“Uganda is your country. When you’re writing a story, ask yourself if it is going to build or destroy Uganda. Is it going to bring peace or anarchy?” (…) “I’m advising my good friends of New Vision that for the good of your country, do not publish stories that are not true. My telephone number is known by everyone, call me. If I can’t respond then wait, because I’m also a busy man but I’ll respond. Let me repeat, for the good of your country, please don’t publish false stories” – Matia Kasaija, Minster of Finance.
I know, some people get touchy when stories comes out. Out of the woodworks suddenly the questions arise and people are thinking? Why? Why does the state borrow even more funds, is it needed even? How come the State, who is already borrowing heavy sums of money from all sort of bilateral, multi-national banking institutions suddenly need to borrow money from domestic sources. That question should be asked and need to questioned. Since the reality of the matter, isn’t what it is used to, since this government cannot even explain where the PTA Loans went. It is amazing how things are going, that the State can take up loans like this after already no accountability on the previous ones. The same minister is already questioned for the loans done with PTA loans, who knows what else that has gone missing, as the GAVI and CHOGM Funds of the past suddenly vanished into thin air, hard not imagine that this could happen again.
“Yesterday, Monday 19th February 2018 the New Vision Newspaper front page lead headline stated that Government is borrowing UShs. 700 Billion to pay salaries for public servants. I would like to inform the General Public that this story was an exaggeration of the proposed borrowing that I laid before Parliament. We borrow to a large extent to finance capital development and production. In my letter dated 9th February 2018; I submitted a proposal to Parliament seeking authority from the House, in accordance with the requirements of Article 159 of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, to borrow additional Ushs 736 Billion from the domestic financial market to finance the Budget for FY 2017/18” (Uganda Media Centre, 2018).
This money will go to “development and production”. We can wonder where that is, if it is the bills of Gen. Salim Selah hotels as the seedlings delivered by, Operation Wealth Creation (OWC) is lack-lustre at best. Who knows where all the pooled monies for NAADS are going, but clearly not all of it is not going to micro-economic benefits for the society.
Shortfall is clearly there and the weak economy, that has been juiced up and run like a drunk seaman. That is why as the last end of bottle of beer is there and the need to go down to the bar and buy more brew on credit. That is the ordeal of the day. It is not a narration by Morgan Freeman and a beautiful tale of forgiveness and hope. No, it is a tragic day of even more debt, this time internally and used by the state. Since they are embezzling and taking away funds from the public. This will create more pressure for liquidity in the banks who borrows to the state, as this is taking from their own reserves to bailout the state. Eventually, the state has to find other funds to pay back the banks.
It doesn’t take a wise to understand, that adding more debt, while growing debt and also paying interests is a vicious cycle. They are recycling loans and adding more interests and more debt to be repaid in due time. We can just pound on that and wonder why the state hasn’t made a budget that is within the reach of the economy, but the government isn’t like that. They are spending money like there are no tomorrow. Having one beer, another one and another one. Now it’s drunk and don’t want to lose the edge, the steam and the good feeling of tipsy. The state doesn’t want to get the hangover and deal with the cure. They just want to shug more bottles and hope no one notice. Peace.
Uganda Media Centre – ‘Statement on the proposed government borrowing of UGX 700 billion #UGCabinetResolutions’ (20.02.2018) link: https://ugandamediacentreblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/statement-on-the-proposed-government-borrowing-of-ugx-700-billion-ugcabinetresolutions/
“The government has announced plans to borrow US$200m from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (known as the PTA Bank)” (…) “It will, however, do little to ease the near-term pressures. The weak currency is pushing up the cost of external debt (the new PTA Bank loan will add to the burden of US dollar-denominated debt), while high interest rates are driving up yields on domestic securities. The government originally budgeted USh172bn to service external debt in the current 2015/16 fiscal year and USh4.8trn for domestic debt, but the actual outlays will exceed this” (The Economist, 2015).
In today’s exchange rate the loaned planned would be 727,749,571,653.20 Uganda Shillings, or UGX 727bn. So that means that the Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija cannot find the documentation for a huge amount of money. This isn’t a lost pocket or recite, this is like loosing bank. However, we know the context, the loans that came from PTA came within months of the General Election and the Campaigns. Therefore, we can imagine where the money has gone. That is just speculation, but National Medical Stores (NMS) has given some signs, that the PTA Loans was not for them.
