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Archive for the tag “URA”

Opinion: OTT Tax on Data Bundles is like a dual-VAT

“URA Commissioner General Doris Akol told the Finance Committee of Parliament chaired by Henry Musasizi that the controversial OTT Tax will be charged directly on data instead of mobile money to curb the evasion” (NBS Television, 14.01.2020).

I wonder if Doris Akol has thought this through or is winging it? As she see the losses and lack of results, revenue or tax base with the 200 shillings of doom. The whole OTT Tax is to expensive for the public daily. Now, she wants to move it and indirectly tax it instead.

Surely, they will get revenue, but this will make it more expensive to buy data-bundles for the customers and make the packages more viable. VPN and similar networks to circumvent the usage and payments of the daily OTT Tax have beaten the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA). That is why URA does this now.

It is a sign of defiance and civil disobedience. They are trying to patch the hurt. But will this succeed? Will more try to only load data through Wi-Fi networks and wireless networks in general. Not load so much data on the go. Because, people are smart and tries to undercut extra taxes. Especially, when on the data is already paid VAT and the Mobile Company pay their taxes on the profits too.

Therefore, URA and Akol seems fishing. They will raise revenue, but also make the data bundles more expensive and with that stop plenty of people from buying bigger data bundles for surfing online on your smart-phone.

That is just the mere reality. It is a sign, yet again that the OTT is a failed project, who didn’t hit the targets and wasn’t measured right. If it was, the aim and the bargain wouldn’t be like this. That is not happening.

This method is a clever way of adding the costs of data, while charging for service not necessarily used. The OTT Services, which is the reason for why these are charged. Because, the data could be used for other things and therefore, is violating its attempt to make it costly for certain usage on online.

This is again, pushing one story, pushing one tax and trying to tax the public by any means. When the hook doesn’t work, they use the crook. Instead of doing directly, they want to do it indirectly and initially in some way adding a separate VAT on data-bundles masked as OTT Tax. That is really it.

We all know this, URA verify it today. That the only things certain in life is death and taxes. Thanks Akol for reminding us. Peace.

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for December 2019 (09.12.2019)

The President’s Man: Justice Mike J. Chibita

I had never met the president. I was picked by my supervisor; so, I went, picked my tour there and I finished [and] came back. So, it is not that the president has groomed me because I met him when I was somewhere in my career. It is true that I picked a leaf from his work ethic – he is a hardworking man and if Ugandans picked his work ethic, we would be far. But to say that I am a cadre or puppet, that is not true. You just need to ask people who have associated with me: I am a professional lawyer and I have been a professional judge”Mike Chibita interview with the Observer in October 2013 (Sulaiman Kakaire – ‘Chibita: I am a professional’ 30.10.2013, The Observer).

That lawyer Mike Chibita now gets appointed to the seat of the Supreme Court is just a justification to fix the friendly judges for the General Election of 2021. Chibita has been the Director of Public Prosecution since 2013. The DPP has followed orders from “high above” and been a loyal man from the side of prosecution, if it meant putting Besigye behind bars or pinning charges on opposition leaders. Chibita has done that as the noble and “good lawyer” he is.

Between 2008 to 2013, he worked as judge on the High Court before appointed the DPP. Like he had already worked as Private Secretary for Legal Affairs, in the Office of the President for seven years at the State House between 1996 to 2003. So, his been in close association with the President and the upper echelon

So, the now appointed judge to Supreme Court just happens in advance of the General Election. This seems planned and seems to give an edge, to have someone the President can trust and knows is eligible as well. It is not like Chibita isn’t a career lawyer and doesn’t have the credentials, but his not picked because of his rebellious acts or independence. His been a man of the code and following the orders from high. Like for instance in late 2016, the President directed Chibita to drop charges against Taxi Operators in Kampala, which he did. Therefore, the President knows what he gets from this man.

Like the man should in 2018 have answered for this: “ The Director of Public Prosecutions has ordered the Police to compile and submit all files related to torture of victims in custody for them to be able to institute a case. Lawyers Erias Lukwago and Asuman Basalirwa who are representing suspects who have suffered at the hands of violators of human rights believe that the DPP’s directive is a mere statement” (NTV Uganda, 24.08.2018). This is currently the state of the rule of law, which the lawyer and high ranking official has supported over the years. Because, it is lack of will to prosecute the ones who are violating the law from the state side. The DPP says his dropped 10 cases a day, most likely the ones who are in-connection with other high ranking officials within the government and the State House. Since, only the small fish or opposition gets handled. Not like the DPP or the state has dropped cases against Besigye or Bobi Wine of late. Neither Dr. Stella Nyanzi or anyone else in his term. Mike is a loyal dude and that shows of what his done of late. Even sent Besigye directly to Luzira. Because, he wanted to show loyalty as well.

We knows how he thinks he can sway opinion, when he wrote this: “Many Ugandans, for whatever reason, are quick to believe in conspiracy theories. Many citizens think that judicial officers receive

phones calls from State House telling them how cases should be handled. I suppose such occurrences are possible, but I never experienced anything like this during my time as a judge.

Political pressure on judicial officers is more likely to be applied through other means. One particularly effective way of applying political pressure concerns the power of the purse. In Uganda the funding of the judiciary is determined and conducted by the other two arms of government” (Mike Chibita – ‘JUDICIAL ETHICS: THEORY AND PRACTICE’ article from “Legal Ethics and Professionalism – A Handbook for Uganda” D. Brian Dennison / Pamela Tibihikirra-Kalyegira (Editors) 2014).

So with the knowledge of this and his many roles within the administration over time. From his time in the Uganda Revenue Authority to the State House, at the Office of the Auditor General and the Director of Public Prosecution, not to mention the High Court and now the Supreme Court.

I wouldn’t believe this appointment would happen, unless the President was assured. That when he calls, when he directs Mike, he will and listen. Not to forget be compensated for doing so. Especially, in concern of possible Election Petitions in 2021. Because, if there are anything happening. The Supreme Court is filled with friendly, loyal faces like Chibita. Who will not throw the President under the bus, but follow the code and the directions made. That is who this man is.

That is why he has complied and followed, that is why his been directed and have been elevated. Because, his follows and does what needs to be done. Not because his the greatest person on planet earth. Neither, because of his faith or his work ethic. It is because he knows his place and knows how to play it. From making gestures to everyone at the State House, to be dropping charges as the DPP on the orders of the President. He knows when to act and when to react. Peace.

Opinion: Parasites and lies, a walk against himself…

“I have never stolen anything from anybody. And I am also not a poor man”Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the Walk Against Corruption on the 4th December 2019

Today, was the official walk against Corruption in Kampala, as the President, the Anti-Corruption Unit at the State House and all other governing parties involved muster up a decent crowd of paid participants, staff and whatnot, security guards and whoever they could find. To walk a distance in the midst of Kampala.

At one point, the guards and security told pieces of the march to slow down, because it couldn’t walk faster than the President. Even as he went to Kololo, he still went at a rate, that was to slow too many. This walk will not change anything. It is a PR Stunt, which will not gain anything fruitful. It is more public wastage in order of looking sincere, which it is not and will never, be.

“It is a moral problem because you make yourself a parasite. Corrupt people are parasites because they get wealth which they did not earn, because they think that God does not see the bad things they do. In the last 60 years, I have been watching and I have not seen these corrupt people being successful sustainably”Yoweri Kaguta Museveni at the Walk Against Corruption on the 4th December 2019

With this in mind, the President is truthfully telling the world that his rich. His vastly rich, Ritchie Rich, rich actually. However, the President doesn’t tell how he got there. It was not like he had wealth and assets going into the role of the Presidency. Not like he had estates, businesses and ranches going in. No, he was an impoverished former Minister, who had gotten grants by mercy of Nyerere and who was hired by Obote II. That is who he was until 1986. Therefore, his wealth has come with power and with incentives given to him over time, also boosting his accounts and also his cronies.

Secondly, if it is a moral problem, then its engraved into this administration. If corrupt people are insects and parasites, there is surely a lot of them in his cabinet, in his offices and around his closest associates. Himself is a parasite then. Because, he haven’t gained wealth on innovation, marketing or basic business models, but by being in-office and getting bargain by kickbacks and inside deals.

Last, but not last. We can say you Mr. President has been successful, gaining more and more power, more and more money and depleting the state, little by little. To a point, where nothing isn’t up for grabs, where secret deals inside the State House decides, if they are staying or going. The Presidential Handshakes and whatnot is the ones crediting to you. That is why walking today is obnoxious and outrageous. Only naïve and dumbfounded people believes this PR Stunt.

The man cannot fight himself. He will not tarnish his own creation and destroy what he keeps him there. Therefore, this is charade, packed as a rally and a march against something. But in the end, it will only further show the rot, the plight and the suffering the actions made by this cause. Peace.

Follow the Code: A secret walk against corruption

On 4th December, 2019, H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda will lead the walk code named Anti- corruption walk. The walk is aimed at intensifying the fight against corruption. The walk will start from Constitutional Square to Kololo and a number of people are expected to participate in this walk” (Uganda Police Force – ‘TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PLAN FOR ANTI-CORRUPTION WALK ON 4/12/2019’ 03.12.2019).

Merriam Webster states that a code name means: “a designation having a coded and usually secret meaning” (“Code name.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/code%20name). With this in mind, I never believed that His Excellency or the President is serious about this.

This is the President whose have had issues with demonstrations, protests and rebellion. Therefore, his not the man whose walking against anything. He was a rebel at one point, but that was for his own cause. That is why his stayed in power since 1986 and never left.

With that in mind, the man whose known for having someone close to his office or cabinet connected in some corruption every single year. It is seemingly happening, there are like those proverbs in the papers saying: “Missing Funds”, “Unaccounted Donor Grants”, “Fake Corporations/Products”, “Ghost Employees” and so-on. Even knowledge of kickbacks, secret agreements between the President and Foreign Investors. That is just happens on the regular.

That’s why the President has created dozens of agencies supposed to have the ability to monitor the state organizations, businesses and tenders. This being the Inspector General of Government (IGG), Office of the Auditor General (OAG), Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority(PPDA), Anti-Corruption Unit – State House or even the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA). All of these are supposed to combat the ill called corruption. Still, these are not able to do so, neither are the Judiciary nor the Law Enforcement they are working in tandem with.

That is why the walk is even more ridiculous, as if it’s not the man whose the V.I.P or the Fountain of Honour, whose often involved or accepts the corruption. That being some road-scandal, illegal tender nor the Presidential Handshake. Neither some procurement for some government agency played around with to ensure someone got greased.

So, this walk against corruption. The man whose behind the grand-corruption and his party is usually connected directly in these operations. That is why tomorrows walk is walking against itself. This is like the man who makes everyone sick, suddenly will drop the cure. The man who drops bombs over a nation, suddenly calls and walks for peace. It doesn’t work. That isn’t real!

Unless, the old man with the hat starts to shadow boxing himself, knock himself out and suddenly understand that his the problem. Not that it will happen. This is a PR stunt and nothing else. The NRM MPs, the ones who wants to show loyalty will show up. But everyone knows the state who does this on the regular. Will not stop doing it. That is why Total had secret talks in the State House with the President just this week.

We cannot expect anyone than the small-fry gets charged and taken into custody. The ones who are the big-fish will not touched, unless they have fallen out with Jajja. Peace.

Bank of Uganda: Monetary Policy Statement for October 2019 (07.10.2019)

OTT Tax: Totally failed its supposed revenue targets in 2018!

Today, the Uganda Communication Commission released their annual sector performance report of July 2019. It was really a bit funny look, as the state, the President and all of his handlers said the Over-The-Top Services would create a tax-base and revenue, which would benefit the state. That is why Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) had set up targets to streamline these new taxes.

I will show more of the fun and explain, as the UCC report really shows how malfunction and lack of due diligence hurt. But first a previous calculation, which was stated to the media. To show how much lack of tax-base the OTT had in 2018, as it was implemented in July and keeps pushing to this date.

Look:

Daily Monitor Reports: “Government collected Shs20.5b from social media in the last quarter ended September, according to data obtained from Uganda Revenue Authority. The tax, which was implemented in July, was however, less than the Shs24.9b target that URA had hoped to collect in the period. URA has a monthly target of Shs8.3b. The tax was introduced in the Excise Duty amendments of financial year 2018/19 requiring all social media users to pay Shs200 per day, before accessing certain platforms such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter, among others. Government intends to collect about Shs100b before the end of the 2018/19 financial year” (Christine Kasemiire – ‘OTT raises Shs20b in first quarter, URA fails on targets’ 07.11.2018).

Let’s first do the math, accordingly, as the URA monthly target is 8,3bn shillings in revenue, every single month. A quarter of a Financial Year is 4 months. In today’s UCC report, it shows the numbers for the Q3 and Q4 of 2018. Which means, that states revenue from July-September and October-December in the previous years. By these standards its 8,3bn X3 to get the supposed of any given Q. That is 24,9bn shillings is estimated to earn per quarter.

However, the UCC report states that in the Q3, the revenue was 12,696,558,400 or 12,6bn shillings which is only about half of the anticipated revenue. The final quarter or Q4 isn’t much better:12,952,833,800 or 12,9bn shillings. Of the estimated earnings, the state is nearly able to gain about half of its target. The market and the consumers are not contributing or using the phones as much as they thought. What is striking if you combine the two quarters of revenue is that the state earned approximately 25,5bn shillings, which is sadly just above one quarter estimate of the URA in supposed revenue on this tax. The estimated earnings of the period would be about 49,8bn and this shows the state managed a deficit of about 24,3bn shillings. That is about on quarters earning not happening at all. Thats a giant shortfall of cash and the URA/UCC needs to explain the Ministry of Finance this one, because this a major loss of promised funding for the state.  

This shows how failed this tax is and what a waste of enforcement and making the tax in its first place. This isn’t fun and games, but a way of misusing power to tax people, just because you find something obnoxious. That is how it seems, since the President want to stop the gossip online and such. Stop spreading of information and ensure that poorest cannot afford to get online and use the OTT services. Because, that what this tax does. Peace.

Uganda Peoples Congress: Caution on Coffee Bill (17.07.2019)

Uganda: Press Statement – Justification of procurement of OTT services for Members of Parliament (16.05.2019)

Uganda: Anti-Corruption Unit – Request for Your Intervention in the Delayed Confirmation of Officers in Acting Capacity and Irregular Recruitment of Inspectorate Officers into the Inspectorate of Government (20.03.2019)

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