Thursday, June 3, 2010

Why Voters may disappoint Candidate Museveni in 2011 General Elections

If the opposition unites to see candidate Yoweri Museveni go after the forthcoming General Election, no Museveni gods may fail his exist. The reasons why they want him to go are among others:-
Issues specific to regions:
1) The Odoki Commission reported that over 60% Ugandans who responded to the type of Governance wanted a Federo system. President Museveni’s leadership instead opted for decentralisation which has not delivered what people want. Any pleas to have federo as a local government arrangement are simply ignored and alternative systems proposed.
2) Pressure on Buganda – In the past, there was near to balanced regional growth. Since the NRM got power, pressure has mounted on Buganda and Baganda have been made insecure as land is not readily available and very expensive. Yet those from other areas are dictating terms for Baganda in an attempt to safeguard investments made in Buganda.

Kabaka Mutebi on two occasions has been barred by the central government to visit his people!
3) The refusal by the central government on two occasions to allow Kabaka Mutebi to visit areas within Buganda; an unfortunate development which is no credit to the central government.
4) The closure of CBS FM for a period over 8months now (in June 2010) as riots took off when people responded to the central governments’ action of blocking Kabaka Mutebi’s visit to Kayunga.
5) The reluctance by the central government to pay rent dues in time for Buganda properties rented; which is seen as a deliberate effort to cripple Buganda Government.

General issues/observations:
1) President Museveni came on a ticket of 4 years, however, after implementation of extension schemes, he still wants another 5 years after the expiry of 25 years at head of Government!;
2) Through President Museveni’s influence as the major beneficiary, the 1995 Constitution of Uganda was revised and the 2 term limits were removed against the background that the reason for a maximum of 2 terms was against the bad history the country had gone through, and this amendment is opportunity to see the bad history become a reality again.
"Four opposition parties: Forum for Democratic Change, Uganda Peoples’ Congress, Jeema and Conservative Party under the Inter Party Coalition (IPC) are planning to table before Parliament new constitutional amendments on Tuesday May 11.
Among the amendments is a proposal to have two presidential term limits restored; disbanding of the current Electoral Commission and the removal of the army from Parliament.
While addressing the media at Parliament today, the acting Leader of Opposition, Kassiano Wadri said that the opposition agrees that the amendments are important especially as the 2011 general elections approach.
Wadri says if the ruling National Resistance Movement government throws out their proposals in Parliament, they will not hesitate to take the matter to the Constitutional court for interpretation."
3) Governments’ intention to pay a salary to Chairmen of LC1 is yet another ‘innovation’ to impoverish the tax payer the more. LC1 chairpersons are supposed to do voluntary work, those who cannot afford should opt out;
4) President Museveni dropped the late Dr. Samson Kisekka from Government in a very humiliating way;
5) The budget speech of 2003/04 under Article 43: Public Administration it is stated that, “Expenditure on public Administration has continued to be a burden on the budget, crowding out spending on other critical priority programmes. Currently, expenditure on the sector is second only to Education, with an allocation of 17.7% of the Government budget. There is need to reduce the cost of Public administration, so that resources can be freed for use in other productive areas such as infrastructure and strategic exports. In March this year, H.E. the President approved most of the recommendations in a study that he commissioned on the subject, in march 2002.” Unfortunately, looks like this position has since not been taken seriously by Government as public expenditure is simply on the increase and more so, politically motivated;
6) The Auditor General reported that the Consolidated Fund had been overdrawn in billions; this in one instance as at 30.6/1999; the balance was shs 776,236,548,778. The Consolidated fund should however have a credit balance;
7) What are the names of the UPDF soldiers who died in DRC? “Thousands of Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) soldiers have died in the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), rebel leader Prof. Ernst Wamba dia Wamba has said. In an open letter to the people of Uganda,” a copy of which the Monitor saw, Wamba, the President of the Uganda backed RCD – Kisangani rebel group said that since 1996, “Uganda has lost thousands of soldiers so that the Congo may come out of the current crisis.”
8) Government has looked on as people have encroached on forest cover which development has serious implications for the climate of the country and given that it is an agriculturally based country;