In June 2017, the Public Notice of NMS said this:
“This funding facility was the PTA Bank loan, which was later approved by Parliament on 26th April 2016. The record on the Hansard clearly indicates ugx. 68billion required to avert an impending crisis at NMS as one of the primary reasons why the loan “should be urgently” approved. If NMS was therefore not meant to get the ugx. 68billion as additional funds, then the Ministry of Finance, Planning
and Economic Development misled Parliament” (…) “NMS provided the contracts by a letter
dated 13th September 2016, and waited for disbursement of the money from PTA Bank. However the said funds have to-date not been provided. This fact was brought to the Ministry of Health and the Permanent Secretary/ Secretary to the Treasury on 27th March 2017. It is important to note that the PTA Bank Loan, was approved by Parliament on the understanding that part of the Proceeds would go to NMS to cover the sh.68billion deficit” (…) “We wish to restate that if this money is not provided, over and above the Budget for FY 2017/18, all Health Centre IIs, IIIs and IVs, including those of UPDF, Uganda Police and Uganda Prisons, shall not receive Medicines in the FY 17/18 except ARVs, Vaccines, ACTs and TB medicines” (NMS, 2017).
“Although documents indicate that PTA Bank released the loan basing on documents submitted by the agencies, it was never remitted to them accordance with the agreed terms of the funding. Last week while requesting for a supplementary budget for NMS, Finance State Minister David Bahati was put to task to explain why NMS lacks funds to procure medicines yet the funders released the money in November last year. MP Cecilia Ogwal (Dokolo) wondered why NMS was going through a financial crisis when Parliament approved a loan request of $200m. During the meeting yesterday, members put Bank of Uganda officials led by the Governor Tumusiime Mutebile to task to explain whether the loan was released from the funders to the respective recipients. Mutebile told the committee that between October20th 2016 and May 23, 2017; BOU received $97.9m from PTA bank and transferred all the money to the Ministry of Finance Consolidated Account as instructed by the Ministry of Finance. “How it was used, is the ministry of finance to explain,” he said” (Karugaba, 2017).
So just part of the loans that trusted to NMS never came and never was delivered. The amount of funds needed the crisis in the NMS was not given. Therefore, the lack of oversight of the funds and the loans was evident even last year. Still, PTA Loan of 2016 has not been honored. The BoU will explain what happen after the money was released. So, it means that the documentation of receiving it is there, but what happen after is now gone. The NMS are clear, the BoU, but not the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED).
Just to put the loan in more perspective, even the World Bank described there in January 2017:
“Uncertainties related to both local and external events, including the freezing of new loans by the World Bank and the impact of the results of the Brexit referendum and the US presidential election being the most significant causes of this uncertainty. This is notwithstanding the fact that the Government has contracted balance of payments support credit from PTA Bank to provide the BoU with sufficient resources to prevent spikes in the foreign exchange market when the need arises” (World Bank, P: 11, 2017).
However something that is striking is the Letter of intent written by BoU Governor Tumusiime Mutebile and Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Kasaija. Who both prepared a statement, to build trust in the economy and the loans made by the government.
Who wrote this this to IMF on 18th May 2016:
“Government requested a line of credit of USD 200 million from the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (PTA Bank). The three year revolving facility has terms that are deemed more beneficial than those prevailing in the domestic markets at the current juncture and near future, so we plan to use these resources in FY2016/17 and FY 2017/18 to finance our deficits. Therefore, these resources will replace existing, more costly domestic financing, rather than expanding the available envelope. We will not use the loan in FY2015/16” (Kasaija & Tumusiime Mutebile, P: 6-7, 2016).
While this story started after Public Accounts Committee in the Daily Monitor this:
“Two of the most prominent Banyakigezi – Bank of Uganda Governor Tumusiime Mutebile, secretary to the Treasury Keith Muhakanizi and other top officials in the Finance hierarchy are set to answer questions over how Shs340 billion of Shs720b ($200m) loan meant for medicines and rural electrification was used. They are going to be quizzed by Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) with the vice chairman Gerald Karuhanga saying that Muhakanizi, Mutebile, Auditor General John Muwanga and Mr. Lawrence Semakula, the acting Accountant General have been summoned to appear before MPs on Wednesdays to “explain the whereabouts of the money because no agency has received anything.” Mr. Muhakanizi called the probe ‘misdirected’ because ‘everything was done properly and I will prove that with documents.’ He said the money was pooled into the consolidated Fund and spent on approved expenditures” (Daily Monitor, 05.07.2017).
