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Archive for the tag “NRM Village Program”

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

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

Petroleum Fund:

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

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

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

Petroleum Data:

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

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

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

Reference:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reference:

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Committee observers therefore:

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

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

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

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

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

Conclusion:

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

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

Reference:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reference:

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

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.

Ugandan economy could get Oil-Shocks due to external factors, recent BoU report claims!

Surprise, surprise the Bank of Uganda (BoU) has made a working paper on the possible consequences of the oil price, the oil exports and the oil imports on the Ugandan economy. This didn’t exceed my expectation of a report or paper, but said enough to clearly anticipate changes in the economy with the coming export. Even as the BoU called the domestic oil production in embryonic stages, which means the real impact will come when it is closer petroleum production the GDP and CPI feel more impact of the oil prices and the volumes exported from the Lake Albert Basin.

That the Ugandan State and the Republic of Uganda, should know that the fresh foreign exchange and currency into the economy, as the domestic parts of petroleum is not having big impact on the economy! Still, the export can change it as the oil prices and change the consumer price index for instance. Take a look!

One such shock that is a source of major concern and risks to monetary policy-making in Uganda is the oil shock. To our knowledge, the effects of oil shocks in Uganda, to date, have not yet been analyzed. The objective of this paper therefore, is to analyze the nature and importance of oil shocks to Uganda’s economy in a dynamic framework” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 4, 2017).

According to the Uganda’s Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (2012), oil provides about 10 percent of Uganda’s energy requirements – the rest is sourced from the small and underdeveloped and unreliable electricity sub-sector and the cheap biomass energy. The oil sector was also deregulated in 1994, under the broad structural reforms implemented by the Government of Uganda, which effectively eliminated oil prices subsidies. Uganda is endowed with commercially-viable oil reserves, but domestic oil production is in embryonic stages. Consequently, all of the oil-energy needs of the country are satisfied by imports” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 8, 2017).

The results of the variance decomposition in regard to oil shock are not entirely unexpected, given the structure of Uganda’s economy. Oil and its products constitute 8 percent of total intermediate consumption and 10 percent of energy requirements. In addition, oil is crucial to electricity supply in Uganda because hydro-electricity is unreliable and insufficient. This implies little or no substitutability of oil with hydro-electric energy in production in case of adverse oil shock, which could justify the long-run 20 percent variance in output due to oil shocks. Regarding consumer prices, the small percentage of variance in consumer prices due to oil shocks is justified by the small weight of oil in the CPI basket. Oil constitutes about 1 percent in the 2009/10 rebased CPI basket, of which 0.8 percent is oil for personal transportation and 0.2 percent a source of liquefied energy at home. These numbers are not surprising given that over 75 percent of the population live in rural areas and depend mainly on wood and charcoal as a source of energy, and that rates of car ownership are generally low. Moreover, the main source of short-run volatility in the Uganda CPI is weather-related factors affecting food prices. This leaves the bulk of fluctuations in the core consumer prices (Comprising over 80 percent) explained by demand” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 18, 2017).

Oil shocks are transmitted through the supply channel, as a shock that increases the international price of oil leads to opposite movements in real output and consumer prices in Uganda” (Nyanzi & Bwire, P: 19, 2017).

It is hard to say how it could impact and how the petroleum production and exports will change the economy, how the prices and the inflation, as the measure of how much the price of the crude-oil will be at the given time. That the government has secret agreements with oil companies and also agreements with other to build the crude-oil pipeline that goes to Tanzania. Therefore, the reaction in the economy is not yet known, but with the background and knowledge of the how it is now. Most likely a real output and change in consumer prices in Uganda.

That will be an oil-shock no-one can be prepared for. Unless the Government and Parliament created legislation and policies who might soften the change of the economy. Therefore, with this in mind, the National Resistance Movement, the State House and the President Museveni have work to do. That is if they consider the implication the petroleum production and exports will have on inflation, currency value and consumer prices index as well. This report should open some eyes into it, but it should not be surprising. Peace.

Reference:

Nyanzi, Sulaiman & Bwire, Thomas – ‘Working Paper No. 04/2017 – The Macroeconomic responses to Petro Shocks for Uganda’ (May, 2017)

Presidential Handshake: It’s now revealed that the President is trying to pin someone to “fall on one’s sword”!

