MinBane

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Archive for the tag “Frank Tumwebaze”

Kampala is a political mess: That is not Musisi’s fault!

That the political map and the organization in and around Kampala is frustrating. Is because there is first the Kampala Capital City Authority, who is a legal administration and Executive Director Jennifer Musisi. The Second there is the elected City Hall with the Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago and the Divisions and Wards. Thirdly is the Ministry of Kampala and the State Minister Beti Kamya. Fourthly is the Members of Parliament representing the Capital City itself and the fifth the Presidential Advisor for Kampala Singh Katangole. Plus you have the added interference of the State House and the President, who micro-manage everywhere and especially in the Capital.

When you see this and the stages, you knew Jennifer Musisi had a hard job. Surely it was easier when she and the Minister Frank Tumwebaze impeached the Lord Mayor in 2013. So, they settled the score and one less item to pass through. Because you don’t need to be a wise-guy to understand there are to many cooks and to many procedures to do anything in Kampala.

You don’t only has the elected from the Wards to the Lord Mayor, the ones elected in Parliament with their reasons and wants of change. The KCCA has their jurisdiction, the City Hall has their, the Ministry orders people around and the Presidential advisor says whatever he says to the President, who suddenly intervenes as well. That is why I have always been worried about Kampala.

The hierarchy and the political landmines are everywhere. There are no leeway, as the monitoring and the checks and balances comes into question. The KCCA answers to the Ministry and orders the City Hall. The City Hall is ordered by both the KCCA and Ministry, while the City Hall is trying to have a saying in the KCCA and the Ministry, without getting anywhere. As they are both acting as the City Hall is a symbolic enterprise. Instead of having elected leadership to make changes, the President has appointed the KCCA and the Ministry to try to evaporate the City Hall. To some extent they have managed that.

We know that even the Division Mayors have wondered what their tasks are, as they have little or less to do. As well, as the Lord Mayor are feeling override by the KCCA. The KCCA was established to counter the opposition and get in their way. Combined with the Ministry of Kampala, they are never giving space and when the State House orders the Minister. The whole chaos are happening. Like the kicking out of vendors from Owino Park Yard. This was done by the will of State House on decree by the Minister and met with hostile reception from the Lord Mayor. This is a sign of a messed up system and not of building a better Kampala.

There are too many cooks and for a reason. The President wanted to ensure the value of the elected leadership get as low as possible, while his loyal minions will overcome them. That is seemingly working, but must be tiring and Musisi gave up battling with the Ministry, State House and City Hall. That is unforgiving job, but she carried it and did what the President wanted her to do. The only thing she didn’t manage was to usher Ragga Dee in as Lord Mayor. Peace.

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NRM MPs bought for cheap: 2nd Mobile Money vote cost less than an Audi R8 Quattro!

Today, it is revealed what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) Members of Parliaments (MPs) was promised on the 1st October at the Entebbe State House on the day before the second time voting for the newly enacted taxes, which are on Social Media and Mobile Money. Clearly, the President and his allies wanted to sweeten the juice, as they was promised some more money. Not that it was much.

During the meeting, legislators (according to our source) were promised 15 millions each to vote “No” opposing the scrapping off of 0.5% as proposed by MP Wilfred Niwagaba last week when the bill had reached committee stage. In the vote, 164 MPs agreed to maintain the levy on mobile money while 124 voted to have it scrapped. A total of 288 legislators were present and voted” (Moses Namayo – ‘MPs promised Shs 15m each for vote to keep mobile money tax- Reports’ 03.10.2018, link: http://nilepost.co.ug/2018/10/03/mps-promised-shs-15m-each-for-vote-to-keep-mobile-money-tax-reports/).

I would have been thinking that the MPs would be more costly, if not their greed is making them cheap and Bosco knows it. As they are now accepting to get a small pickle push of 15 million shillings or $ 3,924 USD, which is less than 4,000 dollars each. When your hearing that, you surprised how little that is to keep a tax, which is hurting huge part of the population and also making every transaction more expensive. They are still making it expensive and costly for the public to takeout money through the mobile money. In a Republic where it is costly to even be ordinary banking.

That is why it weird and sad that these NRM MPs are that cheap, that Bosco can pay them off with only 4,000 USD or 15 million shillings. If you take it all collectively, there was a 164 MPs who voted for it and adding up. That would be a total 640m shillings or $167k USD. Which is not more worth than one 2018 Audi R8 Quattro, which costs $164,900. If a few more had voted for keeping the Mobile Money, than Bosco might have used the amount for an upgraded version: “The R8 Spyder convertible costs $177,100, and the more-powerful R8 Plus will cost about $194,400” (Cherise Threewitt – ‘ Cars That Cost $100,000’ 28.09.2018, link: https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks/cars-that-cost-100-grand).

So, the NRM MPs isn’t really that expensive, their ideals, their egos and their greed isn’t costing more than super Audi R8 Quattro. That is expensive enough for me to never in my life-time to touch it. But if someone should be bribed to sell out their constituents for a destructive tax. All done in favor of Bosco. The pay-off should be bigger, there should be enough for a car-park filled with Audi R8 Quattro’s. Not just selling out for one. I was disappointed, when the Age Limit pay-off, wasn’t costing more than one Aston Martin. Now it costed an Audi R8. Clearly, the NRM is still traded off for cheap. Peace.

Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine statement on the Second Passing of the Mobile Money Tax (02.10.2018)

Today I attended Parliament after some time, for the sole purpose of making our voice heard on the mobile money tax. The government has deliberately avoided a discussion on the social media tax!

Majority of the NRM Members of Parliament voted to maintain the mobile money tax. 164 MPs voted in favor of the tax while 124 of us voted to have it scrapped. I know that we are all disappointed but not surprised.

Once again, a majority of our elected representatives ignored the cries and pleas of the common person. I have made it clear to my colleagues that we must learn to side with the people or the people will despair. They cannot continue to further oppress the already oppressed citizens of this country.

I must appreciate all colleague MPs who voted for the removal of the tax. Special thanks to the many NRM MPs who defied the intimidation and voted with the people. From experience, we know that they will be persecuted for taking a contrary stand. But I know that the reward for doing what is right always outweighs any form of persecution.

Ultimately, all these things emphasise what I have been saying- our redemption will not come from anywhere else. It will come from us. We only need to realise that all power lies with us. If our own MPs, elected by us, cannot listen to us on anything, including redeeming us from exploitative taxes, then we must realise that WE ARE ON OUR OWN and work each day to liberate ourselves. No one else will do. Teli kuzikiza.

Uganda: The Excise Duty (Amendment) (No.2) Bill, 2018

Pre Mobile Money Tax: BOU registered significant growth in FY2017/18!

Today, there is a new vote and amendment of the Mobile Money in the Parliament. They voted like blind drones in the last go-around and most likely to do the same. With a little flair and jippo, hoping the hungry hippo isn’t mad. However, the reality remained, that a growing market, a market where the revenue and natural growth could have resided. The National Resistance Movement and their President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, went in like bulldozer. Hoping it wouldn’t destroy it, but actually gain. It is foolish, but that is how they act.

That is why it is special to read again, what where there, but what is now hurt:

“Mobile money services continued to register significant growth in the year ended June 2018. The number of mobile money transactions increased to 1.3 trillion for the year to June 2018 from 1.1 trillion transactions in the prior year. The corresponding value of mobile money transactions increased to UGX 73.1 trillion from UGX 52.8 trillion in the previous year. However, the number of registered mobile money users decreased from 22.8 million in June 2017 to 22.7 million as at end of June 2018, largely attributed to the deregistration of mobile money accounts whose users had not submitted the requisite KYC credentials to maintain their registration status. Growth of mobile money activity has significantly benefited from diversified usage beyond the initial remittances, airtime purchases and bills payments. New developments such as bank account to mobile money wallet and vice versa, have significantly changed the conduct of banking business and increased convenience of access to banking services. In addition, customers are now also able to save and borrow through their mobile money accounts which has positive knock-on effects to financial intermediation in general” (Bank of Uganda Annual Report 2017/2018).

We know post- June 2018, that the landscape has changed. Even mere month after the Mobile Money tax, the usage went down and the companies we’re sending red-signals to the authorities. The added revenue stream to government, didn’t met up to par or the levels anticipated, as people changed their pattern and usage of money. Because, who want to pay double or triple tax for sending money? Than, they rather hire a boda to drive the money from town to town. It can even be cheaper, than paying the Uganda Revenue Authority or the MTN for their services.

Clearly, this little snippet of the report from the Bank of Uganda, should show the Members of Parliament, the importance of Mobile Money. Which, they had no trouble with interfering in and also possibly hurt. This are for the ones that cannot afford ordinary banking services or for the ones, in the villages that are too far away to even register their cash there. They should matter to the MPs, but they didn’t before, as they took this informal banking services through the Cellphone providers and added more pain. Instead of finding ways to grow it and expand. So more people could benefit from the new money unleashed on the market this way. Peace.

MTN Uganda and Mastercard diversify Mobile Money services in Uganda (25.09.2018)

Through this partnership, MTN MoMo customers will use a virtual card to shop or make payments at the vast network of global outlets accepting Mastercard payments.

KAMPALA, Uganda, September 25, 2018 – MTN Uganda (MTN.co.ug) in partnership with Mastercard (Mastercard.com) and United Bank for Africa (UBA) (UBAGroup.com) have announced a new service that will enable quicker, safer and more convenient online payments globally.  Through this partnership, MTN MoMo customers will use a virtual card to shop or make payments at the vast network of global outlets accepting Mastercard payments.

The launch of the virtual card that is known as MTN MoMocard will ensure MTN’s ability to provide its customers access to products and services previously a preserve of physical credit card holders while diversifying its mobile money portfolio. Additionally, the partnership will result in a wide range of cutting-edge digital payment solutions being introduced in Uganda.

“MTN MoMo is helping to connect more Ugandans to new forms of commerce,” said Wim Vanhelleputte, Chief Executive Officer, MTN Uganda. “Our affordable mobile financial services are positively impacting communities and lifestyles in Uganda. This is evidenced by the phenomenal growth in both the number of customers and volume of transactions over the years,” he added.

Like a debit card that is linked to a bank account, the MTN MoMocard is linked to a customer’s MTN MoMo account but is accessible on any type of mobile phone. All a customer has to do is dial 165*70# and follow the instructions.

The MTN MoMocard can be used on any merchant platform that accepts Mastercard – locally and globally. Consumers that travel frequently for business or leisure, or those that shop online will enjoy the convenience of the easy-to-use solution.

Ngozi Megwa, Vice President Market Development, Sub-Saharan Africa, Mastercard said, “Besides the ability to connect more consumers to a solution that enables them to pay without cash, the virtual card also supports the growth of e-commerce in Africa and supports businesses who want to appeal to a wider audience. Digital payments is shaping commerce, the backbone of any economy. We are excited about the MTN partnership and its ability to connect us with an audience hungry for innovation.”

The MTN MoMocard is powered by United Bank for Africa, which facilitates the payment transactions online, both locally and internationally.

“UBA is excited to be the bank partner with Mastercard and MTN on this milestone project that not only enhances convenience for mobile money customers but also the utility of the service. The bank recognises the role of technology in enhancing financial services delivery and welcomes future similar partnerships,” said Johnson Agoreyo, the UBA Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.

Opinion: If Bosco and NRM have a problem with foreign interference, than stop taking their money!

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.

The 200 Shillings of Doom: Millionaire MPs complain about possibly paying 400 shillings daily for OTT Access!

It is a disgrace, the best paid representatives with all sorts of benefits, even not even taxed for their salaries, these Members of the Parliament (MPs). That these MPS are complaining about the OTT Tax. These MPs who are earning approximately earning about 26,000,000 Ugandan Shillings ($6,852) monthly. MPs are complaining that they have pay 400 shillings a daily. Because they have to pay OTT on their personal Cellphone and also on their Ipads. So lets say a month is 30 days we add that with 400 shillings (Ipad + Cellphone) that is total 12,000 shillings ($ 3.1). That is why it is insulting, that ones earning giant fortunes are complaining about paying possible for one more gadget. This is a tax they enacted in Parliament not long ago. They should have the courage and the funds to pay this sums, but seemingly that is too much for them. How about the people then, who doesn’t earns millions of shillings a month?

Parliament has clarified that members of parliament can access free Social Media services on their IPADs only when transacting parliament business. The Principal information officer at Parliament Moses Bwalatum, says according to the contract signed between Parliament and the Ipad Service providers, legislators can only use them for the legislative roles unless the contract are reviewed. This means that legislators have to pay OTT tax on their personal phone to access the other social media platforms” (NBS Television, 14.09.2018).

They should be capable to spend these meager sums of money. As the MPs should be able to pay 3 US Dollars a month for the OTT on both Cellphone and Ipad, as they are earning close to 6800 US Dollars. It is insane, that they whose earning such fortunes in a country, where civil servants aren’t earning that much. They are high-ranking and huge salaries which should cover everything, especially another 200 shillings, which is apparently to much for these rich MPs.

That the MPs cannot manage to spend a total of 3 dollars a month on OTT Taxes are insane, when they are earning over 6000 dollars a month, are they that lavish on their side-dishes, that they cannot mange to pay this? But they said the ordinary citizens and that this would not discriminate people, as this was a luxury. Is this now a luxury that the millionaire MPs cannot manage?

Are 400 shillings a day to much to ask for the ones who are already tax-exempt on their salary? Are you that greedy? 

Seriously, the MPs who enacted the OTT Tax should be able to pay for it, just like everyone else. They are having a giant salaries, housing, cars and whatnots covered. They are surely able to do this, but are stubborn and greedy, as sleazy salesmen, they expect to be…

They are certainly not showing confidence, but a more a mockery of the people. Since they have wealth and the general public doesn’t. Peace.

Parliament of Uganda: Clarification on OTT Tax remarks attributed to Hon. Kaps Hassan Fungaroo (14.09.2018)

Uganda: Cabinet Decisons taken during the Cabinet Meeting held on Monday 10th September, 2018 at State House, Entebbe (10.09.2018)

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