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Archive for the tag “International Monetary Fund”

#UGBudget17: Half borrowed and a third paid back in Interests!

Today the Ugandan government, the National Resistance Movement finally read the Shs. 29 Trillion budget for the 10th Parliament. However, it is not necessary the size of funds and all, which is allocated, but the way it is funded. Like “Government hopes to raise sh14.6 trillion in revenues to fund the 2017/2018 budget” (Uganda Debt Network, 08.06.2017). Of the 29 Trillion, they expect to get close to half of that, but the monies has get from somewhere and also be of use. What is left are relieved like this: “The balance sh14.3 trillion (49.5%) of the National Budget will be raised through internal and external borrowing” (Uganda Debt Network, 08.06.2017). With this in mind, half of the budget is adding more debt. So if a nation already having lots of debt and debt repayment, it still adds another half budget. This is a bad cycle of events.

There lets us put things in perspective: “Our concern is sh9.9trillion, which is 35% of the total budget, will be spent on debt repayment” (…) “Amount of money spent on debt repayment has escalated in the recent past now at 9.9 trillion for fy2017/18” (Uganda Debt Network, 08.06.2017).

Therefore, the state and the NRM are clearly getting funds through loans to pay-off their interests. AS the 35% of spending is on interest in the coming fiscal year. This should worry, even if the corruption, misspending of obnoxious amount of funds through the paradise of Okello house. Still, that 1/3 of the coming budget is paid interest on old loans, which are been made by this government and by this President. What it show is the lack of concern of the future and how sound fiscal policies. At this state, the government of Uganda are clearly footing the bill. They are filling in the blanks for where they in the past had happy donors filling the envelopes.

The NRM and President Museveni is overspending and misusing state reserves, as the revenue and the state coffers do not sustain this massive overspending. Certainly, it is visible, also the worry of the running interest rates and growing debt as close to half of this year alone are by loans. Neither if it is local, by foreign or multi-national financial institution does save the fact, that the state has a problem.

That of the coming fiscal year, the state is borrowing half, and repaying that with 35% says a lot. IT says the fiscal policies needs change and it is dire. The state are clearly walking the wrong path. And remember this, there will be supplementary budgets during the fiscal year, that will expose the overuse of funds and needs for more loans. Therefore, they are surely going to exploit the faith in future, without having the funds for it today. Peace.

Zimbabwe: Evan Mawarire – “Zimbabwe has let her down but she’s finding strength everyday to get up and face life” (Footage)

“On a road in Harare today i met Beula. This 23 year old young lady is tough and full of hope. Zimbabwe has let her down but she’s finding strength everyday to get up and face life. We MUST UNITE and change this nation. Register to vote when the time comes” (Evan Mawarire, 30.05.2017)

Kenya: Monetary Policy Committee Meeting (29.05.2017)

Zimbabwe: I’m not putting #ThisFlag down (Youtube-Clip)

“It is not illegal to carry the national flag. We must not allow the criminalisation of patriotism” (Evan Mawarire, 20.05.2017).

IMF statement on Uganda’s current Economic framework has a “grey” list, but a steady core inflation!

The International Monetary funds have concluded yet another visit to Uganda. As todays statement and insights to the economy is dim. There is not much prospects or much goodness to take out of it. Unless, you are thinking to invest while the inflations are rising and hoping it does not stop. Even though the needless to say, it has been like this before after General Elections in Uganda. That the economy has suffered a blow and a shock, which has hurt the economy and food prices. Therefore, sparked demonstrations and uprisings, like that last big one in Walk to Work and Activist for Change in 2011. It is clearly on the same path, but just in 2017 instead. President Yoweri Museveni likes to repeat himself!

“Inflation has edged up, mainly reflecting the effects of the drought. Food price inflation rose from 5 percent year-on-year in September 2016 to 22 percent in April 2017. With this, headline inflation recorded 6.8 in April 2017. Core inflation stood at 4.9 percent, in line with the Bank of Uganda’s (BoU’s) 5 percent target” (IMF, 2017). These numbers are showing the decline and increase of common commodities, even if the Core Inflation is around the estimated level; the food prices are showing the problems in the economy in general.

“The authorities have made some progress on structural reforms. Two structural benchmarks have been met on time, three with delay, and the remaining five are pending. Most notably, the authorities moved forward the legislative agenda that will support Uganda’s exit from the Financial Action Task Force “grey” list—the laws now await President Museveni’s assent. The Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development published reconciled reports on the stock of outstanding arrears at end-June 2016 (3.2 percent of GDP). Pending reforms include sending the BoU Act Amendments to Parliament, publishing the report on end-December unpaid bills, and sending to cabinet a policy for regulating mobile money” (IMF, 2017). The GoU and President Museveni have not complied totally and made laws objectively transparent. Therefore, there are laws awaiting the approval and be requested to Parliament, as the state reserves and budgets are still enforced with the will of the President. In addition, a proof of the maladministration is the amount of budget arrears that was in last budget year, which will hit the economy, as the bills have to be paid this year.

