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The SGR Trick: Which was all based on, if Beijing blessed Nairobi!

I will be part of the delegation to accompany the President to the Asian country next week. The new SGR line will extend from Naivasha, Narok, Bomet, Sondu and finally Kisumu” – Raila Odinga on the 20th April 2019

We are now surely living in interesting days. Not enough that the “opposition” leader and Building Bridges Initiative leader Raila Odinga was stringing along with President Uhuru Kenyatta to Beijing and the Belt and Road Initiative Summit in Beijing this week. It was a grand summit with all the partners who are cooperating with the Chinese on their mission. Clearly, the Kenyan government officials had to go. As they have substantial investments, loans and projects already done in Kenya.

This being the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) from Mombasa to Nairobi, now the second extension is to Naivasha. Clearly, that is not as golden as getting it to Kisumu. Then it would be a better deal to get the railway from Uganda connected too. The reason why President Museveni even took the ride in Kenya during the last month or so. Therefore, the trip to China now, seems abysmal. Even if they get to sell avocados. It is at least something.

I will first show you the two reports from the day before the Kenyan Officials flew to Beijing as they were scheduled to meet and negotiate a loan for an extension of the SGR to Kisumu. Alas, that has clearly not gone to plan. That is why I will show what one media house in Kenya wrote today and what the State House claims after failing.

CTGN reported on the 23rd April 2019:

Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta will today travel to China to secure a Sh368 billion loan for the extension of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR)” (Christine Maema – ‘Kenya’s President travels to China to secure Sh368b SGR loan’ 23.04.2019, link: https://africa.cgtn.com/2019/04/23/kenyas-president-travels-to-china-to-secure-sh368b-sgr-loan/).

Standard Media on the same day:

President Uhuru Kenyatta will today travel to China to negotiate a Sh368 loan billion for extension of the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), a State House official has confirmed. Uhuru will be flanked by African Union’s High Representative for Infrastructure Development in Africa, Raila Odinga” (Moses Nyamori – ‘ Uhuru leaves for China to secure Sh368bn loan for SGR extension’ 23.04.2019, link: https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/article/2001322214/uhuru-goes-to-china-for-more-loans).

Citizen Kenya reports today:

However, there was no word from the Kenya – China talks on the Naivasha – Kisumu SGR extension. Instead, Kenya signed an operation and maintenance service agreement for the Nairobi to Naivasha segment of the SGR. “.. the most important investment right now is to connect the SGR to Naivasha MGR so that come August there will be seamless connectivity,” CS Macharia said, the government choosing to hold its head high despite not achieving the much sought after Ksh.368billion” (Citizen Kenya – ‘ SGR construction to end in Naivasha as China loan bid flops’ 27.04.2019, link: https://citizentv.co.ke/news/sgr-construction-to-end-in-naivasha-as-china-loan-bid-flops-242884/).

State House Press Statement:

It is important to note that the question of funding for the extension of the Standard Guage Railway from Naivasha to Kisumu was not on the agenda of the meeting between the two President’s. It therefore follows that the President cannot be said to be returning home empty handed for something he did not request. It further goes without saying that these headlines are are not only factually incorrect, they are misleading and extremely damaging to the reputation of the People and the Government of the Republic of Kenya. Whilst making it clear that the Government of Kenya did not discuss any funding proposals for the extension of the SGR at this meeting, it is very critical to state at this point that the SGR project is a regional project and the complexities in negotiating its completion involve several countries and securing financing for its completion could take several years of intricate negotiations” (State House – Press Statement, 27.04.2019).

First be first, the delegation from Kenya was a bit to excited and well prepared to come home with a giant loan. To a state and republic already high on the old loans. Where the SGR is already a losing money project and it is well established. As well, as the levels of loans compared to the budgets are already hitting the economy too. Therefore, that they were so pleased to travel for more loans is a crazy idea, but in the sphere of Jubilee, its just another Tuesday.

Secondly, the media showed and mirrored the events before, where both Raila Odinga and Uhuru Kenyatta was preparing for the loans. Kenyatta even had visit from Museveni to ensure his support and willingness to add the stakes for an extension. Because, that would mean, the same sort of deal and arrangement could be done with Kampala as well. Alas, the Northern Corridor Integration Projects with the SGR between the Republic is surely on hold. As the Republics are not capable or able to configure the stakes, the leverage or collateral for the Chinese to accept the conditions of a possible loan.

Third, when the State House comes out with a Press Release like today. It is sort of thinking that people have the memory of a gold-fish. Because, the statements of Odinga before leaving. Was all praising and willing to build a Industrial Zone in Kisumu in combination of the extended SGR. However, that dream is gone in the wind. The Jubilee and the President couldn’t fix another giant loan for the state to eat. Clearly, he missed the mark. Even if the State House claims he never intended to get it. Why have the meeting and greeting with Museveni before and later travel with a giddy Odinga? That doesn’t make sense to me? Can someone explain that to me, I don’t speak the language of gibberish.

We know there is more than what they say. The State House is trying to deflect it, surely soon Odinga is defending the State House. As the loyal subject he has become. He was planning not only to build a bridge, but also be a part of the belt and road initiative too. That would mean a double pay-off. Kenyatta nevertheless, will surely find another scheme to trick money to his businesses. We are just awaiting it.

The SGR Trick have been the same all along, awaiting the blessing and the nod from Beijing. Hopefully the Jubilee follows this old Chinese Proverb: “Timely return of a loan makes it easier to borrow a second time”.

If not, they might loose more than the good favours and possible loans from them. They might even loose, whatever collateral they made in previous engagement. Also, make it twice as harder to get more loans. Peace.

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Tanzania: Blocked IMF Report, because of negative projections!

President Joseph Pombe Magufuli isn’t the sort of guy, that handles critics or opposition well. He is the sort of guy that needs all praise and benefits of a doubt. Therefore, the latest move is in a long line of questionable behaviour from his party, his apparatus and his administration to stifle voices of another opinion.

The Tanzanian government under Magufuli is a paranoid and wavy state. Where everything hangs by a thread, if your in the good graces of the President or not. If your not or if you questions him. He will take your license, suspend your newspaper or even detain you for a various reasons. That is the state of affairs. So, that the President and his people have blocked an unfavourable report from the International Monetary Fund isn’t surprising, it is more of the same.

This is from the same man, that has arrested MPs for speaking ill of him. This is from the same man, that didn’t like articles written the The Citizen to later suspend that too. Therefore, when someone dares to question his ways and orders, he will strike with fury. That is the man, the governs and leads the Republic.

Here is some pieces of information, that might be the reason why the Article IV Report of the IMF was blocked from publishing. With the Press Release of the block from IMF, before a Stratfor explanation and projections of the World Bank.

IMF Press Release:

On March 18, 2019, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund concluded the consideration of the 2019 Article IV Consultation with the United Republic of Tanzania” (…) “The authorities have not consented to publication of the staff report or the related press release” (IMF – ‘Statement on the 2019 Article IV Consultation with the United Republic of Tanzania Staff Report’ 17.04.2019).

Stratfor explanation:

What Happened: An apparently leaked report by the International Monetary Fund contains criticism of the Tanzanian government’s interventionist economic policies and noted that they are hurting the country’s investment climate, Bloomberg reported April 18. The Tanzanian government subsequently decided to block the report’s release. Why It Matters: The report will likely serve as an alarming sign for international investors who already have been concerned that the Tanzanian government is targeting foreign multinational companies” (Stratfor – ‘Tanzania: IMF Report Criticizes Government Measures’ 19.04.2019).

World Bank Context:

Economic performance in 2018 was mixed, while inflation remains low and stable. The National Bureau of Statistics did not release any quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) data for 2018, pending completion of a rebasing exercise. However, available data suggest signs of softening of the growth momentum” (World Bank in Tanzania – Context, 01.04.2019).

We can clearly see why the President didn’t want this to get released, also that his administration would further hit their goals, when concerning their economic forecast. This is damaging the image and also the confidence in the financial system. The IMF would have told a story that the administration didn’t want to hear or listen too.

