NATO: Türkiye-Finland-Sweden – Trilateral Memorandum (28.06.2022)

Opinion: The GoU isn’t the owner of the DGF

Today, I hosted the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation. We discussed a number of bilateral issues. I also agreed to lift the ban on Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), to run till December 2022, with Government represented in the decision-making structures. I shall formally communicate our position to the relevant government departments” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 22.06.2022).

You know that someone has ruled for too long when you think donor funds are for you to toy around with and decide. President Yoweri Tibuhurwa Kaguta Museveni has been running the Republic since January 1986 and it shows. The audacity of this man…

Yes, his a real life villain and he thrives on that. He was able to hoodwink people for a generation, but the truth of his actions is catching up to people slowly. The ones funding the DGF should have all ears and listen to the dissidents. Because, there is sinister and dark scheming behind the scenes, which we know the National Resistance Movement (NRM) nor the President want out on blast.

That’s why when his doing this putting condition and stings on “free money”. You just know it’s off the hook. It isn’t for the President nor his state to decide what the donors want it spent on. They can spend how they deem fit and what sort of governance, organizations or state institutions they deem fit. Because, it is their monies and their tax-payers funds, which they have to be accountable for. Therefore, after 18 months suspension and giving nearly 6 months more run-time. It is really showing that the President is tired and cannot manage to not micro-manage everything single thing in the Republic. He needs to know and it bugs him like crazy. That someone else has a vision and an idea in the nation of which he reside and happens to be the Head of State off.

Who are the DGF and why does it exist:

The Democratic Governance Facility (DGF) was initially established in July 2011 by eight Development Partners (DPs) as a five-year governance programme aimed at providing harmonised, coherent and well-coordinated support to state and non-state entities to strengthen democratisation, protect human rights, improve access to justice and enhance accountability in Uganda. The Programme goal was to contribute to equitable growth, poverty eradication, rule of law and long term stability in Uganda. This programme marked the first phase of DGF that ended in June 2016. A transitional period of 18 months was implemented from July 2016 to December 2017. Currently the DGF is implementing its second 5-year phase (January 2018 – December 2022) with support from seven DPs: Austria, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, and the European Union, to build on the achievements of the first phase, address the continuing democratic deficits, and consolidate peace and stability in the country” (Democratic Governance Facility – What is DGF).

The board of the DGF is also the ambassadors of the respective donor nations and the head of delegation of the European Union as well. So, it has already 6 board members, which represents the ones who is funding the DGF. That is the vital part here. The DGF wouldn’t exist and be an entity without the funding and the operational funds of the donors.

That’s why the President directing and pinning in the ministries to intervene and partake in it is infuriating. This is insulting the donors and their worthiness. It is like the President and his associates believes it’s their birthright to donations and funds of which these nations are bringing. Which couldn’t be further from the truth. They are lucky to receive it in the first place. Why shouldn’t Austria just invest in health care in Vienna? Or the Sweden in Stockholm, Norway in Oslo, Ireland in Dublin, Netherlands in Amsterdam or the EU in Brussels? They are not owing Museveni or the NRM anything. No, this is “free” money and they are lucky to get it and the arrogance of the President shows.

These ambassadors and the board of the DGF isn’t his minions and senior presidential advisors. No, they are there to promote the interests of their respective nations and find good partnership in Uganda. Not being told what to do and whatnot. That is what the President did here and this is how his used to running the Republic. Directing, decreeing and ordering from the “high above”. That mentality shows here after 18 month suspension ahead of the January 2021 polls. Which was supposed to fund opposition activity, a sort of activity he can never prove or show any evidence of. Therefore, the suspension was hostile in the first place.

Yes, the Government of Uganda is sovereign is deemed to do what is see as fit. That I’m not questioning, but the act of suspending this was done in bad faith and the arrogance of him while lifting it. Just shows his true intentions and that he wants to control the DGF directly, which isn’t for him to “own” or “run”. That’s what it seems like he really intends to do. By putting in a crony in the board and such.

Museveni is just showing his dictatorial tendencies. His now telling what the donors should do and direct their funding. It isn’t enough that they are donating and supporting the development of the republic. No, they have to be told what to do. This should be amplified, because this insulting the donors and their respective will to give.

Why should they give to nation that does this? What value is the currency and the will of helping of others, if they are putting rigid stings before getting the money. It is the donors that should decide the spending and where they want the money to go. Since, they are the ones supplying it and funding the DGF. Until, Museveni and his cronies invests in it and actually put the work in. Then they can talk, but for now… the NRM and Museveni should be happy that people and nations are still willing to fund these sorts of organizations, civil society and even government entities through the DGF.

There is enough other places the nations can fund and help out people in need. It isn’t only in Kampala and across the Republic. No, there is plenty of other places with the lack of good governance and other issues, which a sort of DGF could be positive contribution. Therefore, the President should be lucky that this exist. Instead… his targeting it and showing his total disregard for the donors. His just continuing to bite the hand that feeds him. Peace.

Opinion: Some says War has returned to Europe [and I say it was exported but now came home to roost]

It been a long time since the Yugoslavian war in the 1990s. That was the last big-war and conflict, which the world powers came into play and fought on separate sides. As all the Slavic people of region fought for their statehood and such. Which in the end has ended up on in several of independent nations, but has since then been at peace.

Alas, there haven’t been a moment where the European powers haven’t been involved or participated elsewhere since then. They have either done that by proxy, by exporting military weapons or equipment or themselves participated in North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) operations or invasion. If not, it has directly invaded or made itself impose it’s power onto a nation. Therefore, it has never ceased to use weapons and war. The only difference, it has happen far away and for other means.

The United States has supported wars, been the main aggressor or the initiator in several of conflicts. While United Kingdom has participated directly too. Other European nations has been parts of coalition of a willing. Therefore, we know they are willing wage war and has done so too. This been done over years and the conflict ever ceasing. Even after they are leaving. The parties are still unresolved and the conflicts persist.

So, when I hear again and again that the war returned to Europe. I am saying “yes it did, but it was already here”. What I mean by that… the Europeans has exported the wars. They have supported proxies, which has fought their wars. Europeans has sent brigades, operative armies elsewhere and done warfare. This being as part of United Nations Peacekeeping Missions or directly work for own interests in former colonies.

That’s why the European nations haven’t been all peaceful. They have used arms, weapons and military equipment all across the globe. They have traded and earned profits on wars. This has been done and these wars has only been bylines or parts of bulletins in the tabloids. While bloodshed, massacres and whatnot happens in these conflicts. That is just what’s going on. If it is in Yemen, Somalia, Democratic Republic of Congo or in the Central African Republic. These things can be prolonged and the conflict is a very valuable commodity. A commodity and a business, which is a never ending ride of profits, both in weaponry and resources, which becomes easily accessible when you have the right leader serving any given territory. Therefore, these sorts of moves has happened and the West has gladly joined the ride.

This is why the powers of the West, United States and others has supported the end of certain leaders. In such a fashion, that it get rid of a popular leader who intends to nationalize or reform the mineral extraction industries and instead get a puppet regime there. While using armies and support to keep it up. A war for the interests of the West and not for the nation at hand. Just like it accepted to use illegal means to overthrow Morales in Bolivia. That sort of play fitted the U.S. and Washington D.C. and it could have been much more bloody. However, that’s how it does it and we cannot deny this fact in 2022.

Yes, Russia’s imperialism in Ukraine is wrong. Nevertheless, that doesn’t justify the imperialism of United States or any of it’s NATO allies either. What the USA did in Iraq or Afghanistan should be addressed. Just like whatever war-crimes that all parties have possibly done in Syria. The same can be said about the parties involved Yemen or Ethiopia for that matter. All war-crimes should be punishable and be investigated by the same International Court. Not just go after Russia now. The other nations and the leadership of that time should be held accountable. That is only fair.

So, when saying all this. African Union has worked for a few years now to “silence the guns” which is an ideal programme. No matter how faulty and weak the AU is an organization. How the AU as an entity tends to favour tyrants and dictators, instead of the will of the people. Still, the ideals of that programme is something the European Union and United States should look into themselves. As it is a set of ethics, which could inspire them to think about the consequences of it’s actions elsewhere.

Right now it is justified to enlarge military budgets, expand spending on upgrading the military equipment and vehicles, ensure you have a decent air-force and whatnot. When the war-drums are happening so close to your own shores. It only makes sense, as the borders and the length of distance to Ukraine set the parameter of action of own self-defence. However, Europe has participated and been acting in accordance with war. Just not on their shores or in the near borders of own capitals. It hasn’t gotten close to comfort. Neither has the consequences of it or the ramifications of a war. No, that has been held at a distance…

Now, the conflicts of Europe is coming home. The weapons exports is happening to far-away hinterland or to any of their allies world-wide. Therefore, this war is more consuming to the West. Since, it involves them all and it’s a worry of escalation. Also, if Russia want to further it’s borders and annex even more countries after Ukraine. That is unknown and uncharted territory of Europe in this day and age. They have accepted and participated in conflicts outside of their home-bound regions. But now it’s happening there and it makes things more edgy.

