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Archive for the tag “Parliament Powers and Privileges Act of 1955”

Mzee was it Warfare or Budget, Mr. President?

President Museveni: “Yes, it is true I was a rebel, but sometimes rebellion fails. I was fighting a just war” (#UGBudget17 Speech, 08.06.2017).

Today was the day the Budget Speech from Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) Matia Kasaija as the Parliament we’re delivered the total budget for the Financial Year of 2017/2018. This one has already been voted for and was a summery for the representatives in Parliament to know the values of their ministries and the projected use of the revenue of the state will have. Still, on this day, the President of 31 years, the rebel of 1980s decided to wear military fatigue and be wearing the gear as a General. He was not the executive in some sense, he was the military general. The gun-loving and militarized politician Museveni was allover today.

Therefore I have to take a piece of law, which could be used as the UPDF Act of 2005, where it states on 164: “Unauthorized sale or wearing of uniforms, etc.

(1) Any Person who, without authority –

(c) wears or uses any decoration supplied to or authorised for use by any member of the Defence Force or any decoration so nearly resembling that decoration as to be likely to deceive” (UPDF Act 2005).

So even if he is Commander-in-Chief and the Executive, he is still of contempt of the Parliament and their rules, when having to show-up in military fatigue or military uniform. As if he is storming to war and not trying to speak well of the budget framework and the voting for the post in the budget. This is clearly lacking the gravity of the acts of contempt. Wearing it in a sessions which is unauthorized or seem as wrong.

Therefore another part of the sub-section part (3): “Any person who by act, words, conduct or otherwise, falsely represents himself or herself to be a person who is or has been entitled to wear or use any uniform or decoration referred to in subsection (1) commits an offence and is, on convection, liable to imprisonment not exceeding three years” (UPDF Act 2005).

So when he as President is wearing the military fatigue or uniform in Parliament, I cannot take that man seriously for doing so. Even if he didn’t really violate the UPDF act, still his acts by words or even falsely representing himself, since he is not a full-time general, but a President of 30 years. His revolution or coup d’etat ended in 1986. A disco-tune that should have lost meaning two decades ago, but since he is still the President. That year is still magical like some of old Disney flicks.

Time to leave the Military Uniform Mr. President! Time to leave it behind and also be and act like a President. If he was in war or had to save Parliament from an angry powerful militia. Alas, it is not so! Time to relief the attire and be peaceful man, especially since he is supposed to help with the National Dialogue in South Sudan, but easier to sell arms than negotiate peace, right Mr. President?

So was it a sign of warfare from the President or his NRM Way to prove that the bullets gave him power to bless the budget? Peace.

Reference:

The Uganda People’s Defence Force Act 2005

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#UGBudget17: Half borrowed and a third paid back in Interests!

Today the Ugandan government, the National Resistance Movement finally read the Shs. 29 Trillion budget for the 10th Parliament. However, it is not necessary the size of funds and all, which is allocated, but the way it is funded. Like “Government hopes to raise sh14.6 trillion in revenues to fund the 2017/2018 budget” (Uganda Debt Network, 08.06.2017). Of the 29 Trillion, they expect to get close to half of that, but the monies has get from somewhere and also be of use. What is left are relieved like this: “The balance sh14.3 trillion (49.5%) of the National Budget will be raised through internal and external borrowing” (Uganda Debt Network, 08.06.2017). With this in mind, half of the budget is adding more debt. So if a nation already having lots of debt and debt repayment, it still adds another half budget. This is a bad cycle of events.

There lets us put things in perspective: “Our concern is sh9.9trillion, which is 35% of the total budget, will be spent on debt repayment” (…) “Amount of money spent on debt repayment has escalated in the recent past now at 9.9 trillion for fy2017/18” (Uganda Debt Network, 08.06.2017).

Therefore, the state and the NRM are clearly getting funds through loans to pay-off their interests. AS the 35% of spending is on interest in the coming fiscal year. This should worry, even if the corruption, misspending of obnoxious amount of funds through the paradise of Okello house. Still, that 1/3 of the coming budget is paid interest on old loans, which are been made by this government and by this President. What it show is the lack of concern of the future and how sound fiscal policies. At this state, the government of Uganda are clearly footing the bill. They are filling in the blanks for where they in the past had happy donors filling the envelopes.

The NRM and President Museveni is overspending and misusing state reserves, as the revenue and the state coffers do not sustain this massive overspending. Certainly, it is visible, also the worry of the running interest rates and growing debt as close to half of this year alone are by loans. Neither if it is local, by foreign or multi-national financial institution does save the fact, that the state has a problem.

That of the coming fiscal year, the state is borrowing half, and repaying that with 35% says a lot. IT says the fiscal policies needs change and it is dire. The state are clearly walking the wrong path. And remember this, there will be supplementary budgets during the fiscal year, that will expose the overuse of funds and needs for more loans. Therefore, they are surely going to exploit the faith in future, without having the funds for it today. Peace.

Uganda: CSBAG – “Reducing Wastage and Curbing Inefficiences to Finance our Priorities for the FY 2017/2018 (09.04.2017)

Opinion: MPs now become tax-exempt is just another way of being unaccountable!

10th-parliament-sep-2016-p2

It is just one of them days where the madness continues at amp speed, where the government officials continue to eat off and sponge of the plate of the citizens. Where the concern for their own behalf counter their constituency and even their own conscience. With that in mind here is ill-spirited news from the National Assembly, the 10th Parliament of Uganda:

“This is after President Yoweri Museveni assented to the Income Tax Amendment Bill 2016. The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga told a plenary sitting on December 21, 2016 that the President signed the law on November 19th, which in essence means that their allowances on mileage and constituency allowances, sitting allowances for committee sessions, town running allowances, basic pay and car purchase allowances, will be exempted from taxes” (Parliamentary Watch, 22.12.2016).

Already as it happens, it is no surprise, none should be thinking that this could appear before the moon and sun, even the doubting stars would not dance of joy. They are just all where they, where are before and will be so after. Still, the constituency of these Members of Parliament, the people of Uganda should not accept this robbery, this negligent concern for their hard-earned taxed monies that been accumulated with vigour from the Uganda Revenue Authority.

This vicious attempt of eating of the spoils, the grandeur of greed while the people both in parties, in businesses and even civil servants doesn’t get paid on time. Banks are collapsing and businesses bailed out, still in this economic climate the wealth and richness are now beholden the men and woman who represent the ones paying the tax. It is amazing that a person earning little or nearly nothing pays VAT on products or on Airtime that become levied to pay for the tax-exemption of the MPs. Together with the ordinary paid tax on working hours and such. Still, the people representing the tax-base and the ones taxed are tax-exempt. Is not extraordinary, that the ones that leaders and representative does not have to pay tax and does not need to behold accountable for the work they do as representatives while they are serving the public.

We can question their moral integrity, the moral fabric of this design and act as they scrupulous extend their wealth on the cost of the population. The reach of malice and bravado that can only been seen as vicious attempt to allow thieving and become unaccountable. They are not ordinary citizens and not even careful law-abiding when it does not matter if they pay tax on their earned salaries.

The outcome of this matter is clear, they do not need to be accountable or even caring about transparency about their wages, their allowance and extra funds are exempt, and they can go by the merry, be jolly with the colleagues, and be sure that people won’t find out their real allowance or credible income. Since they are not really in need of filling that into the tax office or correct their income statement, since for reason number one: they are not levied any tax against in the near future. The law permits them to keep this in dark, the new forms of shady agreement and paid suits will be high flying and this while the proclaimed the URA has tried to put the memo: “have collected more money than ever before”. Still they have not counted in the estimated income or the current inflation to why the amounts of shillings collected has increased!

With that in mind if the collection and disrespect for paying tax will rise in the near, it is understandable as the disgraced MPs are sponging with no concern for their constituents, not on paper and not with concern for their pockets. They are only caring about their own pockets, not the pockets are clearing their checks and balances by the end of the month. The allowances and salaries are now secured as much as their growing wealth as well.

This is disrespecting the law-abiding citizens who themselves pay their levied taxes and are responsible, everyone who contribute their hard earned currency to the plate for common good, that common good is not to be sponged on the individuals who represent the ones who pay. They are supposed to share it to generate a working government with institutions who servers the public and the people. As well securing salaries to teachers, doctors and civil servants, which is the MPs as well, but not for them to become wealthy.

These MPs, this President Museveni has forgotten the basics, he has forgotten policies and what makes a grand state, he has forgotten and it has dwindled in his power-grabbing ways. The thieving starts from him and ends with him, his sign and signature on a damaging bill that creates a vacuum between the citizens and the representatives in Parliament.

President Museveni has forgotten due-diligence and even self-respect as all he wants to do is eat and let his loyal elite eat; so they will vote for his bills instead of concerning them with the people, the citizens who they represent. They can pay for their cars, their houses and salaries, but the MPs do not need to be accountable or even pay tax for it. Because the honourable, the elite, these Members of Parliament think they deserve to be grander and wealthier than the ones they represent. In addition, how wrong they are, because they are supposed to understand and make the citizens life better and their needs for better future. Now they are only concern with their own. That is not a good look, it is a bad one and it is self-inflicted. Peace.

Uganda: CSBAG statement on the Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2016 (21.12.2016)

csbag-21-12-2016

Uganda: Where is the Income Tax Bill 2016? (14.12.2016)

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Uganda: Members of Parliament seek legal ways to evade taxes! Citizens rise up (20.11.2016)

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The Amendment of the Income Tax Act in Uganda; is the first out of many freedoms that the Members of Parliament have given themselves

Uganda Parliament Museveni

It’s been hectic around the Amendment for the Income Tax that has opened the possibility for Members of Parliament and the ones on Diplomatic Missions to not be paying the Income Tax in Uganda. There been an outrage on Social Media, therefore I started to look into it. First will I add the specific amendment that was voted in Parliament now in April 2016, that’s give’s the Members of Parliament no Income Tax, because older laws already gives them Immunity. Certainly this is gift basket to the coming 10th Parliament, as the 9th Parliament gives a tax-break to themselves, as they already have certain obligations and other services provided by law; and that is not so strange they are the makers of laws, so they have made laws that fits them and gives them advantages.

Uganda Shillings

Orignal Law before the Amendment:

93. Cases where returns of income not required

Unless requested by the Commissioner by notice in writing, no return of income shall be

furnished under this Act for a year of income-

(a) by a nonresident person where subsection (4) of section 4 or paragraph (c) of

section 87 or both apply to all the income derived from sources in Uganda by

the person during the year of income; or (effective 1st July, 2001- Income Tax

(Amendment) Act, 2002)

(b) by a resident individual-

(i) to whom section 4 (4) applies; or (effective 1st July, 2001- Income Tax

(Amendment) Act, 2002)

(ii) whose total chargeable income for the year of income is subject to the

zero rate of tax under Part I of the Third Schedule to this Act!” (The Income Tax Act, 1st July, 1997)

Ugandan shillings

Here is the what the Amendment of 2016 does to this section:

“Unless requested by the Commissioner by notice in writing, no return of income shall be

furnished under this Act for a year of income-

(a) by a nonresident person where subsection (4) of section 4 or paragraph (c) of

section 87 or both apply to all the income derived from sources in Uganda by

the person during the year of income; or (effective 1st July, 2001- Income Tax

(Amendment) Act, 2002)

(b) by a resident individual-

(i) to whom section 4(4) applies, except persons employed by diplomatic missions and prescribed organisations on which diplomatic immunities and privileges are conferred;”. (effective 1st July 2016 – Income Tax (Amendment) Act 2016)

(ii) whose total chargeable income for the year of income is subject to the

zero rate of tax under Part I of the Third Schedule to this Act!”

So with the important Amendment to the Tax law tha set the standard for the Diplomatic Immunities and Privileges. They are no except from the Income Tax. That means that the Income or Pay that they are getting so not taxed or their salary is now Tax-Free.

Uganda-parliament-2

And as this complies with Scetion 4 (4) here is what that says:

“4. Income tax imposed:

(4) Where the gross income of a taxpayer for a year of income consists exclusively of

employment income derived from a single employer from which tax has been withheld as

required under section 116, the income tax payable by the taxpayer for the year of income

is the amount equal to the sum of the amounts required to be withheld from such income

under section 116” (The Income Tax Act, 1st July, 1997).

So just to take the last piece of law to put this all together and give meaning while it have created a fuzz and been question what this part of law means that people with Diplomatic Immunity get exception from Income Tax. Even if the Third Part of Law says that people who lives most of the days in Uganda have to pay Income in Uganda, but with this new text to the law, that certain people are exempt and doesn’t have to cough-up the money.

This is what the Parliament (Power and Privileges) Act of 1955 of 24th February 1955 say this in the act:

“2. Immunity from legal proceedings.

No civil or criminal proceedings may be instituted against any member for words spoken before, or written in a report to, Parliament or to a committee, or by reason of any matter or thing brought by the member in Parliament or a committee by petition, bill, motion or otherwise” ( Parliament (Powers and Privileges) Act 1955).

Internal Memo Uganda Parliament 2013

And lets not forget this act to called Parliament (Remuneration of Members) Act 1981, that is still active and give certain benefits the Members of Parliament. It came into effect on 1st July 1981 and is still active and this is what it says:

“4. Regulations:

“amenities” includes housing, transport, medical attention, domestic servants, security guards and secretarial services;

“Minister” means the Minister responsible for public service and Cabinet affairs”, (Parliament (Remuneration of Members) Act 1981).

So they have no cut the Income Tax because the Parliament Law of 1955 gives the Immunity and therefore are they under the provision of the exemption. That is not surprising, but that is a fact. So it is clear that the end of 9th Parliament will be self-serving an in their own interest and not for any common-good for the people.  And the ability of still having colonial laws that are active and not terminated is a little profound for me. As the NRM Regime have tried to rewrite everything, but seems that certain relics of the past is a good thing, if it gives them more power or ability to harass the opposition or control fellow peers. The Immunity of Members of Parliament together with Amenities and now the exception of Income Tax proves the levels of positive acts that are made for MPs to be able to paid salaries and amenties without paying Income Tax. That is astonishing and questionable. That the Minister of Parliament can get funding for housing, transport, medical attention, servants, securities and sectorial services without paying Income Tax on the Salary that are getting. With the benefit of Immunity!

So some laws from the Colonial Past and one law made by Obote II gives an edge together with the new amendment of a law made two years after the “Museveni Constitution” of 1995. Certainly there some ironies that the Members of Parliament are getting funded amenities under the NRM Regime because of President Obote and his UNLA and UPC fixed it 5 years before NRA overthrow them. But that is just me.

The levels of self-serving is just continuing the traditions in the Ugandan Parliament. This is all the way from 1955 to 2016. It might be 50 years apart, still the same mentality is there and the men of power wish to extent their power, if it is immunity, impunity or exception from taxes. The same powers and same common greed is there. As showed in the laws that inflicts the Cabinet and the Members of Parliament. Peace.  

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