COVID19: A LESSON TO AFRICA

FeaturedCOVID19: A LESSON TO AFRICA

With the outbreak of COVID19 in the world, a lot of silent policies, programmes and projects in various countries have been exposed especially in Africa. It was a like moment of doing something wrong in the darkness and then out of the blue, light sets me and you just feel like naked. COVID19 was declared a world pandemic in March 2020 and as per 5th june, it had claimed over 370,000 lives with over 6 million cases worldwide. The pandemic led to the several lockdowns as a way to limit the spread which consequently uncovered a lot of weakness in many African countries. Although the death rate has been relatively less in Africa compared to other countries, COVID19 leaves important lessons for Africa to carry on.

While addressing the nation about COVID19 guidelines, the president of the republic of Uganda said that he was in fact happy with the outbreak of COVID19 because it awoke him and his people to improve a lot of things among which included investing in import substitution industries.

Increase funding and promote commercial agriculture. On average Uganda spends less than 3% of the total national budget annually. In fact, subsistence production has remained at 68% for the last 14 years, something that should change after COVID19. During the crisis, food production continued, prices remained low because supply was enough. In fact our coffee exports grower since March. The government should there invest more in value addition, mechanized farming and other farm inputs to increase and stabilize production since food is needed in all circumstances.

Invest and enhance import substitution industrialization. In 2019, Uganda spent around shs 2 trillion in purchasing motor vehicles alone. Who knows how much Uganda spent importing medicine, laptops, smart phones, electronics, clothes, bags, construction materials, spirits and wines and others. Uganda could save a lot of money but investing in import substitution. If all these are locally produced, Uganda will emerge stronger.

Build a strong regional market for our products. With the closure of most international aircrafts, it should be a good lesson to Africa to build strong regional markets which are easily assessed. This not only reduces the costs of transportation but also enhances growth of regional economies due to the trickling down effect. When Kenya buys from Uganda and VV, all countries will develop equally.

Invest in health research and regulatory bodies. Although we give big credit to the World Health Organization in the fight against this pandemic, as Africans we have not done enough to create local solutions for local problems. COVID19 continues to affect each continent differently thus need for different approaches. When Madagascar claimed to have discovered a herbal medicine which could cure COVID19, it received resistance from WHO. This was a good moment for an African body to provide guidance. Besides, most testing kits, ventilators, continue to be imported which makes our health systems vulnerable.

Invest in national reserves such as food, petroleum products and currency reserves. COVID19 found when government had no national food reserve, fuel reserve and maybe no currency reserves. When the food distribution started in Kampala, the Office of the Prime Minister bought food from local suppliers which even increased the price of maize flour by 37% by the end of April. Had it been the president’s insistence to let in truck drivers, Uganda would have run short of fuel which would have worsened the situation. During the pandemic, all supplementary budgets were loans and grants from IMF, World Bank, UN, etc. bank of Uganda seemed to have nothing in its reserves. All this should change in order to build a resilient economy capable of handling such economic and health shocks.

Promote digital and long distance learning especially at higher institutions of learning. It is a big shame that all universities, colleges and learning institutions have not been studying during the lockdown. With the current technology, institutions of learning should design their programs to allow long distance learning. This will also increase of their revenues, for example, someone in Canada may pursue a 3 year online course at Makerere University. Lower education levels such as primary and secondary schools should also design learning models that can enable students to keep learning even when they are not within school premises.

Redesign our transport model to allow few cargo trucks and taxis operating around the central business area. Truck drivers have been the main source of COVID19 into the country. However as the president noted, there is need to revive the railway lines and water transport. This will support the Standard Gauge Railway upon completed to reduce on the usage of trucks which are not only expensive but also create damages on the roads.

Indeed, Africa will be hit hard with this pandemic because it was not prepared before. However, if it picks lessons, Africa will emerge stronger than before.

Complied by : Arinaitwe Victor: CEO- Impact Center for Applied Research

Continue reading “COVID19: A LESSON TO AFRICA”

COVID19: A LESSON TO AFRICA

With the outbreak of COVID19 in the world, a lot of silent policies, programmes and projects in various countries have been exposed especially in Africa. It was a like moment of doing something wrong in the darkness and then out of the blue, light sets me and you just feel like naked. COVID19 was declared […]

COVID19: A LESSON TO AFRICA

Sale of UTL: A manifestation of a management crisis in State-owned enterprises.

