PRESIDENT Yoweri Museveni has repeated the Government's commitment to fight corruption. This however is not a new development as he said the same during his state of the Nation message in June 2007. He said, "Once again I wish to reiterate the Government's commitment to Zero Tolerance to Corruption as spelt out in the NRM manifesto 2006."
The Global Funds to Uganda
The Portfolio of grants to Uganda was worth US $ 367million. By the time of its suspension on 24th August 2005, only US$ 45 million had been released to Uganda ! It was believed that around US $ 280,000 was fraudulently siphoned off when dollars were converted to Uganda shillings. It is not public knowledge whether after the Commission of Inquiry headed by Principal Judge Justice James Ogoola; all the culprits have refunded the loot.
The President may not accept that there is nothing that throws more people into poverty as his governments’ policies.
UPDF recruits 9,000 new soldiers: THE strength of the Ugandan army now stands at 50,000 following the pass-out of over 9,000 officers and men in the last two weeks. These soldiers if paid shs 250,000 a month in one year shs 27bn is needed as wage bill for the additional number.
Increased number of districts – Not less than 17 are expected! This is against over 330 Members in Parliament as of now.
In a Position Paper on the national budget 2006/07 by Uganda Local Authorities Association (ULGA) regarding new districts, “The number of districts has increased from 56 last year to 72 today, an increase of almost 30%! Whereas it is the right of Ugandans to demand for more districts and whereas there is need to take services further to the people, new districts have a significant impact on the administrative budget of the Local Governments and the ability to give and maintain the public services. It may be necessary to strengthen the sub – county as the basic unit for service delivery since it is closest to the people.”
The above communication was made in the course of 2006/07; what about now with 17 or so districts in pipeline?
Before the proposed increase of districts, ULGA had a complaint about the Local Governments’ share of the national Resources.
In their Position Paper on the 2006/07 National Budget, ULGA said, “Since 2004/05 the share of Local Government allocation out of the National Budget has been on the decline as shown below:
This is despite the relative growth in the national resource envelope, as below for 2005/06 to 2006/07
The over 1,000 New Polling Stations expected - The Electoral Commission yesterday announced that over 1,000 new polling stations will be created ahead of the 2011 general elections in an exercise that will cost about Shs3 billion. The EC also projects the country will have about 13 million voters up from about 10.4 million who voted in 2006. At least an additional shs 3bn is expected on this undertaking; which many in opposition see as uncalled for and may be a measure to increase chances of successful rigging.
The debts of the country:
Total donor commitments fiscal years 2000/01 – 2006/07 in US$ millions
On average, the donor commitments during the period 2000/01 to 2006/07 were US $ 915 million per year. In 2003/04 total donor commitments were US$ 583.5 million, they increased and more than doubled in 2004/05 to US $ 1,269.8 million before decreasing to US$ 509.8 million in 2005/06. The decline was due to aid cut back because of delayed fulfilment of related good governance conditionalities.
External debt stock
Uganda’s external debt stock as at 31/3/2007 stood at US $ 1.1bn compared to US$ 4.3bn as at end of March 2006, a decrease of 74%. The accumulated interest amounts to US$ 4.2million. the decrease in debt stock was as a result of the Multilateral Debt relief initiative (MDRI) from IMF, World bank and African Development bank that cancelled all outstanding debt stock to Government of Uganda contracted prior to 31st December 2003 while the World bank (IDA) and African Development bank cancelled all debt outstanding as of 31st December 2004.
External debt by creditor category
If our debts were written off after we failed to pay because of wrong policies and ambitious programmes, is it a collect move for Government to abuse that and instead keep on with administrative expenditures like creating new districts? What is better, having better social service provision and incentives for the workers, or the creation of new districts which multiply poverty?
Regional tier Bill released: A Bill to provide for the establishment of regional governments is finally out. The Regional Governments Bill, 2009 also provides for the formation of regional parliaments by the regional governments and other structures. If passed into law, the regional governments shall be the highest political authority within the regions and shall have political, legislative, administrative and cultural functions.
