KAMPALA – President Yoweri Museveni has said the commissioners who recently resigned from Uganda Revenue Authority were actually sacked because of corruption.
Museveni, who was speaking after the 2020/21 budget reading, said he had now 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 terminated the contract of commissioner general Doris Akol and appointed John Musinguzi Rujoki as the new boss for the tax body.
During his Heroes day message at State House on Tuesday Museveni said he is tired of corrupt people whom he called parasites in his government building personal wealth rather than building the economy.
Museveni challenged URA to increase the tax-to-GDP ratio from 14.3 per cent, saying this was the lowest in Africa where other countries are collecting 18 per cent. In the 2020/21 financial year, URA is tasked with collecting at least Shs 20 trillion.
Museveni said the tax body must be particularly 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.
Last week, the government hired a USA firm, RippleNami Inc 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 been cheating taxes on the income from their houses.