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The East African : Oct 31st 2015
22 The EastAfrican OPINION OCTOBER 31 - NOVEMBER 6, 2015 Ten facts about the Eu≥obond: What we know, what we don’t, and what’s vague of Budget report from that time. It initially appeared that Ksh103.2 If all the money was spent, no official document shows the final balance coming into the budget.” Jason Lakin (with sources): The Eurobond is not one bond. It T consists of four issues. There were two bonds in June 2014 and two bonds in November 2014 (see Kenya’s 2015 Debt Management Strategy Paper). The total amount borrowed through these bonds was $2.75 billion ($2 billion in June, and $0.75 billion in November). Given the exchange rates in June 2014 and November 2014 (www.xe.com), those issues should have been worth approximately Ksh176 billion and Ksh67.5 billion, for a total of Ksh243.5 billion. The first two bonds were issued during FY 2013/14 and the second two during FY 2014/15. It is not clear that any of the Eurobond revenues came onto the budget in 2013/14. There is no direct mention of these revenues coming onto the budget in the fourth quarter of 2013/14 in the Controller here is now a lot of speculation swirling about Kenya’s Eurobond. Here is what we know… and what we don’t billion from commercial loans (presumably the Eurobond) came onto the budget in the first quarter of 2014/15. This was reported in the first quarter COB report from 2014/ 15. These revenues were nearly three times the projected revenues from this source for the entire year, suggesting they were not expected, which is rather surprising given all the prior hype about the Eurobond. However, the same COB report in- dicates that the total proceeds from the first bond issues were Ksh178 billion and that Ksh139 billion was used in the first quarter. The funds were used as follows: Ksh53.8 billion to pay off another syndicated loan (as reported elsewhere), Ksh35.2 billion directly transferred to capital spending and Ksh50 billion used to cover for a shortfall in domestic borrowing. This left a balance of Ksh38.5 billion in the bank. Taking this balance from the end of the first quarter and adding the additional funding in November So… what happened to the Ksh38.5 billion balance? If it was not spent, it is hard to see why govt wouldn’t be using it now to smooth liquidity during an apparent cash crunch would leave us with Ksh106 billion unspent in the second quarter of 2014/15. The second quarter COB report from 2014/15 makes no further mention of the details of how the Eurobond funds were used, but does present revised figures for how much came onto the budget by December 2014: about Ksh75 billion (including an exchange rate gain). No explanation is provided for why this figure is now Ksh30 billion lower than the figure for total commercial borrowing during the first quarter. No mention is made of the addi- tional $0.75 billion raised through the third and fourth bonds in November. It is possible that the Ksh75 billion actually represented this additional amount (which we estimated above at closer to Ksh68 billion). However, if that were true, what happened to the Ksh103.8 billion from the first quarter report? The second quarter COB report shows a sudden increase in the government’s opening balance in 2014/15 to just over Ksh140 billion. That opening balance is very close to the amount that was collected from the Eurobond in 2013/14 and the amount that was apparently spent in the first quarter of 2014/15 (see point 4 above). This would suggest that the June 2013/14 bond issues were moved to the 2014/15 opening balances carried forward from 2013/ 14 at that time, while the November bond issues were recorded as 2014/15 revenues. If so, we would have a balance of Ksh38.5 billion in the bank, and the full Ksh75 billion (what we had estimated at Ksh67.5 billion) coming onto the budget in 2014/15. There are no further changes in these numbers in the final fourth quarter COB report for 2014/15, suggesting that by the end of that year, all but Ksh38.5 billion of the Eurobond had come onto the budget and been spent. The Ksh38.5 billion balance was not brought onto the budget for 2015/16 at the beginning of the year. The August 31 Statement of Actual Revenues shows no budgeted carryover from 2014/15 and an actual balance carried forward of only Ksh204 million. There is a budgeted revenue of Ksh72 billion in further commercial loans for the year, and nothing collected as of August. So… what happened to the Ksh38.5 billion balance? If it was not spent, it is hard to see why the government wouldn’t be using it now to smooth liquidity during an apparent cash crunch. If it was spent, when did it come onto the budget, for what purpose and why isn’t it visible in public reports? Cabinet Secretary for the Treasury Henry Rotich recently claimed that all of the Eurobond money was spent, but I have not found any official documents showing when the final balance came on budget. Why should basic facts about billions of shillings require us to sift through vague reports and still come up short? Jason Lakin is Kenya count≥y di≥ecto≥ fo≥ the Inte≥national Budget Pa≥tne≥ship. E-mail: email@example.com It’s time to set up an inte≥im wa≥ c≥imes cou≥t fo≥ South Sudan the country. Its evidence of killings, torture, mutilations and rape against civilians, as well as forced cannibalism, serve to highlight the urgency for impartial investigations into war crimes, if further atrocities are to be deterred and those suspected of criminal responsibility for crimes under international law held to account. In the 15 months since the Commission’s T researchers concluded their investigations the conflict has intensified, with serious humanrights violations and abuses committed by both sides to a non-international armed conflict that has seen tens of thousands killed and two million people forced from their homes. While the publication of the report is a sig- nificant — if tardy — step towards accountability in South Sudan, its impact will depend on how quickly a systematic framework to investigate these crimes can be set up. As evidence degrades and memories fade, each passing day takes South Sudan’s victims further from justice. It is the peace accord, signed in August by South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar, that holds the country’s best hope for a sustainable peace, despite regular violations of the agreed ceasefire. It provides for power sharing, demilitarisation and security sector reform, while he African Union’s long overdue report on the conflict in South Sudan delivers shocking but not surprising conclusions on the current state of The vast majority of the people, who may not have been convinced of this need in the past, now see it as a necessity.” Ken Scott also setting out important transitional justice mechanisms. These include a reparation authority, a truth and reconciliation commission and a special hybrid criminal court, to be established by the African Union Commission. Surprisingly, the criminal accountabil- ity mechanism was readily accepted by both sides of the conflict. Indeed, when President Kiir signed the agreement, he listed 16 major reservations, but the establishment of a criminal court that could someday hold senior South Sudanese political and military leaders to account was not one of them. The complete lack of accountability for previous cycles of violence in the region that has become South Sudan has been one of the root causes of the recent conflict. A failure to deal with deep grievances and to achieve real justice has too often only nurtured the next round of mass violence. With few exceptions, most of the community leaders with whom I spoke during a recent trip to South Sudan believe that any hope for a sustained peace in South Sudan must include real accountability for the horrible wrongs done. They also believe that the vast majority of South Sudanese people, who may not have been convinced of this need in the past, now see it as a necessity. The peace accord requires the transitional government, “upon inception,” to initiate legislation to establish the hybrid court which, according to the agreement, will be put in place by the African Union Commission. As illustrated by a joint letter sent on September 23 by numerous South Sudanese and international non-governmental organisations to its Chair, Nkosozana Dlamini Zuma, there is a genuine need for the Commission to put an operating hybrid court in place as soon as possible. This provision is a positive step but what matters is seeing it become a reality. And sooner, rather than later. We know that establishing a fully opera- tional court, with the necessary personnel, infrastructure and funding, will take some time. But there is an urgent need to collect and preserve evidence now. Physical evidence degrades quickly in a tropical environment and may also be intentionally destroyed, al- tered or concealed. Witness memories fade and their whereabouts become unknown. Vital evidence is lost forever. This is why it is important that, alongside prompt steps to establish the hybrid court, the African Union or the international community urgently establish an interim investigative mechanism with a robust mandate to investigate possible war crimes and collect and preserve evidence. There is plenty of authority and clear prece- dent for such actions. Commissions of experts were conducting investigations before the Yugoslavia and Rwanda tribunals were fully set up and functioning. Likewise in Sudan, the International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur was set up as a precursor to the Security Council referring the situation to the Prosecutor of the ICC. Taking immediate steps to set up investiga- tions on the ground will send a clear message that the demand for justice is being heard and that the AU’s report is more than shocking words on paper. For it to deliver any real value, it needs to act as a trigger for serious accountability measures to be put in place with genuine steps toward justice, truth and reparation in South Sudan. Ken Scott is a consultant with Amnesty Inte≥national and fo≥me≥ senio≥ p≥osecuto≥ at the Inte≥national C≥iminal T≥ibunal fo≥ the fo≥me≥ Yugoslavia and a special p≥osecuto≥ at the Special T≥ibunal fo≥ Lebanon.
Oct 24th 2015
Nov 7th 2015