I gree to what Kofi Annan former Secretary General - United Nations said, "Corruption is an insidious plague that has a wide range of corrosive effects on societies. It undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life, and allows organized crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish... Corruption hurts the poor disproportionately... by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government's ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice, and discouraging foreign investment and aid. Corruption is a key element in economic under-performance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development."
As we prepare to vote on Friday 18, February 2011, what clearly comes out is that many of the voters who are likely to vote for Museveni have been corrupted in their minds. Many are the beneficiaries of the corruption by the Government of the day, some are those who have benefitted from the hand outs by the NRM in its strategies to induce the poverty striken people who see the regime as their salvation. To those who have all along been NRM, it is no excuse to vote Museveni because the principles of Good Governance are clear. A man who can use Parliament to turn a Constitution to see himself remain in power is bad enough and people who are enlightened would see him wrong and they would look for a substitute. Ugandans need to pray a lot because many have been corrupted by NRM, it surprises that even those who confess to be good Christians can promise to give Museveni a vote. It is those who are corrupt or the corrupted that can now give Museveni a vote. Otherwise, Museveni under normal circumstances would not even hope to win an elections, but may be God is punishing Ugandans for believing in Museveni as their savior given his background.
We have seen it all in Uganda. We have endeavoured to tell Ugandans the truth on ground to do with President Museveni’s continued leadership of the country. The future is not good for the country given the current developments; evidence among others is the Bill Parliament has passed hurriedly after the shs 20 million bribe to Members of Parliament simply to see among others the King of Buganda reduced and his authority undermined. This is at a time when the Central Government has sat on rent dues to Buganda Government which amount is more than shs 9 billion; and properties that should have long been returned to Buganda Kingdom for 25 years now are still under the Central Government. These among others are signs of hatred that would normally not exist in a situation where the two institutions have to co-exist peacefully, but not one to kill the other.
President Museveni has so far had 5 terms in office (of 5 years each), and it is not surprising the trend of events given that a human being gets tired with leading society for so long, and gets compromised and at times making irrational decisions is expected, as is the trend now in Uganda. It is wrong for us to sit back as a few people exploit the country’s resources and are at liberty to abuse our rights. We need to safe guard a future for our children, from those who practice primitive accumulation of wealth among other abuses which are rampant.
WHY DOESN'T PRESIDENT MUSEVENI KEEP KEEP HIS WORD HENCE CHANGE POSITIONS?
WHEN A LEADER KEEPS SHIFTING POSITIONS, IT BECOMES A MORAL QUESTION.
1) Why Museveni could not quit at 55 years
The Monitor Saturday, December 23, 2000 reported Ofwono – Opondo’s article in response to the Monitor, July 21, 1995 in which an article: “Museveni to Quit at 55 years,” was carried.
Opondo said, “It is important to note that President Museveni has repeatedly expressed his wish to retire from National Leadership once there is political stability in the country. Secondly, Museveni could have made the remarks in light of the then prevailing 1967 Constitution and the debates in the Constituent Assembly at that time. At the time of Museveni’s alleged promise to quit, the new Constitution was not yet in place. Today (December 2000) Museveni is seeking re – election for his last term under a known and clear Constitutional framework. Opondo further said, “Political leadership especially at the Presidency was not a fashion show that is changed merely because it has stayed on stage for sometime. Serious and committed leaders acquire and retain power for specific national objectives which they are duty bound to accomplish or at least consolidate in their life time.”
2) President and tenure in office: Museveni – When I step down from Presidency
The East African of March 22 – 28, 1999 reported in an interview that President Museveni had for the 1st time put a timeframe to his departure from the leadership of Uganda – he hoped to retire at 61, which by then was 7 years ahead. The President said he planned to retire when he was still “young and reasonable.” “I ‘m now 54, with two years to finish this term. If I get another term of 5 years, I’ll be 61 at the end of it. That would be good time to go and look after my cow.”
The President was asked whether Uganda can sustain the costs of the conflicts it was involved in – the President said, “We operate cheaply. We are not Europeans and we don’t eat chocolates. Arms are not all that costly. What is expensive is transport, fuel. You can support a soldier on $150 a month. Salary and food for say 20,000 soldiers comes to about $3million. Given what is at stake, that is not such a large amount of money.
Asked about whether he would seek re – election – President Museveni answered, “Uganda’s Constitution says that a President can only have two consecutive terms. If I were to seek re – election it would only be for one more term.”
3) Yoweri Kaguta Museveni: 2001 Election Manifesto – Consolidating the Achievements of the Movement
Under President Museveni’s leadership, the Movement system of Governance has helped Uganda reverse the effects of more that two decades of Political turmoil. The country has achieved unity, peace, stability and economic growth. The Movement system means pluralism - in – unity, in other words, pluralism without factionalism. If there is political harmony for long enough, based on all – inclusive national organizational structures, democracy will be achieved without the risk of unhealthy polarizations. This will give the country time to develop a healthy foundation for multi – partyism in the future. When President Museveni completes his second and final term as directly elected President, the Movement, under his leadership, will, for the 1st time in history of our country, have created a legacy of an orderly leadership succession.
Page 11 of the 2001 Election Manifesto:
I am once again offering myself to serve the people of Uganda because of my conviction that, together with you, we still have a mission to accomplish. I am taking on the challenge of contesting for a last Presidential term for the following reasons:
a. Consolidating the work of building a professional army;
b. Consolidating our gains in the economy, in infrastructure reconstruction and development;
c. Consolidating our gains in democratization and putting in place mechanisms for an orderly leadership succession; and
d. Making a contribution to the process of creating a vibrant regional market and penetrating the global market under the World Trade Organisation.
It is so sad, having been party to a process which led to the 1995 Uganda Constitution, to find that the same person who takes himself to be a liberator of the people, spearheading the removal of term limits to see himself in power possibly for life! This is a great dis-service Museveni has done to the people of Uganda as peaceful change of leaders is not likely.
The Country has been subdivided into uneconomic districts because President Museveni sees that as a way for the people to give him votes though it impoverishes them the more! The Uganda Local Governments' Association has testimony to this sub-dividing of the country given the already impoverished existing districts.
It is unfortunate that Museveni's continued stay in office is at a time when the country's currency is depreciating every other day. There is concern about the source of money which his NRM party uses to induce voters (giving presents, T-shirt donations to many who cannot afford new clothes given his Government priority with policy simply impoverishing the people! What serious investor is expected in such a situation?
The Government policy which saw it easier to get budget finance from fuel led to the evolution of motor cycles as an accepted means of transport (taxi), however, the number of people who have died due to these cycles, those disabled are so many such that if Doctors in Mulago had the authority, they would ban these cycles from transporting people mostly in busy urban centres. The Uganda economy is better termed a boda boda donor dependent economy ,whereby if donors were not doing their level best, the people would be worse off as much of the locally denerated revenue goes to finance administration which is better termed consumption more so to see NRM stay in power!
It was a dream in the bush!
The dream has come true and Museveni cannot imagine leaving state power and instead he is becoming a liability to the country as people may have no option but to look to alternative ways of seeing him out as the economy limps on and corruption becomes the order of the day ,a as he resorts to using legislation to fight his opponents.
As for Museveni, things are fine, but unfortunately, majority of Ugandans deserve better.
Millions of Ugandans would be happy if only he could pack his luggage and leave in peace.
NO BODY IS SURE OF DOING AWAY WITH A BODA BODA DEPENDENT GOVERNMENT LED BY YOWERI MUSEVENI
Twenty five years ago at the steps of Parliament House in Kampala, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni held the Holy Scriptures in his right hand and swore to bring fundamental changes' to the way Uganda was governed. He promised to be in power for 4 years! Today, 25 years in power, he is still clinging to power and not ready to give way. It is so sad to see the country; the would be pearl of Africa gone to ruins into a boda boda and donor dependent economy. The boda boda evolved from the use of bicycles that was used as a means to travel crossing from Uganda to Kenya, hence the border – border transport which has come to characterize Museveni’s administration. When Museveni’s Government realized that fuel was the sure way to squeeze money from the people of Uganda to meet, the strategy became to add good money as tax to fuel and this meant that vehicles taking 4 passengers found it not paying to stay in public transport, as it is then that smart Ugandans realized that motor cycle transport was the way to go. The damage that this means of transport has done to the country is not small. The casualties in hospitals are so big due to the insecure motor cycle transport and the reckless riders. Though Museveni talks about the big harvest by his Government in form of tax revenue, much of the money does to un productive areas (consumption) and hence it is the donors who have come in to save the country given their generous donations.
When the National Resistance Movement (NRM) fought its way to state power in January 1986, many Ugandans greeted this milestone with cheers and a genuine belief that the country was about to embark on a new destiny. Today, there is mixed feelings across much of the country. Even among those still loyal and optimistic about the NRM, there is a feeling that while much might have changed for the better, certain developments like rampant corruption that seemed like the least of the NRM’s challenges in 1986 have stubbornly refused to go away. The debate in many circles is over what changed the NRM’s leader Yoweri Museveni so that from being a resolute young man determined to change Uganda’s politics he has settled over the years into just another African political leader, trapped by the precious state power. In some other circles, the argument is that this is who Museveni always was, just that most Ugandans and international watchers of Uganda were too caught up in the euphoria of his victory to see all the signs that were there right from the beginning.
Good governance has 8 major characteristics. It is participatory, consensus oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law. It assures that corruption is minimized, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. Unfortunately, Museveni has failed to live within the confines of good leadership. His having no competitors for the top position from his NRM tells it all. In a country where people kill for politics as it is the only sure way to earn without much effort, given that many business undertakings don’t make much sense given the irrational costing (taxes, utility costs, transport charges to mention a few), it surprises that NRM cadres cannot dare contest for the top job. This unfortunately is one problem the country is likely to get if a member from another party ever made it in an election to take the office of president. Museveni has sat on his friends in the party and in case he loses, these friends of his may want to capture power from whoever gets it through the ballot. Infact, Museveni is no longer doing the country any service, but he is a real liability for the country and its future.
As people prepare for the general Elections the atmosphere is already dotted with insecurity. Warnings from various commanders, the military here and there, and the people are not at ease! “The Chief of Defence forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima and the Inspector General of Police, Maj. Gen. Kale Kayihura have warned they will deal with any militia that may be deployed by political pressure groups to cause violence during or after the elections. In different interviews with Saturday Monitor, the commanders of armed forces say both police and UPDF are on high alert at the borders and internally to avert any security threat. Gen. Aronda, however, said the army will not intervene in the electoral process if police does not seek their support. “We will go vote, and return home and continue with our daily routine work if there is no violence,” he said.”
“The Baganda should support the kingdom and not yield to diversionary threats, the Kabaka has said. Addressing county chiefs at Banda palace on Thursday, the Kabaka appealed to his subjects to serve the kingdom. “I implore you to remain firm in defending the throne especially now when Buganda is in a crisis,” Kabaka said. His remarks come after Parliament last week enacted the controversial Cultural Leaders Bill, 2010, despite sharp criticism from traditional institutions and opinion leaders. The new law operationalises Article 246 of the Constitution that bans traditional leaders from engaging in partisan politics, prescribes benefits and penalties in case of the violation of the law. The legislation has drawn criticism from some traditional leaders, especially Buganda kingdom and the opposition, all of whom have called for the law’s withdrawal saying it is provocative and demeaning to traditional institutions. County chiefs led by Busiro county chief P.K. Ssengendo described the law as a deliberate government effort to do away with the kingdom. “We strongly condemn the new traditional leaders’ law because it was brought in bad faith to overturn the throne and wipe out the kingdom,” he said. Buganda Lukiiko (parliament) has promised to challenge the law in court, saying the legislation is unconstitutional and contravenes the kingdom’s culture, customs and personal rights of the Kabaka.”
CONSTRAINTS THAT NEED TO BE ADDRESSED TO BOOST AGRICULTURAL MARKET TRADE BETWEEN UGANDA AND THE EUROPEAN UNION
Major constraints to trade between Uganda and the European Union are internal, external and structural. Internal factors range from poor trade policies, inadequate support to the private sector, narrow export base, reliance on export of raw materials and high corruption. External factors include non – tariff barriers, protectionist policies, subsidies, tariff peaks and escalation. The structural challenges mainly relate to poor infrastructure, poor product quality, poor and obsolete technology, poor marketing techniques and insufficient market knowledge, in other words, supply side constraints.
Given the above, instead of the NRM Government endeavouring to find viable solutions, it is busy instead increasing administrative expenses, and because we are doomed to be a poor country, even if a leader like President Museveni clearly demonstrates his inability to carry the country forward, the curse is such that the powerful people in the party keep fronting him unopposed! It is sad for a country abundantly enriched with natural resources.
As Uganda celebrates this Independence which does no longer appeal to the people of Uganda, there is need tore – discover our destiny as a country, we sincerely have no future with people whose economic policies are simply a blunder. Our country deserves better. It is unfortunate that NRM still see President Museveni as the only capable person to lead the party hence the country!
WHY HAS UGANDA NOT BENEFITTED FROM LOME TRADING ARRANGEMENTS?
For more than a decade, Uganda has persistently suffered trade deficits. This is partly due to narrow export product base, low productivity, poor infrastructure and limited access to markets. Besides, the exported products are mainly unprocessed agricultural in nature hence subject to vagaries of weather and fetch little on the market.
It is unfortunate that a Government can have been in office for more that two decades and it still gives lousy excuses for not penetrating international markets and yet the party leadership still has courage to move to the people asking for votes!
NRM Government can neither achieve the Mission nor Vision as set for Uganda by themselves.
The Vision of NRM is a peaceful, united, democratic, harmonious, industrialized, transformed and prosperous Uganda, within a strong, federated East Africa, the African Common Market and with an African Defense Pact.
1) How do you talk of a peaceful Uganda when the ideas of the people are just shunned? Government is forcing people to foot its selfish line, ignoring the people as the pillar on which government is based. Given this position, peace is simply fragile.
2) United – Government is practicing divide and rule, then how do you talk of united when they are interested in sub – dividing the country as much as possible?
3) Democratic – NRM is not democratic, if it were the position of the Chairman would be contested, but as we hear some one has gone to court because he was unjustly eliminated from contesting for the position. The President would have long left office, but he is using tricks to keep there. There is no democracy worth talking about when donors time and again just threaten to reduce aid for Government to try to foot a democratic path!
4) Harmonious – Government itself is behind the various movements by some people against others. Heard of the Banyala and Baganda, Government is interested in promoting bad co - existence between the two! This is the reason behind the 11th November 2009 riots in Buganda.
5) Industrialized – Uganda can industrialize basing on agriculture, yet government is just waiting for foreign investors to put money where they are interested. The factors that are responsible for industrial growth are mishandled, taxes are wrong, utility costs, name them.
6) The Government wants us in a strong federated east Africa, yet it is against the federal arrangement which people cherish locally!
The Mission of NRM is to transform Uganda from a poor peasant society into a modern, industrial, united and prosperous skilled working and middle class society.
However, given things on ground; that is wrong priorities, out right theft of funds including donors’, the NRM Government is simply day dreaming to get the mission achieved. The best they can do is give way for others who have the will to correct the situation.
I am now convinced that President Museveni was actually an accident. he waged the 5 year Bush war, and those who did not know him are waking up so late. Among these is Col (Rtd) Dr Kizza Besigye who not only treated him in the bush but served the NRm Government at various senior levels before he realized that they had been taken for a ride. The difference with some of us is that we knew Museveni's true colours as early as 1979 when the Late Lule was removed from President.
State House Debts Rise to Sh99 Billion
State House must be disciplined financially. It is unfortunate how every year there are arrears which have been met in the budget of the following year. Imagine a new Government struggling with the monetary indiscipline of the previous one. It is unfortunate that Government has rent arrears not paid to Buganda Government yet when they continue using Buganda Government premises. It may be necessary to remove the facility out of which the President makes donations, it looks misused and or abused and leads to uncalled for liabilities and political favours.
State House debts had risen to over sh100b by June 2009. The Ministry of Justice spent sh110b in compensation, court awards and settlements last financial year. The Police do not know the actual staff strength of its force. And sh371b loaned to state and private companies may never be recovered.
These are some of the findings in the new Auditor General's report on Government expenses in the financial year 2008/2009.
The Auditor General, John Muwanga, in his report noted that although the Government has instituted strict systems to control expenditure, State House has incurred huge debts as a result of the purchase of the new presidential jet.
The Bank of Uganda advanced a loan of sh96b to finance the acquisition of the aircraft. According to the agreement, the amount is payable in installments of about sh10b per year with interest.
How on earth does anybody leave Sebaggala to buy the mayor's House. How? It simply cannot work. Sebaggala is a disgrace to Uganda who should be shown where he belongs.
With the ever increasing prices of paraffin, children would find it easy doing homework with solar power. Unfortunately, the NRM Government led by Museveni given the 25 years would have done much to see the solar projects country wide and also see the environment protection a reality.
AGOA dollars elude Uganda
A worker stitching fabrics at the LAP Textiles factory in Bugolobi, near Kampala
By Stephen Ilungole
WHEN Kumar Dewapura, a renowned textile guru and the chairman of the Sri Lanka-based Tri-Star Group, landed in Uganda in 2002, two years after the US government unveiled the AGOA initiative, he was given the nation’s dream of exporting its first textile products to the mighty US market but most importantly, he was expected to help the country benefit from a fully-integrated textile industrial model. Dewapura traversed the country with the hope of buying into the existing textile factories of Lira Spinning Mill or the Mbale-based African Textile Mill, but no deal materialised. The Government then identified the giant hitherto idle former premises of the Coffee Marketing Board in Bugolobi, near Kampala. Dewapura was tasked to start off with the project. He and his local partner, Veluppilai Kananathan, registered TriStar Apparels as the company that would showcase Uganda’s existence on the international market. With the use of a few expatriates and the 2,000 “AGOA Girls” recruited across the country, the duo started off with the importation of raw materials from Sri Lanka, cutting and stitching them into garments for export to the US market with the “Made in Uganda” labels. In January 2003, President Yoweri Museveni flagged off the first ever garment exports from Uganda to the world’s most powerful market. Dewapura promised similar projects across the country using his largely successful model in Sri Lanka to eradicate poverty. That was the last the country heard of Dewapura, catapulting Kananathan into the main stage. The dream of “Made in Uganda” in the American market was remarkably achieved, but the biggest dream of a back-and-forth linkage integrated textile industry eluded the country. “Our biggest challenges were limited capital and logistical problems. But we tried our best under the circumstances,” Kananathan explained. Experts argue that part of the problem is that the publicity surrounding AGOA “created an unjustifiable expectation, given that we did not have the capacity to benefit from it.”
Uganda's Competitiveness and Comparative Advantage
Competitiveness has emerged as a critical element of development in every nation. A four year study of ten important trading nations by Michael Porter4 reveals that a nation’s competitiveness depends on the capacity of its industry to innovate and upgrade. The ability to produce a high and rising standard of living for its citizens depends on the productivity with which a nation’s human resources, capital and physical assets are deployed.
Uganda has been shown to have a favourable policy environment but a low overall
competitiveness ranking. The Africa Competitiveness Report (1998) ranked Uganda below
the average at 14th out of 23 countries surveyed in terms of its overall environment for competitiveness. Countries with a higher competiveness than Uganda included Mauritius,Tunisia, Botswana, Namibia, Morocco, Egypt, South Africa, Swaziland, Ghana, Lesotho,Cote d’Ivore, Zambia and Kenya in that order while those performing much worse off included Burkina Faso, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Malawi,Nigeria and Angola.
Several factors can explain the observed state of affairs in the country in terms of
competititveness. Apart from the prevailing conducive macroeconomic policy environment,political stability for over ten years has minimized the investment risks and built the confidence of both indigenous and foreign investors. Uganda has also made progress in reforming its overall trade policy environment. The numerous reforms implemented over the years,including the reduction of certain bans on imports and import tariffs and elimination of licensing requirements, have all contributed positively to the country’s competitiveness.
