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.

Statement by the People Power Movement on the IMF Rapid Credit Facility Announced on 6th May 2020 (09.05.2020)

Opinion: Don’t let Mzee pimp a second round of debt relief

Back in the day, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in the end of the 1990s the World Bank let the Republic of Uganda the opportunity to join their Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) to cut the debt of the Republic. However, even with the massive amount of debt relief done in 1998 and later never stopped him from taking up more debt.

That is why the amount of interests paid on every single budget is debt burden, which is created by the President himself and his extensive cronyism. The President has ensured that the state owns so much money, while he stills continues the drill by financing half of it by more debt. Which has been method the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and Mzee has used in the recent years.

That is why such a big amount of funds is going into interest payments. Also, why the Republic are going in a negative spiral, while the lack of domestic revenue isn’t following the projections of growth that the state always promises.

With the knowledge of this, as the President is asking for a debt relief now. His using the Coronavirus or COVID-19. The whole world are into a recession because of this. It is the perfect smokescreen. The President had the 2000s and 2010s to fix issues, but instead the plunge the economy anyway. He just need an excuse for a bailout.

Last time it was Universal Primary Education, a empty campaign promise and now there are plenty of dilapidated schools. They played and tried to focus on it, but gave it up along the way. Because, doing this properly would actually cost time and effort. The President and his big convoy would actually have invested more, than they wanted too. More promising spending on proxy-wars, than on proper education for everyone.

So, knowing that the Multi-National Organizations, Bretton-Woods Organizations and donors gave way to the Uganda in between the late 1990s and early 2000s. They offered billions in various of schemes, not only HPIC and Poverty Eradication Action Plan (PEAP). This has been done already and still the state is bound by loans and grants to function its government. Therefore, the bullet of debt relief has been wasted.

The amount of US Dollars spent on the debt relief earlier in the reign of Museveni. The Head of State has misused this in the past. Not like he will change now. He has used the system to pimp his budgets and his wealth. His enriched himself and his cronies. While the Republic is still poor and the revenue isn’t growing like the economic recovery of the 1990s said it should have done. If the cure of the past would have worked, than the need for debt relief now would be unnecessary.

In 2020, the Republic shouldn’t get debt relief. It will be only spoils for the elites and the cronies around the President. It will be used buying tear-gas and SUVs. The WaBenzi will eat the spoils and only give away beans to the ones in need.

That Museveni says the continent needs debt relief. He means that himself needs it now. Even if his a wealthy guy in an impoverished republic. A republic he has run for three decades. Which already got special treatment and had a controlled Consultative Group. So, its not like this man hasn’t pimped the system already. He has tricked it and promised to juice up vehicle, but instead continue to run it to the ground. Hoping he could trick some new leaders to do the same mistake. Trusting him and his “high above” leadership.

They already spent millions of dollars to cut of the debt of the Republic under his control. The leadership is the same and they will misuse this if they get it again. When he had the opportunity to use it the last time. He instead wasted it and has ensured the state is more addicted to loans. That is why he hopes someone else can bail him out. While his paying ghosts, fake tenders and whatnot.

So, the IMF and World Bank should know this, but they are maybe more afraid of their image, than the result of letting go of some funds. These funds will not help anyone directly out. Only ensure the President longer life in office. This will not help the ones in need. Than he would have already ensured that. Instead his continuing this ballad and serenading the international community. While he hopes that no one knows history.

He has failed the last debt-relief and misused his chance. That is why his continued to grow the debt, addicted to grants and not created a space for more development. Unless, they give the President some handshakes at the State House. This is the way it goes.

The President of the Republic has had all the time since 1986 and we are still here. There are still opposition Members of Parliament who are tortured, there are still lack of free space and militarization of politics. That has never changed, but he hopes nobody notice. That is why he hopes he can pimp the International Community another time. He already did the trick and hope he can get them buzzed by a few buzzwords.

I know for some this is a moment of nostalgia, but for some its deja vu’. We have been here before and we shouldn’t need to repeat the same bad tune, again and again. However, I expect nobody to listen to me. Peace.

Opinion: Mzee needs about 3 trillions for secret projects [or a slush fund for his re-election]

In the next financial year it is voted in UGX 2.8 trillion shillings in the Financial Year of 2020/21. This is very special in consideration as the whole budget has grown to 45 trillion shillings. Also in regards to things and rising debts, the state will have to pay UGX 4 trillions in interests payments. That is close to 10 % and the Confidential Expenditure is close to 7,5%.

This is really special that the President needs this amount for confidential expenditure for the FY 2020/21. This is ahead of the General Election of 2021. There is already a supplementary budget for COVID-19 as well. Which is also adding more confidential expenditures too.

That is deliberate. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) and the President is acting with a clear message. They are doing it and we know it. Because, the state needs a lot of funds for the campaigns, for the tours, campaign material, paying ads in New Vision and paying off chiefs, RDCs and whatnots. That is why the President is begging for cars now. He needs them for campaign season, he always buy cars for Pastors, RDCs and other appointed officials to get their loyalty.

So, who knows what they will use Three Trillions Shillings for, but surely it will be for selfish and entitled reasons. NRM and the President will misuse these funds. Just like they are spiking up the budget again. New heights as of the budget is estimated in loans and grants. This means, the state is only able to get revenue for the other half. Meaning 22,5 trillions are gotten from elsewhere and will be more interests to pay later. This is special, as the state is getting debt relief from the IMF. Not like they playing into it. Loaning more, while the IMF is offering relief. Such a brilliant move!

While the state is doing that, they are adding more and more confidential expenditure. This is done in manner and fashion, where we know that it will got devious things. That is why they cannot state it. If it is weapons for proxy-wars. If it is for paying side-dishes, cronies and “foreign investors”. Because, there is a lot of things ahead. The President has a lot of people to pay. A lot of campaigning to do and spend like a drunk sailor in the coming months. Especially after the lockdowns.

The President will use the LDUs, UPDF and Police Force. There will be means and pain, interference and intimidation to ensure another term in office. Not like he can do it with gained popularity at this point. He cannot even get enough to feed the poor. He cannot even find ways to properly serve the public or contact trace within the COVID-19 pandemic.

That is why he needs classified expenditures in the ranking of 3 trillions in the up-coming financial year. Since, he needs secret trading, procurement and usage of funds. These things will not have ordinary due diligence or oversight. The President can use it like his Donations Programs. He can spend it without question and suddenly give a blown-up doll to his wife or something. We don’t know, but that is what he could do.

The NRM has surely ensured they have secured the State House, Office of the President and Office of Prime Minister funds as well. All of this usually spins a big web in the election time. So, expect it to be a supplementary budget for the State House in 2021. As the water-bill, lack of funds for salaries for a few Presidential Advisors and so on suddenly hits the fan. This is partly covered by the Confidential Expenditures. However, it can go anywhere. We just don’t where. It could go to ammunition, Armoured Personnel Vehicles and whatnot. That would be shocking, even if it get some additional tear-gas too.

However, don’t expect these three trillions to make the society better, the Republic to prosper. This is slush funds for the President and his cronies. This is securing their fate ahead of the election. Peace.

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

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for February 2020 (13.02.2020)

Opinion: OTT Tax on Data Bundles is like a dual-VAT

“URA Commissioner General Doris Akol told the Finance Committee of Parliament chaired by Henry Musasizi that the controversial OTT Tax will be charged directly on data instead of mobile money to curb the evasion” (NBS Television, 14.01.2020).

I wonder if Doris Akol has thought this through or is winging it? As she see the losses and lack of results, revenue or tax base with the 200 shillings of doom. The whole OTT Tax is to expensive for the public daily. Now, she wants to move it and indirectly tax it instead.

Surely, they will get revenue, but this will make it more expensive to buy data-bundles for the customers and make the packages more viable. VPN and similar networks to circumvent the usage and payments of the daily OTT Tax have beaten the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). That is why URA does this now.

