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Archive for the tag “SGR”

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

 

Mzee was it Warfare or Budget, Mr. President?

President Museveni: “Yes, it is true I was a rebel, but sometimes rebellion fails. I was fighting a just war” (#UGBudget17 Speech, 08.06.2017).

Today was the day the Budget Speech from Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) Matia Kasaija as the Parliament we’re delivered the total budget for the Financial Year of 2017/2018. This one has already been voted for and was a summery for the representatives in Parliament to know the values of their ministries and the projected use of the revenue of the state will have. Still, on this day, the President of 31 years, the rebel of 1980s decided to wear military fatigue and be wearing the gear as a General. He was not the executive in some sense, he was the military general. The gun-loving and militarized politician Museveni was allover today.

Therefore I have to take a piece of law, which could be used as the UPDF Act of 2005, where it states on 164: “Unauthorized sale or wearing of uniforms, etc.

(1) Any Person who, without authority –

(c) wears or uses any decoration supplied to or authorised for use by any member of the Defence Force or any decoration so nearly resembling that decoration as to be likely to deceive” (UPDF Act 2005).

So even if he is Commander-in-Chief and the Executive, he is still of contempt of the Parliament and their rules, when having to show-up in military fatigue or military uniform. As if he is storming to war and not trying to speak well of the budget framework and the voting for the post in the budget. This is clearly lacking the gravity of the acts of contempt. Wearing it in a sessions which is unauthorized or seem as wrong.

Therefore another part of the sub-section part (3): “Any person who by act, words, conduct or otherwise, falsely represents himself or herself to be a person who is or has been entitled to wear or use any uniform or decoration referred to in subsection (1) commits an offence and is, on convection, liable to imprisonment not exceeding three years” (UPDF Act 2005).

So when he as President is wearing the military fatigue or uniform in Parliament, I cannot take that man seriously for doing so. Even if he didn’t really violate the UPDF act, still his acts by words or even falsely representing himself, since he is not a full-time general, but a President of 30 years. His revolution or coup d’etat ended in 1986. A disco-tune that should have lost meaning two decades ago, but since he is still the President. That year is still magical like some of old Disney flicks.

Time to leave the Military Uniform Mr. President! Time to leave it behind and also be and act like a President. If he was in war or had to save Parliament from an angry powerful militia. Alas, it is not so! Time to relief the attire and be peaceful man, especially since he is supposed to help with the National Dialogue in South Sudan, but easier to sell arms than negotiate peace, right Mr. President?

So was it a sign of warfare from the President or his NRM Way to prove that the bullets gave him power to bless the budget? Peace.

Reference:

The Uganda People’s Defence Force Act 2005

#UGBudget17: Half borrowed and a third paid back in Interests!

Today the Ugandan government, the National Resistance Movement finally read the Shs. 29 Trillion budget for the 10th Parliament. However, it is not necessary the size of funds and all, which is allocated, but the way it is funded. Like “Government hopes to raise sh14.6 trillion in revenues to fund the 2017/2018 budget” (Uganda Debt Network, 08.06.2017). Of the 29 Trillion, they expect to get close to half of that, but the monies has get from somewhere and also be of use. What is left are relieved like this: “The balance sh14.3 trillion (49.5%) of the National Budget will be raised through internal and external borrowing” (Uganda Debt Network, 08.06.2017). With this in mind, half of the budget is adding more debt. So if a nation already having lots of debt and debt repayment, it still adds another half budget. This is a bad cycle of events.

There lets us put things in perspective: “Our concern is sh9.9trillion, which is 35% of the total budget, will be spent on debt repayment” (…) “Amount of money spent on debt repayment has escalated in the recent past now at 9.9 trillion for fy2017/18” (Uganda Debt Network, 08.06.2017).

Therefore, the state and the NRM are clearly getting funds through loans to pay-off their interests. AS the 35% of spending is on interest in the coming fiscal year. This should worry, even if the corruption, misspending of obnoxious amount of funds through the paradise of Okello house. Still, that 1/3 of the coming budget is paid interest on old loans, which are been made by this government and by this President. What it show is the lack of concern of the future and how sound fiscal policies. At this state, the government of Uganda are clearly footing the bill. They are filling in the blanks for where they in the past had happy donors filling the envelopes.

The NRM and President Museveni is overspending and misusing state reserves, as the revenue and the state coffers do not sustain this massive overspending. Certainly, it is visible, also the worry of the running interest rates and growing debt as close to half of this year alone are by loans. Neither if it is local, by foreign or multi-national financial institution does save the fact, that the state has a problem.

That of the coming fiscal year, the state is borrowing half, and repaying that with 35% says a lot. IT says the fiscal policies needs change and it is dire. The state are clearly walking the wrong path. And remember this, there will be supplementary budgets during the fiscal year, that will expose the overuse of funds and needs for more loans. Therefore, they are surely going to exploit the faith in future, without having the funds for it today. Peace.

Two Problems with SGR: First the Cost of Phase 1 and President Kenyatta cowardly blocking of Gov. Joho!

President Uhuru Kenyatta is a coward for not letting the Governor of Mombasa County, the Orange Democratic Movement leader Hassan Ali Joho attend the launch today of the Freight Train at the Port Reitz Station in Mombasa. It seems the Jubilee Party cannot handle opposition and has to freeze them out. Even as the launch of the SGR was happening, the Police escorted him away.

Maybe because the Chinese wrote this about the Kenyan Railway:

Kiraithe added that the government, through the ministries of finance, transport and environment, hasbeen heavily involved in accelerating the completion of the SGR built by the China Road and Bridge Corporation.“But the infrastructure is for Kenyans and has been achieved to improve our living standards,” Kiraithe said. In 2013, President Xi Jinping and his Kenyan counterpart, Kenyatta, witnessed the signing of the memorandum of understanding on financing the Mombasa-Nairobi SGR. The Export Import Bank of China financed 80 percent of the project” (Morangi, 2017).

“I was among a group of people who wrote a letter to the president [Uhuru Kenyatta], specifically with regards to the value for money proposition,” political analyst Tom Mboya told RFI on Tuesday. At a staggering cost of nearly four billion euros–almost entirely funded by China’s Export Import bank– just for the first phase linking the capital Nairobi to the port city Mombasa, there is reason to be concerned, reckons economist Aly-Khan Satchu” (Okello, 2017).

The Presidency statement on it:

President Kenyatta, who was flanked by Deputy President William Ruto and First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, said every Kenyan should be proud of the Standard Gauge Railway. “I call upon all Kenyans whatever their political beliefs to celebrate, today we should be together holding hands in celebrations,” said the President moments after the cargo train pulled alongside the Presidential Dias waiting for the flag off. It was song and dance as choirs played patriotic songs apt for the moment. “This is the Kenya we seek and this is the Kenya we want our children to inherit from us and their children to inherit from them,” said President Kenyatta amid applause, cheers and ululation. President Kenyatta said the SGR will make the port of Mombasa more efficient and will enhance the performance of the facility where the Jubilee Government has invested more than Sh60 billion in the last four years” (Presidency, 2017).

By the Statement made by the Presidency yesterday means that the Government spent: 60bn times 4 Shs. 240bn on the Standard Gauge Railway. Still, the East African reported differently earlier in the month: “So far, Sh327 billion has been spent on the first phase of the railway between Mombasa and Nairobi and Sh150 billion on the Nairobi-Naivasha section. With a national population of about 46 million, every Kenyan is set to owe China Sh18,413 in SGR debt once the deal is sealed” (…) “The SGR has been President Kenyatta’s pet project since he came to power” (Mutambo & Omondi, 2017). So if this is true, than the Presidency are dropping different numbers than the papers. Clearly the government trying to look more efficient, than what they are in reality. This should worry since most of the building of the SGR are based on development loans from the Exim Bank.

Is this why the words of and address to this from Joho is so striking:

In the light of this, we hereby demand that

1. That the government release the terms of the contract with the Chinese Exim Bank, the details of disbursement and attendant relavant information

2. The Government of Kenya release all details of the Take or Pay contract between KPA and the financiers? What is the goods threshold and the responsibility of collection of the these fees.

3. Due to conflicting reports, the government clarify in details all charges related to goods and their destinations.

4. The government clarify the method of nomination of goods for rail and the point and implementation of charges.

5. The government clarify the extinction date of the Railway Development Levy on goods and come clean on the amounts collected since.

6. The government release the terms of the port concession, all monies paid and the details of the contract

7. The the Government clarify the details of site selection of Naivasha as a dry port. The feasibility study and the project appraisal report.

8. That the government release the “Willingness to Pay” survey of the goods for meant for railway and the feasibility report of the proposed Naivasha Special Economic Zone.

9. And that the Jubilee government show us their plan for Mombasa” (Hon. Ali Hassan Joho, 31.05.2017).

By all means the Governor of Mombasa wants to know the realities of the SGR, but that is something every single Kenyan deserves as this is the pet-project of Kenyatta. Kenyatta might be proud of Phase 1, but can the government carry the price of the trains and lines. Or is this is a stunt for development?

That the Governor was blocked from the Train Station that is opened in his county, as he was blocked from the relaunch of the ferries in March 2017. Shows that the Jubilee cannot handle opposition or their eyes on their projects. They are so initiated to represent the whole community, that if the community and citizens elects opposition. Than they are not allowed to enter public displays and their launching of projects. This has now been proven twice. That the Jubilee cannot handle NASA leadership or ODM party leaders. If they could than they would have entertained and made it possible for Governor Joho to be at the state functions as he is the local elected leadership of Mombasa county. Is that hard for the President and his deputy?

But the President and his Team is cowards who cannot even have the local government leadership at the launch of SGR at the Port Reitz Station. Peace.

Reference:

Morangi, Lucie – ‘ Chinese-built SGR to improve Kenya’s global standing’ (30.05.2017) link:http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/world/2017-05/30/content_29548836.htm

Mutambo, Aggrey & Omondi, George – ‘Uhuru seeks Sh370bn more to extend railway to Kisumu’ (16.05.2017) link: http://mobile.nation.co.ke/news/Kenya-requests-for-Sh370bn-for-SGR-third-phase/1950946-3928546-15jp48i/index.html

Okello, Christina – ‘Kenya’s ambitious new railway raises cost concerns’ (31.05.2017) link: http://en.rfi.fr/africa/20170530-kenya-4bn-railway-opens-amid-controversy-kenyatta-china

Presidency – ‘New dawn for Kenya as Standard Gauge Railway rolls out services’ (30.05.2017) link: http://www.president.go.ke/2017/05/30/new-dawn-for-kenya-as-standard-gauge-railway-rolls-out-services/

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’

Uganda: CSBAG – “Reducing Wastage and Curbing Inefficiences to Finance our Priorities for the FY 2017/2018 (09.04.2017)

Uganda: UPC Calls for Economic Reforms (05.04.2017)

Opinion: Hon. Kyambadde revealed what was important at the State House!

“I resigned from State House Uganda, because there were so many powerful people and power centers, and for example the sons and sons-in-law of first family would bring in some foreign businessmen and despite being my duty to clear them, i could not say anything.”Amalie Kyambadde (On Face Off on NBS TV Uganda, 12.03.2017).

Hon. Kyambadde who is now her second term as Member of Parliament for Mawokota North County in Mpigi District after she left or resigned her position Private Presidential Secretary at the State House, she had the PPS position from 2001 to 2010. Therefore, you see that she went to be elected as MP, instead of working in the State House.

This is very interesting as she knows the perks and working ethics of State House, as she spent nearly a decade in the State House and worked closely with the President. So the knowledge of how it works, she knows perfectly well. As the speculated issues inside the State House came out to the public in 2015:

“The wars in State House, an insider told us, “were always there but they came out in the open when Amelia (Kyambadde, the Trade minister), left State House.” (…) “The source said Ms Kyambadde exerted considerable authority over the presidential palace, hardly allowing internal wrangles to burst open into the public domain” (Mukiibi Sserungjogi & Okuda, 2015).

So there have been revealed things before, but today what she said on NBS have been sort of common knowledge, as the pictures of Hamis Kiggundu, Ruparelia Sundir and others who certainly has conducted their business transactions from the State House with deals between them. The development and acceptance of big-business happens directly inside the state. As well as the decrees and licence to do business, so the words of Hon. Kyambadde extend this idea and verifies what has been commonly known, but not yet said by former internal workers at this capacity.

That she also shows the turn-over of family business inside the State House, their own ideas bringing their connections to the State House, shows the allegiance of state is within the family and not with the procedures of the state. That can be said by the negotiations that even happened a few years ago:

“Byabagambi, who attended the meeting at State House, as did officials from CHEC and the Ugandan attorney general, has accused the MPs of receiving bribes from CCECC to frustrate the project; two of the MPs held a press conference on Monday to deny the accusations and to accuse the government of overpaying CHEC” (Rogers, 2014). So the Chinese investors and entrepreneurs had direct meetings at the State House, so the Attorney General and the MP who oversaw the Standard Gauge Railway project at the time. So the ties all connect to the State House.

In 2011 the State House had made another deal as report back in 2013:

“The Auditor General’s report for the year ending June 2012 notes that there was unfair treatment of bidders ahead of the Presidential swearing in Ceremony in May 2011 where one bidder was dropped for no particular reason” (…) “This was despite the fact that other bidders such as Country Safaris were considered to have the same problem as Africa One Tours and Travel because they could not meet the specifications of the required manufacturers” (…) “In their response, State House officials stated that they had been given a short period within which to prepare for the swearing-in ceremony yet they did not have a set date and there was no money for the function” (Athumani, 2013). So back in 2011, it wasn’t the ministries task to hire and secure the cars for the President, but State House officials. This shows the controlling aspects of the State House, not only the business being decided inside the State House.

This is just some proof of some of the business activity that happens at the State House, surely more than meet the eye and that has been reported about. Certainly, the Museveni family and kin has done more business there than we can ever know. However, there will only be indications until more is revealed or if the leaks from the State House, as it haven’t been controlled as much as it was under Hon. Kyambadde. Peace.

Reference:

Rogers, David – ‘Ugandan president tells Chinese construction boss: ‘If you are not willing to co-operate, leave’ (15.10.2014) link: http://www.globalconstructionreview.com/news/ugandan-pre3side8nt-tel0ls-chine6se-constr5uct2ion/

Mukiibi Sserunjogi, Eriasa & Okuda, Ivan – ‘Making sense of the fight in State House’ (08.02.2015) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/Magazines/PeoplePower/sense-Museveni-Mbabazi–State-House/689844-2615958-8eg2uaz/index.html

URN/ Halima Athumani – ‘State House Officials Quizzed Over Museveni Swearing-in Vehicles’ (27.09.2013) link: https://ugandaradionetwork.com/story/state-house-officials-quizzed-over-museveni-swearing-in-vehicles

PwC report spells gloom over rising debt in Uganda!

Ugandan shillings

A report released by PricewaterhouseCoopers limited has delivered this month is clearly seeing what others has seen with the economic situation and the use of funds by the National Resistance Movement (NRM) and their regime. This report by a company which is an international company who works with other businesses and civil society organizations who needs economic advice and advisory services for taxes and such; therefore the report from PwC on economic situation is telling. Their speciality on their outlook will be saying with auditors and financial analyst whose words means a lot. They are professional analysts in this field are writing and saying this on the economic climate. The Economic climate is worrying and that has been visible. The liability of the growing debt in the republic has been a hazard together with the lacking internal revenue for the state as well. Just take a look!

Sluggish economy with higher debt:

“This bulletin comes at a very crucial time for the Uganda economy when growth is slowing down, private sector credit is on a decline, consumer demand is low, implementation and execution of critical public infrastructure projects is very sluggish, and the public sector debt burden on the economy is at the highest it has ever been” (PwC, P: 3, 2017). “If the domestic revenues collections continue to underperform, the government will be forced to borrow more from the domestic market. The increase in government borrowing may result in a substantial increase in yields on government securities, which may result in an increase in borrowing rates, which may constrain the private sector credit growth even further” (PwC, P: 7, 2017).

Growing debt:

“The Uganda’s public debt burden has risen by 12.7% in the past four years from 25.9% of GDP in FY 2012/13, to 38.6% of GDP in FY 2016/17. The debt burden is projected to continue rising to 45% of GDP by 2020. Debt as a percentage of revenues has risen by 54% since 2012 and is expected to exceed 250% by 2018. The country’s ever increasing debt burden has resulted in a deterioration of the debt affordability situation” (PwC, P: 8, 2017). “Uganda’s capital expenditures are still too reliant on external finance. Currently debt servicing constitutes 11% of the total government expenditure, one of the highest debt burdens in sub-Saharan Africa. This is expected to increase to 16% of the total government expenditure by 2018. Uganda’s debt burden has risen faster than the government’s own resources, resulting in a debt-to-revenue ratio of 236%, one of the highest amongst B-rated countries. This has prompted Moody’s recent down grade of Uganda’s long-term bond rating by one notch to B2 from B1” (PwC, P: 8, 2017).

An Economy with challenges:

“2016 was an economically difficult year for Uganda. The economy faced numerous challenges due to the continued uncertainty surrounding the recovery in global economic growth, weak commodity prices and geopolitical events in our key trading partners. As a result, of these numerous challenges, our export earnings, FDI flows and remittances to Uganda all went down. These developments, together with a slowdown in the execution of public investment projects and weaker than expected private sector demand, had a major effect on the economy” (…) “Other internal risks include delays in the implementation of public infrastructure projects such as the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) linking Uganda to its East African neighbours, and the key infrastructure projects critical for the commencement of oil production” (PwC, P: 4-5, 2017).

If you are worried by the Republic and their economy after this, than you haven’t followed the class since this signs have been there for while! The state of the economy is fragile and the debt rise should concern all the ones inside the Republic and also outside. However, this could change, but that has to be done by the government and steer in another direction as today. The greed and the common sense of developing the economy is forgotten, as they are fixated on infrastructure projects and oil developments, while borrowing to fill the losses of donor-aid and internal revenue. This could be done in many ways, but that would not be easy. Peace.

Reference:

PricewaterhouseCoopers Limited (PwC) – ‘Uganda Economic Outlook 2017’ (February 2017)

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