On the downward side, while reform of the trade policy environment has been significant in recent years, the practical implementation of reform has been slow and local businesses perceive continued obstacles. The limited availability of reasonably priced export credits and export insurance in the country is a major hindrance to export competitiveness. Lack of uniform standards and weak quality control supervision do affect Ugandan exports. And although the Ugandan financial sector has undergone considerable derugulation since 1993,structural problems remain and continue to affect business growth. These include the high cost of non-performing loans, high administrative costs, poor risk management and limited local investment opportunities. The increased private sector investment necessary to sustain the country’s growth will depend heavily on the ability of government to strengthen financial sector reforms and develop a broader-based capital market in which the public has confidence. Infrastructure, particularly electricity, roads, transport and industrial space is a key area that needs strengthening to increase the country’s competitiveness.
ON REFERENCE TO THE GREED SHOWN BY SOME PEOPLE IN NRM GOVERNMENT AND THOSE ASSOCIATED TO THEM: A Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21)
 Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me."  Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?"  Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions."  And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop.  He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.'  "Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods.  And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ‘ "But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?'  "This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
THE RELATION OF THE NRM GOVERNMENT AND THE PEOPLE AT GRASSROOTS IS COMPARABLE TO THE SCRIPTURE: Luke 16:19-31 (New International Version): The Rich Man and Lazarus
19"There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. 22"The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23In hell,[a] where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' 25"But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' 27"He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, 28for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' 29"Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' 30" 'No, father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' 31"He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.' "
QUESTIONS TO THE EXECUTIVE OF THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA
1) What is the position of the Non – Performing Assets Recovery Trust (NPART) given the amount sank into the capitalization of Uganda Commercial Bank? Quoting from the Budget Speech delivered on June 15, 1996, “Significant progress was made in the area of financial sector reforms in 1995/6. The Non – Performing Assets Recovery Trust (NPART) for Uganda Commercial Bank commenced operations during the financial year. A total of 1885 non – performing loans amounting to Ushs 66.9bn were transferred to NPART by end of April 1996. This includes the 100 largest loans amounting to Ushs 32bn. As of May 15. 1996, NPART had made collections amounting to Ushs 2.3bn and hence advertised several properties for sale.
2) The Budget Speech read on June 12, 1997 by the then Minister of Finance Hon. Mayanja Nkangi disclosed the position of Uganda Commercial Bank. However, it is clear that the people of Uganda need a proper balance sheet of this bank. The Minister said, “The major outstanding privatization is that of the Uganda Commercial Bank (UCB). At the beginning of this fiscal year UCB had a negative network of over shs 100bn. In order to bring UCB back into solvency the Government this year has injected capital of shs 72bn and waived repayment of shs 26bn of Government lending to UCB.
3) What is the picture regarding the Parastatals which were privatized? “The budget read on June 15, 1996 I quote: “The privatization process has proceeded as scheduled and in many cases exceed targets. Key industries such as Hima, Tororo cement and, very shortly, NYTIL – Jinja are in production under new ownership and management. During FY 1995/96, 17 public enterprises and subsidiary units were divested giving total gross proceeds of Ushs 39.43bn, culminating to 42 public enterprises and subsidiary units with total gross proceeds of Ushs 131bn to-date.”
4) The Budget Speech, 15 June 1995, under Road Toll: “With effect from midnight tonight, the road tolls on Masaka and Jinja roads are being abolished. I would therefore like to take this opportunity to stress that all road tolls are now illegal.” Why is it that road tolls managed by Local Government still exist?
5) The Budget Speech for Financial Year 2006/07, I quote, “Mr. Speaker Sir, Government will complete and begin implementation of the National Industrialization Policy. The Namanve Industrial Park and other spatial schemes have been prioritized for completion. Government has allocated shs 5bn for the development of the pack and a credit of US$30m has been obtained from the World Bank for its completion. The amount involved is substantial; it is not clear whether this value is reflected on what is on ground now.
6) The Government is believed to have put not less than shs 12bn into the Entandikwa credit scheme. How could this scheme whose interest rate was 12% have died a natural death?
8. THE FUEL PROBLEM IS SIMPLY A PLANING ISSUE (As narrated below):
THE Government gave the Jinja national oil reserve to TAMOIL, a Libyan oil company. The Cabinet directed the energy ministry to hand over the country’s only reserves in a letter of January 7, 2009. The decision comes at a time when the Government has unveiled plans to construct a 150 million-litre capacity fuel depot in Kampala to deal with emergencies. TAMOIL is constructing the Kampala Oil Products Terminal as well as the $250m (sh425b) Eldoret-Kampala oil pipeline extension project. According to documents, the 30 million-litre oil facility will be integrated into the pipeline project.
Energy state minister Simon D’Ujanga said the tanks would be part of the pipeline and as such, would automatically be managed by TAMOIL. “In the past it was a strategic fuel reserve, but we are now turning it into an operational fuel reserve,” D’Ujanga said. “Initially we wanted a pipeline, but later we said it will be better if it has an operational capacity along the way.”
However, the contract was not advertised as required by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA) Act and as such it can be challenged. The Act prohibits sole sourcing of a public asset, service or goods except in an emergency where the waiver is granted by the procurement authority. Consequently, the energy ministry wrote to the PPDA on January 30, 2009, seeking permission to go ahead with the deal. Acting permanent secretary Eng. Paul Mubiru said in a letter since the Cabinet had already decided to hand over the tanks to TAMOIL, it had to implement the directive. He said TAMOIL had the skills and experience in fuel supply and depot operation and had already produced the design for up-grading the facility. “The cost of repair and restocking will be met by TAMOIL,” he said.
However, documents show that PPDA wrote back to the ministry last month, saying the issue was outside its mandate. The PPDA said the matter was being handled by a Joint Coordinating Commission (JCC) formed by Kenya and Uganda to manage the pipeline project. “Any contracting arrangements in respect of the Jinja Storage Tanks and Tamoil are the responsibility of the JCC,” acting PPDA boss Cornelia Sabiiti said in the letter. He instead referred the ministry to the Solicitor General for legal advice. Earlier, the Solicitor General had said that the JCC was acting on behalf of Kenya and Uganda and so its decisions overrode the PPDA Act. Under the current arrangement, TAMOIL will build the pipeline, own 51% of it, form a joint venture company with the Ugandan and Kenyan governments to operate it for 20 years before surrendering ownership to them. Uganda started building the oil reserves in Jinja, Nakasongola, Gulu and Kasese in the 1970s. However, only the Jinja one was built with a capacity of 30 million litres. The facility needed sh31.23b to refurbish and restock. The Government said it did not have the money and so gave the deal to TAMOIL. The energy ministry has been struggling to raise the sh50b needed to restock the reserves with at least 20 million litres of diesel and 10 million litres of petrol. At least sh79m was needed to repair the hose pipes, sh74.7m for the depot repair and sh82m to transport three million litres of kerosene from Jinja depot to Kampala. The Government sold 11.5 million litres in 2002 and realised over $37m (sh64.7b) which it used to buy fire fighting equipment for the reserves. The first attempt to restock the oil reserves was cancelled by the PPDA because the energy ministry contravened procurement rules in awarding the contract to Kenlyod Logistics. The project was re-tendered and awarded to GAPCO and MOGAS oil companies. The companies, however, did not sign contracts because the ministry lacked money. Shortly afterwards, the ministry closed down the empty depot, exposing the country to greater risk of fuel shortage. The Mombasa oil refinery is due to close for renovation in June. Uganda suffers acute oil shortages whenever there is a disruption in the supply line from Kenya. Over the last five years, the country has suffered shortages in December, January, March, April and in June. Uganda relies on oil companies whose limited facilities can hardly store fuel to last the country 10 days. Uganda consumes 2.2 million litres daily and demand grows by 7% annually. The new management is expected to renovate and increase the capacity of the existing oil reserves, buy new equipment, build three new tanks and install a computerised monitoring system. Tamoil won the right to build a $60m liquid petroleum gas storage facility in Mombasa in 2007 under a deal which caused a public outcry as the Kenya government carried out sole sourcing. The Libyan firm is also investing $300m in upgrading the Mombasa refinery, which serves the entire East Africa market with refined products. The relinquishing of the country’s only oil reserves by the Government also follows several failed attempts by energy ministry last year to restock the tanks. Political interference coupled with the refusal of Parliament to approve the sh45b requested by the energy ministry to restock the reserves bogged down the project. The Auditor General too declined to issue an Audit Warrant for the sh45b, arguing that the expenditure would have risen beyond the 3% government’s supplementary ceiling.
Fuel crisis reveals planning failure in Ugandan Energy Ministry
Below is a report in the government controlled New Vision newspaper that relies on information from Uganda’s Auditor General to reveal serious irregularities in the management of Uganda’s strategic fuel reserves. Following a crisis in Kenya, fuel run out surprisingly quickly in Uganda. Surprising that is to some. As noted on this blog- this was an accident waiting to happen and has to do with the manner in which the Ministry of Energy is run as well as the overall deemphasis on the delivery of public goods in Uganda which affects other services like roads and health care. More analysis is forthcoming here but suffice it to say that the mismanagement of public resources itself is not accidental but part of the functional turn of the wheel of the political patronage system- which emphasises private goods. The Ministry of Energy is a disaster having failed to respond to Uganda’s electricity needs, botched a dam extension project along the Nile in one of the most underreported scandals in the country’s civil service and now engaged in a controversial petroleum exploration program without any real reform in its own structure.
Uganda’s lead technocrat in the Ministry, Kabagambe Kaliisa, is a 15 year veteran of the Ministry who has been named in a corruption scandal by the government Ombudsman. Today when the Ministry is not publishing fake figures of Uganda’s electricity demand( figures privately questioned by the World Bank but never acted on) , the Ugandan Energy Minister Daudi Migereko is fighting public relations wars. Like the “vanishing” of Uganda’s strategic fuel reserves, the truth is that the Ministry is not in a condition that can serve Ugandans best and requires a complete overhaul. But first public information about its incapacity should educate that change, something we will try to do here in the coming days. One fact, special interests have overwhelmed the Ministry are glaring example being its outright failure to prevent the faulty construction of the Owen Falls Extension project, a project which has proved according to one notable hydrologist, the greatest threat to Lake Victoria, the world’s second largest fresh water body. That failure is accompanied by allegations of corruption including one by a senior Minister that Migereko’s successor took a bribe of US$ 6 million. Also unresolved is whether the damn extension project has benefited largely downstream country, Egypt, which despite having a permanent presence in Uganda dedicated to the Nile remained silent. This reporter was told that Egypt’s water projects have significantly been boosted by the draining of the lake courtesy of the dam project. Uganda has never conducted an investigation into the matter to determine who was complicit in the project failure. In light of the current crisis- it is worth revisiting what happened.
IT took only a couple of days to paralyse Uganda. Within 48 hours, the violence in Kenya had led to severe fuel shortages all over the country, pushing up oil prices, doubling bus fares, raising food prices and seriously affecting business and public life. Dealers were greatly taking advantage of the crisis to hoard and ask exorbitant prices, up to four-fold in the case of petrol. Contrary to other countries, which have oil reserves that can last months or even years, Uganda’s reserves seem to be minimal, if existent at all. The country needs 1.2m litres of diesel per day, almost half of which is used for power generation, and 543,000 litres of petrol. ENERGY minister Daudi Migereko has declined to reveal how much fuel is in the reserves. There is something but we have declined to release the figures. We don’t want them to become a subject of debate, he told Saturday Vision. Earlier, in March 2007, energy state minister Simon D Ujanga had told Parliament the reserves were dry. The reserves have been used up, he said. It will be trickling in. At the moment we cannot talk about reserves because whatever comes in is being consumed. The question is whether anybody knows at any given time how much oil reserves the country has. In the mid 70s the Government started the construction of four fuel depots, in Jinja, Nakasongola, Gulu and Kasese. However, of the four depots that were in plan, only one, in Jinja, with a total capacity of 30 million litres, was actually completed. The Government loans out fuel from these reserves to private oil companies whenever there is a disruption in the supply chain and the oil companies reimburse the same amount in fuel stocks. The depot is also used to assist new oil companies stabilise in the liberalised competitive oil industry. But according to a report by the Auditor General, the oil companies were not reimbursing as much and as fast as they should. By August 31, 2006, the companies owed the Government oil products amounting to sh6.8 billion. It was noted that some loans had taken so long to be settled. The recoverability is increasingly becoming difficult, said the Auditor General’s report. Also, it pointed out that the oil companies had not paid the required penalties of 22% on any outstanding balance after 30 days, which had accumulated to sh5.4 billion by August 31, 2006.
There is another reason why it is difficult to tell the level of Uganda’s reserves. Information collected from employees at Jinja Storage Tanks revealed that the pumps and meters used were installed in 1978 and have not been replaced since then, said the Auditor General’s report.
It was noted from the records that, although the meters should be serviced regularly, the ones in Jinja take years to be serviced. Faulty meters can give misleading readings which can lead to fraud. The receipt meters are also problematic, according to the Auditor General. It has been noted that when products are being returned or delivered, the ministry uses the dip sticks (measuring tools) of the trucks that deliver the products, the report said. It is possible to be given a faulty dip stick which reads more stocks than what has been actually delivered. It recommended that inlet meters be introduced to help check the readings provided by drivers. In addition, the report noted that there was inadequate staffing at the Jinja reserves resulting into late billings, late reconciliations and postings into the ledgers. This is risky, as at any given time, it is impossible to tell actual stocks held. As a result of lack of staff, it added, the flow of information between the Jinja Storage Tanks and the ministry headquarters was very poor. Administration at the ministry is sometimes not up to date with what is going on at the Jinja Storage Tanks. Energy minister Migereko admits that there were problems with oil companies not reimbursing. There was a problem some time back. We have tried to recover that fuel. Only one company has not reimbursed. The matter is in court, he said. He explained that the Jinja storage tanks were built when the demand for fuel was not as high as today, and that the other depots were not completed due to financial constraints. He also pointed out that the breakdown at the refinery in Mombasa and at the oil pipeline had affected Uganda’s capacity to store enough reserves. However, with the Eldoret-Kampala pipeline project starting in May this year, Uganda’s fuel problem should be addressed, Migereko announced. As part of the pipeline project, we are expanding the Jinja reserves, build storage facilities in Kampala, Mbarara and Kasese. By the time we produce our own oil, in 2009, we can take advantage of those facilities to distribute fuel to various parts of the country.” He acknowledged that the Kenya crisis had pre-empted their plans. “The pressure has come up much earlier than our own plans.” As oil trucks are starting to arrive in the country, there might be some temporary relief from the biting fuel prices. But it will take another two years before Uganda can escape its precarious dependence on its neighbour.
Uganda Public Vs Yoweri Museveni
In one of the missives in October 2003, President Museveni said he had never violated the Constitution of Uganda. Renowned Lawyer Erias Lukwago disagreed and took him to the court of public opinion citing 26 points as published in the Sunday Monitor January 4, 2004:
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni S/O Kaguta Amos, you are quoted as having stated in your missive published in The Monitor and new vision News papers of October 31, 2003, that: “Neither the NRM nor myself have ever violated an iota of this Constitution in any way, even where the provisions were inconvenient from the point of view of implementing our vision. It is against that backdrop that I have decided to file this indictment in the Supreme Court of Public Opinion for the determination. The verdict might not come out today or tomorrow but surely it will be given at an appropriate time.
1) Count 1: Establishment of the Post of the Prime Minister contrary to Article 111 of the constitution.
2) Count 2: Transforming the Movement Political System into a Political organization/Party contrary to Article 70 of the Constitution.
3) Count 3: Establishment of a One – Party State contrary to Article 72, 73, 75 and 270 of the constitution.
4) Count 4: Advocating for brief case Political Parties contrary to Article 71 of the Constitution.
5) Count 5: Claim for authority to grant freedoms and liberties contrary to Article 20(1) of the Constitution.
6) Count 6: Purporting to determine who should govern the country contrary to Article 1 (4) of the Constitution.
7) Count 7: Purporting to pronounce himself Life President contrary to Article 1 and 105 of the Constitution.
8) Count 8: Forceful conscription of all Ugandans into NRM contrary to Article 29(1)(f) and Article 71(f) of the Constitution.
9) Count 9: Failure to establish a National Army contrary to Article 208(1) and 210 (a), (b) and (c) of the Constitution.
10) Count 10: Arbitrary deployment of troops outside Uganda contrary to Article 210(d) of the Constitution.
11) Count 11: Failure to defend the sovereignty, territorial integrity, life and property of Ugandans contrary to Article 209 and 212 of the constitution.
12) Count 12: Arming the Arrow Boys and Local Defense Units contrary to Article 208 (4) and 22 of the Constitution.
13) Count 13: Establishment of illegal Intelligence and other Militia Organisations contrary to Article 218 of the Constitution.
14) Count 14: Participation in partisan politics contrary to Article 208 (2) of the Constitution.
15) Count 15: Alienation of Ugandan citizens contrary to Article 9 and 29 (2) of the Constitution.
16) Count 16: Violation of the freedoms of speech, expression, conscience and the media contrary to Article 29 of the Constitution.
17) Count 17: Arbitrary arrests contrary to Article 23 (3) & (5) of the Constitution.
18) Count 18: detention in ungazetted places/safe houses contrary to Article 23 (20 of the Constitution.
19) Count 19: Undermining the Independence of the judiciary contrary to article 128 of the constitution.
20) Count 20: Extra – Judicial killings contrary to Article 22 (1) of the Constitution.
21) Count 21: Failure to conduct free and fair elections contrary to Article 1 (4) and 61 of the Constitution.
22) Count 22: Enactment of the Referendum and other provisions Act No. 2 of 1999 without the required quorum contrary to Article 88 and 89 of the Constitution.
23) Count 23: Failure to arrest and prosecute Joseph Kony and other criminals contrary to the provisions of Article 120 (a) and (b), 212 (c) of the Constitution.
24) Count 24: Condoning corruption contrary to clause XXVI (iii) of the National Objectives and Directives Principles of State Policy enshrined in the Preamble to the Constitution.
25) Count 25: Illegal withdrawal of funds from the Consolidated Fund contrary to Article 154 of the Constitution.
26) Count 26: Failure to cultivate a culture of constitutionalism contrary to the entire Constitution.
Drawn by Erias Lukwago
4th day of January 2004
PRESIDENT MUSEVENI SHOULD HAVE GONE IN 2006
Though President Museveni is to contest the forth coming Presidential Elections, according to me and most Ugandans, had it not been that he used numbers, Parliament would not have endorsed the Open Presidential Term, and given opportunity to take the day in the forthcoming elections, our first mission would to re- instate the maximum two terms for any President however good he may be. Other reasons why he should go though should have long gone are:
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.
It was illegal blocking Kabaka to travel within Uganda
ARTICLE 29: Protection of freedom of conscience, expression, movement, religion, assembly and association.(1) Every person shall have the right to —
(a) Freedom of speech and expression which shall include freedom of the press and other media;
(b) Freedom of thought, conscience and belief which shall include academic freedom in institutions of learning;
(c) freedom to practise any religion and manifest such practice which shall include the right to belong to and participate in the practices of any religious body or organisation in a manner consistent with this Constitution; (d) freedom to assemble and to demonstrate together with others peacefully and unarmed and to petition; and
(e) Freedom of association which shall include the freedom to form and join associations or unions, including trade unions and political and other civic organisations.
(2) Every Ugandan shall have the right— (a) to move freely throughout Uganda and to reside and settle in any part of Uganda; (b) to enter, leave and return to, Uganda; and (c) to a passport or other travel document.
OK! How do we reconcile these provisions, specifically, Article 29 (2)(a) with the recent blocking of Kabaka Ronald Mutebi’s visit to Kayunga?
September 11, 2010 will be a complete 12 months since the NRM Government closed CBS FM which was earning about shs 1bn a month and employing over 100 staff!
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.
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, 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;
"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 .
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.
Countries like Uganda are indeed backward. Images like those below would be enough to have a sitting president disqualified even by his party to contest an election. But we indeed have to remain beggars since we cannot even make advised decisions. When you see how redundant many Ugandans are you just wonder, and crime has to be expected. Uganda is one country well endowed with good climate, man power that can get the country out of economic crisis, name it, but the problem: TOP LEADERSHIP.
IT IS SAD
JUST ONE DAY, GOD REMEMBER THE PEOPLE OF UGANDA.
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