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Opinion: Why is there so little sanction on Corrupt behaviour and why don’t the donors stop the funds?

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We should question the ability of certain leaders to be able to squander away government funds, donor-funding while keeping their citizens in poverty and neglect the civil service, the state functions and keeping the state fragile; so that the Executive can brown envelope the Members of Parliament and that other civil servants to get paid, instead of government salaries depend on being paid under table for government delivery.

This is not one nation problem, this is not a one continent problem, and this is a worldwide problem. Not only government acts like this organizations, multi-lateral organizations and businesses. Corporations and other LLCs are also misusing their fortunes and ability to generate wealth for their stakeholders through intricate and complex banking structure that fixes the profits away from the countries we’re they earn high profits; while squandering away the profits so that the owners and stakeholders gain massive funds and leave the consumers, workers and the nations as they keep the funds away from the State of real business.

Tax Avoidance

Why can I address the neglect of government in the same regard as tax-avoidance in modern business, because the same ethics and norms are made and regulated by the Parliaments, Executive Power and by the interests of politicians; that needs funds and create business in their constituency as they earn currency on opening business there. So with that in mind, the way the business is set-up and regulated are by admission from the political framework and laws, not to talk about tax-regulations together with multi-lateral agreements that either opens or closes doors for tax-fugitives from the profitable country.

The Government are the Sovereign Power, the ones that represent and distribute the resources and funds to their citizens through departments, ministries, institutions and programs that are sufficient to make sure of education, security and development of the country. That happens as they can either use their taxes, aid and loans to fund the government work. Well, they could if they wanted to represent the people who paid the tax and elected them.

One key reason for the maladministration and mismanagement from the government are that they are responsible for sham elections and rigging themselves in power; worst case scenario the government and executive took the power with the gun; so the responsibility is more on the ammunition instead of the transparency and accountability towards the citizens. The citizens are supposed to have safe-guards from corrupt behaviour and alleged graft; as the Auditor General and Ombudsman are supposed see through the files and budgets, together with registered procurements, so that the actual facts are the same as the planned efforts from the State.

That is why the breaking figures and knowledge of squandered monies from the funds. Something that shouldn’t be that easy to do or get away with; as so many leaders and executives have saved giant bank-accounts in Swiss Banks and in Tax-Havens. So the humble men from villages all of sudden own 30 luxury cars, 4 mansions and have a wife who spends a ministries months salaries on exclusive clothing and shoes in Paris and London. While the taxpayer are struggling to eat and feed their families, which is an issue that shouldn’t be there when the Executive and wife can have a cortege of 25 cars driving from their State House to their Ranch without any consideration.

Obama Stockholm

The worrying sign is that the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and other Multi-lateral organizations don’t sufficiently sanction this kind of activities or even punish the countries with this behaviour; except when the nations are on their back hunting wild goose. The United Nations and European Union, other Pacts doesn’t even sanction much either. The diplomatic tensions and the wish for resources sometimes stop the knowledge of the thievery, if not to save face of both parties as they doesn’t want the public of the nation importing to know about the maladministration.

What I am wondering with all the corruption scandals, with the rich executives and the haemorrhaging of monies from the state and businesses; It happens daily while the begging for funds from international community and also getting investors from the exterior to invest in business. These businessmen are set in function with civil servant and government officials that are corrupting the state; something that the world knows… and still keeps it going around.

Certainly the knowledge of this isn’t something in the shadow, some places all of this is in the spotlight and expected by the officials, as a second way of getting add-ons on their meagre salaries as the government doesn’t pay enough or on time for the Police Officers and Teachers to secure pay to pay for food and even rent. Therefore the system generate where the Government can’t even supplement funds for their own, while their leaders eat the most delicious stakes. This should be a warning, but the world moves on.

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What worries me… is how this keep on happening with different names, different places and with different funds, while the sanctions and the stopping of funding from the communities doesn’t stop; while the massive overload of stolen monies are hidden and the ability to use this banked currency in developing the state and nation, instead lost in trail of lies and deceit where the accountability got dropped in the ocean.

We should question these transactions and not accept these facts of life, this is the ones that steal the development and progress, steal foreign taxpayer’s monies into personal bank-accounts and private business of elites instead of the public functions as they we’re supposed to go.