The continued exhausting of the Presidential handshake shows the true form of the bribe. Even as the President himself, tries to clean his hands and pin-point more people. He still did sanction it directly from the Uganda Revenue Authority and onto the vast civil servants and loyal cronies, as a bribe and brown envelope of joy. Even if the stories keep coming and more people being implicated, the reality is that this shows that the whole system is rotten.

The maladministration and clearly not caring about state reserves comes to the public court. The Public know knows that the President and his State House, are only trying to find a scapegoat and a perfect victim, to save face and look good, without taking down somebody who knows to much. They know that to many people has gotten ill-earned millions in envelopes because of this Presidential Handshake. That the probe would have questions to the President was most likely, and we could anticipate that someone else would fall on their sword. If they will do it voluntarily and might do it with force from the State House.

Oxford Dictionary states about “Fall on one’s sword”:

Assume responsibility or blame on behalf of other people, especially by resigning from a position.

he heroically fell on his sword, insisting that it was his decision’ (Oxford Dictionary).

So when you read part of the piece in the Daily Monitor today, you see how the President tries to wash his hands of sin and put blame on the Ministers and others. So he will talk to the culprit and make sure that he falls on his sword for him.

Museveni pinning people down for the handshake:

Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu,who is leading the inquiry by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises(Cosase), confirmed at a press briefing on Friday that Mr Museveni wants the Committee to ensure that the missing money is accounted for. “The President said he was not aware [that Shs5b is unaccounted for] and he was happy that we were going to follow it up. He reiterated his commitment to accountability and he said any monies spent from the public coffer should be accounted for. He encouraged us to have this money accounted for by the Justice Ministry Accounting Officer [Solicitor General],”Mr Katuntu said. Mr Katuntu revealed that the Solicitor General will be cross-examined again over the whereabouts of the Shs5b before a report is compiled mapping out his fate. During the ingoing inquiry, Mr Atoke failed to give conclusive accountability for the money. During the course of the two meetings, Mr Museveni also singled out former Energy Minister Syda Bbumba for inserting a clause in the Production Sharing Agreement that allowed Tullow a $157m tax waiver for an out of court settlement involving Tullow. The signing of a PSA to exempt Tullow from $157m was done by Ms Bbumba without the knowledge of the President, Mr Katuntu confirmed. “The President said he was not aware of that exemption. The President agreed with us that the exemption was illegal because the then Minister did not have power to exempt payment of tax. We informed the President that we are following up this matter and we will have a conversation with Syda Bbumba,”Mr Katuntu said” (Arinaitwe, 2017).

Now that Honorable Syda Bbumba is the one to blame now, not the ones applying for it or the ones who gained the ill-willed state coffer monies. Not long ago, it was revealed to come from the wrong account, directly from URA and not State House. Now it is a Minister Bbumba who acted without consistent legal procedure, nor talked with the authorities before the money went on its merry. Certainly the other part of what happen this mid-week reveals certain aspects worth noting!

Asking for favors:

According to our sources, as soon as the president ended his testimony, some MPs took turns to speak privately with him. According to multiple sources familiar with the Entebbe meeting, Katuntu effectively contained the MPs during the committee’s official business session at State House but when that ended, MPs went on rampage. “After the meeting, the president invited us for a group photo and this is when the MPs started [whispering],” said an MP who attended the meeting. This MP singled out Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum Municipality), Hood Katuramu (PWDs Western) and Vincent Woboya (Budadiri East) as some of the MPs that approached Museveni with requests for favours. This was after they saw the committee vice chairperson Anita Among whisper to Museveni. Anywar reportedly invited the president to attend her thanksgiving next month in Kitgum. “She has not been attending the committee meetings. In fact, we didn’t go with her on [Wednesday]. I think her coming on the second day was purposely to see Museveni, not [to be part of] the probe,” one MP said” (Kaaya, 2017).

