KAMPALA — President Museveni Yoweri has pointed out that he is not happy with Uganda’s tax to GDP ratio of 14.3%.
He argued that this puts Uganda among the lowest on the continent, saying that some countries realise a ratio of as much as 18%.
He said the low tax collection was due to massive corruption by Uganda Revenue Authority officials that he has since forced out.
“There has been a lot of corruption in URA. That one I have cleaned. We have cleaned that crowd of the corrupt. Like we shall do in other areas,” he vowed.
A number of URA commissioners and other top officials were forced to leaving their positions last week in what has come to be known a cleanup by the president.
President Museveni said senior officials including Mr. Henry Saka, Mr Dicksons Kateshumbwa, Mr Siraji Kanyesigye were given a chance to serve but instead doing their own things.
“Those young people who were given an opportunity to serve their country were instead doing their own things. We begged them to stop but were behaving like they are doing us a favour. We shall come for whoever is corrupt,” he said.
New URA Commissioner General Mr. John Rujoki Musinguzi, has since announced a re-shuffle, sending Mr. Patrick Mukiibi to head Domestic Taxes replacing
Mr. Kateshumbwa who was forced out the tax body.
Mr. Musinguzi assigned Mr. Mathew Stephen Mugabi to be the Acting Commissioner Tax Investigations docket while Mr. James Kizza was deployed Acting Commissioner Corporate Services docket.
Mr. John Tinka Katungwensi was appointed Acting Commissioner Large Taxpayers in the new changes.
Meanwhile, the president said that Uganda’s low tax returns means more borrowing.
Museveni said that while some people have voiced pessimism over the economy, he is optimistic – despite the coronavirus crisis throwing the spanner in the works of such sectors as tourism.
He adds that the emergence of COVID-19 has awakened the Government’s desire to support domestic production.
“We are going to be very strict on import substitution,” he said adding that he is glad that minister Kasaija talked of increasing taxes on imports. “We are also going to promote export promotion.”