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Archive for the tag “Prof Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile”

MTN Uganda Not Subjected to an ISO Raid on Friday 15 February 2019 (16.0.2019)

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MTN Uganda Scandal: Why are all of these people deported?

There are speculations going on there as the biggest Telecom Company MTN Uganda Limited have been under fire since the midst of January 2019. This has been shown over the recent month, as the leadership and executives have been deported. By my count since mid of January, there been four people.

The three firsts was addressed like this by MTN Group:

MTN Uganda has not been officially notified of the grounds for these arrests and deportations and is trying to establish the precise reasons for the deportations. We are understandably concerned about these developments and the wellbeing of all our employees. MTN Uganda is fully committed to respecting and operating within the laws of the country. Notes to the editor: On Saturday, 19 January 2019, the MTN Uganda Chief Marketing Officer, Olivier Prentout, was arrested by police at Entebbe airport upon arrival from a business trip abroad. On the morning of Monday 21 January 2019, the MTN Uganda Head of Sales and Distribution, Annie Bilenge Tabura, was arrested by unidentified security personnel upon arrival at the MTN headquarter offices, in Kololo, Kampala. Subsequently, both Mr Prentout and Mrs Bilenge have been deported from Uganda to their home countries, France and Rwanda respectively. On the 22 January 2019, Elza Muzzolini, Head of Mobile Financial Services was also deported from Uganda. – Issued by MTN Group Regulatory and Corporate Affairs” (MTN Group, 23.01.2019).

Therefore, three people has already been deported, this being Prentout, Tabura and Muzzolini. They have all been banished from the Republic. Today, it has escalated again, as CEO Wim Vanhelleputte, whose also has been interrogated and been questioned by ISO/CMI during January 2019. Was today on the 14th February 2019 deported to Belgium by the authorities.

Clearly, the state is retaliating, as they are fearing for their safety and the data shedding the company is doing. As there been speculation that the company has had disgruntled staff leaking intelligence to Rwandan Intelligence Service. This has been reported by various of online news-outlets. Therefore, some thinks it is connected to this, that the President and the regime is afraid of this. That is why these people are all deported from the Republic.

It is clear, that there something going on behind the scenes. As the Security Organizations summons, interrogate and deport MTN executives from the Republic. This is happening, as the state are trying to silence the MTN or stop leaked intelligence to Rwanda. We don’t know if that is true or what. But what we do now, is that the Ugandan government and authorities are acting swiftly and retaliates against the high-ranking officials within the Telecom. Peace.

BoU Probe: Lukwago statement – “Re: Salient Matters Concerning The Parliamentary Probe Into The Closure of Greenland Bank and Other Defunct Commercial Banks” (12.02.2019)

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for February 2019 (07.02.2019)

The 200 Shillings of Doom: Tumwebaze mixed messages concerning the Social Media Tax!

We knew that the statements of 2018, as the loyal ICT Minister Frank Tumwebaze hadn’t done his due diligence, as the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoPED) issued a Social Media Tax last year after President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wrote a letter to the Ministry of Finance asking for the opportunity to tax this.

That has no been done over the last few months, but as the realization of the effects are coming. The forewarning of CSBAG and others wasn’t listen to. I wrote that it lacked due diligence of the tax in June 2018 and today. As I open Daily Monitor and seeing that Frankie Boy has changed his ways. He has opened his eyes and seeing what some of us saw all along. As the cost of content, the cost of using social media and that this has ensured that it is less viable. Since, its the elites who can use it, but the lower level civil servants cannot afford to be online. That was natural, that the 200 shillings per day would be taken directly of the plate and also evaporate funds for investment within the Republic. It is a negative tax, and therefore, naturally have reverse effect, than what the state promised when they levied it.

Tumwebaze statement in July 2018:

When Ministry of Finance is borrowing, we, the Parliament and civil society are grilling them for borrowing. But when we say this is a sector that has grown in the economy so let’s get a bit of it, let’s get Shs. 6,000 from every holder of a smartphone consuming OTTs, what production capacity will it stifle?” (…) “Is USD 1,4 too much for a citizen to contribute to tax yet you have money to buy a smartphone, minimumly at Shs. 300,000 that is data enabled, and you load bundles of over shs. 30,000? Logically it doesn’t make sense” (Frank Tumwebaze, 17.07.2018).

Tumwebaze statemetn in January 2019:

The committee chaired by Annet Nyakecho said Over The Top tax seems to negatively affect the consumption of ICT services and products. In response, ICT Minister, Mr Frank Tumwebaze admitted that the tax is has had adverse effects on the sector. He said they were “hoodwinked” by their counterparts in the Finance Ministry that the introduction of the tax on the basis that it would widen the country’s revenue base” (Ssebuliba, 2019).

