Political and Regulatory Round-Up

  • 12 Jun 2023
  • 5 Mins Read
  • 〜 by Annette Muindi


Street tax agents are coming: Ruto gets Sh1.2bn boost to deploy KRA in marketsThe National Assembly’s Budget and Appropriations Committee has proposed an extra Sh1.2 billion to the recurrent budget of the Kenya Revenue Authority to employ tax assistants as President Ruto tightens the noose on “hustlers” who have in the past not been paying tax. 

The committee has inflated the budget by Sh81 billion on the expenditure plan the Treasury tabled in Parliament to Sh3.67 trillion, putting extra pressure on the KRA. 

The KRA collections, which form the bulk of cash streams for the government, are forecast to grow to Sh2.43 trillion from the current target of Sh2.04 trillion for the year ending June.

The Treasury will be leveraging on increased use of data and linkages between KRA systems with third parties such as banks and mobile money platforms like M-Pesa to spy on taxpayers’ activities, use of Internet-enabled cameras at excisable goods processing plants and full rollout of digital electronic tax registers (ETRs) to grow revenue

(Source: Daily Nation)


Tanzania allocates Sh10.5 trillion to service national debt

The Government of Tanzania has allocated Sh10.48 trillion to service the national debt in the financial year 2023/24. The amount is a 15 percent rise from the Sh9.1 trillion that Parliament approved for paying the loans that the government took from various sources in the current (2022/23) financial year.

Tanzania’s total national debt stock, which included both public and private sector debts, stood at $42.26 billion (about Sh97 trillion) at the end of April 2023.

Tanzania’s debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio currently stands at 31.8 percent, which is well below the ceiling of 55 percent.

Out of the Sh9.1 trillion that was meant for debt servicing during the current fiscal year, a total of Sh7.4 trillion had been paid as of April 2023.

(Source: The Citizen)


Museveni speaks out on positive Covid-19 results

Speaking at the close of his 2023 State-of-the-Nation address, President Yoweri Museveni said he felt unwell on Wednesday morning. Suspecting either a cold or possible Covid-19 infection, he called his medical team as a precaution.

“This morning, I was feeling as if I had a cold. I took a rapid Coronavirus test which indicated negative. However, my samples were taken for a deeper analysis. One was negative and the other positive. So, I am a suspect of Corona as I speak. That’s why I came in a separate car with Maama,” Mr Museveni said during his State-of-the-Nation address boycotted by Opposition MPs protesting what they described as “careless spending”, especially on “costly Covid-19 tests” for anyone to attend the president’s public meetings.

Earlier, Mr Mathias Mpuuga, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament had slammed state house, arguing that testing for Covid-19 before meeting the president was a waste of public resources which could be channeled into other developmental activities.

During the address, however, the president said Uganda’s health capacity in vaccine development and other interventions like spreading malaria awareness and prevention had been strengthened over the last three years after the outbreak of Covid-19.

(Source: The Monitor)


UN court says genocide suspect Kabuga ‘unfit’ for trial

The International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals in The Hague, Netherlands on Tuesday ruled that Felicien Kabuga, one of the alleged leading architects of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, is unfit to participate meaningfully in his trial and is very unlikely to “regain” fitness in the future.

During the hearing, judges said they wanted to “adopt an alternative finding procedure that resembles a trial as closely as possible, but without the possibility of a conviction.”

This would “ensure respect for his rights” at the same time as achieving the goals of the court, they added.

(Source: The New Times)


Ethiopia thwarted attempted attack by Al-Shabaab terror group

Ethiopia successfully foiled an attempted attack by the terrorist group Al Shabaab at the Ethiopia-Somalia border town of Dollo.

The Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) stopped the attackers in their tracks before they could wreak havoc, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The ENDF neutralized suicide bombers and destroyed weapons to be used by the terrorist group.

(Source: ENA)


USA/Saudi Arabian facilitators ‘stand ready to resume Jeddah talks on Sudan’

The USA/Saudi Arabian joint facilitators of the suspended Jeddah talks between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) say they stand ready to resume formal talks and remind the parties that they must implement their obligations under the May 11 Jeddah Declaration of Commitment to Protect the Civilians of Sudan.

The talks were formally suspended by the facilitators last week, “as a result of repeated serious violations of the short-term ceasefire and recent ceasefire extension by the SAF and RSF… until the parties demonstrate meaningful commitment…”

In a statement today, the facilitators say that in spite of the suspension, delegations from both the SAF and the RSF remain present in the Saudi Arabian city, and as facilitators, both Saudi Arabia and the USA “continue to engage them daily”. The US/Saudi joint statement says that the discussions are focused on facilitating humanitarian assistance and reaching agreement on short-term steps the parties must take before the Jeddah talks resume.

(Source: Dabanga)


Proposed introduction of Vice President post stirs mixed reactions in Somalia

In a communique released on early Sunday, the National Consultative Council, which includes President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, and Deputy Prime Minister Salah Ahmed Jama, as well as four regional leaders and the mayor of Mogadishu, have agreed to introduce direct elections as early as next year and unify the election schedules and endorsed the establishment of a presidential system for the country.

Citizens expressed ambivalent reactions concerning the latter with many welcoming the move with open arms while others raised questions over its feasibility in the conflict-ridden country. 

Somalia has for decades embraced the Premiership and Presidential model of leadership. Getting away with the PM role and replacing it with the Vice President system will spell a new dawn for Somalia.

(Source: Radio Dalsan)