On the 9th December Court Justice Stephen Kavuma Court Order with Constitutional Application number 07 in the Constitutional Court in Kampala today. What does this order say, that of such importance, this is from the man who during December 2016 was ordering for himself the ability to change his age, so he could work for four more years as Chief Justice. That is length he takes the law into his own and takes decisions.
But earlier in the year during 2016 the Chief Justice Kavuma wrote an Interim Order of 29th April 2016 where he banned the campaign of defiance. So that he is loyalist to the Movement and to the President is clear. There isn’t any indication that is stopping. Because of today the Chief Justice Kavuma ordered this:
“1. An interim order is hereby issued restraining Parliament, any person or authority from investigating, questioning and inquiring into the impugned bonus payments and or staying all proceedings of whatever nature, if any, which may be pending before any forum whatsoever arising from impugned payments, until the main application of No. 06 of 2017 has been determined” (Constitutional Court, 09.01.2017).
We are today seeing a special level of law and understanding of law as the Constitutional Court are banning and ordering the Attorney General John Muwanga who wanted to have an inquiry of the “Presidential Handshake”. The Presidential Handshake that are known in public because of the bonuses and kickbacks given to public servants and others loyal to the Movement. Parts of the ones who we’re parts of the Uganda Revenue Authority and others; which is the URA who won a case against the petroleum drilling companies Tullow Oil and Heritage who has licence to drill in the Lake Albert Basin. Certainly these billions of shillings are questionable as the Court Justice has to do this.
The Constitutional Court is then overriding the Attorney General and the Parliament, the Parliament that has Members of Parliament, who cannot and are not allowed to do their duty to make checks and balances of the use of public funds. This proves that the Government of Uganda doesn’t need accountability or transparency as even the investigations of the Presidential handshake is illegal. But if somebody wants more documents to be leaked; please to do so, we the people and voices for governance can undress these kingpins and the racket called the Movement regime.
The Presidential Handshake is a questionable act that is not following international standards as the URA proclaimed days after. But on the same day as the Court Justice wanted to silence the Republic and be loyal to Mzee, Chris Obore of the Parliament had this to say:
“The Speaker and the Prime Minister discussed parliament business. When the matter of the now controversial oil bonus payments christened “presidential handshake” came up, the Speaker said the motion prepared by some Members of Parliament would be tabled. She advised the Minister concerned to prepare to provide MPs with explanations” (Chris Obore – ‘Press Release” 09.01.2017).
So Speaker Rebecca Kadaga and PM Ruhakana Rugunda will not listen to the courts, they will have the Parliamentary Session on the Motion filed, even as the Court Order has been set. The same acts happen on the same day and proves that there is different understand on the laws and orders. As when Chief Justice Kavuma we’re banning defiance the Interim Order we’re hold and kept. But now with the Presidential Handshake, the Parliament will defy this and resist the court order. This is proving the power of the courts and also the mismanagement of Uganda. When these cannot work together and honour each other it proves the obstacles of procedures and protocols.
This shows how the need for transparency and accountability in the republic when the Parliament are not following and secondly not in the loop of the courts. The Parliament is creating the laws and the Courts are supposed to use them to sanctions and regulate society. This proves how President Museveni and his regime has built a fragile and fragmented organizations that following his orders, therefore the Presidential Handshake is now not only a question of the ones who was pocketed and gotten ill-gains from the Uganda Revenue Authority, but now it is a legal question for the MPs even to have an inquiry on the matter.
This story is not over, it will continue to walk and soon run, when it is closed or when it is all unravelled. The Presidential Handshake is not over, we’re just waiting for Museveni to shake somebody else hands and give a few more heavy envelopes. Peace.
“When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken.”
― Benjamin Disraeli
Well, President Museveni is like himself, always. He doesn’t stutter or change codes overnight; he just continues the steady progress towards abomination of civil society and state institution, which seem more like his goal than actually making procedures and clear ways of actions for his civil servants. Why do I make this statement?
Well, Uganda Revenue Authority won a Markie case against the Oil Drilling Company Tullow/Heritage Oil who has rights to drill oil from the Lake Albert Basins and therefore is sanctioned and has to pay tax on their services and salaries to the Republic of Uganda. Something that is straight forward, but isn’t since the licence agreements and the drilling operations are kept in the dark of the society and citizens, cannot double check the agreement between them or the Memorandum of Understanding to comprehend the details that their operations on Ugandan soil entails.
Still, the recent revelations of cash bonanza and personal relief from the Consolidation Fund of the URA staff and former government employees show to the extent a President offering a token of appreciation for their work on winning the case and getting taxes back to the Republic for the foreign drilling company operation. So on the 25th January 2015 the URA wrote specifically to the Office of the President discussing the possibility of a reward. By November 2015, there arrived a letter where their Parliament could Post-Audit the Budgets to add the UGX6bn from the Consolidation Fund, this was a letter received by the Auditor General John Muwanga by the 2nd November 2016. So that today after the released letter of the bonuses we’re released online during the last 48 hours or so. The URA had to explain the matter of confidence between the President Museveni and their civil servants.
The Presidential Handshake that is so powerful to pay former staff and former government employees, even close knitted URA staffers who worked on the case, even Allen Kagina of UNRA got a decent slash fund from the pay-outs.
Prof Joe Oloka Onyango said in October 2016 this about the State House:
“In early 1980s, when this country was under the leadership of Godfrey Binaisa Lukongwa, State House was like a market place. Today, State House has been converted into an ATM” (Wesaka & Adengo, 2016).
Certainly the knowledge of these arrangements from the Revenue Authority wasn’t known, but a broke State House after an elections, says it all; together with the acts like an open-air bazar where all RDC and DPC got new fresh cars. Together with chiefs and others got good gifts. These together with the NRM Village Programme where they poured out dozens of shillings to each district and village as the ballots we’re soon getting dropped. This behind the scenes acts of URA we’re unknown.
So a “Presidential Handshake” that shows how little value accountability and transparency as the taxes that are back-paid are given as rewards, not paying for fixing schools, paying salaries of teachers and lectures, are not used for tarmac or other public needs. The monies are used to buy loyalty and given to silence them from turning against the President.
These acts counter the progression and even fair use of public funds, it’s a theft, a heist of grand proportions, in a way where the liabilities and righteous earned tax-funds can end up in the close knitted elite and staffers of URA instead of being used for the development of the Republic. This is maladministration and mismanagement of the Consolidation Fund and of the earnings made on the payback of the Tax to the Republic.
Certainly a handshake is now enough to get kickbacks from the Mzee, he is certainly an ATM where the stocks of loyalty get rewards and paid. Doesn’t matter how and about accountability, because it is only the citizens who loose, not the President himself! Peace.
Wesaka, Anthony & Adengo, Jonathan – ‘State House turning into ATM, says Mak don’ (11.10.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/State-House—ATM–Mak-don-/688334-3411968-1155d8t/index.html
Well, we are in the middle of election hiatus and all, the Nomination and planned campaign that last to 18th February 2016. This here will not be on that, but be crunches numbers delivered from the Bank of Uganda Yearly report for the 2014/2015 budget year. This here will tell what I see as important from that report.
“The external position weakened with the current account deficit excluding official grants deteriorating to 11 percent of GDP compared to 8,8 percent in 2013/14. The deterioration of the current account deficit was largely driven by the services deficit, which deteriorated to US$ 731 Million in 2014/15 from USD 323 million in 2013/14 mainly account of higher payments of government services related to infrastructure projects, particularly Karuma and Isimba Hydro Power Projects” (BoU P:1).
That is big change in deficit! That must be a bit worrying that the amount of monies is becoming this big. Also with the infrastructure projects makes so big hunch of that deficit.
Financial risk management at Bank of Uganda focuses on the risk exposures in both the foreign exchange reserves portfolio as well as other operational areas of the Bank. Notably, foreign exchange reserves account for over 86 percent (2014: 74 percent) of BOU’ assets” (BoU, P: 12).
A lot of foreign exchange is major parts of the reserves of the bank. Is that a safe way to do it and doesn’t that devalue its own currency?
“The higher than programmed expenditure was partly, compensated for by the over performance in government revenue. Total government revenue, including grants amounted to UGX. 10,866.0 Billion, which has higher than target by UGX. 249.1 Billion. Grants and domestic revenues over performed by UGX. 173. 0 Billion, respectably” (BoU, P: 28).
The good news is that Government is able to collect more revenue as of taxation and grants to the Government. Though we can say it is a steady rise and the bank doesn’t explain how the rise happen, because this can’t all be collected on the Cellphone, Alcohol or VAT taxes, but something else.
“The fiscal deficit of UGX 3,621 Billion was financed by both domestic and external source, which amounted to UGX. 2,479.0 Billion and UGX. 919 billion, respectively. Domestic financing included a drawdown on savings amounting to UGX. 1,060.0 Billion and net issuance of Government securities of UGX. 1,386.0 Billion. The drawdone of savings was specifically used to finance expenditures related to the public infrastructure projects” (BoU, P: 29).
This here continues on how the financed and the fiscal deficit and sure the drawdone on the savings to build infrastructure projects.
The total public debt stock, in nominal terms, at end June 2015 is estimated at UGX. 24,242.0 billion, an increase of 24,2 percent of UGX. 19.518. 0 Billion at end of June 2014. External and domestic debt increased by 27,7 percent and 21,1 percent, respectively” (BoU, P: 29).
This here is frightening how much the rise is steady and getting more… The terms of it and the rise should make people shake their heads and worry. The Government of Uganda continues to hedge the Public loans and having a rise like this can’t be a sign of a healthy economy.
The depreciation pressures which started in early 2014 continued through June 2015, with the Shilling depreciating by 18,8 percent year-on-year on a trade weighted basis and by 29.1 percent against the USD to an average mid-rate of UGX. 3,398,49 per USD” BoU, P: 31).
That the currency loses value towards the dollar should also be worring. When you see how much shillings you need now to get the dollar now.
“Petroleum Revenue Investment Fund:
In June 2015, the Government opened two accounts (UGX and USD) in order to operationalize the PF. These accounts are to receive all oil related revenues. In June 2015, USD 36 million was received as part payment of the USD 250 million capital gains tax (CGT) liability from Tullow. This sum includes USD 142 million received in 2012 and USD 108 million to be paid in three equal installments of USD 36 million in 2015, 2016 and 2017” (BoU, P: 45).
“During the year, an amount of UGX 1,607,814 million was transferred from the Oil Tax Revenue Fund to Uganda Consolidation Fund. This balance relates to an amount of UGX 1,161,737 million from Tullow Oil paid to GOU for the settlement of tax dispute between the Government and Heritage Oil & Gas (U) Limited. It also includes stamp duty of USD 171 million (UGX 447 million) on sale of Tullow Oil’s assets to Total and CNOOC” (BoU, P: 107).
“In addition, the bank received USD 36 million (UGX 119,057 million) on 22 June 2015 on behalf of GoU, relating to Tranche 1 Tullow Oil tax settlement” (BoU P: 107).
“Ugandan Consolidation Fund refers to the Government appropriation account where all tax receipts are credited and appropriations made. During 2014/15, UGX 1,612,080 million relating to the oil tax revenue collections was transferred to the UFC” (BoU, P: 107).
As seen Petroleum Revenue Investment Fund and Oil Tax revenue shows how the oil impact has on the economy. We can also see the result of the longstanding dispute of the Government of Uganda and Tullow Oil Company. That has now been overturned and gotten the Total and CNOOC. There will be more monies at stake on a later stage coming with the found oil in the Bunyoro area and Lake Albert.
“The special loan to government relates to an advance to government for procurement of the presidential aircraft with interest rates (LIBOR plus 100 basis points), maturity date and repayment terms agreed between Ministry of Finance and the Bank as stipulated in the memorandum of understanding. The last loan instalment was paid off on 24 July 2015” (BoU, P: 107).
That was an expensive airplane for the president! Though it’s all back-paid this still shows how the President buys what he needs and wants, and not what the people need.
Uganda Consolidation Fund: (by the 31. June of the year)
2014 it was UGX 3, 245,961 million.
2015 it was UGX 2, 386,056 million.
(BoU, P: 117).
As proof with the rising debt and deficits, even with rise of higher taxs returns the Government of Uganda. Stills shows that their spending more than they getting since the Taxation fund is dwindling and become less and smaller account. That in total with the other numbers should be a worrying thing to see. Especially knowing how the NRM-Regime goes mayhem on the economy the coming months of elections paying for every votes with chickens and goats in the districts. We have seen that before and will see it again. This will also lead to rise of inflation with more running through the economy so the value of the currency might also dwindle towards on dollar. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Shilling comes up to 4,000 on a dollar!
And that is not a good luck, since the imports and prices will rise for the rise of cost of imports. But hope my predictions isn’t correct, but election cycles usual make the ordinary voter pay and those receiving just get a patch on the wound created by the mayhem done to economy by the ruling regime. Peace.
Bank of Uganda (BoU) – Annual Report 2014/2015