That is why it hasn’t been released, because the President who wants all positive and praise. Cannot manage an independent entity from the outside coming with a message or projection, which isn’t fitting the narrative of the CCM. At this point, that is the message I get out of it.

Magufuli and the Tanzanian Administration could have turned the projections and the forecast. They have the ability to create stability and trust in the financial system. However, they are instead stonewalling and continuing on this path. They are not creating confidence of the acts of the government from the outside. It is backfiring instead, but this is from the administration that has to verify and give a stamp of approval to release statistics.

Therefore, we know how far this administration goes. Now, they are even stopping Article IV Report from being released. That is a sign of weakness in the economy. Peace.

Tanzania: As Anticipated the Political Parties Amendments was to destroy the Opposition Parties!

Last year, the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) and President John Pombe Magufuli issued amendments in 2018 on the Political Parties Act, which was issued this year. This is laws that is severely restricting the Political Parties in Tanzania. Today, it is official how seriously damaging these laws for the other parties in the United Republic. They really warned about the wrath and rage of the authorities. They are coming with an vengeance, like there is no tomorrow.

Today, there is released a letter sent to ACT Wazalendo, Zitto Kabwe party, one of the major opposition parties in the Republic. Today, Sisty L. Nyahoza letter to the party, warned the party, that it could get deregistered, because it hadn’t fulfilled it requirements concerning the release of information the annual statements on the finances of the party for the year of 2013 – 2017. Since, that is the matters of the state now. This is the statement of the Registrar of the Political Parties, which sent this letter or the Amwani ya Simu ‘SIASA’.

Therefore, today is a sad day for the democracy, this is a bad day for the Republic. As this was warned with the new legislation and knowledge, that has been out there since early 2018. It was on the horizon, but nobody wanted to warn of the rain, sun or even the snow. Because, everything was fine and dandy. Alas, if it is to much sun, it become drought, if it is to much it is a flood and if it is to much snow, there is a snow-storm. Therefore, the reaction of today wasn’t shocking nor surprising, but awaited.

The Tanzanian government became one step further with the amendments on the Political Parties Act. Even if the President and CCM claims otherwise, but when it becomes this easy to deregister opposition parties, shouldn’t the CCM also show the same transparency or is it cool; since they are in power and controls all parts of government?

We know President Magufuli is a whiny little bitch, who cannot muster any courage or balls to stand-up for his actions. A President that wants to be high and mighty, but acts like a coward. That who he is and that why, laws like this exists. Because, he doesn’t have the will or the ability to just install himself as the grandest man ever ruling the United Republic. The deity amongst men. That is who Magufuli is, at least how he acts.

It is time to just get his wish. The genie is out of the bottle and yet another step to ONE-PARTY STATE is there. Since, the Registrar of the Political Parties issued this warning and certainly with the knowledge of what the authorities has done already to the Opposition. The CCM has ensured hard life for the opposition and now it turns even worse.

Now ACT Wazalendo is in dire straits, unless the Registrar shows mercy, but if by history of the what the authorities does in Tanzania. In a short amount of time, the ACT Wazalendo will be over with. Then, it is the next victim… whoever that might be. Peace.

Kenya Pipeline Company: Press Statement – KPC Management is Fully Committed to the Fight against Corruption (20.02.2019)

Jubilee signed off the KPA assets if they default on the loans to China Exim Bank!

The Office of Auditor General letter to Kenyan Ports Authority on the 16th November 2018 has said something striking, but nevertheless something I anticipated, because they stated a fact that everyone should recognize. That the Chinese is not giving toll-free loans without any collateral. In this instance is the loans for the Standard Gauge Railway, which have been a massive White Elephant and is just a doomed project from the get-go. Unless, the Jubilee are able to grow money on trees.