Damian Akankwasa
"THE IGG has recommended the immediate sacking and prosecution of the suspended National Forestry Authority (NFA) boss, Damian Akankwasa, over the sh900m saga. The IGG made the recommendation in a report on claims by Akankwasa that his wife, Juliet Katusiime, stole the sh900m he kept in their bedroom last year.
The IGG accused Akankwasa of abuse of office, failure to declare all his wealth and causing a financial loss of over sh2.8b to NFA through suspicious deals. The IGG suspects the sh900m could have come from such deals.
In a May 7 letter to the water and environment minister, Maria Mutagamba, the IGG said Akankwasa made arbitrary decisions disregarding formal procedures."
9) The new law, “Universities and Other Tertiary Institutions’ Act” is alleged to have the intention of getting back the President as the appointing authority for Vice – Chancellors of public universities;
10) Government has not done much to see that Uganda benefits in International trade in genetic resources, often referred to as bio-trade which involves high economic stakes today. The sale of drugs based on traditional medicines alone amounts to over US $ 32bn (IK Notes – A World Bank publication);
11) Talk about corruption. Even AIDS patients have not been spared! The portfolio of Global Fund Grants to Uganda was worth US $ 367m including two grants to combat HIV/AIDS; two grants targeting Malaria and one of Tuberculosis. By the time of the suspension on August 24, 2005 only US$ 45m had been released of which it is believed about US $ 280,000 was fraudulently siphoned off!
12) While the population has kept on growing, the number of criminals has equally kept increasing, but Government has not had plans implemented to increase the number of prisons, later on have worthy conditions for living by inmates;
13) Though the President boosts of an army which is professional, it is not clear why this army has failed to capture Joseph Kony who is at the core of terrorist activities in Uganda and now outside Uganda’s borders.
"“Arrest warrants issued in 2005 by the ICC for Joseph Kony and four Lord’s Resistance Army commanders remained in force, but were not implemented by Uganda and other regional governments,” Amnesty International stated in its latest report.
Kony’s commanders, who were indicted with him for atrocities during the northern Ugandan war, include Dominic Ongwen, Okot Odhiambo, Vincent Otti and Raska Lukwiya. Lukwiya has since been confirmed dead and Otti is also said to be dead.
Uganda is a member of the ICC and is, therefore, obliged to arrest and surrender anyone named in an arrest warrant."
14) Though NRM tries to show that it is a civilian Government, the truth is that it is based on military; hence remains a threat to potential alternative President material;
15) The 1987 currency exchange took away part of people’s earnings the 30% and the currency since then has kept on depreciating such that many things cost an average of 20 times the cost at exchange; yet earnings have not been boosted accordingly;
16) The Bush men were appointed into positions to manage public enterprises, and you can be sure that the wish to pay them selves for the contribution in the 5 year war of liberation and lack of managerial skills contributed to poor performance of most of them such that on privatization, the tax payer had still to shoulder a big burden yet even many of the beneficiaries were not able to see these enterprises run and as to whether all have paid up is not clear a position.
17) The liberators contributed to a huge non – performing loan portfolio in the then Uganda Commercial bank and one of the options was to sale off the bank. The way the sale was handled disturbed many Ugandans who would have preferred to have shares in the bank and see it remain as the people’s own bank;
18) The class normally called “the nurtured middle class” a creation by President Museveni’s Government is a cause of concern by many who see a favoured few benefit from tax resources and donor funds to have their undertakings move on;
19) The killing of the Cooperative bank and the Cooperative Movement. The liberation war saw many vehicles of the Cooperatives used by the liberators, this slowly but steadily contributed to the weakening of the cooperatives. The borrowing of money from the Cooperative bank to help finance part of the liberation efforts at least shs 14bn is believed to have been got from the bank by NRA and was not paid back;
20) Poor and ill advised policies have abetted poverty in the country. What matters is policies to see the Government remain in leadership of the country at the expense of people’s welfare;
21) The unemployment levels of the youth are simply a scandal. While many in higher institutions are helped by relatives outside the country who have gone for greener pastures and a number are having bursaries by institutions, the Government has failed to be focused to see enhancement of employment opportunities for the youth. This is also against the background where vocational training is anon starter in schools such that students leave without employable skills for own job creation.
22) “Legalized corruption” is simply unacceptable. It is the order of the day in Uganda! Where Government has failed to pay a living wage, people have resorted to use corruption to make ends meet;
"President Museveni has said that while corruption leads to wastage of public resources, it also has a good side to it.
Speaking in Masindi last week, Museveni virtually defended corrupt civil servants and politicians, saying they also greatly contribute to national development by investing in the country money they swindle from public coffers. By thus investing, the President said, the thieves build the national economy.
The President was presiding over the passing out of 238 Police officers who had completed a three-month operational commanders’ course at the Kabalye-based Police Training School. The graduands included 46 officers from Sudan.
The opposition and donors have often criticised the Museveni government over what they see as lack of political will to fight corruption. The donors in particular have cited the misuse of money meant for the 2007 Commonwealth summit (CHOGM), and the Global Fund, among others, to make their point."