It is a sign of defiance and civil disobedience. They are trying to patch the hurt. But will this succeed? Will more try to only load data through Wi-Fi networks and wireless networks in general. Not load so much data on the go. Because, people are smart and tries to undercut extra taxes. Especially, when on the data is already paid VAT and the Mobile Company pay their taxes on the profits too.

Therefore, URA and Akol seems fishing. They will raise revenue, but also make the data bundles more expensive and with that stop plenty of people from buying bigger data bundles for surfing online on your smart-phone.

That is just the mere reality. It is a sign, yet again that the OTT is a failed project, who didn’t hit the targets and wasn’t measured right. If it was, the aim and the bargain wouldn’t be like this. That is not happening.

This method is a clever way of adding the costs of data, while charging for service not necessarily used. The OTT Services, which is the reason for why these are charged. Because, the data could be used for other things and therefore, is violating its attempt to make it costly for certain usage on online.

This is again, pushing one story, pushing one tax and trying to tax the public by any means. When the hook doesn’t work, they use the crook. Instead of doing directly, they want to do it indirectly and initially in some way adding a separate VAT on data-bundles masked as OTT Tax. That is really it.

We all know this, URA verify it today. That the only things certain in life is death and taxes. Thanks Akol for reminding us. Peace.

Opinion: Spending the future, today and yesterday…

Well, those where the days before the previous election. When the state and the Parliament wanted show some promise of some sort of laws, which would contain and actually save some of proceeds from the Petroleum Industry. However, we are now in 2020 and the news is out. The UGX 700 billion shillings that the Petroleum Fund had has been used over 3 budgets year.

That with:

2017/18 they spent 125bn

2018/19 they spent 200bn

2019/20 they spent 445bn

Which is in total: 765bn.

What is really more beautiful with this, is the PFMA restrictions and means that both the Bank of Uganda (BoU), the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) and the Investment Advisory Committee. All of these had an oversight, plus the Auditor General was supposed to write semi-yearly reports on the status of the Petroleum Fund. So, how come they have run empty. That’s because certainly nobody cared that it was used to contain the shortfall in the growing budgets, instead of what the laws said. Like the part 74 of the PFMA of 2015, which says this.

74. Prohibition on encumbrance of the Petroleum Fund.

(1) The financial assets of the Petroleum Fund including presentor future financial assets shall not be earmarked, pledged, committed,loaned out, or otherwise encumbered by any person or entity.

(2) In this section, “earmarked, pledged, committed, loaned out,or otherwise encumbered by any person or entity” means—

(a) using the financial assets of the Petroleum Fund—

(i)to provide credit to Government, or any other person or entity;

(ii)as collateral for debts, guarantees, commitments or other liabilities of any person or entity; or

(b) borrowing from the reserves of the Petroleum Fund.

(3) Government shall not—

(a) borrow money from the Petroleum Fund; or (b)hold a financial instrument that places or may place aliability or a contingent liability on the Petroleum Fund” (Public Finance Management Act of 2015).

We can see that the government itself used the Petroleum Fund for credit and not what they intended the fund for. Which is a misuse of the own fund it created. Instead of making these instruments and such. They should have just put it straight in the consolidation fund and spent it like drunk seamen. Because, this sort of charade doesn’t make sense.

Why make these sort of laws and don’t follow it? Why try to make a petroleum fund and empty it mere years after making it a thing?

Seems like a fools errand or like a big heist. Instead, the Auditor General, the Bank of Uganda and Minister of Finance all looks like idiots. This is a mess, a self-created mess. Just like the Presidential Handshake. This is a smaller thieving, but thieving never the less. Especially, if the fund should have any meaning.

However, I am not surprised, the state needed to fill their shortfall of revenue and why not do it with the monies already in “one” of your accounts. Because, that is what they did and they did it step by step. Until this year, when they went totally overboard and scraped the whole treasure-chest. Peace.

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for December 2019 (09.12.2019)

UCC: Suspension of all Sim Registration with the Use of Refugee Cards and Attestation Letters from OPM (07.10.2019)