“Uganda’s external position is broadly consistent with fundamentals and desirable policies in 2016. The current account deficit is projected to temporarily increase over the next 5 years as infrastructure and oil sector investment ramp up further. Achieving the envisaged growth dividend of these investments is essential to maintaining external stability—just as for public debt sustainability. International reserves at end-December 2016 stood at US$3 billion (5¼ months of next year’s imports), above the adequacy level suggested by the IMF’s metric for credit-constrained economies. Going forward, the BoU can purchase reserves opportunistically and would meet the EAC convergence criterion of 4½ months of imports. The flexible exchange rate regime is serving Uganda well” (IMF, 2017). Therefore, the government and IMF envisions that the future prospects of oil monies will be sustainable for the current loans into infrastructure projects. It even envision it and with that will ensure external stability and trust into the economic climate of Uganda, that shows that the trust in future gains is the ones; that makes people have faith in the Ugandan economy.

This is all here proof in stated language that the IMF are looking through the budgets and their laws. Nevertheless, is not addressing the trillions shillings suddenly disappearing, neither the Presidential Handshake, as these are just figment of imagination for the foreign economic advisors. They just do not see it or does not want to see it. Peace.

Reference:

IMF – ‘Uganda: Staff Concluding Statement of the 2017 Article IV Consultation Mission and Discussions for the 8th Review under the Policy Support Instrument’ (16.05.2017) link: http://www.imf-fmi.africa-newsroom.com/press/uganda-staff-concluding-statement-of-the-2017-article-iv-consultation-mission-and-discussions-for-the-8th-review-under-the-policy-support-instrument?lang=en

Looking into the inflation of 1987 as the Sugar prices are rising in today’s Uganda!

We have had a wonderful collaboration with IMF since 1987. We have managed to control inflation. By controlling inflation, we have succeeded in preserving the people’s earnings” – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (State House, 2017).

Well, there been many who has set similarities with the inflation and price shocks of the year 1987. The Republic of Uganda has been through their mess before. The government of Uganda and the National Resistance Movement/Army (NRM/A) had just taken power in 1986. This was a year after the coup d‘etat, which brought the NRA into power. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni in collaboration with International Monetary Fund (IMF), which had agreements and Structural Adjustment Program (SAP), which promoted deregulation and less state control of the economy. This was also put forward to settle inflation and the deficit that the state had.

So, because some has put similarities between 1987 and 2017, as the prices has gone from about 3,000 Uganda Shillings (UGX) in 2016 and 7,000 Uganda Shillings (UGX) in 2017. There is clearly that there was problems in 1987, but whole another level. The Sugar Industry wasn’t established, the economy of Uganda needed export of coffee and this was the sole benefit of foreign currency into the economy.

Inflation in Uganda is running as high as 200 percent, and low prices to farmers serve as a disincentive to agricultural production in a country of rich soil and mild equatorial climate” (…) “At the center of the debate is the issue of devaluation. In its first year in office, the Government revalued the currency from 5,000 to 1,400 shillings to the dollar, saying that the move would make imports cheaper. But exports have become increasingly expensive. Devaluation Debated. Some hard-line nationalists in Government insist that the cost of devaluation would be devastating. The cost of such imports as sugar, cooking oil and soap would increase significantly, they say, making the average Ugandan even worse off than he is now” (Rule, 1987).

In 1987 the Uganda shilling was demonetizated during the currency reform and a currency conversion tax at a rate of 30% was imposed to further reduce excessive liquidity in the economy. There was an immediate drop in average inflation from 360.7% in May to about 200% cent in June. However, with the possible fears of complex and drastic currency reform, the premium shot up, representing essentially a portfolio shift to foreign currency, and possible capital flight, and suppressed inflation. The intended aim of the conversion tax, apart from reducing excessive liquidity, was to lend money raised through this tax to the government. This was to finance the budget deficit over a short period, rather than financing it through printing more money. Nonetheless, inflation shot up again within three months mainly due to renewed monetary financing of increased government expenditure, domestic credit expansion by commercial banks to meet coffee financing requirements and financing of the newly launched rural farmers scheme” (Barungi, P: 10-11, 1997)

Prices for sugar and vegetable oil (both imported goods) increased rapidly in the early part of the year, falling between May and August — replicating the pattern of the premium between the parallel and the official exchange rate. The subsequent fall in sugar prices and stability of cooking oil prices were due to greater official imports. Inflationary pressures on food prices have been aggravated by supply shortages on account of severe transportation problems” (World Bank; P: 36, 1988).

