IGG Report says the Office of the President had two “papal” cars in their parking-lot since 2015…

We know that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is obsessed with cars or vehicles. That is why the most important gift to the government during the lockdowns in 2020 was just that. He just wanted cars and that was the solution to everything.

I just started to go through Inspectorate General of Government Report of February 2021. The first thing that caught my eye was this simple story. It is just showing how much control the State House or Office of the President has. As they can control minor things and hold it in their possession for years. This is maybe just two expensive cars for one visit. However, if they can do that to such things. What can the same authorities do with bigger and even more expensive things?

Here is the paragraph that caught my eye:

The Office of the President entered into MOU with Ministry of Works and Transport for purchase of two vehicles for use by His Holiness the Pope during his visit to Uganda in November 2015 and provided UGX. 322,200,000 for executing the MOU. MOWT purchase a black new Kia Soul 5 door Hatchback UG2519C and a new Mitsubishi Pick Up UG2520C. The two vehicles were handed over to the President’s Office for use by MOWT after the Pope’s visit. They were found parked at the Office of the President parking yard at the time of this investigation” (IGG – ‘BI- ANNUAL INSPECTORATE OF GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE REPORT TO PARLIAMENT (JANUARY – JUNE 2020)’ P:7, February 2021).

That means the Office of the President have kept these cars since November 2015 and meaning the vehicles was still in the possession in the time of June 2020. As this report is the investigations made between January to June 2020, but published in February 2021. Therefore, the vehicles might be gone by now, but that is only matter of trust that this investigation made a difference. However, there should be a check-up on that. Because, who knows who has been using these two vehicles since the Pope Francis left Uganda?

Just imagine cars destined to be used by the Ministry of Works and Transport (MoWT) have been stationed at the wrong place for close to 5 years. They were actually parked outside the Office of the President during the investigation.

The was even questions about these cars back in 2018: “Members of Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee have questioned officials in the Office of the President over the whereabouts of two cars used by Pope Francis when he visited Uganda in 2015” (NTV Uganda, 19.10.2018).

So now in February 2021 we know where they are, unless the Office of the President have actually given them back to MoWT where they were supposed to be. Nevertheless, that shows the state of affairs and how they care about expenditure of the state. When cars can just be lost for years and be on a parking-lot. If not used by the wrong authority for years. We don’t know that, but these cars was new.

That we know, because the Daily Monitor reported this in December 2015: “Joseph Ssemuwemba is the Chief Executive Officer of The Motorcenter East Africa Ltd. I found him in his office located on Plot 16 Old Portbell Road attending to his daily work. He was happy to share his experience of securing the opportunity to supply the Papal vehicle, and also the pressure that comes with such honour. “We know the Pope prefers modest transport and we have a history of the Pope having travelled in a Kia Soul while in South Korea and the interesting part here, is that this was his personal choice in Seoul, It wasn’t about government availing him any transport, it was about “of all these cars on this list what car would you like to use?” and his pick was the boxy stylish Kia Soul,” Ssemuwemba says” (Daily Monitor – ‘Pope Francis’ little black car’ 17.12.2015).

So, this isn’t a big whoop or a tragic tale, but is a story of misused fortunes and wasted funds on two cars. Where the resources are wasted and used for grandeur for a visit, but is never getting where they are intended. We don’t know what the MoWT was intending to use these cars for. However, they was supposed to be sitting in a parking-lot for all these years. Peace.

Rep. Elijah Cummings letter to Pat Cipollone to produce documents for the investigation into Security Clearance Process of Jared Kushner (01.03.2019)

MoFPED Matia Kasaija letter to All Development Partners: “Re: Clarification on the Decision of Cabinet of the Republic of Uganda Concerning the Reorganization of Government Institutions” (26.09.2018)

A new Presidential Initiative: With what budget and other plan than the launch?

We know that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his State House has a free budget, where he can spend the funds as he likes. Because he got in the votes before the 2018/19 on the part of the: “11 Logistical and Administrative – Support to the Presidency” and the parts of “06 Presidential Initiatives”. That is why yesterday is special, when we know that he got 9.957 billion shillings for this budget year alone. While the Ministerial Policy Statement for this budget year wasn’t specific where these funds are going. That is why, what was launched yesterday, might be part of that, but who knows, right?

New launched initiative:

President Yoweri Museveni launched a new Presidential Fast-Tracking Initiative on the Elimination of HIV/AIDS that targets total elimination of the scourge from the Uganda by 2030. He used the occasion to remind Ugandans in general and those devoted to the fight against the scourge that the struggle to eliminate HIV/AIDS from our society should focus more on preventive measures because the pandemic is avoidable. Speaking during the launch of the initiative at Isingiro District headquarters in Isingiro Town Council, the President said that because AIDS has no known cure to-date, Ugandans need to focus on how to avoid contracting the virus which, he said, is the only sure way the virus can be eliminated from the Ugandan society. The ceremony attracted representatives from 28 districts if South Western Uganda” (National Resistance Movement, 20.10.2018).

This proves that some of the money goes somewhere. However, in the statement from the President and the NRM. There are no statements on how much is spent on the initiative, how many who will work with it or even the organization behind it. The President has budgeted funds fro the Presidential Initiatives, however, there are no allocations to where that goes. Especially not in the Ministerial Policy Statement and in the documents proving the voting.

It would have been good knowing to what extent this is or if its just a public stunt? Because it is noble fight to eliminate HIV/AIDS. We should still wonder where and how the funding for this are. Since it is public spending and supposed to do something. If it is printing pamphlets, posters and TV-ads. We don’t know, if this is a public campaign or something to inform the Ministry of Health and ensure less people get the HIV/AIDS. Who knows right?

That is what we should wonder about and how the monies is spent. It is a good idea, but good to know the reality of the initiative itself. Peace.

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Opinion: If the Cabinet scraps NMS and UNRA, what about the weird expenditures at the Presidential Affairs?

As the giant Cabinet of the Republic are planning to scrap Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and National Medical Stores (NMS), that these are going back into their ministries. Because of how these two organizations has supposed wasted government funds and spending. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) knows the ordeal and the reasons for that, but they are instead scrapping the organizations, to keep the deals in-house and not as sole organization doing the operations as expert organizations for the government. That is why this will go back to Ministry of Works and Transport for UNRA and Ministry of Health for NMS. I have one more vital idea for the Cabinet members, but don’t expect them to so.

Today’s news:

The Cabinet has taken a decision to scrap Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA) and National Medical Stores and transfer their mandate to the mother ministries to reduce wastage of resources. According to a source, the decision was taken in two meetings with the first held on August 20 and the last one on Monday last week. The source said President Museveni was unhappy with the UNRA performance, especially in the rural areas where roads are impassable yet it is where majority of votes for his NRM party are” (Andrew Bagala – ‘UNRA to be scrapped in merger of government agencies’ 03.09.2018 link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/UNRA-to-be-scrapped-merger-government-agencies/688334-4740804-qvrsbnz/index.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter_DailyMonitor).

As these ideas are noble, but we know the reasons in itself. More direct control and cannot use the organizations as faults for the corrupt, graft and embezzlement anymore. The Cabinet are thinking this will stop this, but they are just making sure the deals and agreements made with tenders and buying, will be happening in-house and not by experts in the same regard as today. That is the real reaction to what is happening with this.

My advise would be find ways to merger and move responsibility from the Office of the President, State House and Office of the Prime Minister. As these could be moved to their representative ministries, as the Youth Livelihood Programme should end elsewhere. The budgets for the Residential District Commissioners are put under the President, this should be put Minister of Local Government and not under the President.

Like what does the budget of Internal Security Organization and External Security Organization lay under neath Office of the President, as this should be under the Ministry of Internal Affairs or Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

As well as all the development expenditure that is parts of the Office of the President and Office of the Prime Minister. Both of these should have been put under fitting expertise of certain ministries, as the Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Education and Sports, Ministry of Works and Transport and so on. As well, as the ones fitting Ministry of Internal Affairs and Ministry of Internal Affairs. All these ministries could have connected these projects under the State House, Office of the President and Office of the Prime Minister.

Like what does the Uganda AIDS Commission does under the Office of the President, shouldn’t this be under the Ministry of Health? Why does the Office of the Prime Minister have the Disaster Preparedness and not the Ministry of Internal Affairs or the Ministry of Local Government?

This is just what I wonder about, because, if the Cabinet is serious about scrapping UNRA and NMS, why are not the government looking into the weird expenditures at the Office of the Prime Minister, State House or even the Office of the President?

They should really ask and wonder. If they are not doing this as a political stunt, as we know how corrupt these enterprises are, but will it make a difference to cut out the middle-man? Peace.

Uganda: MoH Press release on the death at Naguru Hospital due to Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (24.08.2018)

Uganda: Letter – “Re: Heightened Index of Suspicion for Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) in Your District” (21.08.2017)

MPS for Presidential Affairs FY 2017/18 proving massive spending on Mzee!

The Ministerial Policy Statement on the Presidential Affairs for the Financial Year of 2017/2018. These are clear of the priorities in the Republic. The Republic are putting as much funds into the State House, which is Ushs. 245 bn and under the Office of Prime Minister in the Development Expenditure Ushs. 245 bn. So there are certain aspects of government priority that isn’t healthy, as both the Office of the President and the State House get Ush. 300 bn in total. But take look at the beautiful priorities of the National Resistance Movement!