MPs probing the Commonwealth summit expenditure have unearthed numerous irregularities in the awarding of the sh2.4b media and publicity contract.
The contract was awarded to Saatchi and Saatchi and Terp Group during the preparations to host the summit in 2007.
MPs on the public accounts committee yesterday discovered that out of the 17 companies that submitted their bids, 16 were disqualified because they allegedly had no trading licence, bid submission, certificate of registration, VAT registration or income tax clearance.
They also discovered that although the evaluation committee had recommended the contract price of sh1.8b, the contract committee revised the cost to sh2.4b after adding one item.
The MPs also discovered that the director of information at the time, Kagole Kivumbi, was the head of the user department, the chairman of the evaluation committee and the chairman of the negotiation committee.
The MPs asked Kivumbi and the principal procurement officer, Margaret Meke, to explain how established companies such as Vision Group, Picfare, Sameer and the Uganda Publishing and Printing Corporation, could be disqualified on grounds of lack of trading licences.
23) It is sad for the President to keep looking down on donors who are actually helping to fund not only over 30% of the national budget but are also involved in a number of activities as NGOs in boosting the welfare of Ugandans;
"Museveni says Africa needs help in areas of energy, roads and railway construction as well as in the education and health sectors but not political help. He says he does not need any foreign advice in organizing elections, an area that the development partners have concentrated on in the recent past, with calls for major electoral reforms. The President insists that he does not lecture on issues on which he considers himself an expert, urging them to divert their help to where it is needed."
"It is not authenticated but a report purported to be by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to the American Congress on the 2011 Uganda elections could have serious implications.
The report is the first in a series that the US Congress, in an unprecedented move, asked Clinton to write after every 30 days regarding the government of Uganda actions on the 2011 elections.
Congress’s directive was interpreted as a sign that the US is taking a hawkish view of the government of Uganda behavior and could take punitive action.
There is speculation that if the does not carry out reforms to ensure free and fair elections, the US may cut its aid to Uganda and also influence other development partners to follow suit.
The intention appears to be to nudge President Yoweri Museveni, who has been in power for 24 years and has won election mired by fraud and violence, to hold a clean election in 2011.
The MP for Busongora South, Christopher Kibanzanga, told a journalist: “The donors have the key; they pushed President Museveni to accept multi-partyism and when they called him over the Anti-homosexuality Bill, the President immediately changed his position. If the donors tell him to accept the electoral reforms we are pushing for as the opposition, there is no doubt he will accept them within days.”
24) The handling of the corrupt with kid gloves is simply unacceptable. By now there would be a collection account where the big thieves would deposit the loot recovered from them; what may have been done so far is a drop in the ocean given what has been siphoned off;

25) The continued big and would be uncalled for expenditure on the national army (UPDF), ever since 1986,the army has taken a big share of the national resources that would have helped development efforts elsewhere; this is so because of interventions at times in other people’s wars;
26) The President has continued to use rewards to favour his continued tenure in office, and this is wrong more so when tax resources are used;
27) For a poor country like Uganda, keeping the lifestyle of President Museveni is a big liability to the country’s resources. When you see the security detail when he is going out of the country and when he is coming back; talk about the cost of maintaining his motorcade, this is all a big burden to the tax payer;