In October 1986, Mulema was replaced by Dr. Crispus Kiyonga, who has a medical background Kiyonga has a difficult task. The government’s finances are shaky at best. In an attempt to enable Ugandan citizens to purchase imported consumer goods, the government fixes their prices below world prices. This, of course, puts considerable pressure on the government’s finances: for example, in July 1986 the government imported $4.8 million worth of sugar to sell at subsidized prices” (Warnock & Conway, 1999).

Perspective from Kakensa: “Today sugar costs 7000/- per kilo. When Museveni came to power in 1986 each kilo was at 4/-(four shillings). Immediately he came to power he said Ugandan shilling had lost value, in 1987 all money was changed, not only changed but two zeros were cut off to give it value on addition to the 30% levied on each shilling. This means on every 100 shillings, you got 70cents. Those who had 100,000/- got 700/-” (Kakensa Media, 12.05.2017).

We can see there was certain aspects, but the sugar industry now is different. The Sugar factories are now real and the business are now in full affect. While, in 1987 the state needed coffee exports to get funding and foreign currency. The sugar was imported and was put on fixed prices. The inflation back then was because of the crashing economy after the bush-war and the effects of it. The Sugar prices now are rising for different reasons. These reasons are the yields of sugar-cane, the hoarding of sugar and the export of surplus sugar. Also, the production of ethanol and bio-fuel. That was not the situation and context in the past.

Still, history is repeating itself, since the NRM, let the prices run as crazy in the past. The price has gone up a 100% in a years time. Which, means the prices who doubled from 3000 to 7000 Uganda Shillings. This is not a stable and the ones who get hurt is the consumer and Ugandan citizens. Peace.

Reference:

Barungi, Barbara Mbire – ‘EXCHANGE RATE POLICY AND INFLATION: THE CASE OF UGANDA’ (March 1997).

Rule, Sheila – ‘UGANDA, AT PEACE, IS FACING ECONOMIC BATTLES’ (28.01.2017) link:http://www.nytimes.com/1987/01/28/world/uganda-at-peace-is-facing-economic-battles.html

State House Uganda – ‘President commends Uganda – IMF collaboration since 1987’ (27.01.2017) link: http://statehouse.go.ug/media/news/2017/01/27/president-commends-uganda-%E2%80%93-imf-collaboration-1987

Warnock, Frank & Conway, Patrick – ‘Post-Conflict Recovery in Uganda’ (1999)

World Bank – ‘Report No. 7439-UG: Uganda – Towards Stabilization and Economic Recovery’ (29.09.1988)

President Mugabe is sleeping abroad because he is tired, yet another reason for him to step-down!

Some people talk in their sleep. Lecturers talk while other people sleep”Albert Camus

President Robert Mugabe really have loyal cadres and a ZANU-PF elite who deny the real fact about their leader. That President are old and weaker now is expected, Robert Mugabe is 93 years old. He has ruled the Republic for decades upon end without any relief or any plans for successor. Someone has said in recent times that he will gain the votes, even when he is dead. Another fellow ZANU-PF did say that he was biblical and his reign was written in bible. So the despotic and belief in the old-man has gone to far. As today’s defense of his sleeping in international conference and when visiting dignitaries abroad. Just read the statement!

Speaking on Zimpapers’ Capitalk radio Charamba said:

It has to do with his eyes and often I have felt very, very pained. In fact, I feel like a failure when there is this reading that the President is sleeping in conferences, NO. At 93, there is something that happens to the eyes and the President cannot suffer bright lights. If you look at his poise, he looks down, avoids direct lighting. In the case of Mandela, if you remember, you were not allowed to even use flashes whenever he was in the room. That is what happens at 93 and Mandela, I do not think lived as long as the President did. Let us disabuse ourselves” (Maveriq, 2017).

We all know that President Mugabe doesn’t care about anyone’s opinions, since he has his own ideas, where he defends his records and supposed achievements. Because it now overshadow that falls asleep during Press Conference with Shinzo Abe, at a conference in Kenya reported falling asleep 11 times, at the 60th Independence Parade in Ghana, at the inauguration of President Buhari in Nigeria and latest in South Africa at the World Economic Forum there. So there are many times he has fallen asleep. The old tyrant, who has grabbed power and never let go. He is tired of the international gatherings and public appearances, his aging body cannot cope with it. Even if he is biblical and will get votes after death, he apparently, can fall asleep.

He should bow down to the sleep, rest and give the helm to someone else. Who actually is awake and caring about the Republic. Not only eating the state resources, emptying the state reserves and spending on the ZANU-PF. There is a need of good governance and someone that actually feel they need deliver public services and safe government institutions. So that the state can deliver public goods and the welfare they need. Not the sleeping beauty!

Sleeping is for tired and weak, President Mugabe has done his deal and done his part, long time ago! Therefore, the fatigue and sleep is needed. Someone else should represent the great republic of Zimbabwe. A man or woman who will fight for the people and their plights. Not the ones who eats of the state reserves and state resources for their own gain. That is what the ZANU-PF has done and will be their legacy. Not that President Mugabe falls asleep abroad and makes a bad figure.

That shouldn’t worry the world, what should worry us all, is the efforts and the plans of what comes next. What is the steps ahead and what will be left behind after the sleeping executive leaves the scene. President Mugabe is 93 years old, all of draconian laws, the fragile institutions and the misuse of power, all stems to his reign. The sleeping abroad at conferences and press briefings are only proof, that he should retire and give in. But the ZANU-PF will not let that happen, nor his elite. Peace.

Reference:

Maveriq – ‘President Mugabe does not sleep at conferences, he will be avoiding bright lights says Charamba’ (11.05.2017) link: http://www.pindula.co.zw/news/2017/05/11/president-mugabe-does-not-sleep-at-conferences-he-will-be-avoiding-bright-lights-says-charamba/#.WRRws9KGPIU

Zimbabwe is apparently a high developed country, who knew?

Zimbabwe is one of the most highly developed countries in Africa and after South Africa, I want to know which country has that level of development that we see in Zimbabwe,” (…) “We have resources, perhaps more resources than [any] other country in the world,” he said. “We are not a poor country. We can’t be fragile country. We’ve got these resources.” – President Robert Mugabe appearance at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in South Africa – 4th May 2017 (Mail & Guardian, 2017).

President Robert Mugabe have never been casual and clearly understating his rule. As a ruler he wants to be certain to leave a legacy of prosperous society. Even as the Republic has an economy that been called an albatross by Governor Dr. J.P. Mangudya of the Zimbabwe Reserve Bank. Whose report earlier this year said the country lagged behind with debt repayment, deficits, lacking trust in bond-notes and the unbalanced economy. So when the Governor of the state bank of ZRB are saying this, the President of decades upon decades knows this. If not he is trying to lie. Think the world is blind and stupid on the fragile situation in Zimbabwe.

There has in recent years struggled to have fiscal funds to pay teachers, soldiers and civil servants for months on end. The hospitals have been lacking needed medicine and having equipment. So the developed state is falling. Even if President Mugabe and Gucci Mugabe are buying expensive treatment of health-care abroad and buy luxurious goods there as well.

This together with the patronage and the Zanu-PF elite who are driving expensive SUVs on the streets on Harare, Vice-President Phelezela Mphoko has lived months on end on hotels on the tab of the government. It is not like this ones will criticize the President, as they are living on his will and because they get paid for loyalty. Therefore, the Zanu-PF are trying to defend the long-staying rule and their ruler, who is apparently biblical and supposed to be President even when he is dead. Surely, tomorrow someone in Harare, a Minister or a loyal Zanu-PF spokesman will defend the words of the President.

Since Zimbabwe is so developed, since Pastor Evan Mawarire are in the courts, the flag and camouflage wear is banned. The patriotism and the #ThisFlag are a problem. Well, the movements and public demonstrations are a reaction to the open theft. The thievery done by the state, as they are selling away diamonds and other resources. The problem is also on the possibility of cash and foreign cash reserves. This is together with missing foreign currency and lack of trust in the Bond-Notes. Also with the deficit and the growing debt, are creating possibility of higher inflation. So the value of the currency will go down. If this is all true and the reality is so… than the President Mugabe was deluded in South Africa.

President Mugabe is right, Zimbabwe has resource and could have positive agricultural output, but that was if the Republic was governed properly and did other things than feeding the Zanu-PF elite. Instead of building positive policies and institutions to support and facilitate life for all Zimbabweans. That is something that hasn’t been done by the current leadership that is very close-knit by loyalty towards the President and not laws. The draconian laws and the failing economy will not create a better Zimbabwe. It will not be developed and clearly not the second after South Africa. That is just in the mind of Mugabe, who cannot help himself. Certainly, the Republic of Zimbabwe has a future and could become prosperous, but the Republic need leaders who doesn’t eat, but serve their citizens with services and policies. Peace.

Reference:

Mail & Guardian – ‘Robert Mugabe: We are not a fragile country’ (04.05.2017) link: https://mg.co.za/article/2017-05-04-mugabe-we-are-not-a-fragile-country

Statement of Crisis in Zimbabwe by Citizens of the Republic of Zimbabwe (02.05.2017)

Press Statement by Hon. Kasukuwere responding to allegations of trying to topple President Mugabe (20.04.2017)

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