A collection of views,ideas about Uganda's politics,lifestyle!!!!


The Higher Education students Financing Act was passed on 12/12/2013, it was to harmostudent-loan-scheme-headernize public higher education financing by creating a central agency responsible for vetting applications for public education financing by introducing a students loan scheme.

While the basic arguments for the scheme are not in question, there are serious questions about the robustness of the Act’s operational framework to make sure that these broad goals as well as the more specific goals for students are realized.

The Rationale for Student Loans Scheme There are many arguments in favor of student loan schemes. Uganda, having recently joined over 70 countries that run such schemes, has incorporated several of these arguments as it has proposed and passed the Higher Education Students Financing Act. Despite these provisions under the Act, the Higher Education in Uganda has undergone significant changes related to use, institutional set up, number and differences among key players, and financing. It is doubtful if the government can secure and maintain adequate capitalization for the scheme.

There have been questions on;

1.Is there an efficient institutional management, including adequate systems for the selection of borrowers, the disbursement of loans, record keeping, data storage, and data processing?

2.Is there Sound financial management, including setting appropriate interest rates?

3.Are there Effective criteria and mechanisms for determining eligibility for loans, for targeting subsidies, and for deferring or forgiving loan requirements?

4.Is there an adequate legal framework to ensure that loan recovery is legally enforceable?

5.Is there Information and publicity to ensure that recipients understand the underlying principles and consequent obligations for the borrowing of repayment loans?

Weaknesses

With the corruption cases in Uganda, the key question many legislators, activists and youth ask is whether the loan scheme funds will stay put and not misused, case on point is, the findings of the report from the committee on Education on the ministerial policy statement and budget estimates for FY2014/15, a report that was read and tabled on the floor of parliament.

The Committee observed that during FY   2013/14 UGX 6bn was allocated towards the Higher Education Students’ Financing Scheme of which UGX 5bn was to cater for students’ loans and the balance of UGX 1.0bn for administrative purposes. However, the Committee learnt that the real release was UGX, The task force on pre­ utilized 4.5bn. Of this amount, UGX 1.52bn ,Implementation   operations   while UGX   1.29bn was transferred to   Higher Education Students’ Financing Board account instead of UGX 2.98bn.

The Committee noted with concern that the balance of UGX 1.69bn was diverted to other activities in the Ministry of Education and Sports. The committees recommended that UGX 1.69bn recovered from the   Ministry of Education and   Sports to be used to extend loans to struggling, continuing Students.

The Act does not address parents / students attitudes to grants / loans where non-payment may go beyond a mere resistance to honoring the debt. The other question that many ask is, What will happen to students who are granted loans but who do not graduate (students drop out, but stay liable for their debt).

Unemployable has been another key area for many of the policy analysts to look into; According to a 2008 World Bank Report, Uganda is among the countries with the youngest population and the highest youth unemployment rate of 83%.

To further lend credibility to these findings, in the 2011/2012 budget of Uganda, the Minister of Finance recognised that because of the high levels of unemployment, the Ugandan economy could only absorb 20% of its youth.

You have to ask yourself whether government is setting up youths for a disappointment and frustration, with Uganda’s unemployment rate, how does one except youths to repay the loan? These are among many of the concerns that have been raised by educators, students and policy makers as well as those on the Parliamentary Committee.

As the Scheme is launched there will no doubt be other concerns about the extent to which the scheme can address efficiency and equity concerns in a differentiated Higher Education system in Uganda that has more private than public players. The loan scheme does not address inequalities within higher education financing and access.

This is made worse by the law does not give for clear eligibility criteria for accessing the loan scheme. The only eligibility criteria proposed by the sectoral committee of parliament pays attention to critical causes for national development (sciences). But this is not a criteria, it is a prioritization of financing.

During the parliamentary debate on the education committee report, members of parliament were concerned that the loan scheme had been awarded to only students offering sciences and not humanities, the minister for Education Hon Jessica Alpo confirmed their fears by saying that the loan scheme was now focusing on students offering sciences as a property. This raised the question of equity of the loan scheme.

The timing of the loan is very critical in so far as; the loan scheme was introduced towards the notational elections. This may affect repayment as those who will get access to the scheme may think of it as political money. It may as well be abused and used for political ends, if not well safeguarded.

It is not clear from the law if this law is intended to finance higher education only in public universities, or whether private university students can also access the loan scheme; During the parliament debate on the Education committee report, Hon Anywar raised the question on why many of the candidates that had qualified for the loan scheme were mainly from Kampala International university It is also likely that the loan scheme can be used to control student activism at public universities; what happens if the students who are under loan scheme but show against some government policies of laws?

