About me.

Andrew M. Mwenda is the founding Managing Editor of The Independent, Uganda’s premier current affairs newsmagazine. One of Foreign Policy magazine 's top 100 Global Thinkers, TED Speaker and Foreign aid Critic



Monday, June 24, 2019

Uganda’s trending fashion


How popular sentiments have undermined our journalism and blinded our intellectuals from reality

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | It has become increasingly trendy and fashionable within certain sections of social media in Uganda to denounce President Yoweri Museveni. It does not matter what arguments one makes or evidence they adduce to back up their case or the values they stand for. It is just cool to accuse Museveni of looting and destroying Uganda. Many Ugandan journalists, intellectuals and pundits seeking popular validation of their ideas, afraid to be “misunderstood”, desperate for approval, or plainly emotional and ignorant, pander to popular sentiments in complete disregard of the facts.

For instance, Godbar Tumushabe recently sent me a clip of my 2007 TED talk decrying the rising cost of Public Administration on the budget. He asked what had happened to me now that I no longer denounce Museveni’s excessive expenditure on political patronage. I replied telling him that nothing had happened to me; something fundamental had happened to the budget (or Museveni): the cost of Public Administration on the budget had been shrinking in relative terms even though it had grown in absolute terms. I added that Godbar and me should share part of the praise for this change in our nation’s budget because we played a part.

On May 22, 2002, then Permanent Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, also Secretary to the Treasury, Chris Kasami, gave a profound talk at a public expenditure workshop in Kampala. He argued that there was need for “stronger control over the expenditures of Public Administration.”  Public administration at the time included State House, Office of the Prime Minister, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Public Service, Uganda Revenue Authority, Parliament, Electoral Commission, and the Ministry of Finance.

Kasami made two critical points: first that the budget for Public Administration had grown too rapidly. Second that the sector had consistently failed to fit within its budget, thereby claiming a large share of supplementary budget approvals, which negatively affected budget releases of other sectors. He said that Public Administration was “currently the second largest sector in the government budget, taking 20% of the total government spending. He revealed that it had been growing at an annual average rate of 16%, claiming an increasing share of GDP i.e. rising from 2.9% of GDP in the 1997/98 budget to 3.6% of GDP in the 2001/02 budget.

Kasami argued that if the cost of public administration had grown in tandem with the growth in population, the country would have saved over Shs80 billion for other sectors that were critical. He argued that the reasons for the ballooning cost of Public Administration was the growth of semi autonomous government agencies, missions abroad and the cost of “the political system” i.e. patronage. Here he mentioned 62 ministers, 35 presidential advisors, 56 RDCs, 56 districts, 305 MPs and the growing size of the EC.

Godbar and I launched an advocacy program at ACODE where we campaigned against this development. We raised money from the Netherlands government and in 2006 and 2007 held a series of high profile seminars. I presented papers on how, since 2002, things had gone from bad to worse. I demonstrated that there had been negligible investment in roads and electricity, sectors that are fundamental to future growth prospects. I even presented tables comparing Uganda’s spending on energy and transport infrastructure with other Sub Sahara African countries – and we were below average.

Public officials; especially from the Ministry of Finance, and donors attended. In the 2008/09 FY government made a U-turn and created the Energy and Road Funds, and poured money into them. It also established UNRA to lead the road construction program. In the first year, the Ministry of Works was unable to absorb the money because they did not even have road designs. However, we at ACODE had scored big: we contributed to the transformation of the budget from political patronage to long-term investments in Transport and Energy.

It is possible government (and Museveni) were already on this path. But there is no denying that my work with Godbar and ACODE generally played a vital role in this process and we should be proud of it. So I replied raising these developments to Godbar, arguing that criticising Museveni is not a fashion for me. The president and government changed to our side and we should applaud them for it. Changing government behavior and policies does not always (although sometimes it may) require confrontations. Media and civil society work with government to achieve shared goals.

Let us now look at the facts of the 2019/20 Budget, which is Shs32 trillion: the largest portion of it goes to the ministry of works to do roads i.e. Shs6.4 trillion (20%), followed by Defense at Shs3.6 trillion, Education Shs3.2 trillion, Energy Shs2.9 trillion, etc. Public Administration has fallen from being number two largest budget item in 2002/03 to number 12 at Shs908 billion (2.9% of the budget) in 2019/20. Even if we add Public Sector Management, it comes to Shs1.5 trillion (4.5% of the budget and 10th largest budgetary item).

Even in the face of these facts, Godbar was not willing to change his mind. He said nothing has changed. The size of presidential advisors has remained the same or increased, which may be true. He argued that all government has done is separate Public Sector Management from Public Administration. He did not even care to look at the facts i.e. that even when the two sectors are combined the improvement is big. I must add that not everything under Public Sector Management was part of Public Administration.

I find it difficult to refuse to change my mind in the face of new developments or new facts. I find it dishonest to keep harping on a problem that has been solved. Museveni may not have reduced the number of his advisors, districts or size of his cabinet. These have increased. However, they are increasingly taking a much smaller share of our budget. On the contrary, over the last decade, government has become more developmental, pouring ever increasing resources into long term investments like roads, dams, electricity transmission lines, water systems, etc.

Museveni critics have been raising a complaint that he has taken too many loans at the cost of increasing debt, which will be borne by our grand children. This argument is misinformed because it would make sense only if the loans were taken to finance today’s consumption. However, almost all the loans Uganda has taken lately have gone into long-term investments to benefit our grandchildren.

****

5 comments:

Bruce David said...

Hello everyone..Welcome to my free masterclass strategy where i teach experience and inexperience traders the secret behind a successful trade.And how to be profitable in trading I will also teach you how to make a profit of $12,000 USD weekly and how to get back all your lost funds feel free to email me on(brucedavid004@gmail.com) or whataspp number is +22999290178

INVEST WITH $200 AND GET A RETURNS OF $2,000 said...

Invest with 200$ and get a returns of 5,000$ within seven business working days.
Why wasting your precious time online looking for a loan? When there is an opportunity for you to invest with 200$ and get a returns of 5,000$ within seven business working days. Contact us now for more information if interested on how you can earn big with just little amount. This is all about investing into Crude Oil and Gas Business.

Email: investmoneyoilgas@gmail.com

Peter Scofield said...

Hi guys, if you have been a victim of any binary/ cryptocurrency scam, contact easybinarysolutions@gmail.com they're highly recommendable, and were efficient in getting my initially lost 2btc refunded.

COMPOSITE CYBER SECURITY SPECIALISTS said...

🚀COMPOSITE CYBER SECURITY SPECIALISTS🚀

🔍🔍Are you Seeking for the Best Legit Professional Hackers online??❓💻
Congratulations Your search ends right here with us. 🔍🔍

🏅COMPOSITE CYBER SECURITY SPECIALISTS is a vibrant squad of dedicated online hackers maintaining the highest standards and unparalleled professionalism in every aspect.
We Are One Of The Leading Hack Teams in The United States🇺🇸🇺🇸 With So many Accolades From The IT Companies🏆🏅🥇. In this online world there is no Electronic Device we cannot hack. Having years of experience in serving Clients with Professional Hacking services, we have mastered them all. You might get scammed for wrong hacking services or by fake hackers on the Internet. Don't get fooled by scamers that are advertising false professional hacking services via False Testimonies, and sort of Fake Write Ups. You can easily identify them because most of them uses yahoomails, gmails and other cheaper email providers which could easily expose their vulnerabilities, Please Don’t Fall For Them🚷 Come To Think Of It, Why would a Legit Hacker Be using a gmail or a cheap email provider that exposes his vulnerabilities????⚠️⚠️⚠️ ❌❌❌❌

✅ COMPOSITE CYBER SECURITY SPECIALISTS is the Answers to your prayers. We Can help you to recover the password of your email, Facebook or any other accounts, Facebook Hack, Phone Hack (Which enables you to monitor your kids/wife/husband/boyfriend/girlfriend, by gaining access to everything they are doing on their phone without their notice), You Wanna Hack A Website or Database? You wanna Clear your Criminal Records?? Our Team accepts all types of hacking orders and delivers assured results to alleviate your agonies and anxieties. Our main areas of expertise includes but is never confined to:

▪️ FUNDS RECOVERY ON BITCOIN SCAM, INVESTMENTS, BINARY OPTIONS TRADING and ALL TYPES OF SCAMS.
▪️ WEBSITE AND DATABASE HACKING 💻
▪️ CREDIT REPAIR. 💳
▪️ PHONE HACKING & CLONING (giving you 📱 Unnoticeable access to everything Happening on the Target’s Phone)
▪️ CLEARING OF CRIMINAL RECORDS ❌
▪️ SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS HACKING 📱
▪️RECOVERY OF DELETED FILES 📤
▪️LOCATION TRACKING 📌
▪️BITCOIN MINING ⛏ And lot More.


🏅We have a trained team of seasoned professionals under various skillsets when it comes to online hacking services. Our company in fact houses a separate group of specialists who are productively focussed and established authorities in different platforms. They hail from a proven track record and have cracked even the toughest of barriers to intrude and capture or recapture all relevant data needed by our Clients. 📲💻

🏅 COMPOSITE HACKS understands your requirements to hire a professional hacker and can perceive what actually threatens you and risk your business⚔️, relationships or even life👌🏽. We are 100% trusted professional hacking Organization and keep your deal entirely confidential💯. We are aware of the hazards involved. Our team under no circumstances disclose information to any third party❌❌. The core values adhered by our firm is based on trust and faith. Our expert hacking online Organization supports you on time and reply to any query related to the unique services we offer. 💯

🏅COMPOSITE HACKS is available for customer care 24/7, all day and night. We understand that your request might be urgent, so we have a separate team of allocated hackers who interact with our Clients round the clock⏰. You are with the right people so just get started.💯✅

✅ CONTACT:
Email:
composite.cybersecurity@protonmail.com


🔘2020 © composite cybersecurity specialists
🔘Want faster service? Contact us!
🔘All Rights Reserved ®️

Spam Leads said...

SELLING USA FRESH SSN Leads/Dead Fullz, along with Driving License/ID Number with good connectivity.

--> PRICE FOR SSN LEAD 2$ <--

All SSN's are Tested & Verified. Fresh spammed data.

**DETAILS IN LEADS/FULLZ**

->FULL NAME
->SSN
->DATE OF BIRTH
->DRIVING LICENSE NUMBER
->ID State
->ADDRESS WITH ZIP
->PHONE NUMBER, EMAIL
->EMPLOYEE DETAILS

*If you buy in bulk, will give you discount
*Hope for the long term business
*You can asked for your specific states too

**Contact 24/7**

Whatsapp > +923172721122

Email > leads.sellers1212@gmail.com

Telegram > @leadsupplier

ICQ > 752822040