That’s why people are speaking of the wars are coming home. I will say they were always here. That’s why we was busy making advanced weapons, exporting ammunition and selling artillery across the world. While also either being part or being parties in conflicts across the world after the 1990s Yugoslavian war.

There is time to recognize this and acknowledge this. Because, if we don’t, we are hypocrites and people who don’t reflect on our own actions. My own home country has exported weapons and participated in NATO missions across the world, which has inflicted insufferable damage and destruction. This is why we cannot act like we didn’t wage war or had no say in it. Our nations and participation had consequences, which is felt today in Libya and Afghanistan. These sorts of acts shouldn’t be forgotten. It is the act of cruelty to forget that… and we can’t if we are honest.

The wars wasn’t in Berlin, Paris, Madrid, Rome or in Warsaw, but we never know our future. Yesterday it was in Kabul and Baghdad. Now it is hitting Kyiv and we should stand in solidarity with Ukraine. However, at the same time, we need to reflect on the policies and actions, which lead the West and U.S. into similar conflicts anywhere else. Peace.

Opinion: Mzee now thinks civic education equates to destabilizing the country…

Part of this money is to support and facilitate various groups and entities in Uganda to conduct what they called deepening democracy in Uganda. The President and government think that this money was brought to distabilise the country. So that is the gist of the concern of the President and the investigation will tell us the money trail and what it has done” – Ofwono Opono in an interview (Ali Twaha – ‘Government links DGF suspension to politics’ 05.02.2021, New Vision).

The suspension of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF), which is directly funding over 70 Civil Society Organization/Non-Governmental Organization and also their various of programs was suspended by the President in January 2021. As the President and the government was preparing to go to the polls and it had already hold grudges towards civil society for so long. This is the latest attempt to crucify and assault the ones working for a better governance in the Republic.

We know that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni doesn’t want to listen to others. Neither does he want the input from anyone else either. However, he don’t mind free-money and slush-funds to spend as he see fit. That is why he goes after the DGF as it is a fitting “enemy” which he cannot directly control or have his hands in the cookie-jar.

Government Spokesperson Ofwono Opondo is saying it deliberately. They are calling it destructive. Because, they are undermining the “personification” of the state, which happens to be the President. The DGF’s civic education and programs are working indirectly to build sufficient institutions, policies and reforms, which in the end will weaken the power of one man. It would in the end be for good governance and accountable state organizations. Not just be ordered from “high above”. That is why OO and President is speaking ill of this. This will in the end weaken their drive and total control of the state, in the manner, which things are done today.

The “destabilizing” effort is indirectly weakening his reign and rule. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have no troubles getting direct aid and grants for their government to run. However, they have trouble having the same donors paying for salaries, programs and civic education across the Republic. That shows a double standard and that the President have no trouble eating of the plate directly, but doesn’t want to be told how to be accountable for his eating. He wants to spend money, but don’t want to show recites. That is the memo I am getting from this.

It shows that his a weak man. The President and the government have had no issues taking money from Western donors like the ones who funds the DGF. If they are so afraid of the independence and the questions of usage of funds. The government shouldn’t accept any funds with possible sting attached. The state shouldn’t take loans or grants from the outside. If the donors cannot sustain organizations (CSOs/NGOs) who works with other ideals than the President at this current day.

That is the reality of this all. There is no free lunch. It has never been so. There is always something attached and expectations of an outcome. If you borrow money to build a road, the lender hope you build the road, but also repays the loan with interests. If you take a donation or a grant, then its expected to go to a certain organization or work, which is beneficial for the ones receiving it. That is just a mere reality we all know.

Now, the ones receiving it wants to directly control the funds and how it is spent. When it was funds, which wasn’t his in the first place. They are worried of the efforts and effects these organizations have in the Republic. However, we all know that the President just want to eat and don’t bother with questions. This is why he has retaliated, because he can and he want to show strength. Nevertheless, these acts are an act of a coward. A coward who has taken money all his life, but now cries foul. It is a bit late when you been eating for over three decades and never caused a fuzz. Peace.