The Bill further provides for the leadership of regional governments including appointment of ministers in addition to providing for a chief executive officer and staff for the governments.
President Museveni wants to implememt the Regional Tier as it is in the amended Constitution of Uganda. However, it is not clear why the President does not listen to the voices of the people and wants to see the Tier in place; the question is: “For who is the Tier when many are opposed to it?” Recently, in a Buganda Conference that had a collection of people with views on the possibility of Federo and examples from elsewhere, it came out clearly that a Federo Model for Uganda is workable and many cherish it. Now why continue with the Tier?
The President derives his power from the voters and as such should listen to them though he may believe that his idea is good. In a Position Paper on the national Budget 2006/07 by ULGA, “ULGA has carried out consultations in Local Governments on the proposed Regional Tier Government. It is the general view of local governments that there is need for more detailed arrangements and consultations on this matter before the law is enacted. The lack of involvement of lower governments, contrary to the amendment to the Constitution, Article 178A 2(b); the poor representation of the Local Governments in the Regional Assembly; the duplicity of functions between Local Governments and the Regional Government; the rejection by some cultural institutions the Regional Tier; the inadequate financing, equipment and logistics to run all regions equitably; the lack of a coherent management structure; failures to address the inter and intra regional disparities; unclear inter-Governmental relations (region to centre, and region to local levels), could complicate operationalisation of the Regional Tier Government.”
Universal Primary Education (UPE)
The President keeps saying that parents should not pay to UPE schools, while shs 1,200 per term per child is so little an amount of money given the cost of living, this money was not delivered to schools for 3rd term, at least Wakiso district is testimony to this. In the 70’s, Government was contributing to our education that is why we were able to get free books and other scholastic materials, but still we paid something. In the circumstances of the day; it is impossible to have education worth the name when parents don’t pay a coin. It is Government induced poverty, failure to have priorities right that leaves many parents yawning hence unable to meet education in Primary schools for their children. The sustainable solution is to get money out of politics and work to see development which generates employment and not such development which favours foreign investors as local yawn.
Creation of Employment for the youth
The September riots were clear testimony of what unemployment has done to Uganda . There are many youth with varying levels of training but who are not gainfully employed. The priority of government is politics to see NRM back come 2011 elections, hence leaving the ever increasing youth without viable employment prospect, and many long for employment out of the country as it is just frustrating here.
Many people are yawning, they age on but pension money is a come tomorrow business. It is disappointing to find people age on but unable to get money in time.
Government unable to meet Budgets and donors where possible help the situation
The above is the situation at Uganda Human Rights Commission, where though the Ministry of Public service in August 2007 approved a new structure of the Commission of 148 staff; the Commission submitted a wage budget of 3,495,179,247 covering all wage related costs, but shs 1,877,085,000 is what was got leaving a shortfall of 1,618,094,247! In such circumstances, is it best to approve new districts?
Donor Funding at UHRC
Funding of core activities of the commission is mainly by developing partners. Why does Government keep off what is supposed to be its role? If development partners pull out, what will happen? Should increase of administrative budgets be the way to go for Uganda like for districts?
Donor support to UHRC for 2006/07 was shs 1,829,824,935; for 2007/08 it was shs 2,127,304,247; and for 2008/09 it was shs 3,209,474,350
The Global Competitive Strategy
The survey which is a yearly event, measures Uganda ’s competitiveness rating against over 100 participating countries and provides a benchmark against which progress can be measured on efforts made in improving the environment and attracting further investment and growth.
The key areas responsible for Uganda ’s poor performance seem to relate to the performance of Uganda ’s public institutions; where the public institution’s index ranked Uganda 100th in 2006/07. key variables relate to property rights, corruption, government inefficiency and insecurity.
The table below shows: Trend of Uganda ’s performance in the Global Competitiveness Surveys 2003 - 2006
Source: World Economic Forum
Below are a few of the images of what would have been avoided riots left. The mistakes of Government will keep costing the country a lot. It was wrong and remains wrong to refuse Kabaka of Buganda to visit any part of Buganda whether there are other tribes.
BBC Coverage of the riots:
No government in ’s history ever had to unleashed its own mamba’s, tanks, unimocks against its own citizens in broad day light like M7 has. He did it in 1980 when he was minister of defence when he unleashed his FRONASA soldiers against Baganda demonstrating Lule’s downfall. He told Baganda it was the Anyanya’s that shot and killed peaceful demonstators and they belived him, i wonder which Anyanya is going to be blamed this time..
A Ugandan policeman raises his weapon and a stick as he instructs residents to run along Wandegeya street in the capital September 12, 2009. Security forces in Uganda clashed with rioters for a second day on Friday over a row between the government and the kingdom of Buganda. Violence has been triggered by land and power disputes between Ugandan ’s government and leaders of Buganda — one of Uganda’s four ancient kingdoms.
Ugandan police instruct residents to run along a Wandegeya street in the capital Kampala September 12, 2009. Security forces in Uganda clashed with rioters for a second day on Friday over a row between the government and the kingdom of Buganda. Violence has been triggered by land and power disputes between Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s government and leaders of Buganda — one of Uganda’s four ancient kingdoms.
Ugandan civilians run with their hands raised along a street in the Wandegeya area of the capital Kampala September 12, 2009. Security forces in Uganda clashed with rioters for a second day on Friday over a row between the government and the kingdom of Buganda. Violence has been triggered by land and power disputes between Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s government and leaders of Buganda — one of Uganda’s four ancient kingdoms.
A Baganda tribeswoman chants slogans outside the Baganda Parliament in Uganda’s capital Kampala September 12, 2009. Security forces in Uganda clashed with rioters for a second day on Friday over a row between the government and the kingdom of Buganda. Violence has been triggered by land and power disputes between Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni’s government and leaders of Buganda — one of Uganda’s four ancient kingdoms.
A boy looks at the remains of a burnt truck following clashes in the Seta neighbourhood of the Ugandan capital Kampala September 12, 2009.
Ugandan police arrest suspected looters and rioters in the Natete neighbourhood of the capital Kampala September 12, 2009. Calm returned to the centre of Uganda’s capital on Saturday after two days of deadly riots, although police and residents clashed on the outskirts. Many shops remained closed in the centre of the city and Kampala residents walked cautiously past police with their hands in the air to try and avoid beatings, sometimes unsuccessfully.
Baganda tribesmen chant slogans as they gather outside the Baganda Parliament in Uganda’s capital Kampala September 12, 2009.
Ugandan police arrest a man carrying a child at a suburb of Kampala
Ugandan police escort arrested civilians into the Wandegeya police station in the capital Kampala September 12, 2009
A suspected looter carries mattresses after his arrest following clashes in the Natete neighbourhood in the Ugandan capital Kampala September 12, 2009.
A 13-year old boy lies dead after he got shot in the head during riots in Kampala, Uganda, Friday, Sept. 11, 2009.
A mans body lies in the street after he was shot during riots in Kampala, Uganda, Friday, Sept. 11, 2009.
Uganda military police arrest a man during riots in Kampala, Uganda, Friday, Sept. 11, 2009. The unrest began Thursday after the government prevented a representative of the traditional ruler of the Buganda kingdom from traveling to a region northeast of the capital for a political rally. Members of the kingdom make up Uganda’s largest ethnic group but there is friction between the Buganda and members of the smaller Banyara tribe, who claim the Buganda refuse to recognize them.
A woman mourns her husband as he is carried in the van after he was shot during riots in Kampala, Uganda.
Armed riot police secure the area around the razed Nateete Police Station in Kampala, Uganda, Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009, after it was destroyed by rioters on Friday. A traditional Ugandan ruler, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II has canceled a scheduled appearance at a rally near the capital, following two days of deadly riots between his supporters and security forces.