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The Uganda Budget Framework Paper FY2018/19 for Energy and Mineral Development is saying that the External Financing is the key for this Sector – Period!

The Budget Framework Paper for Financial Year of 2018/2019 for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is really revealing how the financing of the sector is and how the state is involved with the manner. Also, how low-key the main factors are and lacking transparency is hitting the Energy Sector of Uganda. Not that is surprising, since the agreements, the licenses and the tenders are usually kept behind closed doors.

However, the main part of the Framework Paper is evident of the issues at hand:

The indicative budget ceilings for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development have been rationalised in line with the sector priorities and national priorities as communicated in the Budget Call Circular and in the Presidential Directives. The ceilings for Vote 017 for the FY 2018/19 are as follows: Wage Recurrent is UGX 4.23Bn; Non-Wage Recurrent is UGX 74,04Bn; GoU Development is UGX 307,84Bn and the Development Partner contribution is UGX 1,608.41Bn. Under Vote 123 ceiling is UGX 81.98Bn is for the GoU Domestic Development and UGX594.00Bn is from external financing” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018).

The building of vital infrastructure, the refinery, the pipelines and energy production facilities are all dependent on funding from abroad. If it is grants, loans or paid-in-full agreements done in secrecy. Because, there are more than the shadows of this budget framework paper. It is saying a lot and the votes for the future is showing the future too. That the Ugandan economy is prospering, as the budget are needing all funding from afar to be able to build needed infrastructure. Also, needs the grants for the Rural Electrification, the ones who the state has even borrowed to do.

Therefore, this Budget Framework Paper is showing the troubles ahead. This isn’t voting for better economy, know this is dependency and also proving how much the donors and partners are involved in making sure the economy gets addicted to it.

When it comes to the refinery, the details are clearly still in the wind: “The process of selecting of the Lead Investor is still progressing and the negotiations are ongoing between Government and the selected investor. The process is expected to be completed in FY 2017/2018. There after FEED and ESIA for refinery development will be undertaken with the Lead Investor on board” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018). So the selecting of it is not finalized, well, for some thought Russians had secured agreement and the reason for Museveni to visit Moscow. Clearly, that ship has sailed, we can wonder if Total or any other company would do this. As Total has the biggest chairs of licenses in the Lake Albertine Basin. Time will tell, but another proof of lack of transparency, when the Ministry has to write this.

Procurement Bottlenecks including lengthy bidding processes that require no-objections from the external financiers at each stage of execution. There is need for PPDA to revise guidelines for procurements relating to flagship projects. In addition, the following measures need to be considered: financing agreements are signed, project is almost ready to kick off. PPDA should reduce the administrative review timelines that sometimes stall progress” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018).

This here is initially following the guidelines of the First Amendment of the 1995 Constitution of 2017, the Land Amendment that the National Resistance Movement put forward before the Age Limit. That would fit the narrative of the Ministry and their wishes. It is like reading the same idea, to give more power to the state and able to land issues quickly.

What we can learn, also and which is important, these developments, these infrastructures projects couldn’t have been built if it wasn’t for external loans, externals grants or direct aid, if not on the license fees and the parts that is taxed. However, the grand amount and the majority of the projects needs the external funding.

This is not surprising, it is to be expected because Museveni doesn’t want to use his money. He want to spend other people’s money and also the money of the future. To benefit him today, that is why the deals are done in the secrecy…. We don’t know the reasons and the value of the licenses, the ones who is to build the refinery, even the grand agreement between the Corporations who will build the Pipeline. We know that certain companies has failed to build the dams and used bad material, but that is because of the Chinese Contractors has saved money, while being paid-in-full.

President Museveni blessed that deal and got scraps back. Time will tell, but this isn’t a good look. Not because I want it to be bad, but because the money says so. Peace.

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Mzee complains today about waste, however he haven’t rehabilitated sugar industry or revamped pharmaceutical industry either!

“In this regard, we need to learn and apply lessons from emerging economies such as India, whose total healthcare industry revenue is expected to increase from US$ 110 billion in 2016 to US$ 372 billion in 2022 in response to deliberate investments in telemedicine, manufacturing of medicines and health technologies, medical tourism, health workforce training and risk pooling/health insurance, among others. In order to achieve this, we need to plan in a harmonized way. In Uganda, for instance, we, indeed, have a nascent pharmaceutical industry producing Aids/HIV, Malaria, Hepatitis-B, pharmaceuticals, etc. drugs. These are, however, still using imported pharmaceutical grade starch and imported pharmaceutical grade sugar. The pharmaceutical grade starch and sugar are crucial for making tablets and syrups for children’s medicines. Yet, the starch is from maize and cassava and the pharmaceutical grade sugar is from sugar. I am told the drugs would be 20% cheaper. Moreover, apart from helping in the pharmaceutical industry, more refined sugar is also needed in the soft drinks industry. Uganda is squandering US$34 million per year importing refined sugar for the soft drinks, about US$ 20 million for importing the pharmaceutical grade starches not including the other raw materials, US$ 77million for taking patients to India etc. Africa is incredibly rich but wasteful” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at THE OFFICIAL OPENING OF THE JOINT EAC HEADS OF STATE RETREAT ON INFRASTRUCTURE AND HEALTH FINANCING AND DEVELOPMENT, 22.02.2018).

Seems like the 1980s World Bank loans to restart Kakira Sugar Works hasn’t done enough, since the Ugandan state did right after the National Resistance Army takeover of the state. They went into an arrangement with the World Bank getting loans for the company, to restart. That deal was done 8th March 1988. As the documents said back in 198:

“Uganda currently imports US$15-20 million worth of sugar annually, which ranks second only to petroleum imports. Import substitution through restoration of domestic production capacity is therefore a high priority and eminently justified given the considerable comparative advantage Uganda enjoys as a result of its landlocked situation. Conditions for sugar production at Kakira are highly favorable. Cane growing benefits from excellent soils, good rainfall distribution (requiring only limited sunplementary irrigation) and relatively low levels of inputs of fertilizers and pesticides. The project brings back to the Kakira complex the original owners who have a demonstrated ability to manage sugar operations at Kakira and elsewhere” (SUGAR REHABILITATION PROJECT, 08.03.1988).

Therefore, what the President said today, the Sugar Rehabilitation Project, which was done to stop the heavy imports of sugar and for consumption, has clearly not worked as projected. Since his own state is squandering their resources and not even following the loans to make the project work. That is my take on it. The president of 32 years has clearly mismanaged this and not finished his job. Since he hasn’t been able to rehabilitate the industry.

When it comes to pharmaceutical industry there massive challenges, not just the sugar starch for medicine coverage of the pills. Nevertheless, the whole arrangement, since the technology to operate these machines are imported, as well is the parts. Not only the sugar starch, but also the ingredients are imported too, than you have few companies who has automated manufactures, which makes hard to make medicine on a larger scale. It is also high operation cost, because of use of back-up generators because of blackouts and shortfall of electricity. Because of this, it is expensive to have cold storage of the medicine and have a storage for the final products.

So the Idea from Museveni that it is simple, it is the whole system around it, that makes it more profitable to import ready made medicine, than actually produce it. Even if the added value of production would be there, but with the circumstances put by United Nations Industrial Development Organization, seemingly it is from 2009. However, the state of affairs hasn’t changed that much.

We can really estimate, that the adjustment and the needed organization to pull forward both industries during the years of NRM hasn’t been totally fruitful. If so, why would he complain about the imports of sugar and medicine, when he hasn’t been able to make it function with his 32 years of reign? Someone who has 3 decades, should have the ability and time to find the information, finalize plans and execute as seen fit. That is if he cared about the industries in question and their possible engines for growth and riches of Africa. Nevertheless, he hasn’t cared and haven’t used the time wisely. He has used the time bitching and not acting. That is just the way things is and it isn’t becoming better either.

He could have made sure that the pharmaceutical industry had energy, had the sufficient organization behind it to make the medicine, not only import and assemble certain medicine, he could have made sure the sugar industry was profitable and had the equipment to make the refined sugar used in the pharmaceutical industry. However, both is a lost cause, because it takes money and time. Both, is something he doesn’t have, since the narrative isn’t making him wealthy.

Alas, he we are at the status quo, with a President running for life and complaining about waste. When he has wasted 32 years and not made effort to change it. It is all talk and no fire. Peace.

Opinion: President Museveni praises Equatorial Guinea for it’s rampant Oil-Corruption; wants to learn his tricks!

In these days the President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of the Republic of Uganda are on a state visit in Malabo, visiting and learning tricks from the Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Nguema Obiang, who has used the oil to enrich himself and his loyal subjects. Not build a welfare state, but make sure the family of Obiang get wealthy. Certainly, Uganda is preparing for their own oil production in the Lake Albertine basin, as the pipeline building from the production to the Port Tanga in Tanzania.

This is why President Museveni are visiting Equatorial Guinea to learn the tricks of the trade, as the state of Uganda are still in the dark of the oil-deals between the international companies and the state. We can wonder how the funds will be spoiled and how Museveni plans to use the oil funds for personal gains. If so, he wouldn’t praise President Obiang, who has his whole career to spend the oil profits from his republic. This is what Museveni wants to learn, since his career has been tricking out all sorts of play from Ugandan republic. The petroleum profits can be misspent and hidden just like in the republic of Obiang. Take a look!

President Museveni’s praise:

We are therefore in Equatorial Guinea for two things: looking at how to support prosperity of one another and how to push for our strategic security. I also congratulate Equatorial Guinea for using it’s oil and gas very well. When I was last here for the AU Summit, I noticed gaps between the airport and the city centre. Today, all these gaps were gone. In their place are new, well-planned buildings. And I see the city is refurbished. Some people say oil is a curse but in Equatorial Guinea it is a blessing” (Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, 26.08.2017)

Business in Equatorial Guinea:

Since the discovery of the offshore oil deposits, many investors have shown great interest in the country. Foreign direct investment inflows into the country had thus been consistently high for the past years. Nevertheless, in 2016 the FDI inflow amounted to USD 54 million, a sharp decrease from USD 233 million recorded the previous year (and the historical peak of USD 2.73 billion in 2010) . The total stock of FDI in the country is currently at USD 13.4 billion” (…) “Corruption in particular is problematic. In addition, the business climate of the country remains rather unfavourable for investment. Cumbersome procedures and high compliance costs slow licensing and make starting a business more difficult. Weak regulatory and judicial systems may discourage foreign investment as well, along with high credit costs and limited access to financing. The government controls long-term lending through the state-owned development bank. Equatorial Guinea ranked 178th out of 190 countries in the 2017 Doing Business report published by the World Bank, losing three spots compared to the previous year” (Santander Trade, 2017).

Son of the President on trial:

The corruption trial of Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, the son of the president of Equatorial Guinea, ended in Paris on 6 July with the prosecution calling for a three-year jail term, a €30 million (US$34 million) fine and the confiscation of assets. The Tribunal will return a verdict on 27 October. The 48-year-old vice-president of Equatorial Guinea was not in court to hear the prosecution’s claim that he used money stolen from his country’s treasury and laundered through a shell company to fund a lavish lifestyle in France” (Transparency International, 2017).

This was what that is well-known of the Equatorial Guinea corruption and the son of President has also had challenging cases in the United States. Now the son is also having alleged fraud and criminal charges in France. Clearly, the Ugandan President has already known for corruption behavior. Therefore, even a state agency of PPDA has some words, that the government needs strict regulations before procurement and infrastructure development. This will be clearly important when it comes to petroleum industry. Take a look!

PPDA strict regulation on public procurement:

Public procurement is a key pillar of the public financial management system. The country’s budget and plans are translated into actual services to our people through the public procurement system. It is also the link between the public sector and the private sector as it is the medium through which the private sector does business with Government. Public procurement therefore involves large sums of money and as our budget grows with the priorities of Government remaining infrastructure development, the proportion of the budget earmarked for public procurement remains significant and therefore calls for strict regulation” (PPDA, 2017).

Audits and investigations by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets indicate that corruption in the procurement process manifests more in the evaluation of bids, reported to be at 58%. PPDA’s Manager Capacity Building Ronald Tumuhairwe says such corrupt practices lead to awarding of contracts to incompetent individuals hence shoddy works in several government projects” (…) “He adds that the second process where corruption manifests is awarding of contracts at 12.5%, followed by receipt and opening of bids, reviewing evaluation of bids, advertising and signing of contracts” (Sebunya, 2017).

President Museveni clearly has own agencies saying it is important with strict regulations on procurement and infrastructure developments like the ones needed for oil industry in the republic. The regulation of oil industry is lax, to make sure the state isn’t transparent with its profits and taxation of the industry. This is what Museveni wants, that the state and the public doesn’t know the contracts or the agreements between the parties involved. That is something President Obiang surely have the capacity to teach Museveni. And how to make sure his family is earning from the state resource, instead of the public and the state itself. Peace.

Reference:

Transparency International – ‘ON TRIAL FOR CORRUPTION: FRENCH PROSECUTORS DEMAND JAIL TERM AND €30 MILLION FINE FOR OBIANG’ (11.07.2017) link: https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/on_trial_for_corruption_french_prosecutors_demand_jail_term_and_30_million

Santander Trade – ‘EQUATORIAL GUINEA: FOREIGN INVESTMENT’ (August 2017) link: https://en.portal.santandertrade.com/establish-overseas/equatorial-guinea/investing-3

Sebunya, Wycliffe – ‘Corruption manifests most in the procurement process – IG’ (25.08.2017) link:http://radioonefm90.com/corruption-manifests-most-in-the-procurement-process-ig/

PPDA – ‘EVALUATING INNOVATIVE ANTI CORRUPTION POLICIES IN PUBLIC PROCUREMENT IN UGANDA’ (02.08.2017) link: https://www.ppda.go.ug/evaluating-innovative-anti-corruption-policies-in-public-procurement-in-uganda/

OAG Muwanga explains in two reports problems and errors within the Petroleum Industry!

The Auditor General has two reports on the Petroleum Industry and the issues of Petroleum Data and the Petroleum Fund. The errors of the state, the PAYE of the tax to URA. Proves that the monies earmarked for the Petroleum Fund, ends up in the Consolidation Fund. This is proof of the problematic use of the added taxes before the oil adventure really takes off and the drilling of the explored blocks in the Lake Albertine Basin. Where already different international companies have come to drill and the state is making a petroleum pipeline to Port Tanga in Tanzania. Therefore, these vast resources and possible taxes created by the industry and within the Republic. Still, the default problems that the Auditor General address can be fixed. It is just a matter of morals and actually following guidelines. Some are even set in the Public Finance and Management Act of 2015, so if for instance URA follows it, the problems of transactions into wrong fund can create payment arrears and also future problem of spending by the state. Since the misuse of funds and taxes can be allocated to other than what they was expected, as the Consolidation Fund has other uses than the Petroleum Fund. Just take a look!

Petroleum Fund:

For the six months ending December 31, 2016, the Fund received non tax revenue worth UGX 922,348,854 (USD270,900) as surface rental fees from Tullow Uganda Operations Pty and Total E & P Uganda” (OAG, P: 7, 2017).

It was however noted that monies collected by Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) under the income tax on income derived from petroleum operations such as PAYE, VAT and WHT is not being remitted to the Uganda Petroleum Fund. This contravenes the Public Finance and Management Act 2015” (…) “In their opinion PAYE is not tax charged on income derived from petroleum operations but paid by the employees and as such it had been excluded from the definitions of petroleum revenues. Arising out of the above it was established that UGX.l1,390,530,053 collected through the commercial banks and remitted to the consolidated fund should have instead been transferred to the Petroleum Fund. Management has promised to remit it to the Petroleum Fund before closure of the financial year 2016/17” (OAG, P: 10, 2017).

During the period under review, the fund received USD 270,900 (Two hundred seventy thousand, nine hundred dollars) in respect of surface area rentals consisting of USD 113,400 (One hundred thirteen thousand, four hundred dollars) paid by Total E& P Uganda for the development areas of Ngiri, Jobi-Rii and Gunya and USD 157,500 was paid by Tullow Uganda Operations Pty Ltd for development areas of soga, gege, Kasemene, Wahrindi, Nzizi-Mputa & Waraga, and Kigogole- Ngara Unrealised foreign exchange gains worth UGX 15,093,435,449 have been recognised in the Statement of Changes in Equity. These arose from translating the USD opening balances and revenue collected during the period into UGX at the closing rate for reporting purposes” (OAG, P: 14, 2017).

Petroleum Data:

The oil companies did not fully comply with submission of reports relating to their drilling, exploration activities and operations as required. Delays and non-submission of reports results in an incomplete database which may reduce the effective use of the database in petroleum resource management” (OAG, P: vi, 2016). “The shortcomings in the management of petroleum data by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development may affect the completeness of the data on the existing petroleum potential, extent of reserves, and amount recoverable thus reducing Uganda’s ability to maximally exploit and benefit from its oil and gas resource potential. A thorough understanding of the resource base and its geographical distribution informs key decisions on the rate of exploitation and potential future revenues” (OAG, P: viii, 2016).

This should all be worrying that the State and the Industry isn’t sufficiently ready for the activity, as the URA cannot even allocate funds correctly. This is even before the Petroleum Data is taken care of and made sure that the exploitation and drilling happens where the best well is within the block. Secondly, the real value of the reports and the licenses that the state would offer to the companies. That because the flow of data and the status of it wouldn’t be where it could be. This is losses created by maladministration and lacking will of institutionalize the knowledge. Instead, the Petroleum Industry is controlled and has just a few handshakes away from the State House. That is why the URA might have delivered the funds to the Consolidation Fund instead of the Petroleum Fund. All of the potential might be wasted in the lack of protocol and care of resources management that is needed in the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MoEMD).

The recommendations and the looks into the issues should be taken serious by the Petroleum Industry and the MoEMD. So the state could both earn more on the industry and also create more positive growth through the provisions that is already made in Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) 2015. So time will tell if they will be more reckless, if they will listen to the OAG or if the Presidential Handshakes will steal it all for keeping the NRM cronyism at bay. Peace.

Reference:

Office of the Auditor General Uganda – ‘REPORT OF THE AUDITOR GENERAL ON THE FINANCIAL STATEMENTS OF THE PETROLEUM FUND FOR THE SIX MONTH PERIOD ENDED 31sT DECEMBER 2016’ (07.06.2017) – John F.S. Muwanga

Office of the Auditor General Uganda – ‘Management of Petroleum Data by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development’ (December 2016) – John F.S. Muwanga

Zambian authorities’ treason trial of Hichilema give them international recognition (not the way Patriotic Front had figured!)

In Zambi,a as the scheduled treason trial of the Opposition leader Hichilema goes underway, the visit of South African Opposition leader Mmusi Maimane has caused lot of headache for the Patriotic Front and their President Edgar Lungu, certainly President Lungu is following tricks of others totalitarian leaders, like President Museveni. Who also has put key opposition figures on treason trials, but has not had the issue of opposition leaders from abroad visiting to argument for their release. Therefore, Lungu got pressure from South Africa and by that means expelled the DA leader. As of today the supposed visit and treason trial was about happen. The problematic visit of Maimane has clearly created a storm the Zambian regime didn’t plan. Take a look!

How Zambia Authorities perceive the expulsion:

“THE Zambia High Commission to South Africa has informed the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) that Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane was turned away from Zambia as his presence was going to undermine the sanctity, integrity and independence of the Judiciary. During the meeting between DIRCO officials and His Excellency Mr. Emmanuel Mwamba, Zambia stated that the matters regarding Mr. Hichilema were in court and it was imperative that the due process of the law was respected without undue pressure or interference. Government was concerned with Mr. Maimane’s and the DA’s media statements prior to his visit to Zambia that stated that his party would pressure the Courts of the Law to release Zambia’s opposition leader, Mr. Hakainde Hichilema who is currently undergoing a treason trial. Mr. Maimane alleged that Mr. Hichilema was facing trumped up charges and therefore he would mobilize fellow regional opposition sister parties and leaders to pressure the Zambian courts to release Mr. Hichilema. The Zambian High Commission had earlier advised Mr. Maimane to reschedule his visit until this and other concerns were resolved but clearly turned down such an advise” (Mwebantu, 26.05.2017).

As explained by Open Zambia:

“LUSAKA Magistrate David Simusamba was today at 12:00 hours expected to rule on whether the treason case involving United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema (HH) and 5 other people should be referred to the High Court as per committal certificate issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to refer the treason case to the High Court” (Open Zambia, 26.05.2017).

Patriotic Front statement on Maimane:

We wish to place on record that UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema is not a political prisoner but a criminal suspect. Zambia has no political detainees and that will never happen under the Patriotic Front Government of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. Hichilema is a criminal suspect and not a political detainee. This is what is before the Courts. It is therefore unfortunate that South Africa’s “Nazi Party” Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane and his sponsors intend to make a political issue out of a criminal case. We shall not be lectured to by architects and beneficiaries of apartheid like Democratic Alliance. Zambia fought apartheid and even at this stage, we shall not relent in dealing with its agents like DA. Zambia is a sovereign country, with sovereign laws which must be respected by all. It is not a playground for every tom and dick, including agents of capital such as Maimane” (…) “We wish to place on record once more that if blocking a Presidential motorcade is political in South Africa, it is criminal in Zambia. Further we wish to say that it does not matter whether Zambians laws on treason are laughable to others, once someone crosses the line, they are triggered, unfortunately. If it is politics to just walk into a South Africa as an alien, it is law in Zambia that everyone is screened at the port of entry and entry can be denied without explanation” (…) “We have no apologies to make when Maimane is denied entry into Zambia. It was inevitable and he was correctly advised by the Zambian High Commission in South Africa. It must be said to Maimane that Zambia is a sovereign state and he has no right to enter Zambia as he ignorantly alleged in his interview. Entering a foreign state as an alien is the preserve of that Country’s immigration department and we think this is simple civics which a political front should grasp easily. Immigration at ports of entry do not exist for decorative purposes. They are meant to screen and send back or arrest characters with questionable agendas like Maimane” (Sunday Chanda Media Director, Patriotic Front, 26.05.2017).

