Kenya: Taskforce in Building Bridges in Unity – Press Release (25.07.2018)
I write what I like.
After the 9th March handshake between ODM and NASA Principal Raila Odinga and Jubilee leader and President Uhuru Kenyatta. Both of them have worked together with the Building Bridges initiative. This have not only changed the dynamics within the NASA and with the leadership there, as the NASA Co-Principals Moses Wetangula, Musalia Mudavadi and Stephen Kalonzo Musyoka. Who all was left behind by the handshake, just as Odinga was left behind on the Swearing-In on the 30th January 2018. Therefore, this shouldn’t matter now, but is just mere politics and who gets the upper-hand.
Odinga got the upper-hand and left the other Co-Principal behind. It was dead on revival with that handshake. The President got the NASA under his wings without paying much and with co-operation directly with Odinga. Therefore, the problem now, is that Odinga has no official title or place, but is still accepted as a big man.
That is why I am starting to wonder, because he has been as an official ambassador-at-large in South Africa, Sudan and in India. This combined with the statement of making changes in government, like the fights against corruption and stopping it. You can start to wonder what Odinga does and what is his part now. Since he is vocal, but also are acting as a public official like abroad.
The President Kenyatta and Deputy President Ruto has their part, the same has the rest of the cabinet, the other appointed officials and appointed leaders of state owned enterprises, but Odinga has no official title. Odinga cannot just be running cat-and-mouse after Kenyatta.
I wonder if he has the perks of a public official? I wonder why he hasn’t a title? Because James Orengo is the head of the Opposition in the Senate, but if the Odinga is part of the government and working as a part of government, how can fellow party members in Parliament be “opposition” leaders?
Because, it seems more and more like an unofficial Prime Minister under Kenyatta and Ruto, but not as a Cabinet Secretary in the Cabinet of the Jubilee. He should be sworn-in and appointed to something, especially when he is traveling as a representative to the India, South Africa and Sudan.
I don’t feel by how he acts and performs as the long-arm of the government, but not as the opposition. Odinga is more than an opposition figure, he is not directly there. The Building Bridges Initiative and activity proves that.
Therefore, what is the stance of Jubilee Administration and Kenyatta, what should they do about this? Because Odinga is clearly in cahoots with them, but nothing more official than the handshake and the agreement.
They shouldn’t trick the public, but offer the public the real deal and show good governance. Peace.
Yep, the biggest bank and the Bretton Woods Organization called the World Bank has commended the works of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his plans for added taxes. That comes from the similar institution like International Monetary Fund, that ordered Uganda to follow the Structural Adjustment Plan (SAP), therefore, the IMF that fixed more privatization without lacking investments. Are now okaying a higher rising taxes on the Republic’s citizens. This is done, while the economy is not strengthen, but with added external and internal loans. Therefore, the rise of GDP and use of loans, as well as repayments on those loans will sooner or later hurt the economy. Even with the rise of taxes. This will be start of vicious cycle where the state is issuing loans and taxes, while the revenue is used to repay loans, not development. It is basically. But before I go into the deep of the part of the troubling take from the World Bank. Let me just show you quickly the result of the SAP and their advice there.
“The studies also make it clear that for SAP-type policies to have a chance of success, certain preconditions are necessary. The public sector had certain social responsibilities that the current framework has pushed it out of but without “a proper handing over” to the private sector. The assumption and hope were that the market would fill the gap left by the retreating state. Clearly this has not happened. There is therefore need for Government either to retain certain key social sectors, or only hand them over to the private sector only when the latter is ready to effectively take them over. Clearly non-profit making aspects of social responsibility cannot and do not get taken over by the private sector. For poverty to be reduced there are certain social responsibilities or even whole sectors that can only effectively be handled by the public sector. Welfare systems and subsidies to farmers in the developed world attest to the need for the retention of these key areas by the public sector. Therefore a policy that proscribes such a hand-over must also ensure that it is done in a verifiable manner so that the private sector can be held to account. Civil society has in the past tried to fill the gap but this has been done in an ad hoc manner” (Kevin Akoyi Makokha – ‘STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PARTICIPATORY REVIEW INITIATIVE (SAPRI) – UGANDA COUNTRY REPORT: A synthesis of the Four SAPRI Studies’ September 2001).
So, when the last system from the World Bank and IMF was introduced the system and the government wasn’t ready to privatize, however, that didn’t stop them or the government to do so. Especially since the funds and loans at the time came with the hitch of doing so. Therefore, the troubles with the privatization and the lacking oversight is also partly because of these programs subsidized by these organizations. That is why the World Bank and IMF should be more careful professing what sort of thing would be genuine and sincere, since they have messed up before. It isn’t only the State House who has messed up, he has gotten help and followed the procedures of these mechanisms. If not, he wouldn’t be able to eat such vast amounts of donor funding in the past. This is well-known, but the lack of oversight, is because of the will of wanting to have control and a say in everything. That is why the letter from the President to Minister of Finance, is the reason for the new levied taxes. So, if you wonder why I have distrust to the World Bank and IMF, it is because of their history and that the public is paying for it, because their impact on the governments for the reasons. That these states should be guinea-pigs for the economy belief of trickling down economics, even as the results has begged differ if it really drips back into the system again. Which it doesn’t because the ones that gets a lot want to keep it and get some more. No dole it out to anyone they can find.
Here is what the World Bank stated today: “In the special section of the Update, the report analyses how Uganda could raise more domestic revenues to support its development. Uganda’s tax system is one of the most modern in the region, but revenue collections, at 14 percent of GDP, are low, and way below its tax potential. Tax avoidance and evasion, partly resulting from generous tax exemptions to investors, weak tax administration, and a large informal sector (now at 80 percent), pose challenges to increasing revenues. Up to 5 percent of GDP is lost annually in tax leakages. Personal income tax contributes roughly 18 percent of GDP compared to up to 40 percent in developed countries. VAT collections amount to 4 percent of GDP, but would rise to 6 percent if there were no exemptions. The report suggests that Uganda could widen its tax base by tapping into areas that are outside the tax net; applying tax instruments correctly and fairly; improving efficiency, transparency and accountability in tax administration; and delivering better public services” (World Bank – ‘Improving Taxation to Finance Uganda’s Development’ 15.05.2018).
Therefore, the World Bank likes the idea of adding more tax on the Mobile Money transactions and the movement of digital cash, as well as on Airtime and other needed things. The ones that hasn’t a bank-account or the ability to fund or even try to get a loans from the banking system. Are okayed by the World Bank as possible targets for taxes. This isn’t transparent, but making it more expensive to be poor, as the rates to transmit and the use mobile money will come. The companies whose use this method will bill the users, they will not take the hit. The same with all the traders and the importers of all the other items that was on the lists of the newly taxed items.
I doubt these new taxes will do any good, it will just be more funds for the elites, the NRM and the President to eat. They are not delivering government services with the trillions of shillings they are using now. They are billing up to their asses and spending rampant, without having the revenue. That is why the rising debts are there. Instead of living frugal and thinking of the future, the NRM and President Museveni are eating like there is no tomorrow!
State House, the President and the Cabinet are eating heavy, they are not delivering, they have no plans to do so. If so, they give locally when needed, but the lack of transparency and accountability, is the reason for missing funds. Recently even the documents from the GAVI Funds was taken from the Ministry of Health. Therefore, a government who cannot be trusted with funds giving donations to help the sick, how can we believe the tax put on Mobile Money will go to roads or teachers?
I doubt that, I am not that naive, this NRM has proven for 32 years, that they are eating and not caring. The World Bank can commend and praise. While I condemn, until they prove that they money are delivered to the schools, that the teachers have their salaries and the civil servants are properly paid. Not just hiring some random Cubans to fix the issues for a short time. That is not how to build a national health care system. That is how to mock the ones you already have. Peace.
I have a feeling that the State of the Union, will be rewind of the speeches of late from President Uhuru Kenyatta. He is running a long series of the same speeches, but with blends of specials. I am sure he has an extra number for the joint siting in Parliament on 2nd May. However, if he wouldn’t be have a sitting, I think it would be empty chairs and lack of public support for it. Just like on the 54th Jamhuri Day. Why do, I say this today, well, that because of the lack-of-professional ability Presidential Spokesperson. He really, writes it so mediocre. So if anyone was looking forward. They shouldn’t, just take a look!
“On Wednesday, the 2nd of May, the President will deliver the first State of the Nation address of his second and last term as President. This address — to the joint sitting of Parliament — is in terms of measures the President has taken and the progress achieved in the realisation of national values; progress made in fulfilling Kenya’s international obligation; and the state of our nation’s security. A number of journalists have been asking what the President will say, but clearly we all have to wait to hear what the President will say. What we can say, though, is that the Constitution requires him to address the nation, through an appearance in Parliament, to speak to the three issues I have raised, and to share his views on the long-term shaping and reimagining of our country” (Manoah Esipisu – ‘Spokesperson’s Briefing, State House, 29 April 2018’, 29.04.2018).
You know there isn’t anything left to chance in a way. MBS Esipisu tries to make it interesting and surprising. But, the words he will speak of is what Kenyatta has spoken about again, and again. Not like these is new topics, neither has been spitting fire while saying them. Like Esipisu thinking reporters are awaiting in their chair “to wait to hear what the President will say”. Because this President will speak about his agenda, stop politicking and that the importance is development in all fields. Even I know that, if there is potholes and corruption fight, that is the double-featured bonus. If he mentions Eurobonds and added debts, that would be interesting to defend the rising debts. But that would humiliate the elite, the cronies and himself. So, he will not do that, unless, he will lie about the reasons for the sky-rocketing debt within his two-terms.
Kenyatta talking about re-imagining the Republic, that will be with roads into oblivion, SGR that is profitable, huge oil-profits from Turkana, boom in Sugar Industry and fair prices of the State Owned Enterprises with the Energy Industry. Well, if UNGA will prices will sky-rocket again, not be surprised, if the imports has to appear, because the cartels control this Presidency. All of these things could change, but with this party and dynasty, it is not in their interests to do so. Because they are eating on the common-mans ply. Its like they dire situations can just go-on, the lack of transparency and the issues that are there.
Outtake from the President after the handshake with Odinga:
“So we have a responsibility as leaders to be able to come together to discuss these issues and to find solutions. Solutions that will bind our people together; that will unify our country, and that will give us a life cycle that is beyond the five years that we have established for ourselves. Elections come and go but Kenya remains; so as we plan ourselves for the future, our future cannot be dictated by the forthcoming elections. Our future must be dictated by the prosperity, stability of our nation and the well-being of our people” (Uhuru Kenyatta – ‘President Kenyatta’s speech after meeting with Raila Odinga’ 09.03.2018).
Outtake from the President like on the 5th Devolution Conference:
“Thirdly, we must aspire towards strategic alignment of our national development goals. While every county government has its own agenda, it is necessary to align that agenda with the national blue print, that is, Vision 2030. When I conceptualized the Big Four, I did so in appreciation of the fact that for us to accelerate the achievement of our Vision 2030 aspiration, we would need to take a new approach to our medium-term planning, and focus to those issues that would have the greatest impact on the well-being of our people” (…) “We can begin by getting clear on what the plan entails. The first priority of the “Big Four” is to grow our manufacturing sector and to raise its contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 9 per cent to 15 per cent” (Uhuru Kenyatta – ‘President Kenyatta speech to the 5th devolution conference in Kakamega’ 24.04.2018, Business Daily Afrika).
So, if we see this, it would following the paradigm of his leadership. Following the same message, but just repackage it a little bit. What we do know, which is a funny way of putting it, is “the President will say, but clearly we all have to wait to hear what the President will say” (Esipisu, 2018). That must be the funnies part of paragraph, any spokesperson will write. The President will say, what the President will say. That is exceptionally and brave writing. It gives us an insight to the inner-works and surely the guy giving head-up are saying to the President. You know the drill, follow the format, the Big Four Agenda and fight Corruption. You will do it perfectly, Peace.
On the 19th April 2018, the Uganda Communication Commission (UCC) has sent a letter ordering all Internet Service Providers (ISP), that they are ordered to block “unauthorized” Online Data. That meaning the internet service providers can because of this block pages and news-outlets that isn’t accepted by the Government of Uganda. The National Resistance Movement (NRM) are really having a warfare on the content online. As it has already added taxes on airtime, on mobile money and also now asking to block pages too.
We can surely know that UCC will really struggle to give authorization to media houses, web-pages and content that questions the government. The letter from the government says it very clearly:
“The purpose of this letter therefore, is to DIRECT you to IMMEDIATELY SUSPEND the provision of caring services to any Online Data communication service provider (online/Electronic Media News provider) that is not listed above and/or has not presented an authorization certificate or other express clearance from the Uganda Communication Commission” (Letter from Fred Otunnu to ISP – ‘Letter to ISPs on Unauthorized Online Data Communications Service Providers’ 19.04.2018).
They have put a list of 14 companies, where only two are authorized, these are Nile Post News Uganda Limited and China Haijang Online Africa Ltd. There are dozens other which is not, these are in process, the ones known are Chimps Media Ltd and Trumpet Media Ltd. Therefore, many pages are not here. There are dozens of outlets not mentioned or asked for authorization from the UCC.
That the UCC are attacking the online content is clear. The UCC are using their power and force to silence certain media. This is to stop the content the government doesn’t see fit. They are now trying to get all companies, who are using the platforms online to register, to give license and operate. That the UCC are having sleepless nights is evident. As they have already made it hard to register sim-cards lately, also the same government who wants to monitor porn. So this is continuation of the trying to control all online content.
This should be a field day for the Attorneys working Pro-Bono for the Online Content makers as the censorship of the government comes into force. Just like it did, when the UCC had a black-out and VPN during the General Election of 2016. The NRM are really afraid of free-spirited people and the UCC are losing their marbles.
This is to show, that if your not registered at us, we will order the ISPs to not show your page, block your ideas, your content and everything you got through telecommunications. Only way to get through that is using VPN. So the citizens should use VPN to the content from pages and apps that the government has blocked. Peace.
You know there fiscal problems within the Government of Uganda (GoU). The GoU is on the rocks, as they are establishing more loans, more interests to pay and has leveraged their forex exchange, when they are levying today’s amount of new taxes. This is coming as reports of lacking hiring for the Civil Service, The Ministry of Public Service has suspended hiring of new positions in the districts and at the government institutions. This is happening, as the amount of cronies around the President is growing. Therefore, the wastage of funds are in and around the President, who can pledge funds as he wishes and give Presidential Handshakes to whoever he likes or needs. Therefore, today is sad day for transparency, as the state is eating itself, but not taking care of the needed services.
We know the state is poor, when the lacking banking-service and with the need of Mobile Money and Airtime on the Cellphones are getting hit by a tax. This is not social media tax, but is that the subscriber and user of the services, will get a withholding tax of 10% on transactions on Mobile Money and Airtime. This means, every time a Ugandan or someone buys airtime, in the price they are paying an added 10 % on the total price of the usage of minutes of airtime or making the transaction of funds between two funds more costly. This is really hitting the breadwinners and the ones who are servicing mobile money from the towns to villages.
Just to prove to how much the added cost on the Mobile Money is wished, as the withholding tax, they are adding direct also the excise tax on this from 10% to 15%, that means the added is 5% more on each transaction. If that isn’t excessive, just think about the two other taxes as well. Therefore, the state has added three taxes on using the phones. The citizens will have to plan more transactions, as they are more costly and will be less transactions of the amount, since the tax will shave off the amount of shillings sent to the fellow they wanted to give needed money through these services.
They are adding even more on every telecommunication services, not just the hit of withholding tax on it, but they are even adding an excise duty on it as well, meaning there are two pieces of taxes put on the same services, but at different times. Making the expenses of using the cellphones, hitting the roof and the value of the airtime dwindles, as you are paying more tax on each minute use. This excise duty is put on the level of 12% as well. So, expect the prices on airtime to rocket, as this hit both the agents to pay more tax on each, and also the cost of actually calling too. This is funds that the Telecommunication Companies will get back from the consumer, meaning citizens will pay more being in touch.
As they continue to give price hikes on necessities, they are putting a levy of 200shs on each liter of cooking oil, this meanings the price for making rollex or banana-pancakes will go up. Since before you buy the eggs and the flour to make your dish. You will pay more for each bottle, while the state gets simple taxation on this single item. It might seems pointless, but all fried foods will be more costly to make and a Samosa will cost more to make, therefore, expect a price hike on the hawkers foods in any stage where you waiting.
These are just some of the measures done by the state, there are several more, but this is really hitting the average citizen usage of phones and also cooking. This are just two items on a long lists of new taxes put on the people. Clearly, the state see the need for spikes of prices, growing inflation and lack of monetary control to come, as the chickens come to roost and the costs of debt services is hitting the fan.
The ones that has to pay for that, isn’t the elite, but all of the citizens who spends time outside their homes and buys into services. Which, means all of them. Peace.
“Chong: Hey, how much money do we have now?
Cheech: All together?
Chong: Yeah, all together?
Cheech: Let’s see, mmm, uh, oh man! We have 17 million dollars!
Cheech: Oh wait, well um, 17, something. Who cares, were rich, man.” (Taken from the Movie – ‘Nice Dreams’ released on 5th June 1981).
Since the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission is such under fire, we shouldn’t directly care if Wafula Chebukati remains or even Ezra Chiloba. Because, let’s be clear, after Chickengate and new commissioners didn’t help the state organization whose main responsibility is to secure free and fair elections. It isn’t magic, voodoo or even Kong Fu! It is elections by secret ballot, counting them, transmission of results, verify them and announce them within scope of time that seems fair, where all political stakeholders and all citizens believe the results. Where non.rigging and where the announced result winner cannot be questioned or the legitimacy of the winners feel unjustified.
That is the reality with the leadership of Cheech & Chong, they are playing a blame game, they are shadowing the world and making a mockery of the Electoral Commission. The IEBC are supposed to be the place where integrity and respect of the voters are supposed to be. However, that is not the case. The Akombe Report, all the internal Memos from the shop is showing glaceing ignorance, power-play and disrespect of the population. As they are more involved in high-rating trading with foreign companies, ICT manipulations and questionable transactions. That hasn’t really shown the true character of the Republic, but the will to create a result the Jubilee Party would be proud off.
Therefore, Cheech & Chong, delivered as promised to Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto, even the Cambridge Analytica, the Safran/ OT Morpho, Safaricom and the rest of them. All of them did deliver what the Republic’s current incumbent leadership needed. They needed a victory and secure it, so it could be validated as another step in a democratic direction without to much post-election violence. They made that and twin-combo of nocturnal numb-shocks and hob-stoppers didn’t stop the crisis from within. As resignations and inner-works fatigue, as it hurts to play with fire, within time you going to get burned, if not like the brothers-in-charge, stoned.
Cheech & Chong is known for firing up their spliffs, to light up some jazz-tobacco and make smooth jazz through the night. The same was anticipated now, that they was supposed to gaslight it all, let the people forget the farce and let it go. However, the internal issues are rising, because the IEBC are filled with smoke and no-one wants to scream fire. They are playing to see who can survive, but that shouldn’t be the scenario. Because that is just a Public Relations game. Instead of fixing the mismanagement, the business-aspect of the Commission and the external push from key political stakeholders. The IEBC will be ready to rig for them again, because that is the mandate in their eyes. Not to deliver legit results for the public, but for the political and ruling elite. The rest can just drown in the smoke from Cheech & Chong.
This isn’t funny, Cheech & Chong is, but they are now being used as public pawns, so people can cheer on either or, but initial problem is the organization and the fake mandate it runs on. Its a car running on empty and still your thinking the RAV4 can win Formula One. Lewis Hamilton would grin and ride in amp speed away. While the duo Cheech & Chong would lie to public and say they had a winning chance. When they started the engine and lack of gas, would never ever have a chance against Hamilton, because it was never meant to be. Peace.
The whole 2017 has been tarnishing and disgraceful for the public trust in the Independent Boundaries and Electoral Commission (IEBC), even with the changes of Commissioners after the eye-opening Chickengate, the Public Body still continued with their ill-deceiving affairs, that leads to rigging and questionable electoral malpractice. That again, shows that the ones elected by this organization wasn’t that just. We knew there was issues when Rosely Akombe resigned, but her final report is telling. I am taking what I see as important. Therefore, all of it will not be included. But, what I see as a gist for the 8th August and 26th October Presidential Elections 2017. Which, is in itself botched already, but this report put the nail in the coffin!
On Page 7: “If the Commission retains the mandate to register voters, then the system for registration of voters must be completely overhauled with the responsibility for the register falling squarely under the Elections Operations directorate and not ICT. The over-reliance on Safran/ OT Morpho has to be addressed with full ownership of critical functions on the register being in the hands of Commission staff, not contractors” (Akombe 2017:P7).
On Page 20: “Even if the Commission had the complete details of deaths, it does not have a procedure for removal of the persons from the register of voters. This essentially meant that according to the KPMG audit report, there were potentially over a million deceased persons in the register of voters. Given that there were other means of identifying voters beyond beometrics (alpha numeric search) there is a high likelihood of “deceased” persons voting in the 2017 election. This would be the case especially in places with exceptionally high voter turn-out” (Akombe 2017:P20).
On Page 29: “I will always remember 8 August 2017 at about 8:30 pm when the display of results stopped and neither out staff nor Safran could explain to us what had happened. The display resumed about 3 hours later with the margin of difference between the leading candidates almost constant for the rest of the results transmission process. It is such situations that will forever leave questions in my mind of what actually happened 8 August. In the absence of an audit done by the Commission (although the Plenary had approved it), it becomes difficult to debunk myths of serious anomalies in management of the electronic transmission of results during the 2017 elections. Chairman Chebukati raised his own concerns on ICT issues in the annexed herewith” (Akombe 2017:P29).
These are just some of the statements, the situation with the servers, with the leaks to National Super Alliance (NASA) was only talked about in passing. They did in memo’s discuss the apparent issues of Chairman Chebukati logging in 90,000 and the issuing of non-gazzeted polling stations. Still, these issues wasn’t directly touched by Akombe Report. Maybe, the deep dive wasn’t in her will, when she was ending. As she was already directing the trouble of contractors and their ICT control. That would mean not only Safran/OT Morpho, but also Cambridge Analytica. Which also should be looked into.
The whole procurement of Ballot Papers, the building of the KIEMS, the BVR Machines, the Satellite Phones and the Servers of the IEBC, should be investigated together with the Voter Registers that wasn’t made correctly by the KPMG before the Presidential Elections in 2017. The IEBC has been mismanaged in favor of the ruling elite. They got the results they wanted, with the cost of the integrity of the IEBC and the Electoral Commission.
There is no question, there are two many loopholes and questionable activity during the elections and after. The IEBC as it is today, is untrustworthy and a political hackwork of the current administration. Peace.