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Archive for the tag “Hajj Erias Lukwago Ssalongo”

Katakwi district farmers protest as they are tired of a decade old unfulfilled promise!

If you don’t eat mangos that fall on the ground, be sure to be strong enough to pick ones on the tree” – Proverb

Yesterday, a reaction to the disarray of the state of the Republic, as the state of promises going back in time. Over a decade of promises of a Soroti Fruit Factory, a factory where the farmers in Katakwi District could deliver their fruits. This would be a massive investment for the Teso Region. However, it has not seen light of day, but for three campaigns in the region, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. Have continued to promise roads, development and factory for their produce. To make juice and generate more added-value on their produce. However, that hasn’t happen, because the National Resistance Movement and the President doesn’t really care about it.

This factory has been talked about being finished many times, many times talk of funds set-up for it, but really not materialized. It has happen every time the President visits. Kinda like a slogan and empty promise. He could for all the farmers care, promise heaven and all the pleasures existing to man. However, they know he will not deliver on it. Museveni doesn’t care about Soroti or the struggle of the farmers in Katakwi.

The MP since 2012, Proscovia Alengot Oromait, who was elected at the age of 19 years old. Who is now 25 years old. For being the MP of the area, she has really not made an impact on the issue. Therefore, the public shouldn’t trust her motivation, as this has been the giant promise in the Teso Region and the NRM has not delivered.

It is 2018, the first big pledge of the Soroti Fruit Factory was in 2008. That is a decade of empty promises, saying there are money for building and planning the factory. In 2017, when in the area, President said together with his team, that its nearly done. This is a district that has fallen behind and that has been through a lot of issues over the years. As the drought and lack of food hit the region last year.

This is just Katakwi District promise, which also entails Soroti District itself, where the factory was supposed to be set-up. Therefore, he has had empty promises in both districts. Katakwi farmers are tired, that is why they just left the mangoes on the street. Instead of taking it to the market, they couldn’t get transport to sell it, even as the state has promised factories to produce juice. Which never appears. It is a government ghost, a government mirage.

Yet, another empty promise from Mzee and the NRM. The farmers are tired of empty, pathetic lies and deception. Big eloquent words from a life president who doesn’t care and has no interest of keeping promises.

No Remedy Mentioned aka NRM or Not Reassured by Museveni aka NRM. Peace.

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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.

Cholera Alert in Kampala and Mpigi: Could have been avoided with a state controlled sewage system!

The people of the Kalerwe, Kampala and people from Mpigi District should worry about their sanitary positions and their water quality, as the Cholera outbreak is because of simple mistakes by the Ministry of Water and Environment, also by the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) that hasn’t done their job. Because when 7 people are caught with the disease and put in a hospital. The whole local government combined with the Ministry should be finding the sources for the mixing of feces and water in the pipes to people of a certain area.

A person can get cholera by drinking water or eating food contaminated with the cholera bacterium. In an epidemic, the source of the contamination is usually the feces of an infected person that contaminates water and/or food. The disease can spread rapidly in areas with inadequate treatment of sewage and drinking water. The disease is not likely to spread directly from one person to another; therefore, casual contact with an infected person is not a risk for becoming ill” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – ‘Cholera’ 09.11.2016 link: https://www.cdc.gov/cholera/general/index.html).

Now one person might have been affect and transmitted this to his nearby kin or neighbors, however, this disease comes from practically bad sanitary areas and water quality. Where the lack of control over the water pipes and the sanitary efforts of the city in general. There are even speculations that the emptying of the sewage tanks costs 200,000 shillings at a time and people cannot afford it. So they let it all out in the midst of rain. Therefore, the mix and the conditions where Cholera could breakout and clearly it has succeeded.

This here is a lack of government control and reason of change of dynamics so that people can live in healthier conditions and not fear to get into bad cycles of more illness and capability of income. Due to sickness and shows the lack of good living conditions. If society and the state wanted, they would have a decent sewage system and securing that it didn’t mix in the streets. So that the sickness of cholera would be avoided, it isn’t that hectic. It do cost in urban areas to lay the pipes and set up a well-functioning sewage system, but when you do have that combined with a decent water-pipes, the waterborne sicknesses that can be fought and avoided. That should be a priority, especially for a republic striving to reach middle-income very soon.

The Republic has choices and should plan ahead to secure the citizens, so they can avoid getting ill, by waterborne diseases like Cholera. That should be a priority by any of the Ministries that are involved, if it is the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Kampala, Ministry of Water and Environment, Ministry of Finance, Economic Development and others should strive to succeed, that is if they care about the well-being and are serious in the part of society. If not they are their to pocket their salaries and live lavish, while others are catching diseases that can be combat by very simple means and also serious constructions of sewage systems. This would secure the health and well-being of the citizens. It wouldn’t be an issue at-large, if the state did offer this.

There are happening like this with that too, when pipes goes old or technical malfunctions, but its easier to become a major issue and spreading alerts, when the society doesn’t have the systems in place. It is more sufficient and healthy to actually install and build this. All of this isn’t revolutionary, even citizens around the world is paying levies on it to the state and counties to secure the water is clean and sewage system is functioning to satisfaction. Where the public can contact the directorate or county body to complain if it malfunctioning. That should be possible in the Republic too, unless the state and the leadership see this all as unreasonable. Please tell me, because then your blaming the public for your lack of oversight and control of basic functions in society. Peace.

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.

Former Buganda Premier Dan Muliika Spits Fire over Kampala Expansion (Youtube-Clip)

“Buganda Kingdom reviews documents of proposals on the expansion of Kampala, there’s still uncertainty on how the largest Kingdom in Uganda is likely to react to the plans. Former Buganda Premier Dan Muliika talks to Canary Mugume on the on-going debate about the proposed expansion of Kampala city to integrate fast-growing suburbs of Wakiso, Mpigi and Mukono” (NBS Television, 01.04.2018)

New Powers assigned to Hon. Beti Kamya: Not only a Minister for Kampala, but soon also Wakiso, Mukono and Mpigi!

Museveni changes Beti Kamya’s portfoil ahead of extending Kampal boundaries, this means that Mukono,Wakiso and Mpigi are nolonger under Ministry of Local Government as they now form part of the Kampala Metropolitan area. Mukama otuwonya ddi Kitange?” (Betty Nambooze, 22.03.2018).

This can be said after a letter sent to the Chairman of Kampala District Land Board Yusuf Nsibambi, the Executive Director of Kampala Capital City Authority Dr. Jennifer Musisi and the Commandant of Kampala Metropolitan Police Office Frank Mwesigwa got a letter from Secretary Office of the President Samuel Emiku, the letter named: “Name of Ministry in-charge of Kampala”.

The new name the people get to know is the Ministry for Kampala Capital City and Metropolitan Area. That means the Ministry will get a bigger slice and more control. That meaning the Presidency has big faith in the acts of Beti Kamya, as her portefolio are now extending and also taking away from others. What you can also take from the Secretary, is that he didn’t notify neither districts mentioned by the Members of Parliament or the Lord Mayor of Kampala Erias Lukwago. There was other who should have been informed like the 5 district mayors and the Wardens, the councilors of the capital should feel punished too. Also, the extended branch of the Presidential Advisor Singh Katongole. But what has said or done recently, other than cashing-in a paycheck.

This here is really an extension and rare, since the paradigm under President Museveni is to make things smaller and hire more cronies. Not extending and giving more power to individuals. This is tampering with the modus operandi of late. Kamya must have given a lot of incentive and promise over the recent time to be offered a higher stake. If not, he want the Residential District Commanders and the others in the near-by districts to be under the command. As it is a fitting way for the State House to control it even more directly, because Kamya will work on direct orders and not flinch.

So, just like the way Kamya has stripped the elected leadership in Kampala, she is set to control Wakio, Mukono and Mpigi. This is really to secure the will of Museveni even further and more detailed, as she has followed his instruction on every market and every decree. She has praised him and he now repays her. While taking away powers and limits the scope of the Ministry of Local Government, who will loose these areas.

The letter from the Secretary of the President is really showing this and proving how he wants to tangle even more elected officials, with the appointed minister Kamya. It is really a way of controlling mayors and district officials. Peace.

Uganda: UPDF and Guardian Primary School Authorities Standoff (13.02.2018)

The starting point of a Political Stalemate in Kampala: Luwkago Vs. Kamya!

This had to come at some point, especially by the one that inherited the Minister Post from Frank Tumwebaze, this being Uganda Federal Alliance and best friend with the man in the Entebbe State House Beti Kamya. She is now taking the place of Tumwebaze and doing exactly like he did back-in-the-day. He stifled the powers of the elected Local Councilors and Divisions Mayors. By all means going against the opposition leader and Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago. This is deja vu. We have been here a few years ago. We can just wait to KCCA Executive Director Jennifer Musisi to jump behind Kamya and say Lukwago is all wrong in his acts. That is what we can anticipate. I just wonder when Presidential Advisor Singh Katongole will advise Musisi and Kamya. This will just start a fire, where usually the elected leaders get into the burning flames and not the selected people of Museveni. That is what history has learned us.

Therefore the news coming from Kampala today, wasn’t surprising:

City Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago has suspended the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) council meetings indefinitely following a stalemate between the technical and political wings. KCCA directors have so far boycotted three consecutive council meetings. The impasse started on January 25 when the directors refused to participate in a council meeting that had been described as “null and void” by the Kampala minister, Beti Kamya. Kamya argued that argued that there is nothing called “resumed meeting” in the KCCA Act. The resumed meeting is a continuation of previous meeting’s agenda. Councillors blocked the directors for over an hour when they decided to walk out of the “resumed meeting”, saying they are only answerable to the minister” (URN, 2018).

We clearly knew this would happen at some point. That it took this long time was rare. Since Hon. Tumbewaze went in after the General Election in 2011. So he got the Lord Mayor impeached and removed in 2013. So he had grievances before entering his chair as Lord Mayor as incumbent in 2016. When he tried to get the lost salary between 2013 and 2016 returned. However, the new Minister Kamya dismissed that early in a letter. Therefore, the relationship between Kamya and Lukwago was settled from the start.

We know that Kamya is a wild-card, most likely why she was appointed this position. Since she can run fire and she is power-hungry. So we will not respect any Ward Mayor, Division Mayor or Lord Mayor. Even the Executive Director Musisi seemingly seems more distance and having less of appeal after the appointment of Kamya. Musisi had more say during the years of Tumbewaze. That is not so for now. She is more ceremonial and galleon figure in the spot-light, but not the real power. Kamya has all of that and shown that with directives and decisions within the City. This without consultation in the other boards, other than directives from the State House and such. That is why traders and hawkers has kicked out of important trading places for development projects. This is proven during 2017. It is now becoming now hostile. It is now lit between them .

Musisi seems happy that Kamya are attacking and making life harder for Lukwago. Seemingly, that will be next step. Since Lukwago has suspended meetings, which Kamya hasn’t honored. She is supposed to follow and write yearly reports to the Parliament, also she could veto if she disagrees. However, she has decided not to show up. While the other mayors of Kampala has done so.

This here is the proof of the tangled deliberate attempt of not only undermining Lukwago, but all sort of opposition to NRM in Kampala. That is why the Minister is trying to take control and that is why the KCCA came into function. So that the Lord Mayor whoever opposition candidate to NRM would be caught under fire and could be dismissed to the dogs. So that one of the appointed leaders could takeover and take credit for the development of Kampala. If that isn’t visible, why are even the Division Mayors and Directors of Kampala undermining Lukwago? Who just most like trying to make sure there are checks- and balances. The only thing mattering to Minister is her loyalty to NRM and State House. That is why this is good news for the State House.

If this is the first step for the second trial and taking hostage of the Lord Mayor. I wouldn’t be surprised. The whole build-up of political framework and organizations are built to destroy and deplete the Lord Mayor. The City Hall are supposed to be controlled directly by the Minister and KCCA. Not by the political committees or others. Who are just there because the President needs someone there, but they are not his cronies. Peace.

Reference:

URN – ‘Lukwago suspends KCCA Council indefinitely’ (05.02.2018) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/56822-lukwago-suspends-kcca-council-indefinitely.html

UPDF: “Allegations by Lt. John Harrison Obote” (18.01.2018)

Uganda Local Government Workers Union (ULGWU) letter to PM Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda – “Reminder: Remunerations Enhancement for Local Government Workers” (29.08.2017)

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