During the Economic Recovery programs that were spearheaded by the NRA government between 1986-1990, the Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs) were adapted to facilitate the process of reviving the economy which had slowed down during the periods of Amin & Obote2. These policies which included liberalization, privatization among others had been spearheaded by the IMF and the World Bank. Consequently it led to the sale of my state-owned enterprises like Uganda Commercial Bank, Uganda Coffee Marketing Board among others.
The intension was to steer competition within the private sector by reducing state intervention which was overcrowding the private sector. And indeed it steered competition and this is explained by the increase in the number of commercial banks after the sale of Uganda Commercial Bank (case study). However there has been strong contest on whether competition has improved the welfare of the citizens or has increased exploitation by the private sector.
Whereas it is clear that privatization steers competition, it is very critical to consider the timing to privatize. Most economists agree with the fact that privatization in Uganda was done at a wrong time with wrong intensions. It was done at a time when majority of Ugandans were poor and thus were exposed to unfair competition from the private monopolies that emerged thereafter. Whereas state enterprises put much consideration on the welfare of its citizens, the private monopolies that emerged considered profits thus over exploited people.
To cut the story short, it explains why Uganda has a lot of commercial banks today but when there is an increase in poverty. This explains why there has been a panic attempt to recapitalize the Uganda Development Bank. It also explains why some leaders carry money in sacks with intensions of helping small scale enterprises. It also explains why noble businessmen are running to the Head of State seeking “Bail outs”. And the reason is simple because locals have been over exploited by the private sector without state regulation. All these wouldn’t have risen up had the Uganda Commercial Bank still been in existence because of the fair competition it fostered.
Therefore, should Ugandans welcome the sale of Uganda Telecom Limited? Absolutely,No.
The intension of privatization in the late 1980’s was because government had failed to manage the enterprises thus were operating in losses. Instead of addressing the issue of management, they instead made a blunder to transfer ownership. This is the same mistake the government is doing with the sale of Uganda Telecom. The government is openly admitting that it cannot manage the telecom thus it is entrusting someone else who is profit-minded to do it.
Whereas the government may successful transfer the burden from itself, the citizens must be prepared to suffer at the expense of the sale. UTL was grossly mismanaged at the watch of the state but nothing was done in time to detect and deter the possible negative outcomes.
The consequence of selling UTL will lead to an increase in profit repatriation. Ugandans are usually excited with % economic growth rates but unfortunately this has not led to increase in employment or a reduction in poverty levels. Most of the big projects especially in infrastructure are done by foreigners thus as they repatriate profits, thus there is no twinkling down of income. This explains why a big factory will be surrounded by very poor communities because income does not trickle down. Therefore by selling UTL to the Nigerian firm, we shall be supporting the Nigerian economy and an increase in capital outflow will definite slow down our economy. Economies grow by depending on external markets through attracting foreign exchange. I do not know of any Ugandan investor who owns a multi-national corporation oversees that attracts huge foreign exchange.
How come state-owned enterprises in Kenya are doing well? In fact, Safaricom was in contention to buy UTL while Kenya Commercial Bank remains the largest bank in Kenya with several stations in other countries like Uganda. So we need to ask ourselves what governments like in Kenya are doing to keep their state enterprises competitive and profitable while maximizing welfare for its citizens. Then, if we can’t manage UTL, how shall we manage the new project of the National airlines?
In conclusion, we must develop a culture where by we should address the management problems by tackling the root causes but not transferring the problems. The government has enough human and financial resources to foster organization capacity, efficiency and effectiveness in its institutions. The culture of failing to manage state-enterprises manifests a deep crisis in most government institutions. It indeed justifies cabinet’s decision to merge most government agencies because they seem not to be doing their work.

AMERICANS BUILT AMERICA, THE BRITISH BUILD BRITAIN, THE INDIANS BUILT INDIA, WHY CAN’T UGANDANS BUILD UGANDA- My reflection on the role of Indians in Uganda’s development.

I first of all congratulate the Indian community upon a successful visit from their PM, Modi. I honestly admired the happiness, love and glory they shared with Hon Modi while addressing them at Kololo. At one point I imagined whether Ugandans would ever genuinely share the same love with their presidents but that’s a decision for another day.
Uganda Revenue Authority recently revealed that the Indian community (estimated at 500,000 people) contributes 60% of the total country’s revenue. “Ordinarily” this means that they account for 60% of the country’s total production/GDP if all production was taxed. However, when you walk through the busy economic hubs in Kampala like Kikuubo, Namirembe road, Kisenyi, Nakivuubo etc, you barely see Indians doing business yet Ugandans are flooding. So the question is, “where do Indians operate from” and “why is it that Ugandans who operate in such busy economic hubs contribute less of the total revenue?”
The answer is simple, Indians more engaged in production (manufacture & sell) while Ugandans are more engaged in trade (buy& sell). I remember sometime back Museveni branded Uganda a “supermarket economy” because of its tendencies to mainly buy and sell rather than produce.
Whereas economic growth is desirable, we must also ask ourselves who is stirring it. Should we say that we are safe and comfortable as Ugandans when our country’s economic growth is largely stirred by foreigners? If 500,000 Indians are contributing 60% of our total revenue, what are these Ugandans (over 39 million people) we see working every day in Kikuubo doing? Are we just spectators in our own country’s economic growth?
Fellow Ugandans let me remind you that Indian which is the fastest growing country in the world did not rely on foreigners to grow its economy. India relied on its natives to develop itself and in the process, it attracted Foreign Direct Investments. On a contrary in Uganda, we prefer to attract FDI’s first before we build our local investors’ capacities, that’s why it’s easy for the government to give investment incentives to foreigners like tax exemptions while not only denying such incentives to local investors but also overtaxing them. Note; that FDIs are highly desirable but only if they enhance local investors’ capacity rather than exploit and out-compete the local investors for example an FDI that produces fertilizers is highly desirable because it enhances farmers’ production.
A good example is from the Asian tigers (Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan). Singapore for example first invested its small resources in Education and later alone infrastructure. Through education, it internally and externally trained its own engineers who were later used to develop its own infrastructure. In other wards, it largely relied on its own people to setup infrastructure and this largely reduced capital outflow thus enhanced capital formation. In China, the government goes an extra mile to even lend money without interest to its local investors either producing for exports or to those operating FDI’s in other countries. American was built by Americans, Britian was built by the British, China was builted by the Chinese, India was built by the Indians, why won’t Uganda be built by Ugandans. Note; am not against the Indians role in the development of our country but am worried about the role of Ugandans in the development of their own country.
Today, Uganda’s education system is in absolute shambles. Every year, several universities release graduates in engineering for example but no single major government project in infrastructure is implemented by them. In my three years at Makerere University, I do not remember having a sight at an Indian student at my College, so where are they studying from? Our education system gives scholarships to students at university who end up as being employed as site managers by the Indians-that’s if they are lucky. As I said above, Singapore trained its own people and employed them to execute heavy government projects. Imagine the India PM, gave us a credit of $200m but 80% of this loan will be utilized by foreigners mainly Indians-WHY? As we use the loan to extend electricity and some infrastructure, no single local investor will get any contract.
Today, Uganda exports goods worth shs 159b to Indian annually while it imports goods worth shs 2.7 trillion from India. This is an extremely high trade (Balance of Payment) deficit. So where is the problem?, why are we exporting less while importing a lot?
Uganda’s problem is that it is doing what it ought to not have done while foregoing what it urgently ought to have done in terms of development priorities. We are comfortable in “buying and selling”-middlemen but we have not taken a step to “produce and sell”. To achieve this, we must promote export-oriented production or import-substitution production as a means of regulating its foreign exchange. Important to note is that all these strategies must have local investors at the fore-front. So how do we build local investor’s capacity?
1. Overhaul the education system. This is the most important pillar if we are to stimulate local investors’ capacity. We need to start producing engineers who are capable of constructing dams, bridges, railways, computer scientists who will not work as secretaries, teachers who are researchers at all levels, doctors who won’t treat malaria only among others. This must start NOW. We must stop studying irrelevant stuff. Why do we have brilliant young Indians as Bank managers when I didn’t see anyone at Makerere University-School of Business. We spend a lot of time studying theory yet they spend more of their time doing business practically.
2. Re-capitalize the Uganda Development Bank. I have shared experience with top local construction firms. Their experience is that although they have excellent technical capacity and experience, they are being let down by their financial capacities. Most foreigner companies out-compete local firms financially because they acquire cheap credit from home unlike here. Imagine if we had 100 ”Hamis Kiguddu’s” doing what Mr. Ham is doing to Nakivuubo stadium, how much money would be saved from capital outflow? In the era of globalization, you are not safe without a national bank.
3. Promote Public-Private Partnerships. Recently a group of young Ugandans won a global prize after inventing a technology that tests malaria without removing blood from the patient. As I talk now, these young men are keeping their application in their bedrooms. Mark-Proprietor of Facebook is many times richer than Uganda because of the online applications he invented. Am now imagining if government would help these young men promote their application in not only Uganda but the entire world, how much would we earn as a country? Most young Ugandans have very good ideas but have not been helped thus letting their ideas perish. This arrangement has succeeded in many developed countries like China, Singapore, Russia among others. So instead of distributing money to unorganized groups for political reasons, why can’t we allocate this money to PPPs.
4. Create a strategic direction that creates pathways which the government must follow to develop. One of Uganda’s biggest problems is jumping from one plan to another without making any needs assessment. For example in Vision 2040, where did we create multiple districts, unending elections among others. The tendencies of planning after getting a problem must stop. We need to set out realistic plans and follow them not mainly for our own benefit but for generations to come. The policy planners and implementers of the Asian Tigers had a great vision that aimed at benefiting the next generation. In Uganda, we must stop policies that benefit individuals in the next elections but rather policies that benefit the next generation.
Over and above all, all this cannot be achieved unless the question of good governance is addressed. The government must become more accountable, responsive, transparent and people-oriented. In return, the citizens will have more confidence in whatever government is doing thus have a shared vision. You could see the glory Indians showed their PM and how he was welcomed. In Uganda, the president has to first ferry and pay people to listen to him especially in public spaces. The mindset must change otherwise we shall be busy selling Uganda to foreigners.
In conclusion, let’s appreciate the role of FDIs in Uganda’s development however let’s not feel comfortable being too dependent of FDIs. Let’s build local capacity such that we can withstand foreign competition and also export services to other countries. Let’s not allow our local investors collapse due to foreign competition and thereafter praise foreigners. Foreigners are here to do business-get profits and go (of course that’s business). UGANDANS MUST BUILD UGANDA, OTHERS SHOULD FACILITATE OUR GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT.
Arinaitwe Victor
Development Economist

