrew Mwenda. The rest of the random average Joe’s just shouldn’t waste our time with that. After 32 years, what new thing can he re-up and said, what sort of pledge haven’t he pulled out off his ass. Everything has been said, its just rewind of the previous years. There might something amazing, but you should doubt it.
That is why I will focus the passages on the growth to become a Middle-Income Country:
“I hear so many people talk about the attainment of the middle-income status by Uganda. The main problem here is, actually, the problem of Uganda importing too much and exporting little. The GDP per capita today is US$776. To become a middle income country, you need, at least, US$1,006 per capita. This money is calculated in Dollars. Too much importing and too little exporting undermines the progress to a middle-income status. Therefore, Ugandans, please, buy Ugandan; travel Ugandan; health-wise, be treated in Uganda. The government will facilitate its part as outlines in this speech. All I have said above is about the economy that is being developed to create wealth and jobs for the Ugandans as well as widening the tax base for the State of Uganda. At the same time, this bigger economy provides more goods and services for Uganda’s domestic consumption and for exports. Your NRM, always looking ahead, has already negotiated and arranged with our brother and sister Africans to ensure the market integration of Africa (EAC, COMESA, CFTA), so as to provide capacity for the absorption of the greater supply of goods and services produced by the Ugandans awakened to realize their potential as we also buy from our brothers and sisters in Africa, as we all take advantage of the huge collective market of Africa. Besides the huge continental market we are creating with our African brothers, the NRM always never missing in action when it comes to African issues, we have also negotiated for third party market access to the USA, EU, Chinese, Japanese and Indian markets, in varying degrees. Hence, ladies and gentlemen, the NRM has addressed or is addressing all the factors that are necessary to open the gates to the Ugandans engaged in wealth and jobs creation. Let everybody, then, play his or her own part” (Yoweri Museveni – State of the Nation, 2018, 06.06.3028).
The ironies are staggering as the economic policies, the industrial policies and agricultural outputs of the Republic is all in the hands of Museveni. If the NRM wanted to have trade surplus, they would have put in work and made sure the industries, the agricultural output and the end-product that they wanted to put into the world market. That is if the NRM had actually cared, because most policies seems to be short-term and for the short-con, not even the long-con. The projects and projections are for short term gains, not building things.
The specialized boards for the promotion of Ugandan produce and products has been lacking. Also maybe that they haven’t configured to the standards of the world-wide markets. That is why the coffee is sold as beans and not locally branded robusta. It is blended into random blends of foreign corporations instead of being locally grinded and packed ready for the big multi-national supermarket chains. Instead they are sold with least profits as the produce and not as the product. That is what is wrong with the ideas of Ugandan business. They have not thought of how to get value for the produce. This is all because the business is fixated on quick profits, but not going the extra mile.
That is because the NRM have no incentive to this or to try to do it. If they had incentive and any ideas of this. They would have figured it out and industrialized the agricultural output. Neither is put in the cash and the investment to build juice-factories as promised in Amuru, That has been promised for so long, as people are giving up in Katakwi District. This is the reality.
Therefore, listening to the President bitch about the lack of modernization and industrialization of the Republic. Is his fault, as he has put in the work and the ability to change the business models. That is because the way the state does with investors and designate cronyism. Where the businessmen have to political connected and make sure to grease the wheels to get it running.
It is a nice idea to get Ugandans to buy Ugandan products. But then you have to deliver good Ugandan products to fair price, also make sure it is competitive. There are lacking issues and basic need to make sure the possible produce could create added-value. Instead the quick profit and direct exports is the reason for lack of more currency. That would help the republic and make more money without to heavy investments, while using what they already produce plenty off.
While the state has to figure out if they want this, because this could help them to gain another monetary gain. But they doubt they will, because right now, it is the short-con and the quick-fix instead of actually building something for the future. Peace.
It is hard to see any significant change of the Uganda Coffee Development Authority, as the law of 1994 is planned to be repealed, as the Cabinet accepted a new bill yesterday at the State House. Let me explain, It would seem more reasonable, if someone leaked the text of the law, but the short tide bottlenecks of information leaked. That information is showing, that it is more of the same. Just some new buzz-words, to keep the donors buzzing.
Since the UCDA are already in charge of monitoring, pricing and promoting coffee, both internally and externally. They are supposed to help raise the quality of the coffee and educate farmers, both in production of better coffee, but also raise the yields for the cash-crop. The UCDA is rally a state organized body in both education, trade and promoting of coffee. Where all parts of the transaction from the seedlings to the trade of the ready beans has been in connection with the government body.
That is why the Cabinet decision that is released to the public, the one page dossier, as the law and the new provisions aren’t out, but if these footnotes are the realization of the changes from 1994 to become the new law in 2018. There are really just putting in the word sustainable and harmonize the roles of all the roles. Which is fancy lingo, for making sure everyone along the line is taxed and made sure they pay for the government services. Since they are already having the mandate by the law of 1994.
As sub-section 4 in the UCDA Act of 1994 states:
“The functions of the authority shall be— to issue certificates in respect of the grade and quantity of coffee; to register in accordance with guidelines issued by the Minister, from time to time, on the advice of the board, all organisations and bodies applying to market coffee; to liaise with the Bank of Uganda in respect of repatriation of foreign exchange obtained from the sale of coffee; to set the quality control standards under which coffee is sold; to certify all coffee exports; to collect, maintain and disseminate statistical data in respect of all aspects of the coffee industry; to advise the Government on the mechanism for determining the minimum price for the sale of coffee; (h) to monitor world market price changes and adjust the minimum price on a day-to-day basis to reflect the changes; (i) to research and make extension arrangements through the Ministry responsible for agriculture or any other organisation established in the country for the purpose; (j) to reconcile coffee subsector policies with the macroeconomic policies of the Government; (k) to liaise with the International Coffee Organisation and be responsible for the administration of the stamps of the organisation; (l) to liaise with other international organisations and promote Uganda’s coffee on the world market; (m) to be responsible for the overall supervision of the coffee subsector, including related industries, and advise the Government on coffee subsector policies; (n) to organise training for technicians, coffee processors and quality controllers” (CHAPTER 325 THE UGANDA COFFEE DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY ACT, 1994).
So when I read from the spreadsheet from the Cabinet meeting at the State House, where the gist is to replace the 325, because they want to development of competitive, equitable and sustainable coffee, promote Coffee research, good Coffee farming practices, domestic coffee consumption and add value to the Coffee. Also, provide the Authority regulate all on-farm and off-farm activities in the Coffee Value Chain, streamline and harmonize the institution in the development of the Coffee Sector and to promote the Coffee sub-sector.
As what I see, the UCDA Act of 1994, not only hold the grabbing hands on all of this, but the mandate of the Authority is already, just not managed well, apparently. If the state cared about the Authority, they wouldn’t lack needed staff, as the Auditor General Report of December 2016, said the staff had 29 open positions, I don’t know if its as bad today, but wouldn’t be shocked if there was openings that the UCDA couldn’t fill, because of lack of funds.
What is striking to me, is that what the Cabinet Meeting of 21st May 2018, is what is in the statute of 1994. It just using a few different words, but if they cared about the UCDA, they would fund it properly and also actually have proper oversight of the operations. As the UCDA has often given away bad seedlings to Coffee farmers, in the same fashion as the Operation Wealth Creations has to its SACCO’s around the Republic. Like the Auditor General report of December 2016 says: “ Failure to plant and maintain coffee seedlings that were distributed and received by the farmers is wastage of Government Funds and eventually leads to failure to achieve planned coffee outputs at national level. Further, beneficiary lists withfarmers that never received inputs may be an indicator of irregular dealings on the part of seedling suppliers” (AG Report on UCDA December 2016, P: 19).
Therefore, the changing of words within the law is not fixing the remedy of the goodwill to generate more coffee and better yields. It is actually giving the king, what the king needs. That is not more fancy lingo, but actually actions and funds, also accountability, so that the farmers and the other part of the coffee production chain. Can all benefit from the Authority. On December 2017, the MoFPED delivered the National Budget Framework, which said this: “Continued implementation of the Coffee 2020 road map aimed at achieving 20million bags of 60Kg each per annum, including supporting research interventions at the National Agricultural Coffee Research Institute (NACORI) to produce high yielding coffee varieties and disease resistant tissue culture plants for coffee as well as development of a National Coffee Bill, 2017 that focuses on developing the entire coffee value chain and enable the country consolidate its dominant position in export earnings and employment” (MoFPED, P: 18, December 2017).
Therefore, the Cabinet meeting has initially decided to follow the guidelines of the National Budget Framework, as it was in December 2017. That is not surprising, but what is weird is the wording and how little change it is from the original law, that they are repealing. Unless, they have some magical formula sprinkled over it, making it a beautiful cake, instead of a boring bun with a little whipped cream. Because that is what it seems.
If you read the objectives of 1994, it doesn’t seem so far away from 2018, does it?
“The objectives of the authority shall be— to promote, improve and monitor marketing of coffee with a view to optimising foreign exchange earnings and payments to the farmers; to control the quality of coffee in order to ensure that all coffee exported meets the standards stipulated by the contract between the seller and the buyer; to monitor the price of coffee in order to ensure that no export contract for the sale of coffee is concluded at a price below the minimum price; to develop and promote the coffee and other related industries through research and extension arrangements; to promote the marketing of coffee as a final product; (f) to promote domestic consumption of coffee” (UCDA Act of 1994).
