“Everybody (yeah), everybody (yeah), just get into it (yeah), get stupid (come on)
Get it started, (come on) get it started (yeah), get it started” – The Black Eyed Peas, ‘Let’s Get It Started’ 2003
Well, this week has been revealing in concerning the supposed newly minted airlines in Uganda. Where the state incorporated Uganda National Airlines Limited in January 2018. However, the supposed registration and certification happen this week. The documentation now shows, that the Ministers are owners of the Airline and it’s registered on the 26th March 2019 and certified on the 27th March 2019.
Alas, the state has already spent close to $30m USD on it, as they have procured several of planes for the operations and the first are supposed to arrive on the 31st March 2019. Therefore, the whole ownership and usage of state funds comes into question. As the Report to Parliament confessed that the state and the two ministries only owned 2 shares out of 2 million, until yesterday, when suddenly the Ministers of Works and Transport and Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning and Development suddenly had 1 million shares each, a 50 50 split.
This all seems suspicious and within reason. Because, it has been done in wrong order and ensured to not follow procedures or anything of that fashion. As the State for the second time are infringed to deliver new funds to State Owned Enterprise, even as the ghosts of owners and registration suddenly appears. You can wonder, if they would have done this, if it didn’t get public scrutiny. Because, the scribbling document of ownership only appeared, when the Observer and other media houses questioned it.
This shows that there was something lurking and weird about it all. Where the insiders and the ones operating it, maybe, had shell-companies and significant portfolios, where they could earn the profits of this state owned enterprise. That would not be shocking, even if all the investments, all the funding and procurement have happen directly from the Ministries and with the blessings from above high.
With all of this in the open. It seriously question the operation, the ownership and who really controls the company as whole, because its hard to believe the two ministries does it. As it was incorporated in January 2018, but was registered shareholders yesterday, a year and two months after. Which is suspicious at best, if not revealing of how the state operates in this matters.
We can play along and act a fool, but that doesn’t change the remaining questions, the lack of trust and also the lack of protocol. As the state have toyed around spent fortunes on establishing, procuring and investing in the company, while it has been a ghost and non existing entity, which could be someone’s secret bank-account.
Certainly, this is not over and will leave a giant paper-trail that somehow will be resolved in the State House and by whoever the benefactor whose project this is. Because, that is the rule of the day and how these things are under this Presidency. It is common knowledge, but never really said or revealed, unless, family members of the President owns it or runs it. Peace.
“Hold fast to dreams,
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird,
That cannot fly.” – Langston Hughes
Today, there was tabled a report on the 26th March 2019, reported titled: “Report on the Budget Committee on the Supplementary Expenditure 2 for FY 2018/19” especially the vote – “Vote 016 MOWT – USHS 280.046 For Financing Costs of Uganda National Airline”. In this report there are vital information coming up. That I will address, but also show, as it proves how the state plans to invest the taxpayers money on the airline, but also what sort of finance it has already.
The government clearly have already invested money into it, but doesn’t have ownership in it. That is what the report says. It shows intent of investing more in it, but not actual ownership of it. However, not claiming it, which is weird, but that is what they do. They are buying planes for it and investing in it, but not owning it. That is what they are initially saying. This is really rare and weird.
Here is the quotes from the report that matters in my sense:
“The Government of Uganda has injected approximately 29.9 USD million into this company but has only 2 shares allocated to it”
“Ministry of Works and Transport has requested for on additional Ushs 280,046,77 6,933 to cater for investment costs of the Uganda National Airline”
“The Ministry of Finance, Planning ond Economic Development indicated that it was to use proceeds from MTN licence amounting to USD 60 million (approximately UGX 222 billion) to portly finance Uganda National Airlines”
“The shore capital of Uganda National Airlines Company Limited is 200 million divided into 2 million shores of UGX 100. Of the 2 million shares only 2 shares worth UGX 200 to Minister of Works and Transport as well as Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. This makes both ministries to be minority shareholders holding only 0.0001% of the shores. At the moment the owners of the 99.97 shares are unknown. The owners will only be determined when the Directors decide to allocate the shares. It was asserted that the minority shares will be floated to the public. However contention arose as to whether the minority shareholders can float what they do not own. lt was however asserted that this move was undertaken to limit the liability of government. Hence a concern pertaining intension of government to establish o company that it already roles 10 be huge liability from the onset”
As you see, the $30m been invested in the Airline already. The Government and Ministry of Works and Transport, that they need more funds. Also, telling their lack of the shares in the company, while also planning to use licencing funds from MTN to cover the spending on the Company. Which later, in the Report states they will not, but I added to prove how the state spend the revenue it is getting.
