MinBane

Helt ute av sporet (Okumala ekigwo okulyaku kya okuziga)

Archive for the tag “Syda Bbumba”

The Presidential Handshake report doesn’t say much, but it was a clear “error” by Museveni!

I finally got the whole COSASE report of the Presidential Handshake, what has been reported on my blog or page, has been comments of it. This time it would be direct quotes from the report that was put forward in Parliament from the Parliamentary Committee. That the President had an “error” was been weak, the whole ordeal was a bribe and the Committee didn’t have the courage to say so. Even as the position of every one was spelled out in the Report. Every single person paid out bribe was spelled out and the whole part of the allocation was broth to the daylight. Not that the insights was saying much new. But it still, shows how the President is controlling the Parliament and the use of funds. Since he was shocked of certain acts and that he was making it bonafide, but it wasn’t so. This story has been written back- and fourth.

Before more comments, let’s look at quotes from the report!

The Committee was informed by the management team of URA led by the Commissioner General that before the final arbitration ruling, the Uganda Government team briefed Cabinet on the 19th of November 2014 on the progress of the HOGL arbitration and H.E. the President promised to reward the team if they won the case” (…) “The Final Award on the merits of the arbitration was delivered on the 24th February, 2015 wherein the full panel of three Arbiters agreed in favour of Uganda Government and dismissed the entire claim of HOGL and awarded USD 4,083,840 in cost. The then Attorney General Hon. Fred Ruhindi on the 13th April 2015 (App. B1) wrote to H.E. the President reminding him of his promise to reward the team and requested him to consider a reward for noble team. He also attached a list of 24 proposed beneficiary” (…) “The Committee was informed that the Attorney General further led the Government team to meet H.E. the President at his country home in Rwakitura on the 17th May 2015 where the victory in the Heritage arbitration case was among other things discussed. That the H.E. The President thanked the team and directed the Commissioner General of URA to propose an appropriate reward for the team. H.E. The President also guided that the other Public Officers who had tremendously Contributed to the success of the case but had not been included on the first list generated by the Attorney General be included too” (COSASE, P: 8-9. 2017).

As a follow up to the H.E. the President’s letter of 16th November, 2015, the Commissioner General of URA wrote to the Permanent Secretary/Secretary to Treasury (PS/TS) in a letter dated 11th December, 2015 (App. B6) requesting him to formally designate her as accounting Officer through whom the reward would be paid and to formally requisition for the UGX 6,000,000,000 (Uganda Shillings Six Billions Only)” (…) “The Commissioner General, as advised and in a letter dated 5th May 2016 (App. B8) sought authority from the Hon. Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to reallocate UGX. 6 Billion (Uganda Shillings Six Billion Only) from URA Tax Refund Account to URA Expenditure Account so that the 42 Public Officers could be paid and suggested that a supplementary to URA for that amount to be considered and handled by the Hon. Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. The Hon. Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development did not grant this authority. However, by letter dated 19th October, 2016 (App. B10) he requested the Auditor General to issue an audit warrant for UGX 6 Billion” (COSASE, P: 10-11, 2017).

The Committee reviewed the budget for Financial Year 2016/2017, which was approved by the Board and subsequently appropriated by Parliament for URA activities and the UGX 6 Billion “handshake” was not budget for. The Committee further received evidence from the Board of URA to the effect that such money had not been provided for and they were hearing of that expenditure for the first time” (COSASE, P: 29, 2017).

The Committee observers therefore:

1. That it is true that USD 157 Million, which would have accrued as part of the Capital Gain Tax, was waived.

2. The contention arose out of a clause in the PSA which provided for waiver of tax signed by the then minister Hon. Syda Bbumba.

3. That the dispute would not have arisen if the PSA did not have a waiver of tax.

4. The then Ministry of Energy, Hon. Syda Bbumba, did not have authority to waive tax in that transaction and her auction of not having read the agreement before signing was irregular.

5. All the then Ministry of Energy who signed PSAs with similar clause acted ultra vires the law” (COSASE, P: 44, 2017).

Conclusion:

This “handshake” expenditure was not budgeted URA activity and therefore, a diversion of the UGX 6 Billion without lawful authority was contrary to the PFMA” (…) “H.E. The President’s approval of this “handshake” was bonafide. However, it was an error of judgement” (…) “That all funds paid out of URA account to the beneficiaries of the “handshake” should be refunded” (…) “The Executive should come up with a Bill within 90 days to regulate and streamline the Presidential Donations Budget” (COSASE, P: 45, 2017).

The Presidential Handshake has clearly showed the proof of how a visit at the Presidents farm in 2015 can lead-up to. President Museveni offered honorarium and bonuses to all the staff in the Tullow/Heritage Oil Tax Case, so all their work would benefit them. Without having it in budgets, without any votes or any sort of procedural activity, therefore it was an illegal allocation. That the Uganda Revenue Authority did allocations without proper actions, that the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and Ministry of Energy all actors did wrong in this scenario. They misused the tax to their own benefit and the President allowed it to happen. Therefore, it is weird that the only thing the Committee concludes with a new legislation to stop it. Secondly, also refunds of the benefits for the civil servants and the NRM cronies. That the act was done without lawful authority, but that was well-known and not rocket science. IT was clear misuse of government funds to give someone an extra payday, which wasn’t allocated or had the proper legal stamp. Therefore, a clear bribe… not solicited funds which the state should pay their civil servants. Peace.

Reference:

The Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and the State Enterprises (Cosase) – ‘Report of the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and the State Enterprises (COSASE) on the Investigations into the Circumstances under which the reward of UGX 6 BN was given to 42 Public Officers who participated in the Heritage Oil and Gas Arbitration Case’ (May, 2017)

Advertisements

Presidential Handshake: It’s now revealed that the President is trying to pin someone to “fall on one’s sword”!

The continued exhausting of the Presidential handshake shows the true form of the bribe. Even as the President himself, tries to clean his hands and pin-point more people. He still did sanction it directly from the Uganda Revenue Authority and onto the vast civil servants and loyal cronies, as a bribe and brown envelope of joy. Even if the stories keep coming and more people being implicated, the reality is that this shows that the whole system is rotten.

The maladministration and clearly not caring about state reserves comes to the public court. The Public know knows that the President and his State House, are only trying to find a scapegoat and a perfect victim, to save face and look good, without taking down somebody who knows to much. They know that to many people has gotten ill-earned millions in envelopes because of this Presidential Handshake. That the probe would have questions to the President was most likely, and we could anticipate that someone else would fall on their sword. If they will do it voluntarily and might do it with force from the State House.

Oxford Dictionary states about “Fall on one’s sword”:

Assume responsibility or blame on behalf of other people, especially by resigning from a position.

he heroically fell on his sword, insisting that it was his decision’ (Oxford Dictionary).

So when you read part of the piece in the Daily Monitor today, you see how the President tries to wash his hands of sin and put blame on the Ministers and others. So he will talk to the culprit and make sure that he falls on his sword for him.

Museveni pinning people down for the handshake:

Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu,who is leading the inquiry by the Committee on Commissions, Statutory Authorities and State Enterprises(Cosase), confirmed at a press briefing on Friday that Mr Museveni wants the Committee to ensure that the missing money is accounted for. “The President said he was not aware [that Shs5b is unaccounted for] and he was happy that we were going to follow it up. He reiterated his commitment to accountability and he said any monies spent from the public coffer should be accounted for. He encouraged us to have this money accounted for by the Justice Ministry Accounting Officer [Solicitor General],”Mr Katuntu said. Mr Katuntu revealed that the Solicitor General will be cross-examined again over the whereabouts of the Shs5b before a report is compiled mapping out his fate. During the ingoing inquiry, Mr Atoke failed to give conclusive accountability for the money. During the course of the two meetings, Mr Museveni also singled out former Energy Minister Syda Bbumba for inserting a clause in the Production Sharing Agreement that allowed Tullow a $157m tax waiver for an out of court settlement involving Tullow. The signing of a PSA to exempt Tullow from $157m was done by Ms Bbumba without the knowledge of the President, Mr Katuntu confirmed. “The President said he was not aware of that exemption. The President agreed with us that the exemption was illegal because the then Minister did not have power to exempt payment of tax. We informed the President that we are following up this matter and we will have a conversation with Syda Bbumba,”Mr Katuntu said” (Arinaitwe, 2017).

Now that Honorable Syda Bbumba is the one to blame now, not the ones applying for it or the ones who gained the ill-willed state coffer monies. Not long ago, it was revealed to come from the wrong account, directly from URA and not State House. Now it is a Minister Bbumba who acted without consistent legal procedure, nor talked with the authorities before the money went on its merry. Certainly the other part of what happen this mid-week reveals certain aspects worth noting!

Asking for favors:

According to our sources, as soon as the president ended his testimony, some MPs took turns to speak privately with him. According to multiple sources familiar with the Entebbe meeting, Katuntu effectively contained the MPs during the committee’s official business session at State House but when that ended, MPs went on rampage. “After the meeting, the president invited us for a group photo and this is when the MPs started [whispering],” said an MP who attended the meeting. This MP singled out Beatrice Anywar (Kitgum Municipality), Hood Katuramu (PWDs Western) and Vincent Woboya (Budadiri East) as some of the MPs that approached Museveni with requests for favours. This was after they saw the committee vice chairperson Anita Among whisper to Museveni. Anywar reportedly invited the president to attend her thanksgiving next month in Kitgum. “She has not been attending the committee meetings. In fact, we didn’t go with her on [Wednesday]. I think her coming on the second day was purposely to see Museveni, not [to be part of] the probe,” one MP said” (Kaaya, 2017).

So the system is rigged and he isn’t only looking for someone to take the blame for the Presidential Handshake, he also sees who are loyal to him if they get favors. Similar to the Handshake. They wants and requests favors from the President, because he has done so in the past. And most likely do it again, that is the way he keeps the cronyism alive and the Movement booming. If he stops paying and delivering brown-envelopes to political affiliates he will lose his base and his MP’s. But because of this Presidential Handshake he has to play smart and look like he cares about fighting corruption, even though his State House is thriving on it.

That this would take such long time isn’t surprising as they are trying to find one who can take the blame, without to much cost and lose of face value to the hierarchy and the State House. Nevertheless, the bribe is still a bribe, even if they try to color it differently, there isn’t a gray-area to put it into. The reality is still the same. That certain elements now this week ask for favors from the President proves the handouts and the handshakes are a systemic and institutionalized affairs at the State House.

The issue with the Presidential Handshake is more of a gimmick as the state tries to find the one who will take the charge and eat, so that the President can say: “See there my Ugandan people, I work against corruption”. But the next day, another MP will pop by Entebbe or Nakasero and ask for favor, an envelope or even a handshake. So that they can be bought into submission, which is the given state and the system that President Museveni believes in. Peace.

Reference:

Arinaitwe, Solomon – ‘Museveni pins SG Atooke over oil cash’ (01.05.2017) link:http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/Museveni-pins-SG-Atooke-over-oil-cash/688334-3909560-g9wigk/index.html

Kaaya, Sadab Kitatta – ‘Oil cash probe MPs beg from Museveni’ (01.05.2017) link:http://observer.ug/news/headlines/52653-oil-cash-probe-mps-beg-from-museveni.html

Oxford Dictionary – ‘fall on one’s sword’ link:https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/fall_on_one’s_sword

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: