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Archive for the tag “Matia Kasaija”

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

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Opinion: President Museveni praises Equatorial Guinea for it’s rampant Oil-Corruption; wants to learn his tricks!

In these days the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda are on a state visit in Malabo, visiting and learning tricks from the Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Nguema Obiang, who has used the oil to enrich himself and his loyal subjects. Not build a welfare state, but make sure the family of Obiang get wealthy. Certainly, Uganda is preparing for their own oil production in the Lake Albertine basin, as the pipeline building from the production to the Port Tanga in Tanzania.

This is why President Museveni are visiting Equatorial Guinea to learn the tricks of the trade, as the state of Uganda are still in the dark of the oil-deals between the international companies and the state. We can wonder how the funds will be spoiled and how Museveni plans to use the oil funds for personal gains. If so, he wouldn’t praise President Obiang, who has his whole career to spend the oil profits from his republic. This is what Museveni wants to learn, since his career has been tricking out all sorts of play from Ugandan republic. The petroleum profits can be misspent and hidden just like in the republic of Obiang. Take a look!

President Museveni’s praise:

We are therefore in Equatorial Guinea for two things: looking at how to support prosperity of one another and how to push for our strategic security. I also congratulate Equatorial Guinea for using it’s oil and gas very well. When I was last here for the AU Summit, I noticed gaps between the airport and the city centre. Today, all these gaps were gone. In their place are new, well-planned buildings. And I see the city is refurbished. Some people say oil is a curse but in Equatorial Guinea it is a blessing” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 26.08.2017)

Business in Equatorial Guinea:

Since the discovery of the offshore oil deposits, many investors have shown great interest in the country. Foreign direct investment inflows into the country had thus been consistently high for the past years. Nevertheless, in 2016 the FDI inflow amounted to USD 54 million, a sharp decrease from USD 233 million recorded the previous year (and the historical peak of USD 2.73 billion in 2010) . The total stock of FDI in the country is currently at USD 13.4 billion” (…) “Corruption in particular is problematic. In addition, the business climate of the country remains rather unfavourable for investment. Cumbersome procedures and high compliance costs slow licensing and make starting a business more difficult. Weak regulatory and judicial systems may discourage foreign investment as well, along with high credit costs and limited access to financing. The government controls long-term lending through the state-owned development bank. Equatorial Guinea ranked 178th out of 190 countries in the 2017 Doing Business report published by the World Bank, losing three spots compared to the previous year” (Santander Trade, 2017).

Son of the President on trial:

The corruption trial of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, ended in Paris on 6 July with the prosecution calling for a three-year jail term, a €30 million (US$34 million) fine and the confiscation of assets. The Tribunal will return a verdict on 27 October. The 48-year-old vice-president of Equatorial Guinea was not in court to hear the prosecution’s claim that he used money stolen from his country’s treasury and laundered through a shell company to fund a lavish lifestyle in France” (Transparency International, 2017).

This was what that is well-known of the Equatorial Guinea corruption and the son of President has also had challenging cases in the United States. Now the son is also having alleged fraud and criminal charges in France. Clearly, the Ugandan President has already known for corruption behavior. Therefore, even a state agency of PPDA has some words, that the government needs strict regulations before procurement and infrastructure development. This will be clearly important when it comes to petroleum industry. Take a look!

PPDA strict regulation on public procurement:

Public procurement is a key pillar of the public financial management system. The country’s budget and plans are translated into actual services to our people through the public procurement system. It is also the link between the public sector and the private sector as it is the medium through which the private sector does business with Government. Public procurement therefore involves large sums of money and as our budget grows with the priorities of Government remaining infrastructure development, the proportion of the budget earmarked for public procurement remains significant and therefore calls for strict regulation” (PPDA, 2017).

Audits and investigations by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets indicate that corruption in the procurement process manifests more in the evaluation of bids, reported to be at 58%. PPDA’s Manager Capacity Building Ronald Tumuhairwe says such corrupt practices lead to awarding of contracts to incompetent individuals hence shoddy works in several government projects” (…) “He adds that the second process where corruption manifests is awarding of contracts at 12.5%, followed by receipt and opening of bids, reviewing evaluation of bids, advertising and signing of contracts” (Sebunya, 2017).

President Museveni clearly has own agencies saying it is important with strict regulations on procurement and infrastructure developments like the ones needed for oil industry in the republic. The regulation of oil industry is lax, to make sure the state isn’t transparent with its profits and taxation of the industry. This is what Museveni wants, that the state and the public doesn’t know the contracts or the agreements between the parties involved. That is something President Obiang surely have the capacity to teach Museveni. And how to make sure his family is earning from the state resource, instead of the public and the state itself. Peace.

Reference:

Transparency International – ‘ON TRIAL FOR CORRUPTION: FRENCH PROSECUTORS DEMAND JAIL TERM AND €30 MILLION FINE FOR OBIANG’ (11.07.2017) link: https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/on_trial_for_corruption_french_prosecutors_demand_jail_term_and_30_million

Santander Trade – ‘EQUATORIAL GUINEA: FOREIGN INVESTMENT’ (August 2017) link: https://en.portal.santandertrade.com/establish-overseas/equatorial-guinea/investing-3

Sebunya, Wycliffe – ‘Corruption manifests most in the procurement process – IG’ (25.08.2017) link:http://radioonefm90.com/corruption-manifests-most-in-the-procurement-process-ig/

PPDA – ‘EVALUATING INNOVATIVE ANTI CORRUPTION POLICIES IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT IN UGANDA’ (02.08.2017) link: https://www.ppda.go.ug/evaluating-innovative-anti-corruption-policies-in-public-procurement-in-uganda/

Opinion: President Museveni claims in a letter to the FM Kasaija – ‘that the government is “mushrooming”’, well, that is his own creation!

 

It is ironic and hard to take serious that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wrote a letter to the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, Minister of Public Service Muruli Mukasa, Minister of the Presidency Esther Mbayo and Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet John Mitala. This letter was sent on the 17th July of 2017 and was titled: “Re: Mushrooming Agencies/Authorities”. It is ironic and weird, it is the irrational part of Musevenism. The ones that speaks against corruption, but give provisions for a “Presidential Handshake”. Therefore, this is in line of the others chronic problems, this is just one of them.

This here is in line of this, just like the President has problems to understand that the state will have higher costs with each added district and carving out every single county to have someone to be leaders as Residential District Commander and other local government. The same feeling I’m getting by this letter. Since it is his creation and his vision behind the new agencies and the bold hiring of cronies to any department in Uganda. That shouldn’t be shaved from history. He has had 30 decades, most of the Ministries and their agencies has come as answer to his reasoning and him sanctioning it.

Therefore this quote from the letter is obvious trying to put blame elsewhere:

The questions are: “Why have an Agency when you have a department of the government dealing with the same area of responsibility?” “Why have an Authority when you have a department of the government dealing with the same area of responsibility?” “Why have Boards for money consuming units rather than money generating units?” Boards came into existence when capitalism was growing. In the infancy of capitalism, the owner (the proprietor) would also be the manager because the operations were small. When capitalism grew, it was too much for the owner to manage. Ownership, therefore, got divorced from supervision (board work) and management (managerial work)” (Museveni, 17.07.2017).

I would say most of them are created for the same issue that the state are soon paying former ministers with remuneration to them, even when they are not in cabinet. The same procedure is with hiring cronies to the boards and agencies. Not all about need or necessary for the government or the ministries. How come there are City Hall of Kampala, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Ministry of Kampala. That is because the state needs to hire enough cronies to make sure they stay loyal, also the state needs more administrative organs to make sure they can find jobs for their loyalists. Not because Kampala needs all of these administrative bodies to function, it does not help that the state also have a Presidential Advisor for Kampala. All of this is proof of the mismanagement. This is only in Kampala and without taking a deep dig into the wards and under all the mayors of Kampala. Not what that is under Lord Mayor and KCCA Executive Director.

The letter continues:

Why, then, should you separate the policy role from the regulation role for the non-commercial bureaucratic portions of the government; Forests, National Parks, Roads, NAADs, etc? Their functions are just two: policy and regulation. There is no business involved. If the Ministries of Works and Finance want to form Road Construction companies that will compete for construction jobs, then it makes sense for those companies to have Boards and Management but not a Board for a unit whose only job is to award contracts using government money” (Museveni, 17.07.2017).

It is ironic again, because NAADs, SACCOs and other Youth Livelihood Programmes have all been created by Museveni and run by close associates, even Salim Selah in some instances. That the President suddenly have issues with this weird. Since on the Campaign Trials, it seems like it is remedy and the solutions to use these government programs, but now with growing debt, it is an issue? You need this money to build a petroleum pipeline and refinery? You can wonder, I wonder, if this is the reason! Since these sort of boards, sort of agencies has been put in place, by laws signed by Museveni and accepted by him. Many is part of legislation to secure each and several ones for pivotal parts of government. Others are just created to hire cronies! Therefore, weird that he want to sack cronies… but maybe it is within need?

I want efficient with no further delays. You have up to 20th December 2017, to propose a plan to Cabinet” (Museveni, 17.07.2017). It seems only to able to change this with bringing in new tools. President Museveni needs these boards for every produce and every parts of government. That is within himself, as the ideology has no value and also no vision. Other than keeping himself in power by any means. Therefore, the boards and agencies will not cease to exists, he needs to hire cronies and pay them by either a hook or a crook. If not he has to go forward or change his system. Maybe he shouldn’t create so many ministries, districts and sort of specialized organizations, but he cannot help himself. That is his MO, nothing else. This will not change! Peace.

The letter:

President Museveni letter to Hon. Muruli Mukasa, Minister of Public Service: “Re: Emolument on Personal to Holder Basis” (01.08.2017)

Opinion: President Museveni wants cronyism on steroids!

We know that the loyalty based between former Members of Parliament, former NRM historical’s is not based on merit or on ideology anymore. It is on the possible paycheck and envelopes given by the state and the favors it gets the President. Everything else is and should be seen as a lie. Therefore, when the Observer quotes a letter from 1st August 2017 sent to his loyal cronies, saying they have to make sure the other loyal cronies get more perks. It fits the paradigm of his growing entitlement and his regime. The President do know the only way of keeping them within reach and loyal to him, is to pay them. That is the only way he can sway them and make sure they got his back. This is the reason for the sudden; we need to give MP allowances and benefits to the ones ousted and who has left office in disgrace. They need a new form of payday, since I still need their loyalty. Just look!

“In an August 1 letter, President Museveni directs the minister of Public Service, Muruli Mukasa, to give the former ministers who were appointed ambassadors the same remuneration they used to get while they still served in cabinet. “As you are aware, I have appointed some former ministers as ambassadors. I, therefore, direct, if it is not against any law, their remuneration, personal to holder, like when they were ministers, minus of course elements like constituency allowance because they no longer have constituencies,” Museveni’s letter reads. The letter is copied to Vice President Edward Ssekandi, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, head of Public Service and secretary to cabinet John Mitala and the permanent secretary of the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Patrick Mugoya. Museveni’s letter suggests that the former ministers could alternatively be paid an equivalent of the monthly pay of Shs 15m for permanent secretaries, although this could come with additional benefits. “Sort it out in a rational manner on the basis of maintaining some of the benefits the individuals were getting previously minus the elements that are no longer applicable,” Museveni further wrote” (Kaaya, 2017).

It is amazing that former Cabinet Members will get perks when they have left office, that can only be keeps his cronies at bay. Not because it is benefits the state or is fiscal responsible. Since the Ministers and Members of Parliament get very high salaries and their reunification, that the ordinary worker in Kampala could “die” for.

Certainly, the President knows this and wants to make sure the former loyal cronies get their paycheck, which they will smile and grin. That they will continue to support him and speak well of him. If that weren’t the case, then this wouldn’t be necessary for him to propose. This isn’t for the love of the country and to take someone. These are the former well-paid politicians and loyalists, who are now sure they get another payday, without any work or office! It should be insulting, but is more of the same, seriously, since many former cabinet members becomes ambassadors, presidential advisors or any sort of title to pay for their loyalty. Not for their advice or political savviness. We all know better.

This certainly will bill up more funds and put more strains on the debt-ridden economy. But why doesn’t President Museveni, he will be dead when the interests and the debt has to be repaid to the creditors. Peace.

Reference:

Kaaya, Sadab Kitatta – ‘Museveni wants ex-ministers to draw cabinet-level pay as envoys’ (18.08.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/54467-museveni-wants-ex-ministers-to-draw-cabinet-level-pay-as-envoys.html

China-Uganda relationship benefits the Chinese, BoU Paper states!

This should not surprise you, that the Chinese government and their subsidiary businesses are making sure they are gets the best deal with the Ugandan counterparts. The Bank of Uganda policy paper are spelling out the advantages for the Chinese in the bilateral and the state-to-state offerings given to the Ugandans. They are clearly getting infrastructure loans and plyaing minor rolse in GVCs, therefore, the Ugandans are people loaning for infrastructure and then repaying, while the Chinese contractors and Chinese labor are working on the indebted projects. Just take a look, it is not a positive read!

It should be emphasised, however, that for Uganda to leverage the shifting growth dynamics in China (such as a shrinking labour force, rising wages and an appreciated Renminbi), it must create a conducive investment climate. Low wages and a competitive exchange rate alone will not make much difference without reliable power and transport links, or in the face of suffocating bureaucracy and corruption” (Bank of Uganda, P: 6, 2017).

With the migration of labour-intensive manufacturing shifting from China and an improvement in investment climate, Uganda also stands to expand its involvement in global trade, including Global Value Chains (GVCs). Historically, countries like Uganda have played a relatively minor role in GVCs. Figure 5 below, which illustrates a useful measure of Uganda’s integration in GVCs, relative to other sub-Saharan countries, indicates that Uganda is below the average value-chain position for developing countries” (Bank of Uganda, P: 6, 2017).

It must be pointed out that while China has emerged as a significant financer of infrastructure projects in Africa, it still lags behind both private investment and the more traditional sources of funding. Recent research actually reveals that, over the past few years, China has contributed about only one-sixth of the US$30 billion Africa receives annually as external finance for infrastructure” (…) “Moreover, most of this financing to the transport and energy sector takes the form of state-to-state, non-concessional deals and comes from the Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim Bank). Examples of the major state-to-state deals signed with China Exim Bank in Uganda include: US$1.4 billion and US$483 million for Karuma and Isimba hydropower dams as well as US$350 million for the construction of the Kampala-Entebbe express highway” (Bank of Uganda, P: 7-8, 2017).

For Uganda, which has so far committed up to US$ 2.3 billion in contracts with China Exim bank and is soon to take on more debt for projects like the Standard Gauge Railway, debt sustainability is a growing issue of concern; underscored by the fact that the country faces a low tax-to-GDP ratio relative to its regional peers and significant public investment challenges. Uganda’s debt as a percentage of revenues has risen by 54% since 2012 and is expected to exceed 250% by 2018, raising calls for caution and improved public investment management from various policy circles including the IMF, World Bank and Moody’s, which downgraded Uganda’s long-term bond rating in 2016 citing deteriorating debt affordability” (Bank of Uganda, P: 10, 2017).

This here report shows both the possible troubles with the debt, that already are problem with current budget, but will become bigger. Secondly, that the relationship and bilateral business agreements with China, will only benefit China and not Uganda. As they might get the infrastructure projects, but they have to repay the debt and also use funds on labor from the Chinese contractors and businesses. They are not hiring and educating locals to work these sorts, because Chinese are getting their own hired.

This here is not bringing positive results, but instead are being a nice debt collector for China and will be indebted to them. While the Ugandans gets scarps from the Chinese, as the infrastructure projects like the Dam they have bought on debt, has been said is “shoddy” work. That proves the Chinese gets easy money, get expat workers and later returns on every single Yen. Peace.

Reference:

Dollar, David; Mugyenyi, Akura & Ntungire, Nicole – ‘How can Uganda benefit from China’s economic rise?’ (August 2017) – International Growth Centre Uganda & Bank of Uganda

OAG Muwanga explains in two reports problems and errors within the Petroleum Industry!

The Auditor General has two reports on the Petroleum Industry and the issues of Petroleum Data and the Petroleum Fund. The errors of the state, the PAYE of the tax to URA. Proves that the monies earmarked for the Petroleum Fund, ends up in the Consolidation Fund. This is proof of the problematic use of the added taxes before the oil adventure really takes off and the drilling of the explored blocks in the Lake Albertine Basin. Where already different international companies have come to drill and the state is making a petroleum pipeline to Port Tanga in Tanzania. Therefore, these vast resources and possible taxes created by the industry and within the Republic. Still, the default problems that the Auditor General address can be fixed. It is just a matter of morals and actually following guidelines. Some are even set in the Public Finance and Management Act of 2015, so if for instance URA follows it, the problems of transactions into wrong fund can create payment arrears and also future problem of spending by the state. Since the misuse of funds and taxes can be allocated to other than what they was expected, as the Consolidation Fund has other uses than the Petroleum Fund. Just take a look!

Petroleum Fund:

For the six months ending December 31, 2016, the Fund received non tax revenue worth UGX 922,348,854 (USD270,900) as surface rental fees from Tullow Uganda Operations Pty and Total E & P Uganda” (OAG, P: 7, 2017).

It was however noted that monies collected by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) under the income tax on income derived from petroleum operations such as PAYE, VAT and WHT is not being remitted to the Uganda Petroleum Fund. This contravenes the Public Finance and Management Act 2015” (…) “In their opinion PAYE is not tax charged on income derived from petroleum operations but paid by the employees and as such it had been excluded from the definitions of petroleum revenues. Arising out of the above it was established that UGX.l1,390,530,053 collected through the commercial banks and remitted to the consolidated fund should have instead been transferred to the Petroleum Fund. Management has promised to remit it to the Petroleum Fund before closure of the financial year 2016/17” (OAG, P: 10, 2017).

During the period under review, the fund received USD 270,900 (Two hundred seventy thousand, nine hundred dollars) in respect of surface area rentals consisting of USD 113,400 (One hundred thirteen thousand, four hundred dollars) paid by Total E& P Uganda for the development areas of Ngiri, Jobi-Rii and Gunya and USD 157,500 was paid by Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Ltd for development areas of soga, gege, Kasemene, Wahrindi, Nzizi-Mputa & Waraga, and Kigogole- Ngara Unrealised foreign exchange gains worth UGX 15,093,435,449 have been recognised in the Statement of Changes in Equity. These arose from translating the USD opening balances and revenue collected during the period into UGX at the closing rate for reporting purposes” (OAG, P: 14, 2017).

Petroleum Data:

The oil companies did not fully comply with submission of reports relating to their drilling, exploration activities and operations as required. Delays and non-submission of reports results in an incomplete database which may reduce the effective use of the database in petroleum resource management” (OAG, P: vi, 2016). “The shortcomings in the management of petroleum data by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development may affect the completeness of the data on the existing petroleum potential, extent of reserves, and amount recoverable thus reducing Uganda’s ability to maximally exploit and benefit from its oil and gas resource potential. A thorough understanding of the resource base and its geographical distribution informs key decisions on the rate of exploitation and potential future revenues” (OAG, P: viii, 2016).

This should all be worrying that the State and the Industry isn’t sufficiently ready for the activity, as the URA cannot even allocate funds correctly. This is even before the Petroleum Data is taken care of and made sure that the exploitation and drilling happens where the best well is within the block. Secondly, the real value of the reports and the licenses that the state would offer to the companies. That because the flow of data and the status of it wouldn’t be where it could be. This is losses created by maladministration and lacking will of institutionalize the knowledge. Instead, the Petroleum Industry is controlled and has just a few handshakes away from the State House. That is why the URA might have delivered the funds to the Consolidation Fund instead of the Petroleum Fund. All of the potential might be wasted in the lack of protocol and care of resources management that is needed in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MoEMD).

The recommendations and the looks into the issues should be taken serious by the Petroleum Industry and the MoEMD. So the state could both earn more on the industry and also create more positive growth through the provisions that is already made in Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2015. So time will tell if they will be more reckless, if they will listen to the OAG or if the Presidential Handshakes will steal it all for keeping the NRM cronyism at bay. Peace.

Reference:

Office of the Auditor General Uganda – ‘REPORT OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL ON THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS OF THE PETROLEUM FUND FOR THE SIX MONTH PERIOD ENDED 31sT DECEMBER 2016’ (07.06.2017) – John F.S. Muwanga

Office of the Auditor General Uganda – ‘Management of Petroleum Data by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development’ (December 2016) – John F.S. Muwanga

President Museveni has directed that all Government Loans needs his “Personal Approval”!

“Parliament: President Museveni has written to the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga directing that all government loans must get his “personal approval” before they are tabled in Parliament” (Arinaitwe, 2017).

Yesterday in the Daily Monitor, all government loans has to go by and get approval by the President. So now, it is not all information relating to crisis. Neither is only the matters of grants, presidential donations or presidential handshakes for that matter. It is needless to say, more and more, if there was ever enough that has to get the provisions or the sanctions by the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

If there is a street in Kampala that has damaged sidewalk, soon the President has to be involved and check his budget. Since now if the government needs loans from either internal banks, state reserves or even multi-national financial institutions, his Excellency needs accept it all.

Certainly, this will hamper any development and stop all the financial inclusions and provisions, who when you look true it all had given lots of power to the Parliament and the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED). Therefore, the Public Finance Management Act, which gives the government a go-ahead actually to loan without the approval of parliament. Now the President orders all loans to be levied by him. That shows his need for control and his passion to cease all the cash.

We can clearly imagine the Ministers, the Members of Parliament and the Local Councilors, all have to travel to the august house of Okello in Entebbe or jointly to Nakasero to plea a deal and get vouches for their needed bills and needed funds. Especially, considering that all State Affairs are now handled by the State House. The need for the parliament and its functions are dwindling when the President are the one that decides these details.

There are clear misconceptions of power, when all the money are under control by one-man and he does the decision. The need for a director of Bank of Uganda is only for show, the fiscal policies and needed understand of the financial markets are bonkers, when the President takes it all in his hand. More and more, the values of Presidential Advisers and Ministers are just for the effort and show. Therefore, they will not turn against him, instead of actually doing the state needed function.

This I say, since even business agreement between trade-off of banks, of estate and public lands are arrangement directly in the chambers of the State House. With investors and merry-men who promises to make gold out of bulk goods and Chinese imports. So that former markets, farms and former private lands are extorted with the benefit of the President, without concern of the traders, the ones living in the houses or the general effect of these efforts. Even the destruction of the National Theater is a prime example of a short-con to gain personal wealth on former old institution in Kampala.

Transparency and good governance, budget control and fiscal responsibly only becomes words needed when begging World Bank and International Monetary Fund for steady cash relief, or even African Development Bank (AfDB). Since it is the stakeout and possible needs of the President those matters, not the general state of schools, hospitals or refugee settlements. If the President see the need and issue or if one, of his fellow cronies beg on their knees and kiss his ring. Then the offer will be settle as a token of loyalty.

Now that the PFMA is out-done and out-played, even outfoxed if you will, because of the Presidential personal approval, therefore the parliament values is close to zero. They are just leaflets of envelopes and extra personnel for him. The parliament is more a front and piece of possible “democratic” institution when needed be, but not in reality. Since the last word and the last decision of any value comes from the State House. Peace.

Reference:

Arinaitwe, Solomon – ‘Museveni takes over loan approvals, rejects 11’ (12.07.2017) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Museveni-takes-over-loan-approvals–rejects-11/688334-4011990-124ocj0z/index.html

 

The Presidential Handshake report doesn’t say much, but it was a clear “error” by Museveni!

I finally got the whole COSASE report of the Presidential Handshake, what has been reported on my blog or page, has been comments of it. This time it would be direct quotes from the report that was put forward in Parliament from the Parliamentary Committee. That the President had an “error” was been weak, the whole ordeal was a bribe and the Committee didn’t have the courage to say so. Even as the position of every one was spelled out in the Report. Every single person paid out bribe was spelled out and the whole part of the allocation was broth to the daylight. Not that the insights was saying much new. But it still, shows how the President is controlling the Parliament and the use of funds. Since he was shocked of certain acts and that he was making it bonafide, but it wasn’t so. This story has been written back- and fourth.

Before more comments, let’s look at quotes from the report!

The Committee was informed by the management team of URA led by the Commissioner General that before the final arbitration ruling, the Uganda Government team briefed Cabinet on the 19th of November 2014 on the progress of the HOGL arbitration and H.E. the President promised to reward the team if they won the case” (…) “The Final Award on the merits of the arbitration was delivered on the 24th February, 2015 wherein the full panel of three Arbiters agreed in favour of Uganda Government and dismissed the entire claim of HOGL and awarded USD 4,083,840 in cost. The then Attorney General Hon. Fred Ruhindi on the 13th April 2015 (App. B1) wrote to H.E. the President reminding him of his promise to reward the team and requested him to consider a reward for noble team. He also attached a list of 24 proposed beneficiary” (…) “The Committee was informed that the Attorney General further led the Government team to meet H.E. the President at his country home in Rwakitura on the 17th May 2015 where the victory in the Heritage arbitration case was among other things discussed. That the H.E. The President thanked the team and directed the Commissioner General of URA to propose an appropriate reward for the team. H.E. The President also guided that the other Public Officers who had tremendously Contributed to the success of the case but had not been included on the first list generated by the Attorney General be included too” (COSASE, P: 8-9. 2017).

As a follow up to the H.E. the President’s letter of 16th November, 2015, the Commissioner General of URA wrote to the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to Treasury (PS/TS) in a letter dated 11th December, 2015 (App. B6) requesting him to formally designate her as accounting Officer through whom the reward would be paid and to formally requisition for the UGX 6,000,000,000 (Uganda Shillings Six Billions Only)” (…) “The Commissioner General, as advised and in a letter dated 5th May 2016 (App. B8) sought authority from the Hon. Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to reallocate UGX. 6 Billion (Uganda Shillings Six Billion Only) from URA Tax Refund Account to URA Expenditure Account so that the 42 Public Officers could be paid and suggested that a supplementary to URA for that amount to be considered and handled by the Hon. Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. The Hon. Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development did not grant this authority. However, by letter dated 19th October, 2016 (App. B10) he requested the Auditor General to issue an audit warrant for UGX 6 Billion” (COSASE, P: 10-11, 2017).

The Committee reviewed the budget for Financial Year 2016/2017, which was approved by the Board and subsequently appropriated by Parliament for URA activities and the UGX 6 Billion “handshake” was not budget for. The Committee further received evidence from the Board of URA to the effect that such money had not been provided for and they were hearing of that expenditure for the first time” (COSASE, P: 29, 2017).

The Committee observers therefore:

1. That it is true that USD 157 Million, which would have accrued as part of the Capital Gain Tax, was waived.

2. The contention arose out of a clause in the PSA which provided for waiver of tax signed by the then minister Hon. Syda Bbumba.

3. That the dispute would not have arisen if the PSA did not have a waiver of tax.

4. The then Ministry of Energy, Hon. Syda Bbumba, did not have authority to waive tax in that transaction and her auction of not having read the agreement before signing was irregular.

5. All the then Ministry of Energy who signed PSAs with similar clause acted ultra vires the law” (COSASE, P: 44, 2017).

Conclusion:

This “handshake” expenditure was not budgeted URA activity and therefore, a diversion of the UGX 6 Billion without lawful authority was contrary to the PFMA” (…) “H.E. The President’s approval of this “handshake” was bonafide. However, it was an error of judgement” (…) “That all funds paid out of URA account to the beneficiaries of the “handshake” should be refunded” (…) “The Executive should come up with a Bill within 90 days to regulate and streamline the Presidential Donations Budget” (COSASE, P: 45, 2017).

The Presidential Handshake has clearly showed the proof of how a visit at the Presidents farm in 2015 can lead-up to. President Museveni offered honorarium and bonuses to all the staff in the Tullow/Heritage Oil Tax Case, so all their work would benefit them. Without having it in budgets, without any votes or any sort of procedural activity, therefore it was an illegal allocation. That the Uganda Revenue Authority did allocations without proper actions, that the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and Ministry of Energy all actors did wrong in this scenario. They misused the tax to their own benefit and the President allowed it to happen. Therefore, it is weird that the only thing the Committee concludes with a new legislation to stop it. Secondly, also refunds of the benefits for the civil servants and the NRM cronies. That the act was done without lawful authority, but that was well-known and not rocket science. IT was clear misuse of government funds to give someone an extra payday, which wasn’t allocated or had the proper legal stamp. Therefore, a clear bribe… not solicited funds which the state should pay their civil servants. Peace.

Reference:

The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and the State Enterprises (Cosase) – ‘Report of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and the State Enterprises (COSASE) on the Investigations into the Circumstances under which the reward of UGX 6 BN was given to 42 Public Officers who participated in the Heritage Oil and Gas Arbitration Case’ (May, 2017)

Sekatawa claims the Presidential Handshake is Patriotic, I beg to differ!

The Ali Sekatawa, the Uganda Revenue Authority lawyer has this recent week addressed in his own way, the report from the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE), that delivered the report on the Presidential Handshake to Parliament. This report spelled out the initial idea and talk of refunding the handshake back to URA, as the monies was commissioned correctly. Certainly, the Lawyer want to defend his responsibility and be part of illegal activity. Therefore, his defense is ridiculous, just take a look!

According to Sekatawa, the committee selectively evaluated evidence leading to wrong conclusions on certain aspects and was populist in certain aspects. He says he is angry with the fact that the MPs and sections of the public are challenging the patriotism he and his colleagues exhibited while arguing the tax dispute against two British firms then involved in Uganda’s oil sector. Sekatawa is also challenging the fact that Parliament went ahead to adopt a report, which was not signed by all the members of the committee that investigated the matter. He is also of the view that Parliament has no authority to call on him and others that benefited from the bonanza to refund it because the money wasn’t given by Parliament” (URN, 2017).

I wonder if doing clerical work as your supposed to do in a government organization, that is collecting taxes is so patriotic. In the mind of Lawyer Sekatawa it apparently is. There are certain aspects that I have to dive in to, as he explanation is weak tea. I cannot let this one fly for the sake of foolishness. If there are someone who defends corruption, it should be the corrupt leader President Museveni. Not one of his cronies inside the URA. URA are working and following provisions delivered by Parliament and the President. They follow the guidelines and regulations of taxation that has been given. The same happen as the paperwork on the Presidential Handshake has leaked. It isn’t a secret, it is in the open.

The lawyer is clearly blind by brown-envelopes filled with money, instead of working as a civil servant. The civil servants are working for the state and are paid for their duty. The duty of working inside their offices and get their designated salaries. They are not supposed be bribed or misuse state funds for their own personal gains. That is what happen in the case of the Tullow-Heritage Oil Tax Case that gave monies to all that we’re a part of the court case. The civil servants that served the state and tried to get the ill-gained funds from the companies that was supposed to be part of the consolidation fund. A fund that are used to pay for government and state projects.

Instead, the government and the URA employees we’re served with a Presidential Handshake, that the state didn’t get it designated funds, but the civil servants who worked the case. Which is a bribe and direct looting of state coffers. It isn’t anything other than thieving, a petty theft and it was sanctioned by all the cronies. Not being patriotic trying to build a state, this was state officials and inner-circle of the state giving themselves a massive pay-raise without any procedure or protocol, feeding of a criminal case and foreign investors. Not trying to build a possible foundation or security of the funds, but dole it out to the willing and the ones who knew about the transactions.

The ones that photo-copied the paperwork, the ones that took the phone-calls, the ones that wrote on the settlement, the ones that argued the case in the United Kingdom and the ones that are loved cronies of Museveni. That isn’t patriotic, that is misusing and breaking down a system for personal gains. You don’t love your nation when you sponge of it, when you eat taxes, instead of using it on schools, health-care and other necessities.

Sekatawa doesn’t love Uganda, he loves the Presidential Handshake, he loves the MONEY. MONEY is what makes his world go-around and pays for his SUV and his mansion. He doesn’t love Uganda, he isn’t loving the Republic or the history. He doesn’t respect it’s constitution and it’s laws, when he defends bribes and corrupt behavior. That he benefited from. That is lie… a damn lie. A big fat LIE.

A Presidential Handshake isn’t patriotic, neither are bribes, they are petty theft of state reserves and state funds, that was supposed to go elsewhere, than into the pockets of ill-informed men and woman who liked to corrupted by the state itself. He needs to figure this out and get his mind out the fat corrupted brown-envelopes, maybe even try to figure out the real value of patriotism. Because this is not! Peace.

Reference:

URN – ‘URA lawyer to sue Parliament over Shs 6bn oil cash bonanza’ (24.06.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/53523-ura-lawyer-to-sue-parliament-over-shs-6bn-oil-cash-bonanza.html

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