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Archive for the tag “Gen. Kale Kayihura”

The World Bank commends the rising taxes in Uganda!

Yep, the biggest bank and the Bretton Woods Organization called the World Bank has commended the works of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his plans for added taxes. That comes from the similar institution like International Monetary Fund, that ordered Uganda to follow the Structural Adjustment Plan (SAP), therefore, the IMF that fixed more privatization without lacking investments. Are now okaying a higher rising taxes on the Republic’s citizens. This is done, while the economy is not strengthen, but with added external and internal loans. Therefore, the rise of GDP and use of loans, as well as repayments on those loans will sooner or later hurt the economy. Even with the rise of taxes. This will be start of vicious cycle where the state is issuing loans and taxes, while the revenue is used to repay loans, not development. It is basically. But before I go into the deep of the part of the troubling take from the World Bank. Let me just show you quickly the result of the SAP and their advice there.

The studies also make it clear that for SAP-type policies to have a chance of success, certain preconditions are necessary. The public sector had certain social responsibilities that the current framework has pushed it out of but without “a proper handing over” to the private sector. The assumption and hope were that the market would fill the gap left by the retreating state. Clearly this has not happened. There is therefore need for Government either to retain certain key social sectors, or only hand them over to the private sector only when the latter is ready to effectively take them over. Clearly non-profit making aspects of social responsibility cannot and do not get taken over by the private sector. For poverty to be reduced there are certain social responsibilities or even whole sectors that can only effectively be handled by the public sector. Welfare systems and subsidies to farmers in the developed world attest to the need for the retention of these key areas by the public sector. Therefore a policy that proscribes such a hand-over must also ensure that it is done in a verifiable manner so that the private sector can be held to account. Civil society has in the past tried to fill the gap but this has been done in an ad hoc manner” (Kevin Akoyi Makokha – ‘STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PARTICIPATORY REVIEW INITIATIVE (SAPRI) – UGANDA COUNTRY REPORT: A synthesis of the Four SAPRI Studies’ September 2001).

So, when the last system from the World Bank and IMF was introduced the system and the government wasn’t ready to privatize, however, that didn’t stop them or the government to do so. Especially since the funds and loans at the time came with the hitch of doing so. Therefore, the troubles with the privatization and the lacking oversight is also partly because of these programs subsidized by these organizations. That is why the World Bank and IMF should be more careful professing what sort of thing would be genuine and sincere, since they have messed up before. It isn’t only the State House who has messed up, he has gotten help and followed the procedures of these mechanisms. If not, he wouldn’t be able to eat such vast amounts of donor funding in the past. This is well-known, but the lack of oversight, is because of the will of wanting to have control and a say in everything. That is why the letter from the President to Minister of Finance, is the reason for the new levied taxes. So, if you wonder why I have distrust to the World Bank and IMF, it is because of their history and that the public is paying for it, because their impact on the governments for the reasons. That these states should be guinea-pigs for the economy belief of trickling down economics, even as the results has begged differ if it really drips back into the system again. Which it doesn’t because the ones that gets a lot want to keep it and get some more. No dole it out to anyone they can find.

Here is what the World Bank stated today: “In the special section of the Update, the report analyses how Uganda could raise more domestic revenues to support its development. Uganda’s tax system is one of the most modern in the region, but revenue collections, at 14 percent of GDP, are low, and way below its tax potential. Tax avoidance and evasion, partly resulting from generous tax exemptions to investors, weak tax administration, and a large informal sector (now at 80 percent), pose challenges to increasing revenues. Up to 5 percent of GDP is lost annually in tax leakages. Personal income tax contributes roughly 18 percent of GDP compared to up to 40 percent in developed countries. VAT collections amount to 4 percent of GDP, but would rise to 6 percent if there were no exemptions. The report suggests that Uganda could widen its tax base by tapping into areas that are outside the tax net; applying tax instruments correctly and fairly; improving efficiency, transparency and accountability in tax administration; and delivering better public services” (World Bank – ‘Improving Taxation to Finance Uganda’s Development’ 15.05.2018).

Therefore, the World Bank likes the idea of adding more tax on the Mobile Money transactions and the movement of digital cash, as well as on Airtime and other needed things. The ones that hasn’t a bank-account or the ability to fund or even try to get a loans from the banking system. Are okayed by the World Bank as possible targets for taxes. This isn’t transparent, but making it more expensive to be poor, as the rates to transmit and the use mobile money will come. The companies whose use this method will bill the users, they will not take the hit. The same with all the traders and the importers of all the other items that was on the lists of the newly taxed items.

I doubt these new taxes will do any good, it will just be more funds for the elites, the NRM and the President to eat. They are not delivering government services with the trillions of shillings they are using now. They are billing up to their asses and spending rampant, without having the revenue. That is why the rising debts are there. Instead of living frugal and thinking of the future, the NRM and President Museveni are eating like there is no tomorrow!

State House, the President and the Cabinet are eating heavy, they are not delivering, they have no plans to do so. If so, they give locally when needed, but the lack of transparency and accountability, is the reason for missing funds. Recently even the documents from the GAVI Funds was taken from the Ministry of Health. Therefore, a government who cannot be trusted with funds giving donations to help the sick, how can we believe the tax put on Mobile Money will go to roads or teachers?

I doubt that, I am not that naive, this NRM has proven for 32 years, that they are eating and not caring. The World Bank can commend and praise. While I condemn, until they prove that they money are delivered to the schools, that the teachers have their salaries and the civil servants are properly paid. Not just hiring some random Cubans to fix the issues for a short time. That is not how to build a national health care system. That is how to mock the ones you already have. Peace.

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Uganda Police Force: Clarification on allegations made by Bweranaho Charles against the Flying Squad (09.05.2018)

Telecommunications, Mobile Money and Cooking-Oil is hit by new taxes in Uganda!

You know there fiscal problems within the Government of Uganda (GoU). The GoU is on the rocks, as they are establishing more loans, more interests to pay and has leveraged their forex exchange, when they are levying today’s amount of new taxes. This is coming as reports of lacking hiring for the Civil Service, The Ministry of Public Service has suspended hiring of new positions in the districts and at the government institutions. This is happening, as the amount of cronies around the President is growing. Therefore, the wastage of funds are in and around the President, who can pledge funds as he wishes and give Presidential Handshakes to whoever he likes or needs. Therefore, today is sad day for transparency, as the state is eating itself, but not taking care of the needed services.

We know the state is poor, when the lacking banking-service and with the need of Mobile Money and Airtime on the Cellphones are getting hit by a tax. This is not social media tax, but is that the subscriber and user of the services, will get a withholding tax of 10% on transactions on Mobile Money and Airtime. This means, every time a Ugandan or someone buys airtime, in the price they are paying an added 10 % on the total price of the usage of minutes of airtime or making the transaction of funds between two funds more costly. This is really hitting the breadwinners and the ones who are servicing mobile money from the towns to villages.

Just to prove to how much the added cost on the Mobile Money is wished, as the withholding tax, they are adding direct also the excise tax on this from 10% to 15%, that means the added is 5% more on each transaction. If that isn’t excessive, just think about the two other taxes as well. Therefore, the state has added three taxes on using the phones. The citizens will have to plan more transactions, as they are more costly and will be less transactions of the amount, since the tax will shave off the amount of shillings sent to the fellow they wanted to give needed money through these services.

They are adding even more on every telecommunication services, not just the hit of withholding tax on it, but they are even adding an excise duty on it as well, meaning there are two pieces of taxes put on the same services, but at different times. Making the expenses of using the cellphones, hitting the roof and the value of the airtime dwindles, as you are paying more tax on each minute use. This excise duty is put on the level of 12% as well. So, expect the prices on airtime to rocket, as this hit both the agents to pay more tax on each, and also the cost of actually calling too. This is funds that the Telecommunication Companies will get back from the consumer, meaning citizens will pay more being in touch.

As they continue to give price hikes on necessities, they are putting a levy of 200shs on each liter of cooking oil, this meanings the price for making rollex or banana-pancakes will go up. Since before you buy the eggs and the flour to make your dish. You will pay more for each bottle, while the state gets simple taxation on this single item. It might seems pointless, but all fried foods will be more costly to make and a Samosa will cost more to make, therefore, expect a price hike on the hawkers foods in any stage where you waiting.

These are just some of the measures done by the state, there are several more, but this is really hitting the average citizen usage of phones and also cooking. This are just two items on a long lists of new taxes put on the people. Clearly, the state see the need for spikes of prices, growing inflation and lack of monetary control to come, as the chickens come to roost and the costs of debt services is hitting the fan.

The ones that has to pay for that, isn’t the elite, but all of the citizens who spends time outside their homes and buys into services. Which, means all of them. Peace.

Makerere University letter to all MAK students on tomorrow’s strike (15.04.2018)

Yumbe Riot: Conflicting reports, but seemingly authorities created the havoc and it got public reactions!

What can we can conclude is that the Police Force in Yumbe District has arrested about 60 people and two individuals seriously injured (some reports dead) after bullets hit the scene. The Police Force statements and the Uganda Revenue Authority statements doesn’t add-up. While the Police are saying the URA had an enforcement operation there, the URA counter-claim it and says there was none.

However, there has imports of illegal rice in this case, that created the havoc seen today in Yumbe, as both statements refers to it. The URA legal team, who encountered the boda-bodas with it, who was stoned for interfering with it. While the Police Force are not addressing directly the illegal rice, but that URA was looking at the number plates and lack of tax on the motorcycles.

Before the crowd and masses of people rioted, burning both motorcycles and a car belonging to the Danish Aid in the town. The end of the statement clarifies that the URA was there to collect taxes on the imported rice, and that the motorcycle drivers has to pay the state. Also that URA will continue this operations in the West Nile region.

The Police has said they will engage with the Boda Boda Industry and community, as of this incident. What is special, is one saying it was not paid for the motorcycle, the URA saying it was because of the lack of taxes on imports on the motorcycle. It is a small difference, but still one. We can wonder what was the truth.

What we do know, is that the Police has arrested a dozen of people and two killed, some say they were just hurt. Hard to know what is the fact. 103.2 Open Gate FM reported this earlier in the day: “Two people are reported dead in Yumbe District following a protest by youth in the area against operations of the Uganda Revenue Authority-URA. The protests were sparked by a URA operation against unregistered bodas bodas, in the event apprehending residents in the business. The operation became sour when the URA vehicle knocked down a bodaboda cyclist, making bodabodas to become rowdy by burning several vehicles prompting police to fire bullets. URA Manager Public and Corporate Affairs, Ian Rumanyika said the Authority was cracking down on unregistered boa bodas as well as those smuggles from South Sudan without reverting tax” (103.2 Open Gate FM, 28.03.2018).

So it wasn’t a peaceful initiating, as the URA Management followed and tracked the Boda Boda down. Knocked it and the Police intervened in the operation. The report of Open Gate, also say the URA was doing both, not just stopping the smuggling from South Sudan, but also look into the tags, which hadn’t paid tax. Secondly, they are saying that the URA team drove after the Boda Boda and actually knocked one down. That isn’t just fining and taking the tags, not only checking the products or rice, but actually nearly impounding it. This has been done without forewarning or local knowledge. If not this wouldn’t have happen.

So the URA are now combating illegal imports and also unregistered boda boda’s. Clearly, there have to be better methods, since this became violent, and the following after and knocking down. Was a final spark, since the URA Management created havoc on the way and than the Police intervened with guns, as the youth was throwing stones. When the violent activity transpired they addressed it with throwing stones and also burning cars.

Whatever it was, it shows the lack of oversight and the lack of basic understanding. It is natural for a state to tax imports, also serve taxes on plates, yearly pay for being able to drive on the roads. Both actions are normal, but if the URA Management did the right thing, if the Police Force did the same. Can be questioned and should be.

What should also be asked, would there be a better way to collect the missed tax and also secure the porous border points, so the Boda Boda can pay the levies when entering into Uganda again. Secondly, the URA should be able to notify the drivers of their missing payments and not knock them down for doing so.

We will see with time, if the stories are changing or if they will stay the same. However, this is worrying sight of the state of affairs. When collecting taxes becomes a stand-off, you know something is wrong. Peace.

URA: Clarification on Riot in Yumbe (28.03.2018)

Opinion: Today Mzee said he will have the Crime Preventers as a reserve army, what will he use it for?

October 26, 2015 – Crime Preventers

Democracy is not simply a license to indulge individual whims and proclivities. It is also holding oneself accountable to some reasonable degree for the conditions of peace and chaos that impact the lives of those who inhabit one’s beloved extended community.”Aberjhani, (Splendid Literarium: A Treasury of Stories, Aphorisms, Poems, and Essays).

After the hectic usage of the Crime Preventers in the run-up for the General Election in 2016, they are suddenly relevant again. Even after the state are failing with funds and such. The National Resistance Movement, still seems to need several more guns and soldiers out there walking in the streets of Uganda. That is how it seems, but however now it has changed from being part of the Uganda Police Force, into a brigade from the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF). That means the Generals will control it and order it, not the Police. That is very different animal if this happens.

Reported by 411UG today: ““I now regard you as a reserve army for UPDF. My idea is to have a small army which is equipped but with a big reserve”, Museveni stated in his address at Lugogo Arena. However, before saying so, President Museveni refuted rumours surrounding ‘who owns them’ he said; “Anybody who had an idea that this was a Kayihura project, please, get it out of your head. But Kayihura was an active cadre who executed that aspect and I congratulate him.” (411UG – ‘I now regard you as a reserve army for UPDF — Museveni tells crime preventers’ 28.03.2018).

What President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, is distancing himself from the statements the Uganda Police Force did during campaigns of 2015, when the UPF stated this: “Uganda Police Force has learnt with profound disappointment that a Facebook group called Team JPAM 2016 has referred to ‘Crime Preventers’ as a militia force, as if that was not enough, they have also drawn comparisons of it with the infamous Rwandan genocidaire group called The Interahamwe who were responsible for some of the most heinous crimes against humanity in the history of mankind. Amid this outrageous ill-motivated accusations, we thought it was important that Ugandans understand that the concept of community policing has always been there and contemplated for implementation, as way back as 1990. It is a metamorphose of the ‘Nyumba Kumi’. Those who are old enough will remember that Nyumba Kumi works on the premise that each community must be able to be self-reliant on security matters. In fact though Nyumba Kumi means ‘ten houses’ in Swahili, the concept is not rigid in its implementation. Again those of pertinent age will remember that visitors and or any new person in a given community was required to register and deposit their IDs with the chairman or the police” (Uganda Police Force – ‘CRIME PREVENTERS ARE NOT A MILITIA FORCE’ 22.03.2018).

So if they are reserves to the UPDF, that means Amama Mbabazi was actual going forward, because the accusation is now true. That means the Crime Preventers will become a brigade, another force under the UPDF. They are militia under the army, they are secondary army and brigades when in need. That means they shouldn’t be involved in policing, but national security. That is if the difference between the police and army is respected. This also means, that the Police Force getting less extra officers, since the changes of program should come swiftly, also the change in mandate of the Crime Preventers.

This is also not in line what he himself said in 2016: ““In all modern countries, there is an Army and Police Reserve. Crime Preventers are a Police Reserve. They do not have any political affiliation. Anyone who wants to become a Crime Preventer should join,” he said. Mr. Museveni reassured the country that there will be no violence during elections. “The law guarantees a peaceful election. It says what is wrong and should not be done during elections. If you do what should not be done, we will arrest you. Soldiers are not yet deployed but they will soon be,” he said” (PPU – ‘ President Museveni: Crime preventers are a Police Reserve Force’ 14.02.2016).

So two years ago, they we’re a Police Reserve, now it has changed, the army needs reserves, the army needs to be bolstered for apparent reasons unknown to mankind. The UPDF needs the extra personnel, that the UPF cannot pay for, the UPDF has budgets for extended personnel and firepower. Certainly, there is something underlining the will of the President. That he is willingly using the Crime Preventers as military reserves. That means, they will follow orders from the military and not from the new leadership of UPF. Meaning they are going from one security organization into another, where the mandate and meaning is different.

This means the Police are now having less people associated with it, this is winging the organization and establishing another norm. We can wonder if the brigade and that the National Crime Preventers Forum (NCPF), that was established in 2013, meaning that the mandate and will of this organization too, needs to change if it supposed to make sense. The Community Policing will not make sense, if they are a military brigade, unless he want to show military force and spread fear. That tehe soldiers will be with guns and ammunition in the streets, to show that the NRM has big enough force to continue their rule, therefore, you never know when you meet a UPDF Crime Preventer. The former Community Policing officer who coordinating directly with the Police. Should now be in direct line with the military. That is because their mission changed.

We can wonder what the need for a military reserve, how come? Is there a war brewing the world doesn’t know about? Does Museveni plans to invade the Democratic Republic of Congo, again? Does Museveni plan to intervene with soldiers in South Sudan, again? What is the use of extra and more soldiers in reserve, that was previous community police officers through the Crime Preventers Program.

Because, it doesn’t make sense to conduct fighting internal policing and being military at the same time. They are two vast different approach to both organizations within the community, the army to secure the borders and people from outsider invading, also being a securing element. That stops the neighbors from wanting to cross the borders. While the police who has the allowed space of investigating and combating crime within the territory, they are also securing the safety directly in the territory. Therefore, seeing the Crime Preventers becoming part of the army, means that the mandate change.

This means that Museveni is up to something. I don’t know what, but it smells fishy. I just don’t know what. Peace.

Uganda Police Force Press Release: Riots in Yumbe District (28.03.2018)

UPF want clarify about the closure of Nalufenya (23.03.2018)

Minister Jeje Odongo’s MPS on the NCIC is revealing!

Minister of Interior Jeje Odongo own Ministerial Policy Statement of 15th March 2018 are very standard sort of document, but certain statements from there is telling. Especially on the Vote 120 on National Citizenship and Immigration Control, what it is, is apparently, reasons for why it need to be addressed, because it is a real lack transparency and not taking care of the Republic.

The NCIC is compromised of: “Deployed 300 Immigration Officers and Immigration Assistants at the borders and regional offices. This recruitment and deployment has improved border control and post entry management of aliens. This has improved representation of the ethnic groups of Ugandan and staff gender ratios” (…) “Insufficient funds to undertake constructions: Immigration offices are in very small single room measuring less than 8ftX8ft which accommodates more than 5 immigration staff. Furthermore, the Headquarters is housed in what was formerly a warehouse with some services provided under tents. Limited Staff accommodation. Some borders operate in wee hours which necessitates presence of accommodation for staff. This limits space for offices, e-services and board meetings. The Directorate requires UGX25.8bn for constructions. Porous Borders: Uganda has 52 gazetted border points along 2729 km borderline operationalized through the cluster approach. This leaves part of the borderline unmanned which compromise security and revenue generation. The Directorate requires extra UGX1.9bn for border operations” (MINISTRY OF INTERNAL AFFAIRS – MINISTERIAL POLICY STATEMENT FOR THE FINANCIAL YEAR 2017/2018, P: 62, 71, 2018).

It really is showing that something is lacking when you have 52 borders and staffed three hundred officers. That means that each border post would have about average 5 officers. Just think about that, when the border needs to be open 24/7 and there would be more on certain border-posts, also at Entebbe Airport as well. Since lots of the ones entering Uganda come by planes, not only by foot. Therefore, the NCIC is underfunded, but also understaffed.

The 300 officers are not only keeping track of the foreign workers, visitors of the Republic, but also issuing passports. Therefore, the NCIC is even more important to be staffed, because of the need of control of the borders. The republic cannot have open borders and have control of the revenue and neither also population control. It is seemingly bad planning and at random. But the porous borders and the gazetted borders should have officers. Since they are issuing in the last year over 65,000 passports last year. The Officers are really busy doing and not only looking into the ones moving across the borders.

If this body is supposed to control the migration, register and secure that no-one overstays their welcome. They need bigger funding, more officers and more training. Since that must be lacking, when the borders are seen as porous. Peace.

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