You cannot expect a political input to yeild an economic outcome

Just a few days ago, we saw Museveni delivering a shs 100 million cheque to a certain SACCO at Kubiri(Wandegeya) which belongs to a group of furniture makers. This is not the first time we have seen the president splashing money into SACCOs as it has become his habit to fight poverty through splashing money in all forms.

Leaving SACCOs alone, we have seen most poverty eradication programs in Uganda such as Operation Wealth Creation, Youth Livelihood Fund, Innovation Fund, Women Entreprenuership Fund, UPE, USE just to mention a few, all stagnating to deliver the intended goals. Therefore i would like to show you why these approaches have failed to work.

I will start by introducing few concepts i.e inputs, outputs and outcomes. Inputs refer to what is needed to perform certain activities in order to deliver an output e.g finance. Outputs refer to the immediate deliverable acquired after utilising the inputs e.g a building. Outcomes refer to the change created within a society after utilising the output e.g increased employment/skills.

Having said that, you will realise that most of these programs do not mind about the outcomes but only care about the inputs. For example on the issue of SACCOs, the president would be okay if he gave an input of shs 100m rather than understand how that money has increased household income among individuals.

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Museveni donating shs 100m to a SACCO at Kubiri (24th-july-2017)

The same applies to other programs mentioned above for example, we have often times seen the president boasting how much money he has invested in OWC, YLF, WEF, UPE etc but does not explain how such programs have quantitatively reduced poverty within a society. This is because the president and his system only cares about inputs and to a smaller extent outputs but not outcomes.

This explains why the government will construct a factory, hospital or school (outputs) but then fails to facilitate it to function in order to deliver the outcomes e.g increased enrollment or reduced death rates.
It also explains why the government will give a cow to a poor household yet it becomes less concerned about the outcome i.e increased household income. This is why most households have even sold the cows (inputs).
It also explains why the government has built good market structures e.g the Wandenya market which is still empty thus not contributing to changing people’s lives because the govt is satisfied with the building (output) than increased income (outcome)
Therefore i find it so disturbing that the president is splashing money on projects or programs that do not yeild any intended outcome in society.

In otherwords most of the projects are determined politically with the aim to increase their political strength rather than serve the real needs of the people. The problem with political decisions is that they do not rely on baseline information in order to take a decision. There should be a clear theory of change for any government project with strong monitoring and evaluation systems to track the progress, relevancy, effectiveness and efficieny of the projects/programme. For example how will the president track the outcomes of the money given to SACCOs? What if it was divided among themselves as soon as he left!

Economic and viable projects first carry out research, needs assessment, understand the magnitude of the problem, who is affected and engages the beneficiaries in project identification, implementation, monitoring and evaluation through participatory means (bottom-up decision making)

In conclusion there, you cannot have a political input and expect an economic outcome. Policies and programs should be based on the economics rather than the politics if we are to achieve intended goals.

ARINAITWE VICTOR
Monitoring & Evaluation Consultant.

For God and my Country!

Museveni not ready to step down, so what next?

A few days ago, France was celebrating the #BastilesDay. It is a day when the french peasants and middleclass stormed the Bastiles prison in july- 1789 and freed all prisons who had been imprisoned without trial by the French first class(nobles). They had been over exploited, tortured, oppressed and marginalised for over 400 years and after the storming of the Bastiles, it marked the start of the French revoluntion which ushered in the revoluntionary ideas of Liberty, equality and Franternity (LEF)

The ideas of LEF spread to the whole continet and by 1848, Europe had experienced a lot of revoluntions as people wanted to foster such ideas. In our Ugandan context, it explains why Museveni picked up guns in 1981 to fight the ruling government partly because of the ideas of LEF..

However, the frontliners in such revoluntions who were seen as liberators later turned into dictators after assuming power.
Napoleon Bornapate assumed power in 1799 and was welcomed by fellow frenchmen. However by 1814, he had turned into a dictator and an enemy of Europe practising the same stuff that had existed in the pre-1789 period. In 1814, Metternich led a coalition which defeated Napolean however by 1848, he had become the worst European dictator. The story continued upto the second world war..

Coming here to Africa, i can cite Libya under Gadaffi where Gadaffi was welcomed in 1967 as a liberator but later turned into a dictator till his people lyched him to death in 2011.

In otherwords, leaders who come into power after a struggle to defeat dictators are always seen as liberators when they assume power. However after assuming power, they get drunk on power and only mind about sustaining power through oppression, exploitation, intimidation and torturing of the citizens they rule.

Coming back to the point, In Uganda, most people were excited in 1986 when Museveni and his NRA took over power and promised people are fundermental change through the 10-point programme. The president who condemned African leaders who overstay in power has now been in power for 31 years and is seeking to make himself a life president by amending article 102. This is how liberators turn into dictators just like the examples i mentioned above.

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Should people expect M7 to handle over power peacefully?

Ooohh.. This is a dream for every Ugandan but its a dream that will never come true. Most dictators do not leave power peacefully. They believe they struggled and risked their lives so no one should get power easily.
Its on record that Museveni once quoted that “A quarter-pin is put and removed by a hammer” literally meaning that he captured power by force(hammer) thus should be expected to be removed by force.
He went ahead to note that he cannot leave his army to the wolves(opposition) while addressing a rally in Kabale in 2015. As if that was not enough, he told moslems in Masaka that he cannot leave his oil he has discovered himself to the opposition..
All that mentioned, its clear that Museveni has not planned on leaving power as of yet.

Influence of Regional politics.

Rwanda recently amended their constitution to almost make Kagame a life president. Museveni has always been Kagame’s mentor when it comes to politics.
In Burundi, Nkurunziza has also forcefully stayed in power through intimidation, harassement and arrests although his mandate was supposed to end last year. Museveni has remained silent about the matter but its clear he is compling with Nkurunziza to stay in power.
In DRC, Kabila fleed into Uganda to meet Museveni last year before he extended general elections to 2018 such that he could plan on amending the constitution to remove the term limits.
Talk of South Sudan, talk of Zambia that is under a state of emergency.

All these presidents see Museveni as the role model and their actions make it easy to predict M7’s next move of life presidency.

Way forward!
With less trust in our MPs in defending article 102 because they are commercial politicians who are easily be bought, Ugandans have a role to play in ensuring that M7 does not become a life president.

One, we must strongly condemn the action of amending the age limit everywhere we can reach. We need to be clear with our leaders and tell them we shall hold them accountable in case our country goes into turmoil after 2021.

We have already exerted a lot of pressure on MPs and they are also worried about losing their seats if they amend the article.
Our religious and cultural leaders need to get on board and rally behind the masses against such a move.

Secondly we should be ready to move to the streets and greatly oppose such a move in time. They cannot shoot us all.

What is clear is that M7 is ready to die in power but we should not let him destroy our country. We do not need to fight him with guns but through people’s power.
Look at what happened in Gambia, there was no blood shed but dictator Jamah ran into exile without anyone forcing him.

If pressure accumulates, we shall see M7’s righthand men stepping down such as Rugunda, Kadaga, Katumba among others and he will eventually lose weight to hold power. So lets sustain the pressure on his surbondinates on every platform we can.

If we are together, we can end dictatorship successfully and usher in a new kind of leadership without bloodshed.

I thank you

FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY

My questions about the 2017 budget

A lot of questions are running in my head about this budget(2017) but i will focus on a few elements in my analysis. A budget generally shows how the country intends to use its avaliable resources through expenditure to generate more revenue and achieve other economic objectives such as marco-economic stability, jobs, growth in GDP etc. This years budget is estimated around shs 29 trillions

Obession with infrastructure.
Of course investing in infrastructure such as roads is good to stimulate production but it must be properly aligned to other factors of production.

I will use a case study of Isingiro district. Before 2014, Isingiro had one of the must dusty and poor roads in western Uganda but was the leading matooke producer in the country. With the completion of a tarmac road in 2014, the production of matooke started to decrease until last year when Isingiro was hit by a terrible drought with its proper infrastructure.
What does this mean?? It means that by investing in infrastructure without investing in other facilitating factors of production cannot yeild increased output. Thats why we shall find very poor people staying near a good road.

Investing 20% in infrastructure while investing 3.8% in agriculture is a mismatch which cannot boast production.

So the question is, Do we first invest in infrastructure to encourage production or we should invest in infrastructure where production is already taking place (being well facilitated)??

Increase of import duties on furniture.
As you noted, furniture makers in Nsambya were on the moon after receiving news that there would be a 20% increase in import duties on imported furniture. I will use this simple example to explain that scenerio

Suppose you’re a headteacher of a school where your own son is a student. To ensure that your son becomes the best in class, you should not stop admitting bright students who could outcompete your son but rather build your son’s capacity to withstand the competition. In this case, the budget is aimed at reducing foreign competition rather than building the capacity of local furniture makers to withstand the competition. I would have been happy if the president instead constructed a better techinical institute to train them with better skills or avail them with funds to enable them acquire better equipment to use. By shielding them from competition, you are just increasing inefficiencies because in the longrun you will be creating monopolies. In addition, there will be an increase in capital outflow given the fact that imported furniture is mainly purchased by the rich who have inelastic demand.

Investing in the fundermentals of the economy.
Vision 2040 clearly states that the country should invest in its key fundermentals and we all know that agriculture is our biggest fundermental given its comparative advantage over other sectors.
Agriculture employs over 80% of the population and contributes over 84% of our foreign exchange earnings thus its clear its a big fundermental. Although we have had initiatives such as Plan Modernisation Agriculture(PFA) which ia aimed at transforming agriculture from subsistence production to commercial production, the subsistence sector in agriculture has remained at 68% for the last 10 years. This is partly explained by the underfunding (average of 3% per annum) this sector has always received.

Failure to priotise agriculture has recently increased food insecurity in the country, numerous outbreaks of pests and diseases such as army worm & ticks, riise in food prices among others which has slowed down economic growth. Our export markets continue falling which is worsening our balance of payment deficits.

Issue of domestic borrowing by the government.
This has become a habit by the government which has continued to crowdout the private sector. This explains why interest rates have remained high because the public sector is competing for credit with the private sector and financial institutions prefer to lend to the public than the private sector. This reduces aggregate demand and increases the cost of production on the side of producers.

Moving out of an economic reccession.
Although Mr.Kasaija denied Uganda undergoing an economic reccession, its clear that Uganda is undergoing an economic reccession given by its annual economic growth at 3.9%. There is low aggregate demand, low production levels and increasing prices for most goods, talk of sugar, rice, posho, beans etc. Such a reccession needs shortterm intervetions that aim at increasing both aggregate demand and aggregate supply. In this case, there should be a reduction in interest rates, increase access to credit, borrow from external markets and pay all domestic arrears to suppliers. This would stimulate the economy quickly rather than investing in infrastructure as suggested by Keynes.

Sector prioritisation
The budget also focuses more on sectors which do not give returns immediately. For example, expenditure in health, education, accountability, security, debt repayment & infrastructure do not bring immediate returns which can be used for further re-investment. The government should have invested more in sectors such as tourism, agriculture, recapitalising Uganda Development Bank, technology and industrialisation. These generate more revenue in a shortrun which can be used to invest in longterm projects like hospitals & roads.

Recapitalisation of the Uganda Development Bank.
Lastly a big joke of the day came when only shs 50 billion was allocated to such a bank which is aimed at enabling the middleclass access no interest loans. For sure, am totally disappointed in such a small allocation to a bank that is aimed at transforming scall scale producers to Large scale produces and facilitate industrialisation.

Thanks for reading
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY

With Kayihura still the IGP, more darkness ahead of Ugandans.

Yesterday most of us were in great shock after finding out via the Observer that our friend Omondi Micheal had been arrested at Nalufenya for close to 2 months without trial in court. Its alleged that Omondi was arrested in connection with the death of AIGP Felix Kaweesi,his bodyguard and driver on the 17th-march-2017. Omondi was arrested at the start of April in Busia for allegedly trying to sneak out Kaweesi’s murder suspects through a car and later detained at Nalufenya.
Efforts by the family and lawyers to get in touch were futile because his case was regarded as a national security.

Micheal Omondi- Student at Makerere University.

Omondi’s case is just an isolated case from the many victims that have suffered under the brutuality of Uganda Police. Many suspects have been tortured from Nalufenya although Police has continued to deny such allegations. In fact, most Ugandans now view the Police as a torture squad not a trained Police. There i decided to trace what could be the roots causes of Police brutuality, oppression, illegality, corruption among others. I will build from the president’s statement who quoted, “The Police has been infiltrated by criminals, Kale(IGP), u must clean it up”.

Question!, Is IGP the right person to clean up the Police?

Parliament about two weeks ago approved a three-year contract term for IGP who has been at the helm for the last 12 years but here are the facts why Kayihura has been the chief promotor of criminality in Police.

1. Militarising the Police. With a military background, Kayihura transformed Police training to military training. Solidiers are trained in such away that after their training, they are kept away from people or rehabilitated before being in public. However Police now receive similar training but same police is made to interact with the public. This explains why young police officers and old police officers use different approaches in handling public issues. The young officers are more hostile because they have a militarised mind while the old police officers are more civic. Sometimes its diffucult to separate the works of young police officers and the amry because they use a similar approach of force. This has greatly undermined the objective of Police to serve the nation as a people’s police.

2. The selective recruitment of Police Officers. Today if u are not wel connected in Police, you should never even think of joining the forces. Police recruitment is no longer holistic as it used to be before Kayihura’s appointment. Its based on tribes, regions, politics, corruption among others. This means that those with the passion and the qualifications to join police are left out at the expense of the well-connected but non-qualifying candidates. In fact, if u look at cadet officers, 80% come from one region and you wonder. Such a gap is increasing criminality because its creating a chain which is meant to protect the interests of certain individuals.

3. Poor top exemplary leadership. Kayihura has been a very poor example to both the public and the police. For example, he has on several times avoided meeting with the parliamentary committees plus his defiance towards the law. Imagine a whole IGP organising gangs to protest on court premises just because he was supposed to appear in court. Such an act means that Kayihura does not respect the law. No wonder his surbodinates such as former Kampala DPC Aron Baguma at one time also defied court orders.

4. The introduction of the informal police which works parallel to the formation police establishment for example the formation of Crime preventers, Police Flying Squads etc. These work and are supported by Police financiallt but their activities are mostly parallel to those of the police. This is why you will find it common for the Police spokesperson to give contradictory statements about public issues because they is lack of coordination because the formal police and informal police. For example, its alleged that the Flying squad is the one that tortured the Kamwenge mayor not the police. Why not streamline and harmony all these forces for proper coordination? Politics!

5. Promoting inequality in police in regards to income and appointments. Most senior serving officers have been greatly undermined by the system at the expense of those well connected. Take an example of these crime preventors. I know of crime preventors without any police training but u have successfully penetrated the police and within 2 years, they are billionaires. I also know of Police commissioners who have served for over 25 years but still renting, not that they are extravaget but because they are undermined by the system. Such inequality demotivates police staff, makes them lose passion for their jobs thus becoming hostile to the public and engaging in crimes.

6. Lastly but not least, Kayihura’s involvement in politics has been his major reason why he hasnt served to the expectations of Ugandans. Kayihura is a regme-broker and only concerned about the survival of the regime. Thats why he supported the project of crime preventors who formed a big base for M7’s votes and later abandoned them after elections. His involvement in politics has seen him becoming intolerant to other opposition political parties, suppressing their freedoms and brutualising them. He only receives orders from above without question and promotes the interests of the regime.

In conculsion, yes police has been inflitrated by criminals as the president says but the president must partly take the blame for his increasing trust in the IGP and if the police cleaned out, Kayihura must step aside and give chance to reforms.

FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY

Shame exhibited NRM MPs & the fate EA integration.

Shame Shame Shame exhibited by our Members of Parliament during the EALA elections yesterday.
In this “Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo”, its been very unfortunate that the members of parliament have accelerated the levels of greed,  arrogance, pretence, and confusion.

Yesterday i was astonised by the manner by which particular EALA candidates where treated a section of MPs largely from the NRM. My particular concerns went to Ingrid Turiwane. MPs almost fought each other as they tried to stop her from speaking in addition to chanting her.
This was very unfortunate to treat a senior citizen of this country and a mother of six with claims that parliamentarians can’t vote a pig since Igrid has been allegedly sponsering Pig demonstrations at Parliament.
This really indicated how NRM MPs based themselves on subjective conclusions rather than base themselves on actual facts.

image

Ingrid Turinaawe being brutually arrested by Police”

For starters, Ingrid has never been associated with “Pig demonstrations” at parliament and we all know the groups behind these scenes since they always come up openly to claim responsbility. This group is called “Jobless Brotherhood” and not only does it have a connection with Ingrid but also has no connection with FDC as a party. Therefore it was completely out of order to claim that Ingrid has a role in “Pig demonstrations”

Secondly, just like Besigye, Lukwago and other activists, Ingrid was accused of being badly behaved. But of course that the culture of NRM that whoever does not agree with it or seeks to protect his/her rights is branded criminal. On many incidents, Ingrid has been tortured, arrested and brutualised by the established through Police but nevertheless, she has never been charged for breaking laws just like other activists. The only crime Ingrid has committed is to be the voice of the voiceless in this dictatorial regime which undermines human rights.
When the rights of Besigye was undermined during the 40-day house arrest, its Ingrid that used her braveness to fight to Besigye’s rights. Its therefore nonsensical to brand Ingrid as a criminal yet she has never charged by the courts of law.

In fact, NRM members are to blind to see the criminality among themselves. To me a criminal is that person who seeks votes by promising issues of accountability, good governance but does contrally on reaching in Parliament. The NRM MPs failed the first test by being bribed with shs 5 million each during the elections of the speaker. This followed demand for shs 200m for their personal vechiles, tax exemptions etc. All these actions directly affects the citizens of the country in terms of service delivery. Now this should be the real definition of a criminal but not someone who fights hard to change the status quo.
Besides taking about displine of Ingrid, how about Byandala who slapped a journalist, Kibule whom defended rapists, how about these MPs that have been chased out of parliament with forged academic papers??, Ain’t these worse than Ingrid?? Topic for another day!

Politics of EALA letting down the Integration.

The fact that NRM still ring-fences 6 seats out of 9 to EALA is clearly that it aims that serving its party interests not the country’s interests. In this case, its serving the interests of Dr.Museveni who recently clarified that he is not a servant of any Ugandan.
This automatically reduces competitive engagements and decision making which even leaves opposition powerless and having less to contribute because of NRM’s monopoly.

Whats also seemed clear is that the positions in EALA are in form of “rewards and punishments”. The system rewards those who have been royal to the regime & ready to protect the interests of the regime and punishes those who seen to advocate for different opinions. As the government in power which has the responsibility of reconciling conflicting parties, the NRM has those to punish those that disagree with it. They recently did in Kasese and implemented it yesterday against FDC.
The politics of intolerance must be stopped if sustainable peace is to be built. There shouldn’t be any reason to refuse to vote someone just because their party’s presidential flagbearer declared lawful “defiance” against the establishment.
FDC’s Florence suffered not because she had no pontetial but rather as a punishment against her party. Its very sad that we still believe in such politics of revenge, arrongance and blood & iron.

Following whatever i have stated, there is a big reason to expect less from the EALA representatives since no tangible benefit has been realised by the intergration since its revival in 2001. All this is because personal interests come first than national interests. Constructive engagements such as introduction of term limits, monetary union, East Africa Amry etc will never be discussed since we have leaders that want to die in power.
In fact Uganda(before 2001) achieved a lot without the integration than it did after the integration.
We have had crises in Burundi, South Sudan but EALA has never come up with atleast a recommendation. All they can do is to seat and watch.

In my conclusion; unless the political question in East Africa is solved, we shall never ripe benefits of the integration. Thats why Tanzania and to some entext Rwanda are not fully committed to the EALA because these are the countries that walk the talk than than policking & consolidating power. Dr.Museveni must leave EALA alone & independent such that they can think for Ugandans rather than pursue his own beliefs.

Thank you.
FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.