Friday, December 2, 2011


Uganda is in injury, the country is limping on, and the future so uncertain given the developments in politics, after the revelation that the Oil deal may be one of the worst for the country's future. The unreliable electric power which is throwing people out of business, the depreciation of the currency, all are developments blameable on President Museveni's Government and Governance. The best he can do for the country, is to see to an orderly succession so that he eaves the stage. The people of Uganda are suffering mostly because of the ill advised policies of Museveni's Governance, the greed by some in NRM who are controlling the economy. The patronage created by president Museveni. What people need to see is a change in the positive direction and brought about peacefully. By this time, president Museveni should agree that diminishing returns caught up with him long ago and the country is simply sinking with his continued administration.
William Kituuka Kiwanuka

Posted Friday, December 2 2011 at 00:00

For the fifth straight year, Uganda has continued to score badly on corruption, according to the latest world ranking on perception of graft levels in countries around the globe.
Ranked among the most corrupt nations, Uganda is at position 143 of 183 surveyed countries in the 2011 corruption perception index released yesterday by global graft watchdog, Transparency International (TI).
The index, an aggregate indicator measuring perceived levels of public sector corruption, is drawn on assessments and opinion surveys with questions related to bribery of public officials, kickbacks in public procurement, embezzlement of public funds, and the effectiveness of public sector anti-corruption efforts.
Countries are scored on a scale of 0(highly corrupt), to 10 (very clean). Uganda scored 2.4, down from 2010’s 2.5. But government dismissed the ranking, saying it is devoid of “scientific substance” to offer accurate measure of corruption levels in the country.
Only Burundi posted a worse ranking than Uganda in the East African region, at position 172, while Rwanda, one of only two African countries in the top 50 of “very clean” countries, topped the region.
Mr Raphael Baku, the acting IGG, said he had “a problem” with the index because perception can often be deceptive. “They (reports) may give the impression that corruption has increased in the country just because of what is happening at the time of the surveys.”
But Prof. Edward Kakonge, the chairman of the Uganda Debt Network, said: “This ranking has been kind to Uganda. We are actually worse off.” “Your newspaper has been documenting a lot of corruption for instance this most recent thing with the national identity cards. There is no transparency.”
Recent graft scandals in the country include; the 2007 Chogm scandal, the botched LC1 bicycle deal and bribery claims in the oil sector.


Bank of Uganda Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile

Posted Friday, December 2 2011 at 00:00

Central Bank Governor Emmanuel Tumusiime-Mutebile on Thursday became the latest official to point the finger at President Museveni in the Basajjabalaba compensation controversy.
Mr Mutebile told MPs on the Public Accounts Committee that it was the President, through former Finance Minister Syda Bbumba, who ordered the payment of Shs142.6 billion to businessman Hassan Basajjabalaba in inflated compensation claims currently under investigation.
“The letters which kicked off this problem were all from the President and were not copied to me apart from the one of November 23, 2010,” Mr Mutebile told MPs.
“I was requested by the Finance Minister (Bbumba) to do something that had already been communicated to others by the President. We were told the government wanted a quick solution to this problem that’s why I issued letters of comfort to Basajjabalaba to enable him access credit.”
President Museveni has previously said while he directed, in principle, for Basajjabalaba to be compensated after losing leases on city markets, the inflated amounts paid to him were “scandalous and unacceptable”.
However, Mr Basajjabalaba, Ms Bbumba, former Attorney General Khiddu Makubuya and, Mr Mutebile have all told MPs that they acted on the instructions of the President, including paying separate compensation of Shs14.9 billion to Col. John Mugyenyi for a cancelled city market lease.
In a statement released after Mr Mutebile’s parliamentary appearance yesterday, the President’s spokesman, Mr Tamale Mirundi, said while Mr Museveni had convened a meeting to resolve disputes over the property, State House was not involved in setting the compensation amounts.
Mr Mutebile told MPs that Ms Bbumba wrote to him in June 2010 asking for assistance to Mr Basajjabalaba to get credit from commercial banks, adding that his actions were influenced by directives from the President and the minister.
“The minister wrote to me saying banks were going to take Basajjabalaba to court yet he was demanding money from the government. Ministry of Finance gave a commitment to pay and I proceeded to issue letters of comfort.”
“I first issued weak letters but when the President intervened and the amounts began to increase, I also issued stronger letters of credit because I had received a commitment from the Finance Minister to pay.”
MPs heard yesterday that although the Public Accounts Committee had earlier ordered Bank of Uganda to recover $11.5 million from Basajjabalaba and table title deeds in its custody, the money was deducted in a swap deal between the Ministry of Finance and the businessman with the knowledge of the President.
Asked what would happen if Basajjabalaba failed to pay his debts to United Bank of Africa, Orient Bank, Tropical Bank and Bank of Baroda, he said the Central Bank Governor would be held responsible for the loss, and “not me Mutebile”.
“I have a loss provision in case the government fails to pay,” Mr Mutebile added.

Recovering funds
“But we are still fighting with Ministry of Finance on who is going to pay because we have a new minister. I expected Finance to pay and I was not speculating. I issued these letters of credit on understanding that Ministry of Finance would budget for this money and I followed the Bank of Uganda Act.”
MPs led by Committee Vice Chairperson Maxwell Akora and Lead Counsel Margaret Kiboijana reminded the governor that Article 162 (2) of the Constitution grants him independence in the performance of his duties but Mr Mutebile defended his decision to follow directives on the matter.
“The President is my boss, he appoints me with the approval of Parliament,” he said. “Administratively, the finance minister is my boss but under the Constitution in performance of my duties, I have no boss; all decisions are mine. The Bank of Uganda Act authorises Bank of Uganda to guarantee loans, including those from private institutions.”

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