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MPs want Uganda to withdraw from international bodies over UGX200bn subscription arrears

The Parliament of the Republic of Uganda main entrance. (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – Legislators on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have ordered the government to either pay all the outstanding arrears in subscription fees for international organisations’ membership or withdraw its membership to curb the skyrocketing arrear accumulations that have now hit the Shs200Bn mark.

The call was made to the officials of the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development who had been summoned to respond to audit queries raised in the 2017/2018 audit report that warned of the increasing domestic arrears in Uganda.

In his report to Parliament, Auditor General John Muwanga Reports noted that the domestic arrears over the past two years have indicated a growing trend with arrears rising by 51% from 2017 to 2018 notable among the categories was tax refunds resulting from tax incentives.

Documents before the committee showed that Uganda’s subscription fees to internationals organizations stood at Shs41Bn while tax exemptions are at Shs122Bn.

Gordon Arinda (Ishaka Municipality) said that Uganda should consider clearing its membership fees or leave these organizations since the country’s rights to vote is no longer needed and continued stay in the organisations only taints Uganda’s image abroad.

“Quite often officials have been embarrassed when they go to attend international meetings and conferences and even some of them have had their voting rights curtailed and it is a very big embarrassment to the Government of Uganda. Can we have a commitment from the Ministry of  Finance that we are going to pay these subscriptions or we withdraw from these organisations?” asked Arinda.

Nandala Mafabi Chairperson PAC tasked the Ministry of Finance to avail Parliament with a list of all organizations where Uganda has failed to pay its membership as well as economic justification for Uganda’s continuation in these organization.

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