Office of the President:

In the FY 2017/18, the total proposed allocation to Office of the President is Ushs 54.268 bn, reflecting a 2.8% increment against the FY 2016/17 approved budget” (GoU, P: 3,2017).

The Committee noted that four (4) districts of Kagadi, Kakumiro, Omoro and Rubanda came in place in FY 2016/2017. In the FY 2017/2018, Namisindwa, Pakwach, Butebo, Rukiga, Kyotera and Bunyangabo will come into operation. The Committee however noted that additional cost implication of Ushs. 2.63 bn to facilitate 10 RDCs is not within the MTEF ceiling of Office of the President in FY 2017/18. The Committee further observed that facilitation for RDCs to conduct effective monitoring of Government programs is underfunded to the tune of Ushs. 3.0 bn” (GoU, P: 4, 2017)

Internal Security Organization:

The Committee expressed concern without substantial facilitation to Internal Security Organisation, terrorists can successfully accomplish their interests of terrorism and insurgency activities and other forms of organized crimes including politically motivated ones without detection. This has in most cases resulted substantial spending in managing such acts” (GoU, P: 9, 2017).

State House:

In the FY 2017/18, the total proposed allocation to Vote 002 is Ushs 245.567 bn, reflecting a 4.6% reduction against the FY 2016/17 approved budget” (GoU, P: 12, 2017).

External Security Organization:

In the FY 2017/18, the total proposed allocation to Vote 159 is Ushs 31.343 bn, reflecting an increment of 16.4°10 against the FY 2016/17 approved budget largely on account of a 10 % budget cut on consumptive items” (GoU, P: 18, 2017).

Office of the Prime Minister:

The Committee noted that the policy on refugees in Uganda is lacking. The Committee was informed that Office of the Prime Minister is in the process of conducting consultations with stakeholders to validate the Draft Refugee Policy. The Committee observes that in absence of the refugee policy, citizens are not aware of the right places and right engagement for refuges. The Committee undertook on-spot assessment of communities hosting refugees in Adjumani, Yumbe and Kiryandongo Districts and noted that in some instances, refugees have too much freedom and are more privileged at the expense of nationals” (GoU, P: 29, 2017).

10.3.5 Lack of sustainable interventions for Disaster Preparedness

The Committee notes that Office of the Prime Minister has not made any efforts in putting in place sustainable interventions for Disaster Preparedness. In its oversight role, the Committee undertook a field visit to Nakasongola District, which is among the drought prone areas in the Country. The Committee was informed that during peak drought season, about 30 heads of cattle died per day and that the drought season occurs year in year out. The most painful thing to note is that Nakasongola District is surrounded by Lake Kyoga” (GoU, P: 29, 2017).

11.1 VOTE 001 – OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT

Budget Item UShs. (Bn)

(i) Recurrent Expenditure 118,929,091,000

(ii) Development Expenditure 5,216,904,000” (GoU, P: 32, 2017).

11.3 VOTE 003 – OFFICE OF THE PRIME MINISTER

Budget Item (i) Recurrent Expenditure Ushs. 64,786,412,000 bn.

(ii) Development Expenditure Ushs. 245,404,928,000 bn” (GoU, P: 32, 2017)

There are proof of enough lacking resources, lacking policies, even coming from the Office of the Prime Minister, that is the Ministry under Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, the trusted appointee that was sought to fill the shoes of Amama Mbabazi. Therefore, the government are clearly not planning or having funds to keep the refugees in Uganda. There assistance is coming from donors, the Multi-National Organization and Non-Governmental Organization who apply needed help to the fleeing refugees in Northern Uganda.

We can also see the similar use of Development expenditure under the Office of the Prime Minister and the State House, which is Ushs. 245 bn. This is proving the misuse of funds on the State House, as the development expenditure should be more important than expensive water and all other projects under the State House. As well, as keeping the upkeep of the President. Even as under the Office of the President are alone getting Ushs. 118 bn. Therefore, the whole Presidential Affairs are really not a cheap ride for the Financial Year of 2017/2018.

The are really lot of spending on the President and Prime Minister’s portfolios, but still missing key policies to implement the spending. That is maybe why the State House needed supplementary budget before even getting the vote of the Ministerial Statement. If that isn’t bad planning or even misuse of State Reserves, than who knows! Peace.

Reference:

Government of Uganda (GoU)- ‘SUMMARY REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON PRESIDENTIAL AFFAIRS ON THE MINISTERIAL POLICY STATEMENTS FOR FY 2017/18’ (May 2017)