ICT Minister Tumwebaze was so positive and thinking this was the future. This was how to widen the tax-base, but instead. It has as expected made the usage of Social Media expensive. Which means also there is lack of funds for the ones operating within the Social Media and making Online Businesses. This is both happening because of the hard hitting taxes on Social Media, but also the Mobile Money Tax. Both taxes has both the Mobile Money Industry and the ICT development, as they are both having less activity and less usage. Which is natural, when the costs are going up.

The ICT Minister should have known this before speaking so warm about it. Any tax are taking money out of the system. The 200 shillings of doom is clear. The state could have listen to the advice, but didn’t open the ears to it.

In June 30 2018, Daily Monitor reported this: “Civil society organisations have accused the government of trying to stifle debate online with this tax, while others like the Civil society Budget Advocacy group CSBAG, say the tax will have a negative impact on a business.” (Hinamundi, 2018).

So, if the ICT Minister Tumwebaze could have known and stopped this. They could have done the right thing and not continued this path. Instead they have hurt the industry, because they are all blindly following the orders of the President. That is what the state did and they levied the 200 shillings of doom, as it was anticipated by anyone else. Than, the authorities itself. Peace.

Reference:

Samuel Ssebuliba – ‘Parliament orders assessment on impact of social media tax’ 18.01.2019, link: https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Parliament-orders-assessment-impact-social-media-tax/688334-4940312-rph8g3z/index.html

Collins Hinamundi – ‘How government will collect the new social media tax’ 30.07.2018, link: https://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/How-government-will-collect-new-social-media-tax/688334-4639596-juy8n3z/index.html

BoU Scandal: Mmaks Advocates – Press Release (12.01.2019)

Opinion: Kadaga’s lifeline to Katuntu shows Parliamentary Rules are only for show!

That MP Abdu Katuntu gets to hold the Chair of the COSASE as the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga allows him to continue the Probe into Bank of Uganda (BoU) and the scandals it entails. This is like shady play, because if Katuntu are allowed to stay, what offers have they given to prolong his term as the chair of Committee in Parliament? Isn’t the legal protocol abiding for the lawmaker and MP?

Alas, that is just showing the mere disgraceful display of ignorance, the chronic cronyism and the patronage of the state. Even if Katuntu is waving the flag of an opposition party and being an MP for the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC). His acts of overstaying is the same of the ruling regime. He is just waiving differently in the elections, but when in power. The man has trouble emulating the ones he is supposed to oppose and defy.

That the Speaker Rebecca Kadaga allows the MP to be the Chair until the probe of the closure of banks done by BoU. Just shows the mere reflection of how the state doesn’t care about the laws or abiding to it. When it comes to their own. They trust Katuntu, that he will deliver the recommendations and the verdict that the state wants. If not, they wouldn’t have let him continue.

This even as the MPs are supposed to follow Rule 146, which sets an MP is only allowed to be 2,5 years at a Committee. That is clearly done, so they can ensure that they are getting more portfolio and not to connected in one field. As the connections and the cronies can team up, stop the back-log and also the lack of reports being discussed in the Plenary Session. Maybe, that is also why the Katuntu want to stay. As he has certain favours to uphold.

We can really question, as the final ending of the investigation of the BoU cannot be that important, unless the patronage around Kadaga and the President. Are planning to bury the report and make it as pointless, as certain other Parliament Reports, which are as stale as very old wall-paint after years of bad weather.

We can wonder why Kadaga fights over the rules made for the 10th Parliament, the rules made to ensure transparency and accountability of the Parliament. The 10th Parliament rules should be hold, especially by the Speaker. If the Speaker doesn’t care, should the chambers be invaded by strangers and also fake evidence for the Parliament, because if the terms doesn’t matter. Does anything else?

If the COSASE Committee terms becomes pointless, than what else is pointless dear Speaker? We can just wonder, why do the Parliament have protocol and guidelines anyway? If the Speaker doesn’t follow them or can change her mind?

That is how it looks like and how can we trust this probe, when the chair of the committee can just override the rules. Gets extended and violate the laws to finish a probe into dealings done by the BoU. We can really wonder if the report will be juicy or be watered down juice. Certainly, I cannot trust it now. Not that I ever did, but before, they at least acted like they cared about protocol. Now, it is just pointless exercise of power. Without any rules, as the Speaker can overrule everyone. As she wants. That is the memo, we have gotten this week. Peace.

BoU Scandal: Bank of Uganda Deputy Governor Louis Kasekende defends himself (18.12.2018/19.12.2018)

President Museveni letter to Hon Matia Kasaija: “Re: Massive Tax Evasion and Concealment of Rental Tax” (23.11.2018)

Bank of Uganda Scandal: BoU Confidential Memorandum – “Removal of Documents from the office of Mrs. Justine Bagyenda located at Plot 45 Kampala Road without following the Bank procedures” (10.05.2018)

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