WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, April 6, 2016 – A team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Roger Nord, IMF Mission Chief and Deputy Director of the African Department, visited Kampala from March 21 to April 6, to conduct the sixth review of Uganda’s economic program supported by the Policy Support Instrument (PSI).
At the end of the mission, Mr. Nord issued the following statement:
“In a complex global, regional, and domestic environment, affected by election-related uncertainties, Uganda’s economy continued to perform well. Economic growth is expected to reach 5 percent in the current fiscal year and accelerate to 5.5 percent in FY2016/17, supported by the scaling up of infrastructure investment. Following a sharp depreciation of the shilling, inflation increased, with core inflation reaching 7.6 percent in December 2015, though it has since then decelerated to 6.9 percent.
“Performance under the PSI has been mixed. There has been progress on increasing tax revenue, strengthening international reserves, extending the Treasury Single Account to local governments, and establishing public investment management guidelines. The decisive monetary policy response, in the context of appropriate exchange rate flexibility, contributed to the stabilization of the shilling and successfully curbed inflation expectations. However, the end-December 2015 overall deficit target was not met, poverty reducing expenditures were below target, and some structural reforms suffered delays.
“The mission commends the authorities for the steadfast implementation of fiscal policy in a complex electoral environment. Revenue over-performed through end-December 2015 and expenditure pressures were reasonably well controlled. While some fiscal tightening had been envisaged in late 2015 in the face of significant exchange rate pressures, the economy subsequently stabilized more rapidly than expected, leading the authorities to revert to the original budget targets. However, there were some renewed fiscal pressures in early 2016, including a slowdown in revenue and some additional spending. The mission welcomes that the supplementary budget currently before parliament aims at minimizing year-end slippages. The mission encourages the authorities to strengthen efforts to boost taxpayer compliance to compensate for the revenue shortfall.
“The mission welcomes the 2016/17 budget currently before parliament, which envisages a continued scaling-up of infrastructure investment while boosting domestic revenue by 0.5 percent of GDP, in line with the objective to raise Uganda’s revenue performance to levels observed in regional and other peers. The mission encourages the authorities to continue building capacity and controls to manage large public investment projects. It will also be important to avoid within-year reallocations from public investment to less productive government spending.
“The mission welcomes the decision by the Bank of Uganda (BOU) to lower the central bank rate, consistent with the forecast of core inflation returning to its medium-term target. The mission commends the BOU for its effective communication strategy, which contributed to well-anchored inflation expectations, reflected in sharply falling yields in recent weeks. The appropriate easing of monetary policy should provide a welcome boost to private sector credit growth and support economic activity.
“The mission welcomes the approval of the amendments to the Financial Institutions Act, expected to foster credit expansion and deepen the financial sector. The mission encourages the authorities to expedite the adoption of appropriate regulations to implement the new Public Finance Management Act in line with international best practice. The mission also urges the authorities to complete the reconciliation and validation of the stock of domestic payment arrears and take all necessary measures to avoid their recurrence.
“The mission is reassured by ongoing efforts to ensure Uganda’s prompt exit from the Financial Action Task-Force’s list of jurisdictions with strategic deficiencies in the legal framework for combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT). The mission urges the authorities to take the necessary steps to facilitate the prompt exit, including by passing the amendments to the Anti-Money Laundering Act and the Insurance Act before May 2016.
“The mission met with Hon. Mr. Matia Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development; Professor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile, Governor of the Bank of Uganda; Mr. Keith Muhakanizi, Permanent Secretary/Secretary of Treasury; and other senior government officials, and representatives from the business, and international communities. The mission thanks all counterparts for their collaboration.
“IMF Executive Board consideration of the sixth review of the PSI-supported program is expected by end-June 2016.”
 The PSI is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries that do not need balance of payments financial support. The PSI helps countries design effective economic programs that, once approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, signal to donors, multilateral development banks, and markets the Fund’s endorsement of a member’s policies (seehttp://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/psi.htm). Details on Uganda’s current PSI are available at imf.org/uganda.
Well, we are in the middle of election hiatus and all, the Nomination and planned campaign that last to 18th February 2016. This here will not be on that, but be crunches numbers delivered from the Bank of Uganda Yearly report for the 2014/2015 budget year. This here will tell what I see as important from that report.
“The external position weakened with the current account deficit excluding official grants deteriorating to 11 percent of GDP compared to 8,8 percent in 2013/14. The deterioration of the current account deficit was largely driven by the services deficit, which deteriorated to US$ 731 Million in 2014/15 from USD 323 million in 2013/14 mainly account of higher payments of government services related to infrastructure projects, particularly Karuma and Isimba Hydro Power Projects” (BoU P:1).
That is big change in deficit! That must be a bit worrying that the amount of monies is becoming this big. Also with the infrastructure projects makes so big hunch of that deficit.
Financial risk management at Bank of Uganda focuses on the risk exposures in both the foreign exchange reserves portfolio as well as other operational areas of the Bank. Notably, foreign exchange reserves account for over 86 percent (2014: 74 percent) of BOU’ assets” (BoU, P: 12).
A lot of foreign exchange is major parts of the reserves of the bank. Is that a safe way to do it and doesn’t that devalue its own currency?
“The higher than programmed expenditure was partly, compensated for by the over performance in government revenue. Total government revenue, including grants amounted to UGX. 10,866.0 Billion, which has higher than target by UGX. 249.1 Billion. Grants and domestic revenues over performed by UGX. 173. 0 Billion, respectably” (BoU, P: 28).
The good news is that Government is able to collect more revenue as of taxation and grants to the Government. Though we can say it is a steady rise and the bank doesn’t explain how the rise happen, because this can’t all be collected on the Cellphone, Alcohol or VAT taxes, but something else.
“The fiscal deficit of UGX 3,621 Billion was financed by both domestic and external source, which amounted to UGX. 2,479.0 Billion and UGX. 919 billion, respectively. Domestic financing included a drawdown on savings amounting to UGX. 1,060.0 Billion and net issuance of Government securities of UGX. 1,386.0 Billion. The drawdone of savings was specifically used to finance expenditures related to the public infrastructure projects” (BoU, P: 29).
This here continues on how the financed and the fiscal deficit and sure the drawdone on the savings to build infrastructure projects.
The total public debt stock, in nominal terms, at end June 2015 is estimated at UGX. 24,242.0 billion, an increase of 24,2 percent of UGX. 19.518. 0 Billion at end of June 2014. External and domestic debt increased by 27,7 percent and 21,1 percent, respectively” (BoU, P: 29).
This here is frightening how much the rise is steady and getting more… The terms of it and the rise should make people shake their heads and worry. The Government of Uganda continues to hedge the Public loans and having a rise like this can’t be a sign of a healthy economy.
The depreciation pressures which started in early 2014 continued through June 2015, with the Shilling depreciating by 18,8 percent year-on-year on a trade weighted basis and by 29.1 percent against the USD to an average mid-rate of UGX. 3,398,49 per USD” BoU, P: 31).
That the currency loses value towards the dollar should also be worring. When you see how much shillings you need now to get the dollar now.
“Petroleum Revenue Investment Fund:
In June 2015, the Government opened two accounts (UGX and USD) in order to operationalize the PF. These accounts are to receive all oil related revenues. In June 2015, USD 36 million was received as part payment of the USD 250 million capital gains tax (CGT) liability from Tullow. This sum includes USD 142 million received in 2012 and USD 108 million to be paid in three equal installments of USD 36 million in 2015, 2016 and 2017” (BoU, P: 45).
“During the year, an amount of UGX 1,607,814 million was transferred from the Oil Tax Revenue Fund to Uganda Consolidation Fund. This balance relates to an amount of UGX 1,161,737 million from Tullow Oil paid to GOU for the settlement of tax dispute between the Government and Heritage Oil & Gas (U) Limited. It also includes stamp duty of USD 171 million (UGX 447 million) on sale of Tullow Oil’s assets to Total and CNOOC” (BoU, P: 107).
“In addition, the bank received USD 36 million (UGX 119,057 million) on 22 June 2015 on behalf of GoU, relating to Tranche 1 Tullow Oil tax settlement” (BoU P: 107).
“Ugandan Consolidation Fund refers to the Government appropriation account where all tax receipts are credited and appropriations made. During 2014/15, UGX 1,612,080 million relating to the oil tax revenue collections was transferred to the UFC” (BoU, P: 107).
As seen Petroleum Revenue Investment Fund and Oil Tax revenue shows how the oil impact has on the economy. We can also see the result of the longstanding dispute of the Government of Uganda and Tullow Oil Company. That has now been overturned and gotten the Total and CNOOC. There will be more monies at stake on a later stage coming with the found oil in the Bunyoro area and Lake Albert.
“The special loan to government relates to an advance to government for procurement of the presidential aircraft with interest rates (LIBOR plus 100 basis points), maturity date and repayment terms agreed between Ministry of Finance and the Bank as stipulated in the memorandum of understanding. The last loan instalment was paid off on 24 July 2015” (BoU, P: 107).
That was an expensive airplane for the president! Though it’s all back-paid this still shows how the President buys what he needs and wants, and not what the people need.
Uganda Consolidation Fund: (by the 31. June of the year)
2014 it was UGX 3, 245,961 million.
2015 it was UGX 2, 386,056 million.
(BoU, P: 117).
As proof with the rising debt and deficits, even with rise of higher taxs returns the Government of Uganda. Stills shows that their spending more than they getting since the Taxation fund is dwindling and become less and smaller account. That in total with the other numbers should be a worrying thing to see. Especially knowing how the NRM-Regime goes mayhem on the economy the coming months of elections paying for every votes with chickens and goats in the districts. We have seen that before and will see it again. This will also lead to rise of inflation with more running through the economy so the value of the currency might also dwindle towards on dollar. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Shilling comes up to 4,000 on a dollar!
And that is not a good luck, since the imports and prices will rise for the rise of cost of imports. But hope my predictions isn’t correct, but election cycles usual make the ordinary voter pay and those receiving just get a patch on the wound created by the mayhem done to economy by the ruling regime. Peace.
Bank of Uganda (BoU) – Annual Report 2014/2015
This blog here will be focused on the ‘Office of the Auditor General’ who released ‘Annual report of the Auditor General for the Financial Year ended 30th June 2014 – Volume 5 Value for Money Audit’. What you will read is actual quotes from the paper or report. Here you get a vivid picture of how the financial year (FY 2013-2014) was in reality.
I haven’t taken everything from the piece. It would be too long and you might end up bored. Here is what should get your mind boggling and wonder. How could this be this way? Why is it like this? How did it end up like this? What does this tell me about the economic practices in Uganda? And so on. If you start to think like that, then it was worth using my time. Enjoy the quotes from the report. Hope you catch some wisdom.
When it comes to managing Public Debt:
“Public debt is incurred primarily for financing budget deficits, development of domestic financial markets, supporting the country’s Balance of Payment (BOP) position/foreign reserves and monetary policy objectives. In Uganda, public debt is managed by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) in liaison with Bank of Uganda (BoU). Government borrows internally from domestic markets through issuance of Treasury bills and Bonds by the BoU and externally through Bilateral and multilateral borrowings. Currently, over 60% of the public debt is external debt and 40% is domestic debt. GoU borrowing has been rising over the years from USD 5.7 billion in Financial Year (FY) 2011/12 to USD 7 billion in FY 2013/14. The growing National debt, if not properly managed, could revert to unsustainable levels as was the case in the past”.
“Interest rates on domestic debt have overall stabilised in recent years relative to their peak in 2011/12. However, they remain a cause for concern due to their high contribution to overall debt service costs and the relatively high yields which they attract stand in stark contrast to those achieved by comparator nations with similar credit ratings”.
When it comes to roads:
“The Uganda Road Fund invested a total of UGX 914 billion in road maintenance activities during the three years under review (2011/2012, 2012/2013 and 2013/2014),4 with a total of 4,565km of roads maintained. Despite the increasing investment, there are reports and persistent public outcry about the poor state of roads and the deteriorating quality of works being executed. The physical and financial performance reports of designated agencies in FY 2011/12 revealed the following issues: budget indiscipline, poor absorption of road maintenance funds, inaccuracies in reporting, lethargy of Designated Agencies (DAs) in complying with reporting requirements, widely varying unit costs, risk of loss of funds through end of year procedures, and grave underperformance of periodic maintenance works” (…) ”The road maintenance needs in Uganda cannot be met due to limited resources, for example for FY 2011/2012, the total maintenance needs from the agencies was UGX 413.95bn, and the budget provided by the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) was UGX 280.95bn, indicating a 32% deficit” (…) “The road maintenance equipment inventory maintained by the URF is incomplete; the inventory is only for 12 (55%) of the municipalities and it is outdated as it was submitted in January 2011”.
When it comes to Gas and Oil:
“Through a review of reports on procurement submitted by the oil companies to PEPD, it was noted that from 2010-2013, the oil companies spent a total of USD 1,171.8 million on purchase of goods and services. Of this, USD 329.9 million was paid to Ugandan service providers, representing 28% of the total spend for all the companies in the period under review” (…) “The Ugandan service providers comprised about 73% of the approved suppliers which implies that the total value of the procurements from them was less than their relative number” (…) “Ugandans employed in the oil and gas sector by the oil companies overall rose from 69% in 2012 to 80% in 2014, absolute numbers of employees decreased from 546 to 432 between 2013 and 2014; in particular, the nationals dropped from 370 to 347 over the same period” (…) “For all the 27 jobs advertised in the newspapers, attracting over 700 local applicants, none was appointed, citing lack of experience in the oil and gas sector. Instead, the recruitment report submitted by the CNOOC to PEPD recommended recruitment of expatriates” (…) “According to the Industrial baseline survey done by the Joint Venture partners (CNOOC, TEP and TUOP), 60% of the workforce required for the next phases will be technicians and craftsmen, which translates to a demand of 7,800 and 1,800 technicians and craftsmen at the peak and plateau phases, respectively, of development and production. With the current total of only 86 UPIK graduates, there is doubt that the projected demand will be met by the time production starts (2018)” (…) “There are still several areas with clear potential for enhancing national content, such as: establishment of a clear regulatory framework, performance targets and indicators for national content; determining the level of state participation; local supplier development; employment and training of Nationals by the oil companies and government; ensuring gender parity and involving host communities”.
When it comes to the Healthcare:
“The Uganda Health Systems Strengthening Project (UHSSP) is a project administered under the Ministry of Health (MoH)” (…) “UHSSP, is a five year project, which was established in 2010, commenced operations in February 2011 and is due to end on 31st July 2015. The UHSSP project is jointly funded by the Government of Uganda (GoU) and the World Bank to a tune of USD 14.31 million and USD 130 million, respectively” (…) “UHSSP was set up to bridge the existing gap of supply and maintenance of medical equipment in 46 selected health facilities in order to improve the quality of health care delivered to patients. The project has spent USD 24 million (UGX 60.480 billion) on procurement and supply of these medical equipment, yet some of the equipment remains unused in the facilities where it was supplied” (…) “For instance, at the time of audit field visit in September 2014, the project had supplied anesthetics machines to 165 HCIVs at a cost of USD 2,063,085.75, however, all the HCIVs visited were not utilising this equipment because they lacked the technical expertise to effectively utilise the equipment. In a related instance, 2 auto strainers valued at USD 25,345.68, which were issued to Mubende and Moroto Regional Referral Hospitals, are not operational because of lack of qualified staff” (…) “observations conducted during field visits to the seventeen selected beneficiary health facilities, it was noted that some of the equipment supplied, worth Euros 3,954.67 and USD 1,209,879.09, was not being used at all while other equipment was not optimally utilized” (…) “Through field inspections, it was observed that health facilities namely Mwizi had no power supply while others such as: Moyo, Aduku, Aboke Pakwach had unreliable solar power supply, and therefore, were not providing emergency obstetric care services when needed” (…) “that various equipment supplied by the project, worth USD 319,676.35 and Euros 347.24, required additional logistical supplies to be effectively put to use. Such equipment included anesthesia units which required regulators, oxygen cylinders and other reagents while incubator cultures, incubator baby, defribrators, counting chamber, colorimeter required Medias, distilled water, thermometers, tubes and batteries”.
When it comes to handling Public Debt Part 2:
“Uganda benefited from the various Debt relief initiatives like the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative in 1998, the Enhanced HIPC in 2000 and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) in 2006. Despite these initiatives, GoU borrowing has been rising over the years from USD 5.7 billion in Financial Year (FY) 2011/12 to USD 7 billion in FY 2013/14. The growing National debt, if not properly managed, could revert to unsustainable levels as was the case in the past” (…) “In the FY 2013/14 Public debt increased to USD 7 billion up from USD 6.4 billion in F/Y 2012/13, reflecting a 9.38% increment in one year alone, the increment was way above the GDP growth of 6.2% in the FY 2013/14. Domestic debt accounted for 9.55% (UGX 1,437 billion) of the National budget, 2014/15 an increase of 1.65% (UGX 397 billion) from 7.9% (UGX 1,040 billion) in financialyear 2013/14. External financing on the other hand increased from UGX 2,660 billion in F/Y 2013/14 to UGX 2,733 billion of the National budget, 2014/15 an increase of UGX 73 billion. As non-concessional borrowing increases, the need for proper debt management becomes even much greater” (…) “On average, 60% of public debt is external loans of which Multilateral loans constitute over 80%. The domestic debt is largely derived from the sale of bonds which constituted an average of about 60% over the period FY2011/12 – 2013/14 “ (…) “In evaluating whether the debt, acquisition process facilitates debt sustainability, the audit mainly focussed on the acquisition of external debt since it constitutes over 60% of the National debt portfolio” (…) “The 2012 corruption scandal involving the Prime Minister’s office resulted in a changed relationship between multilateral lenders to the Ugandan government and a consequent reduction in the amount of aid in the form of direct budget support. Budget support in 2011/12 amounted to 168m USD, but reduced to 24.1m USD in 2013/14. The shortfall has in part been filled through domestic financing” (…) “The lack of coordination between debt and cash management functions contributed to inaccurate forecasting of cash needs. This exacerbated the problem of unplanned cuts to government programmes and led to the needless issuance of short-term debt, with the associated debt service costs” (…) “it was noted that local government authorities still held significant cash balances accrued from non-tax revenues and unutilised balances which were not remitted to the Consolidated Fund regularly, and that some accounts containing cash lay dormant, risking embezzlement” (…) “the current economic conditions characterised by reduced exports and a depreciating Ugandan Shilling against the dollar (30% for the last 4 months) there is a risk of stress which can affect future sustainability. Interest rates on domestic debt remain a cause for concern due to their high contribution to overall debt service costs (78%)”
When it comes to Health Care Part 2:
“Over the past three financial years 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14, there has been an 18% increment in the funding of RRHs from UGX 53.86 billion to UGX 63.56 billion” (…) “Jinja nd Lira RRHs revealed that Jinja RRH which ran a 13-bed Intensive Care unit only used 6 of the beds, leaving 7 beds idle in the unit while Lira RRH had not utilized its 16-bed ICU since FY 2012/13. The Hospital Directors of Jinja and Lira RRHs explained that more nurses wouldhave to be deployed as each bed required at least 2 full time nurses to the unit to ensure full utilisation of the unit without compromising the quality of care. The unit would also require full time doctors and an anaesthesiologist. In Lira RRH, management explained that the ICU had not been commissioned and that its underutilisation was also due to the absence of an oxygen plant” (…) “With the current ICU bed capacity in Uganda of 61 in all public and private hospitals, 23 unutilized ICU beds in Jinja and Lira represents a wasted resource. It is estimated that about 10 critically ill patients were deprived of ICU admission daily and as a result succumbed to their illnesses” (…) “Hospital managers in response attributed this to the lack of bio medical engineers and high costs of repairing the equipment, for instance, according to Jinja RRH, the maintenance of the En-Visor ultra sound machine and the repairs of the Duo-Diagnostic big x-ray machine requires not less than UGX 15 million, and without a medical equipment maintenance fund, it is a challenge to maintain and repair the radiology and imaging machines. Management of Fort Portal RRH attributed the low usage of the x-ray and ultrasound machines to stock-outs of the supplies, such as reagents and films required for the operation of this diagnostic equipment” (…) “The average doctor-patient ratio per year in RRHs was 12440:1 implying one doctor for 34 patients per day while clinician- patient ratio was 10652:1 annually implying one clinician for 29 patients” (…) “For example; Kabale, Fort Portal, Masaka and Mbale Regional Hospitals referred some special cases to Mbarara RRH for services like CT scan, renal dialysis, neurosurgeon, paediatric surgery. In addition, lack of adequate staff has led to referrals to the National Referral Hospital and this has further resulted in the congestion and handling of cases at National Referral Hospital which cases could be handled by the RRHs. The process of referrals is costly and in some cases patients lose their lives in the process of reaching the health facility to which they have been referred”.
When it comes to Management of Sewage in Urban areas:
“Poor sanitation costs Uganda 389 billion shillings annually, equivalent to 1.1% of the national GDP” (…) “Fifty six percent (56%) of the pipes in Kampala were built in the 1940s and 86% of these have been operational for 35 years or more” (…) “National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC)” (…) “NWSC had spent UGX 10.9billion towards sewage management activities in the areas under its jurisdiction over the last three years” (…) “the volume of sewage generated in the different towns and the volume of sewage collected and treated by NWSC, a study conducted by Mott Macdonald on behalf of NWSC in December 2012 estimated that by 2014, a total of 238.9 ML of wastewater would be generated of which, only 8.38ML would be collected and treated. This leaves approximately 230.52 ML of generated sewage uncollected and therefore not treated”.
I hope this was worth your time and also giving you an indication on the matters on the ground. This is just a fragment on the matters and what got told in the report. This just comes as gift to you. Especially to all of you who don’t use time reading the report on your free will or are lucky enough to get the report in your mailbox. Never the less, hope you got enlighten and also got a picture on how the monies is spent in last FY. Peace.
THE 2013 STATE OF THE NATION ADDRESS THAT NEVER WAS
The Truth that the President Should Have told Ugandans
1. The tradition of a President delivering a State of the Nation Address was never part of our constitutional tradition until the promulgation of the 1995 Constitution. When this requirement was enshrined in article 101, it was intended that the President, on an annual basis, gives a full account to Ugandan citizens and taxpayers, through their elected representatives, the State of our Nation. The State of the Nation address is therefore an address to appraise the Nation about the state of our democracy, the state of our economy, the state of our socio-economic infrastructure, the state of public service delivery, the state of our military, and the state of our international relations, among others.
2. It is therefore disappointing to see that after 27 years of leading this country, President Museveni would address the Nation and fail to address the issues that are central to the citizens of Uganda. In 2001, he deceived the Nation and wrote in his election manifesto that he was seeking the mandate to lead Uganda for the last term of office. Since then, he has deceived our teachers, our health workers, university professors and all Ugandans. At this rate, deception and corruption could turn out to be the most enduring legacy of his presidency.
3. The President needs to be truthful to Ugandans to the fact that what he calls the 10 strategic bottlenecks is a clear manifestation of his failed leadership. If he failed to end “ideological disorientation” through his Muchaka Muchaka courses, it only means that he is pursuing an ideologically disoriented system. If he hasn’t succeeded in building the pillars of state after 27 years in power, it means that all along he has pursued a wrong strategy. After 27 years at the helm of leadership, he can’t be talking about promoting the private sector or modernizing agriculture or developing the human resources of our country as if he started leading Uganda yesterday. That is being disingenuous.
4. What Mr. Museveni should be telling Ugandans in a State of the Nation Address is what he has done to build the pillars of state, what progress has he made and when does he hope to complete this undertaking? How does the increase in population from 14 million to 35 million constitute the development of human resource capital? The World Bank (2010) projects that at the current level of Mr. Museveni Government’s investment in education, Uganda’s labor force in 2030 will be worse off in terms of education attainment than that of Ghana in 2010 and lower than what South Korea and Malaysia were in 1970. Mr. Museveni’s Government projects to increase its percentage of the labor force with secondary education to 48 percent in the next 20 years by 2030. Malaysia achieved a 60 percent target in 10 years. Ghana has projected to raise its percentage of the labor force with post-primary education from 60 percent in 2010 to 80 percent by 2030.
5. Mr. Museveni has told the story of our economic growth for the last two decades but this is not our main point of contention. What we contested and what he continues to run away from at every State of the Nation Address is what does that growth mean to ordinary Ugandans? What does the 5.1% GDP growth or the size of GDP mean to the 400,000 young men and women that come through our tertiary education system to look for jobs in a jobless market? Out of every 100 youth of this country, 83 of them have no formal employment. What does the increase in revenue collection mean to these youth or how many jobs did his Government create over the last financial year? What does 3.6% inflation mean to hardworking business men and women who have to pay the highest interest rates in this region? How can he pursue monetary and fiscal policies that kill businesses through high interest rates and he calls it strengthening the private sector?
6. We will call upon Parliament, through the Leader of the Opposition, to put the President’s address to more rigorous scrutiny for it to pass for a State of the Nation Address. Parliament voted for over UGX10 trillion to be spent during the financial year ending June 30, 2013. Where is the commencement of works on the railway line that he promised in the last address? Where are the works for the Karuma project? How many kilometers of paved roads did the Government add on the Nation’s road network and what should we expect for the next financial year? How does the President account for the 16 mothers that continue to die every day after the taxpayer and donor money that has been sunk into our health services system?
7. Year after year, Mr. Mueseveni has deceived the country by committing and then failing to increase salaries or improving the working conditions of our teachers, health workers, and the men and women who service in our police services and the armed forces. The lame explanation is that Government has a limited resource envelop and everybody has to be patient by waiting for money from oil. But this Government squandered over UGX500 billions during the CHOGM debacle. A businessman walked away with UGX162 billion for building ghost markets. Without shame, over UGX6 billion meant for buying bicycles for village council leaders was stolen under his watch.
8. Of course if Mr. Museven cared, he would use the opportunity presented by the State of the Nation Address to announce major reforms to cut down the size of his bloated Government and the wastage associated with it, confront the cancer of corruption and channel the resources saved from such reforms to implement programmes that benefit had working Ugandans such as teachers, health workers, and the men and women who serve in our armed forces. On the contrary, he has become an expert, not in solving the problems facing the country, but by blaming others for his failures. Leadership by deception and blaming your failures on others has never been a formula for transformation of Nations.
9. You are all aware that some of our men and women in the UPDF are in faraway lands in Somalia, Central African Republic and elsewhere. These men and women are some of the best of our citizens because they pay the ultimate sacrifice in fighting terror, contributing to our pan African agenda and most importantly, safeguarding our freedoms and our democracy. The State of the Nation Address is a singular opportunity to recognize the sacrifice of these gallant men and women who carry our Nation’s flag in some of the most dangerous and treacherous environments. To fail to recognize their service in a State of the Nation address is to fail the litmus test of what such an address should cover. In any case, Parliament and the country should expect the President to appraise the Nation on the strategic policy goals of these deployments and the exist plan that enables our officers and men to be reunited with their families at an appropriate time.
10. The State of the Nation address is commanded by our Constitution which is the foundation of our emerging democracy. No doubt, there has been checkered progress in our democracy mainly expressed in our ability to hold regular elections. However, the gross imperfections in our democratization process epitomized in the excessive use of money, rampant rigging and election violence are all issues that a President should address in a State of the Nation Address. The increasing onslaught on free speech, the attacks on the media, the continuing harassment of organized civil society and the pushback on progressive and independent minded Members of Parliament are clear manifestations of democratic reversals.
11. Ugandans expected the President to outline the building blocks that his Government intends to pursue to strengthen our democracy enterprise: what is the road map to free and fair elections to 2016? What is the agenda and timeline for electoral reforms? Does the President hope to provide leadership on the restoration of presidential term limits? Does he have a succession plan or doesn’t he see his failure to organize a peaceful transition as putting him squarely in the docket of the previous leaders?
12. It is unfortunate that Mr. Museven’s rule is coming to an end before he is able to comprehend the simple fact that the best way to benchmark a country’s success and transformation is not to benchmark it against the failures of the past or the failures of others. Leaders that help nations achieve transformation benchmark their successes against a shared vision, targets and timeframes.
13. Mr. Museveni has for the last 27 years put more energy in blaming others for his failures rather than focusing on what he should have accomplished given the good will that Ugandans gave him and the resources at his disposal. Let me also remind him that deception, corruption, oppression and intolerance that have become the hallmark of his rule are not a winning formula for achieving socio-economic transformation. Unemployed youth, under resourced public sector workers or traders cannot be teargased into increasing productivity. History has taught us that it is only political and economic freedom that are capable of unleashing the ingenuity of a people to transform a nation. And you don’t need 27 years to learn that. I implore the President to use the remaining 3 years of his presidency to redirect his energies towards pursuing an agenda that strengthens our democracy and growing the economy to create jobs
14. In conclusion, the Forum for Democratic Change will shortly unveil an alternative development agenda aimed at putting our country on a growth trajectory that creates jobs, ensure the dignity of every Uganda and transforms our country.
For God and my Country
Major General (Rtd) Mugisha Muntu
Forum for Democratic Change
(Håper du likte å lese dette til å svare på den forrige saken jeg la ut!).