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.
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
Uganda’s economy has performed reasonably well in a complex environment.
WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, January 11, 2017 – On January 5, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the seventh review of Uganda’s economic program under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI).1 The Board’s decision was taken on a lapse of time basis.2 In completing the review, the Board granted a waiver of the nonobservance of the end-June 2016 assessment criterion on the overall deficit of the central government.
Uganda’s economy has performed reasonably well in a complex environment. Growth slowed marginally to 4.8 percent in FY15/16, reflecting muted sentiment in an election year and adverse global and regional developments. The current account deficit improved by 1 percentage point to 5.9 percent of GDP, and the Shilling has stabilized after a sharp depreciation in 2015. Growth is projected to nudge up to 5 percent in FY16/17.
Program performance under the PSI has been mixed. Tight monetary policy in 2015 has helped contain inflation in the target range, and the Bank of Uganda (BoU) has started an easing cycle in April 2016. Reserve cover remains adequate. Fiscal revenue and deficit targets were missed, reflecting lower-than-expected growth and election effects. Investment spending fell short, while current expenditure overshot. Structural reforms have progressed, albeit with some delays.
The banking sector remains overall well capitalized, despite elevated non-performing loans. The BoU appropriately took over an undercapitalized bank and is identifying a strategic investor.
Uganda remains at a low risk of debt distress. The scaling-up of infrastructure investment implies a temporary increase in debt, putting a premium on domestic revenue mobilization and ensuring that public investment yields the intended growth dividend.
Looking ahead, priorities include close cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force to ensure Uganda’s swift exit from its “gray” list; strengthening domestic arrears monitoring; and amending the Bank of Uganda Act to reinforce central bank independence.
1 The PSI is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries that do not need balance of payments financial support. The PSI helps countries design effective economic programs that, once approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, signal to donors, multilateral development banks, and markets the Fund’s endorsement of a member’s policies (see imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/psi.htm). Details on Uganda’s current PSI are available at imf.org/uganda.
2 The Executive Board takes decisions without a meeting when it is agreed by the Board that a proposal can be considered without convening formal discussions.
“We are struggling, the situation is not as easy, but we are not desperate and the situation is under control. For us [government] we are ready to listen and to learn” (…) “The economy is not receding, the disposable income for drinking may not be there but we are not in recession” (…) “To avoid having arrears, we have to budget appropriately and the money budgeted for has to be absorbed” said Finance Minister Matia Kasajja earlier today (Oketch, 2016).
Nakumatt Holdings is apparently struggling as evident today of their Corporate Statement, that they have to even state it to the Nation, even after the takeover of Shoprite Supermarket Limited; they are still not financial stable. This news is coming days after the Crane Bank got into Administration by the Bank of Uganda (BoU). That after the bank tried to subdue the public together with the BoU in September, telling that the Bank we’re not looking for new owners. This is happening while the troubling times for Cairo International Bank and United Bank of Africa (UBA) Uganda… this is known as the Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile of BoU said they we’re under notice.
Just as this is known in March 2016 the Exim Bank Uganda, that is a subsidiary of the Exim Bank of Tanzania. That bank took over Imperial Bank of Uganda and also Imperial Bank of Kenya. This is banks licenced by the BoU. So there have already been issues for the banks in Uganda, just more silent movement as the Investors of Exim Bank wanted it to die down.
Cancelled funding from Exim Bank:
“The major funder of Karuma and Isimba dams has withheld money for the country’s two biggest hydro-power projects until the legal disputes in Ugandan courts about the two ventures are resolved. The Export-Import Bank of China has written to Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, asking the Secretary to the Treasury, Mr Keith Muhakanizi, to explain why the ministry submitted to them documents of due diligence on the two dams and confirming the tendering process had been properly concluded yet the power projects are now a subject of litigation in court” (…) “Mr Muhakanizi was in State House yesterday for a meeting with President Museveni, but after consulting him, Ministry of finance spokesperson Jim Mugunga said: “It is true that the Export Import Bank of China like any other responsible party, expressed concern about the court case by a concerned Ugandan citizen which listed the bank among defendants. The Government of Uganda, through the Attorney General, secured a court order dismissing the case against the Exim Bank. The bank, therefore, is no longer party to the suit and the PSST Mr Keith Muhakanizi this week communicated the same to the bank.” (…) “Mr YuMeng expressed concerns that the outcome of the case in question would affect the commercial contracts related to Karuma Hydropower Dam and Associated Transmission Lines Works and Sub Stations Project, the 183MW Isimba Hydropower Project and the Isimba-Bujagali Interconnection project under Preferential Buyer Credit facility” (Mugerwa, 2016).
This is new that the Exim Bank is answering with postponing the building of the dam. Something that is the Markie and big Infrastructure projects that the Movement needs to shine a light into the dim situation of the Government. Certainly this answer from them could not be anticipated by President Museveni and his friend in the State House.
This is not the first blow this year as Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) has been under fire all year ever since first response from World Bank on the 8th January 2016:
“Following the cancellation on December 21, 2015 of the World Bank-supported Uganda Transport Sector Development Project, overseen by the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), the World Bank has suspended the disbursement of funds for civil works in two other projects in Uganda. Those projects, overseen by the UNRA, are the North Eastern Road-Corridor Asset Management Project and the Albertine Region Sustainable Development Project which are suspended pending a review and strengthening of the capacity of UNRA to adhere to the required environmental and social standards” (World Bank, 08.01.2016).
If you though it wasn’t demeaning enough the World Bank continued later in the year with this statement: “UGANDA, September 13, 2016 –The World Bank Group took a decision to withhold new lending to Uganda effective August 22, 2016 while reviewing the country’s portfolio in consultation with the Government of Uganda. We continue to actively work with the Ugandan authorities to address the outstanding performance issues in the portfolio, including delays in project effectiveness, weaknesses in safeguards monitoring and enforcement, and low disbursement” (World Bank, 13.09.2016).
This is now evident that they used all the months from December 2015 to September 2016, that means the suspended funds for the projects been delayed for 10 months already, which is a close to year. Certainly that must hurt the UNRA and Government of Uganda really, really hard. The World Bank has because of this made the UNRA change how their work, as the Director and staff has sacked at a point. Now in October the agreement made between UNRA on behalf of GoU has been looked over and seen that some has been fraudulent and not made with due-diligence.
And your know there is issues in the finance market when even the states own National Social Security Fund (NSSF) have to explain where they invests their funds after social media spreads rumours of buying a mall in Nigeria and borrowing heavy funds from the Banking Sector of Uganda. This is happening as there 3 banks under fire and struggling already and if you forgotten they are Crane, Cairo International and United Bank of Africa. So the citizens and costumers of Uganda are already worried, they have been there before with the Greenland Bank and other who has lost confidence and gotten into receivership.
Yesterday even the IMF has answered the financial issues of the republic under the Movement:
“The mission notes the difficult environment for fiscal policy in FY15/16. While revenue collection increased as a share of GDP, it fell short of program expectations, reflecting lower than projected nominal GDP growth. At the same time, current spending was higher than anticipated. Taken together, the overall deficit target was missed by 0.4 percent of GDP, and the government partly relied on BoU advances for its financing needs. The execution of externally financed projects lagged behind target” (…) “the financial sector remains well capitalized, though non-performing loans have edged up. This has prompted a tightening of lending standards and a slowdown in credit to the private sector. The third largest domestic bank had become undercapitalized, and the BoU appropriately took over its management to protect deposits and safeguard financial sector stability. As a next step, the financial position of the bank needs to be established, and BoU will look for a strategic investor” (IMF, 2016).
