“When men are pure, laws are useless; when men are corrupt, laws are broken.”
― Benjamin Disraeli
Well, President Museveni is like himself, always. He doesn’t stutter or change codes overnight; he just continues the steady progress towards abomination of civil society and state institution, which seem more like his goal than actually making procedures and clear ways of actions for his civil servants. Why do I make this statement?
Well, Uganda Revenue Authority won a Markie case against the Oil Drilling Company Tullow/Heritage Oil who has rights to drill oil from the Lake Albert Basins and therefore is sanctioned and has to pay tax on their services and salaries to the Republic of Uganda. Something that is straight forward, but isn’t since the licence agreements and the drilling operations are kept in the dark of the society and citizens, cannot double check the agreement between them or the Memorandum of Understanding to comprehend the details that their operations on Ugandan soil entails.
Still, the recent revelations of cash bonanza and personal relief from the Consolidation Fund of the URA staff and former government employees show to the extent a President offering a token of appreciation for their work on winning the case and getting taxes back to the Republic for the foreign drilling company operation. So on the 25th January 2015 the URA wrote specifically to the Office of the President discussing the possibility of a reward. By November 2015, there arrived a letter where their Parliament could Post-Audit the Budgets to add the UGX6bn from the Consolidation Fund, this was a letter received by the Auditor General John Muwanga by the 2nd November 2016. So that today after the released letter of the bonuses we’re released online during the last 48 hours or so. The URA had to explain the matter of confidence between the President Museveni and their civil servants.
The Presidential Handshake that is so powerful to pay former staff and former government employees, even close knitted URA staffers who worked on the case, even Allen Kagina of UNRA got a decent slash fund from the pay-outs.
Prof Joe Oloka Onyango said in October 2016 this about the State House:
“In early 1980s, when this country was under the leadership of Godfrey Binaisa Lukongwa, State House was like a market place. Today, State House has been converted into an ATM” (Wesaka & Adengo, 2016).
Certainly the knowledge of these arrangements from the Revenue Authority wasn’t known, but a broke State House after an elections, says it all; together with the acts like an open-air bazar where all RDC and DPC got new fresh cars. Together with chiefs and others got good gifts. These together with the NRM Village Programme where they poured out dozens of shillings to each district and village as the ballots we’re soon getting dropped. This behind the scenes acts of URA we’re unknown.
So a “Presidential Handshake” that shows how little value accountability and transparency as the taxes that are back-paid are given as rewards, not paying for fixing schools, paying salaries of teachers and lectures, are not used for tarmac or other public needs. The monies are used to buy loyalty and given to silence them from turning against the President.
These acts counter the progression and even fair use of public funds, it’s a theft, a heist of grand proportions, in a way where the liabilities and righteous earned tax-funds can end up in the close knitted elite and staffers of URA instead of being used for the development of the Republic. This is maladministration and mismanagement of the Consolidation Fund and of the earnings made on the payback of the Tax to the Republic.
Certainly a handshake is now enough to get kickbacks from the Mzee, he is certainly an ATM where the stocks of loyalty get rewards and paid. Doesn’t matter how and about accountability, because it is only the citizens who loose, not the President himself! Peace.
Wesaka, Anthony & Adengo, Jonathan – ‘State House turning into ATM, says Mak don’ (11.10.2016) link: http://www.monitor.co.ug/News/National/State-House—ATM–Mak-don-/688334-3411968-1155d8t/index.html