KAMPALA – The Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) has introduced a lifestyle audit, a new mechanism aimed at investigating corrupt employees that have accumulated a lot of illegal wealth.
The commissioner for internal audit and compliance, Dr Protasio Begumisa, confirmed the new initiative is the only way they can fight corruption which has remained a challenge in URA.
According to the commissioner, there are some URA staff whose monthly salary is Shs3 million but they are paying tuition fees for their children at the United States or United Kingdom universities at $50,000 (about Shs190 million) per year.
Dr Begumisa said they would begin investigating URA staff on how they have acquired some of their assets like buildings, land, businesses and wealth because it could have been gotten through corruption.
The commissioner revealed that URA staff who had accumulated illegal wealth and unqualified officials who got employment through the back doors were dismissed from work and replaced by “patriotic and competent ones”.
“The truth is at one time we were being called a den of thieves, but senior management and government officials took a stand and some of the officials they considered either corrupt or unqualified they were kindly asked to go home. But this does not mean that there is no corruption in URA,” Dr Begumisa said.
The commissioner noted that corruption is very hard to fight because it is not done in the open.
“People may be corrupt but you can’t see them, you can’t catch them, so we are looking for an alternative way of knowing who is corrupt by trying to match your income and what you spend,” he said.
Dr Begumisa was addressing the business community during the northern integrity forum held at Lira town on Thursday. It was under the theme “Let your voice be heard in fighting against corruption”.
He asked the public to report to him any URA officials who demand bribes in order to offer services which are supposed to be free