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Archive for the tag “Standard Gauge Railway”

The 10th Parliament today adds more debt to the state, near 2 trillion shillings more actually!

Today, the Ugandan Parliament has added more debt to the state since they cannot get grants or donors to fund their projects like in the past. National Resistance Movement (NRM) have the majority of the Parliament, therefore the adjustment and the possible questioning of the bills today. Would be squashed briefly, as the new amount of debt will arise and the state has to get more sufficient funds to repay the loans and the rising interests. That the three projects might bring profits in the future and could be seen as positive development, might be true, but it is a high risk. When the levels of debt already has grown as much as it is.

The first loan approved by the parliament was to borrow for the Lake Victoria Maritime Communication and Transport Project. That loan is up to $ 14,4 Million USD or 52,409 billion Uganda Shillings.

The second loan approved by the parliament was to borrow for the upgrade the road Kapchorwa-Suam-Kitale Road. These was two loans in one. Which is one $ 38,349,313.28 or 139,705 billion Uganda Shillings, this was borrowed from African Development Bank (ADB). The other was $ 56,129,597.12 or 204,437 billion Uganda Shillings from the African Development Fund (ADF).

The third loan was in Euros, first part from UK Export Finance (UKEF), which was EUROS 270,266,042.15, converted to US Dollars is $ 321,199,210.23 or in Uganda Shilling the total: 1,170,081,708,10 Uganda Shillings or in word One Trillion One Hundred Seventy billion Uganda Shilling. The second loan are in EUROS 37,110,585 from Standard Chartered Bank, converted to US Dollars is $ 44,112,060.75 or in Uganda Shillings 160,670,761,044.55 or in words One Hundred Sixty Billion, six hundred seventy million, seven hundred sixty-one thousand, forty-four and fifty-five hundredths Uganda Shillings.

So collectively today, the NRM has accepted loans which totals $ 474,190,180 US Dollars. In Uganda shilling it means 1,727,264,129,950.40 Uganda Shillings. In words it is one trillion, seven hundred twenty-seven billion, two hundred sixty-four million, one hundred twenty-nine thousand Uganda Shillings.

The budget of 2017-2018 was in total 29 Trillion Shillings. Therefore, they are now seeking to borrowing close to 2 Trillion Shillings, which is of last years budget close to 2,9 %. So the NRM MPs and State has had no trouble borrowing close to 3 percentage of previous budget on three infrastructure projects. It is evident and should be worrying with the knowledge that the state is already using 33 % of the budget to repay loans of old and their interests. No matter how positive these projects are and what they can accumulate in the future. Still, the basis of loaning this amounts while having growing debts already. Is really tasking future generations to pay for the loans of the previous ones.

So it seems like the NRM are planning to opening the gates and making sure the state owns more to even more banking and international money lenders. As if the petroleum dollars will safe the deficit in the future. As the interests and the downgrading of the state might appear. Unless, the state gets higher oil prices and some luck. Since, the NRM have really forked itself and hoping someone will bail it out. Peace.

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Opinion: Mzee don’t want to bother foreign investors with taxes, just give him a Presidential Handshakes!

Well, I am biased, as the President are visiting Dubai for 4th Global Business Forum on Africa on the 2nd November 2017. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni is trying to cater to foreign investors. People who he usually cater to at the State House, so he can get favors and Presidential Handshakes. That is why he isn’t bothered with taxes, because the tax-holidays and possible offerings will be huge for the investors who comes in. That is what the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are doing, especially if it is for instance a nations offering the state loan, than the same state can come with state-companies to build infrastructure like Chinese companies coming in after offering loans to the same NRM government. Therefore, just look at what he was saying yesterday, which is weird, but fit a pattern.

Since you are business people, we must be talking about profits. When you talk of Uganda and Africa, you are talking about peace as an enabling environment; which we have. We have raw materials, and have a population of 40 million people that’s’ a market. And if we talk of integration we have a four tear market” (…) “In Africa, the demand is there and growing because we have been under-consuming while the rest of the world the demand is falling because they have been over consuming” (…) “There are plenty of raw materials, minerals, tourism and so on so when you invest there you have access to all these” (…) “I don’t have to bother investors with taxes, what I want is for them to invest, use our raw materials, create jobs, add value and promote exports” (State House Uganda, 2017).

Well, so the President trying to say to foreign investors, you don’t need to pay taxes for your output, just cater to me. The state you don’t have to bother about, just bother about catering to the State House and me. We will add value and promote exports, we will agreements and make sure you get the value on our resources and low-payed workers.

We know who is the biggest taxpayers in the republic, because of Uganda Revenue Authority own statement in the media on the 31st October 2017, which stated names like Mr. Alnasir Virani Gulam Hussein Habib, Dr. Sudhir Ruparelia, Mohammed Hussain, Nakayima Janat, Karia Minex, Karia Kunnal, Alykhan Hudani and Dayalijil Karan. Who are sounding like foreign investors and they are on the top 25 biggest taxpayers in Uganda. So the state has already connected families from abroad to invest there in various businesses. This shows there are already people who is not worried about taxes, but about the output of their companies.

Some of these investors has made big names, while others have worked more in silence. Still, this shows that the top earners even promoted by URA and Doris Akol. Proves how they are working, as there wasn’t that many own citizens on the list. That shows that the foreign investors must get a special advantage and special agreements at the state house for their dealings. Especially, considering how it has been done, just for tearing down markets in Kampala for own investors and financial agreements. This has been done and arranged from the State House without consultation with locals, neither KCCA or the renters of these markets. That is how the NRM and Museveni do deals in favor of him and if he get ill-gained funds, he will support the “development”. It is in similar fashion he exposes his intent in Dubai.

That the State doesn’t need taxes or need structures to facilitate for foreign investors, they just needs agreements with State House and then it is all fair-game. It is insane, but fits the Modus Operandi of the Musevenism and NRM regime. Give him a Presidential Handshake and you can operate as you want in the Republic. Peace.

Reference:

State House Uganda – ‘President Museveni woos Arab investors to Uganda “We have the raw materials, human resource and market”’ (02.11.2017) link: https://www.africa-newsroom.com/press/president-museveni-woos-arab-investors-to-uganda-we-have-the-raw-materials-human-resource-and-market?lang=en

Opinion: It’s ironic that President Museveni is talking about disciplining the government!

The three arms of government and their sub-branches must have discipline. For example I have been involved in disciplining the army. We should do the same for other sub-branches of government. If the Judiciary is also disciplined in fighting corruption, citizens will lead a good life. – Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on the 1st October 2017, State House Entebbe.

Its just one of these days that hearing the news and seeing the tweets of the President, makes me laugh and wonder if he listen to himself. He knows his system and has made his garden. The way the government steers and govern is because of his policies, his regulations and his support. It is not like there been other ruling for last 30 years in Uganda. The Republic has been under the control of Museveni and his National Resistance Movement (NRM).

The NRM has suffocated all other free-will and control. Therefore, Ministers, Members of Parliament and others seek guidance and funds directly at the State House in Entebbe. Even foreign investors meet there to make agreements. Everything is nearly sanctioned out there. The Discipline now is more on the narrow-minded government that is run from there. The institutions and the procedures are not so important. Since most things happening is with the words from “above”, meaning the President and his close advisers.

It is not rocket science to know where the benefactor or the reason for lacking structures. That is because government waits for their go sign by the State House, they are waiting for funding of the projects and institutions from the State House. The projects and the works of the State House and under the Prime Ministers Offices are the key organizations within this government. They might say all of the massive cabinet has part to play, but that is the facade.

Therefore, it is ironic for a man so controlling and so disorganized that it gives sometimes way to the unthinkable. Just like the Presidential Handshake, that was sanctioned by the State House, but taken form the wrong account. That was the problem for the President, not that the corrupt behavior was occurring on his watch. Its like he talks against himself. Because he has no problem speaking anti-corruption, but if corruption benefit his cronies – its fine and dandy!

I am not surprised by him at this point of time, its fit his narrative. He says what he expects and wants out of others, but the next day he finds a way to benefit or use the loyalty of his cronies. Not like he would have excepted the UCC not to listen and stop the suspended MPs to hit the airways and be broadcast on TV. He rather being himself on radio and in the spotlight, but will accept anyone else sharing the same space.

President Museveni is the proof of someone saying something noble, but doing opposite. He might say something insane, but act rational. Therefore, you never know where you have him. I will never believe him actually disciplining the government, if doing so. It means they are all blindfolded and following his guidelines. It does not mean building proper governance and protocol, neither is institutionalize the departments and ministries, it is all about his will and his stature.

When it comes to Museveni, discipline is about following him. Not building transparent and proper government institutions. Peace.

Opinion: President Museveni claims in a letter to the FM Kasaija – ‘that the government is “mushrooming”’, well, that is his own creation!

 

It is ironic and hard to take serious that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni wrote a letter to the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, Minister of Public Service Muruli Mukasa, Minister of the Presidency Esther Mbayo and Head of Public Service and Secretary to the Cabinet John Mitala. This letter was sent on the 17th July of 2017 and was titled: “Re: Mushrooming Agencies/Authorities”. It is ironic and weird, it is the irrational part of Musevenism. The ones that speaks against corruption, but give provisions for a “Presidential Handshake”. Therefore, this is in line of the others chronic problems, this is just one of them.

This here is in line of this, just like the President has problems to understand that the state will have higher costs with each added district and carving out every single county to have someone to be leaders as Residential District Commander and other local government. The same feeling I’m getting by this letter. Since it is his creation and his vision behind the new agencies and the bold hiring of cronies to any department in Uganda. That shouldn’t be shaved from history. He has had 30 decades, most of the Ministries and their agencies has come as answer to his reasoning and him sanctioning it.

Therefore this quote from the letter is obvious trying to put blame elsewhere:

The questions are: “Why have an Agency when you have a department of the government dealing with the same area of responsibility?” “Why have an Authority when you have a department of the government dealing with the same area of responsibility?” “Why have Boards for money consuming units rather than money generating units?” Boards came into existence when capitalism was growing. In the infancy of capitalism, the owner (the proprietor) would also be the manager because the operations were small. When capitalism grew, it was too much for the owner to manage. Ownership, therefore, got divorced from supervision (board work) and management (managerial work)” (Museveni, 17.07.2017).

I would say most of them are created for the same issue that the state are soon paying former ministers with remuneration to them, even when they are not in cabinet. The same procedure is with hiring cronies to the boards and agencies. Not all about need or necessary for the government or the ministries. How come there are City Hall of Kampala, Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) and the Ministry of Kampala. That is because the state needs to hire enough cronies to make sure they stay loyal, also the state needs more administrative organs to make sure they can find jobs for their loyalists. Not because Kampala needs all of these administrative bodies to function, it does not help that the state also have a Presidential Advisor for Kampala. All of this is proof of the mismanagement. This is only in Kampala and without taking a deep dig into the wards and under all the mayors of Kampala. Not what that is under Lord Mayor and KCCA Executive Director.

The letter continues:

Why, then, should you separate the policy role from the regulation role for the non-commercial bureaucratic portions of the government; Forests, National Parks, Roads, NAADs, etc? Their functions are just two: policy and regulation. There is no business involved. If the Ministries of Works and Finance want to form Road Construction companies that will compete for construction jobs, then it makes sense for those companies to have Boards and Management but not a Board for a unit whose only job is to award contracts using government money” (Museveni, 17.07.2017).

It is ironic again, because NAADs, SACCOs and other Youth Livelihood Programmes have all been created by Museveni and run by close associates, even Salim Selah in some instances. That the President suddenly have issues with this weird. Since on the Campaign Trials, it seems like it is remedy and the solutions to use these government programs, but now with growing debt, it is an issue? You need this money to build a petroleum pipeline and refinery? You can wonder, I wonder, if this is the reason! Since these sort of boards, sort of agencies has been put in place, by laws signed by Museveni and accepted by him. Many is part of legislation to secure each and several ones for pivotal parts of government. Others are just created to hire cronies! Therefore, weird that he want to sack cronies… but maybe it is within need?

I want efficient with no further delays. You have up to 20th December 2017, to propose a plan to Cabinet” (Museveni, 17.07.2017). It seems only to able to change this with bringing in new tools. President Museveni needs these boards for every produce and every parts of government. That is within himself, as the ideology has no value and also no vision. Other than keeping himself in power by any means. Therefore, the boards and agencies will not cease to exists, he needs to hire cronies and pay them by either a hook or a crook. If not he has to go forward or change his system. Maybe he shouldn’t create so many ministries, districts and sort of specialized organizations, but he cannot help himself. That is his MO, nothing else. This will not change! Peace.

The letter:

President Museveni letter to Hon. Muruli Mukasa, Minister of Public Service: “Re: Emolument on Personal to Holder Basis” (01.08.2017)

Opinion: President Museveni wants cronyism on steroids!

We know that the loyalty based between former Members of Parliament, former NRM historical’s is not based on merit or on ideology anymore. It is on the possible paycheck and envelopes given by the state and the favors it gets the President. Everything else is and should be seen as a lie. Therefore, when the Observer quotes a letter from 1st August 2017 sent to his loyal cronies, saying they have to make sure the other loyal cronies get more perks. It fits the paradigm of his growing entitlement and his regime. The President do know the only way of keeping them within reach and loyal to him, is to pay them. That is the only way he can sway them and make sure they got his back. This is the reason for the sudden; we need to give MP allowances and benefits to the ones ousted and who has left office in disgrace. They need a new form of payday, since I still need their loyalty. Just look!

“In an August 1 letter, President Museveni directs the minister of Public Service, Muruli Mukasa, to give the former ministers who were appointed ambassadors the same remuneration they used to get while they still served in cabinet. “As you are aware, I have appointed some former ministers as ambassadors. I, therefore, direct, if it is not against any law, their remuneration, personal to holder, like when they were ministers, minus of course elements like constituency allowance because they no longer have constituencies,” Museveni’s letter reads. The letter is copied to Vice President Edward Ssekandi, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda, Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, head of Public Service and secretary to cabinet John Mitala and the permanent secretary of the ministry of Foreign Affairs, Patrick Mugoya. Museveni’s letter suggests that the former ministers could alternatively be paid an equivalent of the monthly pay of Shs 15m for permanent secretaries, although this could come with additional benefits. “Sort it out in a rational manner on the basis of maintaining some of the benefits the individuals were getting previously minus the elements that are no longer applicable,” Museveni further wrote” (Kaaya, 2017).

It is amazing that former Cabinet Members will get perks when they have left office, that can only be keeps his cronies at bay. Not because it is benefits the state or is fiscal responsible. Since the Ministers and Members of Parliament get very high salaries and their reunification, that the ordinary worker in Kampala could “die” for.

Certainly, the President knows this and wants to make sure the former loyal cronies get their paycheck, which they will smile and grin. That they will continue to support him and speak well of him. If that weren’t the case, then this wouldn’t be necessary for him to propose. This isn’t for the love of the country and to take someone. These are the former well-paid politicians and loyalists, who are now sure they get another payday, without any work or office! It should be insulting, but is more of the same, seriously, since many former cabinet members becomes ambassadors, presidential advisors or any sort of title to pay for their loyalty. Not for their advice or political savviness. We all know better.

This certainly will bill up more funds and put more strains on the debt-ridden economy. But why doesn’t President Museveni, he will be dead when the interests and the debt has to be repaid to the creditors. Peace.

Reference:

Kaaya, Sadab Kitatta – ‘Museveni wants ex-ministers to draw cabinet-level pay as envoys’ (18.08.2017) link: http://observer.ug/news/headlines/54467-museveni-wants-ex-ministers-to-draw-cabinet-level-pay-as-envoys.html

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/

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