Opinion: Emyooga is renaming the same-old government scheme…

I got pennies for my thoughts, now I’m rich”50 Cent on ‘Patiently Waiting’ (2003)

This Get Rich or Die Tryin’ fix of the government isn’t working. They have not learned the skill from the G-Unit front-man 50 Cent nor anyone else. This is just following a boring pattern. That the government launches a new Presidential Initiative before the campaign season is also predictable.

The National Resistance Movement (NRM) has so many schemes going on. They have used so many different types ways to get people out of poverty. You need a separate dictionary to remember them all. It is a own lingo for government officials and the likes.

The Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (SACCOs) was launched in 1992 in the Republic. The second started with Entandikwa in 1995. When that ended in 2002, they launched National Agricultural Advisory Services (NAADS). In 2004 they launched Rural Micro Finance Project. In the meantime there been launches of Micro Finances schemes for the public from donors and NGOs. In 2013 there was two new schemes, it was the Youth Livelihood Programme and Operation Wealth Creation (OWC).

So, in June 2019 the President finally promised the magic bullet to end poverty. Now in July 2020 the Presidential Initiative Emyooga, which is a mix of OWC and Job Creation. They are now launching it and doing so ahead of elections. Seemingly, the Office of President through its Residential District Commanders (RDCs), the Office of the Minister of State in charge Microfinance and the Microfinance Support Centre Ltd (MSC). Therefore, we know the Presidents involvement in it. Since they are using these means like OWC. We just know Gen. Salim Selah is part of this too. It wouldn’t be in this Republic if he wasn’t involved in it.

It is kind of rich that in 2020 they are relaunching the OWC in a suit calling it Emyooga. They are dropping billions of shillings on, as it was fitted into the Monetary Policy Papers for the National Budget of 2020/21.

We know this is a campaign thing. To booster a failing a project of the state. The OWC have already struggled. There been reports of failures with the OWC. The same with service delivery of SACCOs, NAADs and too.

The Emyooga will follow the same procedure as the other ones. A big show for the launch. Promise of funds, eradicate poverty and the nation to a middle income country. However, the lie is that these schemes makes the middle-men rich. A way to eat of the state and not users. The ones getting the tenders, the ones skimming the funds. It always goes that way. Also, makes for good publicity. Even if there is little to no proven results.

That is why, I’m skeptical today. Seen this before, heard the narratives before. This is just buying time. Not building things that are sustainable. A short term money infused into an area. Before leaving to the next. Without any consideration of the windfall, of the moment it runs out or what to do after the short-term spending.

That is why, so many of these schemes haven’t worked. There been no long-term plan and if they had. There was no real implementation or will to do so. Because, if they did, it would have costed and would have possibly delivered more. However, that wasn’t in the interest of the state nor its stakeholders. Since they need new schemes and new methods to get a kick-back or a pay-off for their duties. Peace.

UN Report: 95% of Ugandan Gold Exports with other Origin [AGR registered in Seychelles]

gold is gold, and they simply need gold” – Gold Smugglers (UN, 2020, P: 19).

The newest UN Group of Experts Report on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) was just recently published. This article here will focus on the gold smuggling operation and the amount of smuggled gold to Uganda from the DRC. This report really states the amount and the way the Ugandan exporters are trading the gold from there. The direct connection between these Republics are clear. This has been stated before, but not to these levels.

If your thinking this sort of business is clean and done after protocol. Then this report will shatter and break the glass. This report is explaining and showing more intelligence on how its done. We can easily see that the Ugandan authorities and the Entebbe Gold Refinery are only having its ability to be trading and minting the gold on the basis of gold smuggling from the DRC.

Just look:

The Group estimated, using information published by the Ugandan authorities, that over 95 per cent of gold exports from Uganda were of non-Ugandan origin for 2019” (UN, 2020, P: 20).

The next part is a proof of a way of illegal export and gold smuggling. Where there is one company operating doing so and how they are registered. While other bodies are claiming they are fraud. This shows what sort of ways the traders, smugglers and exporters are doing to be able to deal with the gold. What is really striking is the way the supposed fraudulent corporation are using all sorts of means to operate. They are even using bank accounts for other companies, which in the end might be a sign of illegal activity. As they are keeping everything of the books.

Vaya Forex Bureau forgery:

The Group found however that during the reporting period, sanctioned entity Uganda Commercial Impex (UCI) Ltd (CDe.009) retained an active business registration according to publicly available Uganda Registration Service Bureau information. The Group also noted that, according to an official ICGLR gold export certificate, Vaya Forex Bureau in Uganda acted as an intermediary in an official gold export (see para. 87 of this report). Incorporated in 2007, the two shareholders of Vaya Forex Bureau were Vaya Kiran Rajendra and Vaya Vipal Kumar Maganlal, family members of Rajendra “Raju” Vaya, owner of sanctioned entity of Machanga Ltd (CDe.007) (see S/2015/19, annex 63). The Group wrote to Vaya Forex Bureau but did not receive a response by the time of writing this report. Finally, the Group noted that, according to publicly available Uganda Registration Service Bureau information, Sameer Bhimji was a signatory on the bank accounts of The Bullion Refinery Ltd (see S/2018/1133, para. 97) until 23 April 2019” (UN, 2020, P: 72).

AGR told the Group that “a so called Vaya Forex Bureau” was unknown to the company and did not hold an account with AGR. The company further stated that they considered that the ICGLR document may be a “forgery” or “fraud” and that the company had already been the target of several such attacks. The company further committed to preventing forgery or fraud, and to reporting such activities to relevant Ugandan authorities and to relevant authorities abroad, as well as “instituting criminal and civil proceedings against the perpetrators”” (UN, 2020, P: 101).

What is more interesting is that the AGR in Entebbe has switched owners and is also registered in the Seychelles. What is known about the Seychelles in this manner is that they usually is confidential and tax-exempt to a degree. This means the AGR is run most likely in a tax-haven by its owners. While they are earning their profits. That is how I crack this one down. They wouldn’t have registered the company there after selling its stakes. If there wasn’t any benefits in doing so. Right?

Here is the information about AGR:

The Group established that, on 9 February 2018, African Gold Refinery Ltd sold its shares to AGR International Ltd, a company registered in the Seychelles at Global Gateway, 8 rue de la Perle, Providence, Mahe, Seychelles (see screenshot below). The Group wrote to the authorities of the Seychelles, who confirmed that AGR International Ltd was registered in the Seychelles at the address listed in the Uganda Registration Services Bureau documents” (UN, 2020, P: 107).

We already know the AGR has connections to the President and his family. Therefore, the move of liabilities to Seychelles is to safeguard the profits in a tax-haven. There is no other way to see it. This is so the future state will be in more trouble to follow the money and also get the accounts frozen by authorities.

This is it for today. Peace.

Bank of Uganda: Measures to mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 (20.03.2020)

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for February 2020 (13.02.2020)

UN Experts Report says NDC-R finance itself on illegal gold trade to Uganda and Burundi

Again, there is illegal gold trade to the neighbour republics of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This time its the NDC-R whose trading illegal gold to Uganda and Burundi. That means the militia is funnelling funds by illegal mining and trading. Also, that the Ugandan and Burundian authorities are earning fortunes on the soldiers of fortunes in the province of North Kivu.

However, this is not really new that militias and that there is illegal gold trade in the Great Lakes region from the DRC. What was new now, is that athe NDC-R is involved in this. There been other groups in the past and shown that the African Gold Refinery (AGR) of Entebbe, the refinery owned by Gen. Salim Selah, the half-brother of the President Museveni have been involved in this trade. Also, selling the gold to the United Arab Emirates. Therefore, what is in this months report. Shows, another pattern, but says what militia who does it. Which is an interesting tale, as the illegal trade is boosting the NDC-R and their capabilities to cause havoc in the province.

NDC-R:

The Group has found that the armed group Nduma défense du Congo-Rénové (NDC-R) has remained active in North Kivu and has continued to recruit and expand. NDC-R engaged in fighting with the Collectif des mouvements pour le changement (CMC) comprised of Nyatura factions, the Alliance des patriotes pour un Congo libre et souverain (APCLS) and FDLR-FOCA in Masisi and Rutshuru territories” (Midterm report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 6, 20.12.2019).

Financing of the militia:

A senior NDC-R combatant with first-hand knowledge of the matter and three NDC-R members recounted that gold sales brokered by close relatives of Guidon, who sold to gold buying houses in Goma, also generated cash for the movement. Sales were cash-based and were not usually documented. The Group is aware of two occasions on which senior NDC-R ex-combatants sold gold to buyers in Uganda and one on which they did so in Burundi” (Midterm report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo, P: 10, 20.12.2019).

This is a worrying sign. Not that its new, but this shows how the NDC-R is financed. Through illicit financing through illegal gold-mining and illegal gold trade. There been trade between Butembo/Goma and over to Entebbe through back-channels. If the NDC-R does this, that wouldn’t be shocking either. Not that the UN Experts Report is specific about this matter.

However, it again reveals more details and reports about one specific group. Which is interesting for the world to know. That it happens to be a group, which has FDLR-FOCA fighters is even more special. Since, there been reports of meetings and supporting arms to them over the last few years. Therefore, the revelation of NDC-R connection with FDLR-FOCA opens more questions, than what it answers. Peace.

Opinion: Rukutana MP as an Minister is another scandal in the making…

Mwesigwa Rukutana, the Rushenyi County MP since 2001, who now has gone from being the Deputy Attorney General to be appointed yesterday as the Minister of State for Labour, Employment and Industrial Relations. His been within the upper-echelon since the 1980s, as he was a Minister of Lands between 1986-88. Therefore, his a man whose served in various position during the era of National Resistance Movement (NRM). So, that his returning from the Office of the Attorney General isn’t shocking.

Rukutana was implicated in the CHOGM Money Scandal, Land Commission Scandal, Commissioning the “Presidential Handshake Report”, Green-lightening the “Coffee-Scandal” of Salim Selah and so-on.

Rukutana is one of the most corrupt gentlemen in the Cabinet now. He would be close to Amama Mbabazi of historically corrupt gentlemen. Surely, Jim Muhwezi, Sam Kuteesa and Salim Selah would be part of the top 10. But, Mwesigwa Rukutuna would join them. His now in-charge of labour and surely will find some ways to find kick-backs to pocket. If he doesn’t he isn’t real to himself nor his mission in life, which is to eat.

Now, even just months ago since he was kicked of a land probe after “misconduct”. And you know something is up with the guy too, when he advices the state not to Audit the Uganda Telecommunication Company (UTL).

Therefore, his something else, his an corrupt soul, who know has more power. Since, his gone from being the Deputy Attorney General to become a minister again. Surely, there will land scandals in the foreseeing future. As his been entangled in plenty and there are more to come.

We would be shocked if he wasn’t rocked by more scandals in the future, especially now that he hold yet another office in the Republic. Peace.

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for December 2019 (09.12.2019)

Opinion: Mr. President your late to the party…

I have a hard time believing that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) will stop creating districts, sub-counties and whatever local government administrations in the Republic. They will never really cease doing so, because they constantly carved the Republic into tiny pieces. So, that every single Sub-County today can become a district in the near future. It should be a joke, but looking at history, than it isn’t far-fetched at all.

By seeing this one piece from the New Vision:

In 1986 when NRM took power, Uganda had 33 districts which increased to 81 districts by 2008. The districts increased to 112 by 2011, but reduced to 111 after the Capital city ceased to be a district” (John Odyek, Mary Karugaba and Moses Walubiri – ‘25 more districts created’ 19.07.2012, New Vision).

Than my own calculation from November 2019:

The State has continued to create the districts and sub-counties. In 2016 there was 112 districts and by 2021, there will be 135 districts. As well as there was 1,403 sub-counties in 2016, while in 2021 there will be 2057 sub-counties.

With knowing this and the knowledge of the mushrooming state. There is bit a late to cry foul over more town councils and the affordability. When during your time the state has gone from having 33 districts to 135 districts in 2021.

Therefore, this warning seems a bit late:

They are going to be too many and not affordable. Let the little money we have be concentrated first in maintaining security, building infrastructure(roads, railway, electricity, schools, and health centres) and not expanding administrative costs,”Museveni warned in November 28 letter to Butime. The warning by the president comes at a time when government recently announced the creation of 162 new town council that started being operational this year, whereas others will be operational by July 1, 2020” (Kenneth Kazibwe – ‘Museveni warns against creation of new municipalities’ 08.12.2019).

Because of this, I don’t believe the man. I really don’t believe the President and his motives here. It is weird that he has issues, when his made so many districts and sub-counties already. That creating further town councils only follows the modus operandi of the state.

Not like its a revolutionary idea from the state to make more. It would be more shocking if he started to merge sub-counties and districts. So, that it would be less districts and sub-counties in the Republic. In this current stage and time, that would have been positive and plans for actual change. However, than the devolution and the years of curving the districts. It would show the public that it was only political motivated and not really making government better.

That he warns about this in 2019 after 33 years in power and been so hyper-active with creating smaller entities. His surely the wrong man to signal the red-flag. Yes, the state cannot afford more town-councils and such. But that is because the state has already to many districts and sub-counties to pay for.

The state is already deficit financing, the mushroomed state, which the President and his men has created over the years. That is why, writing a letter this year isn’t solving anything or making a difference on the negative and expensive spiral, the President has started. The President knows this, but thinks this make him look smart. When it doesn’t, since his in charge of all these small entities and that will part of his legacy. He can cry now, but his crocodile tears are coming late.

He should have stopped before he created a 100 districts more in his time. Who knows how many sub-counties his created, but surely a 1000 by now. Than count the Municipalities and Town Councils, than you get humongous number. That is what bloated numbers sound like. Therefore, sending out warnings now is late from the old man, he should have done it long time ago, but he didn’t care. Peace.

Opinion: RDCs getting cars isn’t governing, but a cheap trick!

The Minister for Presidency, Esther Mbayo has given out 65 cars to Resident District Commissioners (RDCs) from different regions to improve on service delivery. The RDCs who received the cars on Thursday constitute 50% of the total number of Resident District Commissioners currently deployed in the country” (Muhamad Matovu – ‘Minister Mbayo Gives 65 Cars To RDCs From Different Regions’ 22.11.2019).

There are 135 districts, which is operative in the Republic. This is November 2019. There will come more districts in 2020 and so-on. As the Republic is made into smaller and smaller units as political favours and for personal gains of the political elite. That is well-known, as well as a measure done to establish good grounds of new constituencies with no voting history ahead of any given election.

With this in mind, there is an up-coming election in 2021. It is not the first time the National Resistance Movement (NRM) run government have given cars to its officials. They are not only giving that to the MPs and the cabinet, but also anyone in association with the State House. Therefore, the State House and the Parliament should have a car-lot and a car-dealership, if they were supposed to run it smoothly and cheaper.

Because, back in 2015, the state bought 111 cars for District Chairpersons. Therefore, this sort of enterprise happens on near-regular basis. Just as the state bought cars for the CPC in Parliament in this calendar year. So, this is a business the state knows and deals with a lot.

The special thing about this, is that service deliver is important with a car. Not with a mandate or actual factual work that the RDCs do. The Residential District Commanders, the ones overseeing and oversight of the government works in the districts. This is 65 cars and in total, that is 50% of the appointed RDCs. This means there is 130 districts who has RDCs by what the Mbayo states. That means the state lacks funds, manpower and appointed leadership for 5 districts alone. Which is a rare move.

The President has the opportunity to give broader mandate, to give funds and opportunities to the RDCs to actually do more. But thinking a car would make a big difference is naive. As they have the same mandate, the same lacking structure and weak local government. Just today, the President and the state gives state officials cars, instead of building viable institutions.

The state is acting like a car dealership, not a governing institution nor following up on obligations in the districts. This is a cheap ploy for poor districts, for lacking funds and for not investing in all the created micro local-government units, which is now 135 districts and so-on. Where the RDCs and others has supervision and mandates to work. Therefore, there should be more than cars and more than a quick fix, which this is and nothing else.

To buy 65 cars will not fix the districts, it will only give for a short amount of time, mobility for some few persons in association with the RDCs. It doesn’t make the roads being built, schools being furnished nor town halls run properly. That is done over budgets, policies and actual governing being done.

To govern is an art and giving away cars isn’t building a nation, it is only cheap fix. You don’t give an alcoholic an beer, you take them to rehab and stops the availability to beer. Instead, here the state gives another beer and hope that it doesn’t catch on. Sooner or later, these cars will have a breakdown. As the cars are hit by driving miles upon miles every year.

Therefore, this isn’t it. Other than a rundown, over used idea, which isn’t scratching the surface. Peace.

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for October 2019 (07.10.2019)