President Museveni reveals he sacked URA ‘crowd’ over corruption

Corruption at URA
President Yoweri Museveni

Kampala, Uganda | URN | President Yoweri Museveni has said the Commissioners who recently resigned at Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) were sacked because of corruption.

Mr. Museveni, who was speaking after the 2020/21 budget reading said he had cleaned the corruption problem at URA. Referring to the commissioners as a crowd, Museveni said these commissioners were stealing instead of serving their people.

“There has been a lot of corruption in URA. That one I have cleaned. That one I have cleaned as we shall clean some of other places. Wherever there is corruption, we shall get you like we cleared the URA crowd. We’re begging, begging as if they are doing us a favour instead of working for their country. Those young people who were given a great opportunity to serve their country, they were busy doing other things. So we have dispersed them, that URA crowd,” said Museveni. 

The officials who resigned last month at URA are Dicksons Kateshumbwa, the head of domestic taxes, Henry Saka, from domestic taxes, Silajji Kanyesigye, the commissioner in the large taxpayer’s office and Samuel Kahima, a manager in charge of rulings and interpretations.

Earlier in March, Museveni had terminated the contract of Commissioner General Doris Akol and appointed John Musinguzi Rujoki as the new boss for the tax body.

“We have dispersed the URA crowd. We called those young people to come and serve but they were doing other things instead.”

Meanwhile, the head of state said URA must increase the tax-to-GDP ratio from 14.5%, saying this was too even to other African countries’ standards. In the 2020/21 financial year, URA has a collection target of 20 trillion shillings.

President Museveni said the tax body must be hard on rental tax. He noted that there are people with 40 houses, all occupied but are claiming they can’t pay taxes because they are building other houses.

“We are saying pay tax per house. This is the argument,” he said.

Read Also: Where does corruption in Uganda begin?

Last week, the government hired a USA firm, Ripplenami, to help map all the landlords in the country and link them to the tax identification register. This will help the government catch landlords that have cheating taxes on the income from their houses.

Meanwhile, the president said that he was happy with the allocation of 256bn shillings to help in Emyoga development that is funding young people with talent and skills to develop things but lack financing.

He said the money in that area will be increased. It is not yet clear how the youths will receive the money.