On the 13th June 2017, Treasury Secretary Keith Muhakanizi tried to explain where the money went:
“As explained above, all the funds disbursed from the PTA Bank Loan have been fully accounted for. ii No funds has been lost as the Monitor Newspaper has alleged. iii I thank the PTA Bank for quickly providing the funds to the Uganda government when needed. iv It is, therefore, professionally unacceptable for Monitor Newspaper which has represented at the meeting of PAC in Parliament on Wednesday 7th June 2017, to have published an incorrect story in its editorial of 11th June 2017” (New Vision, 2017).
However, the story is not ended in last year. The PTA Loan continue to haunt the MoFPED and the BoU. They both have answers to give. Now a few months later. The answer from MoFPED are differently. Because the Treasury suddenly promised documents in June 2017. However, we are in February 2018 and still not there. Even his own defense that was a notice in the New Vision. Now a half year later, we see the same story and the same issue in the Parliament. That the same amount of monies are not accounted for. The same actors are trying to defend it. The whole affair smells not like Teen-Spirit, but more of State House affair. Since, they are trying to defend the misuse of funds and loans in the timeline of Campaigning. That is what it seems. Since suddenly during campaigns and such the needs for funds is there. Paying off political parties and loyal commissioners. There are so many things to buy and needs. So much material, buses, t-shirts and bribes. You have to print massive amounts of money. In a way where the State House also always needs bigger Supplementary Budgets after the General Election of 2016.
Here is the movement today:
“Mr Kasaija yesterday failed to present a personal statement detailing what went wrong with the loan but maintained that no money was “stolen” as he fought to save his job.“I request that we should give an opportunity to a government authority to find out where this money went. But I want to give assurances to this House that no money was diverted or stolen,” Mr Kasaija said. With the loan approved only after the Finance ministry changed its labelling, Speaker Rebecca Kadaga last evening ruled that she will today make a decision regarding the fate of the report, with the duos fate set to be decided today. “I may not talk much but I had engagements with Ministry of Finance over that money. I had engagements to remind the ministry that that money was partially borrowed for NMS. I had meetings in my office over that money,” Ms Kadaga ruled. The loan put the Executive and Parliament at loggerheads with the Speaker at some point ordering the Rules Committee to investigate Mr Kasaija over contempt of Parliament as the fallout escalated” (Arinaitwe, 2018).
So still to this day there is no proof of where it went. Even if the trail leads to two familiar faces, the MoFPED Kasaija and Treasury Muhakanizi, who both trying to save faces. This all seems like misused funds from the Consolidated Funds for Campaigning. Since it was not used for the Rural Electrification Funds or the NMS. Who was both in dire needs, but not important enough. The NMS has lacked it anyways, and not gotten the needed medicine.
Therefore, the two financial heavy-weights has to either forge the paper-trial, since the NMS and the other agencies hasn’t received the funds. They have been spent elsewhere. Suddenly missing and that Muhakanizi uses so long time, that from June 2017 to February 2018 is unbelievable. If you use that long time proving parliament where the funds went. You know there are some shady misuse of it. It has gone to all sorts of activity, to tear-gas, paying police officers to keep Besigye under house arrest and whatnot. Because it didn’t go the place where the MoFPED and BoU promised.
This the GAVI Funds and CHOGM scandal all over again. This isn’t new, it is just PTA Bank loan gone missing. You miss a shilling, you miss a book or even some keys. But you do not loose this amount of money. They have gone to a growing patronage and securing the President’s Private Plane or something. Peace.