That seems a lot like the spreadsheet of the Cabinet from yesterday, right?
Its only the value chain and add value on the coffee that is very new, but the rest more of the same. I am baffled or even shocked by this. It is like the Cabinet haven’t read the old bill or cared about the provisions there and thought. Maybe we should have better oversight of the Authority, instead they are changing wording and thinking that is magic wand to change the current predicament. If they wanted real change, they would have reformed the organization internally and used the provisions already there. But it is easier to make a leaflet, than change people’s mind and allocate funds.
Good morning and smell the coffee, well, I smell it, but more of the same. Just attached “sustainable” on the package, but taste is the same as yesterday. Peace.
“He explained that the NRM manifesto is anchored in Vision 2040 and the second National Development Plan. It commits to deliver Ugandans into middle income status and to ensure sustainable development” (Mubiru, 2018).
Well, it is that time of the year. To prove the National Resistance Movement (NRM), that their empty promises. Because when you collect the news together. It is easy to see how things doesn’t add up. If the NRM was on their way to sustainable development, like Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda talked about earlier last week. Then all of the news coming wouldn’t fit. The narrative cannot be growth and development, when all of these issues are happening at the same time. It doesn’t fit. The glove has to fit the hand. The three things that doesn’t add up is the missing funds for the Presidents own Village Poverty Program, relief food for Karamoja and also a missing sugar factory.
Village Poverty Program:
“State House has said it needs at least Shs 5bn to roll out the model village poverty alleviation initiative by President Yoweri Museveni. In the request contained in the Ministry of Presidency’s policy statement and budget estimates for 2018/2019, State House said the existing Shs 1bn budget for the project is too little and therefore a 500 percent increase is vital. The current Shs 1bn has only managed to establish small scale commercial agricultural farms in 21 model villages. The country, according to Electoral Commission of 2016 data, has 59,700 villages” (Okello, 2018).
Donate relief food:
“The government of China has donated food aid worth $5 million (about Shs 18bn) to the World Food Programme (WFP) to support a feeding programme for vulnerable groups threatened by malnutrition in the Karamoja sub-region. More than 2000,000 people mostly school going children, infants and mothers are threatened by malnutrition in Karamoja according to official figures” (Lyatuu, 2018).
No existent Sugar Factory:
“It is five years, since Atiak Sugar Factory under Haryal investment Holdings Limited was rolled out in Amuru District, to commence sugar production, but has since stalled, leaving a number of sugar cane farmers stranded. “The people shifted from food crops with hope to earn from sugar cane. Out growers are now worried that the factory will not take off in time to fully untilise the 4,000 acres planted,” reads part of their petition. Kilak North MP, Anthonu Akol who read out the petition to the Speaker said that the farmers are stuck with no factory to sell their sugarcane and questioning why the minister of Finance, Matia Kasaija, sold to them hot air” (Kyeyune, 2018).
All of these issues shouldn’t be at this state, if the state was seriously developing and on the way to Middle-Income status. There are so many issues that is missing, not only the ghosts and the added debt ratio in the budgets. This is all minor measures in the bigger picture, but it proves the lack of governance and accountability, when the state can grab land in Amuru district, but never deliver the promised the factory. As this been going on for years.
That the middle income cannot be fulfilled when the village poverty is so prevalent, that the scale is not fitting the needs. You know that the state lacks resources and well-funded plans to even achieve this. The President should have made sure and ensured the progress and at the planning stages, it this is his program, to be sure about the right amount and needed facilitation to deliver to the needed villages. That is apparently a mixed bag wooh-ha and nonsense.
Last but not least, is the donating of food to Karamoja, which in it self a sign of lack of progress. When your not able to meet the needs of your population and have good enough agricultural policies and output to feed yourself and your own kind. You know that the Middle Income Status is far-fetched, when this is still an issue. You know there are miles afar from the promise land. That the NRM and the President is clearly not delivering. There is no excuse in the book, that can fix the grandest issues of not being able to feed all communities and districts of Uganda. You know they are far from Middle Income, when China has to donate food to you….
Enough of the nonsense. Peace.
Kyeyune, Moses – ‘Acholi sugarcane growers seek Parliament help over stalled factory’ (16.05.2018) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Acholi-sugarcane-growers-seek-Parliament-help-stalled-factory/688334-4565238-ueostj/index.html
Lyatuu, Justus – ‘China donates relief food to Karamoja’ (19.05.2018) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/57707-china-donates-relief-food-to-karamoja.html
Mubiru, Apollo – ‘NRM Manifesto: The road to modernity’ (18.05.2018) link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1477948/road-modernity
Okello, Dickens H. – ‘Shs5Bn Needed for Museveni’s Village Poverty Alleviation Program’ (21.05.2018) link: http://chimpreports.com/shs5bn-needed-for-musevenis-village-poverty-alleviation-program/