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The East African : Mar 23rd 2015
The EastAfrican NEWS MARCH 21-27,2015 DEBT LIABILITY Contingent liability by the Justice Ministry: Estimated at 1.3 trillion ($0.44 billion) for compensation for livestock taken by Karimojong cattle rustlers and NRA fighters from the Teso sub-region. A separate claim for compensation for livestock in the same area has an estimated liability of Ush350 billion ($119 million). Contingent liability for compensation for livestock money out of their budgets, a position the Ministry of Justice wants changed. “We have written a Cabinet paper to say that the respective ministries should pay the award out of their budget if the court rules against them,” he said. At the moment these ministries don’t feel the pinch when [Ministry of] Justice settles their debts. Mr Bireije said compensation “Ministries enter into con- tracts and don’t pay or honour their part of the contract so the other parties take us to court and we find that we have to pay, including damages and interests,” said Mr Bireije. “It is a problem of having weak cases [to defend].” According to the official, part of the problem is that government agencies that breach contracts and trigger compensation claims do not have to pay the A young herder in Karamoja takes his family cows to graze. A number of communities in Uganda want compensation for livestock grabbed three decades ago. Picture: File awards arising from torture claims were another problem but one whose perpetrators go unpunished under the current system where all claims are paid by the Ministry. He said: “When an army of- ficer or a policeman tortures someone ad government is sued and forced to pay, nothing happens to them. If the relevant institution, say Police or the Army, were to pay out of their budget, they would go the extra mile to taken by the NRA from Lango sub-region: It is estimated at Ush1.2 trillion ($0.41 billion), with another Ush600 billion ($204 million) claimed in the same area. Compensation claims for livestock in other areas: Estimated at Ush79 billion ($26.9 million) for Acholi, Ush25 billion ($8.5 million) for Karamoja, and Ush8 billion ($2.72 million) for Kapchorwa. ($2.72 million) for Kapchorwa. sanction the responsible official. At the moment they don’t even know that the person they tortured took government to court and got money.” Some government officials are in favour of borrowing a longterm, low-interest debt to settle the outstanding sums once and for all, and avoid them increasing by lieu of interest charged on outstanding payments. However, Mr Muhakanizi is opposed to the idea. “We cannot borrow beyond what we are already borrowing,” he said. “It would destroy the economy.” The Finance Ministry manda- rin said he is working to ensure that ministries get all the money they are allocated in the budget in order to stop them from defaulting on their contractual obligations. However, this, Mr Muhakanizi said, is dealing with the symptom, and not the cause of the problem. “We should look at the caus- es of these court cases and the amounts that are being awarded; what were the causes of the court case in the first place?” The growing size of court awards has contributed to the large debt. For instance, in February 2013, Severino Twinobusingye, a lawyer close to former prime minister Amama Mbabazi was awarded Ush11 billion ($3.74 million) in costs after successfully asking the Constitutional Court to declare that Parliament did not have the authority to force Mr Mbabazi and other ministers, then adversely named in corruption allegations in the House, to go on forced leave pending an investigation. Mr Twinobusingye’s lawyers had asked for Ush20 billion ($6.8 million) and in justifying the award Court Registrar Eriasi Kisawuzi claimed the petition was “one of a kind given the novel issues on parliamentary democracy and constitutionalism it involved”. The registrar shot down argu- ments by the losing government lawyers that the matter had taken only four hours to plead at a cost of about Ush30 million ($0.0102 million). The compensation was later referred to a review on appeal by the Office of the Attorney General but it is not clear whether it has since been paid. Court awards have a dubious record in Uganda. In the early 2000s the government lost billions of shillings to a racket involving government officials and lawyers, in which they connived with private firms to reinstate compensation claims that should have been time-barred, and made fresh claims against the government. In 2004, the Inspector Gen- eral of Government found that a law firm associated with a government minister at the time had connived with state lawyers to win several big compensation claims against the government, part of the $120 million paid out between 1999 and 2003 in such cases. In at least one case, the IGG’s office found the almost half of the compensation awarded had been “shared among key officials in the Ministries of Finance, Justice and the lawyers involved”. Some of the money was reported to have been spent on campaigning for the government during election time. The sharp rise in the contin- gent liability arising out of court awards is parallel to a sharp rise in Uganda’s public debt as the country borrows heavily to finance investments in energy and transport infrastructure as well as raise salaries for public workers. 13 PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT INVESTOR EDUCATION AND FINANCIAL LITERACY INITIATIVE FOR EMBU COUNTY The Authority, in partnership with capital markets industry stakeholders, the Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the County Government of Embu has organized a three-day Investor Education and Financial Literacy Initiative for Embu County from March 26th , 2015 to March 28th , 2015. The event targets participants from the Business and Professional Community, the County Government of Embu as well as the General Public within Embu County and its environs. The initiative is geared at enhancing financial literacy, and in particular ensuring that the investing public in Embu County and its environs appreciate the various investment opportunities, risks and rewards associated with investment in the Capital Markets industry. It is also intended to create awareness on the rights and responsibilities of investors and the roles of various market players. The initiatives will include the following: • A Road Show on March 26th • Forum for the Business Community to be held on Wednesday, November March 27th • Open Days to be held from 27th to 28th , 2015 targeting the General Public within Embu County and its environs; , 2015; March, 2015 at the Embu Moi Stadium targeting the General Public, including the Business and Professional Community, within Embu County and its environs. (Participation for the Forum/Seminar is by Invitation while the Road Show and Open Days are Open to All Members of the Public) Participants will get an opportunity to get information on:• How to buy shares, bonds and other Capital markets products. • Opening and running a Central Depository System (CDS) account. • How you can start investing with as low as Kshs.500.00. • How to protect your shares/investments. • What you need to Know about Unit Trusts (Collective Investment Schemes). • Available products and licensed market institutions. • Developments in capital markets. • The role of intermediaries in facilitating long term savings. • Capital markets as an alternative financing option for long term projects. • The Government’s role in promoting investment and security of Investments. • The 10 year Capital Markets Master Plan. • Corporate Governance reform for listed companies. • The rights and obligations of investors. • Raising questions, concerns or complaints to the Authority. Some of the institutions expected to exhibit at the Open Day include, the Capital Markets Authority, the Central Depository and Settlement Corporation, Fund Managers, Stockbrokers, Custodians, Investment Banks, Investment Advisors among others. Come and learn how to create wealth through capital markets. Don’t leave your friend behind!!! For more details, contact Halkano Huqa or Konrad Afande on Tel.020 2264900 E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.cma.or.ke ENTRANCE IS FREE!!!
Mar 16th 2015
Mar 30th 2015