If you see all of this and wonder how can this be, that one government has all of this just months after a General Election, than you know something isn’t as it supposed to be. The Government of Uganda are not running a steady ship when a bank is trailing, 3rd biggest commercial in the nation by 19th October into Administration, Cairo and UBA under the watch-list of the BoU; World Bank suspending loans for the Infrastructure Projects that is needed. While the BoU are fixing some financial stability it is not helped by the giving ways of the President Museveni and his dropping funds like a Walking ATM.
“Prof Joe Oloka Onyango said every crisis in this country is being solved by way of brown envelopes, a scenario he described as being sad and far below the rule of law in the country” (…) “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,” he said amid cheers” (Wesaka & Adengo, 2016).
So for the once that do forget, the ATM Museveni is the cause of the issues that are now; this is his fiscal responsibility and Monetary Policies that made this happen. This is the reactions to the overdue and overspending of the Presidential Campaigns. These reactions should also lead to higher Inflations that it has done before after the elections. Therefore the Finance Minister Kasajja and Executive director Tumusiime-Mutebile have made some progress from previous elections in the Republic. Though the aftermath is now vivid for the citizens who are costumers at Cairo, UBA and Crane… there visible proof and the evidence are in the reaction of the Campaigning as the fraudulent and maladministration of the Banking Sector. This comes into mind as the State House had this message after February:
“As parliament’s budget committee tussled with an avalanche of supplementary budget requests late last week, which totalled Shs 1.04 trillion, some officials confessed that they emptied their initial budget allocations in order to sustain President Museveni’s campaign expenditure. State House comptroller, Lucy Nakyobe, whose office tabled a supplementary budget request of Shs 49.7 billion, told the parliamentary budget committee on April 1 that her coffers were depleted by the so many inland travels of President Museveni, who addressed four campaign rallies daily on average for the campaign period” (Namuloki & Oluka, 2016).
So the debt has to repay and taken from somewhere as the Central-Government, Banks and Multi-National Organizations are stepping off from the Ugandan Government, the Movement are running in circles taking care of their own while the citizens is now trailing and falling off. That is why businesses are giving in.
Just as people might have forgotten the paying of businesses connected to the family and General Salim Selah: “Prominent businesses in the country might soon run out of business if a decision that could see the use of Shs1.3 trillion taxpayers’ money to bailout companies in distress is not taken in their favour” (…) “Talking to Daily Monitor on condition of anonymity, a source privy to the talks revealed that “there is concern that bailing out companies without correcting the economic situation in the country will not resolve the problem.” (…) “The economy is not growing fast enough to generate activity for these companies to perform at full capacity. A bailout will not deal with the core problem. That is the argument being fronted by several government technocrats against the bailout,” the source said” (Muhumuza & Adengo, 2016).
So with this in mind, there are some sound imbalance about the bailouts months before one of the great banks put into Administration, NSSF has to answer for Social Media outbursts, two more Banks on a stroll, State House being broke months ago, UNRA projects suspended by the World Bank, IMF are seeing that infrastructure projects are lagging behind, Exim Bank suspended pay to the two dam projects and the strange bailout. There are too many evidence of lacking financial sound practises… Even Nakumatt the Supermarket are having troubles. There just more pawns on the set ready to move, but how they fall only the kings knows; because the Kings stay King. Peace.
IMF Communication Department – ‘IMF Staff Concludes Review Mission to Uganda’ (26.10.2016) link: http://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2016/10/26/PR16462-Uganda-IMF-Staff-Completes-Review-Mission
Mugerwa, Yasiin – ‘Chinese bank holds back Karuma funds’ (27.10.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Chinese-bank-holds-back-Karuma-funds/688334-3431376-qxr194/index.html
Muhumuza, Keith & Adengo, Jonathan – ‘FULL LIST: 65 loan-stressed firms line up for Shs1 trillion taxpayer bailout’ (22.07.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/Business/65-loan-stressed-firms-line-up-for-Shs1-trillion-tax/688322-3305166-d6h193/index.html
Namuloki, Josephine & Oluka, Benon Herbert – ‘State House broke after spending on Museveni campaign’ (09.04.2016) link: http://www.observer.ug/news-headlines/43556-state-house-broke-after-spending-on-museveni-campaign
Oketch, Martin Luther – ‘Economy is struggling – Minister Kasaija’ (27.10.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Economy-is-struggling—Minister-Kasaija/688334-3432534-t8dv3c/index.html
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
“Mutebile says Crane Bank takeover was because it lacked sufficient capital and posed a systemic risk to the financial system” (NBS TV Uganda, 21.10.2016).
There are too many signs, but the sign today that shatters the fiscal policies not worth the ink printed on the shilling; is the fall of grace from the former engine of the economy Crane Bank Limited (CBL) that we’re owned by a foreign investor and even saved by European Investment Bank (EIB). The refuelled money came in 2014 and had record results in 2015. So it’s weird by May 2016 that the bank we’re all of sudden under heavy losses. It’s not like the ATM Museveni who emptied the State House and needed new funds after Campaigns of 2015/2016. So you start to wonder if this is connected to the #ScamBailouts of Companies that even had very many accounts at the Crane Bank.
There are so many questions and reasons if it is a plot behind the scenes as the Owner Sudhir Ruparelia. That happens with the takeover of National Bank of Commerce (NBC) even at some point to gain bigger markets in 2012.
“We have picked clues that it is about the way NBC was closed and hurriedly taken over by Crane Bank and the second lead relates to politics; there are some individuals who think that Sudhir could have bailed out President Yoweri Museveni with money from his bank during campaigns and so these are trying to spoil business,” the sources say, referring to a brief about the ongoing negative publicity about Crane Bank that was reportedly prepared by Economic Monitoring Desk in the Office of the President” (Eagle.co.ug – ‘Former Premier Mbabazi cited in Crane Bank woes’ 14.10.2016).
All of a sudden the bank even swindles the long-living Honourable Member of Parliament Sam Kuteesa:
“A new scandal is raging in Crane Bank after its own staff stole Shs 846m from the bank’s customers. Of this, Shs 800m was withdrawn from the account of H.E Sam Kutesa, the President of United Nations General Assembly and Uganda’s Foreign Affairs Minister and the Shs 46m from other customers in Kabale district” (…) “We contacted Sudhir Ruparelia, the Managing Director of Crane bank and this is what he said: “It is not true anyone lost money. I don’t talk on phone to people I don’t know. Come to my office”. Later, his daughter said: “As a matter of policy, the bank cannot discuss details of a customer. If you want any help, write to me, I will see if can help you”. Kutesa’s aide, Joseph Barigye, speaking from New York in the US said the bank was “sorting the mess”. Meanwhile, the bank has tasked the Forex Manager to compensate the loss” (TheInsider.co.ug – ‘Crane Bank staff swindles Kutesa’s Shs800m’ 29.04.2016).
In December 2015 an unknown bank could be closed by BoU:
“A highly placed source working with the said bank, told Newz Post that the regulator is concerned with the state of affairs at this commercial bank. The bank of all bankers has advised that something be done urgently or the worst might happen to this bank. –closing the bank” (…) “The December 2015 report by BOU auditors, found that the said bank was ‘‘less than satisfactory’’. The bank was given time to sort itself out. Meanwhile, BOU kept a close eye on bank” (…) “With pressure from BOU to do ‘‘something’’, the bank has increased pressure on the heavy borrowers, who have since resorted to selling their assets and business to pay back the loans. The BOU has also advised that the bank must get an investor to pump in more money as well as bring in management expertise” (Newz.ug – ‘BANK OF UGANDA THREATENS TO CLOSE A TOP COMMERCIAL BANK’ link: http://newz.ug/bank-of-uganda-threatens-to-close-a-top-commercial-bank/ ).
With this in mind, the biggest Commercial bank Crane all of sudden gets into management. That the bank had to close monitored must be because of the ownership and also the recent campaign trial of the government. That cannot be coincidence as the objective of that is over and now the bank is in shatters. Therefore the bank management and stakeholders has tried to keep the costumers and confidence up high, even getting the BoU to lie. As I show here.
So when that transaction happens in that regard, here is something more telling about the Crane Bank of September:
“Atlas Mara, the African financial services company co-founded by the former head of Barclays’ Bob Diamond, was in talks to acquire a stake in Uganda Crane’s Bank, a person familiar with the matter said. The talks were at an early stage, the person said, asking not to be identified because the discussions were private. Atlas Mara values the bank at $250 million (R4 billion), while Crane Bank says it is worth $300m, a Nairobi-based east African newspaper reported, without saying where it got the information. Crane Bank said in September that it was looking for a strategic equity investor with a regional or continental network” (Cape Times – ‘Stake in Crane Bank on table’ 20.10.2016).
As that was happening in the hollow chambers of Atlas Mara this we’re the statement from BoU:
“As of now, the Bank of Uganda has not received any request from Crane Bank to approve a change in shareholding. Should such a request be received, the proposed share holders will be vetted for “fit and proper” credentials and positively considered if they warrant approval. It should be noted that it is normal practice for financial institutions to change shareholding in line with their strategic objectives, and this has happened several times in Uganda” (Alupo, Christine – ‘Bank of Uganda on the Crane Bank Ownership’ 19.09.2016).
So there was a lie three somewhere in between the Bank of Uganda, Crane Bank and the Atlas Mara; as the Financial Service wouldn’t hunt for a new owner at the same time as the BoU would supress the idea of selling the shareholders and ownership of the same bank. That is just blatant lie from the Central Bank and Government of Uganda who covers up misconduct from their greatest Commercial bank, that had massive profits in 2015.
If we’re talking about misconduct this one from the grandmaster kingpin His Excellency Museveni:
“A few days back (Monday), one of our journalists Sewakiryanga Ivan reported that the first family was withdrawing huge sums of money from Crane Bank. According to Ivan, Museveni had spent huge sums ($ 200 million) on the February Presidential Campaigns money, money reportedly drawn from Crane Bank. He also revealed that Crane Brank among other investments purportedly owned by Sudhir and Bassajalaba was owned by the President” (Buule, John – ‘Museveni finally sells off Crane Bank to Uganda’ 20.10.2016 – Mycampusjuice.com).
So if these reports are true, together with the shady dealings of the past as the Sudhir Raparelia who might even just been a perfect stooge in foreign investment scheme of things; while President Yoweri Museveni could run mad on his own enterprise as the bank has lasted for 24 years of the 31 years he has had the reign. That makes it possible after a little heckling over money he made his own bank to take it away from the reach of Bank of Uganda, the Central Bank and Reserves of the State. A state now so broke that now the funds for his Campaign has shattered the biggest Commercial Bank and it’s put under management of BoU. This is where even the Mighty President was not allowed to borrow for his expensive campaigning and paying of his loyal cadres to be behind after the election because of shillings of glory.
So with this in mind, the sale of Financial Service Atlas Mara wouldn’t be setup as the shoddy accounting and transparency of the bank where not fitting any prospects. Even a former Barclay’s Manager wasn’t able to settle the deal for new ownership. I am sure the finances and books weren’t sweet enough. Another reason why the Bank of Uganda wanted to make sure the Citizens of Uganda didn’t know the misconception of the safety of keeping accounts and transactions at the Bank. Together these indications prove the imbalance and wish to keep the first families activities in the shadow as they want to keep their acts behind closed doors. Still, when it surface it’s usually cause venom or disharmony as the Executive doesn’t have the Ugandans at heart, but his own pockets. Therefore even the Director of BoU Prof. Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile sent him packing before emptying his treasure chest at the Crane Bank.
If this is the fact, than there are certainly many tax-payers and others accounts wiped out because of the greed of the old man with the hat. That used his last option to pay his creditors for the Presidential Campaign of 2016. Which cost a fortune for him with the buses, artists and all the other political aides paid off for the sake of 30 years and counting; the pride of the man with a lost vision. Peace!