President Museveni's shs 82bn jet
The President is too expensive for a begging economy like Uganda
President Museveni’s special jet that has cost taxpayers Shs88.2 billion has arrived in the country.
The Gulfstream V was flown into the country last month.
The Weekly Observer has obtained a photograph of the new jet No. N908GA 52008 taken on January 14, this year when it was returning from a pre delivery flight at Long Beach Airport in California.
After that flight, the new jet was released to the buyer who is the Ugandan Government.
The President’s Press Secretary, Joseph Tamale Mirundi, confirmed the arrival of the jet in a telephone interview Tuesday morning.
The jet was purchased late last year to replace a Gulfstream IV which was bought at Shs60 billion in 2000. The State House Comptroller, Richard Muhinda, informed a parliamentary committee on presidential affairs that the old jet would be sold at about Shs40 billion.
The planned purchase of another jet became public information in December 2007 when Muhinda and the President’s chief pilot, Maj. Gen. Ali Kiiza, briefed the presidential affairs committee on the state of the old presidential jet.
Opposition MPs protested against spending such as huge amount of money while the old plane was still functioning properly. But the President’s team argued that the new plane would consume less fuel and would be cheaper to repair.
When Museveni came to power in 1986, he often spoke out against African leaders of poor countries who like to ride in presidential jets yet their citizens are infested with jiggers.
28) While the 5 year bush war had much to do with getting UPC Government out of power due to a stolen victory, many in NRM circles have been convicted in courts of law for the role played in electoral malpractices which clearly shows that Government has no good will to see this problem sorted out completely more so when it’s NRM candidate favoured;
29) The continued expansion of the unproductive administrative infrastructure frustrates any would be development efforts. A number of Presidential advisers are supposed to be retired civil servants on whom Government is spending billions that you be saved for more worthy national development projects;
Development partners share the concern of Uganda’s civil society and media about the increasingly high levels of spending on government’s administrative structures. These are resources that could otherwise be invested in infrastructure, basic education, health care, and clean drinking water for the poor.
The sharp increase in the number of districts in recent years (and continued plans for new ones)diverts both human and financial resources from existing districts and undermines the capacity of local governments to effectively deliver services. Starting at 36 districts, 80 districts last year, and now 91 districts: who can make a serious case that this expansion of the number of districts is good for service delivery?” the World Bank Uganda Country Manager Kundhavi Kadiresan said at the National Budget Workshop by the Ministry of Finance, February 25-26, 2010.
Despite the donors’ rage about Uganda’s high public expenditure, President Museveni has created 14 new districts, bringing the number to 111. The number is projected to reach 120 by 2011.
In a 2009 paper, titled “The cost of public administration,” ACODE, a local think tank, says the “oversize cabinet and the growing bureaucracy built around the Office of the President” and the growing number of districts are the main threat to Uganda’s governance, efforts to eradicate poverty, and the achievement economic transformation."
"The argument that the creation of new districts is a matter for government policy and decision-makers is not contested. However, when the government comes out to say that the reasons they are creating new districts is because ‘the people’ want it, it becomes another matter. According to the state minister for local government, Ahabwe Pereza, it is government policy that every district should have a hospital. He also points out that the President, in his state of the nation address, said every district should have a road unit. Pereza also says Makerere University entry district slots are one of the factors that are fuelling the urge for districts. “When you are in Kabale, a district hospital is in Kabale, a person in Kanungu will therefore look at the policy and say but if we had our own district, it would be mandatory that we would have our own hospital,” he told The Independent. “You get the arguments,” he continued, “they are real because these have to do with access to national resources in terms of facilitations.”
30) President Museveni’s Government is witnessing a terrible scandal as cheating in national examinations is real. The private sector competition has led to the growth of cheating to see the schools that have bigger and better passes retain and or get big numbers, hence generate good income and profits.
Refer to The New Vision, Wednesday, January 20, 2010: Over 1,400 results cancelled, "A total of 1,449 pupils will not receive their PLE results following their cancellation by Uganda National Examinations Board (UNEB). Seventy three schools had their results cancelled due to malpractices such as impersonation, external assistance, substitution, collusion and smuggling unauthorised material into the examination room. Commenting on the issue, Education Minister Geraldine Namirembe Bitamazire said: "Examination malpractice must be eliminated at whatever cost. We cannot let it continue. In 2001; 12,000 pupils had their results cancelled. The vice is coming back."
31) The health sub – sector is simply pathetic, hence the boom of private practitioners. While the population has continued to grow, Government is ill prepared to help the poor get appropriate medical services. The poor incentives to the medical staff don’t make the situation better;
32) While free primary and secondary education would have been a welcome innovation, the intervention by the President to see that parents don’t pay may be conceived to mean that he actually wants the children of the poor to go no where. It is true that in some instances even the about 1,200/- each primary child is expected to get a term is in some cases not delivered, yet the schools have to go on. It is true that a number of well placed people today went through Government schools and the instruction was good;

33) There is no executive who is not caught up by diminishing returns, whatever President Museveni may wish to do for country, the truth is that diminishing returns caught up with him long ago, the best is to retire;
34) The way President Museveni’s Government unfairly treats some of the Presidential opponents is not a vote winner for the President; for him, it is a right to contest!
35) The way the gap between the rich and the poor has widened where many of the beneficiaries of the status quo are well connected to the NRM is bad for the President;
36) The way donor funds are handled according to reports show corruption at play which leads to poor workmanship and less benefit to the Uganda population;
37) The Presidents’ pledges are a big burden to the tax payer;
38) Tax rates lack a human face; among these Vat at 17% is very high; the tax on fuel makes all transactions with fuel consumption abnormally expensive to the final consumer and this leads to local industries being uncompetitive;
39) During President Museveni’s time, the burning of schools has almost become a design more so with focus on dormitories; and in most instances when the children/students are out. Government has not come out clearly over these criminals who seem to be good schemers, yet the loss by the parents, students/children and affected schools is great;
40) The burning of markets is equally affecting or has affected traders of different capacities including the market vendors, the dealers in timber products to mention a few. It is not clear whether the criminals are after impoverishing the business persons more so when majority of them have bank loans. In this case, Government has not come out clearly to see a stop to this madness and prosecution of culprits;
41) It is common experience that poisoned alcoholic drinks are the order of the day. Government seem to take this lightly and putting measures on some of the drinks when it is clear that this is a direct result of competition in the industry where some players are after getting their competitors out of business. We risk to see a situation where this may go to any other consumer goods;
42) Government promised Export Promotion Zones (EPZ), but these are yet to be seen more so the one at Entebbe Airport or there about;
43) Government growth figures are in dispute. Those given to the donors seem focused on painting a good picture that things are fine;
44) The pensioners are a yawning lot. People age on but pension still remains a problem. You only need to meet a disgusted pensioner to appreciate the situation;
45) The revenue collections are reported to be increasing. The problem is that the money is mostly put to consumption. Praises should be made when this money is made to generate more wealth hence help the high unemployment as well as the poverty countrywide;
46) Electric power remains erratic in a number of places. If you are relying on power by Umeme, it no news to see power on and off and at times a number of times a day; yet it is not unusual to have it off without notice;
47) The promoting of SACCOs that are politically motivated cannot be compared to the cooperatives that were designed against specific production potential/service delivery where they were established;
48) While agriculture remains the mainstay of the Uganda economy, government has failed to see the sector attract agricultural producers to harness it. Many are instead living land and looking for opportunities elsewhere which are paying;
49) Government in most instances has not followed the budgets as planned and read, hence making budgets is like a routine while following them to implementation within their timeframe is not that emphasized;
50) As President Museveni remains in power, it is clear that many in the population are having near to one meal a day or just one meal. This is because of hardships that policy has created during his tenure; and for balanced diet, it is a luxury as many cannot afford it;
51) It surprises how the matters that would be solved by established institutions are referred to the President for solution;
52) President Museveni has presided over the collapse of Uganda Railways which used to help in cheap transportation of goods from various regions of the country;
53) Government has shown much concern about the bus transportation. The problem partly is due to a relation believed to be enjoyed between Government and UTODA;
54) A number of people have lost value and lives where Government would have done appropriate compensation; in a number of developments this has not been the case;
55) It is unfortunate that after suspending the Graduated tax in 2005/06 Financial year and compensating it with increased tax on consumer goods including sugar; Government went institute Local Service Tax as a substitute yet when it had already levied a tax on consumer goods to bridge the gap;
56) Before NRM Government got to office, there was no tax on Government (Government paying tax), it is not clear why this tax is in place as it is increased burden to Government;
57) Government has not been concerned about the shs 2,000 charged by Commercial banks on school fees deposits. It looks like it is a tax of sorts. It is abnormal for the one depositing to be charged what is supposed to be met by the account holder;
58) Government policies are responsible for the continued boom of used clothes in a country that can grow enough cotton for own clothes and export;
59) The AGOA initiative has simply been a lost opportunity for no good reason not forgetting the input into the Bugolobi plant and its management;
60) Yes, President Museveni, like anybody who stays long in a place, many people long to see a replacement that may do things differently, this category of voters wants to see change and are hopeful that change will a reality this time.
61) Government is very disaster unprepared. This starts with the budget which is small given the expected disasters. Government has not done enough to enforce building standards and hence a number of buildings can be a disaster anytime. Fire fighting equipment are just expected and hopefully they will be functional; but again in a number of places due to no planning, if fire breaks out it may be impossible to extinguish it.
Kampala (Uganda) — The death toll from the landslides that struck Bududa district on Tuesday leaving hundreds of people dead or missing brings to question the effectiveness of country's early warning and response systems. As the country mourns, this tragedy should be a lesson especially to the political leadership. They must re-evaluate the country's capacity to respond to disasters such as landslides and floods that are likely to be part of us for a foreseeable period as the effects of climate change take their toll.
The death toll from the Bududa disaster would have been avoided if the Government and district officials had implemented 1997 plan to resettle the Mt. Elgon forest reserve encroachers.
William Kituuka

Government to pay LC1 salaries - Source:
By Benon Herbert Oluka
Posted Thursday, June 3 2010
The government will start paying salaries and allowances to local councillor leaders, including those at village and parish level, this July. The decision was communicated to local government officials by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Local Government, Mr John Kashaka Muhanguzi, in a letter dated May 13.
Source of money
“In appreciation of the contribution of the local government leadership to the country’s service delivery and governance, government has decided and approved that salaries and gratuity for local government political leaders be paid from the Consolidated Fund,” wrote Mr Muhanguzi. He wrote that the gratuity payable to eligible local government leaders shall be 30 per cent of their salaries with effect from July 2010.
Officials to receive gratuity payments are district chairpersons and their deputies, Speakers, members of a District Executive Committee, chairperson of a District Service Commission, Mayors of Municipal Councils and their deputies, Chairpersons of Divisions and LC III Chairpersons. The government started paying these officials salaries three years ago.
According to a Local Government Ministry circular dated May 27, the government will spend Shs4.03 billion on gratuity in the 2010/11 financial year.
Mr Muhanguzi added that effective from July 2010, a district deputy speaker will be paid a monthly allowance of Shs200,000 and district councillors will be paid a monthly allowance of Shs100,000. These allowances will cost the government a total of Shs2.8 billion.
The government will also start giving an annual ex-gratia payment of Shs120,000 to chairpersons of each village, parish/ward. Ex-gratia payments, which refer to compensation voluntarily made by the government, will be paid at the end of a financial year, according to Mr Muhanguzi.
The head of Human Resource Management in the ministry, Mr Mr Jolly Joe Ssonko, told Daily Monitor that the payments will be made in accordance with the Local Government Act. “One of the reasons which made us reach that decision is that they are doing a lot of work for government. But that money is not even equivalent to what they do. It is just a token of appreciation,” argued Mr Ssonko.
He said while the decision to pay the salaries and allowances is being implemented ahead of the 2011 presidential election, “One cannot say it is politically motivated because it is provided for under an Act of Parliament and the structure under which they serve is enshrined in the Constitution.”

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