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Opinion: It’s ironic that President Museveni is talking about disciplining the government!

The three arms of government and their sub-branches must have discipline. For example I have been involved in disciplining the army. We should do the same for other sub-branches of government. If the Judiciary is also disciplined in fighting corruption, citizens will lead a good life. – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 1st October 2017, State House Entebbe.

Its just one of these days that hearing the news and seeing the tweets of the President, makes me laugh and wonder if he listen to himself. He knows his system and has made his garden. The way the government steers and govern is because of his policies, his regulations and his support. It is not like there been other ruling for last 30 years in Uganda. The Republic has been under the control of Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM).

The NRM has suffocated all other free-will and control. Therefore, Ministers, Members of Parliament and others seek guidance and funds directly at the State House in Entebbe. Even foreign investors meet there to make agreements. Everything is nearly sanctioned out there. The Discipline now is more on the narrow-minded government that is run from there. The institutions and the procedures are not so important. Since most things happening is with the words from “above”, meaning the President and his close advisers.

It is not rocket science to know where the benefactor or the reason for lacking structures. That is because government waits for their go sign by the State House, they are waiting for funding of the projects and institutions from the State House. The projects and the works of the State House and under the Prime Ministers Offices are the key organizations within this government. They might say all of the massive cabinet has part to play, but that is the facade.

Therefore, it is ironic for a man so controlling and so disorganized that it gives sometimes way to the unthinkable. Just like the Presidential Handshake, that was sanctioned by the State House, but taken form the wrong account. That was the problem for the President, not that the corrupt behavior was occurring on his watch. Its like he talks against himself. Because he has no problem speaking anti-corruption, but if corruption benefit his cronies – its fine and dandy!

I am not surprised by him at this point of time, its fit his narrative. He says what he expects and wants out of others, but the next day he finds a way to benefit or use the loyalty of his cronies. Not like he would have excepted the UCC not to listen and stop the suspended MPs to hit the airways and be broadcast on TV. He rather being himself on radio and in the spotlight, but will accept anyone else sharing the same space.

President Museveni is the proof of someone saying something noble, but doing opposite. He might say something insane, but act rational. Therefore, you never know where you have him. I will never believe him actually disciplining the government, if doing so. It means they are all blindfolded and following his guidelines. It does not mean building proper governance and protocol, neither is institutionalize the departments and ministries, it is all about his will and his stature.

When it comes to Museveni, discipline is about following him. Not building transparent and proper government institutions. Peace.

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

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

 

South Africa: Committee Concerned about State of Governance at Eskom (24.05.2017)

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, May 24, 2017 – The Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises held an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday to discuss the issue of the reappointment of Eskom’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Brian Molefe.

Acting Chairperson Ms Zukiswa Rantho said last week the Committee agreed unanimously to call a meeting where the Board and the Minister are to appear before the Committee and explain what is happening at the power utility. Ms Rantho said: “The meeting today wants to know why is Mr Molefe back at Eskom, has Mr Molefe retired, was he retrenched, did he take early retirement or the new one that has been reported was that he was on unpaid leave, these are some of the answers that we need today.”

The Committee was of the view that legal advice that has been received will not be used to shield Eskom from being accountable before the Committee. The comments from the Committee came after Eskom’s Board Chairperson, Dr Ben Ngubane, said he had received legal advice from his counsel after he had filed an affidavit on Monday, 22 May 2017. Dr Ngubane said he was advised that the matter cannot be debated other than in a court of law. “I have to listen to counsel as they are representing us in a court of law,” said Dr Ngubane.

Members indicated that the Committee had also received legal advice regarding today’s meeting and the Committee had been advised that it should not get into the merits and demerits of the case. Members of the Committee stated that Eskom and the Executive are accountable to Parliament.

According to the legal advice from Parliament’s Legal Office, it states that “there is a constitutional duty to perform oversight and the intention of calling the Minister and Board is not to influence the court. Whilst the matter is sub judice (meaning it is before the court), this does not mean that Parliament cannot perform its oversight function, as long as the deliberations are not on “the merits of the case”.

In response to the presentation by Eskom and the Minister of Public Enterprises, the Committee questioned what pressurised such a strategic institution to hire someone where a question mark has not been cleared based on the Public Protector’s State of Capture Report. The Committee indicated that Eskom needs to state the basis of employment of Mr Molefe as the issue is still in the public domain.

The Committee said Mr Molefe, in his resignation letter, said he was stepping down from the power utility based on good governance following the release of the State of Capture report by the former Public Protector.

The Committee wanted to know if the papers filed in court by the Minister that Mr Molefe was on unpaid leave whilst being a Member of Parliament are true. Furthermore, the Committee queried why the post of the chief executive would be advertised and interviews conducted if Mr Molefe was on unpaid leave. The Committee said it will not accept the explanation provided before the Committee that he (Mr Molefe) was on unpaid leave as Section 47 of the Constitution would not allow this.

A response from a Board member indicated that Mr Molefe had resigned last year. Regarding the reappointment of Mr Molefe as CEO, the Board supported his reappointment based on the legal advice that the power utility received and on Mr Molefe’s performance whilst in the employ of Eskom.

The Committee made a recommendation that the Eskom Board and the Minister should be subjected to an inquiry to check if they (the Board) exercised its fiduciary responsibilities and duties. A parliamentary inquiry needs to be instituted against the Board and forensic investigation needs to be conducted to reach a determination of what must happen. The Committee agreed that further engagements need to be conducted amongst the members to discuss a way forward on the possible inquiry.

Following its deliberation, the Committee supported the decision for a parliamentary inquiry in line with National Assembly rules to look into the Board of Eskom.

On Eskom’s legal argument that Mr Molefe was appointed under the terms of the 2014 Memorandum of Incorporation (MoI), the Minister stated that the early retirement agreement didn’t have to be shown to her. The 2014 MoI does not enlist the Minister as party to the contract of employment of a Group CEO, whist the 2016 MoI explicitly enlists the Minister as a party to the contract of employment of Group CEO.

The Committee is of the view that the Minister failed to exercise her oversight duties as the 2016 MoI gave the Minister powers to appoint and dismiss the Group CEO of Eskom.

Ms Rantho said: “The Committee is concerned with the state of governance at Eskom. There seems to a breakdown in communication between the shareholder and the state-owned company.”

“The Committee is concerned with the breakdown of corporate governance principles at Eskom. In this regard, the Committee views the reappointment of Mr Molefe with serious concern,” said Ms Rantho.

She added that “we will further seek advice on how to deal with the decision of the reappointment of the Chief Executive”.

In its deliberation the Committee requested the power utility to provide the Committee with documents such as minutes correspondence and decisions taken on the reappointment of Mr Molefe.

South Africa: Press Ombudsman issues stern rebute to Financial Mail on Eskom (26.04.2017)

Uganda: Civil Society Position on Tax Revenue Measures for FY 2017/18 (21.04.2017)

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