The Uganda National Airlines is clearly not well-managed or well prepared, as it is a pile of expenditure, but not allocated what it needed. Since, the state is in need of more after spending millions already. As the first planes are coming in the coming week. Therefore, the National Resistance Movement and the ones behind it is clearly playing games.
They are spending public funds on a possible Uganda National Airline Company Limited, when they arrive. Since the report turned public the GCIC have claimed this in response to the report delivered. Which clearly shows the significant stature of the ownership in question.
They are claiming this:
“ CLARIFICATION: There has been misleading information regarding shareholding of Uganda Airlines Company LTD. The company was incorporated on 30th Jan, 2018. The company has 2 million shares. Minister for Works was allotted 1 million shares & Minister for Finance, 1 million shares. 3/3: In July, 2018, the management of the company allotted the entire shares of the company as follows:
1. Minister of Works & Transport (represented by Hon. Monica Azuba Ntenge)- 1 million shares.
2. Minister of Finance (represented by Hon. Matia Kasaija) – 1 million shares” (GCIC, 27.03.2019).
This is countering the facts in the report, that even before the ink is dry. Before the time and test of the knowledge given by the Ministry and the Government itself. So why does the GCIC have other indications and facts, than the report. You can wonder who gave them and where it is from? Why wasn’t this given as facts to Parliament and signed of by the Members of Parliament then?
Well, this will be played out in real-time. This is not a fan-fiction, West-Wing drama, no this is real live events of the operations and investing in the resurfaced Airline Company. This shouldn’t be that tricky or played out like this, but it is because the state and the ones involved in it. Because, there must be some loose ends, which is not yet caught. It will eventually. Peace.
“African leaders should not turn the continent into a giant collector of donations and loans from wealthy nations—they must find other plausible means to help established their economic security so as to minimize poverty. This incoherent blunder on the mainland must be scrutinized.” – Duop Chak Wuol
As The 2018 Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) is scheduled to happen on the 2nd and 3rd December 2018, there is time to remember how the Chinese is operating on the African Continent. The Chinese isn’t coming with empty giving hands of donations or even charity. They come with intent of interests and needs of resources from the continent, by offering loans, serving and building through state owned enterprises (SOE) in various of countries, whether it is roads, ports or railroads are built by Chinese Companies, by Chinese Workers and often on Chinese loans. Therefore, they might end up as Chinese owned enterprises, whose vital for transportation and export of needed minerals and whatnot from the continent.
Instead of coming with loans and direct-aid with strings like Western Powers has done over the last few decades, the Chinese are coming with friendly loans, but the Heads of State should know that the Chinese doesn’t play. They want value for money and expect a return, if it doesn’t they might snatch the new crown-jewel or anticipate to get perks from the state. If that is some sort of trade-off or licenses to extract mineral resources or even minor taxation like toll-roads, where the piece of cash will be sent to Beijing and not the capitol of the country where the road is built. That is how these people operate. They are not in it to play or be giving, but gain advantage and have the upper-hand.
This can be shown by what the State Media in China writes in Xinhua Net wrote today and what a CARI report on the same funds are saying. The Chinese portray the funding as investments on the Continent, as the funds are most likely pushed as loans, which burdens the states and that they have to repay. Loans are not given, but issued because of lack of direct funds to build those infrastructure and investments done. So, what I am saying isn’t mere speculation, but a narrative that has to sink in.
“China’s investments into Africa surged by more than 100 times from 2000 to 2017. In the past three years, annual Chinese direct investment into Africa was about 3 billion dollars on average. By the end of 2017, China’s investments of all kinds into Africa totaled 100 billion dollars, covering almost every country on the continent” (Li Xia – ‘Facts & Figures: China-Africa ties: cooperation for shared future’ 02.09.2018 link: http://www.xinhuanet.com/english/2018-09/02/c_137438845.htm).
“From 2000 to 2017, the Chinese government, banks and contractors extended US $136 billion in loans to African governments and their state-owned enterprises (SOEs). Angola is the top recipient of Chinese loans, with $42.2 billion disbursed over 17 years. Chinese loan finance is varied. Some government loans qualify as “official development aid.” But other Chinese loans are export credits, suppliers’ credits, or commercial, not concessional in nature. China is not Africa’s largest “donor”” (China Africa Research Initiative – ‘DATA: CHINESE LOANS TO AFRICA’ Version 1.1 August 2018).
They might try to conceal the reality, just like make-up is used on the face to fade the age or even marks that shows stress or pimples. However, the Chinese cannot be able to lie about their intent. They would not offer these sums of cash, without expecting a turnover or even profits. The Chinese wouldn’t allow all these billions of US Dollars spent on these nations to be spoiled and lost on the streets of Lome, Harare, Addis Ababa or Nairobi. They anticipate a return on the loans, either straight cash or getting pieces of the built infrastructure to advance the value of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
That the Heads of State in Africa should be concerned as they are getting in debt traps, instead of being in cycle of positive growth, they are getting new loans to pay the old ones. They are using the same creditor to secure new loans on top of the old-debt. That is how it will continue, until a point where they cannot pay the defaulted debt and the Chinese would then come to snatch something of value to recoup the failing debt. Because they don’t want to write-off the big money without having anything in return. That is what the Chinese has done in Sri Lanka and might start elsewhere. There might be soon more control of port in Djibouti or railroad of Kenya, even the Ethiopia-Djibouti railway line too. As they want their value of money.
They might be all smiles and photo-ops in Beijing these days, the smiles and added loans to dozens of countries. The added “investments” and deals struck, but the Chinese will not do so without getting something in return. To think otherwise, is to be naive and think they don’t have an agenda by doing it.
There is nothing like a free-lunch and the people will learn that, the Heads of State will not directly pay the debt, but the states will do so. Maybe not in this decade or next 5 years, but sooner or later. The bill for the coffee and biscuit will come. Than it is all eaten, but tab still has to be cleared. Peace.
You are now entering into an alternative universe, where we have a nation called WaBenzi. Where the elites was eating of the state reserves, where the elite was there because of their connections with the political elite. A political elite made by patronage and nepotism. This political elite was made out a liberation battle done decades ago, either from a foreign force or from some dictator, whose legacy was murder of ethnic groups or even expelling others. The leader on top would be seen as a hero back in the day, but with lingering time, the party (the Movement) and the President would tarnish his own reputation for lingering on.
While that is happening, the written word is losing meaning in WaBenzi. Because the political are afraid of challenging the President and his party. They might have some newspapers, but their circulation isn’t on the basis for anyone outside many urban townships of the nation. Neither is the social media sites. The intelligence that has been leaked, has made the elite to shut-down, arrest and revoke the licenses of these media houses. Therefore, the media is careful and awaiting approval from the elite before publishing. They are careful with how they address the President and his movement. Because they don’t want to question his rule. At least not too much, because they don’t want to suffer. They got families to feed. Even if there is an inflation, even if the economy is in shambles. Even if the rising debt and lack of foreign exchange is hurting the economy.
The patronage is destroying the state, the lack of institutions that is meaningful is shown from anything from SIM-CARDs, or even as foolish as monitoring porn. The boards are busy bodies, while the state is eating the funds for the top-class. The state owned enterprises are giving away tenders to developers without any oversight of the contractors or their delivery. If this get public scrutiny, the President will offer them a new chance after a short suspension. Because someone he knows are eating of this plate.
In WaBenzi, the elite can get away with murders, they can get away with thefts and even land grabbing. As long as the State House is informed, it doesn’t matter if the house is a colonial masterpiece or a grand-farm. Everything can be taken, even evict whole villages for foreign investors, for factories which is promised on the land. The state can take away land for roads and for rail projects, even if the building is only on planning stage and not even the tenders of building it is open to the public. Therefore, if a garden estate for one of the elites is built there instead, it doesn’t matter. The elite of the Movement can do whatever they want.
The people of WaBenzi is so used, they are used that the President can what he wants and say whatever he wants. He can contradict himself, he does that weekly and yearly. If you followed the President. You know he talks against corruption, but let his ministers who is caught in international fraud walk around like nothing happen. The WaBenzi is so used to lied to, that their ignorance and lack of care is natural. They are tired and praying for the ending of the President. Because the President doesn’t plan to leave.
The WaBenzi are used to that the government talk about fair share of resources and development projects, even if the elite in West is getting more, than the Central, Eastern or Northern Regions. The Western has the best schools, the most Cabinet Members and the best infrastructure. The networks of hospitals and other needed government structures are there, but not in the others in that extent. The schools are decapitated, the police stations are unworthy shacks and the government offices for higher officers are looking like mansions for high-end business-men. The mayors and councilors are well-fed, the police-officers are beating on the public to get fed, the school-teachers are having side-jobs or even farming on the side. The civil servants are asking for kick-backs and fill their plate to do their civic duty, because the salary hasn’t risen in decades. If paid on time, it still would barely be enough for the rent of their home.
The hospital are lacking basics, politician of opposition parties are trying now and then to help out. They use their salaries to buy sheets, beds and even medicine. As the national medicine importer and delivery system is understaffed, lack preparation and even the tools to have enough medicine for all institutions. The lack of funding and governance is hurting the hospitals. As they cannot afford to pay their bills, as black-outs and lack of oxygen are common place.
The Electric company is run by private contractors and also private investments from abroad. The development of the energy companies and the plants are all based on either multi-national funding or possible foreign investments. These are done in random, while the different part of the sector is underfunded and also because of the issues from within, is overpriced, hard to get good rates on the electricity and also often blackouts. This hurts the industries, the public, who has to have generators and cannot trust the government run company to deliver enough and stable enough electricity.
The WaBenzi is hurt by the Western, little Elite whose eating of everyone’s plate. They are grabbing it all, while all part of society is hurting. They are not even caring about the Parliament, where the laws are rubber-stamped and secured in favor of the will of the President. The legislation is to favor his agenda and not the good-will of the people. The Elite is more busy securing tenders and their own future, than securing the better institution and society for the public.
The WaBenzi has strict laws on political gatherings, the laws are to secure that no-one will ever have the power or possibly can topple the President. No one should be able to create a protest or demonstrations that could take him down. He has the army and the police on his side. They are keeping people at bay, even invade the Parliament to get his will served. The Courts are listening to him and the orders are happening to his service. Opposition leaders can easily find themselves behind bars, the ones who voices against the Movement will easily get into trouble. That is the state of WaBenzi. Where the thieves and murders walk free and the opposition is the real criminals. Therefore, the trust in the Police and Security Organizations are not there. Because they are misusing their powers to arrest innocent people, activists and youths who are standing up against the President. He cannot manage that.
The government is usually fixing issues that doesn’t matter that much and making sure to make a stamp. Has some sort of campaigns, and making taxes on ordinary stuff, but not making sure the taxation is used properly. That is because the existence of the regime is because they feed the elite. The WaBenzi elite needs the President and the President needs the elite. The chronic patronage and nepotism combined with grand corruption is like daily. The Executives, the funds misused and the mismatch behind the use on programs and what is left to the public is staggering. The President claps his hands and gladly take his percentage of it too.
This is just a story about WaBenzi, how a country became a hostage of an elite that lives on the goodwill of the President. They are there and don’t want change, because they eat. Even if the people starve, even if they cheat on levels of poverty, even if the elite cheats on the amount of people living there and how many projects they have for development. The aid is still coming, the United Nations will still show up and pay for the supper of the poorest of the poor.
While this continues, the liberator who promised to never rig elections. The President has appointed and made sure the Commission who controls the elections are in his favor. The Election Laws are always amended and changed just before. So that the so-called opposition has another disadvantage. Not only that the state is busy giving away gifts to the public during rallies, even busing them to the stages if they have too. Paying off the popular musicians to perform and also pay-off journalists to write favorable coverage. The President is also busy paying the clan-leaders, the religious leadership and even some appointed leadership in the districts. They are getting cars and houses, as a token of their good work and making sure the President is elected again.
The President is also busy using the army and police to harass the opposition in the run-up to the election. Even make them illegal to make a point. The ministers and the Security Organization will defend it as constitutional and say the opposition are making war, not only campaigning. The President will use vile language and say people are fools if they trust anyone else. The Police will bar people, will be more into politics during campaigns, than actually doing police work. The Police will defend their monitoring and the micro-managing of the people. This is all to install fear and secure the President, that people will not really challenge the Presidency.
So after months of campaigning, the elections usually ends with days of tensions. While the Commissions are cooking the numbers, the ballots and the paper-trail, the police is busy chasing the opposition and the civil society. Offices are raided, the media are under attack, the internet is blocked and the observers are watching idly by, while silently saying the process has to move-on and electoral laws can be changed later. It is still progress for society. That WaBenzi had an election, even if it was rigged and the President took total control. He left nothing to coincidence. The public of WaBenzi was props to buy legitimacy for the Presidency, the Commission was another tool and the international observers was there. Just to secure the display of elections was shown. That people could que and wait in line before being registered to vote. Even if there was pre-ticked ballots. Even if the police officers was working and making sure the district got the right result. As the Police arrested people entering or even being party officials registered to be looking over the tally and getting copies from the return officers at the Polling Stations. That doesn’t matter. Because the result has to be in favor of the incumbent President in WaBenzi.
That is just WaBenzi, we are all happy that this what WaBenzi has to offer. This is what the WaBenzi gives of governance, of institutions and of lacking taxation without representation. We are all looking idly by, why the WaBenzi is taken for granted. The President knows this and lives on, happy and ready.
If you demonstrate or try to strike, he will catch and make a treacherous human being, because no one has the power to question the power of the army and the liberation. Even if the liberator only liberated himself and his cronies. The rest has to be hostages in the President’s will and President’s vision. That is the decision of the President, who can get away with anything and no-one cares. Therefore, the nation of WaBenzi is misused and the people are too. Every single day. Peace
“There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than that of draining money from the pockets of the people.” – Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations
Something is wrong in our day and age. When the Members of Parliament, the politicians and the appointed leadership are richer, than ever before. When the politicians and the ones representing us are richer than the ones building factories and owning businesses. That is just wrong, that is not right. It wasn’t supposed to be like this.
The Members of Parliament, the politicians, the councilors and the local government officials wasn’t supposed to be the kingpins and have the biggest mansions. They are supposed to represent us and make sure that society are working for all of us. Maybe with different ideology and party affiliation, but their existence and their livelihood depend on the idea, that they are representing us. The politicians are supposed to be there for us and be there as guards. And if we don’t like they way they are guarding our society, we change them with someone else in the next election. That is how it is supposed to be, right?
However, that is not the case in our day. To many places they are honorable, they are noble, they have more businesses than businessmen, they have more investment too. They are using their connections for government tenders and also trading with State Owned Enterprises (SOE). All of this so they can sponge off the state and secure even more profits on the dime of the citizens. Instead of delivering and representing, they are become traders of faith and billing society too.
That wasn’t the intention. It wasn’t supposed to be rigged elections and fixed results. That makes sense for the leadership not representing the people or delivering. Since they don’t have to, it is just a charade securing the leadership “legitimacy” with an election, but the people didn’t elect them. That was ghosts, bots and algorithms. They have no interests in caring or delivering. Neither has the ones who used a coup to gain power. They fought there for their own will, not depending on the goodwill and trust of the public.
There are so many leaders and MPs, so many parliamentarians who seems more preoccupied with their SUVs, Mansions, Salaries and expense accounts. That they are not considering the troubles of the working people, about the pensioners and the ones unemployed. They are just happy go lucky, that the fortune hit them. The poverty, the lacking services and the misuse of power doesn’t mind them. These people could make it on their own, that is why they are unfortunate. Not that it’s the MPs, the Presidents or the representatives who didn’t see who they represent.
When we forget that they are representing us, they are representing the ideas of our society and the will of change that is needed. There is always need for change and need for productivity. There is always need for service delivery and making sure the government are accountable. However, when the representative is more keen on their own pockets and getting connections to enrich themselves. Then they loose their meaning and their purpose. They are then marionettes for the elites and the corporations. The politicians becomes stooges and relics instead of the representing the people of their constituency.
This has to change, we have to change this, we cannot accept that the MPs, the politicians are taking us for granted and using us for their own gain. They are there to serve, unless they don’t change. We have to serve them, we have to demonstrate and boycott their well-wishers. We cannot just look at these leaders of ours and be happy with it.
If they wont represent us, then we have to get fresh blood. Get people who actually care and give a damn. Because the ones in our time are greedy, selfish loot of people, who needs to recognized and be dealt with, before we are dealt with and we will be left behind. Peace.