However, the letter from F.T. Kimani to the Ports Authority states that: “The payment arrangement agreement substantively means that the Authority’s revenue would be used to pay the Government of Kenya’s debt to China Exim bank if the minimum volumes required for consignment are not meet as per schedule one. The China Exim bank would become a principle in over KPA if KRC defaults in its obligations and China Exim bank exercise power over the escrow account security. The KPA assets are exposed since the Authority signed the agreement where it has been referred to as a borrower under clause 17.5 any proceeding against its assets by the lender would not be protected by sovereign immunity since the government waived the immunity on the Kenya Ports Assets by signing the agreement. The agreements is biased since any non-performance or dispute with the China Exim bank (the lender) would be referred to arbitration in China, whose fairness is resolving the disagreement may not be guaranteed. The authority did not disclose these guarantee in the financial statement” (Kimani, 16.11.2018).

If you read it, what it states is very clear, if the growing debt to China is not paid on time and defaulted, it means that the Port Authority has to give away its assets or collateral to the China Exim bank, as it is stated in its agreement. This is similar affairs happen in Sri Lanka and now is viable in Kenya. As the Mombasa Port might become an asset for the Belt Road of China to earn back their borrowed funds.

They Government of Kenya, should be worried about when signing the loans from China Exim bank, but they wanted the glory of the giant infrastructure project. Not the fiscal or financial responsibilities, if not the consequences of not paying back the funds. The Chinese has clearly safeguarded the investment with the fine print. Stating the assets of the Port Authority and by this. Securing a vital and important port in East Africa. As they got a nice piece, if the Jubilee starts defaulting or if the next President fails to live up to responsibility that Kenyatta made for him.

That the Kenyans should be worried, because the Chinese is not forgiving, when concerning their money. That is known, the public should know and should anticipate this. As this is a forewarning to the possible aftermath. That has been seen elsewhere and might come to shores close to you. Peace.

Tanzania: Zanzibar Declaration (18.12.2018)

A Joint Declaration by Leaders and Senior Membersof Six Opposition Parties who met in Zanzibar on 16th – 18th December, 2018 to deliberate on the State of Democracy in the United Republic of Tanzania

WE, the leaders and senior members of the undersigned six political parties, have met here in Zanzibar from 16th to 18th December, 2018 in order to reflect, discuss and agree on our common vision for the future of democracy in the United Republic of Tanzania. The historic meeting here in Zanzibar is a reflection of the extent to which the democratic and human rights situation in our country has changed, thereby leading to unprecedented actions on our side in response. Keenly missed during the discussions have been our two colleagues, the Leader of Official Oppostion, Hon. Freeman Mbowe and the Chief Whip of the Opposition in the Union Parliament, Hon. TunduLissu, one of whom is languishing in prison and the other recovering from an assassination attempt. Both of them gave their blessings to this meeting.

WE recognise that Tanzania is facing backsliding of democracy, with all signs pointing to institutionalization of an authoritarian rule that ignores political, social and economic rights of our people. This trend began with the annulment of October 25, 2015 Zanzibar general elections after it became clear that the Civic United Front (CUF) was heading towards a decisive victory. The move was then followed by banning of live coverage of parliamentary proceedings, banning of legitimate political activitites of opposition parties, kidnappings, abductions, and arbitrary arrests of people, notablypolitical leaders and activists, journalists and business people, assassination attempt against our fellow opposition leader and outspoken member of parliament, Hon. Tundu Lissu and absolute refusal of the state to investigate the matter in a purposeful and concrete manner; passing of repressive laws such as the Media Services Act, the Statistics Act, the NGO regulations and the Bill for Political Parties (Amendments) Act.

WE recognise that, despite constitutional protections ofmultiparty system, the state is currently waging an openwar against opposition political parties. It is becoming a norm nowadays to hear state leaders and their supportersbranding opposition politicians and government critics as unpatriotic and that they are “foreign agents” and “imperialist stooges”. The crusade against critics of the regime has spared no one in the country from the media, civil society organisations, farmers, fishermen, pastoralits, the business community, trade unions and workers, faith leaders, the diplomatic corps, women and girls, and even critical CCM members.

WE are saddened by the crumbling state of our economy which affects the vulnerable and the poor in our society. In spite of the attempts by the regime to spin the situation, we feel it is imperative to publicly and openly state that within the space of three years the country has seen the reversal of even the little achievements that were registered in economic performance. The economic meltdown that this regime has brought will take at least a decade before it can recover and begin to provide for our citizens’ economic opportunities as required for by the constitution. The situation is no longer tolerable. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

WE recognise that it is our responsibility as leaders and as citizens of this country to save our country from this state and safeguard our democracy that meets the needs and aspirations of our people.

WE declare that time has come to renew our commitment and strengthen our solidarity in pursuing a national agenda against rising authoritarianism, an agenda that goes beyond individual interests of our parties. This will require courage to withstand the onslaught that we will face from the regime, firmness in our solidarity when attempts will be made to break it, and commitment towards inviting and incorporating other potential allies as equals in this movement.

WE declare that Freeman Mbowe and Esther Matiko,who are currently held in remand prison, are political prisoners and should be released immediately. We will engage in a concerted campaign to ensure that all political prisoners in Tanzania are either released or given access to justice and a free and fair due process of the law.

WE reiterate our stance that the imposed government of Zanzibar is unconstitutional and lacks mandate from the people. The results of the 2015 annulled election was a clear proof that CUF has won all the elections in Zanzibar since 1995 and that they have been prevented from ascending to power through state machinations and reversing of the will of the electorate. Time has come to restore electoral justice in Zanzibar.

WE pronounce that 2019 is a year of reclaiming our democracy and taking back our powers and rights as enshrined within the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Constitution of Zanzibar and other enabling pieces of legislation. We will hold public rallies in any and all corners of the United Republic of Tanzania. We will not allow an unconstitutional and unlawful order to restrict us to our individual constituencies. If the government is threatened by us exercising our constitutional rights, we dare them to take us to court.

WE declare that we will unanimously embrace all citizens and all social and economic groups in the country willing to conquer their fears and join the grand coalition that we envisage to defend our democracy. We vow that we will no longer be silenced or intimidated; we will no longer succumb to the state sanctioned violence against our individual and collective rights and entitlements. We commit ourselves to taking this message of freedom to all our fellow leaders, constituents, and allies and support them in taking action, whether small or large, as a symbol of solidarity.

We resolve to form a Joint Committee that, among other things, will work with the likeminded individuals and groups to draw a comprehensive programme to reclaim our democratic and civil rights.

1. Maalim Seif Sharif Hamad – Secretary Genaral, CUF​
2. James Francis Mbatia – National Chairperson, NCCR Mageuzi​
3. Oscar Emanuel Makaidi – National Chairperson, NLD​
​4. Salum Mwalimu – Deputy Secretary General – Zanzibar, CHADEMA​
​5. Hashim Rungwe Spunda – National Chairman, CHAUMMA​
6. Kabwe Z. Ruyagwa Zitto – Party Leader, ACT Wazalendo​

Zanzibar
December 18, 2018

Opinion: Odinga explanation of his role doesn’t make sense!

The Building Bridges, the Handshake is really a proof of someone trying to be opposition, but acting as government after all. The Jubilee Government got a lot out of the handshake and that has proven all year round. As the Opposition has no say or no voice. Apparently there are reasons for that and President Uhuru Kenyatta must known he did the best bargain ever. He has nearly no issues, no official opposition as they are co-operating. They are trying to get their cut for working with the government.

That is how it looks like and smells like, that is why these answers are proving that in way, because the denial is there too. Look for yourself.

Raila Odinga answers to an interview:

Power is in government and it is wielded by those who hold the instruments of power such as the president, his deputy and ministers. I am not in government. We are out here as opposition and want to see that the government does the right thing for the people; that is our role as the opposition” (…) “Most people are still stuck in the parliamentary system. In a presidential system like ours, opposition does not have to be adversarial. We now critique quietly. What would be the need of shouting when I can get audience with the right person? We have also set up a joint task force to deal with issues we feel are of concern to us. It would be foolhardy to again begin hitting the same government” (Sunday Nation Reporter – ‘Raila speaks on ‘handshake’ deal and state of Opposition’ 16.12.2018).

What is mind-boggling is that a career and second generation politician are trying to cover up for the co-operation deal, that partly makes him part of the government, even if there is no official position. Because, of that the “Opposition” will not Challenge or Question the Government in public, but behind closed doors. Like if their was alliance or coalition. This is like a non-official “Government of National Unity”, which has been elsewhere.

This government has just made a Building Bridges Task Force. Also when saying that the “opposition” doesn’t have to be adversarial or being vocal against the government. That is maybe why the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and its leadership is super-friendly, close as kin these days. The ODM and Odinga are there in the limelight. They getting awards, they are getting appointed to government boards and medals.

That is maybe why, Odinga is not interested in kicking and screaming, why he is not calling out the Jubilee for their grand corruption or their scandals. The new Odinga is in peace with the President and could look like mates from college. However, they are former adversaries, who now are working closely. That is positive in itself, but at the same time. This is making sure the government got a free slide for this term. As the government has no opposition that matters or challenge them in Parliament or in General. They are an elite, where everyone gets along.

I have a hard to combining this: ‘Calling yourself opposition, but not calling out the government’. I have a hard time, seeing Odinga and the ODM as opposition, as they practically the long arm of the government.

So if your not in the government, why are your doing back-room deals and negotiations as part of the Building Bridges Initiative. Peace.

Tanzania: The IMF is worried about the Financial Stability in the United Republic!

President John Pombe Magufuli are having more worries on the horizon, as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in November went through the Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA) there. Clearly, the government have picked up a habit or loans, which isn’t that good. Surely, some of them are the Chinese loans that could hit the economy. Also, other loans that is hurting the economy combined with the ways of the bulldozer.

The President has had his ways… He has attacked businesses, the mining industry and the agricultural sector too. Therefore, the financial market is getting hit too. This is because of the years with Magufuli who has had his way. Now the consequences of it is coming to the surface.

IMF Press Release:

Directors noted that despite favorable macroeconomic conditions, financial stability challenges are significant with deteriorating asset quality, falling credit growth and liquidity pressures. Directors noted that continued macroeconomic stability, an improved business environment, better execution of fiscal policy and resolution of government payment arrears would help address financial sector vulnerabilities and risks. Directors stressed the need to improve asset quality, address non-performing loans and increase capital buffers in the banking system. In this context, they cautioned against potential excessive use by banks of the regulatory relief provided by the Bank of Tanzania’s circular for loan classification and restructuring. They encouraged the authorities to issue further guidance aimed at preventing banks from overstating capital ratios and earnings” (International Monetary Fund – ‘IMF Executive Board Concludes the United Republic of Tanzania’s 2018 Financial System Stability Assessment’ 06.12.2018. link: https://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2018/12/06/pr18455-tanzania-imf-executive-board-concludes-2018-financial-system-stability-assessment#.XAl1-CvQt3w.twitter

This is worrying as this is destroying the economy. Who knows who is eating, but someone is earning on this non-performing loans and the crashing financial markets. With that is the losing value of assets, lack of liquidity and bad loans. All of this can amount to rising inflation and later issues of lack of assets and liquidity to actually salvage the non-performing loans. That is like an evil bad circle of financial mismanagement.

I know that President Magufuli don’t want to hear that, he don’t even want to see the stats or get anything out that isn’t sanction by his men. He wants everybody to move after his words and orders. That will not create anything good. The President has to see this and find out ways to figure this out.

The Economy is clearly failing, the Financial Market is fragile and who knows what is up next. But there has to be significant changes to change the current state of affairs. What this is showing is the picture that the President and CCM doesn’t want to show. As this is the weakness of the government and the Financial Market at this point. It is not a good look. Peace.

DPP Press Statement on the Application to Bar State Officers Charged with Corruption from remaining in Office pending determination of their cases (04.12.2018)

Kenya Pipeline Company Limited – Press Release (04.12.2018)

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