Opinion: Museveni suspending the DGF is biting the hand that feeds him

Now that the letter from President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija is out. The infamous letter where he suspends the accounts of the Democratic Governance Facility (DGF). This is important, because the DGF supports programs and organizations across the Republic. The DGF is sole funder of several of civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations. There are atleast 70 of them that is hit by this and would cease operations, as the funding and lack of funds to pay staff. That is all happening, because Museveni wrote a letter in early January 2021.

President Museveni have targeted CSOs and NGOs around election time. That is common. That he claims they are up to “no good” and supporting “terrorism” or any other objectively bad enterprise they can. That has been common for decades. However, ceasing their funding totally and blocking a multi-national funding scheme like the DGF. Only undercuts the ideals of the givers, the donors and the ones who monetary support the government and people in the Republic in general. This isn’t government funded money from the tax-base. No, these funds are given from outsiders to support governance and other organizations to strengthen democratic institutions and educate the masses.

The DGF is a collective fund donated by the European Union, Austria, Denmark, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden to support programs and CSOs/NGOs in Uganda. They are partnered with at least 72 organizations across the republic to different capacities. All working in various of fields and for causes to better the Republic. They are all civil society voices for good governance and creating a freer society. However, that is clearly not the beacon that the President believes in anymore.

The donors that see this action by Museveni should shun him and cease all direct donor-funds and also block all loans through multi-national organizations, which the donors are funding as well. That would make it harder for the President to operate and he would seek funds elsewhere. If he wants to be free of stipulations and not have any oversight. This cutting funds to International Monetary Funds (IMF) and World Bank (WB). Also others where the Government of Uganda is seeking loans for development projects and government programs.

The National Resistance Movement was able in the late 1980s and 1990s to have progress and financial backing to pursuit the government programs, which is it so proud of. The state also saw debt relief and cuts from donors. Now, the NRM is gaining more debt, but also putting in obstacles with the donors in regards to the DGF. The ones funding DGF should suspend all other funds and funding that goes towards Museveni. As a retaliation to this, as these projects, programs and NGOs/CSOs are working for ideals that Museveni once stood for, but with lingering in office despises.

We are clearly seeing the punitive action made by Museveni. He wants to prove supremacy, but does it in a mockery of a way. This is only showing the donors what sort of little man he is. That he has to go to this step. Take away the securities of the CSOs and NGOs. Instead of actually serving the general public. If the President really did that. He would haven’t have the need for all these CSOs/NGOs to cover where the government is lacking. The state is fluid and lacking institutions. That’s why the state needs them to cover the basics and civic education. This is still needed after over 30 years in power. That shows the weakness of the Presidency and his reign.

President Museveni isn’t showing strength here. His showing weakness and lack of control. That he got to act like this. This is acting a villain and hurting own citizens, because he can. So, the donors should act upon this and not just take it on the chin. They should show force too. Just to prove him what he has done. It is about time and not just “condemn” and move-on. That is not making any changes or challenging the old man. You need to meet him head-on. He plays games and these are with the lives of all these organizations. It is not the money of Museveni and neither funding from the state either. That is why his sour, as he got to loan to pay his cronies salaries. This is why he attacks and confronts, instead of talking and negotiating with the donors.

What he does with this is putting himself in corner and making less friends. If he wanted more support and legitimacy. He should have acted differently. However, he rather picks the trick of the pariah, instead of the friendly grand-pa, which is what he tries to act in the media. That is clearly not working and that is why this letter is undressing his motives. Peace.

Corona Lockdown: I want to leave for Wakanda

14th March 2020, Oslo

Now the Kingdom I am in living, the metropolis and everything is shutting down. The whole Kingdom is slowing down. People are going into home-office, suspending and laying down their tools. Only the vital operations and the ones whose service is dire is continuing. There are measures all around and things are not at all normal.

It is like a post apocalyptic nightmare, but without Will Smith nor any of the other devastating effects. The city isn’t filled with blood-shed and there isn’t a overdrive. There is hoarding of produce and food-stuffs, even toilet paper is out of stocks in the groceries and supermarkets.

There is reports of new people catching the sickness. People are afraid when people are coughing or sneezing. People are worried. There is a dire understanding of all the measures, people wanting more restrictions on travels, check-ups of the ones landing on the borders. While the wealthy and the ones with funds has already collectively travelled to the villages of cottages and staying away from the metropolis.

This isn’t “I Am Legend” neither is it “Mad Max” or a Terminator sequel. This is real life. It hasn’t been a nuclear war. This is in peaceful times here. The actions made is with a purpose. The Corona Virus is deadly and contagious. We don’t know everything about it yet, there are still questions how to battle it and what it takes to contain it.

We are seeing more people catching it, we are seeing the fear and the worry. Everyone is surely following the updates, the numbers and the alarming headlines of big-men into quarantine. People are doing their needed duties, while we are awaiting the next new measure or even possible change.

I have not written about the virus, because I don’t feel qualified neither do I have a deep enough understanding of it. I am just worried, looking at the signs of it, the conditions and what the authorities are saying about it. There are reasons to worry, but also encourage us all stand strong in it all. Even as we all prepare as much as we can. The stocks of anti-bacterial products has run-out and other helpful things is gone for a while.

We are maybe seeing the sun today, but the day is still grim. As we are living in times of uncertainty, of fear of catching the COVID19. We all know this and try to avoid the sickness. Use our means and our tools. Take our precautions and our understanding.

What is happening more now, as the metropolis is a ghost-town, as the police and other authorities are acting up to ill actions of kids and youth. As the state and organizations are all suspended for unknown time. Just a public offices and others has done the same. We are living in extra-ordinary times. This is actions made to stop one sickness. Which we just have to battle and we’re by the meanings we know.

I have never in my own life lived it with this way, where I am myself is called in a risk-group and has a lung-condition, which has made my family worry all week as I used public transport to the offices where I work. Now, from Friday it was settled and I stay home. However, the worry still is there.

That is why with all this worry. I want to leave, but I cannot. The opportunities to flea is closing. The borders are getting shut all-over. The state says the citizens should return home and get quarantined too.

That is why the whole idea of leaving to Wakanda is futile. Also, as it is a imaginary Kingdom. It still would be good to live in a nation with vibranium and behind the protective barrier. That would surely be nice these days. When the sickness can pass through everywhere and more nations are hit as we speak. That is how it seems.

That is why the borders of Wakanda. The shield and the protective barrier, which can rise above Wakanda City, surely could have made a difference now. At least given hope and energy to the public. As they are going to bed at night with uncertainty. Maybe enough toilet-paper, bread and some bags of soup. However, that is reassurance. That is just doing what is needed to secure tomorrow.

I will end with the T’Challa, the speech of the King of Wakanda to the fictional United Nations General Assembly:

My name is King T’’Challa , son of King T’’Chaka . I am the sovereign ruler of the Nation of Wakanda and for the first time in our history. We will be sharing our knowledge and resources with the outside world. Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows We cannot, we must not. We will work to be an example of how we as brothers and sisters on this Earth should treat each other. Now more than ever, illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us. In times of crisis, the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers . We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe” (Wakanda, 2018).

Think those words is needed for today, because as grim the world is today. As the worry, devastating news and the continuing spiral of people catching the decease, we all got to work together in solidarity and ensure that we get to live on. Not give up, but listen to the authorities and secure the future today. So, even as a part of me wants to take a plane to Wakanda. I know it’s not the right thing to do. However, it would be a lie not saying it. That is a natural reflex, but that doesn’t mean you act upon it. It is human to try to get away from the pain, the suffering and the illness coming your way. 

Though we will not do it. It is important to think of those who will. They could have been you. They just used their oppertunity and has to answer for their action. We other who follows orders, guidelines and recommandations of the state. Will follow our conscience too. That is why I will stay put, but will follow my gut feeling. So, that me and mines are safe. Peace.

A spiteful chant: Where did humanity go?

Where did humanity go in our time? When did we cease to care about other people’s struggle and their causes? When did that cease to matter? Because in our time, the rich and wealthy are securing more and more resources, while the poor is having no ways to get out of it. The states are closing their borders, stricter rules for refugees and asylum-seekers. While in dictatorships, the harassments and the internally displaced numbers are rising. The rich countries are investing in warfare, but not taking charge for the fleeing refugees from the crisis. They are trying to pay the states in regions and close the borders in migration routes. There is no heart, just cash-money. The heart has left, and the ignorance is rising.

