Uganda Peoples Congress: Caution on Coffee Bill (17.07.2019)
I write what I like.
As we are aware and since the National Resistance Movement (NRM) dropped their Road Map for the General Election of 2020/21, the whole system has started to flair up for it. Both with Electoral Reforms and other measures, to secure swift results in favour of the President and secure his cronies. That is just the way it is.
As we will see in the Budget Framework Paper for Financial Year 2019/2020, the government and their agencies are clearly gearing up for elections. As the NRM wants to make sure the appointed and anointed get their cut ahead of scheduled elections.
The first ones whose secured and getting well funded is the Residential District Commanders, they are getting 5,5bn shillings to promote government policies. There is also estimated right before the elections, the state will go from 128 districts in 2018/19 to 135 districts in 2019/2020, there the state has to use more on them just for the need of new RDCs too.
To give RDCs possibility to do their work, the Office of the President has asked for 25.4bn shillings to buy 165 Double Cabin Pickups, but there is only small fry for what is coming up.
The State House itself is gearing up, as the Office of President has asked for an allocation of 741.1bn shillings.. Just to give a feeling of the changes of gear, is that in National Budget Framework for Financial Year 2018/19, alone, the State House got 265,342bn shillings. We can see a significant change ahead of the coming elections.
To top it off, the logistical support, welfare and security to H.E the President, Vice President require 118.38bn shillings. Therefore, the Presidency, the State House and everything concerning that is much more expensive in Election Times and ahead of campaigns. As proven by the Report delivered to the Parliament.
This are just small pieces of what the Committee and what Jesca Ababiku MP delivered the Parliament, as requested to secure funding and also more funds to certain aspects. As it is fitting the elections and the timing for more cash to certain places. We saw it before the General Election in 2016 and is seeing it now. Repeating itself, getting budget for cars and more expenses paid. More funding to the State House and President. Just as programmed. To think otherwise is to be blind to what is up.
This is just what they do, not building institutions or such, but buying to time to linger in Office. Peace.
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS ON THE BUDGET FRAMEWORIT FOR F’Y 2OL9/12O – 2023/2024, Parliament of Uganda, January 2019
If you were ever thinking that Beijing would loan and build without consequence. Those days should long be gone. The Chinese are planning to earn money on their investments, they don’t care about the Republic’s they are investing in, as long as they are profits on their investments. They want earn on these loans and since the rate of loans are so high. They are now starting to pick collateral for their infrastructure loans, especially the draining of loans to the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
“While acknowledging China’s leading role in the Kenyan economy as a trading partner, the President called for increased Chinese investments in the country. “China now ranks as the number one trading partner with Kenya accounting for 17.2% of Kenya’s total trade with the World,” he said. “Kenya is open and safe for business. Kenya has one of the most conducive business environments in Africa,” the President added” (President.Go.Ke – ‘President Kenyatta Asks China To Give Preferential Treatment For African Goods’ 02.11.2018).
While Kenyatta are acting as it all positive, the reality is that the state are having giant issues with their “investments” and loans there. But Kenyatta wants to make it sound positive, when it really isn’t, just the rate of the loans have grown and the consequences of the relationship with China is now starting to cost. It is the Kenyans that has to pay these loans down and with every way possible. As the Chinese has leverage over the Kenyan government. Take a look at these quotes from media recently!
Loan Rate in Kenya:
“Kenya’s current public debt stands at approximately 4.884 trillion Kenyan shillings (USD$49 billion) or 56.4% of the country’s gross domestic product.. This is up from 42.8% in 2008. In other words, the country owes more than half the value of its economic output (GDP)” (…) “China is Kenya’s largest creditor, holding about 72% of the country’s bilateral debt as of March 2017. Studies show that Kenya’s Chinese debt poses a threat because the loan agreements are not transparent, projects are not well prioritised, accounting procedures are weak and it’s not clear what projects are costing” (Odongo Kodongo – ‘Kenya’s public debt is rising to dangerous levels’ 05.08.2018).
Selling State Owned Enterprises:
“The Privatisation Commission has approved sale of 26 state-owned corporations to raise funds to support the budget. The commission, under the Privatisation Act, 2005, was mandated to sell 26 poorly performing state corporations to cut down government spending. Those approved for sale are National Bank of Kenya, Consolidated Bank of Kenya, Kenya Meat Commission, Development Bank of Kenya, East African Portland Cement, Kengen, Kenya Pipeline Corporation, Kenya Ports Authority, and five sugar millers — Chemilil, Sony, Nzoia, Miwani and Muhoroni. Others are Agrochemical and Food Corporation, New Kenya Co-operative Creameries, Numerical Machining Complex and Isolated Power stations, hotels (Kabarnet Hotel, Mt Elgon Lodge Ltd, Golf Hotel Ltd, Sunset Hotel Ltd and Kenya Safari Lodges and Hotels Ltd). Also targetted are Kenya Tourism Development Corporation-associated companies, which include International Hotels Kenya Ltd, Kenya Hotels Properties Ltd, Mountain Lodge Ltd and Ark Ltd” (Cynthia Ilako – ‘State to sell 26 companies to finance current budget’ 03.11.2018, The Star Kenya).
China Selling Infrastructure Loans to Investors:
“The plan will see Hong Kong mortgage insurer Hong Kong Mortgage Corporation (HKMC) buy a diverse basket of infrastructure loans next year and explore the idea of “securitising” or repackaging them into securities for sale to investors, allowing it extra liquidity that it can loan out to finance more infrastructure projects. “This initiative we believe will help ‘recycle’ commercial banks’ capital to be redeployed into other greenfield infrastructure projects, besides enabling wider capital markets participation in infrastructure development under the Road and Belt initiative,” said HKMC Greater China chief executive Helen Wong” (Allan Olingo – ‘China plans to sell off its African infrastructure debt to investors’ 05.11.2018).
We are seeing the growth of loans, that is up 42,8% and the debt level of the 56,4% of the GDP. Because of that, the state are now selling of their State Owned Enterprises. Most likely to Chinese holding companies and investors, who are expecting to gets points on their dollars. As well, as securing their future on the investment. They are selling the central institutions and businesses, which was state controlled, but they will now become para-stalls of the Chinese.
But selling the institutions are not enough for the Chinese. They are planning to take it further. Planning to rehash the loans as sub-prime loans for investors, meaning they are taking the risk instead of the Export-Import Bank of China, where the loans are usually collected and distributed from. Therefore, the loans are another target of more profits as they want to earn on them as well into the Capital Market. Just like the US Banks did with House Loans and mortgages in the past.
While all that is happening and with the knowledge of this, the President is still keeping it cool. Kenyatta is still not saying the brazen truth, that they are a debt-slave to China. Are in such big trouble, that the investment of the SGR are killing the economy and they have to trade-off their assets to keep up with their payments. That is what is happening and this is not really developing, but hurting the economy even more. As this institutions and businesses has been controlling their markets. Now, they will have masters from outside, which are not there to secure the market, but make a direct profit. Therefore, the citizens are not only paying their loans for the railroads, but for destroying their economy. Peace.
“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.