DA’s own statement on the matter:

“The Zambian government clearly feels threatened by Mr Hichilema and his party, the UPND, who have been working tirelessly in their attempts to stop the decay of democracy in Zambia. As the sister party of the Democratic Alliance (DA), they too are committed to the advancement of vibrant, competitive, multiparty democracy, the rule of law and the entrenchment of human rights and free speech across Africa. Mr Hichilema is also a founding member of the Southern African Partnership for Democratic Change (SAPDC), a body of opposition parties from across Southern Africa who are committed to securing democracy across the region, and which I am the current Chairman of. It is for these reasons I decided to attend the trial of Mr Hichilema, in order to show solidarity with him and with the project of building and deepening democracy that we are engaged in across the continent. In respecting the Zambian government’s wishes, I honoured their call to refrain from visiting Mr Hichilema in prison, as the government claims there exists a court order preventing such visitation by members of the public. It should be noted that the Lungu administration even blocked Zambia’s founding father, President Kenneth Kaunda, from visiting Mr Hichilema in prison. It is a truly tragic collapse of a once stable democracy” (Democratic Alliance, 26.05.2017).

Therefore, the visit of solidarity were cut short, some say as short as an hour on the Zambian soil as the Opposition leader was not allowed to enter the Republic of Zambia. The certainty of the pressure arising of his presence must clearly been too profound for the judges and the authorities. Since they are clearly not powerful or seeing the strength of having foreigners questioning their trials and their justice system. I am sure the Zambian ruling regime and party would have wish the South African Opposition leader never planned his visit. Since they clearly has no problems with pinning Hichilema.

Certainly, people confess that South Africa has enough problems with the toll of a Zuma Administration, deep in a crisis of democratic deficit at this very moment. Still, the DA leader is obliged to visit and support fellow opposition leader. It shouldn’t be seen as vicious attempt or even trying to discredit the Zambian regime. That they have clearly been able to do on their own. As their words expressed through own party channels are vicious and blatant attempt of disrespecting the DA and Maimane. Seems like the Patriotic Front cannot get onlookers into their cases and have questions asked over their courts. If so, are they so democratic and right that the ruling regime of Zambia, cannot handle one-man travel into their country to be part of one trial?

That is how it will be perceived! That Maimane does to prove a point – sure, like no one else are trying to get political capital out of this. The only one losing right now is the Patriotic Front and their President Lungu. Who looks more like fools, than clever and sovereign? Not because they are not allowed to stop people from entering their borders and closing their gates. It is because they are already in an epic battle with forces beyond their shores. As the world is looking how they will act towards Hichilema.

Zambia has played the deck wrong and the cards are really stacking against them, as the political prisoner and opposition leader are under threat. That by the fear of losing control, as the Patriotic Front has to save their grace and attitude, as the ruling regime, clearly are losing their steps and cannot handle that a foreign leader question their courts. That is because their justice and their rule is overpowering. The Patriotic Front is ready by all means, expelling and trading shots. However, they do not win goodwill; neither does the current stalemate create possible positive leadership from the central government. Peace.

Opinion: Eric Trump are right, under the Trump Administration, the US is becoming a “Third World State”!

It’s really sad that we’re in an environment where tax returns are leaked by whoever it may be” (…) “Just think about it. Think about how dangerous that is, how third world that is on a practice that happened. When personal information is put out by people for political agendas. As a civilian, it’s actually scaryEric Trump on Fox News (Tani, 2017).

It is just one of these days where the sons of President Donald Trump speaks their mind and hits the nail. The nail is in the coffin, with the knowledge of the plans to make the republic less attractive, less business-friendly, more lassiez-faire and more focused on army than on progressive financial instruments and regulation to create growth. Trump Administration is busy with deporting millions, building a wall and starting trade-wars. The U.S. Government does not need to be transparent or accountable while doing so. Especially, not in the minds of one of his sons. That claims something unique and special. I have claimed in the near past that under President Trump, the U.S. Government could turn the Republic into a Banana Republic, a sort of style government that could be described by others as a third world one. Therefore, let the dictionary explain that!

Eric Trump needs a definition of the Third World:

1: a group of nations especially in Africa and Asia not aligned with either the Communist or the non-Communist blocs” (…) “2: an aggregate of minority groups within a larger predominant culture” (…) “3: the aggregate of the underdeveloped nations of the world” (Merriam-Webster).

So the United States can itself soon be fitted, not that it is an Asian or African nation, neither Communist, but still it is getting underdeveloped by the way the financial framework and industry is set-up under the Trump Administration. Where the Industry and Financial industry has the Administration by the balls and no eager of taking care of nature or the resources, except for eating the profits without giving anything back to the Republic. Just like the Oil Industry in Nigeria or in Ghana. The same as the mining and mineral industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo. So the United States under President Trump, will be similar. Eric Trump is not so far off, just not the way he thought he would be.

Another man’s vision:

This brings about complete dysfunction. It makes everything — economy, politics, roads, bridges, police, school — broken and shitty. Those who can leave do. Making it worse. This leads to more extremism, and more corruption, and more cynicism. And sometimes extreme violence. Because the other side becomes evil” (…) “The US has been shifting towards all four of these over the last 30 years, with inequality leading the way. We are more divided, economically and socially, then we have ever been (we are less divided racially. But only marginally so.)” (Arnade, 2016).

So when you have a system on the brink of collapse, a wealthy elite eating of the government plate and settling score to not pay their bills to the public, while the citizens and middle-class cannot build a steady life or afforded needed services, you know there are something wrong with the system and the state. That makes the Eric Trump words so right, that United States is becoming more like a third world country, with a sophisticated army, but cannot afford health care, schools or infrastructure. Just like the countries President Trump doesn’t want to affiliate with or been seen with. Since him and his advisor Bannon are supposed to be superior, and like a dictator in a Third World country, he believes he is always right and isn’t wrong.

So one smudge of evidence of his fathers Tax Returns from 2005 leaked to MSNBC Rachel Maddow, proves the realization of the state, that the Trump Administration would dislike. As they are not capping the debt, neither taking into account their ideas of taxation and tax-releases, as much as their will to deregularte industry and financial institutions. Therefore, leading the space of more expenses and negative environmental policies, that damage earth and only gains profit for a slim elite. Just like a Third World Country.

This is degrading for the United States, but the harsh truth, the ideas and policies in the making, the killing of health insurance, the idea of building the giant nuclear silos, while not paying for food for the starving. Proves that the U.S. Government are no closer to countries it does not want to be affiliated with, but still can be consider to be assimilated with. President Trump and his administration is clearly not wishing to be differing from chauvinistically taking charge and not caring what effect it has. Clearly, it is only his image that matter, just like any big-man and authoritarian leader.

So, soon we can say that the United States is underdeveloped and need aid, as their waters are daft, the industry is lacking technology, the roads are more potholes than tarmac, the bridges are weak, their railways not working and often not trusted. The United States has soon more expensive foreign imported goods, than what they produce and is losing money on their export of cash crops as soya and other grain. Therefore, President Trump leading his Republic to become underdeveloped or become a Third World Country.

Reference:

Arnade, Chris – ‘USA: A Third World Country in the making’ (05.10.2016) link: https://medium.com/@Chris_arnade/usa-a-third-world-county-in-the-making-14064ea5c534#.ah2gi0loi

Tani, Maxwell – ‘Eric Trump blasts Trump’s tax return leak on Maddow: ‘Think about how dangerous…how third world that is’ (19.03.2017) link: http://nordic.businessinsider.com/eric-trump-tax-return-leak-maddow-third-world-2017-3?

Merriam-Webster – ‘third world’ link: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/third%20world

Opinion: MPs now become tax-exempt is just another way of being unaccountable!

10th-parliament-sep-2016-p2

It is just one of them days where the madness continues at amp speed, where the government officials continue to eat off and sponge of the plate of the citizens. Where the concern for their own behalf counter their constituency and even their own conscience. With that in mind here is ill-spirited news from the National Assembly, the 10th Parliament of Uganda:

“This is after President Yoweri Museveni assented to the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2016. The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga told a plenary sitting on December 21, 2016 that the President signed the law on November 19th, which in essence means that their allowances on mileage and constituency allowances, sitting allowances for committee sessions, town running allowances, basic pay and car purchase allowances, will be exempted from taxes” (Parliamentary Watch, 22.12.2016).

Already as it happens, it is no surprise, none should be thinking that this could appear before the moon and sun, even the doubting stars would not dance of joy. They are just all where they, where are before and will be so after. Still, the constituency of these Members of Parliament, the people of Uganda should not accept this robbery, this negligent concern for their hard-earned taxed monies that been accumulated with vigour from the Uganda Revenue Authority.

This vicious attempt of eating of the spoils, the grandeur of greed while the people both in parties, in businesses and even civil servants doesn’t get paid on time. Banks are collapsing and businesses bailed out, still in this economic climate the wealth and richness are now beholden the men and woman who represent the ones paying the tax. It is amazing that a person earning little or nearly nothing pays VAT on products or on Airtime that become levied to pay for the tax-exemption of the MPs. Together with the ordinary paid tax on working hours and such. Still, the people representing the tax-base and the ones taxed are tax-exempt. Is not extraordinary, that the ones that leaders and representative does not have to pay tax and does not need to behold accountable for the work they do as representatives while they are serving the public.

We can question their moral integrity, the moral fabric of this design and act as they scrupulous extend their wealth on the cost of the population. The reach of malice and bravado that can only been seen as vicious attempt to allow thieving and become unaccountable. They are not ordinary citizens and not even careful law-abiding when it does not matter if they pay tax on their earned salaries.

The outcome of this matter is clear, they do not need to be accountable or even caring about transparency about their wages, their allowance and extra funds are exempt, and they can go by the merry, be jolly with the colleagues, and be sure that people won’t find out their real allowance or credible income. Since they are not really in need of filling that into the tax office or correct their income statement, since for reason number one: they are not levied any tax against in the near future. The law permits them to keep this in dark, the new forms of shady agreement and paid suits will be high flying and this while the proclaimed the URA has tried to put the memo: “have collected more money than ever before”. Still they have not counted in the estimated income or the current inflation to why the amounts of shillings collected has increased!

With that in mind if the collection and disrespect for paying tax will rise in the near, it is understandable as the disgraced MPs are sponging with no concern for their constituents, not on paper and not with concern for their pockets. They are only caring about their own pockets, not the pockets are clearing their checks and balances by the end of the month. The allowances and salaries are now secured as much as their growing wealth as well.

This is disrespecting the law-abiding citizens who themselves pay their levied taxes and are responsible, everyone who contribute their hard earned currency to the plate for common good, that common good is not to be sponged on the individuals who represent the ones who pay. They are supposed to share it to generate a working government with institutions who servers the public and the people. As well securing salaries to teachers, doctors and civil servants, which is the MPs as well, but not for them to become wealthy.

These MPs, this President Museveni has forgotten the basics, he has forgotten policies and what makes a grand state, he has forgotten and it has dwindled in his power-grabbing ways. The thieving starts from him and ends with him, his sign and signature on a damaging bill that creates a vacuum between the citizens and the representatives in Parliament.

President Museveni has forgotten due-diligence and even self-respect as all he wants to do is eat and let his loyal elite eat; so they will vote for his bills instead of concerning them with the people, the citizens who they represent. They can pay for their cars, their houses and salaries, but the MPs do not need to be accountable or even pay tax for it. Because the honourable, the elite, these Members of Parliament think they deserve to be grander and wealthier than the ones they represent. In addition, how wrong they are, because they are supposed to understand and make the citizens life better and their needs for better future. Now they are only concern with their own. That is not a good look, it is a bad one and it is self-inflicted. Peace.

FYI: President Trump will create a Banana Republic out of the US!

trump-land

Well, ladies and gentleman the super-power called the United States of America, is a dying dinosaur that Michael Moore or even Jay-Z doesn’t have the power to change. Today was a shock for many, even for me as the American Electorate decided to elect a Demagogue of ill-rhetoric towards certain ethnic groups like the Latin-American, Women and so-on. Donald Trump in his power and commander-in-chief will remarkably create havoc.

All of this is well known, but what the United States’ citizens didn’t think about when they voted against the establishment on protest against the D.C. power-structure they voted for a man with certain traits that can put certain pieces of the Government into shambles. So before I start; for those of you who don’t know, here is the definition of a banana republic!

“It was coined in a 1904 book of fiction by O. Henry, an American writer. Henry (whose real name was William Sydney Porter) was on the run from Texan authorities, who had charged him with embezzlement” (…) “His phrase neatly conjures up the image of a tropical, agrarian country. But its real meaning is sharper: it refers to the fruit companies from the United States that came to exert extraordinary influence over the politics of Honduras and its neighbours. By the end of the 19th century, Americans had grown sick of trying to grow fruit in their own chilly country. It was sweeter and cheaper by far to import it instead from the warmer climes of Central America, where bananas and other fruit grow quickly. Giants such as the United Fruit Company—an ancestor of Chiquita—moved in and built roads, ports and railways in return for land. In 1911 the Cuyamel Fruit Company, another American firm (which was later bought by United), supplied the weapons for a coup against the government of Honduras, and prospered under the newly installed president. In 1954 America’s Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) backed a coup against the government of Guatemala, which had threatened the interests of United. (Historians still debate whether the CIA’s motive was to protect United or, as many now believe, to nip Communism in the bud.) Hence the real meaning of a “banana republic”: a country in which foreign enterprises push the government around” (The Economist, 2013).

Why do I believe this, it’s because of all his sort-of promises over the months. There is all kind of activities that proves the clear indications of a Banana Republic on the rise. The Americans might think otherwise, that is because there are blind on how the state really is.

The United States recorded a Government Debt to GDP of 104.17 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product in 2015. Government Debt to GDP in the United States averaged 61.94 percent from 1940 until 2015, reaching an all time high of 121.70 percent in 1946 and a record low of 31.70 percent in 1974. Government Debt to GDP in the United States is reported by the U.S. Bureau of Public Debt” (Trading Economics).

So the average debt level or ratio is staggering already. This is not tackled because the creditors accept the debt levels are raising, just as seen with the numbers from Trading Economics are showing during 30 years the percentage has gone up over 70 %, which should be frightening to any economy. When you have that level of debt, you should be able to have a heavy tax-base to collect and pay the debt.

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Taxing under Trump:

“US taxes are low relative to those in other developed countries. In 2012, US taxes at all levels of government represented 24 percent of GDP, compared with an average of 34 percent of GDP for the 34 member countries of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)” (…) “The United States collects relatively less revenue dedicated to retirement, disability, and other social security programs—22 percent of total tax revenue—than the 26 percent OECD average” (…) “Property taxes provided more than twice as large a share of US tax revenue—12 percent in 2012—than the OECD average of 5 percent. Almost all revenue from taxes on property in the United States is collected by state and local governments” (…) “The United States relies less on taxes on goods and services (including both general consumption taxes and taxes on specific goods and services) than any other OECD country, collecting 18 percent of tax revenue this way compared with 33 percent for the OECD. The value-added tax (VAT)—a type of general consumption tax collected in stages—is the main source of consumption tax revenue, employed worldwide in 160 countries including all 34 OECD member countries except the United States. Most consumption tax revenue in the United States is collected by state and local governments” (Hoo & Toder, 2006).

So when the Federal and Republic itself has such a giant debt ratio, the taxes should be high and should be to the levels of actually having the ability to pay it back. As they do not even have VAT on goods that is very normal world-wide, but apparently isn’t a thing in the United States. This proves the mismanagement of potential tax-base that the Government need to succeed to pay their debt. This is before the Election yesterday.

This is the taxes planned under Trump: “According to the Tax Foundation’s Taxes and Growth Model, the plan would reduce federal revenue by between $4.4 trillion and $5.9 trillion on a static basis. The amount depends on the nature of a key business policy provision” (…) “After accounting for the larger economy and the broader tax base, the plan would reduce revenues by between $2.6 trillion and $3.9 trillion after accounting for the larger economy, depending on the nature of a key policy provision” (…) “On a static basis, the Trump tax plan would increase the after-tax incomes of taxpayers in every income group. The bottom 80 percent of taxpayers (those in the bottom four quintiles) would see an increase in after-tax income between 0.8 percent and 1.9 percent, under both policy assumptions.  Taxpayers in the top quintile would see a 4.4 percent increase in after-tax income under the higher-rate assumption, or 8.7 percent under the lower-rate assumption. Those in the top decile would see a 5.4 percent increase in after-tax income under the higher-rate assumption, or 9.3 percent under the lower-rate assumption. Finally, taxpayers in the top 1 percent would see the largest increase in after-tax income on a static basis, driven by both the lower top marginal tax rate and the lower corporate income tax. Under the higher-rate assumption this increase would be 10.2 percent, and under the lower-rate assumption this increase would be 16.0 percent” (Cole, 2016).

So when the government are axing it income, while the economy running on a deficit your making no-sense. Your continue to spend on deficit while cutting taxes; the taxed ones are the ones who voted for Trump, the bottom 80% will get higher taxes, while corporations and 1% riches will get less. So the richer will get richer. A real proof of a Banana Republic where the solidarity towards the ones who needs so. They who voted for him is the ones that will pay on his tax-plan, which is ironic.

pbstwig

This is on the direct economic sense, now on health care. Here he proves again he will hurt the ones who voted for him, the poor and what is left of the working-class:

“The policies would cause almost 21 million people to lose their insurance coverage, as the replacement health care policies would only cover 5 percent of the 22 million individuals who would lose coverage upon the repeal of Obamacare. This would almost double the number of Americans without health insurance” (…) “The largest component of this estimate comes from the “repeal.” The campaign website proposes to “completely repeal Obamacare,” which we assume to mean repealing the Affordable Care Act’s regulations, subsidies, Medicaid expansion, Medicare savings, and tax increases. Although repealing the coverage provisions would save about $1.1 trillion, based on Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates (adjusted for recent legislation and changes in the budget window), repealing the legislation’s tax increases and Medicare cuts would cost a combined $1.6 trillion. In total, this means repeal would cost $480 billion – or $260 billion including the economic benefits of repeal” (Committee for a responsible Federal Budget, 2016).

So the Trump Administration are planning to hurt their own, the ones that has gotten through the Obamacare gotten some sorts of subsidized medical insurance, something he wants to repeal and will even make sure to cost the state more. So the educated minds will know that people has to carry insurance on their own while the state pays more to abolish the Obamacare. The 21 million individuals will regret questioning the medical treatment through Obamacare, as the Federal State will add more money. So the people are getting higher tax for the same 80% who losing their health insurance. Do the American citizens prefer punishing themselves?

As with the true implications of NAFTA:

“Customs duties reductions led to increases in trade with the other two countries of 11% in Canada, 41% in the United States, and 118% in Mexico, for the period between 1993 and 2011.5 In terms of value, American trade with Canada and Mexico increased from US$481 billion in 1993 to US$1.1 trillion in 2015. While Donald Trump claims that Americans “don’t make anything anymore,” implying that NAFTA is to blame, the American manufacturing sector has increased production by 58% since the deal came into effect” (Bedard, 2016).

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So the results of NAFTA are apparently different in reality than what comes across when coming to Trump, so the reality hasn’t mattered. He wants to dissolve or change the rules and regulations, this will make it harder to export and import products between Canada and Mexico into the United States. The United States need free-movement of products and industrial products to be able to have the Corporate Capitalism that drives the USA.

So with lower taxes in general, a higher cost of health-care without concern for the 21 million without health insurance. They now are getting more problems with exporting and importing the needed products and raw-material has been possible and even at longest part of the NAFTA agreement has been positive to the US. So the regulation and cooperation with neighbours will be harder because of barriers that will be created with abolishing the NAFTA.

This is still all economic implications… then you have the gun-control, the war-lord aspects and the other social policies mixed with the economic aspect that turns the ones giant and great nation into tatters, if the President Donald Trump gets to do as he pleases without questions.

We should consider it with the implication on the policies and the foreign affairs. The US Government would lose with their plans on playing hardball with NATO and others. With the Muslims ban and deportation, also the Latin-American population that has been singled out; these groups can hurt the economy and also the basic workforce who does the needed services needed in society. That these will be sent out because of their ethnicity and faith will also prove that the United States isn’t the leaders of free-world, but another tyranny under President Trump. The fear and loathing of the Republican President Trump! That will do like the Americans did during Second World-War when Japanese for being so we’re detained into camps, or if he pleases send them packing.

This racial laws and deportations will hurt the economy and make sure the state becomes a Banana Republic; What is special is that the United States will have a free-flow of guns, ammunition, but will make it harder to import goods and also export goods with worse deals, have lesser taxes, still high debt yield and add expenses on health-care while the citizens has to cover themselves. This while the US President hasn’t a plan to help lower-classes as the minimum-pay or salaries increase for the 80% who still get added tax, also pay more for health care. The US Electorate got all reasons for feeling foolish if they even read this.

Bananas and Banana Company we’re President William Howard Taft did what he could to save the companies. Now the new President might try to replicate this, but he forgets the needed international community and production as the needed bolts, tools and manufacturing are inter-connected. That is something that the modern day President Trump needs.

Side Note – International Partnerships:     

So if he builds walls, gets into whiny bitch mode and becomes a fully-blown attack paranoid mode, than the international partners will not accept being constantly bullied. I am sure that Philippines C-I-C President Rodigro Duterte will be tossed around for another power or human being. Neither will Russian President Vladimir Putin and even German Chancellor Angela Merkel will not accept it. So the price of him being brash and irresponsible thin-skinned versus the ones that questions his actions or words, isn’t really suitable with the trading partners and allies that the U.S. still needs. The US doesn’t live in a vacuum and not the only one with a giant defence and has much money to spend like on AGOA and others.

So congratulation on becoming a Banana-Republic, ready to become muffled with after playing king-pin… for decades; as your economic prospects under the Trump Administration and regime doesn’t look healthy. Peace.

Reference:

Bedard, Mathieu – ‘NAFTA: DONALD TRUMP’S CRITICISMS ARE UNFOUNDED’ (07.2016) link: http://www.iedm.org/files/lepoint1016_en.pdf

Committee for a responsible Federal Budget – ‘Analysis of Donald Trump’s Health Care Plan’ (09.05.2016) link: http://crfb.org/blogs/analysis-donald-trumps-health-care-plan

Cole, Alan – ‘Details and Analysis of the Donald Trump Tax Reform Plan, September 2016’ (19.09.2016) link: http://taxfoundation.org/article/details-and-analysis-donald-trump-tax-reform-plan-september-2016

Hoo, Sonya & Toder, Eric – ‘The U.S. Tax Burden Is Low Relative to Other OECD Countries’ (08.05. 2006) link: http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/publications/us-tax-burden-low-relative-other-oecd-countries

The Economist – ‘Where did banana republics get their name?’ (21.11.2013) link: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2013/11/economist-explains-16

Trading Economics – ‘United States Government Debt to GDP  1940-2016 | Data | Chart | Calendar’ link: http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/government-debt-to-gdp

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