The deaths of civil wars, the displacements of draconian laws and of dictators doesn’t matter. The lack of dialogue and of political freedoms, that doesn’t matter either. The lack of compassion and of political will change is also okay. As long as the troubles from afar doesn’t touch us. However, we will seal of the borders and make sure the innocent victims of internal disputes and skirmishes hopefully can cross the border to the closest country and not seek refugees in Europe or in the United States. Because, we cannot mange to show some humanity and heart.

The blood in your veins should boil, but for most. We don’t give a damn, they don’t give a fig. If their villages are burned to the ground by the military. If the Police is detaining people without any justification. If the state is securing the demise and death on fake imports. All of that doesn’t matter, as long as it doesn’t happen where we are.

This is the despicable. This is the reality. Our time, our reality, what our representatives put forward and make sure to build big invisible walls and mechanisms to close borders. To make it less achievable and costly to cross. Even more dangerous, as the perils of death and destruction at home isn’t better. But to leave can also cost your life, either by crook or by the book. Secondly, there will be nobody to even care to look.

This should be disgusting. Knowing that people are dying fleeing civil-wars and dictatorship, than when they are entering our safe havens; there is no one caring for their ills and troubles. They will just shrug it off like dirt on their shoulders and move on. There is lack of solidarity and heart. I hope in my time, that the Republic’s and Nation’s that close their borders never start warfare with themselves. As the ones who saw what we did. Might also give us no helping hand. They might say, we saw what your parents did to us. Why should we save the kids to such despicable people? Why do you deserve safe haven, when you couldn’t help our kind in need?

That is what I worry about, because we never know when the tide change, when society start to deteriorate or self-destruct. That is within us and we never know. We could be next, right now it is our brothers from afar, next time it could our closest neighbor or even ourselves. Than, they will remember our cold hearts and lack of compassion in the times of need. Peace.

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

The Presidential Handshake Probe recommend the NRM regime to regulate the Presidential Donations!

In Uganda everything in Parliament and legislation are usually connected with the President in someway or another. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are usually involved in any sort acts and government affairs. It is well known that many decisions are taken directly at the State House or at either the NRM National Executive Committee (NEC) and the NRM Caucus. This are all directed by the President and usually contains his vision. So that the Parliament was probing the Presidential Handshake, that was like looking directly into the provisions given by the President. The President who has accepted to give to civil servants and other government officials. So here is the report from Parliament today!

A House committee that inquired into the payment of Shs 6 billion to 42 government officials for winning a tax oil case in London wants the beneficiaries to refund the monies. Parliament’s Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises (COSASE) committee was instructed by Parliament in January this year to investigate the payment of the monies to the officials, said to have participated in the arbitration case between government and Heritage Oil and Gas in a London court” (…) “In its recommendations, the committee has tasked government to come up with a bill within 90 days to regulate and streamline the Presidential donations budget. Parliament last month rejected a Shs 53.8 billion supplementary budget, which included the Shs 6 billion bonus payment to the government officials. The Budget committee, in its report, said the approval of the funds was deferred pending the COSASE probe conclusion” (Parliament Watch Uganda, 21.06.2017).

Clearly, like all things in Parliament and within government in Uganda are coming back to the Okello House, or President Museveni. He is always involved and has made decisions or took charge so it happen. The same happen with the Presidential Handshake, which he gave way to after seeing the letters in the case. That the beneficiaries are claimed to have to refund their money to the state, as it was supposed to be tax to fund the state. The money the state won was not supposed to become individual income for the individuals doing clerical work for Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) or anyone else.

Now the COSASE wants the state to restrict the Presidential Donations and the monies the President suddenly dole away. So they can monitor his giving ways and his use of state funds. Clearly this will put measures to follow the President and his acts. Certainly, he would not like this, because this could show some transparency and show where the funds the President are free to give-away. This is not something that seem like President Museveni doesn’t want to follow. Since if so, he is showing real governance and open government. He prefers running in backdoor agreements and brown envelopes to get legislation through the Parliament. If the Presidential donations are monitored, than the clear corrupt behavior will be in the open and COSASE would have a field day on the actions of the State House. Certainly, the 90 days will not be met and not be followed.

If so, than it will be water-downed legislation, which doesn’t have the power to question his authority. Just like the monitoring and probing into the Presidential Handshake. The Report today proved how little they can vindicate, and even show who is to blame. As the recommendation for regulation of the Presidential Donations will certainly not be something President Museveni would prefer. Peace.

%d bloggers like this: