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Archive for the tag “Uganda Police Force”

Opinion: MPs Security Detail is prepared to be modern day Santana Scandal!

Shiish, there are just some news that doesn’t capture your eyes quick enough. I have read the letter, but didn’t capture all the details, neither the costs. However, there was several of gentleman at the Daily Monitor, that did. Therefore, I am writing here today, because of the possible cost of buying cars for MPs new security detail. This has been ordered by the President and his words is law. No matter how expensive or how insane it is.

Here is the case from today:

“On June 29, President Museveni ordered Finance minister Matia Kasaija to urgently procure bullet-proof cars with “sharp shooters” from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) to protect lives of the MPs against what he termed “terrorists”. However, he did not give specifics on the cost of the vehicles and other related expenditures. Daily Monitor interviews with car manufacturers revealed that a 2017/18 model bullet-proof Land Cruiser pick-up costs about $520,000 (about Shs1.9b) while a 2017/18 model bullet-proof Hilux pick-up costs about $166,000 (Shs630m). Therefore to procure bullet-proof Land Cruisers for the 456 MPs at Shs1.9b each, the government would pay out Shs866b while to acquire 2017/18 bullet-proof Hilux model at Shs630m, it would cost government Shs287b” (Solomon Arinaitwe & Moses Kyeyune – ‘MPs security cars to cost Shs1 trillion’ 13.07.2018 link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/MPs-security-cars-cost-Shs1-trillion/688334-4660322-shcp27z/index.html).

This here deal is made for corruption and for ghost costs appearing out of nowhere. This here is just built for that. It is amazing if the government starts procuring, knowing with its history and misuse of state funds. This is the perfect blend, buying vehicles and add-ons on the spread-sheet, claim later added cost without explaining where the funds went. If not order things that never appear. That is also a beauty.

With this in mind, here is the old story that could be re-produced by buying the security detail:

“However, in mid-1988 when Balaki Kirya, minister of state in office of the President in charge of security went to Spain to sign an agreement, he found 260 Santana ‘Land-rovers’ valued at $6.1 million had already been shipped while the agents/lobbyists were negotiating for the importation of another 260 ‘Land-rovers’ now valued at $8 million. The saga leaked to the press. The Weekly Topic of May 3, 1989 had a lead story: ‘Old schemers at their game again, STOP MISUSING PRESIDENT OFFICE’. When contacted, officials from the National Treasury said the purchase was done without the knowledge of the Bank of Uganda (BoU). However, from the BoU archives, on April 8, 1988, a memorandum on the foreign exchange position, by the governor indicated among other payments to be made in the year was for the 260 Land-rovers from Spain for the President’s office and 600 Land-rovers for the ministry of Defence as well as the army uniform from Spain” (Eriasa Mukiibi Sserunjogi – ‘High-profile corruption scandals registered under NRM’ 24.02.2013 link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/High-profile-corruption-scandals-registered-under-NRM/688334-1702448-ndh6w6z/index.html).

I wouldn’t be amazed if the Ministry of Defence, the Minister of Finance and the Prime Minister would make a scheme worth paying off for. They would secure kick-backs and additional funds, this is a too important project and the safety of the MPs is the highest priority. Everyone knows that. Not that this is misusing of funds and making sure the MPs are driving around like hostages in their Republic. Nah, that is not important at all.

That the 456 MPs who already are allocated money for cars and upkeep of them. Still, they need a second one, with specialized produced safety gear, seems more like they are traveling past war-zones, than friendly neighbourhoods, what about the actual people that live there, are they safe?

Well, that was bit of subject. However, the reality is that this is made for corruption. Someone in the regime will eat and use this as package to get loaded. We can just wonder who and who will be put in charge, who will fake needed equipment and who will give away knock-offs instead of the real deal.

This MPs security deal can be a gold-mine to the right individual. However, whoever that might be, he has to remember to give the king his cut. That meaning the President in the State House, if not your see quickly the other side of the barrel. He has no issues getting rid of people. That is proven in history too.

I wish I could be hopeful, but to me, they are cooking another Santana Scandal. This time it might be the Hilux Scandal or the Land Cruiser Scandal of 2018.

I just know we will get there, but how, that is up to the magicians within the Kings court. Peace.

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The Presidential Handshake lives on!

You would think certain scandals and certain ways of thieving the public funds would be died down. The stories would end and the beneficiary of these scandals want it to go away, as it taints their legacy and remaining words about their time as Public Officials, as Clerics and Civil Servants within the State. However, in the matter of the Presidential Handshake, this whole thing just getting more legs and doesn’t die. It is like the President is proud of his bribing ways and proving a point today.

As the NBS TV reports:

“The High Court in Kampala has issued an interim order stopping the Inspector General of Government (IGG) from investigating and forcing beneficiaries of the 6 billion shillings presidential handshake to refund the money” (…) “The public officials had received the money as a token for their role in the 400-million-dollar Heritage Oil arbitration case which Uganda won” (NBS Television, 13.07.2018).

It is like the whole charade was mocked by the legendary report calling it an ‘error’ but not a crime. To give away public funds to civil servants and public officials, as a handshake after winning a court case. It is like the state doesn’t care about their lack of transparency, as long as the cronies are funded.

My favourite quotes from the report published in May 2017 says:

“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).

After my calculation were all well beyong 90 days and nothing fruitful has happen, except now the High Court are saying the non-budgeted and the error of judgement by the President is “okay”. They don’t even have to refund, while there is no bill to regulate or streamline any Presidential Donations Budget, because who would dare to cross the authority of the State House and President at this point of time. No one with a clear mind, who will not end up in prison or lose his or her livelihood.

This is a proof of how little power the Parliament have in the current state, as they cannot even look into or question the Presidential Handshake. They cannot even check into the sudden gifts and donations made by the President. Which is a substantial part of the State House yearly budget.

This isn’t funny, this is a mockery of all the ones paying added taxes and paying for state services, as they are being hold in contempt, where a certain amount of big-men and cronies within the state can eat directly of it, without any consequence. Who knows what else the President misuse funds on, right now? 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)

Statement by Uganda Law Society Concerning Continued Illegal Acts by the Security Organization (ISO) – (12.07.2018)

Social Media Tax: Museveni at this point of time, where wisdom dies! Part II

Collecting more taxes than is absolutely necessary is legalized robbery.” Calvin Coolidge

You know something stings, when a certain individual of the stature of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni addresses the Social Media Tax, that he wrote about to his Finance Minister Matia Kasaija on March 2018 and also was passed in May 2018 and levied from the 1st July 2018. This means that the President has twice addressed it since levying it. Therefore, what he says again is to defend this cause. Still, it is not evidence of wisdom or of consideration of how if affects the public. It is like that part of taxation has passed the old-mans head. Not that it is surprising, because its never his fault and never he who hurts people. It is always someone else or a misunderstood.

Internet use can be sometimes for educational purposes and research. This should not be taxed. However, using internet to access social media for chatting, recreation, malice, subversion, inciting murder, is definitely a luxury. As I said in my earlier message, it is, moreover, a luxury that is costly to the country’s economy apart from the shillings the users keep spending to use the internet to access the social media (facebook). The foreign telephone companies accumulate a lot of local shillings from the social media merry- makers or malice promoters; they, then, go to the forex bureaus and buy the dollars I have earned from my milk products, from coffee, from tea etc etc and, guess what, send abroad (send back the very dollars we had just earned) this hard currency. Thereby, putting pressure on our shillings. In this heammorage, they are joined by the people of games betting where, again, betting machines are owned by the foreigners. This is not only extravagance but also parasitism. Our people are unknowingly being used by foreign interests (telephone companies, social media companies) to parasite on us- to take away our hard earned dollars in order to have fun or promote malice on social media. That is why a social media tax is, really, a minimum. Instead of re-introducing foreign exchange control which other countries still have, we have simply said: “Please since you are endlessly having fun or expressing your views at the expense of the dollars we have earned, make a modest contribution to the building of the country”. Those involved, should, surely, happily, at least, do this minimum” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni – ‘President Responds to feed back to earlier statement on the new social media and mobile money taxes’ 12.07.2018).

It is like he doesn’t understand what he does, the shillings are not taken from the Foreign Companies licensed to trade and operate in Uganda. No, this tax is still going directly to the citizens. So, if the President was seriously offended by the operations of these Telcoms and their businesses. However, the Social Media and the other Exercise Duty are going directly taxation of the public, not the businesses.

Therefore, when he complains about what people write on the Social Media, he himself are in the same regard calling people again parasites. He is calling foreign companies evil leeches feeding of the public. Seriously, he speaking and calling them out. The President says all citizens on Social Media are: “malice, subversion, inciting murder, is definitely a luxury”.

So it is okay to do malice, subversion, inciting murder as long as you pay 200 shillings a-day, than it is cool? Is that what he is saying? Who is promoting malice on Social Media?

It is like the man saying foreign companies are parasites, the man who has called former allies bean weevil and himself the Leopards Anus. Are saying other people are malicious. Maybe, he should clean his own language, before lecturing people online. Its more that here. That is why I only took a small fraction of the piece he wrote. Because seriously, it is not worth your time and needs to be checked for what is truth and fiction.

If he had a problem with Foreign Telecoms being licensed and operating in Uganda. He shouldn’t have burned and sold-off Uganda Telecom to the Libyans, neither made sure Airtel, MTN and other companies could take the market shares. If they couldn’t do that in legal ways, they would have been suspended and lost their licenses. However, the state has accepted their business and they are there for a reason. These companies are not leaching money, but creating business in the marketplace, also the state has allowed it to happen.

It is not a modest contribution to the state of taking 200 shillings a day, when it cost 70,000 shillings if they do it daily. It is about 20% of the lowest paid yearly salaries of the civil servants by his government. The NRM has failed the people, they are not only taking their PAYE, VAT, Income Tax on the Cellphone Companies and their services, but also the Social Media Tax and Mobile Money Tax (On all three stages of the operation). This is just an insult to them for doing that and not just a modest contribution.

A modest contribution would be to give up the confidential spending on him and the State House, also cut the budget of the State House in half. That is if he cares about the government services, these supposed funds collected this way might also go there. I doubt this funds collected with the Social Media Tax and Mobile Money Tax will go to roads or schools, because if he had cared about that, the funds would have gone there more often for the last 32 years.

It is insulting to people’s intelligence, the second lecture made by Museveni on the subject. Still, not the decent wisdom the man should have dropped. It is like they are continuing to blame the companies, but still defending of taxing the people. If the companies are the problem, tax them and their operations. Be real. Shut up! Peace.

UCC: Public Notice of UCC Ban on Scratch/Airtime Cards (12.07.2018)

President Museveni letter to Finance Minister Kasaija: Additional Personal Security for Members of Parliament (26.06.2018)

Social Media Tax: PM Rugunda does a back-flip – Due diligence after levying it!

There are days, when you wonder if these people are sincere or real? I wonder if the National Resistance Movement (NRM), the whole organization and the Members of Parliament (MPs) ever thought their acts would have impact on society? They were just thinking it was rubber-stamping another budget and another relief for the deficit without concern of how it would impact the public. That can be put into question, after reading the statement made by the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda at the Parliament earlier today.

Rt.Hon.Speaker and Hon.Colleagues, since the Act came into force on 1st July 2018; Government has noted public concerns regarding some of the elements in implementation of especially tax on mobile money transactions and OTT. H.E. the President has provided guidance on the matter and encouraged further discussion with a view to reaching consensus on how we should raise the much needed revenue to finance our budget and undertake the development agenda we have set for ourselves without causing unbearable burden to the citizens. Rt.Hon.Speaker and Hon.Colleagues, Government is now reviewing the taxes taking into consideration the concerns of the public and its implications on the budget” (Ruhakana Rugunda, 2018).

What this is evident known, that the state wasn’t ready for the impact it would have on the public. The public outcry and also the unfairness of these taxes. The phones are paid VAT, Income Tax of the Companies and now the Exercise Duty on it, therefore, double taxation when going in on Social Media, and triple when transmitting money through the Mobile Money Service.

What the PM is saying at the end is that they are starting to review the taxes, that should have been done in the first report delivered to the Parliament, as the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, should have shown the problems. They only was focused on the possible revenue, because of the status of revenue made by the Telecommunication Companies. Instead, of looking into the costs it would be put on the consumers and citizens. They we’re totally focused on the revenue to the state to fix the deficit.

That the state wants to review it now. They should have done it this way, as the whole thing started with letter written from the President and sent to Finance Minister Matia Kasaija on the 12th March 2018. Ordering to look into OTT and Social Media Taxes. In the midst of that, there was written a report and around 30th May 2018, the taxes was passed and got enacted, as the taxes started this 1st July 2018. It has been effective for only 10 days, but already shows all the flaws and fallacies in it.

It is like the NRM and the President, thought this would be a smooth ride of double and triple taxation. Where the excuse all along is that the Telecoms are eating the money and the development, the state has put into the industry, however, if that is the case, why don’t the state tax the companies more? Because now they are taxing the public into ridiculous levels.

So, the state is going circles, but instead of doing due diligence before enacting and levying the taxes. They are doing it after the fact, they are doing after the cat is out of the bag. The people see the ugly monster now, it isn’t an urban legend. It is real and they have no issues bleeding and destroying the economy on simple taxation. They are making it more expensive to pay bills and utilities. They are making it less viable to spread information and be part of a conversation. Because it is to costly to big chunks of the public. That is proven with the level of taxes put on each head passing into the digital atmosphere.

The PM have forgotten his role, as a Representative, but that what happens when you were the crown and forget the people. They are talking about reviewing it now. That should have been done long before it was tabled in the Parliament for voting and gotten passed in the plenary session in May 2018.

The report delivered should have enlisted the costs and the burdens, it should have been sincere, a document which numbers crunchers could have tested and seen if they were manipulated. Now, the reality is that the government didn’t collect the cost on each individual, neither the loss of certain low-level data-bundles and air-time packages. As they we’re abolished because of the added costs of taxes baked into the packages.

That is what the PM doesn’t even discuss or care. It is hard to believe that the state will seriously review it now, they will be busy bodies counting the shillings and add-ons to the state. I have little faith that they will looking into the lost meat boiled of the bone. They will not look after the wounded or the hurt from this.

They are might getting added revenue at the present by this, but they are also destroying a growing industry, that they could have taxed wiser and found ways to earn more revenue through. Instead, they are punishing the citizens for using digital ways instead of showing up in bank sending money there. Peace.

Reference:

Ruhakana Rugunda – ‘Statement to Parliament by the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister on the recently introduced taxes on Mobile Money transactions and Over The Top (OTT) services’ 11.07.2018 link: https://ugandamediacentreblog.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/statement-to-parliament-by-the-rt-hon-prime-minister-on-the-recently-introduced-taxes-on-mobile-money-transactions-and-over-the-top-ott-services/

#ThisTaxMustGo: Bobi Wine wanted by the Authorities after Demos earlier in the day!

The ironies of all of this, is that isn’t very special, as the Kampala Metropolitan Police are now looking for the Member of Parliament Robert Kyagulanyi. Who was part of the leadership who held a demonstration in Central Business District of Kampala. Clearly, the Authorities hadn’t accepted this, as they themselves put violence into it, they shot tear-gas, live bullets and dispersed the public. He escaped himself and was able to get to the Parliament. Certainly this is not the end.

As the Chimp Reports reports later:

Kampala Police are set to issue summons against Kyadondo East Constituency Member of Parliament (MP), Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine for inciting violence and holding unlawful processions. Bobi Wine this morning led a team of protesters who marched from down town Kampala toward the City square. These, carrying banners were protesting the new social media and mobile money taxes” (Nixon Segawa – ‘MP Bobi Wine Wanted By Police Over Social Media Tax Demo’ 11.07.2018).

This here is continuing the methods of Kayihura and his ways. As they are using the Public Order Management Act (POMA) and use of the Penal Code to apprehend him to the Police Force within time. As the MP humiliated the Kampala Metropolitan, even as this would most likely not gotten the permit to demonstrate on it. IGP Okoth-Ochola has no quarrel using the same techniques to silence the voice of the people.

Bobi Wine is just showing way and doing what the other opposition leaders have done. As they campaign for cause and gain publicity for it. This here is a sign of will and how quickly he can get people behind him. That the MP could get as much and be able to organize this, even use the Social Media to get people to demonstrate. Shows the power of the people. Not that it changed much on the ground today, but shows the same-old, same old.

There are even arrests of other activists and demonstrators, which is held at the Kampala Central Police Station, while what they are arrested for is not clear yet. However, the police has taken them to custody in the manner, which they are known for. They are initiating violence and use weapons on the defenseless, the citizens who demonstrate for a good cause, one that are depleting their bank-accounts, double or triple taxation of the same services.

Still, the culprits of the violence walks, while the leaders of the demonstrations are demonized and arrested.

This seems like yet another day in opposite day. Where the rule of law is acting as vile criminals, while the public is deemed criminal for voicing their discomfort. It is surreal, but ordinary by the standards of the Police Force.

Bobi Wine is just a man, but a man of principal and fierce, he is young and vibrant. Everything this rulers of the land isn’t today. The NRM have forgotten why the exists. They have forgotten what their visions and their orthodoxy was in 1980s. Because Bobi Wine is speaking the same 32 years later.

It is tragic, but that is the way it is. Peace.

Finance Minister Matia Kasaija letter to UIA ED Jolly Kaguhangire to “Hand-Over Office” (09.07.2018)

[Insert Malicious Charge] Put on Besigye: Because why not?

Again, and again, there are charges and possible legal trouble towards the opposition leader and founder of Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Dr. Kizza Besigye. Yesterday, was yet another day for him to be put on the spot. Not that anyone of the charges that he has gotten in the past has been verified and the regime haven’t followed up on them.

He has more than once been charged of treason, he has been taken into custody without warrant and been detained more times than it is possible to count. Especially in and around General Elections, he is pending jail, while campaigning. Therefore, this is really just he way the National Resistance Movement (NRM) are acting towards him. So yesterday is nothing new, but still needs to be addressed.

Now, they are pinning random murders on him. Besigye get the blame for even more stuff. Even if he was gardening in Wakiso or on a Campaign Trail, they would blame him. The NRM and the Police Force are monitoring him. It is insane and that is why this is suddenly news.

Four suspects arrested by Security gurus from Busia have linked the FDC Party and some of its top leaders including the Party Chief Mobiliser Ingrid Turinawe and four time Presidential Candidate Col. Dr. Kizza Besigye to various crimes in the country” (91.2 Crooze FM, 10.07.2018).

This is just as reading charge sheets and making up crimes. To fill the time of the FDC leadership behind bars, instead of continuing to build the party. Not like the Police are actually solving crimes, but manufacturing charges on him and the FDC. Besigye is used as a pawn by the authorities.

It is really insulting, that he again is under fire. That is because the NRM and the Police Force needs to divert attention. They need him to be martyr, but this time is not to serious. Since he still walks freely, while they are continuing blaming him for everything.

Besigye is being used and abused. He has been played and tortured, been detained and kidnapped before. Therefore, nothing they are doing is new, they have sprayed him and destroyed his SUV just for the hell of it.

That is why I don’t believe this charges or anyone else. It is a political farce and mockery of intelligence. If any of the charges had sticked, if any of the previous arrests or time of detaining behind any bars in- and around Uganda. Than, it would be believable, however, this is just yet another mad cow put into the public.

The mad-cow decease from Rwakitura farm that is killing wisdom and common sense at a rapid rate. That is why the Police Force as political force as it was under previous leadership. The new IGP is doing as a favor to the President. While making no sense charging Besigye again for nothing.

That is why the previous charges pinned on Besigye haven’t gone anywhere. They are just used to stifle is support and his political activism. However, the trick has gone out and fuse has run out. This has grown old, just like the President.

Time revamp and change, because this is just a mockery of rule of law. It is not funny, but just tragic. Besigye is being used and this has happen more times than worth counting. Peace.

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