I am just writing in frustration… and tired of seeing and hearing about the scandal after scandal… While the ones dishing it out are silent, while the punishment is not happening and the characters who are behind the thieving is walking like kings and queens in main-streets of capitals all around the world. That is what is bugging me. It shouldn’t be like this and the behaviour should be tormented, questioned and also charged for their stolen cash. This cash we’re not automatically made for and created for the Executive’s and their Elites; which isn’t justified. So why does it seem that some people are allowed to steal a country, steal a national treasury and the foreign exchange funds are walking scotch-free while hanging around the mayors and government-officials; but when a pocket-thief or a man stealing a goat, gets detained and not hired again.

The rules for this is provable not equal, not for all men are equal under god, except if you like shrimp. Well, that is not the case in this matter, there are too set of standards, the Executives and their Elites; while the citizens and public are a disgrace and can be disregarded easily, but the rich can get-a-way-jail-free-card! Peace.   

Power eats our big-men – The reason for why we need Presidential Term limits

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There is for some strange reason a big discussion on the matter. Since some countries have them, some don’t. It is not like every constitution should be written the same with the same accords. In my homeland for instance there is no limit on how long the Prime Minister can sit in power, but that that depends if the people of my country get tired of the PM or the party affiliated with the PM. In bigger countries like the US there is a limit of two terms and only once a President who has broken that rule, was during Second World War and that was Franklin D. Roosevelt. Who had three terms and is the only one well known.

I am sure that Greece would have seemed happy with more often change of leadership. So if they hadn’t sunk that deep with loans and debt. Then it wouldn’t matter how long a regime is in power, if it essentially good, but if it’s not. Then it would be healthy with changes, so that the government recharge and fix the issues of old.  That is for check and balance, also to stop cogging the machine with nepotism and local graft from local councils and smaller government entities.

Now that Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi is following Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Zimbabwe and Uganda. They have big-men who have been sitting for ages and continue to break a certain switch of leaders. Burundi has just been through a farce of a election that brought their President Pierre Nkurunziza to his third term. Paul Kagame in Rwanda is thinking the same. Paul Biya the President of Cameroon has ruled since 1982 and is still sitting comfortable. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo has been the president of Equatorial Guinea has been in charge since 1979. Omar Al-Bashir in President of Sudan has been the chief since 1993. Robert Mugabe is the President of Zimbabawe is the big-men of the country since 1987. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the President of Uganda has been the head honcho since 1986.

Have in mind Ben Ali in Tunisia, Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muammar Gadaffi in Libya. All of them had a hard fall during the Arab Spring. So during a short period of time these long times serving rulers was ousted by the public or militias in their countries. And those people mentioned that has been sitting since 1979 to now should have them in mind. They could be next.

Its reasons like this big-men why countries and constitutions, law and rule of laws should fix the longevity for the leaders of the countries. Even if some countries has benefited from leaders sitting long. There have been many who show other tales. That their starting and dealing with matters. Making sure that the countries are progressing, but the issue with all men, power can eat you and when it’s at your grasp you don’t want to leave it. The power corrupt and make sure your family eats and friends to. An leave the matters and supposed people your supposed to serve. That makes the basic issue of leaders who becomes the proof of states where there is “taxation without representation”. They goes from being heroes and big-men with legacy into Machiavellian and Orwellian monsters that swallows the governments, states and organizations. That evaporates and follows the pinpoints from the leaders, but not actual procedures or democratic values. Transparency does matters, checks and balance of information from the regimes dies down especially if it pokes at the government. Ethics of codes of conduct matters for the ruling party, but for the opposition is otherwise since they will be thrown into shackles and dungeons for standing up against the regimes.

There is a reason why media has to be strong against this leaders and big-men. Why term limits is a good thing? It’s because power corrupt and eat men. When you first get a spoon of the sweets they want the champagne and cocktails in the statehouses. While many of the big-men don’t strengthen the basic institutions and ministries of the countries they are in charge of. Instead they put more money into the security and armies, but not too strong because then they are worried that their general’s would make a coup d’etat, especially since some of them took power by the gun themselves. So they usually promise grand changes and grace periods where the institutions left soiling by former leaders. While they does certain things and necessary by them, if so only what needed and supported through aid or donor money they might do something more with this.

While these leaders also often toiled with multilateral organization that put strains on the economic freedoms and loans that funds the countries. The forced moves of liberate institutions instead of strengthen the powers of the nations. Free market thinking that has weakened the economies then making them stronger. So that they import more then they export. Produce simple raw material or farm products and import finished sophisticated products that give the budgets negatives for the countries and also a reason why the countries end up with loaning more money from the multilateral organization. Because of this the big-men make shady deals with international donor countries and producers that lead to more corruption. Their zealous and loyalist under-leaders get cuts and that happens as long as they follow the party lines. The sellers from abroad couldn’t care less because usually they get overpaid for the product and there wasn’t a fair process of the sale. So if there is a transparent overlook of the sale and ordering of the products to the country it wouldn’t have gotten a green light.

This thing grows and grows until it hit either the moon or the sun. The terms are what people looking at. Then you could have discussed and talked more directly about the countries that don’t have it. There isn’t like universal rules to how the constitutions should be and what countries should have in it. There is other ways around that countries has to follow the international agreements, resolutions, charters and convents they have to follow and make amendments to their existing laws. But that is whole other matter. The term limit question is more about the ethical place and trust in the big-men that is either elected or taken power on their own. And if you have issues with leaders taking power on their own, there is a slim chance of them actually caring about rule of law. Instead even if they say something they will turn against close to date of the final period of terms. Just like Yoweri Museveni did in Uganda, Pierre Nkurunziza did in Burundi, Paul Kagame in Rwanda and Joseph Kabila in Democratic Republic in Congo (DRC). They all did a turn-around in limited time right before the end of the official second term. So they could fix the laws and get an official third term.

We the people and the citizens care about our big-men and nations, about the institutions that are made to be around us and supposed to support us. As we want good leaders that actually lead and make changes, and structures to secure their people. Instead when their reign for so long that their stealing of wealth, lands and positions for loyalist can be vial and hurting the country, instead of reaching and making the place better. This could be less of a viable possibility if there were structures and codes into place that pushed leaders to leave behind a legacy and go off in grace instead of sitting into the man with a scythe coming and taking their souls to eternal rest.

If society fears that leaders will lead into nepotism, graft, corruption and other evils of long term stand still of leaders and philosophy. The journey that the political climate needs is sufficient tools to stand in rainy days and in glorious ones. Also proper training to lead the next generations into a secure place and leave a foundation that can bring something positive for the people and the nations as whole.

And it isn’t pure and true leadership if they aren’t coping with the ability of leaving the power. They know that and we the people know this. When that happens we see the issues translate into situations that nobody really wants to see. Like the failed Coup d’etat in Burundi in 2015 and the violence that has surged since. Then the failings of the ‘Walk to Work’ protest after the 2011 elections in Uganda. That only led to few fallen activists for the cause, but lead to now initial change. Also the reactions in the DRC after lawfully allowing it’s president a third term, this made people react and the #Telema uprising happened as a aftermath. This because the leaders don’t accept their reach and doesn’t step down in time, instead tries to sit until the chair is breaking. And in due time they will fall out of the chair, it’s just about how they will land and which legacy they want to leave behind.

I am Sure Honorable Mister Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe could have been a real gentleman and been in the league of freedom fighters who fought a just cause against oppression of a foreign power. He could have been seen as that if he stepped down in proper time and given security to the country. Instead he has let the economy run loose, people fleeing the country, rigging elections, letting special army and police trained by North Koreans go into villages before elections and spread fear amongst the citizens. If he had stopped before turning into a villain, he could have been seen as hero. Something that would been worthy actually of how he fought with the comrades against a far-away rulers to secure peaceful nationhood to Zimbabwe together with Joshua Nkomo. Today he will not only be remembered only for the Lancaster House Agreement! But for all of the other madness that has happen after.

The same will happen with these other leaders who might have done great things. And they have made a difference. They have made some kind of changes and progress in their countries. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda has made progress in Uganda. Even by sitting very-very long in the chair of power. After uncertainties of the 80s he has with the Movement system made the land peaceful and that has made gains in the aspect of food productions. Even with help of neighbors and the U.S. sent LRA on the run to C.A.R. where he is trying to get them again. Though with lingering into power it’s now taking a toll on the budgets, inflation levels, value of the currency and the enormous level of spending to local councils since there is new district every 5 years or so.

I could go on about every leader I have mentioned and what has happen because of their steadiness of power. How that effects and what that has led to in the countries that their leading, still. Similarities are still that the countries don’t earn much on having the same leaders reigning for many terms. Because the countries getting sucked into the system and patrons of the big-man instead of build functioning institutions and ministries to really developing the countries.

And let this be clear, I don’t want the systems of the West unto these countries that is not what I am implying. The simple thing I am pounding on is how it will be healthy for a nation to have leaders and their big-men for too long. I doubt if it is healthy. The same with MPS and Ministers, they all will eat too much and become fat, instead of serving the people. The same happens with the grand big-man; therefore the change of leadership is an essential feature to society and government.

Therefore what I am initially implying is that no matter what kind of society the human soul and body will be eaten by the power. That’s simple reason is that this is a universal issue, the location and countries could be a mayor in my town for the matter or the leader of European Union, the secondly it could be a president in South America or Asia. This is a phenomenon that is everywhere if the big-man has the possibility. Let me take a few more honorable mentions:

  • Alexander Lukashenko has been the president of Belarus since 1994.
  • Saparmurat Atayevich Niyazov has been the president of Turkmenistan since 1985.
  • Nursultan Nazarbayev has been the president of Kazahstan since 1989.
  • Issas Afweki has been been the president of Eritrea since 1991.
  • Emomali Rahmon has been the president of Tajikistan since 1992.
  • Hun Sen has been the president of Cambodia since 1985.

So thanks for reading. Hope it was worth it and that this wasn’t as long as the tenure of certain big-men. Peace.

Uganda – Civil Servants have delayed salaries for May and June 2015

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Those who have followed this blog know that I have done this now for a few years. I continuously address this matter of delayed payments of salaries from the government to their own employees. The Ugandan Government has like a sickness when it comes to paying out monies to its staff. They have to sneeze it out. The strange thing for me is that we haven’t had a tornado of warnings and admission of words from Keith Muhakanizi the Secretary of Treasury. He is unusually silent. Well, the undersecretary of the Public Ministery Geoffrey Ettedu said his peace on the matter and as always Filbert Baguma Bates spoke his wisdom as well. Another silent man was the Minister of Public Ministery  Henry Muganwa Kajura. But now let the stories tell them for them self.

At the Gulu University teachers and lectures stopped teaching for missing payment of salaries dating back to August last year. This was in March 2015. Last year in March they did the same kind of strike that time for compensation for extra work (Makumbi & Okot, 2015).

Filbert Baguma Bates says: “that teachers in KCCA, Iganga District among others have never received their salaries of May-2015” (…) “that they have given the respective accounting officers to pay the teachers’ salaries before Wednesday next week failure they will loose their patience” (RadioONEFM90, 2015). In another article Mr Filbert Baguma says: “More than 1,000 civil servants in Nakasongola District, majority being teachers, didn’t get their March pay. As I talk now, the salary for May is not yet paid for 2,000 teachers within KCCA” (…) ”When the problem is for government, they don’t give you genuine reasons. But I think this arises from underbudgeting. Non-salary payment is common in most local governments. You find a number of people missing salary and without reason” (Sibwe, 2015).

Geoffrey Ettedu the undersecretary of the Public Ministery says: “For starters, there should be a cleansing process in documentations from ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) plus local governments for all civil servants” (…) “Regional accounting officers should be able to update the list of servants quarterly; that way we [will] end the ghost workers epidemic”. If you thought that wasn’t enough  Filbert Baguma Bates continues: “Every government employee is supposed to receive salary on the 28th of every month, but [the Kampala Capital City Authority – KCCA is suffering] budget shortfalls that always affect them at the end of almost every financial year” (…) “that the issue had been recurring for the previous three years with primary teachers affected the most” (Alitwijuka & Sekandi, 2015).

I will not discuss the matter more. I have used enough time on this. But have this letter in the end that everybody should read. Peace.

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Reference:

Alitwijuka, Gilber & Sekandi, James – ‘Uganda: Accounting Officers Tasked Over Teachers’ Pay’ (22.06.2015) Link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201506222413.html

RadioONEFM90 – ‘Teachers yet to receive May payment’ (13.06.2015) Link:

http://radioonefm90.com/teachers-yet-to-receive-may-payment/

Makumbi, Cissy & Okot, John – ‘Gulu University lecturers strike over delayed pay’ (04.03.2015) Link:

http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Gulu-University-lecturers-strike-delayed-pay/-/688334/2641430/-/ji9f67/-/index.html

Sibwe, Patience Ahimbi – ‘More than 3,000 civil servants miss May salary’ (09.06.2015) Link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/More-than-3000-civil-servants-miss-May-salary/-/688334/2744528/-/po7sx2/-/index.html

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