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Archive for the tag “Uganda Revenue Authority”

The World Bank commends the rising taxes in Uganda!

Yep, the biggest bank and the Bretton Woods Organization called the World Bank has commended the works of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and his plans for added taxes. That comes from the similar institution like International Monetary Fund, that ordered Uganda to follow the Structural Adjustment Plan (SAP), therefore, the IMF that fixed more privatization without lacking investments. Are now okaying a higher rising taxes on the Republic’s citizens. This is done, while the economy is not strengthen, but with added external and internal loans. Therefore, the rise of GDP and use of loans, as well as repayments on those loans will sooner or later hurt the economy. Even with the rise of taxes. This will be start of vicious cycle where the state is issuing loans and taxes, while the revenue is used to repay loans, not development. It is basically. But before I go into the deep of the part of the troubling take from the World Bank. Let me just show you quickly the result of the SAP and their advice there.

The studies also make it clear that for SAP-type policies to have a chance of success, certain preconditions are necessary. The public sector had certain social responsibilities that the current framework has pushed it out of but without “a proper handing over” to the private sector. The assumption and hope were that the market would fill the gap left by the retreating state. Clearly this has not happened. There is therefore need for Government either to retain certain key social sectors, or only hand them over to the private sector only when the latter is ready to effectively take them over. Clearly non-profit making aspects of social responsibility cannot and do not get taken over by the private sector. For poverty to be reduced there are certain social responsibilities or even whole sectors that can only effectively be handled by the public sector. Welfare systems and subsidies to farmers in the developed world attest to the need for the retention of these key areas by the public sector. Therefore a policy that proscribes such a hand-over must also ensure that it is done in a verifiable manner so that the private sector can be held to account. Civil society has in the past tried to fill the gap but this has been done in an ad hoc manner” (Kevin Akoyi Makokha – ‘STRUCTURAL ADJUSTMENT PARTICIPATORY REVIEW INITIATIVE (SAPRI) – UGANDA COUNTRY REPORT: A synthesis of the Four SAPRI Studies’ September 2001).

So, when the last system from the World Bank and IMF was introduced the system and the government wasn’t ready to privatize, however, that didn’t stop them or the government to do so. Especially since the funds and loans at the time came with the hitch of doing so. Therefore, the troubles with the privatization and the lacking oversight is also partly because of these programs subsidized by these organizations. That is why the World Bank and IMF should be more careful professing what sort of thing would be genuine and sincere, since they have messed up before. It isn’t only the State House who has messed up, he has gotten help and followed the procedures of these mechanisms. If not, he wouldn’t be able to eat such vast amounts of donor funding in the past. This is well-known, but the lack of oversight, is because of the will of wanting to have control and a say in everything. That is why the letter from the President to Minister of Finance, is the reason for the new levied taxes. So, if you wonder why I have distrust to the World Bank and IMF, it is because of their history and that the public is paying for it, because their impact on the governments for the reasons. That these states should be guinea-pigs for the economy belief of trickling down economics, even as the results has begged differ if it really drips back into the system again. Which it doesn’t because the ones that gets a lot want to keep it and get some more. No dole it out to anyone they can find.

Here is what the World Bank stated today: “In the special section of the Update, the report analyses how Uganda could raise more domestic revenues to support its development. Uganda’s tax system is one of the most modern in the region, but revenue collections, at 14 percent of GDP, are low, and way below its tax potential. Tax avoidance and evasion, partly resulting from generous tax exemptions to investors, weak tax administration, and a large informal sector (now at 80 percent), pose challenges to increasing revenues. Up to 5 percent of GDP is lost annually in tax leakages. Personal income tax contributes roughly 18 percent of GDP compared to up to 40 percent in developed countries. VAT collections amount to 4 percent of GDP, but would rise to 6 percent if there were no exemptions. The report suggests that Uganda could widen its tax base by tapping into areas that are outside the tax net; applying tax instruments correctly and fairly; improving efficiency, transparency and accountability in tax administration; and delivering better public services” (World Bank – ‘Improving Taxation to Finance Uganda’s Development’ 15.05.2018).

Therefore, the World Bank likes the idea of adding more tax on the Mobile Money transactions and the movement of digital cash, as well as on Airtime and other needed things. The ones that hasn’t a bank-account or the ability to fund or even try to get a loans from the banking system. Are okayed by the World Bank as possible targets for taxes. This isn’t transparent, but making it more expensive to be poor, as the rates to transmit and the use mobile money will come. The companies whose use this method will bill the users, they will not take the hit. The same with all the traders and the importers of all the other items that was on the lists of the newly taxed items.

I doubt these new taxes will do any good, it will just be more funds for the elites, the NRM and the President to eat. They are not delivering government services with the trillions of shillings they are using now. They are billing up to their asses and spending rampant, without having the revenue. That is why the rising debts are there. Instead of living frugal and thinking of the future, the NRM and President Museveni are eating like there is no tomorrow!

State House, the President and the Cabinet are eating heavy, they are not delivering, they have no plans to do so. If so, they give locally when needed, but the lack of transparency and accountability, is the reason for missing funds. Recently even the documents from the GAVI Funds was taken from the Ministry of Health. Therefore, a government who cannot be trusted with funds giving donations to help the sick, how can we believe the tax put on Mobile Money will go to roads or teachers?

I doubt that, I am not that naive, this NRM has proven for 32 years, that they are eating and not caring. The World Bank can commend and praise. While I condemn, until they prove that they money are delivered to the schools, that the teachers have their salaries and the civil servants are properly paid. Not just hiring some random Cubans to fix the issues for a short time. That is not how to build a national health care system. That is how to mock the ones you already have. Peace.

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Telecommunications, Mobile Money and Cooking-Oil is hit by new taxes in Uganda!

You know there fiscal problems within the Government of Uganda (GoU). The GoU is on the rocks, as they are establishing more loans, more interests to pay and has leveraged their forex exchange, when they are levying today’s amount of new taxes. This is coming as reports of lacking hiring for the Civil Service, The Ministry of Public Service has suspended hiring of new positions in the districts and at the government institutions. This is happening, as the amount of cronies around the President is growing. Therefore, the wastage of funds are in and around the President, who can pledge funds as he wishes and give Presidential Handshakes to whoever he likes or needs. Therefore, today is sad day for transparency, as the state is eating itself, but not taking care of the needed services.

We know the state is poor, when the lacking banking-service and with the need of Mobile Money and Airtime on the Cellphones are getting hit by a tax. This is not social media tax, but is that the subscriber and user of the services, will get a withholding tax of 10% on transactions on Mobile Money and Airtime. This means, every time a Ugandan or someone buys airtime, in the price they are paying an added 10 % on the total price of the usage of minutes of airtime or making the transaction of funds between two funds more costly. This is really hitting the breadwinners and the ones who are servicing mobile money from the towns to villages.

Just to prove to how much the added cost on the Mobile Money is wished, as the withholding tax, they are adding direct also the excise tax on this from 10% to 15%, that means the added is 5% more on each transaction. If that isn’t excessive, just think about the two other taxes as well. Therefore, the state has added three taxes on using the phones. The citizens will have to plan more transactions, as they are more costly and will be less transactions of the amount, since the tax will shave off the amount of shillings sent to the fellow they wanted to give needed money through these services.

They are adding even more on every telecommunication services, not just the hit of withholding tax on it, but they are even adding an excise duty on it as well, meaning there are two pieces of taxes put on the same services, but at different times. Making the expenses of using the cellphones, hitting the roof and the value of the airtime dwindles, as you are paying more tax on each minute use. This excise duty is put on the level of 12% as well. So, expect the prices on airtime to rocket, as this hit both the agents to pay more tax on each, and also the cost of actually calling too. This is funds that the Telecommunication Companies will get back from the consumer, meaning citizens will pay more being in touch.

As they continue to give price hikes on necessities, they are putting a levy of 200shs on each liter of cooking oil, this meanings the price for making rollex or banana-pancakes will go up. Since before you buy the eggs and the flour to make your dish. You will pay more for each bottle, while the state gets simple taxation on this single item. It might seems pointless, but all fried foods will be more costly to make and a Samosa will cost more to make, therefore, expect a price hike on the hawkers foods in any stage where you waiting.

These are just some of the measures done by the state, there are several more, but this is really hitting the average citizen usage of phones and also cooking. This are just two items on a long lists of new taxes put on the people. Clearly, the state see the need for spikes of prices, growing inflation and lack of monetary control to come, as the chickens come to roost and the costs of debt services is hitting the fan.

The ones that has to pay for that, isn’t the elite, but all of the citizens who spends time outside their homes and buys into services. Which, means all of them. Peace.

The Creations of districts: Shows growing expenditure, not only at Parliament, but also at local level!

Local governments are supposed to be financed with 30 per cent of the national budget but this has never been possible; sometimes it is as low as 15 per cent. This continues to stifle service delivery,” said Mr Cuthbert Felix Esoku, the Mbarara District chief administrative officer” (Mukombozi, Rajab – ‘Government lacks political will to improve district funding, say local leaders’ 09.11.2017, Daily Monitor).

Sometimes I wonder, if the government understand what it does, or if the sins of the 9th Parliament is hitting the 10th Parliament hard. Also, that the President is lax on caring, because he wants his cronies well off, just like former Prime Ministers and Vice-Presidents are getting 20 million Shillings Yearly as a Pensions, without the perks they are getting too. Therefore, the silence from them, as they are highly paid without doing anything for the NRM. Their ills and the growing Local Government is costing. Not only in Parliament, but in the districts itself. Today, the issues of Parliament is hurting, but none is addressing the local issues. Which is the reason for the lack of money and needed supplementary funds for the Members of Parliament (MP). Take a look!

Parliament is seeking Shs 3.3 billion for the emoluments of twelve more legislators starting July 1, 2018. According to the parliamentary service commission, the number of MPs will increase from 453 to 465 at the start of the of 2018/2019 financial year when new districts and municipalities come into effect” (URN – ‘ Parliament seeks Shs 3bn for 12 new legislators’ 22.04.2018, The Observer).

I am amazed about the amounts of districts and the rise of cost. This not only the share Members of Parliament, the lack of space for their seats and the possible rebuilding of the Chambers. Because the amounts of MPs wasn’t built for this amount of people at the same time. Therefore, the Parliament needs funds and budgets to fit. That says the foolishness of the new districts in that regard alone.

We know, by recent news that the state cannot afford to hire civil servants to Local Government that as is, and that is without the new enclaves or districts created by the state. That is not just the salary of the MPs whose recently elected, while the Electoral Commission are stretched in getting the by-elections and the MPs their seats. That is just beginning, as the growing debt and the interest are growing. While the Parliament is lacking space and the infrastructure and the local hires are not there.

That the state has under President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni gone from 33 districts in 1986 to about 136/7 after 1st July 2019. Which was ushered in July 2015, a year before the General Election 2016 and fitted the needs of the National Resistance Movement and keep up with pledges made by the President. So every single town is a District and none is inter-connected it seems. Every hill and top is Sub-County. Just the way NRM Regime like it.

In 2017, the Parliament gave a tender about 260 Billion Shillings to ROKO to build a 500 seat size of chambers there. So the payments and monies are there, when needed, as the state can configure and find money for this. But they are usually lacking funds for the civil servants and for the ones serving in public offices in low-level positions. Even not hiring the needed ones in the districts, schools and so on, as there are thousands of jobs that the Ministry of Public Service is not allowed to hire by direction of Keith Muhakanizi, the Secretary of Treasury said there was no funds for that.

But now, suddenly, just like there is funds to athletes, there are funds for new MPs. This is happening as the new possible Social Media tax and also the Tax on Mobile Money. So not like they don’t have projects to use it on. It is all of them districts that needs mansions for District Police Commanders and Residential District Commanders, who all need a palace to live in. Also the need for a local government building and facilities, they cannot run the district from a shack. If that means all citizens has to bleed, that is okay, they deserve this cronyism.

This is the pile of bills made by the amounts of districts, the running costs isn’t just the 3 billions supplementary for the MPs there, it is the new civil servants, buildings and develop these districts. Unless, they want to be ghosts on the paper like schools, teachers, students, refugees, roads and development projects in general.

So, if you don’t see the issues I see, then your either in on it or your just thinking. Its a lost cause, because the President is ushering it in and sanctioning it. This to feed off his cronies and making sure they get jobs locally. Instead of building good districts, he has just chopped them in two or made new ones. So the development and local changes can be made right before elections. That to secure his own candidates for the Parliament too. So for the President its a win-win.

Nevertheless, this has clearly stretched the budgets, the need for public officers and civil servants, as well as more appointed local leaderships. All of these needs salaries and pensions, which means the grows and becomes more expensive with the growth of expenses like these. This is happening at a rate and time, as the growing debt and interest rates are rising. Therefore, the negative affects of it all needs to be put in perspective. However, that is not interesting to the NRM as they cannot question their king, without insulting his intelligence or his will of staying there. That is shown too…

Well, this was a bleak and sad story, but needed this perspective, since the cost of 136/137 districts should be discussed, not only the cost of MPs and the cost of building a new chamber at the Parliament. Peace.

The Uganda Budget Framework Paper FY2018/19 for Energy and Mineral Development is saying that the External Financing is the key for this Sector – Period!

The Budget Framework Paper for Financial Year of 2018/2019 for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development is really revealing how the financing of the sector is and how the state is involved with the manner. Also, how low-key the main factors are and lacking transparency is hitting the Energy Sector of Uganda. Not that is surprising, since the agreements, the licenses and the tenders are usually kept behind closed doors.

However, the main part of the Framework Paper is evident of the issues at hand:

The indicative budget ceilings for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development have been rationalised in line with the sector priorities and national priorities as communicated in the Budget Call Circular and in the Presidential Directives. The ceilings for Vote 017 for the FY 2018/19 are as follows: Wage Recurrent is UGX 4.23Bn; Non-Wage Recurrent is UGX 74,04Bn; GoU Development is UGX 307,84Bn and the Development Partner contribution is UGX 1,608.41Bn. Under Vote 123 ceiling is UGX 81.98Bn is for the GoU Domestic Development and UGX594.00Bn is from external financing” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018).

The building of vital infrastructure, the refinery, the pipelines and energy production facilities are all dependent on funding from abroad. If it is grants, loans or paid-in-full agreements done in secrecy. Because, there are more than the shadows of this budget framework paper. It is saying a lot and the votes for the future is showing the future too. That the Ugandan economy is prospering, as the budget are needing all funding from afar to be able to build needed infrastructure. Also, needs the grants for the Rural Electrification, the ones who the state has even borrowed to do.

Therefore, this Budget Framework Paper is showing the troubles ahead. This isn’t voting for better economy, know this is dependency and also proving how much the donors and partners are involved in making sure the economy gets addicted to it.

When it comes to the refinery, the details are clearly still in the wind: “The process of selecting of the Lead Investor is still progressing and the negotiations are ongoing between Government and the selected investor. The process is expected to be completed in FY 2017/2018. There after FEED and ESIA for refinery development will be undertaken with the Lead Investor on board” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018). So the selecting of it is not finalized, well, for some thought Russians had secured agreement and the reason for Museveni to visit Moscow. Clearly, that ship has sailed, we can wonder if Total or any other company would do this. As Total has the biggest chairs of licenses in the Lake Albertine Basin. Time will tell, but another proof of lack of transparency, when the Ministry has to write this.

Procurement Bottlenecks including lengthy bidding processes that require no-objections from the external financiers at each stage of execution. There is need for PPDA to revise guidelines for procurements relating to flagship projects. In addition, the following measures need to be considered: financing agreements are signed, project is almost ready to kick off. PPDA should reduce the administrative review timelines that sometimes stall progress” (Energy and Mineral Development, Budget Framework Paper FY 2018/19, 2018).

This here is initially following the guidelines of the First Amendment of the 1995 Constitution of 2017, the Land Amendment that the National Resistance Movement put forward before the Age Limit. That would fit the narrative of the Ministry and their wishes. It is like reading the same idea, to give more power to the state and able to land issues quickly.

What we can learn, also and which is important, these developments, these infrastructures projects couldn’t have been built if it wasn’t for external loans, externals grants or direct aid, if not on the license fees and the parts that is taxed. However, the grand amount and the majority of the projects needs the external funding.

This is not surprising, it is to be expected because Museveni doesn’t want to use his money. He want to spend other people’s money and also the money of the future. To benefit him today, that is why the deals are done in the secrecy…. We don’t know the reasons and the value of the licenses, the ones who is to build the refinery, even the grand agreement between the Corporations who will build the Pipeline. We know that certain companies has failed to build the dams and used bad material, but that is because of the Chinese Contractors has saved money, while being paid-in-full.

President Museveni blessed that deal and got scraps back. Time will tell, but this isn’t a good look. Not because I want it to be bad, but because the money says so. Peace.

Uganda Bankers’ Association: Position of Financial Institutions under the UBA Umbrella Notices Recieved from URA to Obtain Information of all Account Holders (08.04.2018)

Opinon: Todwong is right on the money!

There been many voices saying the same thing as Deputy Secretary of National Resistance Movement Richard Todwong. Not that they have been listen to or neither acted upon. Because the state sanction the nepotism, the family affairs of Museveni and his elite. That Todwong is still a part of, as he is a crony within the system. It is splendid that he says these things, but that the NRM and Museveni is most unlikely, the rampant corruption and ghosts, are evident even with the refugees and the other beneficiary structures surrounding this administration. Therefore, it is nice to hear in the ears, but has a hard time believe that the NRM will change, when Museveni is still the Kingpin on top!

“However, Todwong shocked the house when he turned guns on his own party, lamenting that they are responsible for a litany of issues that have gone wrong. “We also need to manage greed, during the debate of a transition, those in leadership position may want to collect as much as possible because they don’t see themselves coming back to power. That kind of greed, insensitivity to national issues makes people disgusted to those in government,” Todwong commenced his speech. “Corruption, greed nepotism are things that are making Ugandans more disgusted in the leadership of our party in government. I have to be honest because my church told me to, I have told this to the president,” he added” (…) “The former member of parliament lashed out at government officials for what he termed as “theft with impunity” and misuse of public resources, saying they are the reason the NRM will soon be pushed out to the streets. “If we can’t restrain or control our greed in how we use public resource, how we steal with impunity, then Ugandans will push us out of power. The hills of Kampala are expanding with buildings but schools and hospitals are shrinking, so where do people get this money from?” Toswong posed. “And the owners of these structures are commissioners, permanent secretaries, ministers and directors, people are disgusted,” he added” (Nelson Bwire Kapo – ‘We are stealing the country’s resources with impunity, people are disgusted- NRM’s Todwong’ 06.04.2018, NilePost.Co.Ug).

It is refreshing to hear it, but the state has made their ways, but they are not significant. Whatever regulations the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED), Bank of Uganda (BoU), Attorney General (AG), Inspectorate General of Government (IGG) and The Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA) is clearly not sufficient. They are still able to get away with murder and see the paychecks go into thin air. Therefore, when you have all of these and nothing happens. You can wonder why they are going to work everyday and if they are really doing anything.

There are so many busy bodies and such, that the rampant corruption should be impossible, as well as the Uganda Police Force and the Courts, should sanction investigations and have cases that logs the corruption cases in the state. However, that seems like a far-fetched scenario where the beneficiary are the ones on top. While all the institutions and the government bodies are fleeing their responsibilities, because if they act upon their mandate. They will naturally hurt allies and friendly cronies of the Kingpin. Because a state with that many different bodies involved, should have capacity to stop. Unless they are all there to collect salaries, smile and move-on.

The Presidential Handshake and the tokens of gifts for the vote to abolish the Age Limit, shows how open the corruption is and how little it matters. Since the big-men are eating and the President wants it this way. Therefore, a nice gathering of thoughts of Todwong, but will the NRM act upon it? Nah, they have already dozens of institutions and mandates to hunt them down. Nevertheless, they don’t, because that might implicate the Kingpin and they don’t want to do that! Peace.

Prof. Tumusiime-Mutebile: Bank of Uganda is Soundly Managed (05.04.2018)

President Museveni proposes a Social Media Tax: Good luck enforcing it!

I know that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni will not go door-to-door getting the cash-in, he will not issue the tax directly or levy the tax on each single individual who is on Social Media, but his letter to Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija on the 12th March 2018 on “Re: Lack of Seriousness in Tax Collection”. That is the letter that propose to task some taxes on Twitter, Facebook and WhatsApp. Where every single user of these are paying 100 shillings each per day. That is specialized task to gain huge revenues for the state. This is really to secure more funds to the Republic.

That President Museveni hasn’t thought this true, but will he get the names, does his CMI knows all who has WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter, do they know how much these are used? Will these taxes be put when they are used and not levied the other days. The Uganda Revenue Authority, needs a mandate for this sort of tax, because this is also the privacy, since these are programs that people download on their free will. Not all have these. Is his plan to pay a 100 shillings for each days, so if you have three apps, will you pay 300 shillings per day?

This sort of ideas opens wormholes, is it that the Republic of Uganda, will through the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), National Identification and Registration Authority (NIRA), Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) and Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (MICT). Should all be involved in finding he ways to levy these sort of things. Should they get all the companies who are servicing these apps to put a pay-wall that you have to register to pay each day you enter? Is that the sort of plan?

That the MICT, MoFPED, URA, NIRA and UCC are sending letters to Facebook, Google, Apple, WhatsApp, Twitter and so on. So they can figure out how to get this tax. Because it needs a technical feature, unless the CMI and Intelligence at SIU Kireka has it all. Unless, the state has gathered it all in secrecy or if the Telecom companies has this registered in their records.

You can wonder, if the MTN, Airtel or any of them has been considered here, as they are paying taxes on all the added value of the airtime, the trade of the phones. That the state is trying to do this, is to force a tax, that should be taken on directly every phone-call and SMS. That your paying 5 shillings for picking the phone and 10 shillings for receiving. Also 5 shillings for every SMS and 10 for MMS. That is the nonsense of this.

But I don’t think the President has considered the implications, neither the invading of the privacy, unless he wants to order the companies to put a pay-wall for using social media, that will have to subtracted by credit-card, mobile-money or out of the air-time. That is how it is supposed to be. But than, this is a grand-old man. Whose not that sophisticated or smart enough to understand, what he is implicating. Unless, someone is trespassing on his lawn or going to close to his cows.

This idea should be scrapped in the country, that has struggled to register the Sim-Cards and have them registered correctly. That all Social Media should be monitored and levied tax on is insane, but fits the Modus Operandi of Museveni.

Ready, Set and Bogus. Peace.

Yumbe Riot: Conflicting reports, but seemingly authorities created the havoc and it got public reactions!

What can we can conclude is that the Police Force in Yumbe District has arrested about 60 people and two individuals seriously injured (some reports dead) after bullets hit the scene. The Police Force statements and the Uganda Revenue Authority statements doesn’t add-up. While the Police are saying the URA had an enforcement operation there, the URA counter-claim it and says there was none.

However, there has imports of illegal rice in this case, that created the havoc seen today in Yumbe, as both statements refers to it. The URA legal team, who encountered the boda-bodas with it, who was stoned for interfering with it. While the Police Force are not addressing directly the illegal rice, but that URA was looking at the number plates and lack of tax on the motorcycles.

Before the crowd and masses of people rioted, burning both motorcycles and a car belonging to the Danish Aid in the town. The end of the statement clarifies that the URA was there to collect taxes on the imported rice, and that the motorcycle drivers has to pay the state. Also that URA will continue this operations in the West Nile region.

The Police has said they will engage with the Boda Boda Industry and community, as of this incident. What is special, is one saying it was not paid for the motorcycle, the URA saying it was because of the lack of taxes on imports on the motorcycle. It is a small difference, but still one. We can wonder what was the truth.

What we do know, is that the Police has arrested a dozen of people and two killed, some say they were just hurt. Hard to know what is the fact. 103.2 Open Gate FM reported this earlier in the day: “Two people are reported dead in Yumbe District following a protest by youth in the area against operations of the Uganda Revenue Authority-URA. The protests were sparked by a URA operation against unregistered bodas bodas, in the event apprehending residents in the business. The operation became sour when the URA vehicle knocked down a bodaboda cyclist, making bodabodas to become rowdy by burning several vehicles prompting police to fire bullets. URA Manager Public and Corporate Affairs, Ian Rumanyika said the Authority was cracking down on unregistered boa bodas as well as those smuggles from South Sudan without reverting tax” (103.2 Open Gate FM, 28.03.2018).

So it wasn’t a peaceful initiating, as the URA Management followed and tracked the Boda Boda down. Knocked it and the Police intervened in the operation. The report of Open Gate, also say the URA was doing both, not just stopping the smuggling from South Sudan, but also look into the tags, which hadn’t paid tax. Secondly, they are saying that the URA team drove after the Boda Boda and actually knocked one down. That isn’t just fining and taking the tags, not only checking the products or rice, but actually nearly impounding it. This has been done without forewarning or local knowledge. If not this wouldn’t have happen.

So the URA are now combating illegal imports and also unregistered boda boda’s. Clearly, there have to be better methods, since this became violent, and the following after and knocking down. Was a final spark, since the URA Management created havoc on the way and than the Police intervened with guns, as the youth was throwing stones. When the violent activity transpired they addressed it with throwing stones and also burning cars.

Whatever it was, it shows the lack of oversight and the lack of basic understanding. It is natural for a state to tax imports, also serve taxes on plates, yearly pay for being able to drive on the roads. Both actions are normal, but if the URA Management did the right thing, if the Police Force did the same. Can be questioned and should be.

What should also be asked, would there be a better way to collect the missed tax and also secure the porous border points, so the Boda Boda can pay the levies when entering into Uganda again. Secondly, the URA should be able to notify the drivers of their missing payments and not knock them down for doing so.

We will see with time, if the stories are changing or if they will stay the same. However, this is worrying sight of the state of affairs. When collecting taxes becomes a stand-off, you know something is wrong. Peace.

URA: Clarification on Riot in Yumbe (28.03.2018)

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