Arinaitwe, Solomon – ‘MPs plot to censure Kasaija over Shs700b’ (07.02.2018) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/MPs-plot-censure-Kasaija-over-Shs700b-/688334-4294524-r1k3ls/index.html
The Economist – Intelligence Unit – ‘ Loan secured from regional bank’ (11.12.2015) link: http://country.eiu.com/article.aspx?articleid=63762990&Country=Uganda&topic=Economy&subtopic=Forecast&subsubtopic=Fiscal+policy+outlook&u=1&pid=923837876&oid=923837876&uid=1
Karubaga, Mary – ‘Finance makes U-turn on sh150b NMS loan’ (08.07.2017) link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/new_vision/news/1455202/finance-makes-sh150b-nms-loan
Kasaija, Matia & Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime Mutebile – ‘Uganda: Letter of Intent, Memorandum of Economic Financial Policies, and Technical Memorandum of Understanding’ (18.05.2016) link:
NMS – ‘CLARIFICATION ON FUNDS RELEASED TO NATIONAL MEDICAL STORES (NMS) FOR PROCUREMENT, STORAGE AND DISTRIBUTION OF ESSENTIAL MEDICINES AND HEALTH SUPPLIES (EMHS)’ (16.07.2017) link: https://www.nms.go.ug/jdownloads/Press/NMS%20Full%20pg%202017.pdf
New Vision – ‘Clarification on Allegations that US$200 million meant to procure medicines for health centres and implement Rural Electrification Projects Went Missing’ (17.07.2017) link: https://www.newvision.co.ug/digital_assets/fa485f48-5a96-4b7b-be1a-3969e7a45cc3/9-Min-of-finance.pdf
World Bank – ‘Uganda Economic Update 8th Edition, january 2017 – Step by step Let’s solve the finance puzzle to accelerate growth and shared prosperity’ (January 2017) link: http://documents.worldbank.org/curated/en/662191486394023103/pdf/112621-WP-P161699-PUBLIC-UEU-8TH-edition-final-for-web.pdf
The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have over created a growing the debt. This meaning parts of the Financial Year of 2018/2019 is directly going to repay debt. NRM Regime is clearly paying more and more on the debt, than what they are paying for government services and also interest payment. The citizens of Uganda should be worried about how the NRM is projecting and using their funds, how they are adding debts to pay old debts. They are really disrespecting the wise people and the Republic. Since, they are over the time, not making the economy more healthy, but making it more sick. The signs has been there the last few years, as they are projecting petroleum profits. Even before it hits the ground running. It is worrying, that they are showing it this month in the numbers from the Parliamentary Budget Office.
“The Present Value of public sector debt to GDP stood at 27.1 percent in FY 2016/17 and is projected to increase to 31.2 percent in FY 2017/18 below the thresholds of 50 percent stipulated in the Charter of Fiscal Responsibility” (Parliamentary Budget Office, P: 2, 2018).
If you wouldn’t worry that the debt in the public sector rises with 4.1 percent in one year. I don’t care about the charter. When a state is able to make it rise with 4.1 percent in budget year, it shows that the economy is not fiscal responsible, neither healthy. It’s like continue to super-size burgers, when you already fat and having high blood-pressure. It will weaken the system with the continued eating of the super-sized burgers, instead of trying to find a healthy diet. Which will change the blood-pressure and how the body will feel with a balanced diet. However, when it comes to economy, the NRM doesn’t believe this.
“Domestic refinancing (borrowing to finance domestic debt) will account for 22 percent of total domestic resources” (…) “Domestic borrowing for purposes of financing the deficit is projected to
amount to UGX 939.9 billion” (…) “Project support will account for 97 percent of the total external resources while budget support will account 3 percent (from the World Bank and part of the PTA loan)” (Parliamentary Budget Office, P: 4, 2018). “Interest Payment projections include UGX 2,279bn for domestic securities (Treasury bills and bonds) and UGX 422bn for interest on external debt” (Parliamentary Budget Office, P: 5, 2018).
This here shows how the state is financing the debt and the repayment. Also how high they are pushing the domestic resources to repay domestic debt. This is clearly hitting the economy hard, when so big parts of the budget and resources is spent on repaying debt. This is all destroying the possibilities, since its taken a giant slice of the budget and using it on debts instead of paying salaries of teachers and civil servants.
This are the numbers, that people should take to heart. Because this debt and the rising debt is eating the budgets. The state is making it grow and is not containing it. That should worry anyone. Especially, the NRM who is in-charge and the President who has created this avenue and has to make sure this get payed. Peace.
Parliamentary Budget Office – ‘INDICATIVE BUDGET AT A GLANCE – FY 2018/19’ (January 2018)
I will go over key points of the National Budget Framework Paper of Financial Year 2018/19 – FY 2022-23, that the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development released at the end of last year on December 2017. MoFPED or Minister of Finance Matia Kasaijja must surely flatter himself with this release. As the numbers and troubles ahead has to be meet with swift action. That the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni should answer for the consequences their economic policies has affected the financial stability and fiscal responsibility.
On page seven of the paper, it was said this:
“i) Low revenue to GDP ratio, poor planning and budgeting due to non-adherence to Sector Investment Plans and increasing trends in supplementary pressures; ii) Lack of inter and intra sectoral coordination and increased cost of public administration resulting from creation of Authorities, Universities, Districts and related Administrative Units. iii) Accumulation of domestic arrears, arising majorly from court awards and delayed payment to the private sector that supply Government; and, iv) Low budget absorption especially for infrastructure projects resulting from delayed acquisition of right of way for projects and lengthy procurement processes” (MoFPED, P: 7, 2017).
If this isn’t signs of trouble ahead and lack of control of the economy, nothing is. When the government has trouble paying their dues, when they cannot absorb needed budgeted funds and also create longer procurement processes, while there is poor planning and lack of cooperation between different parts of the government and institutions. Therefore, the basic cost of developing projects and day-to-day services will be more costly, while the misuse of funds will grow. That is not the good steady progress, the ruling government promised in recent elections or anytime else for that matter in the reign of Museveni.
As the scale of debt has been on the rise of different years. The paper is clearly signaling bad news as well: “Amortization of external debt is projected at US$ 236.5 million, equivalent to Shs 894 billion in FY2018/19, which is relatively high compared to past levels because of repayment of the PTA loan. Thereafter, external debt amortization is projected to reduce to US$ 131.8 million in FY 2019/20” (…) “Government‟s interest payments are projected at Shs 2,701 billion in FY2018/19, of which Shs 2,279 billion is interest on domestic securities (Treasury bills and bonds) and the rest is interest on external debt. Interest payments constitute 9.8 percent of total resources available for spending next financial year. The figure is projected to rise to Shs. 2,788 billion in FY 2020/21 and will amount to Shs. 3084 billion during FY2021/22. A great percentage of interest payments about 84 percent is domestic interest payments which partly reflects high cost of domestic borrowing” (…) “Total government expenditure and net lending (excluding debt refinancing) will amount to Shs 22,520 billion in FY2018/19 and further increase to Shs 25,059 billion in FY2019/20. The bulk of this expenditure (10.5percent) is largely on account of increase in development spending arising from the scale up of public investments by Government. However, moving forward the implementation of the infrastructure projects will be more gradual to ensure consistency with the requirements to meet the EAMU convergence criteria. Recurrent expenditure is projected to increase by Shs. 166 billion during FY 2018/19 mainly driven by an increase in domestic interest payments” (MoFPED, P: 13, 2017).
That this combined with the early signs of worrying of procurement process, bad collective effort of ministries and also growing debt. None of this is a well-made government to secure services and institutions to serve the public. Clearly, there are other outlines and worries, since none of the early pages of the paper are too hopeful. These numbers has been shown before, but the MoFPED are really not hiding the fact, that the growing debt and services of it is taking a bulk of the budget this year.
As in previous years, the State House and Office of the President are getting big chunks of the budget. In the coming financial year the State House total budgeted funds are in the massive amount of UGX. 265,342 billion shillings and the Office of the President gets the amount of UGX. 56,436 billion shillings.
Will look more into that, when I get the hold of the Budget Framework paper directly made for that part of government. Since it is always showing some inspiring expenditure, if it is expensive water or spending on bad seeds for Operation Wealth Creation (OWC). That depends on what excuse the President and NRM needs to overspend on the majesty for life.
More will come later. Peace.
Today, the Ugandan Parliament has added more debt to the state since they cannot get grants or donors to fund their projects like in the past. National Resistance Movement (NRM) have the majority of the Parliament, therefore the adjustment and the possible questioning of the bills today. Would be squashed briefly, as the new amount of debt will arise and the state has to get more sufficient funds to repay the loans and the rising interests. That the three projects might bring profits in the future and could be seen as positive development, might be true, but it is a high risk. When the levels of debt already has grown as much as it is.
The first loan approved by the parliament was to borrow for the Lake Victoria Maritime Communication and Transport Project. That loan is up to $ 14,4 Million USD or 52,409 billion Uganda Shillings.
The second loan approved by the parliament was to borrow for the upgrade the road Kapchorwa-Suam-Kitale Road. These was two loans in one. Which is one $ 38,349,313.28 or 139,705 billion Uganda Shillings, this was borrowed from African Development Bank (ADB). The other was $ 56,129,597.12 or 204,437 billion Uganda Shillings from the African Development Fund (ADF).
The third loan was in Euros, first part from UK Export Finance (UKEF), which was EUROS 270,266,042.15, converted to US Dollars is $ 321,199,210.23 or in Uganda Shilling the total: 1,170,081,708,10 Uganda Shillings or in word One Trillion One Hundred Seventy billion Uganda Shilling. The second loan are in EUROS 37,110,585 from Standard Chartered Bank, converted to US Dollars is $ 44,112,060.75 or in Uganda Shillings 160,670,761,044.55 or in words One Hundred Sixty Billion, six hundred seventy million, seven hundred sixty-one thousand, forty-four and fifty-five hundredths Uganda Shillings.
So collectively today, the NRM has accepted loans which totals $ 474,190,180 US Dollars. In Uganda shilling it means 1,727,264,129,950.40 Uganda Shillings. In words it is one trillion, seven hundred twenty-seven billion, two hundred sixty-four million, one hundred twenty-nine thousand Uganda Shillings.
The budget of 2017-2018 was in total 29 Trillion Shillings. Therefore, they are now seeking to borrowing close to 2 Trillion Shillings, which is of last years budget close to 2,9 %. So the NRM MPs and State has had no trouble borrowing close to 3 percentage of previous budget on three infrastructure projects. It is evident and should be worrying with the knowledge that the state is already using 33 % of the budget to repay loans of old and their interests. No matter how positive these projects are and what they can accumulate in the future. Still, the basis of loaning this amounts while having growing debts already. Is really tasking future generations to pay for the loans of the previous ones.
So it seems like the NRM are planning to opening the gates and making sure the state owns more to even more banking and international money lenders. As if the petroleum dollars will safe the deficit in the future. As the interests and the downgrading of the state might appear. Unless, the state gets higher oil prices and some luck. Since, the NRM have really forked itself and hoping someone will bail it out. Peace.
The story that was published on the 20th November in Red Pepper named: “M7 Plotting To Overthrow Kagame – Rwanda”. Has clearly sparked some tensions within the National Resistance Movement and the Uganda Police Force. Since since 21st November the besieged paper, have been searched with warrants and the editors been charged today on the 23rd November with treason. This is like the Gen. Sejusa stories in May 2013 all over again. As the NRM are trying to deflect and says the stories are not true and is baseless. Still, they are assaulting and silencing the media who reported the story. It doesn’t make sense. If it is a baseless allegations and without merit. Wouldn’t it be better to not care or just file a complaint in court? Wouldn’t it be better to file a case and show that they have to retract the story after the allegations are falsified?
Instead, with the use of Anti-Terrorist Police and use of force within the headquarters after the story was published. You are allowed to question if the NRM are afraid of their secret operations and training camps of specialized militia. They have done similar with training camps in Kisoro for operations within Kivu provinces in Democratic Republic of Congo. So another story like this could be true. Therefore, with the recent reactions, it is harder not to be believe that Museveni wanted another foreign scalp. He has done that also in past, so he has the capacity and brazen armed tactics to fence of neighbors to get puppets there as well. Therefore, the story might be true, as the partisan police force are now attacking the Red Pepper.
Here is some reports on the latest news concerning the paper!
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has learned, with dismay, of the Red Pepper cover story carried on Monday November 20, 2017 with the headline “M7 plotting to overthrow Kagame – Rwanda” in which the Red Pepper reproduces a malicious article by a Rwandan online publication “Rushyashya” of an alleged plan by the Ugandan Government to overthrow the Rwanda Government. The Ministry dismisses, with contempt, allegations carried by any media publications or platforms to the effect that relations between Rwanda and Uganda are anything but strong and cordial. The Ministry informs the citizens of both Uganda and Rwanda that the continuous innuendo by the likes of “Rushyashya” and various other media outlets both in Uganda and Rwanda, including the Red Pepper is mischievous at best, irresponsible at worst and meant to sow discord between our two sister nations. The Ministry condemns such abuse of the communication platforms they are privileged to manage” (Amb. Patrick S. Mugoya – ‘UGANDA-RWANDA TIES SOLID’ 20.11.2017).
“Uganda: Committee to Protect Journalists concerned by reports that 8 senior managers and editors of RED Pepper UG were arrested yesterday over report. The directors and editors of Pepper Publications Group who were picked from their offices on Tuesday by police, are detained at Nalufenya Police Detention Centre in Jinja, according to Daily Monitor. The Tuesday operation was led by Kampala Metropolitan Commander, Mr Frank Mwesigwa. According to the company’s lawyer, Mr Dickens Byamukama, all the five directors and top editors were driven to Nalufenya at around mid-night. “All the directors plus three editors were taken to Nalufenya at around mindnight after being detained at our office for close to 8 hours. The police say they are going to drive them back to Kampala today [Wednesday], so we are still waiting on them,” Mr Byamukama said. The five directors are; Richard Tusiime (CEO), Patrick Mugumya (CPO), Arinaitwe Rugyendo (CM0), James Mujuni (CCO) and Johnson Musinguzi Byarabaha (CFO). The editors are; Ben Byarabaha (Managing Editor), Richard Kintu (News Editor) and Tumusiime Francis Tinywana (Bwino Newspaper Editor who doubles as General Manager)” (CPJ Africa – Committee to Protect Journalists, 22.11.2017).
“Namanve based Red Pepper Publications has been ordered closed after an earlier siege by security personnel this afternoon. A source inside Red Pepper tells Nile Post that after rummaging the offices, the media house has been ordered to shut. “We have been ordered to close, all workers also ordered to stop working,” the source intimates. The source also adds that all computers have been taken, while workers have been asked to surrender their phones and electronic gadgets. Immediately after surrendering items, staff at red pepper have been ordered to vacate the premises with immediate effect. Red Pepper publication on November 20 published an article with headline; “M7 plotting to overthrow Kagame – Rwanda” which was reproduced from a Rwandan online publication “Rushyashya” of an alleged plan by the Ugandan Government to overthrow the Rwanda Government. However, the government in a statement by Ministry of Affairs Permanent Secretary, Patrick Mugoya, has rubbished the claims, citing that the two countries are currently enjoying strong and cordial relations” (Information Uganda, 21.11.2017).
“Five directors and three editors of The Red Pepper are charged with treason, offensive communication and disturbing the peace of President Yoweri Museveni, Security Minister Henry Tumukunde and Gen. Salim Saleh. Those facing charges include directors, Arinaitwe Rugyendo, Patrick Mugumya, Johnson Musinguzi, Richard Tusiime and James Mujuni and editors Ben Byarabaha, Richard Kintu and Francis Tumusiime. They are all detained at Nalufenya Prison in Jinja district” (Uganda Radio Network, 23.11.2017).
So now the ones publishing a non-story is detained at Nalufenya and also charged with treason. They have taken all ICT and telecommunications at the headquarters. The Police and the Ministers has tried to deflect the story and saying there is nothing between Rwanda and Uganda. They have a cordial relationship as republics. But henceforth that is hard to believe, when editors and publishers of the Red Pepper is slapped with charges of treason.
They have clearly written something within the story of Museveni plotting to overthrow Kagame on the 20th November 2017. If there was nothing, would they have gone this far against the press and against the ones who wrote it? If there is nothing, why are they trying at the same time to deflect it to the media?
The signals they are sending and the assault on Red Pepper seems like panic-mode for a released story and dossier that hurts the relationship between Kagame and Museveni. As it shows again, that Museveni wants a puppet in Rwanda. That would not be surprising, as Museveni helped Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army in 1994, as the Rwandans helped him to power in 1986. The relationship between Kagame and Museveni have gone up and down over the years. But this would be a final blow between them. If not, Kagame maybe just don’t care about Museveni and his offerings.
Whatever, this is, it is clearly that it got the alert and the NRM working overtime. Since they cannot stomach the stories and the possible altercations created by it. They cannot manage to do it without reasons if it is a non-story. Like file a petition to court and get a verdict, then get damages and question the editors and journalists integrity. Instead, they are verifying the story, by detaining and putting charges of treason on their heads.
The toppling story of Kagame becomes more real, because of their actions. It seems less of conspiracy and more of a reality. Since the state has to do this to the publication and their workers. It makes it more likely, as their actions speaks louder than words. If it wasn’t anything to care about or fear. Why start with blazing guns and besiege the Red Pepper Headquarters?
The answer is within the state and within the security operation who has done this. It is within the leadership of the NRM and the Security Officials who are mentioned. They have the answers and could open up for possible reasoning. They cannot speak with double tongues. In one perspective: “it’s nothing, don’t look” and secondly: “it’s treasonous and criminal, don’t look!”. It is either a crime, because the state planned something criminal and trying to change the leadership in Rwanda. Or it is fiction, which could be challenged in the courts. Instead, the first is more likely, than the latter. That is because of the activity and the blatant acts of oppression against the Red Pepper. The NRM cannot hide from that, President Museveni can neither.
Kagame is the only one that should be smiling, since his counterparts has to clean-up his shop and show his real stamina. While keeping cool. That is why we haven’t heard anything from Rwanda on this matter. They are cool and smug about it. They should be too, since the NRM and Museveni is the ones losing face. Peace.
Well, I am biased, as the President are visiting Dubai for 4th Global Business Forum on Africa on the 2nd November 2017. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is trying to cater to foreign investors. People who he usually cater to at the State House, so he can get favors and Presidential Handshakes. That is why he isn’t bothered with taxes, because the tax-holidays and possible offerings will be huge for the investors who comes in. That is what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are doing, especially if it is for instance a nations offering the state loan, than the same state can come with state-companies to build infrastructure like Chinese companies coming in after offering loans to the same NRM government. Therefore, just look at what he was saying yesterday, which is weird, but fit a pattern.
“Since you are business people, we must be talking about profits. When you talk of Uganda and Africa, you are talking about peace as an enabling environment; which we have. We have raw materials, and have a population of 40 million people that’s’ a market. And if we talk of integration we have a four tear market” (…) “In Africa, the demand is there and growing because we have been under-consuming while the rest of the world the demand is falling because they have been over consuming” (…) “There are plenty of raw materials, minerals, tourism and so on so when you invest there you have access to all these” (…) “I don’t have to bother investors with taxes, what I want is for them to invest, use our raw materials, create jobs, add value and promote exports” (State House Uganda, 2017).
Well, so the President trying to say to foreign investors, you don’t need to pay taxes for your output, just cater to me. The state you don’t have to bother about, just bother about catering to the State House and me. We will add value and promote exports, we will agreements and make sure you get the value on our resources and low-payed workers.
We know who is the biggest taxpayers in the republic, because of Uganda Revenue Authority own statement in the media on the 31st October 2017, which stated names like Mr. Alnasir Virani Gulam Hussein Habib, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, Mohammed Hussain, Nakayima Janat, Karia Minex, Karia Kunnal, Alykhan Hudani and Dayalijil Karan. Who are sounding like foreign investors and they are on the top 25 biggest taxpayers in Uganda. So the state has already connected families from abroad to invest there in various businesses. This shows there are already people who is not worried about taxes, but about the output of their companies.
Some of these investors has made big names, while others have worked more in silence. Still, this shows that the top earners even promoted by URA and Doris Akol. Proves how they are working, as there wasn’t that many own citizens on the list. That shows that the foreign investors must get a special advantage and special agreements at the state house for their dealings. Especially, considering how it has been done, just for tearing down markets in Kampala for own investors and financial agreements. This has been done and arranged from the State House without consultation with locals, neither KCCA or the renters of these markets. That is how the NRM and Museveni do deals in favor of him and if he get ill-gained funds, he will support the “development”. It is in similar fashion he exposes his intent in Dubai.
That the State doesn’t need taxes or need structures to facilitate for foreign investors, they just needs agreements with State House and then it is all fair-game. It is insane, but fits the Modus Operandi of the Musevenism and NRM regime. Give him a Presidential Handshake and you can operate as you want in the Republic. Peace.
State House Uganda – ‘President Museveni woos Arab investors to Uganda “We have the raw materials, human resource and market”’ (02.11.2017) link: https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/president-museveni-woos-arab-investors-to-uganda-we-have-the-raw-materials-human-resource-and-market?lang=en