So the system is rigged and he isn’t only looking for someone to take the blame for the Presidential Handshake, he also sees who are loyal to him if they get favors. Similar to the Handshake. They wants and requests favors from the President, because he has done so in the past. And most likely do it again, that is the way he keeps the cronyism alive and the Movement booming. If he stops paying and delivering brown-envelopes to political affiliates he will lose his base and his MP’s. But because of this Presidential Handshake he has to play smart and look like he cares about fighting corruption, even though his State House is thriving on it.

That this would take such long time isn’t surprising as they are trying to find one who can take the blame, without to much cost and lose of face value to the hierarchy and the State House. Nevertheless, the bribe is still a bribe, even if they try to color it differently, there isn’t a gray-area to put it into. The reality is still the same. That certain elements now this week ask for favors from the President proves the handouts and the handshakes are a systemic and institutionalized affairs at the State House.

The issue with the Presidential Handshake is more of a gimmick as the state tries to find the one who will take the charge and eat, so that the President can say: “See there my Ugandan people, I work against corruption”. But the next day, another MP will pop by Entebbe or Nakasero and ask for favor, an envelope or even a handshake. So that they can be bought into submission, which is the given state and the system that President Museveni believes in. Peace.

Reference:

Arinaitwe, Solomon – ‘Museveni pins SG Atooke over oil cash’ (01.05.2017) link:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Museveni-pins-SG-Atooke-over-oil-cash/688334-3909560-g9wigk/index.html

Kaaya, Sadab Kitatta – ‘Oil cash probe MPs beg from Museveni’ (01.05.2017) link:http://observer.ug/news/headlines/52653-oil-cash-probe-mps-beg-from-museveni.html

Oxford Dictionary – ‘fall on one’s sword’ link:https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fall_on_one’s_sword

Trick or Treat: Presidential Handshake gone wrong!

Today, is a day that doesn’t stop to startle, the day doesn’t stop giving. The reports from the Republic are a bit to much. Still, the continued probe into the 6 billion Ugandan shillings has continued. I would never believe it would amount to anything. For the first time in a while, the President has said he did a mistake, but it wasn’t I did something wrong with the State Resources and the Taxes. No I took the money from the wrong account and then gave it away to the civil servants and movement cronies. Take a look!

Shs. 6 Billion was a mistake and the President want to give a refund!

President Yoweri Museveni has told the Members of Parliament investigating the Shs 6bn Presidential Handshake that he is ready to refund the money” (…) “The president was quoted as saying his original thinking was to “say thank you to our patriotic civil servants who against all odds managed to make us get what was due to us from the known international giants.” The president added that the flouting the rules by the government officials was not his making, although he agreed to take responsibility on their behalf and make sure the money is returned from where it was picked” (…) “It was unanimously agreed during the committee session at State House that picking the presidential handshake money from the Uganda Revenue Authority was a mistake. The money should have been sourced from State House budget that caters for all expenses of the President” (…) “We realized it was wrong for the presidential handshake (Shs 6bn) to come from URA instead of State House or President’s office,” another source who attended the session said” (NTV Newsnight, 26.04.2017).

The Movement and the government leader, the executive and the President are clearly trying to clean his hands. Since it was from the wrong accounts, that the Presidential Handshake was taken from the Uganda Revenue Authority, as they we’re the receiving end of the tax-case with the Heritage and Tullow Oil Corporation. These case and probe the republic have been through and through, even Andrew Mwenda defended the handshake.

What is sad and supposed to be the saving grace for the President, that if he gave the civil servants and the ones involved in it and getting compensated for their work. The handshake was by his purpose just a fair gift for the work. As the ones in URA working copying paper and picking up the phone in the office for the state. So even if they mask the audit of the budget as of where the money came from, the civil servants still get their monies.

If the money we’re directed from the State House or from URA, it is still from the State Coffers, the only difference is the ending numbers on the slips. That it really wasn’t his making, but we have seen the letter that was accepted and the citizens seen the acts. If not they have read the lines and comments of the Handshake.

Even if the President said this should have been expenses directly from him and not from the URA. It is still uncommon and not something that should occur. That the President blames his fellow co-workers and the institutions around him. Presidential Handshake no matter where it comes from is still an act of graft, a bribe or a misuse of government funds. The gift from the President is still brown-envelopes without proper procedure, not basic salaries or natural bonuses. If it was so, then there wouldn’t have been such a probe into the handshake.

An act of corruption if it comes on a unicorn from the State House or from the blessed souls of the Uganda Revenue Authority, doesn’t sanction the act differently. If the letterhead of the bribe to the civil servants for their work, doesn’t salvage the Presidential Handshake. It just shows the disregard President Museveni has. He thinks it would be different it was directly donated from him and if he signs of the same amount to URA from the State House. Surely, that amount must come from the budgeted “confidential” State House funds, as the knowledge of how it is use are only for the President to know.

I can reassure the world that a unicorn was not flying around the Okello House this night and will not happen tomorrow morning either, a bribe is still a bribe. You can try to change the fact, but the money was still transacted without the proper procedure and without the justification. Even if the President says so, it is still misuse of the state coffers and given taxpayers funds to cronies, nothing else! Peace.

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

Report from the MoFPED shows the growing Ugandan debt by June 2016!

Again, the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) dropped another report on the fiscal policies and the fiscal health of the economy in Uganda. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) have created this environment as the growing debt and growing interest payment comes with their planned debt rise. Still, the PriceWaterhouseCoopers spelled gloom earlier in the year, as this report was dropped on the MoFPED web page today. Even if the Report was spelled out in December 2016. It is if like the NRM didn’t want this to spelled out early. Since the numbers aren’t compelling of an arts piece, more issues… just take a look!

The stock of total public debt grew from US$ 7.2 billion at the end of June 2015 to US$ 8.4 billion in June 2016. This represents an increase from 30.6% of GDP to 33.8% over the two periods. The increase was largely on account of external debt, which grew from US$ 4.4 billion to US$ 5.2 billion over the period. Domestic debt increased from US$ 2.8 billion to US$ 3.2 billion” (MoFPED, P:V, 2016).

That the debt are growing quick, as the public debt grew with US$ 1.2 billion, that the percentage of GDP went up with 3,2%, the external debt rose with US$ 0.8 billion and the Domestic debt went up US$ 0.4 billion. All of these numbers show the amount of monies that the Government are adding on their debt, as the UNRA and the development projects are suspended by World Bank. So the Infrastructure development can be questioned as the growing debt, as the government must have other uses of the growing and scaled up debt. Since the transparency of the economy isn’t there and that the sanctioned bills comes from the State House. Just look at the growing interest rates as well.

Interest Payment as a percentage of GDP stood at 2.2% as at end June 2016, up from 1.9% as at June 2015. The increase is largely explained by interest payments on domestic debt, which grew from Shs 1,077 billion in FY2014/15 to 1,470 billion in FY2015/16. There was a significant increase in the weighted average interest rate of Government debt; from 5.9% to 6.5% in June 2015/16. This followed increases in the weighted interest rates for both domestic and external debt, from 13.6% to 15.3% for domestic debt and from 0.9% to 1.2% external debt. As interest rates increase, so do the debt service obligations of Government” (MoFPED, P: 4, 2016).

The difference between June 2015 and June 2016 the percentage has grown with 0.3%, the domestic interest rate grew with Shs. 0.393 billion. The Interest rate alone went up by percentage 0.6%, as the weighted interest rates went up 1.7%. The key sentence that the report wrote and I repeat: “As interest rates increase, so do the debt service obligations of Government”.

That idea isn’t only on the interest payment percentages are running higher, but as the debt goes up, the interests goes up. So the Debt Service Obligations are going up for the Government. This is a natural outcome, that the obligations for the state goes up with the amount of debt it rises. So the government can try to portray this is controlled, and to one extent it is under control. Still, the growth in this regard proves that the NRM regime are pilling up debt and increasing their debt, as well as interests. In the end this will make the state worse. Especially knowing that the energy dams have been built poorly and many of the expensive roads haven been fruitful. This is development that the growing debt is being used to…

So the NRM regime and the Ugandan government isn’t believable… the rise of debt and interests show’s the current state of affairs. Even if the percentage is after plan, the government still has to take charge and make sure they can pay back both the debt and interests. Peace.

Reference:

Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) – ‘DEBT SUSTAINABILITY

ANALYSIS REPORT 2015/16’

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