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Archive for the tag “Matia Kasaija”

Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL): New owner, clearly disconnected

Since March 2017, the Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) have been struggling, it started even before then, but at that time. The state started to intervene, by the next month in April 2017. The state had already put the company under provincial ownership. Meaning, that the state took it over and has tried to find new ownership of this company. Something it hasn’t succeeded in. This all happened because of the Libyan crisis in 2011 and the frozen accounts of Libya Post Telecommunications & IT Company (LPTIC), which had a majority ownership in the UTL until that point. However, they didn’t get all out before March 2017. Even as there was a set-up a new board in the Company in fall of 2016. Even, with all of this, the UTL continues to live, but by mere state injections and not because it is viable for business.

Even after a year in May 2018, the Cabinet announced that they were looking for new owners, alas, meaning that the state wouldn’t have the major stake in the company. Why I am saying all this? Well, the news this week that Minister Evelyn Anite and government sources states this:

The source added that the government had created incentives to make the company more attractive. They include managing the backbone, wiping all the liabilities off the balance sheet, and that the government would take responsibility for the pension liability of more than Shs 30 billion to former UTL employees. Other liabilities that the government would take care of include the regulator’s fees and taxes. “All these wipe off the balance sheet and handed it [UTL] to you, clearly you can start from a clean slate.” the source said” (URN – ‘Gov’t offers to pay Shs 500bn UTL liabilities’ 20.04.2019, link: https://observer.ug/news/headlines/60467-gov-t-offers-to-pay-shs-500bn-utl-liabilities).

With this in mind, the state would clean the slate of the company, an embattled one who is fighting in a competitive market. Where it is directly competing against the mighty MTN and Airtel. Therefore, the UTL needs an decent upgrade, as it has been in a stalemate for years now. Where the lack of investment in the company and the debt it have already.

We can clearly see that the company is not so viable. The lack of interest and value is shown as the President even needed to direct the state ministries to use the UTL Internet Services and mobile phone services by a letter in January 2018. That is why, a year after that, the government sources are trying to connect it even more and juice it up. Even if it has little to offer.

The UTL doesn’t look solid or offering something of strong value for a buyer. As it has a strong competition and they are on point when concerning the telecom infrastructure, which the UTL haven’t the ability to afford to do or invest in. Therefore, the next owner has to pick up, where the Libyan owners left off. Since, the state haven’t done anything else, than keeping it alive. Peace.

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Uganda: Anti-Corruption Unit – Request for Your Intervention in the Delayed Confirmation of Officers in Acting Capacity and Irregular Recruitment of Inspectorate Officers into the Inspectorate of Government (20.03.2019)

BoU Scandal: AG Muwanga letter to Deputy Governor of BoU – “Special Audit on the UGX 479bn Injected into Crane Bank Limited by BoU” (04.04.2019)

Budget Bonanza for the UPDF: A possible fresh $100m Loan for Classified Expenditure(!!)

Again, the state is spending recklessly, as the state is already not fiscal responsible or planning to behave like that. Instead of living within the means of the state. They are continuing to loan from either international sources or local ones, to balance the budgets. This is nearly impossible, as the National Resistance Movement and their Supplementary Budgets are breaking the bank.

What is really worse about this is that this goes to secret accounts and secret operations, which the state doesn’t trust to explain or even be transparent about. These funds are supposed to go to a Classified Division of the Uganda People’s Defence Force, the Permanent Secretary and Ministry of the Defence and Veteran Affairs are allowed to spend it, as they see fit. But how is that looking and where is these loans going?

The supposed motion says this:

i. To improve the capability of Uganda’s defence and security forces ; and

ii. To enhance Uganda’s defence and security infrastructure” (P: 3, 2019).

What does that mean and where does that go? It could everything and nothing, it could be more ammunition, it could be paying off rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Who knows, right? Could be training of rebels in Kisoro or anywhere else, as the UPDF and the NRM see fit. That is why the funds are confidential and whatever the UPDF and President see needed is these manners. Because, I have a hard time believing these sorts of funds are spent without the knowledge or acceptance from the high above or within the chambers of the State House.

It should be noted that defence classified expenditure has been growing over time – from UGX 347 billion in FY 20l7/18 to UGX 640 billion earlier on approved for FY 2018/19. This additional borrowing will see the budget for classified expenditure grow to UGX 1020 billion representing 34% of the total defence budget for FY 2018/ 19 (incl. now proposed borrowing)” (P: 3, 2019)

The project will be implemented by the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs, with its Permanent Secretary as the Accounting Officer responsible for managing the supply contract” (P: 4, 2019).

Consequently, this will see the budget deficit grow by additional UGX resulting in growth in Net Domestic Financing requirement to UGX 2,163 billion in the FY 2018/19 from UGX 1,783 billion earlier on approved by Parliament. In addition, the domestic interest cost will increase by approximately UGX 39 billion from the 2,132 billion approved for FY 2018/ 19 to UGX 2,171 billion” (P: 4, 2019).

Here is some more of the information from the Ministry of Defence and Veteran Affairs. Still, it doesn’t say much. Except the levels of debt the state will have, how much interest the state will pay as it follows this possible loans. The rest of the Report, states that the Committee sees it fit to get a Bill on the Loan. Not just a motion to explain more. That should be needed. Because, the Ministry and Minister cannot have been specific on what they plan to spend the loans on. Whatever projects or where ever that might be.

It is not just the Members of Parliament (MPs) who should worry about this, but the citizens as the state are piling up loans for various of projects and even some like this whose a total confidential expenditure. It could be spend on whatever the UPDF or State House see necessary. That can be awful lot. Peace.

Reference:

REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON NATIONAL ECONOMY ON THE PROPOSAL BY GOVERNMENT TO BORROWING USD 100 MILLION (APPROXIMATELY UGX 38O BILLION FROM THE DOMESTIC MARKET TO FINANCE CLASSIFIED EXPENDITURE UNDER MINISTRY OF’ DEFENCE AND VETERAN AFFAIRS FOR FY 2018/19, March 2019

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for April 2019 (01.04.2019)

Uganda: Announcement of the National Dialogue on Compulsory Land Acquistion (20.03.2019)

BoU Scandal: Office of the Leader of the Opposition – Recommendations of the opposition on COSASE report (28.02.2019)

Opinion: Katuntu now have to bite the bullet!

Abdu Katuntu got to keep the position and chairman of the Parliament’s Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) on overtime to finish a report on the closure of 7 defunct banks in the Republic. He got the lifeline by the Speaker Rebecca Kagada in Parliament in January, as he wasn’t ready to deliver the report.

Katuntu as the MP who ran the committee decided on when to drop the report, which the report was dropped on the 19th February 2019. Now, today the IGG letter of the 19th February 2019 asked the Internal Security Organization (ISO) to look into the investigations and the possible kick-backs for a lenient report, which this was. The Report dropped was sleek, soft and guarded. Therefore, the question of what the COSASE is shielding or didn’t dig into could come into question.

If there was some bankers, some inside Bank of Uganda or anyone else of the Stakeholders of the defunct banks would enforce kick-backs to the Chairman and the Committee wouldn’t be surprising in relations to this is the Republic of Presidential Handshakes. In the Republic where the MPs are paid for voting in favour of favourable bills and motions of the Presidents agenda. Therefore, the initial idea of the IGG fits the state of affairs.

BUT, this is a hit-job, as this is leaked as the COSASE is getting new leadership, as the report has been delivered to the public and to the Parliament. The IGG and AG could act upon the work that Katuntu delivered. Nevertheless, there are more stakes at hand, as there are invisible hands overshadowing, as the cronies and investors, whose could be close to the President could be implicated. That is why the President was so adamant statements about the whole investigation and that it should have been done behind closed-doors. However, that didn’t happen.

Katuntu thought he did good, thought he delivered for the ones he made promises too. He thought with the extended time and promise of leverage, that he wouldn’t be hit. However, the President and his security organization is still on a vengeance. They are retaliating now, because the state suddenly looks into it. Because, the state is trying to save face.

It is weird timing that they are starting to investigate now, as they could have looked into the issues within the BoU before this, as there was plenty of banks closed wrongfully. Still, it didn’t matter then, but now it does. That looks weird and looks like a hit-job.

That Katuntu is now the latest victim… not the last, whose being used, tricked and later discarded. Peace.

BoU Scandal: IGG letter to ISO – Alleged Misconduct of Members of the Parliamentary Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) – (19.02.2019)

COSASE: Parliament of Uganda – “Re: Documents laid before the Cosase by Hon. Odonga Otto and Hon. Elijah Okupa during the inquiry into the Auditor General’s Special Audit Report on closure of Commericial Bank by Bank of Uganda (21.02.2019)

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