In conclusion, how will the loan scheme address the unemployment problem when our education system focuses on job seeking and not job creators? Over to you readers.

Check http://www.parliamentwatchuganda.org for an analysis of the Law !


1402257970770Most central to the understanding of our Members of parliament and the executive’s sleeping culture is their rather complex understanding of the concept of representation, MPs’are voted to be a voice, but ours prefer sleep, or maybe be playing solitaire, I honestly do not which is worse, to simply ignore the issues of those who voted you or to simply give into the beautiful lullaby that our president  skillfully offers at every state of nation address?!

 

Anyway back to my idea, after tireless watching legislators sleep through taxpayer’s money, as an unemployed youth, I think my business idea will cover my problem and that of our beloved “honorables”.

 

My business plan is to start-up a chewing gum business, this brand of chewing gum will be called PARLIAMENTARY SLEEPING CURE, and I could sell it at 5000 each, the ingredients will include pepper, because one cannot dare fall asleep if pepper were in their mouths, I would rather have drooling MPs than sleeping ones!

 

Back to my plan, my proposal is to the Wrigley company East Africa limited, makers of Orbit chewing gum that was re-branded to PK, which according to the financial Director Mr Bazhan who was quoted in the New Vision back in 2004 explaining why  the brand name changed from Orbit to PK to mean: ‘Packed Tight, Keep Right’. I would however propose to the Wrigley Company to change my specific kind of brand name to Chew Tight, Keep Awake (CK).

 

Next to receive my proposal will be the Right Honorable Speaker of parliament, I will humbly ask to be allowed to put up a stall in parliament, near the main entrance to the chambers with a reminder to our dear MPs to pick up at least two packs, my proposal will include a permanent post at the State of Nation Address where I can also supply the same product.

 

I understand that due to health conditions, some of our beloved MPs cannot handle pepper, so the other ingredient will be ginger, I bet that it can tear one’s eyes enough times to make them stay awake.

 

If and when my business plan is accepted, I will become a distributor, employ some of my third year university friends who are now heading for the unemployment zone, hence making some jobs and saving the country. I would have suggested that parliament allocate a budget for this chewing gum, but I guess the taxpayers have had enough detoothing for a while, so I will pass on that idea.

 

Well considering that the president is now on twitter, I hope that he lands on a link to my blog, maybe this will then turn out to be a government initiative run by the unemployed youth.

Those in favor say Aye to the contrarily say No. As owner of this blog I shall count the votes, the ayes have it.


Unemployment is not only an African problem but also a worldwide known disaster, Majority of the governments are looking at entrepreneur skills as the salvation to this disaster.

The immediate solution that many have resorted to is to equip the youths with entrepreneurship skills.

ImageHowever equipping the youth with entrepreneur skills is not enough, their attitudes have to change.

 

In Uganda 83%youths unemployed, considering that 78% of Uganda’s population is made up of youths this is a ticking bomb that the government is sitting on. There has been some incentive by government to solve the unemployment problem by giving them money, for example the sack of money that president Museveni handed over to the youths in Busoga religion containing about $100,000 is not an answer to the unemployment problem.

 

More focus should be given to Agriculture, as one of the solutions to the over whelming unemployment problem.

 

Kampala is NOT the answer should be campaign started by the government to try to change the mind-set of many of the young people in the country.

Many youth in Uganda especially those that have gotten through school cannot think about becoming farmers, they would rather wear a suit and keep walking on the streets in search of a white collar job because or colonial education system prepares us for a white collar job.

Many youths view agriculture as an illiterate occupation, dirty and not fun!

 

Even after colonialists, the youth mind is still tied down to the constant, very irritating view that what is right, the notion that after graduation, the only solution is to wear a suit and report to the office every morning, and if you do not have a white-collar job, at least wear a suit in the morning accompanied with your CV and knock on office doors in search for one!

 

If the government focused on changing the minds of many of the unemployed and employed youths, that indeed agriculture is a salvation to the unemployment crisis that Uganda is facing.

 

Uganda is an Agro-based country, even with the oil dream and excitement, agriculture will remain as one of Uganda’s exports, and food is also a necessity for all Ugandans.

 

There are so many Agricultural schemes both private and government that use as many 4000 youths in Uganda, boost it’s exports and at the same time give the country with food.

According to Uganda rural fund, 80%of Uganda’s population practices agriculture in one way or another meaning that 2 out of 3 people carry out agriculture.

 

The Labor force – by occupation agriculture in Uganda is: 82% industry: 5% services: 13% (1999) GDP – composition by sector agriculture: 23.9% industry: 26.1% services: 49.9% (2012 est.) according to (Uganda Economy Profile 2013 – Mundi)

Agriculture received 585Billion shillings (FY 2012/13) Budget Speech 2012/13 If some money is budgeted as a government indicative to solve the unemployment problem.

It is the youth same energy both physical and brain wise, needed to boast the Agriculture sector.

 So to many youths out there, with some idle land that belongs to grand parents or is ours, do not just let the weeds enjoy the soil nutrients don’t be selfish, like Koshens says ‘do sumthin’ no offense to my Koshens fellows but I will take Obama’s slogan “ Yes we can”.


What is an African pension system is there a system like that? These were some of the many questions running through my mind, tired of talking to myself, I decided to bridge the idea to a friend of mine, try and probe his sexy brain for answers, after a series of arguments, we agreed that the girl child was the African pension system.

 

 In the traditional African society, a girl child was a device to solve the narrative plot of the African pension system. The social security was built around a woman, the anchor. 

 To put it into perspective, our great grand parents had a pension systemImage that worked perfectly for them, the presence of a girl child was a major factor in their pension system, the retirement package for the hard work. 

Pensions are a form of social security if you have gotten your working years, but it in the long term assert. The African traditional system was centered on inheritance,

Pride price was a down payment and this is how it worked.

  When you pay dowry to a man in form of cows, in return for a hand in marriage of his daughter, he would expand his hut, and then in turn pay dowry for his sons and they expand their clan.

Women were the subjects of this gift making a form of savings for society, the more the girls the more savings, this was a form of bridging gaps in clans, creating affiliation to   various clans, everything that the girl brings home as a girl is giving back to the man. 

In the meantime while the inheritance passes down from father to son, we had network of associated communities, on the reduction of conflicts and investment was in giving birth.

The boy goes home learns the trade of their fathers, the girls go home and learn the trade of their mother.

 This kind of pension system strengthen society, maintained discipline from both parties because they have something to gain, the silent laws on pension in the African society are simply amazing.

Considering that the colonist’s disrupted economy one cannot live in the past forever In Uganda we have pension system and laws that do not seem helpless in this sector and more are to come.

This pension system has been replaced by a couple of pension laws for example ,In Uganda we have a couple of existing pension systems like;

 Immature Pension System: No national Pension System (Pea-in-the-Pod) but there is a number of schemes serving a small portion of the population, namely:

 NSSF – where all private sector employees make mandatory contribution; PSPF – for public employees (public servants), Local Government Scheme (same as PSPF with decentralized administration), Armed Forces Scheme, Occupational Pension schemes (Parastatals, Banks, Telecom Cos, etc.)

 All the above pension systems are just not working for the Ugandan people, so I decided to put subject up for solutions and my idea was to copy the African pension system.

The question still remains how do we get our pension laws to work effectively like the African pension system worked, what is lacking in our new laws that is messing up everything??? Over to you readers.

 

 


‘With or without Media’s permission, parliament has a right to form a forum on media, media is not a member of the forum, it is only represented by the forum’ says Hon. Ssemujju Nganda.

The Parliamentary Forum on the Media, launched by the Speaker of the House, Rebecca Kadaga, on 7th Nov, it is composed of 35 MPforums and in association with members of the Uganda Parliament Press Association and the Uganda Journalists Association (UJA).

Parliament has not been sleeping about the media laws. We have enacted a number of laws in defense of the media; such as, the Access to Information Act was a private members initiative by Hon Abdu Katuntu, which was taken over by the government. We are ready to do more,” Ms Kadaga said.

Uganda Journalists Association came up with the idea starting up the Parliamentary forum on media, with the GIZ a German donor, they asked Uganda Parliamentary Press Association if we can come on board.

With UPPA’s agreement to come on board, they then carried out the recruitment of MPs’ who they wanted to come on board and spearhead the forum, after the launch of the forum on 7th of November, the MPs’ are now in the process of voting for their ideal board members.

The Steering committee is holding elections on which MP is to take what place on the forum’s board, journalists (UPPA and UJA) want donors to come out with secretariat body which will include journalists to help in decision-making and supply MPs’ with the needs of media.

The MPs’, many of them former journalists or politicians engaged in the media reform debate, will be available to listen to the concerns of the media industry and to advocate for change on the floor of Parliament.

The forum’s membership is strictly for MPs’ with different positions like chairperson, V.C all taken up by MP’s, the chair of the Parliamentary Forum on media is Hon.Nalubega Mariam Woman MP Butambala, Hon Bayigga Michael is Vice Chairperson of the forum.

Each forum in parliament for example the Parliamentary forum on youth and children has a budget allocation from parliament, and also can have funders giving donations in form of funds who are interested in helping or pushing the agenda of the forum. This will also apply to the parliamentary forum on Media.

The role of the forum is to represent Media and freedom of speech, expression. The forum would also be used to discuss other material concerns of journalists like poor pay and better job treatment and working conditions.

 

‘It would be a good idea, if the forum is to advocate for the interests of journalists and media at large and amend the bad laws affecting journalists like the Terrorism Act,’ says Ssebayiga a Journalist who has covered parliament for the last 12 years

However, the role played by parliamentary Forum on media are covered under the different laws in Uganda for Example the Press and Journalists Act, Article 41 of the constitution, Uganda communications Act all protect journalists.

On top of the media laws, there are bodies like the Ugandan Human Rights Watch for journalists, Uganda Journalists Union etc all fight for Media Rights.

The parliamentary forum on media which is made up of MPs’ will not only give journalists a direct hand at influencing the parliament decisions on laws affecting the media, the contradictory issue in the consist of journalists.

The bigger question is, with a forum that is made up of MP’s on it’s board, meaning that decision-making is in the hands of the MP’s, same goes for accountability of the different funds that will be given to the forum whether donor money of budget allocation by parliament itself.

‘It is a scheme by MPs’ to make money off journalists, many of the MPs’ will be traveling abroad to attend conferences about journalists, to make matters worse they forum is working with members of Uganda journalists Association whose term is about to expire who also have a tinted image’ says Isaac Imaaka a Daily Monitor Journalist

It is the duty of Ugandan parliament press association is to hold MPs’ accountable to society and play the watch do role, with the parliamentary forum on media, it is a comprise for journalists and the kind of stories they will write, it is very difficult for a journalist to be balanced in writing a story on MPs who are fighting and working hand in hand with helping journalists.

The creation of  this media forum posses a threat to the journalists ethics, it also questions the code of conduct of some of the journalists who will be covering parliament more so the UPPA journalists.

In conclusion, the parliamentary forum on media has many of the journalists conflicted on it’s idea, a question on whether the forum was introduced on selfish gains for politicians and the top members of the Uganda journalists association and Uganda parliamentary press association, or the general question by many of the Ugandans on how media and different journalists associations are not united

 

 


The first time I was hearing the term, ‘munyago’. In my little brain, the term did not make sense.

During a discussion in the Parliamentary newsroom, it a fairly large room equipped with desktop computers, Internet, all provided for by Parliament of Uganda.

However some journalists carry their own laptops.

The conversation,  whose content kept bouncing back and forth but the common denominator was the term Munyago, many of the parliamentary reporters joking and laughing their heads off about who gets the hugest ‘Munyago, and which MP provides the particular Munyago’..

Munyago is a luganda briberyslang, Luganda is on of the many languages spoken in Uganda, The term was introduced to parliament by Honorable Ssekikubo, one of the Rebel’ MP’s during the famous oil debate.

The term Munyago in Luganda means ‘ to grab something’, like grab something that is not initially yours but once you take it, you own it’ the member of parliament .

Honorable Ssekikubo used the term to refer to the public theft of government funds and luck of transparence in the oil sector.

Munyago ‘ was then born as the latest slang among the Parliamentary Reporters.

The life of many of the Parliament journalists and I can say many of the journalists in Uganda is fiction material, in regard to journalism ethics, but if one attempted to write it as a novel, the result would be preposterously unbelievable.

It is all but impossible, to find a neutral voice when it comes to some journalism practitioners, the easy with which the parliament reporters speak about Munyago, was a rude awakening to, and a realization the journalism do not survive the corruption in Uganda.

My only questions are ‘ where the hell, did professionalism go? Where did ethics go, conscience?

Ohh well I guess they went with the poverty level and poor pay of journalists by media houses.

Many of the press briefs, conferences that reporters attend, and their content is not really headline materials or blockbuster story.

The workshops that journalists attend and UGX100, 000 is handed out to each as transport refund and allowances for a conference is just a corrupter of the young.

You know like Kelly Rowland’s song,’ Baby I maybe you motivation’ Or for some that had parents giving you candy just to make you sleep or do whatever the parents want.

The MP’s also use is a ‘little red bull’ to boast the journalists morale to write their story and if possible write it from their angle.

Various youth functions and press briefs, the journalist are given transport refund, that many call ‘munyago.

What is more ridiculous is that there is no distance traveled or costs incurred, considering that the press brief room is only two floors ahead and there is an elevator for those that cannot take the stairs.

Not all journalists take this money that is signed for but most do take it.

A friend made an argument, that since the money is already signed for, and in the hands of whoever is holding the function, it is okay to take it and give to either street children or give it to charity.

For if it remained n the hands of the MP’s, they would still pocket it.

I do not know what you think, but for just a splint second, I actually thought it was a good idea, like ‘Good Corruption’.

At some point I think the public needs to know that the disease has widely spread, it’s the new cancer.

This is not only leverage for the government on the journalists because you sign for the money given, but also an assurance that many of the journalists are no different from them.

Some of the press briefs journalists go for, the incentives given is only food, or drinks.

My highlight of the ‘Munyago’ was during the chaos on the Public Order Management Bill

The opposition in their press brief gave out sodas to reporters.

That same day, the government/NRM in their press brief, gave out sodas and 20,000 to the journalists that attended the press conference.

So there is a  ‘Munyago’ competition between the opposition and the NRM, about who is voted the best ‘Munyago giver’ like many of the reporters say.

The bribe is also a campaign tool to many of the politicians, because if they are covered by all the radio stations and television stations, that is boasting their candidature, for the voters will listen to their ‘honorable saying something and feel represented, hence a second term at parliament. Uganda’s latest self-importance syndrome

About the quest for the truth in an unspecified, ye important institution like parliament, there is a long way to go!

I will catch you later folks, for now I can say a prayer for corruption in my country, FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY.


Sitting on my bed with Emeli Sande ‘s voice booming from my ear phones, I decided to check out my daily news and idea source, (twitter) since the conversation around me on what kind of man to marry and how messed it gets after marriage was just about to get me exploding with boredom.

I landed on Simon Kaheru’s blog piece called ‘Kampala is NOT the answer’, after so many re-tweets I decided to check out, an interesting pointer for me.

A germ of a possibility was planted, a way to unite theory and it’s practical application, a way forward to solve the 83%youth unemployment problem, considering that 78% of Uganda’s population is made up of youths.

Kampala is NOT the answer should be campaign started by the government to try to change the mind-set of many of the young people in the country.

It is true that, not all youths are cut out for business, but I find myself compulsively arguing with each line of printer-writing in my mind, analyzing, considering the implications ,if more focus was given to Agriculture, as one of the solutions to the over whelming unemployment problem, hence my argument!

Like Simon Kaheru’s blog piece, I think ‘Kampala is Not the answer’ it is not only a title but a real campaign, to have as many youths as possible considering agriculture as an employment opportunity and not a the view that it is an illiterate occupation, dirty and not fun!

Even after colonialists, the youth mind is still tied down to the constant, very irritating view that all white man’s ideas are what is right, the notion that after graduation, the only solution is to wear a suit and report to the office every morning, and if you do not have a white-collar job, at least wear a suit in the morning accompanied with your CV and knock on office doors in search for one!

If the government focused on changing the minds of many of the unemployed and employed youths, that indeed agriculture is a salvation to the unemployment crisis that Uganda is facing.

Uganda is an Agro-based country, even with the oil dream and excitement, agriculture will remain as one of Uganda’s exports, and food is also a necessity for all Ugandans.

There are so many Agricultural schemes both private and government that use as many 4000 youths in Uganda, boost it’s exports and at the same time give the country with food.

According to Uganda rural fund,80%of Uganda’s population practices agriculture in one way or another meaning that 2 out of 3 people carry out agriculture.

Labor force – by occupation agriculture: 82% industry: 5% services: 13% (1999)GDP – composition by sector agriculture: 23.9% industry: 26.1% services: 49.9% (2012 est.) Population below poverty line24.5% (2009 est.) Labor force16.55 million (2012 est.) Labor force – by occupation agriculture: 82% (Uganda Economy Profile 2013 – Mundi)

Agriculture received 585 dsc01118billion shillings (FY 2012/13) Budget Speech 2012/13 if some money is budgeted as a government indicative to solve the unemployment problem.

It is the youth same energy both physical and brain wise, needed to boast the Agriculture sector:

So to many youths out there, with some idle land that belongs to grand paper or grand ma or is ours, do not just let the weeds enjoy the soil nutrients don’t be selfish, like Koshens says ‘do sumthin’ no offense to my Koshens fellows but I will take Obama’s slogan “ Yes we can”

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 952 other followers

%d bloggers like this: